The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
mike - lets talk creamy guitar amp tone.....
Old 26th June 2004
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
mike - lets talk creamy guitar amp tone.....

1. what do you like to use to get those great tones/colors down on tape. which amps ?
2. what would you say is a cheap approach to getting a decent tone down ?
songs as an example of tone i like...... china grove, the doors,
early cream, windmill who style, lead guitar breaks on the cars songs etc ,.....
Old 26th June 2004
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Ruudman's Avatar
 

My 2 cents:

For early Cream: DrZ Route 66.

A good starting point is a good amp IMO.


ruudman
Old 26th June 2004
  #3
Gear interested
 

Good starting point is good guitarist first of all >)
Old 27th June 2004
  #4
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Heavy guitar strings and somebody with great touch can make almost any amp and mike sing provided there isn't too much BS plugged in between the guitar and the amp.

There's lots of guys out there with unlimited gear budgets and no tone at all while plenty of poor kids playing in churches have got tone for days using a 200 buck guitar and amp.
Old 27th June 2004
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
Heavy guitar strings and somebody with great touch can make almost any amp and mike sing provided there isn't too much BS plugged in between the guitar and the amp.

There's lots of guys out there with unlimited gear budgets and no tone at all while plenty of poor kids playing in churches have got tone for days using a 200 buck guitar and amp.
Well, I have heavy as hell strings, and a great touch, if not an all-time-great touch, and I can make some pretty healthy sounds in the room, if not the kind of sounds I could make with a guitar better than my '80 Les Paul and a completely tricked out dialed-in amp better than my Gibson Goldtone, old Ampeg V-4, etc., and I have been so frustrated trying to record the damn thing that I just gave up.

When I hear really nice guitar tones, like Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, or anybody else who has obviously put in umpteen million hours and umpteen thousand dollars into the gear end of things, on top of having a great touch, it only confirms my decision to put aside an instrument that was my first and best for many years.

It just ain't that easy as far as I can tell. Analog tape helps a whole lot- I've just about lost it trying to track electric guitar to a Radar S-Nyquist. But it's a lot harder to get something really nice to tape than finding a guy with a great touch and having him play whatever is handy, IMVHSHO! I only wish...

So these days I just play acoustic guitar- got my Collings with fat strings and jacked up action, and it sounds gorgeous every time and records nicely. My mate and musical partner in crime thinks it's a major shame that I don't play electric anymore, but it's too hard on the earbones to do especially if I can't do it really right sonically- it just represents a world of frustration to me, despite the hundreds of live gigs I've done on that instrument, or maybe because of!

On the other hand, I think I can get somewhere with getting healthy tones out of steel guitar and getting them to tape, so I believe I will dust my broom in that regard.
Old 27th June 2004
  #6
Gear maniac
 

Hear hear! Recording young bands over the past few years has become so tough. The left hand technique of the young guitarists is so poor that it can take hours(!) to record an in tune performance. Can you say "kung fu grip"?

When you crack open any of the guitar mags these days though it's easy to see why. If you're going to be a hip musician these days, it's all about getting a 001 or whatever and getting tricky with plug-ins rather than getting your chops up or checking out music from 30, 40 or 50 years ago. The recording "revolution" (let alone the other gear "revolutions" such as the Pod et al) is a sham that is wrecking music. Harmony guitars and four track cassettes all around or better: get out and play kids!

Steven


Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
Heavy guitar strings and somebody with great touch can make almost any amp and mike sing provided there isn't too much BS plugged in between the guitar and the amp.

There's lots of guys out there with unlimited gear budgets and no tone at all while plenty of poor kids playing in churches have got tone for days using a 200 buck guitar and amp.
Old 27th June 2004
  #7
Lives for gear
 
5down1up's Avatar
 

@ ted

i guess everyone whos playing and recording has that particular problem .

" why doesnt it sound like i expect it to sound , and why does it sound good when someone else is playing " ?

dont let that screw up your head , keep on playing

Old 28th June 2004
  #8
Lives for gear
Lately I've been getting more of a "creamy" sound by using a sm58 instead of a 57 infront of the cabinet. And keep the 57 for the biting leads. Anyone else find this to be so?
Old 28th June 2004
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Curve Dominant's Avatar
Quote:
posted by Sarusan:
Recording young bands over the past few years has become so tough. The left hand technique of the young guitarists is so poor that it can take hours(!) to record an in tune performance. Can you say "kung fu grip"?

When you crack open any of the guitar mags these days though it's easy to see why. If you're going to be a hip musician these days, it's all about getting a 001 or whatever and getting tricky with plug-ins rather than getting your chops up or checking out music from 30, 40 or 50 years ago. The recording "revolution" (let alone the other gear "revolutions" such as the Pod et al) is a sham that is wrecking music.
Well, I'm a 001 user and...I gotta agree with that.

I've tried both:
1) recording guitars DI, then using PT/plugin voodoo...And,
2) recording dedicated guitarists playing nicely maintained axes through decent amps, mic'd and tracked with care.

