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#1
Does anyone have any suggestions how to achieve a heavier sound on my current gear:

Amp:
Engl Richie Blackmore head
1x12 cab with celestion k-100

Effects:
Maxon OD 808X
ISP Decimator II G string
Tc Hall of Fame reverb pedal

Guitar:
Jackson JS30WR with bareknuckle warpigs
Body wood is Indian cedro, neck wood is maple and fretboard is rosewood
#2
what type of heavier sound? you should be able to get a pretty heavy sound out of that gear, especially if you're using the maxon as a boost. i mean the blackmore isn't the heaviest-sounding engl, but it still gets pretty heavy on its own, and you have a boost and really hot pickups.

a bigger cabinet might help, a 2x12 often sounds bigger than a 1x12

you'd also want to check there's not something wrong somewhere- dodgy preamp tube, dodgy wiring when you installed your pickups, etc.. before spending any money.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
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#3
Define "heavier" sound. A lot of people will listen to an album and ask how they can get a heavy guitar sound like they heard. Turns out that what they thought was a really heavy guitar was just a sort of light guitar tone plunked into a heavy mix that adds in other guitar tracks and bass and they are asking for a sound that a single guitar just won't make.

In general though, most guitar sounds aren't as heavy as you probably think since actually having heavy sounding guitars requires a lot of loose bass that is not really useful for recording anything that requires complex guitar work and sound truly heavy guitar sounds are generally limited to doom metal where you can have tons of loose low end.

You are most likely in the former camp in which case the guitar tone you already have is probably a lot closer to the actual guitar sound you hear on recordings than you think. If you are in the latter and want loose, bottom-heavy distortion that will really only be useful for doom and maybe psychedelic rock or some indie or grunge, then ditch the OD pedal and crank the bass. Like I said though, you are probably among the former and so a heavier sound won't do what you want it to.
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#4
Quote by Dave_Mc
especially if you're using the maxon as a boost.


Most people tend to use ODs as a boost to tighten up the low end, which is actually going to just make your sound not as heavy.
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#5
^ yeah but you normally add a bit of gain as well which gives more distortion (which helps if you don't have enough). and i guess it depends on whether you have too much bass already or not- if things are muddy it could help, if they aren't, as you said, it could do more harm than good.

and yeah good points in your first post too.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 21, 2016,
#6
More gain doesn't mean more heavy though. You don't even need to have a ton of gain to dound heavy and in fact if you just pour gain on all willy-nilly you will probably end up with a less heavy sounding tone. Very heavy tones tend to be thick and muddy, which is why they don't work in most music but work well in doom where there are slow moving riffs with no technical lines and so tightness is not required and in fact most likely unwanted. If you want to add more gain though, a fuzz pedal or something like an HM-2 is very effective.
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#7
I try to dial in a good clean sound with just the amp, then fine tune the pedals from there. The trick is to get enough bass to sound like a 10 foot bulldog barking behind you, enough treble to peel paint off the walls, and still not sound distorted clean, with the guitar volume at max.

Use the mids control to accent the bass. Most people don't realize the mids have a lot more affect on bass than you might think. More mids can make the bass start to get flabby, not enough makes it start sounding thin and wimpy. Get treble and bass where they both come out good, then add mids to find that point where it still has a good clean sound without a lot of bass flab.

Once you get plugged into a band, the bass guitar will also help, it covers a lot of guitar frequency range too, so you can back off a little on the bass, push the mids a little, and get a fatter sound without actually pumping out a lot of bass. It takes time and tweaking the knobs.

Cabinet matters too, one speaker will never push as much air as a 4x12, and a closed cabinet will have tighter bass response. My favorite is a 2x12, not as heavy, pushes enough air for a strong bass response, I can get my Kustom 2x12 to kick out low notes I can feel hitting my back at stage volume. Same for the 4x10 Fender Super Reverb, but it's a heavy beast to lug around. Bass is also a lot flabbier since it's an open back cabinet. I do the same, set it for a good clean sound and dial in the pedals from there.

Listen to the first few notes of The Wind Cries Mary, by Hendrix. (Studio version) That's the sound I shoot for when I set the amp. If I can get really close to that sound on the middle pickup of the strat, it should work.

This video gives a good example of how it sounded, and you can hear single tracks alone, so you can hear the tone of both rhythm and lead tracks. Rhythm track sounds like middle pickup, lead probably bridge pickup. IN the middle section where he's playing and singing, and the lead, listen to how clean it sounds. Full bass response without getting flabby, plenty treble to cut through, really nice sound overall, one of my favorite Hendrix songs ever.

Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#8
Also heavy guitar sounds are more than just amps. Note choice is very important. For example, adding a lower note to your power chords gives you a heavier sound. For example a B power chord made up of 2244xx can sound much heavier than an E power chord played 022xxx. The low inverted fifth is very underrated but can make some monster sounds.

