#1
Hi there people!

I would like you to give me some good advice regarding guitar distortion.

To start this off, i often get told "what sound good to you is the only thing that's matter". well, when you play in a band there's always different opinions about what sounds good, ofcourse. And i really think that "What sounds good to you" isn't always such a reliable method to work with. Since, as i've notised,(as in this case) a really earpiercing distortion sounds good to the other guitarist in my band, but to me it's really unbareble hear.

My question is, how should a good distortion sound, both for live and recording?

We play punkpop (think Blink 182 and All Time Low, you will fins links at the end) and i prefer to have a distortion/setting on my amp that gives me something from all the frequences. A dist that has some bass to it, some mids and a good treble for nice clearity and high's. And ofcourse NOT to much gain, i just find that the more gain i ad the more messy the sound gets and really loses the heavy feeling of powerchords.

I also noticed that when i increase the gain, the palm mute sound just sounds so lifeless. There's just nothing there to define each stroke.

Soo whats you thaughts on this? Is a distortion supposed to be just some treble upon the bass track or should i fill out the whole spectrum?

Links to punkpop guitar sound I like:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXbulbr8bvM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcNiKCmWdYE

Are thouse guitars just some treble that has been filled out with bass from the bassguitar?


Thank you for replying!
#2
That's a lot of questions, and it took me a while to figure out what you were trying to say.

"My question is, how should a good distortion sound, both for live and recording? "

This is a matter of personal opinion and what YOU want the distortion to sound like.

"We play punkpop (think Blink 182 and All Time Low, you will fins links at the end) and i prefer to have a distortion/setting on my amp that gives me something from all the frequences. A dist that has some bass to it, some mids and a good treble for nice clearity and high's. And ofcourse NOT to much gain, i just find that the more gain i ad the more messy the sound gets and really loses the heavy feeling of powerchords."

This is a good place to start, but I'm not sure how you would go about getting this sound. I play mostly metal, and my only advice regarding distortion is to turn everything up to ten, so I'm afraid I can't help you here.

"I also noticed that when i increase the gain, the palm mute sound just sounds so lifeless. There's just nothing there to define each stroke.

So whats you thoughts on this? Is a distortion supposed to be just some treble upon the bass track or should i fill out the whole spectrum?"

This sounds like you want a definition of distortion. I guess it's how you use it. For me, distortion (and reverb)is the core of my sound. In yore links, It seemed like they were using it to shape their sound, but not rule it.

"Links to punkpop guitar sound I like:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXbulbr8bvM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcNiKCmWdYE

Are those guitars just some treble that has been filled out with bass from the bassguitar?"

Again, I have to guess as to what exactly you wanted to know. I'm guessing you want to know how to get that sound. It sounds like the bass, mid and treble settings are not turned up all the way. You might have to do some experimenting here. If I was betting, I would also say he's probably using the bridge pickup. And the gain I would say is set somewhere between 2 and 5. Just try experimenting and screwing around with yore amp. I know that doesn't much, but that's the best I can do.
Last edited by thrashdeth at Jun 3, 2011,
#3
general rule of thumb for distortion

" you always need less than you think you do"

the more distortion you shove on the more tonal definition you end up losing. i would say for live playing with another guitarists turn the distortion down to about 5 and try it like that, if its not enough then turn it up slowly until its enough. alot of people have a tendency to overkill distortion which CAN be ok if you have an awesome noise gate (and even then the noise gates kill/cut back distortion wavelengths so its still not as full as being un-gated)
#4
What is your equipment set up look like?

Recording tones and live tones are going to be very different.

Some general things that will help for both: set all the dials on your amp (except for reverb) to noon and then start tweaking. In my opinion, low gain is ideal for pop punk because the definition and tone you get from a good crunch is way better than over the top distortion. Most of the Blink 182 is very low gain.

Guitar distortion definitely shouldn't just be treble sitting on top of the bass. The most important part of the guitar tone is in the mids. On that note, its also important to have enough low mids that the guitars have some balls. This is a pretty tedious balancing act with recording, but in a live situation, as long as the bassist scoops his mids a bit there should be no problem with getting the bass and guitars to gel.
#5
Another thing to try is to cut a lot of the bottom off of the guitars and let the bass fill that in. It's a common "metal" trick.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#7
Quote by Dormpatrol

To start this off, i often get told "what sound good to you is the only thing that's matter". well, when you play in a band there's always different opinions about what sounds good, ofcourse. And i really think that "What sounds good to you" isn't always such a reliable method to work with. Since, as i've notised,(as in this case) a really earpiercing distortion sounds good to the other guitarist in my band, but to me it's really unbareble hear.



That's a pretty common problem. Also, a lot of guitarists prefer to scoop the hell out of their mids and that just does not record well. I suggest really trying to communicate what he thinks sounds good might not end up recording so well.

If you can, maybe record two different takes: one set up his way and another with less distortion and a more balanced sound. Then when you mix the song down and your way ends up sounding better he might get the picture.
#8
Quote by axemanchris
Another thing to try is to cut a lot of the bottom off of the guitars and let the bass fill that in. It's a common "metal" trick.


+1. I say set up a sound that you're comfortable playing with, then back off a little bit on the gain (a little more if you're looking to double rack parts). Record and then slap a low cut on to allow the guitars to handle low mids and bit of treble while the bass takes care of the better part of the low end. I routinely cut up to 150-200Hz on the guitars depending on how much beef I choose to have for the bass.
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