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Thread: Killswitch Tutorial

  1. #1
    Registered User DR5Guy's Avatar
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    Question Killswitch Tutorial

    Greetings!

    I built an external killswitch few days ago and have some moderate success using it. The synchronization between the left and right hand turned out to be more challenging than I expected though. The main problem comes from the fact that engaging the switch breaks the sound, which is quite opposite to using a pick. Since nearly all musical instruments make sound when a key or control is engaged, this feels very unnatural.

    I am looking for a good tutorial or at least some advice of a proper use of a killswitch. Ideally it will deal mostly with the rhythm and L/R hand sync.

    Your help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I'm not sure what you're talking about exactly with kill switches, but scratching on turntables is kind of that way too, where actions plays the slience.

    this can be a little weird at first, but you can also just turn it around in your mind. you have to get away from habits which is the tough part, but then just imagine not picking as the action and picking as the non action if you know what i mean.

    but again i'm not sure exactly how to imagine your setup or whatever, but kind of switching it around in your mind as to what the action is, rather than as to what the action does. might help you out.

  3. #3
    Carrots!! All_Ľour_Bass's Avatar
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    As far as I know a killswitch is a button you can put on a guitar that simply mutes your guitar entirely, which is usful for live shows so you don't get massive feedback or noise between songs.

    Actually pressing the button may be sending some sort of noise to his amp, which the poster appears to not want.
    Hidden Content Originally Posted by Chim_Chim
    Be different.

    Do it for the OATMEAL.

  4. #4
    Registered User DR5Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by All_Ľour_Bass View Post
    As far as I know a killswitch is a button you can put on a guitar that simply mutes your guitar entirely, which is usful for live shows so you don't get massive feedback or noise between songs.
    This is correct, but there is use which goes beyond simple muting. Jordan is a classic example of this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-woe...eature=related

    Another example:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=866__QJg9LQ

    Unfortunately using a kill switch in such context is relatively unknown/new and I was not able to find any tutorials how to use it efficiently.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    oh, well if it's just an on off switch and playing the silence is confusing you, then just reverse in your mind which direction of the switch is on and which direction of the switch is off.


    but i think i see from those videos truly what the problem is. it looks to me like the switch is one that you press and it sticks in and then you press again and it switches out. so to get a short silence instead of pressing it and releasing it, you need to click it once and then click it again.

    iow, your actions are on either boundary of the sound or lack thereof you want to produce.

    i can't think of what it is now, but i know i've tried stuff like that, and ya, it's pretty confusing.

    i think maybe i've done that even with just stereos or something that had a switch like that. which is something maybe you could try if you find something like that.

    i think it's one of those things you just need to use alot and then get used to it.

    what i'd do if i were you, is to start of not, using the kill switch to your own ends.

    but to do the reverse, use the kill switch in some kind of repetitive way. like clicking it over and over in an 8ths pattern or something, and then play the guitar to match the effect you're getting from the switch. this might help you get accustomed to the way it works.

    then try other simple things where you're using the kill switch to do what you want to do.

    another way to go to get used to it that i'd try for sure is to either get your guitar going on a signgle steady note, or some easy pattern of notes with your left hand. the simpler the better, and then mess around with the kill switch.

    i think if you do these things enough you'll get accustomed ot the way it works.

    then you can make a tutorial and post it on youtude
    Last edited by fingerpikingood; 11-06-2009 at 11:23 PM.

  6. #6
    Carrots!! All_Ľour_Bass's Avatar
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    I've never seen this kind of use for it before. That's pretty cool.
    Hidden Content Originally Posted by Chim_Chim
    Be different.

    Do it for the OATMEAL.

  7. #7
    Registered User SkinnyDevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DR5Guy View Post
    Unfortunately using a kill switch in such context is relatively unknown/new and I was not able to find any tutorials how to use it efficiently.
    Perhaps little known, but hardly new.

    A "kill switch" is nothing more than a toggle switch. Over-simplified, there is either the "selector" type (2-way, 3-way, etc.) and there is the "momentary" kind (kills the signal when held down, re-connects the signal when released). I've had the latter - what is often now referred to as a "kill switch" - since the mid 1980s.

    Jimi Hendrix pioneered this effect in the late 1960s, Eddie Van Halen made mild use of this effect in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Tom Morello took it to a whole new level when RATM came out in the early 1990s, and Steve Stevens notche dit up again & used this effect on his work with Juno Reactor, Billy Idol, his Black Light Sybdrome project (with Terry Bozzio & Tony Levin), & solo work.

    Here are a few vid tutorials:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkY_KQWl49E

    Tom himself (part 1):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bun9unLlhgQ
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  8. #8
    He's dark. He's a man. Darkman's Avatar
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    The killswitch effect is great. Just practise it till you get what you want out of it.

    Obviously on a Les Paul for example you can roll down the volume on one pickup, leaving the other pickup on, and the pickup selector switch then becomes a killswitch. Hendrix used it a lot back in the day, and also Mick Ronson used it to great effect with the Spiders From Mars.

  9. #9
    Yea lots of people have done it but I have never seen it like Buckethead. That takes a really fast switch and good left hand technique. Thanks for the videos guys. Here is a better look at the switch:

  10. #10
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkman View Post
    The killswitch effect is great. Just practise it till you get what you want out of it.

    Obviously on a Les Paul for example you can roll down the volume on one pickup, leaving the other pickup on, and the pickup selector switch then becomes a killswitch. Hendrix used it a lot back in the day, and also Mick Ronson used it to great effect with the Spiders From Mars.
    Pete Townshend was the first to do this creatively, using a Rickenbacker.

    Check out this live version of their 2nd single (he does it sporadically in the guitar solo from 1:05-1:45, and also on the very last chord):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNMB88gxCTE
    ...OK, things have developed somewhat since then , but just imagine what it was like to see something like that in 1965... (before Hendrix, before Cream, before Zappa, when the Beatles were a pop group bowing to their audience)... jaw on the floor in front of the TV...the Who forging this new "rock" stuff in front of our eyes...

    More (throws away one Rickenbacker, picks up another...):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hYjs...eature=related

    ****, and I just found this... (sorry, off topic, but what a band... they called it "maximum R&B" in those days, but it was obviously something else...they were just 19/20 years old then)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hflF6...eature=related
    Last edited by JonR; 12-08-2009 at 10:42 AM.

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