For fun, I did some tone testing. Telecaster with single coils in standard with 46-10 in standard. I ran it into an HM-2 set with the Lo all the way clockwise, Hi all the way counterclockwise, and gain relatively low at 9 o'clock. This is played into a clean auxiliary channel so as to bypass and preamp gain or EQ. It was recorded on my phone so it loses a little bit of low end so keep that in mind. Listen to it through decent headphones or decent monitor speakers for more accurate playback.

The first few seconds are a little scale bit played just to show how little gain I'm using. Then I play a riff with all power chords with the root on the B and the inverted 5th on the low E like I mentioned with the exception of the E power chord. Then I played it again with the gain on the pedal maxed.

Even with lo-gain and single coils and under non-ideal recording conditions, it's still a very heavy sound, or at least far heavier than you would hear on the metalcore records that commonly lead to the scenario I mentioned in my first post.

And that's just some quick little whatever. If I set up the HM-2 with my 7 string through my Nashville 112 (which has ridiculous low end) I'd have a Panzer division in my living room.

http://vocaroo.com/i/s0BOynK4a8se
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Last edited by theogonia777 at Aug 21, 2016,
#9
Tom Morello gets what I consider a heavy sound in drop-D on his Tele. But like a lot of guitarists I like, he was often playing the same riff as the bass, an octave apart, which has kind of been touched upon. A pedal that doubles you an octave lower could be good for sounding heavier when you don't have a bassist to play with.

Tuning down to D standard, or even just drop-D, can give you heavier sounds too, along with nice slack strings.
#10
When I say heavier sound, I mean like making the distortion sound a bit more immense, a bit more bark, also thank you for the replies guys, I scimmed some of them but I'll have a proper look when not busy
#11
Like my band usually play I guess heavy/prog metal, but I was more wondering if certain things can make the guitar sound more tight and bottom heavy and if i need to tailor the eg to the wood type etc
#12
Like my band usually play I guess heavy/prog metal, but I was more wondering if certain things can make the guitar sound more tight and bottom heavy and if i need to tailor the eg to the wood type etc

You're not describing what you want to sound like good enough.

Give some examples of the sorts of bands you want to sound like.

If you're chasing tone based on what wood your guitar is made from then you're barking up the wrong tree, no pun intended. It really doesn't matter what the guitar is made from when there are so many other factors that are orders of magnitude more important.
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#13
2x12 and don't scoop your mids.

Double track if you're recording.

Also, I don't know how you have your gain set, but a lot of "heavier" music can benefit from a less is more approach. Dial the gain slightly back, boost the mids and see.
#14
It sounds like you are not really looking for heaviness as much as you are for more edge on your tone. Heavy is more about huge low end, which is probably not what you want. I would say that you should try setting your amp with all the EQ controls at noon. From there, just adjust things one at a time. Don't go too heavy on the bass or else you will get mud. Too much treble and you get a very shrill, scratchy tones. You just have to try different EQ combinations than you normally use and you might be surprised at some of the sounds you could get.

Although it may be helpful if you provide actual examples of sounds that you like. There are many bands out there using high gain sounds and they all sound very different. It's easier to show an example than to try and describe what you want with abstract words.

And again, keep in mind that your guitar tone is only part of the band's sound. What may sound terrible by yourself in your bedroom might sound ideal on a recording or when playing with the whole band and vice versa. A lot of guitarists spend tons of time, effort, and money to come up with tone that sounds great... but when they hit the studio or start playing with a band, their tone just does not sit well in the mix.
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#15
Quote by Paleo Pete


Cabinet matters too, one speaker will never push as much air as a 4x12


Actually, it can indeed.

Not with guitar speakers (granted), but since we're pushing a *volume* of air, it turns out that you can substitute Xmax, or speaker cone excursion for cone area. I have Eminence Kappalite 3015LF's that produce huge bottom end because they have huge Xmax (9.60 mm) and serious power handling (450W RMS, 900W max). Oh, and 40Hz bottom-end range with all of that. http://www.parts-express.com/eminence-kappalite-3015lf-neo-15-speaker-driver--290-598#lblProductDetails

I guess it's sort of like saying there IS a substitute for cubic inches .
#16
Quote by theogonia777
More gain doesn't mean more heavy though. You don't even need to have a ton of gain to dound heavy and in fact if you just pour gain on all willy-nilly you will probably end up with a less heavy sounding tone. Very heavy tones tend to be thick and muddy, which is why they don't work in most music but work well in doom where there are slow moving riffs with no technical lines and so tightness is not required and in fact most likely unwanted. If you want to add more gain though, a fuzz pedal or something like an HM-2 is very effective.


