What do you want your metal guitar to sound like?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by gnarr, Aug 15, 2005.

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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. gnarr

    gnarr Guest

    What kind of amps do you use? what kind of mic/mics? where do you put them and at what angle? at what volume do you record? do you use many layers? how do you eq them (low cut? high cut? any special boosts?)

    It would also be nice if you could post a sample of the guitars, solo and with music, so I/we can hear how your technic sounds :)

    Ps. You can post other geners also :) put metal is prefered.
  2. Rider

    Rider Guest

    i cant give you the recording setup i would use, except roughtly what i might use.

    as for guitar, for me, its not about the amp as much as the guitar. im looking to get this kind of setup:

    gibson SG with p90 pickups
    pre-eq to bump the mid range a bit more (boost around 400 and around 2k), to give it a more 80s style attack (think a real meaty single coil sound)
    go into something like a marshall or mesa boogie, something that is well saturated in gain
    EQ in effects loop if i cant get the proper tone out of the built in EQ, a somewhat scooped tone, just slight shaping to clear up mud and bring the guitar out crisper, compensating for the strong beef that my guitar originally has.
    then out to a cab loaded with celestions. :D

    for setting it up in a studio, i dont know anything about pres, but would likely use only two tracks panned with possibly an ambience mic (keep it pretty up front, but not DI sounding like most alt-metal). keep it real dry. ive had good success with a sure 57 beta, would try a few condensers if i knew about them/had a mic locker.

    as for actual tracks, i dont have any because im using a sans-amp knockoff ATM, but with the right settings (on the amp and in the box) it gets pretty decent tone that i like.

    tone i would try for is like iron maiden tone but with more gain and mid knob down more.

    typically for metal, some EMG or dmarzio humbuckers through a mesa boogie into a sm57 seems to be the norm from what i can tell. i know it will at least do the trick for a commercial release if all you need is a straight sound (and nothing like children of bodom, very unique tone).

    anyone know where i would be able to find recording setups for bands? i would be interested to know children of bodom's setup, as well as a few others (in flames, iced earth, trivium).
  3. Tez-Petrucci

    Tez-Petrucci Guest

    Metal is metal. As long as you know E5, you will be fine.
  4. Rider

    Rider Guest

    ever heard of yngwie malmsteen? arpeggios from hell? you wouldnt be saying that otherwise.

    alt metal, yeah maybe, but true metal hardly uses bar chords. if so, they are always backing for something else going on.

    listen to some cradle of filth, children of bodom, they are mostly running riffs the entire song.

    and you cant talk metal without mentioning iron maiden! the kings of riffs and inspiration to many metal bands.
  5. Tez-Petrucci

    Tez-Petrucci Guest

    calm down mate. I'm just joking.
  6. Rider

    Rider Guest

    no worries, theres a lot of idiots that actually DONT understand true metal :evil: . hard to tell.
  7. Shinyville

    Shinyville Guest

    My "rock" band goes for some really over-the top guitar sounds that are rooted in metal music. But they're even more extreme, generally--rather than going for what most people would call "good tone," we're looking for guitars that sound like wounded animals and electronic equipment on fire and melting, etc. To that end, we're using high-output passive pickups (mostly dimarzios like evolutions, blazes, etc), and lots of extreme effects (mostly line6, electro harmonic, old digitech, and custom-made). For amps, our guitar player uses mesaboogies live, and for studio recording or demos we also record a lot of more brittle, obnoxious-sounding things direct. After all, sometimes you just don't want a warmed-up tube sound! Instead you might want breaking glass-transistor direct noise...

    A few samples are on here:

    local music shop

    and a few more here:

  8. Vince Jaeger

    Vince Jaeger Guest

    Guitar: Usualy w/ a bridge HB wired in series. tuned to drop B or standard E if using a 6 stringer. I have my favorate HBs but i dont wanna give that info out. :p

    Amp: Line6 Pod PRO, Carvin DCM1500 poweramp @ 4ohms/4ohms.

