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Author Topic: So... How do I get that sound?  (Read 2316 times)

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Offline Schprocket

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So... How do I get that sound?
« on: December 13, 2010, 08:14:00 AM »
New topic designed to stop me taking Spiral's video thread off-topic.

First off, in response to my question (bear with it, I get there eventually...):
Quote
I've never been into the head-banger stuff but I'm starting to like that ballsy sound.

I've got the cheapo Squire Strat copy (3 pick-ups, 5-way switch) but rarely messed around with it.
Between the volume & tone settings (which only go to 10 across the board  ) and the switch there's enough variation already to effect whichever setup in Guitar Rig that I choose, preset or otherwise. And that's before I even start to play the damn thing, which is another hurdle in itself

What do I need to reproduce or at least get close to that sound?

Spiral responded:
Quote
Ok, here's my recipe, for what it's worth:
- Thick strings. This is so that you can hit them hard without them going out of tune for the first milliseconds. This is what I do, but e.g. Tony Iommi, godfather of metal, uses light gauges. Depends. I cannot argue with Tony, he's the king.
- Humbuckers. For me, it's the only choice. Bridge humbucker. That's all. On the other hand, e.g. Yngwie uses single coils, and I think he's got pretty balsy rhythm sound too, so...
- Not too much distortion. Too much distiortion kills the attack of the pick. Metalica, AC/DC and many others use surprisingly little distortion and are hailed as the kings of ballsy rhythm sound.
- Not too much low end. Again, you lose attack and definition with too much low end.
- 12 inch speaker. In guitar rig, experiment with cabs and mic placement, little off-axis works the best for me.
- Downpick as much as possible. This is CRUCIAL! Tony Iommi and James Hetfield do it, and you should do it too.
It sounds silly, but it makes a huge difference when playing rhythms. Look at my hand at the vid above. Although it's not almost the most comfortable way of playing (but it gets more comformtable with practice), I try to play all the low notes using downpicking only.

8<--------

But hey, if you want to look into ballsy guitar sounds, look no further. Metallica's Black Album is still considered as the holy grail of rhythm tone, so even if you might dislike the band, check it out for tone.

...they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying.

Offline Schprocket

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Re: So... How do I get that sound?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2010, 08:30:47 AM »
So, Spiz, what I have is this (courtesy of the guitarelectronics.com site):





and you're suggesting?





And I now get why Eric Clapton jams his bridge. I wondered as I typed about the cheapo tuning heads if the floating bridge was part of the reason. I'm thinking that my style of hacking at a guitar requires that I banish the idea of ever using the tremolo arm - I used to think they were a cool idea but the damn thing gets in the way for what I want/need to do.
...they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying.

Offline Spiral

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Re: So... How do I get that sound?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2010, 09:21:17 AM »
So, Spiz, what I have is this (courtesy of the guitarelectronics.com site):





and you're suggesting?




Yup, you can find single coil sized humbuckers too. Of course, depending on your guitar, you could just change the front plate to one that fits H-S-S (humb - single -single) configuration.

Quote
And I now get why Eric Clapton jams his bridge. I wondered as I typed about the cheapo tuning heads if the floating bridge was part of the reason. I'm thinking that my style of hacking at a guitar requires that I banish the idea of ever using the tremolo arm - I used to think they were a cool idea but the damn thing gets in the way for what I want/need to do.


If it's a fender style bridge, I would just put all the springs on and tighten them (thre's a screw for it) until the bridge is flat on body even when tuned.
Of course , a block of wood works as well.

With floating bridge, it's not only the bridge that causes the problems. It's also the nut (no, not Mung, well, he too). When diving, the strings slip and often this causes problems because they do not return as they were. Tight or poorly slippery/lubricated nut, or the string grooves in it, cause this problem.

But hey, I'd love to see some pics of your guit!

Offline Schprocket

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Re: So... How do I get that sound?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2010, 10:16:47 AM »
So I'd be going for one of these as well...



although it seems there's some variation between Fender Strats and Chinese/Indonesian Squires in terms of mounting dimensions, if I'm to believe this
...they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying.

Offline Spiral

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Re: So... How do I get that sound?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2010, 10:31:40 AM »
Checked the pics. As far as I know, Squiers are pretty decent instruments and have quite standard fender style electronics.
So, what I would do?
I'd change the bridge pickup to some pretty hi output humbucker. If you don't need coil split it's pretty simple, North finish and South Finish are just soldered together and covered, then you can just replace the singlecoil with the humbucker, ground and output as it were.
Not that difficult with coil split either.
Next, or you could try this right away, remove the plastic cover on the back of your guitar, and just tighten the screw that holds the metal plate where the springs are anchored.
Also, if you spare springs, add them. Or, you can put them slightly diagonially, which also increased the pull. Anyway, in the end you have a bridge that's flat on the body.
If you want to play that guitar, I'd forget about the tremolo arm. Too much hassle, tuning-wise. Of course, one can always improve the tuning stability with all kinds of tricks, but I wouldn't bother unless you consider the tremolo absolutely necessary.