Scenario #2 always wins by a long shot.

The tracks from scenario #1 sometimes end up in my mixes, but almost always buried in the mix as an "ambient/textural" sort of function.

Being a guitarist myself, here's few observations:

> Splitting the roles usually seems to yield the better result. That is: either be the guitarist, or be the recording engineer, but don't try to do both (unless they're just scratch pre-production tracks). Otherwise you're trying to do the work of two people simultaneously, where there's inherent compromise cutting in both directions.

> Get the guitar amp up off the floor. The low-end rumble of the amp going through the mic stands and vibrating into the mics will create all sorts of muddy mess which will wreak havoc in the mix, and trying to EQ that sh&t out will be a PITA not to mention f&cking up the tone. Getting the amp off the floor will eliminate that problem.

> Hire an experienced guitar tech for the guitar tracking sessions. These guys' value is not to be underestimated - they are armed with strobe tuners, cable and circuit testers, portable guitar workbenches, and the ears and the hands to keep even the most illicit hack garage guitarist sounding as pro as you need him to. The really good ones have choice vintage axes and amps in their inventory ready to lend and set up for optimal fidelity.

> Mic the amp with two or more completely different sounding microphones. A Shure SM57 on the cone will sound OK, but adding a LDC or ribbon mic a little farther away will add that extra dimension of subtlety, and how you mix the two will give you a lot more flexibility in determining how the axe will sit in the mix.

> "Coach" the guitarist. Example: On a recent guitar tracking session here, the guitarist was "noodling" about the song in a kinda lame fashion. When he finally played a killer lick, I pumped my fist at him with a huge smile...and he proceeded to cut loose with some truly righteous shredding.

Later, he told me he got really stoked by my "cheering" him on like that, and found it inspiring him to cut loose, because it was like he had an "audience." This is an important thing in the studio where often musicians and singers are isolated in booths with headphones, an environment which can be uninspiring. In that situation, the engineer can play a role in getting the player to feel like they are really playing for somebody with a purpose.

I think my point from this rather longwinded post, is that the "creamy" guitar sound is not necessarily a gear-dependant thing. Gear plays into it in some ways, but there's more to it.
Old 28th June 2004
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
Heavy guitar strings and somebody with great touch can make almost any amp and mike sing provided there isn't too much BS plugged in between the guitar and the amp.
Every time someone asks about my rig and tone I tell them this and they look at me blankly. Heavy strings and simple signal path to a great amp. It's that simple if you can play.
Old 28th June 2004
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Kestral's Avatar
 

Getting the Doors tone is easy:

Vintage Gibson SG + vintage Fender Twin Reverb + a ton of practice (imo Robbie Kreiger is one of the most original and underrated rock guitarists out there)

I'd also add that given a limited budget, spend the majority of it on a great amp. A great guitar into a crappy amp sounds crappy but a crappy guitar into a great amp sounds really good. I'm a purist when it comes to amps. imo tube is always the way to go. Better to have no stompboxes and a great tube amp than all the best stompboxes out there and a mediocre amp. A great amp (like a great preamp) will pay for itself many times over.

I think that if you know exactly the sound you want, then get the gear that does that. If you want to sound like Nirvana, get a Fender guitar with a Boss DS-1 and a Mesa Boogie amp. If you want to sound like U2, get a Strat with a Vox AC30 and a Korg SDD-3000 digital delay in between. The right tools for the right job.
Old 28th June 2004
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Ruudman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Kestral
......If you want to sound like U2.....
...you buy a bucket of sleeping pills. Coz there's where it happens:

in your dreams!

ruudman
Old 28th June 2004
  #13
Gear Addict
 
AAsa's Avatar
)""Good starting point is good guitarist first of all > )"

Can't emphesize that enough!

On several occasions I've had the honor of recording some great guitarists, seasoned guys that play on big records.

The tone is in their hands!

I'd setup an amp, plug in the guitar, plink plink, strum strum, splang! sounds like me!

....hand the guitar over....

same settings, same guitar...It's louder, it's clearer, the freakin' thing starts singing.

makes you go hmmm.

Recording these guys is a dream. Mic near amp...press record.
Old 28th June 2004
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
> Hire an experienced guitar tech for the guitar tracking sessions. These guys' value is not to be underestimated - they are armed with strobe tuners, cable and circuit testers, portable guitar workbenches, and the ears and the hands to keep even the most illicit hack garage guitarist sounding as pro as you need him to. The really good ones have choice vintage axes and amps in their inventory ready to lend and set up for optimal fidelity.
[/B]
yeah, I bet that would be a full-on revelation!
Old 29th June 2004
  #15
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 

Re: mike - lets talk creamy guitar amp tone.....