    Cab: 1999 Marshall JCM 1960 cab loaded with 8ohm Eminence v12s, wired with monster cable and was loaded with 2lbs of polyfill.
    (all marshall cabs now adays are a mix of ply and mdf so they have more of a honkier sound, I tamed this a bit by using the polyfil and keeping the back panel tightly screwed down at all times, sadly marshall charges 200$ more than they did in 2000 for the same shoddy constructed cab... I like the sound I get out of this cab now though, it became apart of my sound which is loaded with midrange yet still tight and focused. Cleans are very clean as the speakers can handle alot more wattage than the old 75w celestians)

    I'd prefer a bogner, hiwatt or Orange cab to be perfectly honest.
    All those cabs are built with way better materials...

    Mics: sm57 or md421 onaxis, random condenser about a foot from the cab, and another condenser back in the room to pick up some ambience.
  9. jarrydn

    jarrydn Guest

    My setup is pretty modest.

    Guitar (Ibanez Destroyer DT-350, Ibanez Roadster, or Ibanez Cimar Star depending on my mood) into my Metalzone, directly into my computer. I do all my tone shaping in post :).

    Amplitube is an often overlooked tool.
  10. Rider

    Rider Guest

    how could i say this as nice as possible...

    i would rather be buried by burning hot coals while eating rusty nails than run that setup.

    though it is possible to clean up a DI stomp box, its a major bitch, and never anywhere near satisfactory (i recently messed around with a raw track of one, it would have sounded better clean and letting me run it through an amp sim).
  11. jarrydn

    jarrydn Guest

    I've been rocking that setup for roughly 2 or 3 years now, and when you've been doing it for that long, you kind of learn how to make things sound ok.

    Obviously it's far from ideal, but it sure beats spending money on expensive microphones and soundproof isolation boxes for my cab, or even a PodXT =)

    Amplitube is a bit rough around the edges; definitely far from the sound of a miked cab in terms of realism.

    But I'm not really doing that bad, when i send people my mixes, they don't believe that I used a metalzone :p.

    I do intend on upgrading sometime down the track :p
  12. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    My setup looks like a blues setup when it's on stage, but when I turn it on...well, I've gotten nothing but positive comments on it's sound.

    Fender Esquire (single HB) --> Metal Zone ---> Fender Hot Rod DeVille 410 (Blonde/oxblood).

    I realize the setup leaves a lot to be desired, but every piece of it was a gift from my awesome wife, so you won't hear me complaining.

    When I track it I put an off-axis 57 on the lower right speaker, hitting the grillecloth, about 2/3 of the way to the edge of the speaker, then a LDC out front of the same speaker about a foot. I run the 57 through a UA 6176 and the LDC through an XDR. I usually only add a tad of the LDC for a bit more room. I'll try to dig up a sound clip from my stack of DVD-R's
  13. GregP

    GregP Guest


    Without going into specifics, I prefer a crunch setting with a 'gated' attack and decay, whether it's with an actual gate or just palm and/or fretting-hand muting technique.

    I think crunch is highly underrated for metal because it SEEMS to be the opposite tone of what people expect-- so many people go for the scooped mids and take the ba##s out of their sound. I say go for a nice mid-rangey (well, without the mid-range "honk") tone with some testicular fortitude, and then let your technique and choice of riffs say "metal".

    That doesn't mean I NEVER scoop some mids... it all depends on what the track needs and which mids are already there; however, even when I know that in the end I'm going to scoop me some mids, I do the pre-gain mid boost to kick the distortion up a notch, and then scoop'em back out post distortion. It's a trick that should work better with an actual amp, but it seems to help for amp sims, too.

  14. Boltino

    Boltino Guest

    I too use a Hot Rod Deville 410 for rock/metal. Works great with a 2 x 12 closed-back extension cab. Really huge! I use a Big Muff Pi fuzz pedal for my heavier distortion sounds.

