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Thread: Q: "THAT" modern guitar sound

  1. #1
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    Default Q: "THAT" modern guitar sound

    Hey guys,

    There is a particular guitar sound that's been very popular for quite a while now.
    It's typical with pop-punk/emo/hard rock bands.
    One example is the track "The Window" - http://www.purevolume.com/themissioninmotion or http://www.myspace.com/themissioninmotion

    In all the recordings I've done, I've never gotten that exact sound which makes me wonder, "Am I doing something 'wrong' or is it just the musician's choice of guitar amp?"

    Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    Dax Liniere

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  2. #2
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    They did a pretty nice job of layering a lot of stuff - some of it sounds old school, some modern. I'm hearing plugins - specifically some filtering (you hear that right at the top of the recording).

    There's an overall harshness in this one I recognize in a lot of modern guitar recordings - not sure if it's due to overcompression in the mastering stage or intentional.

  3. #3
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    We usually go with a heavy dose of Mesa Dual Rec's with stacks of Marshall 50 watt's and Vox AC30's in there as well.

    I just did a project where for every gtr pass we hit a PCP Distro into a Mesa and a Vox at the same time. We would then stack that and alter the blend, so one side would favor the Mesa over the Vox, and the other side would favor the Vox over the Mesa. With each pass panned hard L/R, the sound was HUGE, and very "modern"! The Mesa was mic'd with an SM7 thru a Neve1073 and the Vox was mic'd with a 57 thru a V76.

    Rock on!

    edit - oops, I forgot... Tube Screamers, Z-Vex, and Fulltone pedals as well!
    Last edited by Todd Robbins; 05-22-2008 at 04:25 PM.
    Todd Robbins
    TX3 Productions, Inc.
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  4. #4
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    There are lots of sounds going on there. Which one are you wondering about?

    Also, sounds like there's some low strung stuff in there (or 7 string, or baritone guitar).

    A Pod XT Pro with all the additional models packs (hooked up to the editor so you can download sounds), plus some plug-ins (SoundToys EchoBoy in particular) should get you there.

    A low strung guitar through the stock "Brit JD-800" preset on the Pod will get you in the ballpark of the powerful low sound.

    I think you also need the cooperation of your guitarist. If your player isn't gung-ho to achieve that sound/style, it's going to be a struggle.
    Lee Blaske
    Excelsior, MN
    http://www.reverbnation.com/leeblaske

  5. #5
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    Whoa I can't even listen to that. God what happened to 4/4 and melody's you could follow.
    My daughter played me an acoustic song she liked last night and I after many years of listening could not make heads or tails of it. Seemed like it was fragments of 10 songs. She kept saying I like this part but as hard as I tried the part was gone before I could catch it. The recording was also pretty meager and vocal (as norm) was mixed to low against a solo sometimes duet acoustic guitar. Lyrics sounded half important but I could'nt enjoy them with all the distractions. OK so music is out of ideas but really...

    As far as the guitar sound, Maybe a seven string on the low part for the guts but it sounds like a fairly loud amp in a decent room. The hollow guitar or buzzy guitar def filtered EQ. How many guitars is hard to tell without really digging in but, Marshall, Mesa and Vox would be a great sound and early Fender won't hurt either. Most guys use Distortion or OverD pedals and I do remember a few had that filtered sound incorporated. The player makes part of the sound.

  6. #6
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    What's up with that HiHat on The Window?

    Very bizarre.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  7. #7
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    I think Lee and Todd have pretty much hit on the basic techniques of getting that low-tuned, stacked, texture-layered and spread guitar sound. Of course, the guitarist(s) must be knowledgeable of and motivated by that style to get it.

    Good, sunny day high-speed interstate driving music. Lots of guitar-based power in the mix, rock solid drumming (I personally would lighten up a bit on the kick click), all without losing or burying the vocals in the process. Not a genre that I listen to on a constant basis, but these songs are fairly typical of it. The timing change-ups and bits of alternate texture thrown in from time to time help keep a song like "The Window" as interesting as possible. The synth-like filter sweep on the hi-hat makes for more ear candy than a static hi-hat sound would in that short break, IMHO.

    Watch out for the cops!
    Last edited by KB; 05-22-2008 at 06:12 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Robbins View Post
    We usually go with a heavy dose of Mesa Dual Rec's with stacks of Marshall 50 watt's and Vox AC30's in there as well.

    I just did a project where for every gtr pass we hit a PCP Distro into a Mesa and a Vox at the same time. We would then stack that and alter the blend, so one side would favor the Mesa over the Vox, and the other side would favor the Vox over the Mesa. With each pass panned hard L/R, the sound was HUGE, and very "modern"! The Mesa was mic'd with an SM7 thru a Neve1073 and the Vox was mic'd with a 57 thru a V76.

    Rock on!

    edit - oops, I forgot... Tube Screamers, Z-Vex, and Fulltone pedals as well!

    Todd, I would love to hear that! I've heard a couple of layers of an ac30 sound huge, and i can just imagine what a mesa would do to the mix.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KB View Post
    The synth-like filter sweep on the hi-hat makes for more ear candy than a static hi-hat sound would in that short break, IMHO.
    It's a dated effect already .... and I was surprised at how sloppy the entrance after that little part was.

    All in all, I hate to sound old, but I have to partly agree with Map's assessment - where's the song? Seems as if everyone got so carried away with production technique they forgot the basics.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharp11 View Post
    It's a dated effect already ..
    At least three decades or more old minimum, without a doubt. I wasn't pointing it out as being anything new or even novel; just commenting on it.

    All in all, I hate to sound old,
    I hear ya. I'm 54 myself.

    ...but I have to partly agree with Map's assessment - where's the song? Seems as if everyone got so carried away with production technique they forgot the basics.
    Most definitely, to each his or her own and certainly no one's "right" or "wrong". And, I'm absolutely not here to defend 'any' form of music and couldn't be concerned any less about which forms any of us choose to listen to or enjoy. Regarding that cut, however, I do think that the musical basics, the song and the arrangement are there. It's not anything particularly 'special' by any means - actually it's quite typical for the genre - but, it's not without a measure of creativity and playing skills either, IMHO. Just a general opinion and not aimed at anyone here on the forum, but I feel that sometimes people get a little thrown by rhythmic syncopation, half-timing, accents, dynamics changes, etc - much as is also found in jazz or fusion - and then conclude that there's no underlying theme, song structure, base tempo, or "music" there.

    Would I listen to CD's full of the particular style of that song back to back on a regular basis? No. But, I do enjoy some of the (IMO) best of it from time to time and can understand from a player's standpoint where the fun in playing it comes from. To some, it can be overly aggressive and "attack" the ear more than a little, I'll admit, but then again it's supposed to do that.

    It sure doesn't mean that anyone or everyone has to like or enjoy it though, right? Just my measly $.02 and worth every penny!!
    Last edited by KB; 05-23-2008 at 05:47 AM.

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