Sunn Ra
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#1
12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 
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Thread Starter
Punk Rawk Guitar

Heya. I'm recording a bit of a genre-project (strictly in regards to sound -- I need a "classic" tone here) and need some tips on establishing that crunchy- yet-aurally-satisfying kinda guitar texture that the particular brand of Stiff Little Fingers, 'Pistols, etc. punk tended to harbor (Note: I'm talking from the engineer's side of the glass). Any tips would be greatly appreciated, from the most rudimentary to the most esoteric (and again, more "Damned" than "Husker Du"). Thanks in advance!
#2
12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I'm not an expert, but I'd say a 57 right on the grill of an older Vox or Marshall turned up to a pretty raunchy overdrive would get you most of the way there. Cut some lows in the mix to leave room for bass and kick, and double or triple track. The main difference between a 'punk' tone and a 'rock' or 'metal tone' is a lot in the gear- an older Fender or Gibson (with P90's), into an older, maxed out, ragged sounding amp is pretty much 'the' punk tone.
#3
12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
brockorama's Avatar
 

pick scrapes, palm mutes, feedback and pogo stick jumping up and down ....also safety pin piercings aren't required but help sell the sizzle
#4
12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
  #4
Gear maniac
 
poopynuggeteer's Avatar
 

Put about 50 bees in a coffee can, close the lid, shake them up and then open and shove a 57 in there ;D
#5
12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
  #5
Gear maniac
 

If you're going for 70s type punk guitar tones, I'd probably stay away from much double tracking. Keep it raw and simple. I would also try to get the guitarist keep the overdrive just over edge of breakup. Cranked Plexi-like.
#6
12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
  #6
Gear maniac
 

Get a stratocaster (single coils) or something with low output humbuckers, and something with tubes, preferably low wattage around 30-50 watts to get more saturation at manageable volumes. Crank the volume and turn down the distortion, and hit the strings HARD.
#7
12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
  #7
Would-Be-Teaboy
 
Jazz Noise's Avatar
 

Punk Guitars, outside of the hardcore/crossover stuff, are noted for having very bright and midrangey guitars. Bridge or Mid pickup and a Mid-heavy distorted tone will do alot!

For recording? SM57 or E609. Right up against the grill might not be the best way to go, so experiment!
#8
12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
  #8
Gear Head
 
RockRebel's Avatar
 

As everyone else says, 57 right on the grill, center of the cone, Marshall JCM800.
If you check out "classic albums" on VH1 ( you can find it on YouTube) there is on on the Pistols "Nevermind the bollocks"
I think I remember them saying they tracked something like 27 guitars, just ridiculious. There is a lot of good info on those episodes.
Sunn Ra
Thread Starter
#9
12th May 2012
Old 12th May 2012
  #9
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Sunn Ra's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks for all the help guys. I appreciate it.
#10
13th May 2012
Old 13th May 2012
  #10
Gear nut
 
Nizzyo's Avatar
 

Yeah man, a 57 not kissing the grill, but straight making out with it. As far as amp, it really doesn't matter just crank it. Did anyone mention an SM57 for the mic? Well I'm not sure, but yeah use a 57 =]
#11
14th May 2012
Old 14th May 2012
  #11
Gear addict
 
lostwars's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nizzyo View Post
Yeah man, a 57 not kissing the grill, but straight making out with it. As far as amp, it really doesn't matter just crank it. Did anyone mention an SM57 for the mic? Well I'm not sure, but yeah use a 57 =]
Buy a used 57 then abuse it some more.
buy the cheapest, crappiest amp you can find and turn it all the way up
play catch with the 57 in a concrete parking lot. GO LONG!
#12
14th May 2012
Old 14th May 2012
  #12
cork sniffer
 
Ron Vogel's Avatar
 

Blackface Bassman is THE punk-rawk guitar amp sound.

Surprised no one mentioned this yet. Everyone was using them from the era....cheap (at the time) and easy to get rowdy.
Sunn Ra
Thread Starter
#13
14th May 2012
Old 14th May 2012
  #13
Gear Head
 
Sunn Ra's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
[QUOTE=Ron Vogel;7878257]Blackface Bassman is THE punk-rawk guitar amp sound.