Furthermore, if tuning stability is a problem, you could check if you can find cheap rolling string guides (those little things that guide the strings (D to high E) behind nut. Those tend to cause friction that makes tuning more difficult. BTW, always tune up to a note, never lower the tuning as the final move. Lower the note too much, and then tune up.
Also, rub some pencil graphite to the string grooves in the nut. Makes it more slippery.
It's not an easy thing to do, but it's also a good idea to check if the nut grooves are wide enough.
I have found thick strings to improve, not only the sound, but also the tuning stability, might want to try that as well.

With little work, I think you can get a good instrument out of it.
So, depending on how much you want to spend and how much you want to do yourself...
You could just buy the parts ([used?] pickup, strings,...) and take it to a guitar tech or do it by yourself.


I don't know if this is of any relevance, I'm just rambling! :D

Offline Spiral

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Re: So... How do I get that sound?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2010, 10:33:13 AM »
So I'd be going for one of these as well...



although it seems there's some variation between Fender Strats and Chinese/Indonesian Squires in terms of mounting dimensions, if I'm to believe this


Yeah, that or single coil sized humbucker.

I do not know, but I'd think Squier is pretty close to Fender dimensions.

Offline toadman

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Re: So... How do I get that sound?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2010, 08:04:27 PM »
Hey Schprock,
There's a book in the library system called 'Guitar player repair guide' by Dan Erlewine that covers a lot of what you have mentioned; blocking off the trem, changing pickups etc. It also gives you step by step instructions on setups, intonating the guit when your finished doing mods and lots of other handy stuff.
Depending on the sound you're after, you could try putting a high impedence single coil in the bridge postion as a direct replacement. But if you decide the humbucker sound is what you're after, H/S/S scratchplates can be found on Evilbay for as little as $12 (from Hong Kong, but theres nothing wrong with them, I bought a while back).
If you do use a replacement pickguard you may find that all the screwholes might not line up exactly. It's a simple matter of filling the old holes and redrilling new ones.
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Offline Spiral

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Re: So... How do I get that sound?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2010, 01:49:42 AM »
Hey S, forgot to mention, but it's important...

Before you start messing around with the guitar, try different amp settings, or in your case, amp sim settings.
The amp is the biggest factor in overdriven guitar sounds, so start from there.
Besides that, you might only need a decent humbucker (if even that) and you're good to go.

Offline Schprocket

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Re: So... How do I get that sound?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2010, 08:01:49 AM »
Excellent, excellent info - cheers guys !
...they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying.

Offline toadman

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Re: So... How do I get that sound?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2010, 08:02:56 AM »
Spiral's got a good suggestion there.
You could also try one of the many free VSTs available and use that beef up the sound.
If you don't already have it, I have posted a link to  the eq and distortion/waveshaper sections of "The ultimate guide to VSTs" which Smurf(?) very kindly provided. Some of them sound pretty good IMO.
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http://www.sadglad.com/equalizer.html
http://www.sadglad.com/distortion.html

Offline toadman

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Re: So... How do I get that sound?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2010, 05:43:31 AM »
Hey Schprock,
I found the origins of this thread and read it today.
If it's any help, you can leave the strings on and still remove the s/plate.
1/loosen the strings until thet're completely slack
2/Remove the trem springs
3/Remove the 6 screws holding the brige to the body and lift it out of the body.

You now have access to the s/plate. Remove the s/plate screws and GENTLY lift the s/plate away from the body just enough to look under it. There should be 2 wires running into the guit body; a shielded wire from the volume pot output tag going to the output jack and an earth wire running from the back of one of the pots (usually volume) running to the spring claw. There should be enough slack to turn the s/plate upside down to work on it. If there isn't, remove the input jack and desolder the 2 wires (DRAW A DIAGRAM FOR RESOLDERING) from it and also desolder/unscrew/remove the earth wire from the spring claw. You should now be able to remove the s/plate completely. Keep it away from any strong magnets you may have lying around house and make sure you put all the screws in a container. Small loose s/plate screws will leap onto your pickups faster than Oprah on a baked ham. I've spent a significant part of my life on my hands and knees searching for 'lost' screws only to (always) find them stuck to the pickups.
I hope this is of some help.
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