Distortion and other effects

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Distortion and other effects

Post#1 » Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:48 pm

What distortion effects should old school bands use: era compatible effects or is it enough to (ab)use todays products?

Certain logic: To sound authentically old school one needs all components that define the sound of its heyday. Instruments made in 80's, gear made in 80's, production techniques common to 80's. I surmise that it is far safer to use vintage equipment. Or it doesn't matter if you use the equipment produced nowadays?
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Post#2 » Fri Dec 29, 2006 8:02 pm

I've thought about this from time to time,I think if the songwriting has 80's in mind,instruments and equipment shouldn't matter much,I sometimes welcome modern production and techniques if it will prevent shitty mixing and poor recording but alot of bands tend to over do it.

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Post#3 » Fri Dec 29, 2006 8:43 pm

Very good question! I ask myself the same from time to time.

Not sure if the instruments do matter, but I am quite certain that the recording process makes a BIG difference. Today, everything is polished and perfectionated thru a computer, taking away all edges and making the sound much too clean, what kills the METAL SPIRIT.
I like rough productions, I like records that sound "alive", not that super-perfect but soulless sound from today that is boring like fuck. :evil:

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Post#4 » Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:21 pm

Thus we could say that it would be better to use vintage equipment, right up to the mixing board. I guess the mixing boards were not sooo developed at the time, as they are today. Even if used to the full potential vintage boards wouldn't yield the results the modern do.

Of course there's always a question of how to use these recording machines.

I hope that Lindell and Enforcer would come around. I wonder how they do it production-wise and what equipment they use.

Still wondering: if I am to start such band, should I go for vintage gear or the modern would suffice. Though I still think the later should better not be digital(ized). Or ...?
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Post#5 » Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:35 pm

I would also guess that it has more to do with the recording process and less with which distortion pedal you use. My best tip would be to look out for vintage microphones and amps and record with analogue equipment.

I don't think ALL 80's records sound better than modern ones, but when it comes to the more raw & in-your-face productions you just don't hear that anymore. Every now and then you hear a new old-school Black Metal band doing a pretty good job at recreating for instance the sound of the BATHORY debut, but I'd much rather hear a classic HM band churn out something massive and noisy in the vein of SACRILEGE's "Within The Prophecy" or INNER SANCTUM's "12 am". The Wall Of Sound has long since crumbled :(
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Post#6 » Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:19 am

I'm not totally against bad production,but doing it on purpose is retarded,most black metal bands suffer because they tried to capture atmoshere with bad production and only a few suceeded,there is a difference between studio tricks and bad production,when the production is so bad that when you crank up the volume and it starts to crackle you know something is wrong.

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Post#7 » Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:56 pm

DaN wrote
I would also guess that it has more to do with the recording process and less with which distortion pedal you use. My best tip would be to look out for vintage microphones and amps and record with analogue equipment.

Recording process is also very important, perhaps too important and inevitably so, yet in my opinion nowadays electronics are too advanced. My tip would be to get vintage equipment complete. The modern tempts with quick and easy solutions. and then you get trivium or sth. Or in the best case some modern Metal Blade stuff. The problem would be the old gear in not the best condition (overused - tired, irrepairable, etc.).
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Post#8 » Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:18 pm

I've given the subject a thought more than once. I find it to be a problem when bands try to "live in the past" just for the sake of it. I definitely agree with the slogan of Corroseum, "Uncompromising war against metallic modernism", yet I find it a bit silly when bands waste their precious (?) time in finding old equipment which belongs to a past era. Sure, it probably sounds better with this and that amp from 1979 or that original guitar-mic, but is that really what makes sense?

Most "retro" bands I've heard record on modern recording equiment, still their reviews speak about "analog sound" just because it's not a thick Nuclear Blast-wall coming out of the speakers.

I wouldn't mind having access to an unknown studio with equimpent dating back to 1980 but I doubt it would be impossible to get a decent sound with the more conventional studio equipment of "our" time.
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Post#9 » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:55 pm

My knowledge about Guitars and such is not good...I'm not long into playing...but I always wonder how you can get such a distortion like in Parabellum - Sacrilegio????

