Friday, February 18, 2011

Attn Pedal Sniffers and Gear Nerds!

So you've got our LP Grave Consequences in your sweaty hands and now you wanna "ape" (ha ha!) our sound?  This is John's comprehensive guide to creating the radness!
Sound samples and pictures after the jump!

All LEFT CHANNEL Rhythm Tracks 1969 50watt Fender Bassman Export + BYOC SHREDDER, which is kinda based on the MARSHALL SHREDMASTER, basically meant to emulate a fully gained JCM style amp! Check out what it can do here  (and watch the kid dancing while her dad tries to rule)

All RIGHT CHANNEL Rhythm tracks are a 1989 Marshall 50watt JCM-800 lead and 4x12 on the rocks.

Side A

Solos and Overdubs

Eat Yr Brain
BYOC E.S.V. 2-KNOB BENDER (put together by Simon) into a VANAMP SOLEMATE analogue spring reverb unit.
The E.S.V. 2-KNOB BENDER is a clone of the classic COLOURSOUND TONEBENDER. People make a big deal outta this, I don't know a whole lot about it, but the clone sounded rad want more info? Ask Simon. The VANAMP SOLEMATE Is an uber awesome reverb pedal. Because it's proper analogue (with a spring) you can get sweet noises by knocking it around a bit (Seeing as this was a loaner from TYMS GUITARS though, I didn't try that out.....too much) I wanted a really big and well rounded sound for the solo with a lot of sustain and reverb as a bit of a nod to both THE MARKED MEN (something about the chorus of this song reminds me of them) and also older garage/surf style guitar. I think it did the trick. I have it on good authority that Tony Hick now owns the very same SOLEMATE we used for this song!

PROCO RAT2. Probably the greatest pedal ever made, super versatile, super crunchy and super awesome. The difference in sound thats available when altering the "distortion" and "filter" knobs is astounding. You can get the most screaming distortion to the wooliest of fuzz's with a few simple dials. Half of Buzz Osbourne's guitar sound is made by this pedal. Here I hardly did it justice though, I mainly wanted to have a different sound than the main track for the little overdub after the chorus.

"The solo was done with a vintage V4 opamp Big Muff Pi WAAAY too much info on it here" Simon

Again PROCO RAT2, but here I also backed it up a bit with the BYOC SHREDDER for the pinch harmonics, just to provide as much gain as possible to guarantee a loud and sustainable squeal.

The Thing
SUPERFUZZ, PROCO RAT2 and the BYOC SHREDDER. Here the RAT and SHREDDERS where just used the same as in TAXES (to create tons of gain for better squeals) The SUPERFUZZ is the real hero here. This is a fuzz pedal made by my friend Mike. This is based on the UNIVOX SUPERFUZZ (real creative with the name there Mike) but has the added awesomness of a mid cut option, an extra foot switch that can get rid of those pesky mid range frequencies fuzz pedals make so well. He added it in there cos I complained about not being able to use any of his fuzz pedals playing faster punk music (no definition of sound, too square wave yadayadayada). Mainly I use this pedal for bass, try it out if you get a chance. Switching between the mid cut off/on mid song can really add some sweet light/dark dynamics to whatever your playing.

"My guitarmonies on this were done with the BYOC tonebender" Simon
Mike's Superfuzz

Side B

And once more lets hear it for the PROCO RAT2. Again proving its versatility, I needed something sharp and well defined and there it was, saying "garn use me again", so I did.

PROCO RAT2 came to the party again on this one. Pretty much the same amount of distortion as in ESP but with the filter rolled back a bit to make it a slightly more gainy/gritty sound. Seeing as simon drops out during the solo the sound needed to be a bit fuller, this worked out just nicely.

Brain Sell
I should really get an endorsement for this, but here goes PROCO RAT2 again. Mainly for the same reason as EVERYDAY where a slightly different sound than the main track was called for.

True Love
Here I got to use Simon's MXR BLUE BOX Which is a sweet octave fuzz thingy and it made it sound more like a keyboard than a guitar. Which is never a bad thing, except if its post DAVID LEE ROTH ERA VAN HALEN, then its just wrong. This is the other half of BUZZ OSBOURNES guitar sound

For the solo here I used this really cool KORG PME40X of Simon's. Which is basically a powered board you can plug up to four different KORG effect modules into, Apparently there are a ton of different types of modules you can get. For this though I used a KORG OCTAVE V module, which again is an octave type thing with heaps of options both up and down on the octave scale, it adds a  distortion as well but I turned that off as much as I could (mainly because I was also running the PROCO RAT2 into it) From memory I had 1 octave up, 1 octave down and 2 octave down all on max volume. It made this sweet "CASTLEVANIAesque" sound. I was extremely stoked at the time and would have happily re-recorded everything with this set up.

Korg PME40x

"I used the BYOC tonebender for this solo.  I think I've set the bias "wrong" but I really love the spit and crackle regardless" Simon

As a side note I'm certain I used another pedal on the album, but for the life of me I can't figure out where. Maybe on the 5ths of HYPOTHERMIA or maybe when doubling octaves on THE THING. Anyway the pedal I'm thinking of is called a JACKINABOX. The JACKINABOX is a pedal made by Mike who copies classic fuzzes with subtle differences. This one is kinda based on a ZVEX WOOLY MAMMOTH, Its super loud, and has crazy amounts of fuzz/distortion but is surprisingly tameable if you can be bothered getting to know what the different positions of each knob do. Apparently the name is a reference to JACK WHITE'S guitar sound, but I know nothing of these things.
Mike's Jackinabox

If you wanna check out Mikes pedals go here There are samples of a few of his pedals, he's made some more recently too, and some of them are rad!

Also check out Tyms thingies cos he and his staff (Geordie, Lee, Luke and even that other dude that doesn't work their anymore) have helped me in my pedal/guitar quest no end.

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