#1
Every single metal guitar tone (mine included) I have ever heard on its own without the other instruments has this weird high end fizz that appears when high frequencies are dialed in. Without the highs and/or presence up, however, the guitar would fail to cut through the mix, but as soon as other instruments are introduced, especially drums, the fizz gets kind of ‘masked' and disappears from the noticeable soundscape.

Does anybody know what exactly this fizz is and how to get rid of it without rolling back the highs and making the guitar sound dull?
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
#2
It's harmonics created by the tubes saturating.
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#3
Try rolling back the tone on your guitar. Just far enough to tame the fizz without dulling the attack.
#4
You can try an EQ pedal in the loop and knock down those highest frequencies.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#6
Thanks for replying peepz. So, I'm not sure it's from tube saturation, although I do hear more of it from recordings of tube amps than solid state. As far as trying an EQ pedal anywhere in the chain and rolling back the tone (tried both), it's a compromise where any noticeable squash to the fizz also affects the attack. Now, I can live with attack, same as I can live with this fizz especially seeing how it becomes masked, this is more of a matter of curiosity. I have a theory, that I just don't like the sound of distorted 16khz and up; this stems from me hearing more of this fizz the more gain there is.

For an example, I can hear this fizz to an extent on literally every metal recording I've ever heard, but best examples would be:

Because Ola is definitely not bad at dialing amps, and you can hear the fizz all throughout, constant and the same frequency, a little muffled during palm mutes with no attack.

Same here, raw guitars only really highlights just how much top end fizz there is.

Both the intro and the first main riff, in the breaks between cymbals, there is kind of this quiet electric crackling in the top end that also stays constant.

I can keep providing more, it's just these are the best examples of it, but I iterate I hear this in any raw metal guitar tone, but as soon as other instruments come in, especially cymbals, its completely masked.
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
#7
Quote by 2Crosser
Every single metal guitar tone (mine included) I have ever heard on its own without the other instruments has this weird high end fizz that appears when high frequencies are dialed in. Without the highs and/or presence up, however, the guitar would fail to cut through the mix, but as soon as other instruments are introduced, especially drums, the fizz gets kind of ‘masked' and disappears from the noticeable soundscape.

Does anybody know what exactly this fizz is and how to get rid of it without rolling back the highs and making the guitar sound dull?
Put the guitar in a proper mix and you won't notice it.
#8
Yeah, I mentioned that you can't hear it in a mix (at least I can't); I just want to know what the hell it is and if I can get rid of it. It's not because it necessarily sounds bad, after all it seems like an inherent property of high gain, but it just annoys my ears after a while.
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
#9
Quote by 2Crosser
Yeah, I mentioned that you can't hear it in a mix (at least I can't); I just want to know what the hell it is and if I can get rid of it. It's not because it necessarily sounds bad, after all it seems like an inherent property of high gain, but it just annoys my ears after a while.
Right. It is just what heavy clipping does to the sound. The best bet would be to roll down the very high frequencies somehow. This is more like presence rather than a general treble control. Guitars often are mixed to take up a lot of midrange in many recordings so cutting some highs is okay. But it depends a lot on the genre. For metal cutting highs is okay. But again, not too much. And also again, if it works in a mix, it works- even if it bugs you out of a mix.
#10
Now that you mention it, it actually could be clipping rather than distortion of the very high frequencies... If dialling back 16khz or thereabouts mutes the attack, maybe dialling back higher frequencies would work. I should try to record something and then use software to cut 22khz and above. I'd be surprised if I can actually hear that high though. I'm also going to try and see if a gradual downward slope after 20khz would work.
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
#11
Quote by 2Crosser
Now that you mention it, it actually could be clipping rather than distortion of the very high frequencies... If dialling back 16khz or thereabouts mutes the attack, maybe dialling back higher frequencies would work. I should try to record something and then use software to cut 22khz and above. I'd be surprised if I can actually hear that high though. I'm also going to try and see if a gradual downward slope after 20khz would work.


An SM57 already starts to rolloff around 9khz. The mic's freq response chart doesn't even go up to 20k, but by then it's probably already -20 to -30db.

If you're using a DAW try low passing somewhere within the 4k to 10k range and play around with the cutoff to hear how it affects the sound.

Live... remember that bright/harsh guitars cut.
Last edited by some_dude_2 at Sep 10, 2016,
#12
Right so, I've been experimenting with settings in Cubase, and while I can definitely say that it isn't possible to take that fizz out of the sound without dulling the guitar beyond what it can cut through in a mix, a low pass at 16.5k helped, with a gain of 16 and bandwith of 0. It is still however a compromise.

Is it wrong to record guitars raw? As far as sitting in the mix goes, I prefer leaving the guitars as recorded. Mind you, I have the luxury of recording the guitars straight from the amp, but still. I think that the raw sound is easier to master around, and the filtering isn't helping the guitars in terms of the mix, only their own sound.
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
#13
High pass around 100hz to clean up mud and make space for the bass. Beyond that, try to EQ electric guitar as little as possible (IMO).
#14
2Crosser you're supposed to record guitar raw, and then add effects later. There's an infamous example with Jake E Lee, where he recorded effects live during the recording of Bark at the Moon. The Enginner/Producer had a really hard time later getting the guitar to sit right in the mix, and as a result that album doesn't have the best tone.
www.facebook.com/yourbadinfluence
#15
Sorry I worded that wrong, some_dude got me though. I meant to ask whether it is wrong to leave guitars as is.