Duly noted!
#14
14th May 2012
Old 14th May 2012
  #14
Gear nut
 
knucklehead1's Avatar
 

Your biggest enemy, or ally, is going to be the amount of distortion on the guitars. As the others have said, 57 right on the grill, etc, BUT the distortion - or lack there of - is going to be huge to get the tone right.

Don't let them come in and crank the distortion to 10, you could very well be surprised by just how little you will actually need. I've always liked Marshall's and Les Paul's, but YMMV. There are a lot of ways to get there.
#15
14th May 2012
Old 14th May 2012
  #15
Gear addict
 

57s are great
#16
14th May 2012
Old 14th May 2012
  #16
Gear addict
 

the bassman is great too.
#17
14th May 2012
Old 14th May 2012
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockRebel View Post
As everyone else says, 57 right on the grill, center of the cone, Marshall JCM800.
If you check out "classic albums" on VH1 ( you can find it on YouTube) there is on on the Pistols "Nevermind the bollocks"
I think I remember them saying they tracked something like 27 guitars, just ridiculious. There is a lot of good info on those episodes.
Bummer, you tube blocked that from this country. Checked VH1 sight, couldn't find it. I read the opposite though: a 57 and km84 far from grill (6" from speakers) on a twin cranked up. They didn't know the speakers, but I believe they were regular jensens. Do they actually say JCM800? Were 800s even around in 76-77?...googled 81, that can't be right. I really wanna find that vh1 thingie someday, that tone is one of my favorites evah. The only other punk band that comes close to that tone IMO is D.I.
#18
15th May 2012
Old 15th May 2012
  #18
Gear Head
 
RockRebel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mini me SSL View Post
Bummer, you tube blocked that from this country. Checked VH1 sight, couldn't find it. I read the opposite though: a 57 and km84 far from grill (6" from speakers) on a twin cranked up. They didn't know the speakers, but I believe they were regular jensens. Do they actually say JCM800? Were 800s even around in 76-77?...googled 81, that can't be right. I really wanna find that vh1 thingie someday, that tone is one of my favorites evah. The only other punk band that comes close to that tone IMO is D.I.
Just a thought with the 800. Thats what I have used in the past and had good luck with them.

This might add some insight...

"What guitar and amp did you use for the album’s sessions?"

"Jones-I used a ’74 Gibson Les Paul, a white Custom and I also had a black one while we were doing Never Mind The Bollocks, it was a Les Paul Black Beauty but I’m not sure what year that guitar was. I only had one amp and it was a Fender Twin and that was used on everything."

"Was there any sort of approach in how Chris Thomas went about capturing the sounds and energy of the band?"

"Jones-I have no idea what he was doing with the microphones, because I didn’t know anything back then. But I know he definitely drove me crazy with the tuning, as he kept making me tune up on every ****in’ song! So it drove me nuts but I guess it was worth it in the end."

"Did you use any effect pedals?"

"Jones-I only used one effect pedal and it was on Anarchy In The UK, it was a MXR Phase 45. That was the only thing I added on my end."

Good luck
#19
15th May 2012
Old 15th May 2012
  #19
Gear Head
 
RockRebel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockRebel View Post
Just a thought with the 800. Thats what I have used in the past and had good luck with them.

This might add some insight...

"What guitar and amp did you use for the album’s sessions?"

"Jones-I used a ’74 Gibson Les Paul, a white Custom and I also had a black one while we were doing Never Mind The Bollocks, it was a Les Paul Black Beauty but I’m not sure what year that guitar was. I only had one amp and it was a Fender Twin and that was used on everything."

"Was there any sort of approach in how Chris Thomas went about capturing the sounds and energy of the band?"

"Jones-I have no idea what he was doing with the microphones, because I didn’t know anything back then. But I know he definitely drove me crazy with the tuning, as he kept making me tune up on every ****in’ song! So it drove me nuts but I guess it was worth it in the end."

"Did you use any effect pedals?"

