The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Smashing Pumpkins/Siamese Dream guitar harmonizer effect?
Old 17th March 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Chaotic's Avatar
 

Smashing Pumpkins/Siamese Dream guitar harmonizer effect?

Im trying to get that sound used on a lot of Siamese Dream. I know its a harmonizer, with some cool delays and verbs added (and Butch Vig behind the console). As far as verbs and delays Ive got em coverd with my Roland RE- 150 Space Echo, Boss DD 6, Demeter Realverb, plus my plugs: IR-1, Liquid Delay, etc... but Im lacking in the harmonizer department.

Im assuming they used some fancy Eventide harmonizer on the album. and Im assuming its not one of the now inexpensive early versions like the H949. Are there any low end alternatives to get this effect. I have a Boss harmonizer pedal (the blue one) and it sucks, the tracking is horrible. what other options are there if any?
Old 17th March 2009
  #2
Gear Head
 

I remember reading years ago in a guitar world or other mag. that there are tons and tons of guitar tracks on that record. I would not be surprised if the harmonizer effect you are hearing is actually several guitar tracks layered together to appear as one.

I've been recording a band recently that likes to do this. when they play live the guitarist uses a digitech whammy to achieve the effect, but in recording it sounds better to double track the main riff and the harmony, eq them independently, and sometimes play with the panning a little. it always surprises fans of the band when i tell them i did this because they percieve it all as one guitar, when in reality there are 4 tracks.

Is there a specific part of a song that demonstrates the effect you are after? I haven't listened to that record and years, and this is a good excuse to pull it out!

B
Old 17th March 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
moon_unit's Avatar
 

Yea, like what part of the record are you talking about?
Old 17th March 2009
  #4
I'm fairly certain that most of the octave/harmony effects on Siamese Dream are multitracked guitars (each track covering one octave or harmony part) done to perfection.

To the above poster, listen to the first post-chorus and second verse of the song "Rocket" (after Billy sings "no more lies") and you'll get a good idea of what the original poster is referring to.
Old 17th March 2009
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUElightCory View Post
I'm fairly certain that most of the octave/harmony effects on Siamese Dream are multitracked guitars (each track covering one octave or harmony part) done to perfection.

To the above poster, listen to the first post-chorus and second verse of the song "Rocket" (after Billy sings "no more lies") and you'll get a good idea of what the original poster is referring to.
Thanks. good example.

I've been reading this forum for 2 years, and this is the first time I thought i might know the answer to a question!

B
Old 17th March 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barriger View Post
I remember reading years ago in a guitar world or other mag. that there are tons and tons of guitar tracks on that record. I would not be surprised if the harmonizer effect you are hearing is actually several guitar tracks layered together to appear as one.

I've been recording a band recently that likes to do this. when they play live the guitarist uses a digitech whammy to achieve the effect, but in recording it sounds better to double track the main riff and the harmony, eq them independently, and sometimes play with the panning a little. it always surprises fans of the band when i tell them i did this because they percieve it all as one guitar, when in reality there are 4 tracks.

Is there a specific part of a song that demonstrates the effect you are after? I haven't listened to that record and years, and this is a good excuse to pull it out!

B
Layered guitars...from what I understand...no harmonizer. Just an army of guitars...
Old 17th March 2009
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Chaotic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit View Post
Yea, like what part of the record are you talking about?
Its throughout much of the record. off hand, the beginning of hummer comes to mind. I can definately see how that can be layered guitars though.

Theres also that squealing sound in the guitar solos in Geek USA, that to me sounds like more of an effect then layered guitars, but it seems like you guys are pretty sure of the layered guitar scenario.
Old 17th March 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Inca's Avatar
 

Yep, definitely tons of layered guitars. I just finished a song that has similar guitar work to the Pumpkins style of riffery. I used 4 tracks of guitar panned slightly different with different eq's and settings. Very much a Pumpkin like tone from Siamese. I played all four tracks separately, and this definitely nails the little differences in playing, but sums together nicely.

This leads me to think it really was an army of guitars layered together using different octaves. This is such a part of their sound. Try it and see what happens. I bet you get a much better tone doing this, than anything a harmonizer can give you.

It may be more work this way, but it's a cool way to layer tracks and get a vibe going. Siamese is still one of my favorite records to this day. I wish they had done it with a bit less compression, but it still sounds nice. Good luck
Old 17th March 2009
  #9
Gear Head
 
oscillat0r's Avatar
 

On Cherub Rock for example he uses the simple but very cool technique of playing the root and the octave simultaneously (2 strings higher and 2 frets up) (like a power chord w/o the fifth). you can easily bend/sustain the strings independently for 'modulation'

Even live they have a very thick, multi-tracked sound.

jesse
Old 17th March 2009
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaotic View Post
Its throughout much of the record. off hand, the beginning of hummer comes to mind. I can definately see how that can be layered guitars though.

