#1
I've been a musician for over 10 years now. I've learned a lot, acquired a lot of shit, but one problem has plagued me since I started playing.....I CANNOT dial in a good guitar tone. What I have a problem with the most is metal/rock/anything pure electric guitar. With my trio band I play a typical fender/strat/tube screamer sound which I have dialed in pretty nicely. But when I'm messing around at home jammin to Dream Theater, BTBAM, Devil Wears Prada, ETID, etc I just cannot dial in a good tone to that stuff. I sit for hours trying to get it right but it never does. I even go as far as looking up professional bands isolated tracks and trying to get it to sound like it but nope.

I think most of my problem is that when it comes to playing metal/rock I haven't had any good equipment to work with. Trio band I have a fender Hot Rod Deluxe....playing at home I have a ****ing 9 year old Crate XT120R and my brother's Peavey Valveking. Valveking is a good amp for crunch and what not but it just doesn't have enough "balls" to it for me.

Anybody have good tips for dialing in a good metal/rock sound?
#2
Well your equpiment isn't exactly "metal" a lot of metal tone as far as EQs go is usually high treble and high bass with scooped mids. A lot is equpimet but even Jim Root (slipknot/stone sour) plays a strat
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#3
Sounds like it's a lot less you and more equipment. Not to say anything you have is bad at all, you have good stuff. Some amps while they have enough gain for metal, may not be voiced for it. It doesn't strike me as though it's you...just maybe the gear isn't designed with the heavy modern stuff in mind.
#4
as far as the metal tone you're looking for goes, you won't get it with a fender strat and tubescreamer.

My reccomendation is to buy stompboxes specializing in heavy metal. check out the sites of Electro harmonix, Boss, and MXR. Trust me dude, you buy a pedal like the fullbore or metalcore, and you'll definetly be able to play heavy metal. also, they have sound samples on their sites so go check em out
#5
Quote by celticstorm84
Sounds like it's a lot less you and more equipment. Not to say anything you have is bad at all, you have good stuff. Some amps while they have enough gain for metal, may not be voiced for it. It doesn't strike me as though it's you...just maybe the gear isn't designed with the heavy modern stuff in mind.


Yeah, I mean I haven't even ever owned a half stack Its sad really haha I really like Mesa Boogies and want the Mark V but I won't be getting that till I graduate college and get a good job hopefully in the next year
#6
Quote by the_unforgiven6
Well your equpiment isn't exactly "metal" a lot of metal tone as far as EQs go is usually high treble and high bass with scooped mids. A lot is equpimet but even Jim Root (slipknot/stone sour) plays a strat



You scoop your mids in metal music, then I will kill you in your sleep.

Never scoop your mids unless you want a hollow, lifeless tone, mids is what makes up the majority of your tone.

A good metal tone will come from, a good amount of bass, a good amount of mids, and a good amount of highs. How do you figure out this? Well, first of all, you need some hot pickups, heavy strings, and know how to play the music. In metal, it's typically alot of gain, preamp gain, not overdrive.

With the Valveking, this is how to get a metal sound from it, put the bass at about 5-6, the mids at 5-6, and the highs at 6-7, hit the tight switch on the back of the amp, put the texture control at around 12 oclock, put a dummy jack in the first input, your guitar into the second input, use a patch cable and put it in the effects loop, and use your tube screamer as a clean boost to cut your lows.

That's how to get a good metal tone from a stock VK.
#7
Quote by anthsband
Yeah, I mean I haven't even ever owned a half stack Its sad really haha I really like Mesa Boogies and want the Mark V but I won't be getting that till I graduate college and get a good job hopefully in the next year



half stack doesn't make you sound metal, gives you a culturally accepted look of metal
#8
In addition to what ethan_hanus said, run an equalizer in the effects loop.

As far as scooping mids goes, it's acceptable depending on your tastes. Some of my favorite tones come from Metallica, who are well known for scooping mids.

Also run the Valveking loud, they really open up at high volumes.
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#9
Scooping mids is good for Drop C core-ish kinda stuff, if you're playing that then you'll potentially sound silly with mids anywhere above 1 or 2
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#10
Quote by tancanada
Scooping mids is good for Drop C core-ish kinda stuff, if you're playing that then you'll potentially sound silly with mids anywhere above 1 or 2


With mids that low you'll get totally lost in the mix as soon as you play with any other instruments. Mids are necessary for the guitar to be heard.
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#11
Quote by GNR4EVER
With mids that low you'll get totally lost in the mix as soon as you play with any other instruments. Mids are necessary for the guitar to be heard.