well, sure, but i guess it depends on what exactly the problem is, and what his playing situation is. if it's not getting saturated enough (especially if he's playing at lower volumes), then adding gain with a boost pedal probably will help. conversely, if it's already too saturated, what you're saying is bang-on.
Quote by theogonia777
(a) It sounds like you are not really looking for heaviness as much as you are for more edge on your tone. (b) Heavy is more about huge low end, which is probably not what you want. (c) I would say that you should try setting your amp with all the EQ controls at noon. From there, just adjust things one at a time. Don't go too heavy on the bass or else you will get mud. Too much treble and you get a very shrill, scratchy tones. You just have to try different EQ combinations than you normally use and you might be surprised at some of the sounds you could get.

(d) Although it may be helpful if you provide actual examples of sounds that you like. There are many bands out there using high gain sounds and they all sound very different. It's easier to show an example than to try and describe what you want with abstract words.


(a) i'm not sure edge should really be a problem with an engl... unless that speaker is really dark (i haven't tried it)

(b) i dunno. as you said earlier, i think it depends on what type of heaviness you mean. i normally use a boost, and cut a fair bit of bass, and it sounds a lot heavier (to me) with the boost than without.

(c) agreed

(d) also agreed. and maybe a quick recording of his amp to let us know how he sounds.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#17
Quote by Blake-guitarist
Like my band usually play I guess heavy/prog metal, but I was more wondering if certain things can make the guitar sound more tight and bottom heavy and if i need to tailor the eg to the wood type etc


Looking at your eq settings on your amp, or getting an eq pedal, might help. Heavy/ prog metal brings two bands to mind straight away for me, Dream Theatre and Mastodon. I'm guessing you mean the Dream Theatre type of sound? That would be more like the "tight" sound you described. I'm no expert on that type of sound, but I'm assuming it's Mesa-style, maybe with some chorus and/ or delay to thicken? More high-bass and low-mids rather than deep bass? Perhaps a noise gate to keep it tight, probably a bit of tube compression from the amp keeping things focused?
#18
theogonia777 like sonata arctica, children of bodom, dream theatre, symphony x, Kamelot (in terms of the kind of sound I'm looking for) I usually would have bass 6, treble 7 or 8 and mids 5, thank you for the suggestions btw
#19
T00DEEPBLUE thanks for the reply, examples of a desired sound would be bands like sonata arctica, children of bodom, dream theatre, symphony x, kamelot
#20
Quote by luke.g.henderso
Looking at your eq settings on your amp, or getting an eq pedal, might help.


yeah i meant to say that in my post yesterday but i forgot

where do you have the presence set?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#21
I'll tell you my settings, with a Bogner amp and a LTD guitar for my heavy sound, which is a bit like Emppu Vuorinen's sound on the first Nightwish albums (somehow similar to the ones you listed), but with a bit more bass I guess.

I just plug straight to the amp and have gain and treble at 11, middle and bass both around 1o'clock, and it sounds just how I like.
So of course it depends on your guitar and amp, but I would recommand you to try simply with the amp and then add something from your pedals. Also, I'm not a gear expert so I couldn't tell you exactly what to do on your amp.

Hope I helped anyway.
#22
Quote by theogonia777
And again, keep in mind that your guitar tone is only part of the band's sound. What may sound terrible by yourself in your bedroom might sound ideal on a recording or when playing with the whole band and vice versa. A lot of guitarists spend tons of time, effort, and money to come up with tone that sounds great... but when they hit the studio or start playing with a band, their tone just does not sit well in the mix.


I cant say this enough to Guitarists. Stay away from the really bassy freqs when you're on stage, because if you have a bassist, it's their job and their domain. Alone, at home, i will often boost my bass to about 8, with mids at 7 and treble at 5, on stage i rock my bass back to 5 and boost my mids to 8-9. It's all about complimenting the mix. A good sound engineer will EQ it for you, but when you start solid, you sound even better. Plus, let the bassist be a bassist, you'd feel the same way if they took every solo - like, c'mon man. But if your playing with Thunder Thumper or Victor Wooten, you're not soloing much anyway.

