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How Do I Get That Sound?

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How Do I Get That Sound?

Postby troywestfield » Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:07 pm

Hi all. Thanks for existing. Apologies if this sort of question is annoying. If it's better posted in the Recording forum, please let me know.

I'm trying to get a certain tone. I would describe it as a sort of tight distortion, where all the strings seem to be evenly represented when playing open chords. Luckily, we don't have to rely on my crappy description; it's pretty well represented in this video, specifically in the "tone = heavy" part that starts just before the 4:45 mark:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1fGDRrUx2E

In fact, that video clip is so right on, I bought the pickup, put it in the bridge. In my baritone -- a PRS 277 (the solid body). Didn't really do the trick. I wrote SD, and was told that a high-output pickup would attenuate the treble, and I'd want to pay attention to EQ, to 'boost some upper-end harmonic content.' I was also advised to dial back the bass and low mids, but I'm struggling (mentally) with that; it's kind of why I'm using the bari. I was hoping to get that sound, but with the bari's distinctive coloring.

I mostly record, rarely play live. If a real-life pedal would get me a lot of the way there, though, I want to hear about it; doesn't all have to happen in the DAW. I probably got closest on my Vox Valvetronix, using the 5150 model (which happens to be the model used in that video). But I'd love any advice, and I mean any. Virtual (or real) pedals or other plugins, including any settings that might be key; where any given plugin should go in the signal chain; category of amp sim, virtual mic placement ... talk to me like I don't know what I'm doing. Because I don't know what I'm doing.

Thanks for taking the time to read/respond.
troy
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Re: How Do I Get That Sound?

Postby GrandHotelAbyss » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:20 pm

first thing I notice is that the amount of drive isnt very high? I also suspect that the primary effect of using a baritone is going to be in the growly mid range area, so I wouldn't be afraid of reducing bass...
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Re: How Do I Get That Sound?

Postby Jack Ruston » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:41 pm

The amp is really crucial for this sort of thing. I'd try something like an EVH initially. It's going to come down to how you play it...how cleanly you can strike it etc. Playing about with the amount of top end and gain is going to let you dial in just the right amount of cut, without fizzy clutter.
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Re: How Do I Get That Sound?

Postby al_diablo » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:20 pm

I had that pickup installed in an explorer tuned to C, and I have had a valvetronix amp before. Based on my experience the low end output of the alt 8 is significant, and I always found the vox to be quite a bassy amp, regardless of the model I set it to.

I agree with the advice about EQ - You can cut a lot of the low end and it tightens up the drive sound rather than making it weaker. It will still sound growly if you're playing a baritone. Also resist the temptation to scoop out the midsection, boost them if anything. To add some high or mid range eq and / or harmonics before the amp, i believe a lot of players like tube screamer or klon style drives (but am happy to be corrected on that) - personally I have a J Rockett Archer that I use to do this and it makes everything sound better, I pretty much have it on all the time.
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Re: How Do I Get That Sound?

Postby CS70 » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:53 am

Had a look. He's not playing all the strings? He goes "boom-dah" where the "boom" is a bass string and the "dah" is probably the last 4 strings. There's also a delay or reverb going on. Otherwise it's fairly standard bridge pickup sound with a clean guitar (which PRS-es do perfectly) and the amp set to just crunch if you play softly (or just one string) and to clip if you play harder or more strings. The mix also sounds quite produced (not in a bad sense, just it doesn't sound like a raw guitar would sound in a room).
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Re: How Do I Get That Sound?

Postby troywestfield » Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:35 pm

Thank you all so much for taking the time. Lot of things for me to try.
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Re: How Do I Get That Sound?

Postby troywestfield » Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:53 pm

Little follow-up in case anyone is interested: I downloaded the trial version of Neural DSP's Plini plugin, because it seemed to come so close to the sound I've been chasing in the videos reviewing it. Tweaking and tweaking, mostly with EQ, I was able to get relatively close, and taking into account CS70's observation about not just playing a six-string chord, I figured this plugin (or one of the other amp sims out there) would get me close enough. Then I plugged in my Les Standard and the sound was instantly there, with almost no adjustments. So at least I know I don't need to chase some sound I frustratingly can't ever achieve, and that it's really down to the low-end information overload, as really all of you said. I'll keep playing around, but am prepared to accept that I just won't ever get that exact sound with a bari, and that I can work around it (by, e.g., not trying to get that tight high end on the bari while playing six-string chords, and using a standard six-string for the high end; I'm guilty of wanting to get the tone I want standalone, and forgetting about things like using two guitars in the mix).

Thanks again for the guidance, which was very helpful.
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Re: How Do I Get That Sound?

Postby al_diablo » Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:45 am

Great to hear you're getting what you are after. Also good to read another positive comment about the neuraldsp sim, it seems to have a lot of fans
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Re: How Do I Get That Sound?

Postby troywestfield » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:13 pm

They're pretty great, and they run sales from time to time, and I guess this is one of those times. I missed most of them, but they seemed to save their two best for last; the Nolly's on sale right now, half off (though they raised the price $20 first, I think), code NOLLY50. That likely just leaves the Plini. If you want to monitor that one, assuming it goes on sale too, it'll get posted here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/NeuralDSP/

I also want to give a shout out to these guys:

https://audioassault.mx/index.php

I bought their Grind Machine II -- $8. The crunch tones sound just as good as Neural's, to my ears, with WAY more amps and cabs, though the console has less control, no pedals, no nine-band graphic eq. Gonna check out the lead tones next. Now waiting to see if their bass sim Duality goes on sale. But Grind Machine II is good enough that I'm no longer sure I'm going to shell out for Plini, though $70 for it seems pretty fair ...
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