Not really. They help a lot in getting heard, though. Also, define mids.
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#12
Quote by the_unforgiven6
A lot is equpimet but even Jim Root (slipknot/stone sour) plays a strat

WIth EMGs
#13
Quote by Kanthras
Not really. They help a lot in getting heard, though. Also, define mids.


From my experience mid scooping can be fun for bedroom playing but in a band situation it's a terrible idea. Keeping the mids low is fine if that's the sound you're going for (And it's usually what I go for) but in my experience if you want the guitar to be a distinct part of the bands overall mix, you need the mids there and having the dial at 1 or 2 is simply too low.

When I was playing in a band before I got my first real amp, I was using a 20w solid state practice amp with an 8" speaker and the other guitarist was using a 100w 212 combo. He scooped his mids to around 2 and I kept them around 4 or 5. When we listened back to recordings all I could hear was my guitar, toms and cymbals and a wooly, bassy mess where the bass and other guitar should have been.
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Last edited by GNR4EVER at Jul 9, 2010,
#14
Quote by Raijouta
In addition to what ethan_hanus said, run an equalizer in the effects loop.

As far as scooping mids goes, it's acceptable depending on your tastes. Some of my favorite tones come from Metallica, who are well known for scooping mids.

Also run the Valveking loud, they really open up at high volumes.



Tell that to Beefmo

It may sound good to you in your room, but it's best to get used to playing the metal you like using enough mids, keeping your mids around 4-5 will still give you a scooped sound, but will be enough to cut through the mix.

I think I'm going to need an equalizer now since I got my BKP Painkiller, it's punchy as hell on my VK.

I thought Metallica used alot of mids when playing live?
#15
You need a new guitar with a humbucker in the bridge if you don't have one already, that will help tremendously with your metal/rock tone. Hell, you could just buy a pre-loaded pickguard for your strat for pretty cheap. Check ebay for loaded pickguards. Once you're rocking a humbucker through that valve king you're halfway there. Now use ethan_hanus suggested settings on the amp. When he says clean boost he means plug into the tube screamer and run it throught the valveking, turn the tube screamer drive all the way down and volume all the way up. There you go!
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#16
Quote by fnichols1
You need a new guitar with a humbucker in the bridge if you don't have one already, that will help tremendously with your metal/rock tone. Hell, you could just buy a pre-loaded pickguard for your strat for pretty cheap. Check ebay for loaded pickguards. Once you're rocking a humbucker through that valve king you're halfway there. Now use ethan_hanus suggested settings on the amp. When he says clean boost he means plug into the tube screamer and run it throught the valveking, turn the tube screamer drive all the way down and volume all the way up. There you go!



Yup. I just recorded a track, it's metal, and perfectly describes what the VK can do in the metal genera, using the method I described, and I didn't even have to post EQ

http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/ethan_hanus/music/all/play864013
#17
Quote by Kanthras
Not really. They help a lot in getting heard, though. Also, define mids.


Midrange frequency area. The main bulk of the sound of the electric guitar is what would be generally called 'midrange' sound.

Most people would say about 500hertz up to about 2000 is generally 'mids'. The guitar eq mids seem to be more like 300 to 1500 though, after that presence and treble controls do the rest.
Last edited by Zoot Allures at Jul 9, 2010,
#18
Quote by GNR4EVER
From my experience mid scooping can be fun for bedroom playing but in a band situation it's a terrible idea. Keeping the mids low is fine if that's the sound you're going for (And it's usually what I go for) but in my experience if you want the guitar to be a distinct part of the bands overall mix, you need the mids there and having the dial at 1 or 2 is simply too low.

When I was playing in a band before I got my first real amp, I was using a 20w solid state practice amp with an 8" speaker and the other guitarist was using a 100w 212 combo. He scooped his mids to around 2 and I kept them around 4 or 5. When we listened back to recordings all I could hear was my guitar, toms and cymbals and a wooly, bassy mess where the bass and other guitar should have been.


+1 to that!

Here's some things you might want to consider if you'd like to get a more metal tone,

1) Guitar. Some guitars sound better for metal than others. I've found LPs, SGs, Ibanez, and Agiles work well for "metal".

2) Pickups. Pickups are a very important part of your overall tone. Try some high gain pups. DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan, and Bareknuckles make some very good "metal" pups.

3) Amp. Peavey makes some very good "metal" amps, 5150, 6505 etc,. I guess it kind of depends on how much you're willing to spend on an amp. Maybe something like one of Line 6's GuitarPorts might be a better choice?

4) Speakers. V30s are always a good choice for metal.

5) OD/distortion. An OD is a good choice for a tube amp, but usually requires some volume to get that "crunch". If you want to keep it at "bedroom" levels, then maybe a distortion pedal might be a better bet for you. I personally like the MXR Fullbore pedal. I tried one out recently and was pretty impressed by its versatility.
#19
Quote by Nightgaunt
+1 to that!

