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Eddie Van Halen stereo guitarsound
Old 14th July 2015
  #1
Gear Addict
 

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Eddie Van Halen stereo guitarsound

Hi
Thanks you very much for the oppertunity to ask you questions.

I always wondered if Eddie Van Halen only play a single guitartrack on his recordings that is recorded with several speakers/gear to getit in stereo with a nice spread?
If so could you please explain a bit of that process?

Thanks
Rickard BengtssonĀØ
Sweden

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Old 15th July 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Yes. I've been trying to figure this out for 20 years!
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Old 16th July 2015
  #3
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by aramism View Post
Yes. I've been trying to figure this out for 20 years!
Me too:-)
Thank you for joining the question,
/Rickard
Old 18th July 2015
  #4
Ross Hogarth
 
BoogieMotel's Avatar
 

Hi
The story starts in 1977 when Ted Templeman and Donn Landee were making the first record ...
Ted asked Ed to not play the solos and just play rhythm because they would overdub the solos
Alex and the band had never played that way and when they were cutting the first track when it got to the solo, the take completely fell apart
No one knew what to play
After repeatedly falling apart, Donn and Ted realized that their plan was not never gonna work
so
They went back to Ed just playing the whole song down solo and all
Ed and the Van Halen sound his whole career has been a one take guy
Doubling himself rarely works because each take is a unique take with nuances and all
and EVH dislikes trying to go through and figure out all those natural nuanced inspirations and then try and double those
it sounds really weird when he does
if on the rare occasion a song is written with a doubled guitar in mind Ed with keep it really simple so he can double
but this is rare
If you really analyze most VH,its ONE take
so
each engineer along the way has worked with him to do what they do to create a guitar sound on the one take
Early on, its a dry guitar on one side and a delayed reverb on another
then they started to spread him with harmonizers and delays
but one thing he had never done until I suggested it was use 2 heads and 2 cabs
I suggested splitting his mono guitar signal into 2 heads
and then those 2 heads going to to 2 cabs
and then I use a 57 and a Royer 122v on each cab
this way you can pan the 2 cabs wide and they create a nice image but its still a mono spilt signal
natural stereo from a mono source
and the royer and 57 give a nice blend of lo end and fizz
then you can send to stereo delay and a little plate
Ed is really happy with this setup
it beats his fake derived stereo image from a harmonizer ...
by the way
now this has altered his live rig
His live rig is 3 heads/3Cabs
the center cab is effects only with the other 2 dry
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Old 18th July 2015
  #5
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Blast9's Avatar
Hi Ross, I'm interested to know how you approach EQing each amp to enhance the stereo width.

Do you use different blends of the mics on each side? Or do you prefer using console EQ to differentiate between them?
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Old 18th July 2015
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

this is such a great backstory to how a classic band worked. Thanks for sharing Ross.

Makes total sense when you think about it, when Ed solo's the band has always kind of "played to it" -- as opposed to vamping on a section as it usually would in some bands. (Alex will hit a little ride or something, Mike would walk up the neck more, the pacing would get a bit all over the place but that added to the charm and actually gave the solo's more of a structural vibe than just a wank fest).

Great story of how recording evolved AROUND the band.
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Old 19th July 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Awesome!!! Was there any consideration given to maybe having the amps set SLIGHTLY differently or maybe even different tubes to make the "stereo" effect feel more... well, stereo? Or is that just too crazy and better to K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid)?? By the way thanks for the answer!
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Old 19th July 2015
  #8
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoogieMotel View Post
Hi
The story starts in 1977 when Ted Templeman and Donn Landee were making the first record ...
Ted asked Ed to not play the solos and just play rhythm because they would overdub the solos
Alex and the band had never played that way and when they were cutting the first track when it got to the solo, the take completely fell apart
No one knew what to play
After repeatedly falling apart, Donn and Ted realized that their plan was not never gonna work
so
They went back to Ed just playing the whole song down solo and all
Ed and the Van Halen sound his whole career has been a one take guy
Doubling himself rarely works because each take is a unique take with nuances and all
and EVH dislikes trying to go through and figure out all those natural nuanced inspirations and then try and double those
it sounds really weird when he does
if on the rare occasion a song is written with a doubled guitar in mind Ed with keep it really simple so he can double
but this is rare
If you really analyze most VH,its ONE take
so
each engineer along the way has worked with him to do what they do to create a guitar sound on the one take
Early on, its a dry guitar on one side and a delayed reverb on another
then they started to spread him with harmonizers and delays
but one thing he had never done until I suggested it was use 2 heads and 2 cabs
I suggested splitting his mono guitar signal into 2 heads
and then those 2 heads going to to 2 cabs
and then I use a 57 and a Royer 122v on each cab
this way you can pan the 2 cabs wide and they create a nice image but its still a mono spilt signal
natural stereo from a mono source
and the royer and 57 give a nice blend of lo end and fizz
then you can send to stereo delay and a little plate
Ed is really happy with this setup
it beats his fake derived stereo image from a harmonizer ...
by the way
now this has altered his live rig
His live rig is 3 heads/3Cabs
the center cab is effects only with the other 2 dry
What an amasing answer.
Thank you so much for a historical lesson in Eddie Van Halens guitarsound and production. I feel privileged to read your answer.

I have recorded setups before with a stereo cab for effects and one head with one cab for one mono dry signal with great results for sologuitars. Everything i the same room.

Do you place your cabs in diffefernt rooms for total isolation?
Do you play with phase/distance between the two cabs/mics or are the perfectly aligned?

Thanks.
Rickard Bengtsson
The Sweetspot Recording Studio
Old 19th July 2015
  #9
Ross Hogarth
 
BoogieMotel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 View Post
Hi Ross, I'm interested to know how you approach EQing each amp to enhance the stereo width.

Do you use different blends of the mics on each side? Or do you prefer using console EQ to differentiate between them?
the amps are set differently so each side already sounds unique to itself
but I do not eq the microphones until the mix
the 57 and royer 22v get recorded flat
each microphone has its own response so how you blend them is just like eq

because the 2 heads and 2 cabs are moving air individually
they create their own natural spread

in the mix I used the Retro 2A3 on the whole stereo combination
you can also use time adjuster on one side to slightly spread the width if desired
I also might give the individual mics a taste of an api 550a for a little more mid poke
rarely tho
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