#1
Probably quite a strange question, but I thought I'd ask some people who (hopefully) have a better ear for effects and the like than I do.

Music from the 1980s, particularly the mid-late part, has a very specific style heard in bands like Genesis all the way through to Dokken and Def Leppard, but can anyone help me find the right combination of effects and styles so that I can make some music which sounds convincingly '80s'?

All I can discern for myself is that drums and vocals are often quite heavy on reverb, and the guitarists frequently use tapping techniques ala Van Halen.

I need tips on every part of the band, from drums and bass to vocals and guitars. Examples would be welcome if needed to illustrate a point.
-=Minigun_Fiend=-
#3
Well, with line 6 gearbox, I can get a decent 80s tone with this:

Amp: 1993 solo 100 head (hot-rodded marshall) amp EQ: Mid 6, Bass 5, Treble 8

Chorus: adjust to taste (just enough to widen the tone for me)

Delay: adjust to taste (moderate mix, light feedback)

Verb: adjust to taste (moderate mix, moderate feecback/dwell)

Cab: 4x12 Greenbacks

EQ PEDAL: slightly scoop the highest and lowest frequencies, then give it some upper mids.(THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF MY SOUND)


thats what works for me.
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#4
Quote by Minigun_Fiend

All I can discern for myself is that drums and vocals are often quite heavy on reverb


drums and vocals on reverb? you're on crack!
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#5
Quote by CLIFF_BURTON
drums and vocals on reverb? you're on crack!


Phil Collins did it a heck of a lot on vocals at least.
-=Minigun_Fiend=-
#6
Quote by CLIFF_BURTON
drums and vocals on reverb? you're on crack!


Actually, there is nothing weird with adding reverb to vocals and drums, maybe you should not post when you have no idea about this topic.
#8
The thing I most strongly associate with 'the 80's sound' is massive snare, with shitloads of reverb
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#9
Quote by Ænimus Prime
The thing I most strongly associate with 'the 80's sound' is massive snare, with shitloads of reverb

That. And the hair.
#10
Quote by Ænimus Prime
The thing I most strongly associate with 'the 80's sound' is massive snare, with shitloads of reverb
This is the main sound I hear in hair metal.

Your singer should be a tenor or at least be a primarily baritone singer who can hit notes in the higher male register, preferably without going into a falsetto.

Edit: As a side note, it is perfectly fine for you to dress up like "Twisted Sister" when you perform. After all, a concert is basically theater. However, you can be normal when the show is over; don't wear lipstick when you aren't performing! (Unless you're female, it's Halloween, or you lost a bet.)
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Oct 24, 2008,
#12
Quote by Minigun_Fiend
Am I right in thinking I should also invest in a good chorus effect?
It depends on what you're going to play. Chorus isn't essential to the hair metal sound, but plenty of hair bands used light overdrive with some chorus while arpeggiating chords (slow, almost fingerstyle stuff...not Yngwie's sweeps or EVH's taps). An example of this is The Cult's Fire Woman, and if you've not heard of this band, they have some pretty cool stuff and I suggest you give them a listen.
#13
Quote by bangoodcharlote
It depends on what you're going to play. Chorus isn't essential to the hair metal sound, but plenty of hair bands used light overdrive with some chorus while arpeggiating chords (slow, almost fingerstyle stuff...not Yngwie's sweeps or EVH's taps). An example of this is The Cult's Fire Woman, and if you've not heard of this band, they have some pretty cool stuff and I suggest you give them a listen.

Lil Devil is one of my favourite riffs ever

I remember quite a few overdriven guitar tones being enhanced with a touch of chorus in the 80's
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#14
Heavy amounts of reverb on drums and vocals is something that I associate with that '80s sound. Also maybe a light flanging effect on guitars on a few things. Chorus is all over Sweet Child O' Mine, and I'd consider that to be a hair metal song.
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#15
Quote by Page&HammettFan
Chorus is all over Sweet Child O' Mine, and I'd consider that to be a hair metal song.
Yes there is chorus in that song, but GNR does not even remotely have a hair metal sound.
#16
That song does, to me. Appetite for Destruction, in itself, is nothing like Hair Metal, but Sweet Child definitely has that kind of hair metal sound to it. Maybe not the song itself, but the tones, and just the overall mix, sounds like a hair metal mix to me.
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#17
Drums - deep toms, shallow, tight snare, big kicks, and yes, lots o' verb, and a boat load of compression... enough to make them almost sound fake.

Guitars - Lots of solid-state style distortion. Lots of gain. Lots of gain. Lots of gain. :cool Fast, melodic solos. Whammy bars. Some chorus does go well for adding a bit of thickness. Harmonized leads, generally in thirds. Arpeggios, both in the solos, and as in picked chords when done with palm muting. Also some idiomatic things like lots of 4ths and maj7s added to the chords for variation.

Vocals - higher baritone into tenor register and higher if you're into Maiden. :cool Screams and wails for effect. Lots o' verb.

Backing vox - less verb, but a boat load of layers (MUST be PERFECTLY tight and in tune), more compression than any sane person would otherwise use, and high-end EQ. Lots of unisons, fifths and thirds.

Overall mix bus - a bit more verb. A boat load of compression again.

CT
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#18
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Yes there is chorus in that song, but GNR does not even remotely have a hair metal sound.

Yeah, I was thinking more of bands like Cinderella, Whitesnake 87, Vain, Bulletboys...and even Journey and Boston stuff from around then.
Actually called Mark!

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