Theres also that squealing sound in the guitar solos in Geek USA, that to me sounds like more of an effect then layered guitars, but it seems like you guys are pretty sure of the layered guitar scenario.
I'll see what I can do to dig up the article i read. It also talked about how the squeals in mayonaise are due to the amount of gain on the amp and the type of guitar he used: every time he muted the strings it would do this. Probably the same for Geek. Just try standing directly in front of the amp!

B
Old 17th March 2009
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oscillator.wild View Post
On Cherub Rock for example he uses the simple but very cool technique of playing the root and the octave simultaneously (2 strings higher and 2 frets up) (like a power chord w/o the fifth). you can easily bend/sustain the strings independently for 'modulation'

Even live they have a very thick, multi-tracked sound.

jesse
Get the tab book for Mellon Collie and you'll find this technique is EVERYWHERE!

There's an alternate version of cherub rock played (acoustic) I enjoy playing electric:

Smashing Pumpkins Guitar Tabs for - Cherub Rock Acoustic Tabs, Chords, Lyrics


B
Old 17th March 2009
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Chaotic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oscillator.wild View Post

Even live they have a very thick, multi-tracked sound.

jesse
yeah, on a side note: I saw them live at Madison Square Garden in the late 90s. I had tickets to the show that was cancelled because their keyboard player overdosed and they kicked jimmy out of the band. So a few months later they played a makeup show. It was like an out of body experience. I though Id be disappointed because Jimmy Chamberlin is one of my favorite drummers, but the drummer from Tool filled in and rocked it.

Their intro literally brought tears to my eyes. The Garden was pitch black, and this piano loop started to fade in, real gradual for about 5-10 minutes. I forget what song they opened with, but they snuck on stage while it was still pitch black, and then they hit the opening chord and simultaneously these blinding white lights came on from behind the band and I swear it was like seeing God.
Old 17th March 2009
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
Chaotic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barriger View Post
Get the tab book for Mellon Collie and you'll find this technique is EVERYWHERE!

There's an alternate version of cherub rock played (acoustic) I enjoy playing electric:

Smashing Pumpkins Guitar Tabs for - Cherub Rock Acoustic Tabs, Chords, Lyrics


B
Yeah, the simple power chord minus the 5th thing, is pretty obvious when it happens. When I was a teenie bopper, my band at the time coverd Cherub Rock, and thats how I remeber playing it.

I was referring to the more dreamy, textured sounds. Im gonna mess around with multiple guitar layers when I get home.
Old 17th March 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
 
bcgood's Avatar
 

This is such a great album. I'm listening to it right now. It really never gets old.
Old 17th March 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
 
moon_unit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaotic View Post
Its throughout much of the record. off hand, the beginning of hummer comes to mind. I can definately see how that can be layered guitars though.

Theres also that squealing sound in the guitar solos in Geek USA, that to me sounds like more of an effect then layered guitars, but it seems like you guys are pretty sure of the layered guitar scenario.

Ah ... I see. Actually, you know what? That actually could probably be done with a harmonizer, come to think of it.

They may have just layered it, but I think the goal was to make it sound like a harmonizer. heh The other thing I'm thinking is Ebow. You could get that kind of an effect by using an ebow and a harmonizer.

I think some of the other posters misunderstood, and thought you were referring just to the overall rhythm sound on the record.
Old 17th March 2009
  #16
Gear Head
 
oscillat0r's Avatar
 

Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit View Post
I think some of the other posters misunderstood, and thought you were referring just to the overall rhythm sound on the record.
yeah, you're right, i get what the op is saying now. you have to speak slowly for some of us
Old 17th March 2009
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Jake's Avatar
 

In addition to what others have mentioned (lots of octaves, layered guitar tracks) I believe Corgan used the EH microsynth a lot on Siamese Dream. Some of his wiggier solos (Geek USA, Cherub Rock) were simply Corgan playing through pedals/effects as he recreated many of these solos pretty spot on when I saw them touring for Siamese Dream.
Old 17th March 2009
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Chaotic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit View Post
Ah ... I see. Actually, you know what? That actually could probably be done with a harmonizer, come to think of it.

They may have just layered it, but I think the goal was to make it sound like a harmonizer. heh The other thing I'm thinking is Ebow. You could get that kind of an effect by using an ebow and a harmonizer.

I think some of the other posters misunderstood, and thought you were referring just to the overall rhythm sound on the record.
Well, I guess im happy with the layering answer. Though a harmonizer might make it easier, since my guitar playing isnt phenominal, it certainly would be cheaper to not have to buy anything at all.
Old 17th March 2009
  #19
Lives for gear
 

For the obvious stuff that sounds like an octave box, I recall he used a Fender Blender a bit.. nasty fuzz/octave box. Also, an old Big Muff Pi will get you a lot of the tones on that album.
Old 17th March 2009
  #20
Old 18th March 2009
  #21
Gear Head
 

I found the articles! Billy did a series of articles each month from August 1995 - February 1996.

