Sunday, April 13, 2014

How'd you get that Tone, Man?

So, I'm still liking gear, and that probably won't change, but I'll try to fit that into various places- mostly in the other blog. This one fits here, though. I asked several guitarists the same question- can you spare any details about what you used on this specific song?  I found some real surprises, and a lot of interesting notes. Really, though, my point was just that these are some guitar tones that I really like. If you want to stretch it out a bit, I suppose you could say that this is a blueprint for my musical aesthetics. Less of a stretch is to just say that these are guitar sounds that I think you should hear, and then, you should see as many of these bands play live as you can. So, here's some answers:

I almost always play a red 90's "60's style" Fender Telecaster on our recordings. Original pickups have been replaced with some kind of Broadcaster reissue pu's. I'm using the bridge pu for the whole record. GHS Boomers .11s. Live I use a run of the mill OCD distortion pedal but for most of the songs on the record, including "We Should Do This Again", I am using a 70's MXR Distortion + that our recording engineer brought in. He collects them and they all sound a little different. For the slightly boosted over dub after the joke part I think I used a black Dunlop or Dallas Arbiter fuzz face full on and the guitar volume knob quarter cocked. I used a Sovtek Mig 50 that I own as the main amp on the entire record. The second amp on "WSDTA" is a Blonde Bassman going through some kind of Marshall 2x12.

That's Dari from Disasteratti.

So, to answer your question in regards to what was used for the guitar tone, it's a Epi Les Paul hollowbody model w/ the pickups replaced w/ Les Paul '59's pick ups. The amp is an older Fender Deville 50 watt combo w/ the trebles cranked, and the bass & mids at about 5. The amp also has it's own spring reverb, and I believe that was at a 4-- just enough to give it more of 'big room' sound of sound. On top of that, is a EHX Holy Grail Reverb set to it's "hall" setting at about a 4 & an MXR Carbon Copy with moderate mix & some quick kind of slapback. Just was going for something big, droney, and piercing. There was also a 2nd guitar player present (we were once a 5 piece band) in that song, which I believe used a Solando 100 watt head, and a rat fuzz pedal. The specifics of that rig/setup I'm not totally aware of, but it's on the rhythm side in the mix.

That's Grant from War Brides

The amps on SOCO were: soldano avenger, vox ac15, fender dual showman. I used a custom made zvex clone for the bit crushed riff. I used a bunch of odd mics on the cabs so it def helped color the sound. On the new record we used mainly Morgan amps and Orange OR50.The zvex clone was through the fender dual showman. We did us an ampeg svt 4pro with a big muff, rat and a zvex as well.

That's Kemble from Aeges

The introduction of "Down The K-Hole" is Jason playing his G&L Broadcaster. (Now known as the ASAT, it was originally labeled Broadcaster, reportedly to invite a lawsuit from Fender in order to ensure publicity. Only a few hundred were made). He used a Carbon Copy delay and MXR Distortion +. It was recorded using an Epiphone Valve Jr. into a 2x12 cabinet mic'ed with a Cascade Fathead ribbon mic and a Sennheiser E609. When I come in with the chunky chords, it's a mid-70s Tele through a MXR Classic OD and a Zvex Super Hard-on into a Hiwatt DR103 and Hiwatt 4x12 with original Fane speakers (running at a much lower volume and gain than live). Same mic set up. My Tele was running the bridge PU which was rewound to vintage specs by Lindy Fralin. For the "solo" section, Jason and I doubletracked our parts with more gain/distortion (I think recorded with just the 609) and then panned the doubled tracks opposite of our main parts. 

