Loud guitars vs. Big guitars

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Gregg Juke
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Post by Gregg Juke » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:47 am

Hmmm. Lots of nods to feedback being a musically cognitive signal that something is loud (apparent volume vs. actual volume).

Makes me wonder if adding some sampled/midi/fake feedback sounds to an already good guitar solo or rhythm part might be an interesting approach (for instance, there is an excellent, tuneable, multi-layerable feedback patch in the Korg Kaossilator)... Sometimes I do this live, when my guitar player is finishing a solo and doing the self-oscillating feedback thing, slapping the guitar and bending the neck; if I have the Kaossilator hooked-up on the keyboard that night, I'll quickly dial in #60, tune it, and sneak in a little jam-along feedback enhancement.

Could be a cool trick in the studio.

GJ

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Post by Recycled_Brains » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:04 pm

wavley wrote:I'm not trying to start an argument.
Nor am I. Just offereing an opinion based on my experience that contradicts what you are claiming. Obviously people do this, and their amps survive, but I would never tell someone it was "perfectly safe", rather, "tread with caution" or something like that.
These things spread through the internet with no scientific basis and sometimes that annoys me because it is often compounded by an amp tech that will let you believe that someone else is to blame for your amp blowing up so that you'll pay him. I was an amp tech for a number of years myself.
I agree, but I can say with 100% certainty that that is not the case with my tech. I spoke to him after the mismatch happened, and he warned me that the tubes would likely go "soon", and they did. He goes the extra mile to save me money everytime. Standup guy. Others I've dealt with are as you describe though, so I understand being a little jaded about it.

That article is interesting, but admittedly goes over my head a bit. That last bit about the Marshall... I play a JMP... but the problem wasn't related to the transformer.

I'm going to read it again when I get out of work so I can focus more on it. Reading comprehension not being my strong suit! haha.
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Shellacattack
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Re: Loud guitars vs. Big guitars

Post by Shellacattack » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:28 pm

kayagum wrote:The Power Soaks would allow for some major power tube saturation.

OP: what 15 watt amp are you using?
I'm using a Vox Night Train. I've tried it through several cabs:

Avatar Contemporary 1x12 (Hellatone 30)
Fender dt412 4x12 (G12T-100's)
Marshall Lead 4x12 (?? speakers)

The closest I've gotten to that Blur sound is playing a strat with a Lindy Fralin steel pole 43 bridge pup through the Marshall 4x12, with a Fulltone OCD acting as a boost (distortion knob at almost 0). I slammed a 57 on the top left speaker, on axis, equal distance from the coil and edge of the cone. Then I put a Karma K35, in cardioid, about 3 ft back, right side off-center from the 4x12.

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Post by maggot » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:18 pm

Not an experienced recordist, but I know how to get an extra loud guitar sound.

1) Loud guitar sound #1. Take a small amp (i.e. Fender Champ, Vox AC-15, Silvertone, whatever) with one speaker. It need not be 12", 8" is probably ideal. Put an SM 57 on it, preferably pretty close. Crank it. If it starts to sound smooth, back off the volume. Play hard, using low output pickups.

2) Loud guitar sound #2. Take the setup in #1 and add a godawful fx pedal with a lot of output. Proco Rat, Devi Ever Bit and Morely Power Wah with the treble cranked are my favorites. If it starts to sound too smooth or compressed, either back off the gain, or bump up the volume until it starts to sound like something's gonna break or you start getting microphonic feedback from the tubes/pickups.

The key to loud is not too much gain, room sound, reverb, anything but loud. It's not a good loud guitar sound if it doesn't bother your bandmates.

If all else fails, record through the mic of your cell phone. The hard clipping and upper-mid bite will make your guitar sound extremely loud.

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Post by alcoyot » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:00 pm

I know Slash uses the real deal of 100 watt head cranked. I don't know for sure but I highly doubt any technique with smaller amps can imitate that feel. It sounds like its really being played in a stadium or something.

Same thing with Eddie Van Halen. To me THAT's the sound of a loud guitar. This is occam's razor, if you want the sound of a loud electric guitar... actually record exactly that.