Quote:
Originally posted by manning1

2. what would you say is a cheap approach to getting a decent tone down ?
songs as an example of tone i like...... china grove, the doors,
early cream, windmill who style, lead guitar breaks on the cars songs etc ,..... [/B]
Those are not guitar tones, those are guitar PLAYERS, and they are not interchangeable as a result of any electronic manipulation on an AE's part. If you have Pete Townsend in your studio and if you stick a 57 on his amp and run it through any decent class A pre, I predict it will sound just like the Who.

When asked why she didn't write more hit songs, Cyndi Lauper once said, "I can't give you what you want. I can only give you what there is."

I once saw Eric Clapton sit in with Little Feat. He took Fred Tackett's guitar from him and without even going back to the amp launched into a solo that sounded like it was from an early Cream album. Whoever said fat strings and a strong touch nailed it. And don't forget the stiff pick.

-R
Old 29th June 2004
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

This thread reminds a bit of another one that talked about the escence of capturing a sound where alot of people put gear, as last in importance. I can't disagree more. One thing is having a good guitarist play anything, and everyone would love whatever he does because he is damn good and knows when to play what and where. That is definetly the most important part, but guitar tone... is gear. I don't think David Guilmour would use a million device costum made or whatever thingys in his guitar chain, if he thought he could go straight in from a strat to his amp. Or The Edge, I don't think his 20 or more outboard rack things are there to show off. And we wouldn't have SSL's , and all the goody stuff we love to talk about. come on guys.. where is the slutiness.
Old 29th June 2004
  #17
Gear nut
 
axeman69's Avatar
 

This reminds me of a time, around 1980, give or take a year or two that I was at a NAMM type show. We heard this guy wailing and it sounded just like Eddie Van Halen. So we go to check it out and guess what, it was Eddie Van Halen. Except, he was playing a Standard Strat through a Fender Champ. Unbelievable.
Old 29th June 2004
  #18
Lives for gear
 
5down1up's Avatar
 

what are heavy strings in your opinion ? 11 , 12 , 13 , 14ths ?

i spoke to a lot of people using combos , heads & tons of racks ...
it took a while till i was getting an honest answer , but " NOT ONE " was saying " i am satisfied with what i sound like " !



is it just a MINDGAME ?! heh
Old 29th June 2004
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by AAsa
)""Good starting point is good guitarist first of all > )"

Can't emphesize that enough!

On several occasions I've had the honor of recording some great guitarists, seasoned guys that play on big records.

The tone is in their hands!


Tone or Technique?? Same thing with drummers, probably even more notorious. A good drummer can push a drumset to it's limit and make it sound as good as that specific drumset will sound. But give that drummer a better sounding drumset and it will sound like him but better. I think we are confusing technique with sound. As Mike has stated in another thread that with Def Leppard, they had tried 100 or more amps, and could not nail the specific tone they where looking for. If that sound was in the players hands, i'm sure they would have looked for a different player. Different players will get a different sound from specific gear.. (instrument, amp, mic, etc..) but are limited to what gear they are using. If Eddy Van Halen, sounded like him through a Strat and Fender Champ, is because it's him. But I'm sure if he would record a album with the same gear, I'm sure you would recognize the "sound" of his tone is different, from his other albums. Please don't get me wrong though, I still think a good guitarist with "bad" gear is better than the other way around.
Old 29th June 2004
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by 5down1up
what are heavy strings in your opinion ? 11 , 12 , 13 , 14ths ?

I use 12's and sometimes 13's but I consider heavy anything over 11's.
Old 29th June 2004
  #21
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I didn't really understand how much difference touch could make for my first 15 years of recording. It was a major "a-ha" moment for me.
Old 29th June 2004
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

12's or 13's are heavy for electric guitar. Dick Dale uses something several sizes heavier... For surf, or some kindsa country, you might want to experiment with heavier strings than 13's, but the player has to be used to workin' 'em. I've heard some players who were used to 10's play my high-action Les Paul with 13's and they get really economical and phrase-oriented and specific... But you can't play some kindsa licks very smooth with heavy strings, so for some styles of electric 11's might be a place to go for "heavier"- it will get you a good bit more meat for the magnets and steadier intonation, etc.

Personally I use a wound third- it just behaves better and chords are really rich and true. You have to play Chuck Berry riffs Chuck Berry style and not the modern way- A great thing, but for some licks, you just gotta have an unwound third.

I would go string by string and use the heaviest one that will work well, maybe not a stock set- when you find what you guages you need for each string you might find a stock set that's close enough.

Be sure the axe is set up for the right intonation and nut slot cut for the guage string you're using! Lube the nut while you're at it.

My advice for players who want to cultivate great hands- practice playing one note all night long, until it's speaking volumes, then add the second note and make sure nothing is lost from the one note, and that the second note represents a real gain. Albert Collins did it to me one night, and I broke about 10 strings in several hours working that one note until I found IT!

Slowhand stuff, even if the notes are flying by.
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
maskedman72 / So much gear, so little time!
18
Mastering101 / High end
69
s.d.finley / Geekslutz forum
14
manning1 / Geekslutz forum
10

Forum Jump