"Jones-I only used one effect pedal and it was on Anarchy In The UK, it was a MXR Phase 45. That was the only thing I added on my end."

Good luck
Classic Album: Sex Pistols (3/7) - YouTube
Search Classic albums Sex pistols...this is what i got,( just one of the segments)
#20
15th May 2012
Old 15th May 2012
  #20
Gear interested
 

57 right on the amp. I tend to use a 609 as well if the tone from the guitar is a little piercing. It seems to mellow it a bit and kinda give it an "insta-eq'd" guitar sound that seems to work for punk
#21
15th May 2012
Old 15th May 2012
  #21
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 34732 View Post
57 right on the amp. I tend to use a 609 as well if the tone from the guitar is a little piercing. It seems to mellow it a bit and kinda give it an "insta-eq'd" guitar sound that seems to work for punk
This is actually exactly what I do. Mixing those two mics together makes a really thick guitar sound.
#22
17th May 2012
Old 17th May 2012
  #22
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunn Ra View Post
Heya. I'm recording a bit of a genre-project (strictly in regards to sound -- I need a "classic" tone here) and need some tips on establishing that crunchy- yet-aurally-satisfying kinda guitar texture that the particular brand of Stiff Little Fingers, 'Pistols, etc. punk tended to harbor (Note: I'm talking from the engineer's side of the glass). Any tips would be greatly appreciated, from the most rudimentary to the most esoteric (and again, more "Damned" than "Husker Du"). Thanks in advance!
if printing to tape, just rail everything and let the rust do the work....

SLAMMED TAPE is the classic "tone for punk"
#23
18th May 2012
Old 18th May 2012
  #23
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockRebel View Post
Just a thought with the 800. Thats what I have used in the past and had good luck with them.

This might add some insight...

"What guitar and amp did you use for the album’s sessions?"

"Jones-I used a ’74 Gibson Les Paul, a white Custom and I also had a black one while we were doing Never Mind The Bollocks, it was a Les Paul Black Beauty but I’m not sure what year that guitar was. I only had one amp and it was a Fender Twin and that was used on everything."

"Was there any sort of approach in how Chris Thomas went about capturing the sounds and energy of the band?"

"Jones-I have no idea what he was doing with the microphones, because I didn’t know anything back then. But I know he definitely drove me crazy with the tuning, as he kept making me tune up on every ****in’ song! So it drove me nuts but I guess it was worth it in the end."

"Did you use any effect pedals?"

"Jones-I only used one effect pedal and it was on Anarchy In The UK, it was a MXR Phase 45. That was the only thing I added on my end."

Good luck
And a very good thought! My ideal hardcore punk tone iconic combo is Marshall JCM 800 + Les Paul. Period. Of course, there are as many tones and types of productions in punk as in any genre. But I was just saying if you wanted to specifically chase the Pistols tone, you can. Bill Price, one of the producers on the Never Mind the Bollocks, gave it away. I can't find the exact interview, but I found another with a slew of info, and he's reitterating his pistols stuff sporadically spread out over the course of the article:
Sound on Sound article
OP, I hope you find something you like in this, you're bound to find something! A fantastic article by Sound on Sound.

Last edited by mini me SSL; 19th May 2012 at 09:43 AM.. Reason: fixed link
#24
18th May 2012
Old 18th May 2012
  #24
Gear Head
 
cryptokoan's Avatar
 

I did a track using my les paul out of my little brothers solid state first act amp with all the settings cranked. I used a beyerdynamic mc930 at 45 degrees about a foot back. Sounded huge with growl after i took out some of the hiss with eq.

Maybe try a small shitty amp with a nice guitar? Probably the 57 on the grill would work better for the in ur face soundz
#25
18th May 2012
Old 18th May 2012
  #25
Gear Head
 
RockRebel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mini me SSL View Post
And a very good thought! My ideal hardcore punk tone iconic combo is Marshall JCM 800 + Les Paul. Period. Of course, there are as many tones and types of productions in punk as in any genre. But I was just saying if you wanted to specifically chase the Pistols tone, you can. Bill Price, one of the producers on the Never Mind the Bollocks, gave it away. I can't find the exact interview, but I found another with a slew of info, and he's reitterating his pistols stuff sporadically spread out over the course of the article:
Sound on Sound article
OP, I hope you find something you like in this, you're bound to find something! A fantastic article by Sound on Sound.
The link didn't work, but I found this. Is this part of the same article?

