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Trying to achieve modern heavy rock sound but gtrs end up sounding like "shhhh"
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ixnys
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11th August 2003
Old 11th August 2003
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Trying to achieve modern heavy rock sound but gtrs end up sounding like "shhhh"

I'm trying to achieve a linkin park, system of a down, 311, finch guitar sound for a chorus. This is pretty much the sound of a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier on modern. Now I realize when tracking guitars, it is common to record up to 5 stereo takes of the same part. I also realize it is common to use multiple amps,mics, and tone settings and combine them all.

I've been adapting all of these techniques, but my guitar tracks end up sounding too wishy washy...lots of "shhhhhh" and they sound more like static. I also hear a lot of phasing in the higher EQ register. They lack definement I feel. In the modern heavy rock records today the guitars sound beefy and have a groul quality to them.

Anyways here is the gear I have been using:
Guitars: PRS Custom Santana model and Gibson '58 reissue
Mics: Shure SM57 and Seinheisser MD421
Amps: Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier and Marshall TSL100
Preamps: Avalon 2022
Compressor: Distressor

This is how I recorded them:
I recorded 4 takes from each amp giving me 4 stereo pairs. I dialed in a nice beefy distortion setting on each amp and then recorded the amps with both guitars. My EQ setting on the amps were like BASS=12OCLOCK, MID=8OCLOCK, TREBLE=4OCLOCK,VOLUME=9OCLOCK, GAIN=12OCLOCK. IN THIS CASE 6OLOCK IS CONSIDERED THE MAX. I decided just to use the SM57 for both amps. At the time after I finished recording the tracks, I balanced everything and I felt great. I felt I finally figured out how to get a great hard rock sound. Then the next day I'm listening back to the guitars, comparing them to linkin park and I just notice how mine sound more like noise then melody. It sucked...I tried EQing all the gtr tracks for some time, but still could not replicate the linkin park sound.

So I KNOW I have the same gear that these heavy rock bands record with..where am I going wrong.

Are 6 string guitars not enough..do I need a 7 string guitar or a baritone guitar? I'm usually only tuned down 1/2 step...a whole step at most.

I told you my EQ setttings...are they lacking midrange? Do I need less treble? Is my gain to high or volume too low? Cuz believe me, you can hear them throughout the entire house..they are loud!

Am I recording too many gtr tracks...too few?

Are there finer EQ adjustments that can't be made on the amp but only during mixing? Any magical frequencing to boost,cut, or filter out? It seems anything beyond 8k is noise even though it's considered "air".

Should I not only combine distorted guitar tones but also clean guitar tones as well for clarity?

What should I do about this phase I believe I'm hearing? Cuz inverting tracks doesn't seem to work.

Anyways these are just some of the questions I thought I should ask to help get the ball rolling on this topic. I understand that learning how to get good guitar tones is a process and I have been trying to figure it out..but I felt some tips from people who have become successful in obtaining this modern heavy rock sound could lead me in the right direction. I have searched the forum already about getting distorted guitar tones but they haven't really helped. So if you could just reply to this post instead of redirecting me to another post, that would be great. Thanks!
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11th August 2003
Old 11th August 2003
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go over the fletchers site on proaudioweb... there is a HUGE discussion about how to record heavily edited guitars...


if you go to the thread entitled "a problem with heavily distorted guitars 2" you will find a condensed version of the 300 or so pages that that thread turned out to be


man, i'm crappy at typing
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11th August 2003
Old 11th August 2003
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Are you recording to digital?

Pro Tools?

Ideas - 4 U

1) Digital picks up too MUCH of the sound, if you can rent or buy a Fatso Jnr, it lops off the HF transients that sound like stattic SSSSSSSSSSS. Warmth setting No: 3 is usualy perfect. I used to be tottally pissed off with the hisssing distortion myself before I got one...

2) Try getting a cab simulated sound too - I use a Marshall SE100, but there are Palmer. Groove Tubes models too. Insert this in between the amp & cab, let the cab go full blast but tap off a 'cab emulated sound" to mix in as well, I find I now use the cab emulation as my STARTING POINT (!) - then back that up with the mic(s)...and a DI - Sans Amp tap...