I suppose it's not too much to ask, but are you playing the Drop Tunings associated with the bands listed? I would assume so, because if you were trying to cover Children of Bodom in STD Tuning, it wouldn't sound right at all. Drop C, hell even Drop A - are you playing in those? I would assume so, again, but I have to ask.
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1980 Marshall JMP 2204
#25
Quote by Blake-guitarist
Jonny Ryan Mac Usually I play in drop C, D standard


Should be pretty gnarly then - forgive me, but I had to ask. Are your Barekuckle's Alcino's are Ceramic magnets? - the bass vs. mids response is different according to the website, but it should be marginal to the ear.
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Black Beauty)
1980 Marshall JMP 2204
#26
Quote by Blake-guitarist
T00DEEPBLUE thanks for the reply, examples of a desired sound would be bands like sonata arctica, children of bodom, dream theatre, symphony x, kamelot


you want a thicker sound then more mids is the ticket and probably less bass. I'm a fan of Dream Theater and Symphony X and neither uses what I would consider a really heavy sound. keep in mind that the bass player in both bands is thee for more than show so some of what you hears is the bass blending in with the guitar. both guitar players rely on a sound that allows for great note articulation as well as more complex chords. for this less gain is what you want not more. as already mentioned you are also likely hearing multiple guitar tracks blended for the final sound which likely can't really be duplicated with one guitar. listen to live tracks to see where these guys are sound wise without all the studio tricks etc. I think you'll find that they can't duplicate the studio sound either.

I can get a really good heavy tone suitable for that style of music from my Peavey Valveking with a TS style overdrive so I can't see how you couldn't with your setup. tinker with the tone contols and back off a bit on the gain you might be surprised.
#27
Quote by monwobobbo
you want a thicker sound then more mids is the ticket and probably less bass. I'm a fan of Dream Theater and Symphony X and neither uses what I would consider a really heavy sound. keep in mind that the bass player in both bands is thee for more than show so some of what you hears is the bass blending in with the guitar. both guitar players rely on a sound that allows for great note articulation as well as more complex chords. for this less gain is what you want not more. as already mentioned you are also likely hearing multiple guitar tracks blended for the final sound which likely can't really be duplicated with one guitar. listen to live tracks to see where these guys are sound wise without all the studio tricks etc. I think you'll find that they can't duplicate the studio sound either.

I can get a really good heavy tone suitable for that style of music from my Peavey Valveking with a TS style overdrive so I can't see how you couldn't with your setup. tinker with the tone contols and back off a bit on the gain you might be surprised.


I'd 2nd that and suggest getting a realllllly tight slap-back delay to thicken the whole tone up.
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Black Beauty)
1980 Marshall JMP 2204
#28
Quote by Jonny Ryan Mac
I'd 2nd that and suggest getting a realllllly tight slap-back delay to thicken the whole tone up.


Very subtle use of reverb or chorus can also help. That's what all the big hard rock guitarists in the 80s were doing.
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#29
Maybe some thicker strings? And palm muting. Just the right pressure of a palm mute, way back on the bridge. Its easy on a lespaul and sg. Probably not as easy on a jackson. To get more bass you could try putting your speaker cab inside another bigger cabinet, if you can find one. The speaker could also just not agree with you and a different cab might get you the sound you want.
Last edited by geo-rage at Aug 22, 2016,
#30
Quote by Blake-guitarist
Dave_Mc about 2/3 o'clock


thanks

i dunno what the problem is, most engls should sound fairly edgy/bright with those settings.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#31
A guitar sound is never heavy, but the riffs you play can be.

Seriously, thick strings. I also play in D / Drop C tuning and I use 10 - 54 Strings. Also you should carefully look at your palm muting technique. I found the sweet spot for palm muting on my bridge and it makes up a lot of my sound.
#32
The "heavy sound" is all in the picking and the strings. Pick hard when you play rhythm parts.

That and the bass guitar. People always underestimate the bass guitar.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#33
Quote by Sauerkraut1337
A guitar sound is never heavy, but the riffs you play can be.


Disagree. While note choice is part of the sound, the guitar sound certainly contributes.
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#34
Quote by theogonia777
Disagree. While note choice is part of the sound, the guitar sound certainly contributes.


agree big time. if you play the riff from say Iron Man with just a guitar it still sounds very heavy.
#35
Adjust Gain, High, and Low to 10. Set Mids to 0. This is your typical "crunch" setting.
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#36
Well since I did not read my ideas on it I will give you a few tips. 1. Put a compressor in front of your drives it makes the attack more powerful. You get less ring more crunch. 2. Use an EQ pedal as a boost you can then use it as a generic clean boost or you can fine tune the frequencies you want pushed to get the sound you want.
#37
If you want to sound heavy, play heavy shit. I've heard guys sound crushing with light OD only. If you're looking for 'tightness' like you said, you have to play tighter with your band. If you're looking for punchy tone, don't skimp on the mids or overdo the gain. But 90% of 'sounding heavy' is just playing heavy.

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#39
Set bass to 6 the mid to 6 and the treble to 6.
Last edited by geo-rage at Sep 2, 2016,
#40
May I suggest investing a shade over a hundred dollars and invest in a Dunlop fullbore metal distortion pedal... very solid pieces and some of the heaviest distortion I've heard.... worked great with my Jackson but man on the atx c7 I've had to dial that gain way down
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