"Looking out from the control room, the drums were placed in the centre of the live area, about two-thirds of the way back, while Jones's guitar amp was directly in front of the control-room glass and recorded with a KM84 and an SM57 placed about six inches in front of the speakers. "What one had to do was balance those mics equally, grab a pair of headphones out in the studio that were turned up nice and loud, and fractionally position one of the mics so that they were perfectly in phase at high frequencies," Price says. "Because if you had one mic five inches away and the other six inches away you'd obviously get really bad phase shift that would take the top off the guitar sound. So, the best way would be to get the guitarist to play, clamp a pair of headphones to your ears as loud as possible, and gently swivel one of the mics around until you got a perfect phase correlation between the two."
#26
18th May 2012
Old 18th May 2012
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Puffer Fish's Avatar
Old school punk rock guitar amp sounds are the same as any other big electric guitar sound coming out of the same era--the big difference was presentation in the music itself, not the tools for the task.

So approach it the same way as if you were trying to record T-Rex, or David Bowie or even Journey electric guitars. After all, there were just a handful of big amps to choose from--we are talking about 1975 here, maybe 1976, right?

So if you want to use an SM57 on the grill, go for it. My preference is an Audix I-5 instead of an SM57, or maybe a Sennheiser 906 for up on the grill. I also like a ribbon mic for rhythm electric guitar. But for my efforts, I would typically add at least one other mic somewhere further back in the room for the big amp, room sound. I have used large and small diaphragm condensers to good effect. I find that a 2x12 or similar will get you that big amp sound due to pushing more air out of the speaker cones. It does not need to be two 4x12 cabs or anything ridiculous like that... depending upon the size of your room, I suppose. My preference is also to use a lower wattage tube amp that can then have the POWER section cranked to get the power tubes to saturate rather than building a lot of preamp gain.

And where should the mics be placed? Where it SOUNDS the best, of course! The rules are the same here as with any other electric guitar sound, for the sake of the engineer. If you are producing, not just engineering, then encourage the player(s) to keep the preamp gain lower and push the power amp (tubes) harder--THAT more than most other things, would be in keeping with the big 1970s electric guitar sound.

And for the record, I love that old school punk stuff. I grew up listening to it and I still perform it myself. I am happy to hear someone else is pursuing it. Have fun!
#27
19th May 2012
Old 19th May 2012
  #27
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockRebel View Post
The link didn't work, but I found this. Is this part of the same article?

"Looking out from the control room, the drums were placed in the centre of the live area, about two-thirds of the way back, while Jones's guitar amp was directly in front of the control-room glass and recorded with a KM84 and an SM57 placed about six inches in front of the speakers. "What one had to do was balance those mics equally, grab a pair of headphones out in the studio that were turned up nice and loud, and fractionally position one of the mics so that they were perfectly in phase at high frequencies," Price says. "Because if you had one mic five inches away and the other six inches away you'd obviously get really bad phase shift that would take the top off the guitar sound. So, the best way would be to get the guitarist to play, clamp a pair of headphones to your ears as loud as possible, and gently swivel one of the mics around until you got a perfect phase correlation between the two."
Oops, sorry, fixed the link. LOL, actually what you have quoted is from the exact interview I wanted to post in the first place! So there you have it.
#28
19th May 2012
Old 19th May 2012
  #28
Lives for gear
 
fastlanestoner's Avatar
 

+1 to pushing the power tubes of the pre tubes! That can really get you there if you have the space to make some noise. I would encourage getting really creative, and the multi-mic technique can do wonders, just watch for phase.

The best mics to choose from here would be: 57, e906, or i5 as far as dynamics go. Ribbons sound awesome on guitars, and a Royer would be right at home here!
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