3) make each over dub DIFFERENT change the Gtr / Amp / cab / mic /pre WHATEVER! but make it slightly different, that will give you the 3D "depth" IMHO.
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11th August 2003
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I've been recording a heavier band for the past few weeks and I have been using a 57 on his Marshall cab but I have also been splitting off a completely clean, dry signal using one of those VHT tube splitter boxes and using a di on the preamp. Bringing up that di sound underneath the main amp sound has in my case toughened the sound a bit. I have also ben using a multi band compressor on the bass to clear out some space for the guitar to sit in.
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11th August 2003
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Heavy strings and "touch" could be a large part of what you are looking for. Stacking the same chords played with different tunings can be interesting too. The other thing is to not let volume fool you about tone.

I've always gotten the best results when the guitar was in the control room at least for getting tones. Otherwise stick to small amps, nothing larger than a Marshall 50 or a Deluxe Reverb. The best way I've found to make something sound huge is to make something small have a louder perspective than it would normally have. I'll never forget watching Terry Reid get absolutely stunning tones out of two or three old '50s Champs of various vintages wired together.

Finally, at least try losing all the stomp boxes including any in "bypass." Also, **** "modern," and go for sounding "great but different" which will give that chorus lots more character!
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11th August 2003
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try an electro voice 635a mic on the cab,, they just work like magic. you might want to try and control any excessive sustain on the guitar if it is not supposed to be in the for front all the time,, try experimenting with side-chain compression etc. also worth trying,, though i have no honest idea if it will go over well,, is recording your 5 or so layers totally clean,, then pass those clean tracks summed into the rectifier which would be driving your amp of choice with your own pedal chain of choice and recorded with your mic of choice back into the mix,, so just drive your amp(s) with a clean head or use a clean small combo amp when you actually record the layers you need. I think this might help keep things less phasey and untight to have the rectifier and all your pedals to just be through one pass,, especially if each take is suppose to have the same grim on it. Superior than 5 where phase issues due to little differences in the distortion and timing will add up, especially if it is heavy,, just an idea,, though i could be insane! i mean, metal is just as much a studio art as any major style these days, don't be embarrassed to stop and treat your guitar tracks with a new technique. so much of this nu metal stuff is very synthetic sounding and well executed,, i'm sure there is a lot of time put into getting that sound. maybe do it for 2/5 tracks or something, if the band needs the distortion while they lay it down,, give them a separate mix with some make shift distortion on headphones. heck maybe forget so many overdubs and work on getting some good chorusing or a tiny reverb that makes 2 sound like 5,, this could also help prevent the messy "distorted layers each with subtle differences turning my mix into a blur phenomena" rock on bro...

love to hear about your solution, once you find it.
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11th August 2003
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Atticus "but I have also been splitting off a completely clean, dry signal using one of those VHT tube splitter boxes and using a di on the preamp. Bringing up that di sound underneath the main amp sound has in my case toughened the sound a bit".

What I was suggesting above too!

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11th August 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Atticus "but I have also been splitting off a completely clean, dry signal using one of those VHT tube splitter boxes and using a di on the preamp. Bringing up that di sound underneath the main amp sound has in my case toughened the sound a bit".

What I was suggesting above too!

A little confused, are you guys recommending a clean DI split underneath a heavy-sounding mic'd amp? I've used the DI split in addition to a clean mic'd amp, but never dirty...
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ixnys
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11th August 2003
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How does the Fatso compare to the Distressor? Cuz I was using a distressor and tapping into the 3rd harmonic distortion. I also ran Analog Channel across the tracks. Maybe I can post a sample of the guitars,drum, and bass so people canvreally disect them.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Atticus "but I have also been splitting off a completely clean, dry signal using one of those VHT tube splitter boxes and using a di on the preamp. Bringing up that di sound underneath the main amp sound has in my case toughened the sound a bit".

What I was suggesting above too!

Jules,

I am but a mere jester in comparison to your guitar recording Kingship



That VHT box is a real tool. Luckily my younger brother is as much of a guitar gearslut as I am a recording gearslut so he lets me borrow some choice ampage for my recording pleasure.
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11th August 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by jpaudio
A little confused, are you guys recommending a clean DI split underneath a heavy-sounding mic'd amp? I've used the DI split in addition to a clean mic'd amp, but never dirty...
Yeah, I'm recommending that. In my experience the clean tracks take processing pretty well, so you can use the clean track to solidify the tone. it doesn't always work, but I always record that way. it also helps if the performance is great but the tone is less than stellar. The clean track gives you easy reamping material.
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If you go Here you can get an idea of what my guitars have been sounding like. I have included the guitar with eq and without eq. i have also included a segment from a linkin park song which is the type of sound I'm after. Hopefully geocities won't deactivate the song because of too much traffic. I'll even post a picture of the eq settings and analog channel settings I used if you feel that it is necessary to see.
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12th August 2003
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A little confused, are you guys recommending a clean DI split underneath a heavy-sounding mic'd amp? I've used the DI split in addition to a clean mic'd amp, but never dirty...


(Me) cab simulated - dirty sound (post pre amp, pre cab)

(Atticus) - I am not sure!
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12th August 2003
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The hosting website for the sound clips changed to Here since Geocities coudn't take the bandwith.
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12th August 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
A little confused, are you guys recommending a clean DI split underneath a heavy-sounding mic'd amp? I've used the DI split in addition to a clean mic'd amp, but never dirty...


(Me) cab simulated - dirty sound (post pre amp, pre cab)

(Atticus) - I am not sure!
I'm recommending recording a totally clean track for either use to round out the dirty tone or to reamp with another amp later. Sorry for the confusion!
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12th August 2003
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I just listened to the mp3s. I actually think the guitars sound pretty good, but some softening of the high end could help a lot. Right now, the guitars are kind of fighting for space with the cymbals.

A Fatso would work great (it is different than the Distressor, by the way), but some high shelving EQ, or even a low pass filter, could help, too.

Think about the whole of the mix, as well. If you listen to the Linkin Park clip, the drums have a lot less high end than on your tracks. The most important thing is to give each part its own space. Whether it goes to the drums or the guitars or whatever can vary, but parts will sound biggest when they're not fighting each other.
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Quote:
Originally posted by mdbeh
The most important thing is to give each part its own space. Whether it goes to the drums or the guitars or whatever can vary, but parts will sound biggest when they're not fighting each other.
------------------
so true mdbeh - its what really make things speak and gets the whole mix in front of the speakers. for me , if i want a mix to be brighter , i'll go to a bunch of tracks and turn the top end down - its really all about tonal relationships of tracks in contrast with each other.

as for the guitar sound thing , what helps me alot after doing what has been already said in earlier posts -is to go to an eq that has a rediculously sharp q available and find out if there is a tiny area in the frequency range ( ususlly between 2k & 12k ) and just notch it out to lose that hash or static crackle sound totally. a plug-in that helps with this sometimes is the tc eq sat. it gets so sharp that you can pull out as much as 5 to 20 db at even 2 or 3 frequencies at once - and still not hurt the tone. after tailoring it in that way, if you hit bypass on the eq the problem that used to be there seems to stick out like a sore thumb. when you pop it back in you may find that a gentle top end lift of shelf after it will revive the openess of the guitar again if needed. it works for me.
s
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12th August 2003
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I'm gonna try to find another place to host my clips so people can d/l them. Geocities will go down after too many people d/l off of me and a lot of these other online storage places don't offer hosting services for free. Anyways here's another question then.

what track should win the frequency battle for the high frequencies? I know this is subjective but is it more common to remove some highs from the guitars to allow for room for the cymbals or is it the other way around? Also, can't the analog channel take the place of a fatso??? It's trying to replicate the same thing isn't it?
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12th August 2003
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get rid of your HF on guitars with a steep LP filter in teh neighborhood of 8-12k somewhere in there you will find a balance of just enough top to sizzly top.

then check your low mids, big ass Q and small gain. put a HP filter to take any excessive low end information.

make sure you mids and uppermids feel good or reduce the offensive ranges.
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13th August 2003
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euuh, where to find the " proaudioweb" and fletcher article ?
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Change Guitars - use different characteristics

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules

3) make each over dub DIFFERENT change the Gtr / Amp / cab / mic /pre WHATEVER! but make it slightly different, that will give you the 3D "depth" IMHO.
That's THE most important advice regarding phase-issues and add up of noise. It also prevents from having the same frequency range boosted over and over again.

Most important in this equation: Different Guitars!
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13th August 2003
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How about doing something like this. Record maybe 8 gtr tracks giving you 4 pairs of stereo tracks. The first stereo pair is bass heavy, 2nd pair is low mid, 3rd pair is high mid, and the 4th pair is high. Now on the faders it's kinda like balancing the tracks as an EQ as well. Lows to highs...anybody ever dones this?
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No but I keep meaning to get a wah pedal to use as an 'eq', especially for those 'extra' tones as overdubs..... tilt wah till it 'fills the gap' in the guitar "production tone pallet"
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Quote:
Originally posted by ixnys
How about doing something like this. Record maybe 8 gtr tracks giving you 4 pairs of stereo tracks. The first stereo pair is bass heavy, 2nd pair is low mid, 3rd pair is high mid, and the 4th pair is high. Now on the faders it's kinda like balancing the tracks as an EQ as well. Lows to highs...anybody ever dones this?
Sorta--but it's more like low-mids to high-mids. There's only so much room in 2 speakers, and if you want to hear the other instruments, you've gotta give 'em some room.

And just echoing what other people said... getting that spectrum involves different guitars, amps, mics, and pre's. You can try to shape tracks later with eq, etc. but it never works quite as well.

You mentioned using the Mesa. That's a great amp for a certain sound, but it's nice to have other flavors to fill things out. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. I use a Fender Pro Jr. (<$300) all the time for doubles. It's not particularly hi-fi, and it's certainly not a "modern" heavy sound, but it fills in the low mids really nicely.
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Another thing... don't automatically default to recording everything in stereo. Part of what makes something sound big is having some meaningful differences between the left and right channels.

If you do record all stereo tracks, at least try panning them to more limited spaces. If you pan everything hard L and R, it'll most likely end up sounding small and cluttered.
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"Another thing... don't automatically default to recording everything in stereo. Part of what makes something sound big is having some meaningful differences between the left and right channels.

If you do record all stereo tracks, at least try panning them to more limited spaces. If you pan everything hard L and R, it'll most likely end up sounding small and cluttered."

I was just going to say this... The point of all this doubling is not just to have the part played a million times. It's to get something different happening on each side- like having two guitarists playing live for you instead of one. This is the sound that you hear on a lot of the metal stuff- or at least the stuff from back in the day like Mega. I actually often find that two tracks are enough if the performance is incredible and tight.
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Quote:
posted by Bob Olhsson:
**** "modern," and go for sounding "great but different" which will give that chorus lots more character!
YEAH!

Rock on, Mr. O!
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13th August 2003
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Quote:
I keep meaning to get a wah pedal to use as an 'eq', especially for those 'extra' tones as overdubs
damn jules .....for like the gearslut og mofo you ain't got a wah!!!???tutt

i got one or two i could send you.....just got to replace the tone pot ofcourse

whatever you do is DO NOT get one of those wahs that turns on when you put your foot on it and off when you take your foot of itf cuz ......well you would "wahless"


dunlap made a "static wah" a while back for like 60 bucks
where you could dial in the sweet spot....that would do the trick ...
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Quote:
You mentioned using the Mesa. That's a great amp for a certain sound, but it's nice to have other flavors to fill things out. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. I use a Fender Pro Jr. (<$300) all the time for doubles. It's not particularly hi-fi, and it's certainly not a "modern" heavy sound, but it fills in the low mids really nicely.
well the mesa is good for certain sounds if like those kind of things dfegad

as far as the other flavors HELL YEAH thats the ticket.

i would have to agree with 99.9 of what brian said....minus the boogie

i have found that the best way to get huge guitar sounds is a combo of many amps, overdrive pedals, fuzz boxes, and guitars stacked together to create the real wall of guitar...

lately i have been doing one track of guitar and splitting the signal to different rigs.....tight as hell and big like godzilla...cuz it is one take....nothing new but man it sure sounds good to me

just my funky dollar bill
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How about some EMG mics on the Gibson!!! You really need active mics to get the crunch.
Also do some overdubs with plugins like Sansamp and Amplitube......

*R.O.C.K*
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