And yeah. I might go a bit lower, like 80hz. Would that stay the same for extended range (7 and 8 string) guitars?
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
#16
Quote by 2Crosser

And yeah. I might go a bit lower, like 80hz. Would that stay the same for extended range (7 and 8 string) guitars?


I think so, but I'm not an expert.

Once you start going below 100hz you typically only want one source for bass due to the potential for phase cancellation. Usually that's the bass guitar since it should be clearer and more powerful.

The secret to really fat sounding guitars is the bassist. ...And Justice for All is what happens when you prioritize the guitar over the bass.
#17
You do bring up a valid point, I might as well high pass at around 130 or 150 then. My poor E String chugs
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
#18
2Crosseror do what Metallica did on AJFA by cranking up the guitar low end and lowering bass guitar in the mix
www.facebook.com/yourbadinfluence
#19
AJFA actually wasn't too bad in terms of mixing, although I do get you.

But I'm not stupid and I know that the bass is actually what makes the guitars heavy. Without a clear cutting booming bass, there is no metal. That's the reason why ‘tight' amps are as appreciated as they are, although guitards don't understand this and crank their bass. Seriously, before the guitarists get top of the range equipment, the first should be the bass, although with bass it's not as hard because any bass amp can do any genre of music, really. And they don't have this abominable hiss to worry about (clean bass best bass).
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
#21
I wouldn't worry about it much if you know it sounds good in your band ... I have a guitar with a Seymor Duncan JB 4 that I hated the sound playing at home ..... but once I heard how it cuts through the mix in the band situation I quit worrying about , now it's one of my favorite pick ups , just a thought
#22
Quote by dspellman
High-End Fizz you have to pay a lot of money for.
Low-End Fizz costs less.
How much does no fizz cost? Seriously though, did you mean that only expensive amps produce high-end fizz? Because I can pull my THR out and test that theory

Fumble fingers it's just that guitar equipment costs quite the pretty penny, and I'd like to like it all, all the time. Sadly it seems that's impossible, especially given heavy metal and how it's EQ'd. I do guess that just not worrying about it is the best course of action, although it'd be pretty nice to make the elimination of this bugger the ultimate goal of my life's tone quest... I should write a an epic based on this.
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
#23
How do the pros deal with it? They roll off the highs... all of em. Some roll off the guitar tone control, some use a graphic EQ, some roll off the highs at the sound board. Just roll it off to taste knowing that all EQ adjustments are a compromise.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#24
Quote by Cajundaddy
How do the pros deal with it? They roll off the highs... all of em. Some roll off the guitar tone control, some use a graphic EQ, some roll off the highs at the sound board. Just roll it off to taste knowing that all EQ adjustments are a compromise.


*Where* are you rolling off the highs? As in, at one point in the FX chain are you inserting the EQ? I've seen rigs with as many as three EQ's in the chain. The first one is immediately after the guitar and before anything else -- it modifies the pickups, essentially. The second is usually right after the gain/fuzz, and the third is in the FX loop to EQ (for lack of a better description) the cabinet.
#25
"Where" matters depending on what you are going for tonewise. I think a lot of shredders like to hit the front of the amp with all the highs for maximum attack and that generates some fizz. Rolling off with EQ in the effects loop will work for some, others will let it hit the speakers and roll off at the mic preamp. I play more old school stuff and favor the technique used by Mike Bloomfield, Peter Green, Jeff Beck, Santana, Robben Ford, Clapton, and others from that style. They usually dial in the amp so the neck PU sounds great wide open and then roll off the bridge PU tone to eliminate some of the harsh attack and improve blend with the neck PU. That is my old-school/non-shred live setup.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#26
Cajundaddy, I'm UG's second ever rhythm player so attack is important to me, but I'm no shredder by any means. The thing is, that most professionals (in metal) do not compromise on this fizz at all. They just leave it in and don't worry about it since it's masked by other instruments, and thus don't lose the attack. I'm just helluva annoyed by it after having to listen to music for hours on end, especially if it's the same song.

dspellman actually gave me an idea here though, I might try to purchase multiple EQ pedals over the next few months and see if I can still retain the attack but eliminate the fizz through strategic EQ placement. Is there any such thing as an EQ that goes between the amp and the cab?
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
#27
I think what you're referring to is caused by the master volume control. Some amps have less of it, but it's never really not there if there is a master volume control.
"Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." -some dude
#28
Could you please link some examples of non-MV amps playing some hard rock or metal for comparison's sake? I've never heard of a non-MV amp that can do metal distortion without being boosted.
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
#29
Quote by 2Crosser
I've never heard of a non-MV amp that can do metal distortion without being boosted.


I haven't either because to get that kind of gain without a master volume control you would have to drive the power tubes well beyond anything that could be considered listenable (especially for metal).

Edit: Most of the time a Marshall JTM45 won't have that fizzy sound. If you listen to the solos in a lot of 60's tunes you'll notice most of them (that aren't using any pedals or anything) have that smooth buttery sound.
"Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." -some dude
Last edited by Prime2515102 at Sep 19, 2016,
#30
Then I guess its plausible to say that the fizz is not in the MV of the amp (all it does is restrict the current flowing to the power tubes), but in the pre-amp section. Now that's an interesting consideration to make - after all, there is much more difference in solid state vs tube power-amps than pre-amps with the obvious exception of the ECC83 itself. We need a guitar tech to chime in on this.
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.