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Post#10 » Sat Jun 30, 2007 2:45 pm

The Knell wrote:My knowledge about Guitars and such is not good...I'm not long into playing...but I always wonder how you can get such a distortion like in Parabellum - Sacrilegio????
Possibly the guitarrero had been dabbling a lot with the gear. One cannot just connect and expect miracles from factory default. Depends of manufacturer, though. I think at Boss, they have quite decent knowledge. But to get the maximum out of gear one has to sit down and study it thoroughly. I'd been thinking of more consecutively linked distortion effects, but this can result in total noise.
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Post#11 » Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:20 pm

Thanks to "Boss" we've got a lot shitty sounding bands I think... I really disgust this "Metal Zone" distortion pedal almost every single "metal" guitarist uses. Maybe someone likes it and knows how to turn the knobs right... but I don't even wanna touch these thingies...

Personally, I prefer distortion from a good ol' amp... brands like Marshall, Laney (Iommi!!!) and Mesa Boogie are brilliant. I have a good Mesa Boogie top right now, and it sounds good enough (even though it's worthless at home, since it only sounds good LOUD). I think all these metal pedals are worthless... even tough I have an old digital effect board from Korg which has pretty good distortions.

Production does a lot to the guitar sounds too; even tough I don't like the latest Maiden records, the guitar sound is always as brilliant. Pure analogue recordings...
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Post#12 » Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:05 am

i have a digitech gnx3 with a million different distortions, also had a few different boss & dod pedals at one time and a clunky rack mount processor for a while and every one of them fucking sucked!!!

with all that technology at my fingertips the distortion i settled on = marshall 2550 head with the gain & volume dialled hard right; simple, dirty.....metal

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Post#13 » Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:47 am

Well, "Under Jolly Roger" had some effects too, but it also had a production that could kick your ass with the very first note. Haven't heard something similar to it since it came out. It's not the effects that i find annoying nowadays, it's more the ultra-polished, clean and ''safe'' production that gets on my nerves. And those tons of uninspired riffs of course.
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Post#14 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:19 am

Quite much has been said already here and I'm really not any kind of specialist on this topic, but here are some thoughts on the top of my head.

I have noticed that using valve amps without the actual distortion pedals has been a very good solution to gain some of the spirit of 80's sound. Maybe add an overdrive pedal for extra grasp for leads, that works pretty nice. I have been playing and recording bass and guitar with valve and transistor amps (Engl, Marshall, THD, EBS, Ampeg and Behringer at least) on stage, in studio and at rehearsal room conditions and I can tell you there's a notable difference not only with the gear itself, but also the room.
This would lead piece by piece to the mastering process and as I really don't know anything about recording, mixing or mastering processes so I'm not going forward on this. Well, over processing is for sure something that has a lot to do with ruining the feeling, the musicians' touch to their instruments. It's killing the dynamics and natural sound of the used instruments (if there is anything to kill, some instruments just are dead, even some good instruments but that's usually because of the one who's playing). Anyway, one thing is for sure, everything starts from the mind of the artist and how he uses his instrument, what kind of instrument it is and does it fit the needs etc...

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Post#15 » Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:22 am

Individual playing style as much to do with sound as the distortion pedal (if any) used. Basic things such as how you hold the pick, how heavy handed you are when muting the strings, how heavy a gauge used on the strings can effect the sound quite a bit.

How a lot of music is recorded today makes everything sound too uniform. A lot of bands use computer audio editing software so that if say they want to cut and paste a section from the intro into the middle of the song to cover up a mistake they can, or if the singer didn't nail the chorus the last time they can just copy the first one in it's place. This removes a lot of the spontaneous humanity from the music though it might not be apparent to the naked ear.

As far as distortion effects go, I play in a very noisy band and use two Marshall JCM 800's with seperate pedals on each. One has a DOD Thrash Master for a more powerful sound and the other has a Boss Hyperfuzz w/a wah on maximum treble the whole time for a noisy radio-static effect. Seperated each amp doesn't sound good but together the effect can be monstrous. For a more traditional metal distortion, I just overdrive the hell out of my amp and use an MXR distortion +

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