From november article he details effects, amps, guitars, strings, etc:

"I'm a huge fan of using KT-88's in my marshall, most people prefer EL-84's, but I hate them. The Gish/Siamese Dream guitar sound has so much to do with the KT-88's which add a round fat bottom to my sound"

"When we did Siamese Dream I developed a technique of plugging my Big Muff pedal into the low sensitivity input of a 100 watt Marshall JCM 800, with the master volume on full and the preamp volume on barely at all."

"Some of the other distortion boxes I use are the Fender Blender, which generates the most saturated, harmonic-laden sound to can imagine"

"Finally, the nasal, squeezed up lead tone that I use so often-as on 'pissant,' -for example -I ripped off from Michael Schenker! I used an EH Micro-Synthesizer and some unknown fuzz pedal, plus an MXR Phase 100."

Hope this is usefully in your quest!

B
Old 18th March 2009
  #22
Lives for gear
 
sleeper1400's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barriger View Post
I found the articles! Billy did a series of articles each month from August 1995 - February 1996.

From november article he details effects, amps, guitars, strings, etc:

"I'm a huge fan of using KT-88's in my marshall, most people prefer EL-84's, but I hate them. The Gish/Siamese Dream guitar sound has so much to do with the KT-88's which add a round fat bottom to my sound"

"When we did Siamese Dream I developed a technique of plugging my Big Muff pedal into the low sensitivity input of a 100 watt Marshall JCM 800, with the master volume on full and the preamp volume on barely at all."

"Some of the other distortion boxes I use are the Fender Blender, which generates the most saturated, harmonic-laden sound to can imagine"

"Finally, the nasal, squeezed up lead tone that I use so often-as on 'pissant,' -for example -I ripped off from Michael Schenker! I used an EH Micro-Synthesizer and some unknown fuzz pedal, plus an MXR Phase 100."

Hope this is usefully in your quest!

B
whoa, i think i remember reading those articles in guitar mag when i was like 19(!)

any chance of tossing us the link?
Old 18th March 2009
  #23
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleeper1400 View Post
whoa, i think i remember reading those articles in guitar mag when i was like 19(!)

any chance of tossing us the link?
If I could find it online! GuitarWorld doesn't really have archives that far back... I found the articles in the intro of the Mellon Collie tab book. If you are super interested in reading them I could take a picture of me holding each page open

B
Old 18th March 2009
  #24
Lives for gear
 
moon_unit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barriger View Post
If you are super interested in reading them I could take a picture of me holding each page open
Yea, please do that.

heh

Thanks, man. You're the best.
Old 18th March 2009
  #25
Are you talking about the Digitech Whammy effect? For solos that would work no? I have no idea how they tracked so it could have been recorded way differently, like with a bunch of guitars for example.
Old 19th June 2009
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUElightCory View Post
I'm fairly certain that most of the octave/harmony effects on Siamese Dream are multitracked guitars (each track covering one octave or harmony part) done to perfection.

To the above poster, listen to the first post-chorus and second verse of the song "Rocket" (after Billy sings "no more lies") and you'll get a good idea of what the original poster is referring to.
Billy used a Electro Harmonix Micro Synth a lot on the record which gave some tracks that octave sound. He also used a Ring Modulator frequently (Rocket intro is 1 example). There was an Eventide Harmonizer at the studio though I'm not sure if it we used it on guitars...possibly. The other previous post about the part guitars is also correct. Billy is really good at orchestrating guitars.
Old 19th June 2009
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

He was using an Eventide live around that time (a little after)... But a fender blender, a big muff, a super fuzz, microsynth, and an mxr blue box will get you most of the way there. He also used a steel guitar preamp that he pushed with fuzz pedals to give it a pretty unique tone too. I would assume the preamp was transistor based and you could get an idea of what he did by running a big muff into a boost pedal (overdriving the front end of the boost).
Old 7th September 2017
  #28
Zombie thread alert!!!

As for the intro to Hummer. I read in the Siamese Dream tab book, that Billy multitracked low and hi octaves of that bendy riff. Live, he just plays octave chords.

And as far as most of the other harmonizer sounds, they did use an Eventide H3000 on a LOT of that album. (and MCIS as well)
Old 10th September 2017
  #29
I've been told that Billy was a big fan of the Fender Blender effects processor. I don't know what the precise hell it does, but the same person told me the damned things were as rare as hen's teeth.
Old 4th October 2017
  #30
The fender blender is just a SUPER Gnarly octave fuzz pedal. I have one and use it for bass. Its SUPER hard to get a good sound from it, but if you do, youll swear by it!


Billy did own one, but he didnt use it much... Most notably on Slunk from Vieuphoria.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE2tQ1Fjg24
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump