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> Less And Less Distortion..
Ben Higgins
post Aug 24 2012, 09:25 AM
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Hey Guys, I've noticed over the years that my tastes towards distortion have changed a lot. I'm sure a lot of us were the same in that we used to want as much distortion as possible.. total saturation !! tongue.gif After a while, it soon gets old when you realise that it's not necessarily appropriate to a lot of the things we're playing (unless we're playing along to Ride The Lightning or something !)

But what I really mean is in the realm of recording. I've found myself paring away any excess that I don't need. Trimming the fat. That goes for the guitar sound too and I find that a guitar with less gain sits in the mix better and it also relate to the percussive elements much more clearly.. if you write stuff that uses Megadeth type guitar / rack tom interplay then I think the muscle of the rhythm section is allowed to provide a lot of the heaviness instead of relying on super distorted guitar.

I think that's why albums like Killing is my Business and Peace Sells.. or Powerslave by Maiden can sound so tight, chunky and.. yes, heavy. Everything sounds as tight as a drum and focused like a hammer rather than flabby and fizzy like a big pizza ! tongue.gif

I just wondered if anyone else finds themselves using less and less of something ?

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Aug 24 2012, 09:26 AM


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wish to shred
post Aug 24 2012, 10:17 AM
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i agree a few years ago i used to like the gain turned to 11 or i wasnt happy but now even when i am playing distorted songs i prefer the gain a LOT lower i first noticed this when i started recording and everything always sounded fizzy.
i also dont really use any effects like i used to flangers just annoy me now smile.gif
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Ben Higgins
post Aug 24 2012, 10:28 AM
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QUOTE (wish to shred @ Aug 24 2012, 10:17 AM) *
i agree a few years ago i used to like the gain turned to 11 or i wasnt happy but now even when i am playing distorted songs i prefer the gain a LOT lower i first noticed this when i started recording and everything always sounded fizzy.
i also dont really use any effects like i used to flangers just annoy me now smile.gif


I remember when I got my first mutli fx unit which was a Zoom 505. I was like a kid in a candy store. Looking back, the tones were horrible really but I loved it. And yeah I got tired of the flanger pretty quickly. Although it took me longer before I got over my addiction a distorted preset with heavy chorus effect. cool.gif


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wish to shred
post Aug 24 2012, 10:36 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Aug 24 2012, 09:28 AM) *
I remember when I got my first mutli fx unit which was a Zoom 505. I was like a kid in a candy store. Looking back, the tones were horrible really but I loved it. And yeah I got tired of the flanger pretty quickly. Although it took me longer before I got over my addiction a distorted preset with heavy chorus effect. cool.gif

mine was a zoom unit too! there were so many sounds that made my friends jealous but they just disguised bad playing. Chuck Schuldiner was my inspiration for the distorted chourus sound. what actually made me appreciate raw tones was when i moved away for work i could only have my guitar and i bought a little fender frontman. the clean and distortion on it were all i had and i learnt to love them
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Ben Higgins
post Aug 24 2012, 10:43 AM
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QUOTE (wish to shred @ Aug 24 2012, 10:36 AM) *
mine was a zoom unit too! there were so many sounds that made my friends jealous but they just disguised bad playing. Chuck Schuldiner was my inspiration for the distorted chourus sound. what actually made me appreciate raw tones was when i moved away for work i could only have my guitar and i bought a little fender frontman. the clean and distortion on it were all i had and i learnt to love them


Yes, stripping down can often inspire us to keep it simple. I've noticed that different tones inspire different playing too.