I really don't thing you can create this effect in the mix. The extreme loudness actually creates a different sense of air pressure in the room, and I don't know how you could put that in with a plugin or mxing.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:30 pm

maggot wrote: It's not a good loud guitar sound if it doesn't bother your bandmates.
:D

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Post by joninc » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:08 pm

i have a bunch of nice tube amps but sometimes the biggest, gnarliest distortion sounds i get are through my little solid state squier 15 amp with the amps distortion.

jonny greenwood is known for his love of fender solid state amps too and he gets thick molten lave chunkiness.

try it - it sounds like a terrible idea, but sometimes it's HUGE.

oh, and LOUD.
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Post by Trick Fall » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:06 pm

Huge blur and Graham Coxon fan, anyway if I was going for that sound I'd use my JCM 800 with a distortion pedal. Something that can push the front end of the amp that also has a bit of rasp to it.out of pedals I've used I'd try a rat, tech 21 xxl, DOD 250 and on the super cheaps a boss ds1.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:21 am

joninc wrote:i have a bunch of nice tube amps but sometimes the biggest, gnarliest distortion sounds i get are through my little solid state squier 15 amp with the amps distortion.

jonny greenwood is known for his love of fender solid state amps too and he gets thick molten lave chunkiness.

try it - it sounds like a terrible idea, but sometimes it's HUGE.

oh, and LOUD.
I can attest to that, plus ZZ Top are fans of the Solid State small amp for recording...
Realizing vibratory excursions from a paper widget.

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Gregg Juke
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Post by Gregg Juke » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:54 am

I got a killer harp sound with a cheap behringer dynamic into the Vox AC4mini at 1/4 Watt setting last night. Sounded loud, full, with just the right amount of break-up and no feedback. You can crank the input gain without a lot of "real" volume at the lower wattage settings.

Your mileage, and guitar input level, may vary...

GJ

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Post by lefthanddoes » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:44 am

It's all about having the maximum number of different clues that the guitar is loud. Tube breakup doesn't really suggest that anymore because of the way people have used it.

Try to think of different things like this and utilize all of them:
-Solid state breakup
-Snares rattling
-Equipment on shelves rattling
-Guitar being played hard
-Mic/preamp/channel/digital dynamic range overloading
-Guitar being louder than other stuff in the mix

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decocco
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Post by decocco » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:07 am

If you want "amp about to blow" distortion then you've gotta get that sound to come out of the amp. Turn the amp up LOUD. Try boosters and distortion/fuzz pedals, too. Make sure the sound coming out of the amp is INSANE.

Then mic it however you please.
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Post by Recycled_Brains » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:45 am

decocco wrote:If you want "amp about to blow" distortion then you've gotta get that sound to come out of the amp. Turn the amp up LOUD. Try boosters and distortion/fuzz pedals, too. Make sure the sound coming out of the amp is INSANE.

Then mic it however you please.
+1.

I think some of ya'll are over thinking this. Loud is loud. Using a small, low-watt amp is not going to get you this sound. At least in my experience it won't. A Fender Pro Jr., for example, is not a loud amp. A JCM800 or AC30, V4, or dimed Twin is. Less distortion, more volume, back the mic up a tad so there's a slight sense of space, feedback.... all that... Stand in the room with the amp, rather than in the control room with the amp in the booth, or whathaveyou. I think there's something to that. The interaction of the pickups with the speaker in close proximity. Affects sustain, feedback, etc..... The only problem is, it's LOUD, so you need headphones with extreme isolation to hear anything else.

Also, fuzz pedals, like a fuzz face, into an already blasting amp will most def. give you that extra push... moreso than distortion pedals, IMO. Though, my Rat hitting the front end of my already screaming Marshall is an intense sound.

Non-master volume amps generally sound louder to me too.

I just think there's no way to fake it really.
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Neil Weir
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Post by Neil Weir » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:11 pm

I'd also take a DI post-fuzz. It's amazing what a fuzz DI track can do to bring gnarly midrange forward in the mix...
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Post by maggot » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:23 pm

+ 1 on standing in a room with the amp. I like the rattling snare idea. You could move a snare drum within earshot of the mic.

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