That's Russell from Tyranny is Tyranny

The guitar is a 1978(ish?) Gibson SG played through an early 90s Carvin x-100B tube head. I didn't use any pedals so 90% of the tone comes from there. The rest obviously came from the cabinet which (I think) was a my early 90s Fender 4x12. I've never really paid too much attention to what speakers it has, i just know that I like the sound. There's a slim chance that I used a Marshall 4x12 that was at the studio, but I kind of doubt it since I tend not to like the speaker break-up on most of those. The bass was probably Robert's short-scale danelectro longhorn bass (reissue) played through a Sunn(((o 200s head and the studio's cab (probably something akin to a badass, indestructible, mesa boogie PA cabinet). Robert uses a Tronographic "Rusty Box" pedal that -in my personal opinion- every bass player should own. The drums are Tony's vintage Ludwigs from 1959 (they belonged to his dad who died when Tony was a kid). I can't tell you much about head-tension or shell size, but I can tell you that Tony tunes them A LOT and is super particular about his snare sound (the muscle behind that tone is no accident). All of the instruments were tracked together in a single room to an analog tape machine after HOURS were spent on mic placement and pre-mixing. The hope was to get as much good room sound as possible and fill in with the close mics. I can't tell you how it was done, specifically. Suffice to say: Justin is a smart dude who spent a lot of time and effort to figure that stuff out. Vocals were added later, along with VERY sparing guitar overdubs (obviously we knew we were limited in what we could do overdub-wise since the room sound would be so prevalent).

That's John from Nonagon

My set up was Andy White's Marshall Super Lead Mark II with PPIMV mod running at 50 watts into an Avatar 4x12 with Celestion green backs. 

The guitar at the time was my Les Paul Copy, with a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge as always. Other than a Digitech tuning pedal, I'm pretty sure I just went straight in, no other pedals. Andy White, again, if memory serves correctly was using his Nash strat style guitar, stock single coils, into a heavily modded old Traynor tube amp - all the amp work done by St. Louis legend, Obeid Khan of Reason Amps and now Magnatone fame among others - running into a slant Marshall 4x12 also with green backs. He may've been using a power soak of some sort at the time on that head, but again, pretty much just straight into the amp and onto "tape." All guitars mic'd with an SM57 and recorded by our drummer Ken McCray, mixed by engineer Ian Whalen and mastered by James Plotkin. No tape, all digital. 

That's Andrew Elstner from Tilts

I guess it depends on which guitar sound you are looking for the rhythm or the leads as they are two different tracks of guitars that are pretty distinctly different. For the Conan part (The rhythm for the most part... the Cheap Trick, Didjits bit/main riff) it's a Ibanez Jet King (two humbucker rip off of Fender and Gibson all at once) in middle position through a MusicMan HD-120 combo with the gain turned up unreasonably high.... most of that is just clean tone until it gets to the leady bits (the Wipers rip off) which go to the higher pitch pickup (neck?) and has a boost through a Ben Adrian Bunnydrive pedal also unreasonably cranked... I forget what he based that circuit on, but I want to say it was a Crowther Audio Hot Cake. Any which way you slice it... the important thing is, high pick up for those bits. Chorus leaves the distortion on and switches back to both humbuckers... and then for the outro there is an Electro Harmonix Small Clone chorus on as well and the melody is mostly played by simple hammer ons. I'd probably have to defer to Shane for his bit, which has all of the guitar heroics and solos and such.

That's Conan Neutron from Victory and Associates

On that song I used a Rat and a Boss Hyper Fuzz through a Sovtek Mig. Tony used a mid 90s Big Muff through a Hot Rod Deville. I played a Tele reissue with P-90s and Tony played his Rickenbacker Dakota, IIRC.

That's Michael from Like Like The The The Death

The guitar on the all the Black God stuff is a Fender Tele Deluxe Reissue with Seymour Duncan Stag Mag in the bridge, occasionally I use the neck pickup which is an SD P-Rail. The main amp is my JCM800 into Emperor cabs with Weber 65 watt British Series speakers, second amp is Twin Reverb with Weber Chicago Series speakers. I think "Ghost In You" has a tremolo on one guitar in first chorus and a wah on the second chorus. I think a third guitar comes on in the end with a Supersonic Fuzz Gun pedal on it.

That's Ryan from Black God

We're not that secretive of our sound. We used stock Yamaha and Ibanez guitars with 10-46 strings, nothing special. The sound that you hear on "Oreol" and all the others songs on the album came out of a guitar modeling software "Revolver". I don't remember the exact preset we used, but I think it was some sort of Mesa Boogie imitation. No mic to amp at all, our friend who recorded the album wasn't familiar/comfortable with the technique (!!!) and preferred to use the computer program instead. There you go, total demystification!

That's Boris from Tona



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