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wish to shred
post Aug 24 2012, 11:07 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Aug 24 2012, 09:43 AM) *
Yes, stripping down can often inspire us to keep it simple. I've noticed that different tones inspire different playing too.


yeah i also find different tunings do the same e standard is a whole different world to me than drop d and if i tune lower i find myself playing cannibal corpsish all the time, gallops and tremolo picking.
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PosterBoy
post Aug 24 2012, 11:56 AM
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Hey Ben

I just downloaded the Ola Englund presets to my Axe Fx Ultra (I posted them and the youtube clips in the Digital Vs Analogue thread)

I was surprise how little gain (preamp and power amp) he has set, but they work, especially when you double track with them,

Less gain means guitars won't sound as thin when recording, and less noise to deal with, I'm finding in my legato practice minimise string noise with my right hand is harder than alt picking!


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Ben Higgins
post Aug 24 2012, 12:10 PM
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QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Aug 24 2012, 11:56 AM) *
I was surprise how little gain (preamp and power amp) he has set, but they work, especially when you double track with them,


That's right.. less gain means that double tracking really does work to thicken up the whole sound rather than turn into a giant mess ! smile.gif



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Marcus Siepen
post Aug 24 2012, 12:44 PM
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I am absolutely with you Ben! Too much gian is good for nothing, the sound will get muddy at some point, your attack is gone and you tend to blow up every form of unwanted sidenoise to the maximum. Specially when recording we don't need that much gain, when guitars are doubled everything sums up, also the gain, so I always tend to turn down my gain a bit when recording. Many kids think that when you want a heavy sound you need gain, gain and a bit of gain, but thats not true, less can definitely be more!


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SpaseMoonkey
post Aug 24 2012, 01:15 PM
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Zoom 505, loved that thing that I remember cutting grass saving up for the 505II, was great to carry around to friends houses since it ran on AA batteries. biggrin.gif

As for gain, I remember always cranking that bad boy to 11! It was full blown or go home! I think it was easier for me to hide mistakes all these years and not strive to be a better musician. Where in the last few years I've taken a turn, hey man slow it down a bit work on minimal movement and to play less tense. Yes it has slowed my playing down a lot but, I have taken my gain from full on to around 11-12 o'clock.

But it also helps to have people who record and make music around, because you never realize how much is truly change due to a mix. Yeah your amp can hit a Metallica or Megadeth tone, but record it. Doesn't even come close, go back dial in something a bit more less thrill in the highs bump up the mids/bass a tad, and cut that gain way down. Next thing you know you toss a HP/LP filter on it and you have the tone.

I have also started using a Boss ML-2 (Metal Core) to help with the tone to tighten it up and add a bit of a color to the amp. It has done me justice and I even can cut the gain a bit more from it due to it adding tightness to my tone.


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Ben Higgins
post Aug 24 2012, 01:17 PM
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QUOTE (Marcus Siepen @ Aug 24 2012, 12:44 PM) *
I am absolutely with you Ben! Too much gian is good for nothing, the sound will get muddy at some point, your attack is gone and you tend to blow up every form of unwanted sidenoise to the maximum. Specially when recording we don't need that much gain, when guitars are doubled everything sums up, also the gain, so I always tend to turn down my gain a bit when recording. Many kids think that when you want a heavy sound you need gain, gain and a bit of gain, but thats not true, less can definitely be more!


It's nice to hear a professional confirm it !! smile.gif


QUOTE (SpaseMoonkey @ Aug 24 2012, 01:15 PM) *
It was full blown or go home!


Oh I love that phrase !! I've gotta start using that now ! biggrin.gif


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thefireball
post Aug 24 2012, 02:34 PM
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I totally agree with all these statements. Have found myself using less gain. .. especially when recording rhythms. smile.gif


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VilleFIN
post Aug 24 2012, 03:26 PM
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When I got my first amp I turned the gain max. tongue.gif

Now when I play with my amp (rarely, I use GR most of time) I have turned gain quite low. I don't even use Boss metal pedal any more. Man I should really invest to a decent amp. Blackstar maybe...

This post has been edited by WeePee: Aug 24 2012, 03:28 PM


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Marcus Siepen
post Aug 27 2012, 12:30 PM
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I guess we all cranked it up to 11 at some point, didn't we? wink.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 29 2012, 07:25 AM
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Very true smile.gif For rythm parts in particular too much distortion is a bad thing. Your better off typically to record layers of panned guitars with a lot less gain. It ends up sounding way bigger. It's what CARCASS used to do and they sounded HUGE!


QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Aug 24 2012, 04:25 AM) *
Hey Guys, I've noticed over the years that my tastes towards distortion have changed a lot. I'm sure a lot of us were the same in that we used to want as much distortion as possible.. total saturation !! tongue.gif After a while, it soon gets old when you realise that it's not necessarily appropriate to a lot of the things we're playing (unless we're playing along to Ride The Lightning or something !)

But what I really mean is in the realm of recording. I've found myself paring away any excess that I don't need. Trimming the fat. That goes for the guitar sound too and I find that a guitar with less gain sits in the mix better and it also relate to the percussive elements much more clearly.. if you write stuff that uses Megadeth type guitar / rack tom interplay then I think the muscle of the rhythm section is allowed to provide a lot of the heaviness instead of relying on super distorted guitar.

I think that's why albums like Killing is my Business and Peace Sells.. or Powerslave by Maiden can sound so tight, chunky and.. yes, heavy. Everything sounds as tight as a drum and focused like a hammer rather than flabby and fizzy like a big pizza ! tongue.gif

I just wondered if anyone else finds themselves using less and less of something ?



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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 29 2012, 02:19 PM
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QUOTE (Marcus Siepen @ Aug 27 2012, 08:30 AM) *
I guess we all cranked it up to 11 at some point, didn't we? wink.gif



hahahah yeah like Spinal Tap! cranked it up to 11 and with a tube screamer in 10... tongue.gif

Great thread Ben, this is very true... I remember that the first time that I get into a professional studio, the technician made me set a tone with much less distortion than I used and I felt weird, it was also more difficult to play the palm muting riffs with the new sound. But the final result was great. So another suggestion is "Practice with less distortion before you enter to the studio if you are not used to do it".


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Slavenko Erazer
post Aug 29 2012, 02:52 PM
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QUOTE (wish to shred @ Aug 24 2012, 10:07 AM) *
yeah i also find different tunings do the same e standard is a whole different world to me than drop d and if i tune lower i find myself playing cannibal corpsish all the time, gallops and tremolo picking.


Hammer smashed Face-ish? cool.gif
Man, I think they use LOADS of gain on Tomb of Mutilated...

This post has been edited by Slavenko Erazer: Aug 29 2012, 03:09 PM
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thefireball
post Aug 29 2012, 03:02 PM
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My friend and I were in a guitar store yesterday. He cranked up the distortion all the way. I was like, dude! Where's the clarity? Turn it down some and it will sound great! biggrin.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Aug 30 2012, 08:36 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Aug 29 2012, 02:19 PM) *
Great thread Ben, this is very true... I remember that the first time that I get into a professional studio, the technician made me set a tone with much less distortion than I used and I felt weird, it was also more difficult to play the palm muting riffs with the new sound. But the final result was great. So another suggestion is "Practice with less distortion before you enter to the studio if you are not used to do it".


Interesting story ! I remember the first time I was ever in a studio. I had to record a solo for an indie song and the guy at the desk put me through a POD. It was strange at first but I was surprised at the fluid tone it got.


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 30 2012, 09:03 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Aug 30 2012, 03:36 AM) *
Interesting story ! I remember the first time I was ever in a studio. I had to record a solo for an indie song and the guy at the desk put me through a POD. It was strange at first but I was surprised at the fluid tone it got.


I had something similar happen during a demo session at a studio. Solo time, and he puts me through a rack mount sansamp processor. I was really skeptical about it at first, but really worked great in the mix. He also insisted we cut back on our gain and in fact use one amp for guitar rythm and just take turns. So we used a Mesa Triple Rectifier and just took turns. Seems to be the way to go. Solos recorded direct ( pod/sansamp etc.), rythms on the best amp in the place, with far less gain than normal. End result BINGO!


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