Here's some things you might want to consider if you'd like to get a more metal tone,

1) Guitar. Some guitars sound better for metal than others. I've found LPs, SGs, Ibanez, and Agiles work well for "metal".

2) Pickups. Pickups are a very important part of your overall tone. Try some high gain pups. DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan, and Bareknuckles make some very good "metal" pups.

3) Amp. Peavey makes some very good "metal" amps, 5150, 6505 etc,. I guess it kind of depends on how much you're willing to spend on an amp. Maybe something like one of Line 6's GuitarPorts might be a better choice?

4) Speakers. V30s are always a good choice for metal.

5) OD/distortion. An OD is a good choice for a tube amp, but usually requires some volume to get that "crunch". If you want to keep it at "bedroom" levels, then maybe a distortion pedal might be a better bet for you. I personally like the MXR Fullbore pedal. I tried one out recently and was pretty impressed by its versatility.

That line would usually = post is null and void, but there's some good advice in there.
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#20
You sound like the kind of person MXR designed the Fullbore Metal pedal for.
#21
Quote by jpnyc
You sound like the kind of person MXR designed the Fullbore Metal pedal for.
If you're talking about me, you might want to explain yourself.
Gear:
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- VJ & VJ cab
- Jackson JS30
- TS9

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#22
Quote by Kanthras
That line would usually = post is null and void, but there's some good advice in there.


??????
#23
Quote by Nightgaunt
??????

He said he likes the MXR Fullbore. It was a (semi-serious) joke.
Gear:
- Bugera 333
- VJ & VJ cab
- Jackson JS30
- TS9

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#24
To the OP,

Assuming you don't want to drop a grand or so on a practice amp, you might want to look into a 5-15 watt tube amp. Blackstar and Jet City make some very nice sounding amps from what I've heard.

If money isn't a concern and you feel like spending, Engl just put out a 15 watt combo called the Gig Master. Orange too makes a high end low watt tube amp and combo called the Tiny Terror.
#25
Quote by Nightgaunt
Orange too makes a high end low watt tube amp and combo called the Tiny Terror.
If that's high-end, so is my Bugera.
Gear:
- Bugera 333
- VJ & VJ cab
- Jackson JS30
- TS9

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#26
Quote by Kanthras
If that's high-end, so is my Bugera.


Tiny Terror 15 watt heads go for $575 new, and the combos go for $860 new. So yes, for a 15 watt amp, that qualifies as high end.
#27
Quote by Nightgaunt
Tiny Terror 15 watt heads go for $575 new, and the combos go for $860 new. So yes, for a 15 watt amp, that qualifies as high end.
Price does not dictate quality.

If my Bugera cost 2000$, would it be high-end? Not in my book.
Gear:
- Bugera 333
- VJ & VJ cab
- Jackson JS30
- TS9

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#28
OT, but yes, to some extent, price does dictate quality. A custom made guitar will play and feel better than a $100 one, so will too will a high end tube amp give you a better sound than a cheaper solid state one.

Yes, there are bargains out there, especially on the used market, but if you want a very good high end tube tone, then you are going to have to pay for it.

Of course there are alternatives. You can go w/ some modeling software like Line 6, Guitar Rig, or Peavey's Revalver, and get some very serviceable tones at a fraction of what you'd have to spend if you bought those real amps.
Last edited by Nightgaunt at Jul 9, 2010,
#29
Quote by Nightgaunt
OT, but yes, to some extent, price does dictate quality. A custom made guitar will play and feel better than a $100 one, so will too will a high end tube amp give you a better sound than a cheaper solid state one.
My point is, the Tiny Terror is overpriced and not high-end. Usually expensive stuff is high-end, but it's no guarantee.
Yes, there are bargains out there, especially on the used market, but if you want a very good high end tube tone, then you are going to have to pay for it.
Debatable. I'd say my Bugera gets a pretty high-end tone. Of course, it lacks in certain other areas, which is why it's so cheap.
Gear:
- Bugera 333
- VJ & VJ cab
- Jackson JS30
- TS9

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#30
Just get you're self a Wampler Triple Wreck.
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Last edited by silly hats at Jul 9, 2010,
#31
You shouldn't have any trouble getting t3h m3tulz from that Crate.

I'd set Gain at 6-7, highs and lows at 7 and mid at 8-9 on rhythm, on lead I'd set gain at 5-7, and experiment with Shape until I have something I like.
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#32
Quote by Nightgaunt
Tiny Terror 15 watt heads go for $575 new, and the combos go for $860 new. So yes, for a 15 watt amp, that qualifies as high end.

we might as well say an MG is high end then cause it costs about that much
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