How? Soft attack on clean guitars in first bars of Hysteria
I have always wondered this, and you seem to be the exact person who can finally answer this age-old question for me.
There's probably a simple explanation to this, but being a guitar player for 20 years and never being able to duplicate this sound has driven me nuts.
Here's what I would like to find out:
At the beginning of Hysteria, two (at least) clean guitars play a simple arpeggio in 'D', then go to the 'G', then 'E', etc.
The clean guitars have a soft, yet crunchy attack to them in this part. It sounds sort of like a mute in the background or something.
I tried duplicating this sound with envelopers, even using a penny and scraping it at a 45 degree angle when I played the notes but could not get it.
I was at a Def Leppard show last March and they did not have that effect on their guitars so it must have been an engineering trick.
How did you guys accomplish this?
Am I just hearing things?
2nd question: Exactly how many guitar tracks are recorded in the song 'Hysteria' I tried counting the variety of tones once, and gave up at 14 different tones.
Is there any truth in the rumour is that each riff was played by playing an open string - then returning the guitar then playing another open string and then building the riff that way - or is that an Urban Myth?
It does kind of sound that way. At the very least they could have done a special tuning on the guitar to allow three or 4 strings to do that. After all, you just have to fret three notes for the whole intro anyway ... and one of them's a the 5th fret so it could easily be made an open string, I suppose.
I've read that open string story in an article once, too. I wouldn't doubt they did it that way.
Well Flex.......here we go into the Def Lep gtr stuff.
The gtr sound you are talking about in "Hysteria"is a "Rockman" by Tom Scholz. Every guitar sound on that record is Rockman. The clean sounds and the distorted ones!!!!. We had tried to get a gtr sound with DL for so friggin' long.We had 100's of amps lined up in the studio and had tried almost all of 'em and we were sick of the "crunchiness" of the sound . Mutt didn't think it was commercial enough...especially when we started layering gtr sounds.......which was part of the idea for this record.
We tried the "Rockman"..which only really had one sound..as it was a very cheap box so we got in contact with Tom Scholz and asked him to modify the sound for us. So he sent us a version of the box that ZZTOP had been using on all their records and it was spot on for us also. Yes ZZTOP didn't use amps either !!!.We could layer sounds up and the sound got more interesting instead of more crunchy.
The clean sound in Hysteria and the attack you are talking about is simply the sound of the compressor inside of the Rockman on its clean setting..(still a hard sound to beat 'cos of it's space).that's it's sound...we also effected it with chorusing and delays and stuff in the mix but we did the whole album with that shit@y little box!!!
The Rockman has such a god awful sound but we would notch out certain frequencies with notch filters and such....put it thru Palmer speaker simulators ..anything to make it work cos it had no real balls to the sound but that also was half the point.When it was layered up....it was a very commercial sound ..
We had been working with AC/DC etc and those bands had a sound already....they could make their amps sound so damn good.....but give the same amps and setting to DL (which we did)and it was a horrible noise !!! "cos DL used so many 2nd's and odd inversions in their chords so we would re-tune the gtr so that each chord could be played "open" instead of fretted.,......especially for the clean sounds, so that the sustain and openness would stay for each chord , again no one in their right mind would do any of this , and we most certainly had lost our minds ages ago. It was a looong process and was an experiment . Even how we were gonna do the drums was an experiment. Literally up until we started to mix, there were no drums or bass on the tape.just gtrz and vocals......all the rest was put in in the mix!!!!..they had been using a linn drum to keep time and 'cos the arrangements kept changing all the time.....I mean ALL the time..even in the mix...there was no point putting drums onuntil last cos we would be changing parts everyday !!!.....The answer was to do them last with a Fairlight....it was all very "wobbly" conceptually because having listened for almost 2 years to songs with no Bass and no real drum parts on tape..you can imagine how the picture changed when we stated adding bass and drums to the picture......well we kinda freaked and couldn't get used to the difference (no shit !!) So I had to come up with Bass and Drum sounds that fit the heavily textured gtrs. Normal drum sound sounded boxy and small so we went into the whole drumsound fiesta.......that's another story.
Thank you for taking the time to answer that.
Sorry about the cliché Def Leppard questions.
I hope my question didn't rub you the wrong way.
...So it was the compressor on the Rockman - unbelievable. I never thought it would have been that simple an explanation.
Thank you again....and no more Def Leppard guitar questions from me. ...
...but maybe some Corrs questions a little later.
The answer was to do them last with a Fairlight....it was all very "wobbly" conceptually because having listened for almost 2 years to songs with no Bass and no real drum parts on tape..you can imagine how the picture changed when we stated adding bass and drums to the picture......well we kinda freaked and couldn't get used to the difference (no shit !!) So I had to come up with Bass and Drum sounds that fit the heavily textured gtrs. Normal drum sound sounded boxy and small so we went into the whole drumsound fiesta.......that's another story.
that's another story.
