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> Getting Heavy Guitar Tone ( One Way), There are many ways to get good tone. Here is how I do it.
Todd Simpson
post May 27 2010, 01:12 AM
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GETTING GOOD METAL AMP TONE FOR RECORDING (NOT FOR LIVE GIGS)
If you decide to use an amp/speaker/cab, and a mic instead of going direct in to your recording setup, I can share with you some tips and tricks that I use to get a good chunky/crunchy tone. Again, THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE AND SOME WILL FIND IT CRAZY!.

I play a 7 string Ibanez with a low B and it's very deep. I found guitar speakers just didn't have enough bottom end for me. Even cabs from KRANK, MARSHAL, etc. All seemed to be tuned to bottom out around the range of a standard six string E frequency. So I picked up a trick from some Death/Grind players and tried a bass guitar cabinet with a 15 inch driver. BINGO! Deep thick tone. I did have to EQ some mid back in though. Eventually, I found a fairly cheap combo Bass amp (Crate brand no less) with an onboard E.Q. I only use it for amplification and speaker color. All processing is done either in software or by my GNX3.

Once the tone is dialed up, I use a fairly cheap Condenser microphone (MXL brand) set off axis, six inches back and tilted up slightly and turned in a little. I've spend countless hours moving mics around cabinets and speakers and found this somehow yields the best results for semi close mic work. If you jam a condenser mic in the middle of the cone, it can frap, and just sound kinda crappy. By setting it back and off axis, you allow the condenser some breathing room and pick up more color from the speaker which is kind of the point of not going direct.

The good news is, this setup is not expensive. Amp was about $300, mic was about $75. And yields great tone. To get similar tone in the traditional way, you may end up needing a Mesa Head/Cab/rack compressor, eq, etc. Which costs thousands. I've tried it that way and it can be done. But as I headed toward doing more and more "In the box" (using software and modeling) I found I was using my cabs/heads/rack less and less Eventually I sold most of it and bought more software, guitars, computers etc. Here is a pic of the amp/mic setup.



Some gear I bought after selling off my amps/heads/cabs and going for this new approach.



Here is a link to a solo I recorded using this setup. All FX/Processing is done via Digitech GNX3, nothing from the amp other than amplification.

LINK TO SOLO TONE EXAMPLE


USING SOFTWARE MODELING: (If you want to use software and skip the head, amp, mic, etc.)

I use a plugin called AMPLITUDE METAL which I LOVE. Here is my fave preset and an example of how it sounds.

1.)Randall Warhead 300
2.)Fender MH-1 Cabinet
3.)Rack Tube Compressor
4.)Neuman Condenser Mic

*I think the Neuman is a crucial bit. I use a condenser mic for my "real world" rig and nothing comes close for tone when comparing it to dynamic mics like the SM-57.

Here are some pics of the preset and the new version.




CLICK TO HERE AUDIO EXAMPLE OF PLUGIN

This is taken from a thread about using software plugins instead of amps for good tone. It's a great thread. Here is the link to it.

LINK TO TONE EXPERIMENT THREAD

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jun 5 2010, 03:41 AM


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ZakkWylde
post May 27 2010, 01:21 AM
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I can't relate to your approach even though it might be working for you.
When playing my guitars through my rig I surely want them to sound heavy but if I get too much low end in my sound I will get into the bassplayers frequencies and the whole sound drowns ind mudd. A 4x12 speaker cab with the right speakers has more than enough low end - too much with the wrong EQing!

To get a tight,deep and heavy tone from your guitar there are only 3 things neccessary imho:
1. Good equipment - Guitar, pickups, amp (proper settings) and a cab
2. Thick Strings - For a low b on a 7 String you have to use at least a 68 or 70 string to get the sound tight
3. Clean Playing


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Gear:
- Jackson USA Select KV2 King V with EMG 81/85
- Gibson Les Paul Custom Arctic White with EMG 81/85
- Ibanez Rg 8527 J Custom 7-String with DiMarzio Evolution and Air Norton

- Peavey 6505+ head with Marshall 1960AV 4x12 cab
- Peavey Vypyr 30 Practice Amp
- Dunlop Crybaby From Hell, Maxon OD808, Boss TU-2, MXR CarbonCopy, ISP Decimator, MXR Custom Audio Electronics Booster

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Todd Simpson
post May 27 2010, 08:00 AM
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This setup is for Studio Recording so it would not work well live. For a live rig, I'd do what you doing now. 4x12, etc. For recording, I was big on 4x12 cabs for a long time. But 12 inch guitar speakers were never designed for the frequencies produced by a low B on a 7 string. They just can't reach that low and faithfully reproduce everything that's going on. Since a lot of what I do now is recording, session work, teaching, etc. I"m less worried about cutting in to the bass player as I"m typically recording one instrument at a time.

I'm using a condenser Mic as well which is exactly what I was always told NOT to do by every audio guy I ever met. A typical approach is to use an SM-57 off axis near the cone. The trouble with this approach is that the 57 is specifically designed to focus on midrange as it's tuned like a vocal mic. This isn't much help on 7 string instruments.

I have tried tons and tons of gear, and ended up with a very odd setup. But in the end you have to trust your ears.

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jun 5 2010, 03:51 AM


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