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TRA 28th January 2014 03:19 PM

System of a Down's raw guitar/bass sound
Hey, Sylvia. Can you give some insight on Daron and Shavo's rig and how you recorded it? Amps, pedals, guitars, mics, pres, etc?

On that first album the guitar and bass breakup so much and in a way I've never heard before. The haven't done that on an album since. How in the hell did you do it? :)

Ben E 28th January 2014 10:35 PM

Guitars on SOAD
Hi Sylvia

To me the guitars on the first System record are some of the chunkiest if heard to date. I've always wondered how they were tracked, what gear was used etc...

That record really stands out sonically to me.



SylviaMassy 30th January 2014 08:05 PM

System Of A Down's Guitar Set-Up Details
1 Attachment(s)
From the System sessions, Daron was an organic, guitar-into-amp kinda guy, with as little extra as possible. Les Paul and SG Gibsons were go-to guitars, and he started to use an Ibanez Iceman in the studio. The amps were mostly Marshalls, with the focus on the Marshall JCM800. Pretty standard equipment, really. Daron's explosive style of playing was what made the performances so special.

We recorded most of the guitars at Rick Rubin's home studio on his sweet little Neve 8068. I brought in racks of my own processing, and used my "Army Man' compressor on most of the guitars (that is my secret weapon!). I've drawn a diagram of the set-up:
Attachment 382675

slaphappy 30th January 2014 08:20 PM

That is a really great drawing!

Robangledorf 30th January 2014 09:04 PM

Dude! Informational cartoon recreations. That's actually super useful as a visual learner. More people should do that.

aramism 30th January 2014 10:07 PM

summed to tape as one track. commitment. awesome.

gear is cool 30th January 2014 10:24 PM

Hi Sylvia!!!

I like your artwork kfhkh



F bass Man 31st January 2014 05:19 AM

I am curious how you avoided phasing issues with this setup. Were the amps in separate iso booths and/or was it a combination of precise mike placement?

swinxx 31st January 2014 07:00 AM

great, so you recorded directly to tape? or was a ad - computer - da conversion (for editing) in between?
thx for the diagram, really nice painting skills :)

TRA 31st January 2014 04:52 PM

Thank you, Sylvia! Just a follow up. What is causing the guitar/bass to sound like it's actually tearing your speakers apart? Is that just crazy speaker cone distortion that you picked up?

I build guitar effects, amps, and pro audio equipment. There isn't a fuzz box or guitar amp that I've seen that makes that sound. Think "Know" on the first album.

Drumsound 1st February 2014 03:26 AM

I love the drawing.

Jackie Moon 1st February 2014 05:02 AM

Can I ask you how and why you use a compressor on distorted electric guitars ?

Thanks for doing this Q&A by the way !

RiF 3rd February 2014 10:07 AM

Sylvia, I love the drawing. Especially the Iceman!

LBTM 3rd February 2014 01:50 PM

I don't have a question but Sylvia, you did an amazing job with this album!