I'm all ears...
...actually, I think I just stumbled across the rest of the story... http://mixonline.com/ar/audio_mike_shipley_having/
I particularly like the part about the 32 band parametric in your lap and rehearsing which knobs to twist and when .... and the eq'ing each syllable....
Originally posted by shipshape Every guitar sound on that record is Rockman. The clean sounds and the distorted ones!!!!.
That is amazing you got those sounds from that box. That's thinking outside. I'm sure many of us are sitting here right now re-thinking our approach to gtrs in the future based on that one sentence. I know I am.
Rockman ?! Yes, holy mother of whoevers mother is appropriate to get the pont across ! You must be a genius ! That chorus ! That "echo"..that compressor !!
One of the reasons I started getting INTO engineering is cos some studio guy put me through a rockman and I was horrified with the inhumanity of it all and was thus doomed to a nearing 20 year career of slight underachievement and total overbombing !!
(Although.... I did discover a Rockman blended with a Randall did good for hairy metal in 86 or so..but you couldn't TELL anyone....)
Charles .don't waste your time with a Rockman !!!.you have no idea how crappy it is , or the lengths you have to go to to get anyting other than a horrible noise out of it.
I'm gonna get flamed for this for sure but the amp I've been using the most and with the best results these days is a (gulp.) Vetta 2 !!! I was really turned off Line 6 until I worked with a band signed to our new label that only uses the Vetta. I was thinking "here we go" but the guitarist had made hundreds of presets himself by getting into the thing with his laptop.and we put it thru the Palmer speaker simulator and I have not heard such a great gtr sound. !! Totally blown away.
I had talked to other guitarist friends of mine who all agreed that it was(condescendingly) ok for a practice amp but that's it. Just more proof to keep an open mind about stuff 'cos in the right hands that Vetta sounded unbelievable !!!.
I just mixed a song last week for Van Halen and (what a friggin nightmare !!!) And as good as Eddies gtr sound is (he uses the Palmer simulator as well) .the Vetta was so much better.!
It's sacrelidge(?) to talk about "modelling" devices here ..but if only we had that technology years ago !!!!
Adam W.you are so right it's truly a .horrid little box but we could open it up and turn the chorus and reverb off.....and Tom made the distortion different for ours , but none the less a true pile o'.....!! Trying to get enthused about playing thru one is not easy.
Originally posted by shipshape I just mixed a song last week for Van Halen and (what a friggin nightmare !!!) And as good as Eddies gtr sound is (he uses the Palmer simulator as well) .the Vetta was so much better.!
Eddie has used the Palmer , the original Palmer like we have since it first was around in the mid 80's,he uses it live and in the studio ....always has. The original version that is not made anymore (for legal reasons) sounds as good as any great mic'd up cab to me. We started using one after trying dozens of cab and mic combo's. For what we were after it is so full sounding. Moost guitarists look at it and kinda laugh.until they hear it , I crtainly don't force anyone to use anything they don't want. I know for Eddie , its way better than a mic'd up amp sound .
Again with Mutt etc it was never about the most purest sound possible ...hence all the odd boxes..it's more about finding a sound that fits a certain space and not about whether you use a royer or a 57 to get a sound. We spent years working that way and we got good sounds for the records we were doing but it was always kinda more fun to do it different.
There are of course a many records I have worked on where everything is mic'd up and sounds very natural and could only and should only work that way , but not working the same way all the time is great.
UMM..whaddya mean my "mileage has varied"..I'm not quite put out to pasture yet !!!!
I feel my Palmer PDI-03 slowly but surely going up in value... Hell, I might even give it a try and see what it sounds like again... Put the kettle on jules - between us we seem to have the winning combination...
Mike glad to see ya here. Chalkmark in a Rainstorm was a great record for me.
Since we are talking DL first thing comes to mind is the use of a modified Dolby unit. I think the use of that unit started with Olson, but maybe you could shed some light of it's origins and on your uses over the years. Also since you are ITB so much is there a plug that comes close? Thanks
Hi Clip , that record of Joni's is one of my favourites also. As for the Dolby question, we would always record the BV's with Dolby A and on playback about 1/3rd of them would be swithched out when we bounced the first bounce. then we would just do massive eq with 32 band graphics etc. It's a little hard to emulate on digital..tracking up lots of vocals has to be treated so much differently in digital. We used a 3348 for a while and it just didnt have the same "thing" and in protools we havn't really tried it. But I bet with a few cool plugs you can get close.