  15. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    to answer the original question "what do you like your metal guitar to sound like"

    I prefer it to sound like a "wooden" guitar.
  16. Joshtruction

    Joshtruction Guest

    I run a mesa road king and road king cabs, and jackson guitars. No effects, with the sound of the mesa I don't need them ;)
  17. Wolframm

    Wolframm Guest

    it depends on what "metal" you're going for. If you like the Lamb of God type sound, you'll want a lot of treble, the mids at about half, and a little bass. Their tone is more treble than bass. I know they use Jackson and Framus guitars, not really sure what pickups.
    If you like the real bassy, nu-metal tone, crank the bass and treble and scoop the mids. I like my tone, between the 2 of those.
    On my amp, I have the gain at about 3/4th's, the bass at about 3/4th's, the mids at 1/2, and the treble at 3/4th's to all the way up. I then use the Boss DS-1 pedal for my distortion. I used to use the MT-2, but it has so many equalizer knobs, I couldn't use the damn thing. I keep the bottom at about 1/2 to 3/4th's, the tone all the way up, and the drive all the way up. My guitar has EMG's which are awesome for metal, and it picks up pinch harmonics really well. You also want to have a balance between how well the pickups pick up the highs and lows. If you can rip it up playing lead, but your rythym sounds muddy and mixed, you'll want to bring down the highs some and let the bottom end come through.
    One of the best tips I can give is, don't crank the gain and scoop the mids then just pile on the distortion, actually find a decent tone. Zakk Wylde is a perfect example. He uses distortion, but then puts an overdrive pedal in front of it to let the tone really cut through the mix. He can play the chugging rytyhm parts, and then shred and play pinch harmonics while eating a sandwich. Hope someone actually read all that.
  18. molocono

    molocono Guest

    I want mine to sound like Black Dahlia Murder or Shadows Fall.

    I have a JCM900 and 4x12 cab. How do I do it?
  19. Wolframm

    Wolframm Guest

    Shadows Fall, huh? It just so happens in one of my GW's, they have a column where they talk about their tone, I just have to dig it up.
  20. Kaizen

    Kaizen Guest

    To the original question regarding our preferences for a metal guitar sound...

    I tend to play with fairly mild distortion as rock stuff goes. It sounds more distorted in recordings than it actually is, but when people play through my setup, they typically comment on the lack of distortion. I find it much more dynamically flexible to play that way. Just my opinion, but people usually need less distortion than they think they do.

    When going for a heavier sound, I might crank the gain a little, but I avoid the grainy Triple Rect-ish sound, mainly because I find it unusable. Works great for some people, but for me it's like being able to converse only by screaming. I like a looser sound as opposed to a tighter distortion, if that makes any sense.

    My guitars are generally setup with moderate output humbuckers in the bridge and singles or stacked hums in the neck. As for amps/processing, I am happy with either direct or miced approaches, depending on what I record. For direct, I usually use a Digitech 2101 or sometimes a POD Pro. For miced recording I use a number of amps, but examples include a Seymour Duncan 84-50 (an obscure, inexpensive amp that I like a lot), Engl Powerball, Marshall SL-X, Johnson Millenium 250, Fender Dual Showman, and so on. These are used with a variety of cabinets, depending on what I'm after.

    Believe it or not, I have good luck with two SM57s, usually miced one of two different ways (either opposing on the front and rear of the cab or both on the front). Generally, I'll mic either a 4 x 12 Marshall cab or a 2 x 12 extension cab with removable back, which gives me a little flexibility. The area where the amp is setup gives me some good natural roominess, so I don't really add any reverb, just some delay on the lead tone. Volume varies depending on what gives the best results for the amp I am using.

    This is one example of the kind of sound I usually go with, though even this may be a little more gainy than usual. Not my best mix, but it'll get the point across, maybe.


    That's what I prefer to PLAY with, but I'm not really a "metal," player. What I prefer to HEAR (I should probably say "what I expect to hear") one really heavy stuff is a gainy, driving tone with a tight bottom end, more treble, and reduced mids, closer to something off a Symphony X album. The rhythm tone on the new Stream of Passion album is a good example of this also.

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