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Advice needed (early to mid 80's metal sound)

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by \m/Antisocial\m/, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. guitarguru777

    guitarguru777 Member

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    Check out www.myspace.com/babilos

    I recorded them last year in my home studio. I think we captured a raw 80s sound but still with some modern polish
     
  2. \m/Antisocial\m/

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    It's like okay, our drummer right. We listened back and it sounded like Eminem or something with a techno kick drum. Like that Slipknot drummer, his drums sound so gay to my ears. We almost lynched the engineer! We can't afford to keep doing this so I'm gonna learn it all myself. I just dont know where to even begin. I dont use active pickups like EMG's because they make my guitar sound like a toy. I hate those things man.

    Didn't bands like Sabbath record on 4 tracks in garages and stuff? I dont understand why recording heavy metal music has to be so time consuming and complicated these days. We're a tight band we dont need to use edits or punch-ins. It's not like we're writing pop songs with melodies and hooks for girls to dance to. If girls dance to your songs you're not playing metal, period.
     
  3. \m/Antisocial\m/

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    How long did it take for you to master sound engineering bro? You really seem to know your stuff! \m/\m/

    Our songs are heavy and fast so we dont need any modern production techniques that take the volume control away from the listener. It's like modern metal albums are produced for I-Pods or something. They have a strange fizzy sound on them like Metallica's Death Magnetic, that album has a weird fizzy sound I dont like. It's like they're hiding behind heavy-metal viagra production methods because they can't play metal anymore.

    I'm not saying you've done the same!!! Man it must take years to understand how to engineer music up to your level
     
  4. guitarguru777

    guitarguru777 Member

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    Well every band needs punch ins, Nobody is perfect every time.

    While I do agree a lot of productions today have lost the "mojo" there is a reason for it. Its part of the "sound" of modern metal.

    Sabbath and older bands didnt record on a 4 track in a garage. They all played live in a room till they got it right and they recorded to 16 track tape. You are referring to the Beatles who recorded on a 4 track machine.

    90% of 80s metal was recorded to 16 or 24 track tape. Drums were not sample replaced, bass was usually an Ampeg SVT, and guitars were usually a modified marshal JCM 800 / 900 or Mesa boogie mark series.

    Megadeth was all JCM 800 / 900 Series
    Metallica was Boogie Mark Series
    Anthrax was Marshall 800 / 900 Series
    Slayer was Marshall 800 / 900 Series

    Bands didnt edit their stuff to death which was the case with the stuff we recorded with Babilos. We left a lot of the little flubs in and things like that to catch that "real" under produced feel. Guitars were not your typical setup. It was a Tube Screamer into a Peavey Valveking combo fed into a Marshall 4x12 with GT65's, mic'd with an Audix i5.

    If you are going for that "old school" metal sound the best advice I can give you is edit as little as possible, but make sure your playing is SOLID! i would still sample replace the drums personally. I would just use more 80s type drum sounds. I would avoid Metal Foundry and go for something like Slates Tone Def kit or Metal Hybrid. Those to me have that old school metal vibe for sure.
     
  5. \m/Antisocial\m/

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    I dont mean to go on but it's like modern metal is very dry sounding like it's recorded in a room covered in sandpaper. Does that make any sense guys? I dont like that fizzy sandpaper sound I like depth and atmosphere so it's like a horror movie. I want some room, I can't hear the room in modern albums it's like they've DI'd everything into the mixing board.

    Slayers latest album sounds awful too, great songs awful production like Death Magnetic. Everything is brittle and dry. Megadeth's latest album sounds very dry too like everything is squished together with no breathing room. It's like a real tone killer, I like little tonal nuances and things like those old 80's albums. Man I wish I was old enough to have played metal in the 80's I wouldn't have these problems today
     
  6. \m/Antisocial\m/

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    Cheers man \m/\m/ this is some great advice! Mesa Boogies do nothing for me, my big bro owns one but it's not my cup of tea. The JCM 800 might do the trick though

    What about cabs??? What kind of cabs did they use how did they mic them???

    We never use punch ins, it's like if something happens it's meant to happen. We're not writing pop music so it doesn't matter! It's not like we're trying to impress people, what is this highschool! lol no way! That's our attitude. We just want to express our anger not polish and market our anger like it's canned goods.
     
  7. guitarguru777

    guitarguru777 Member

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    What you are referring to is that "IN YOUR FACE" sound that all modern metal production has. They easiest way to alleviate that is to pull the mic away from the guitar cabs another few inches, put more "room" mics in the drum kit, and add more reverb to the final mix.

    Todays production in metal is very IN YOUR FACE and UP FRONT. Thats the sound that was popularized by Pantera (Vulgar Display), Metallica (Black Album), and Producers like Bob Rock, Terry Date, and our own Andy Sneap. Its become a staple nowadays.

    Its not difficult to get away from it, but most "listeners" today expect that in your face sound that the productions of the 80s really didnt deliver. The Black Album is the bench mark for modern metal production. It was RAW, in your face and brutal. No metal album every sounded like that before. Everyone kinda just followed suit after that.

    I love the old Slayer albums, particularly the ones that were done by Rick Rubin. He had no clue how to record metal and just made it up as he went along. Haunting the chapel is still one of my fave's cause its just to raw and rough on the edges.
     
  8. \m/Antisocial\m/

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    Yeah that's what I'm talking about bro. I dont care if listeners want it or not people like that secretly listen to Lady Gaga and R&B anyway! lol we just want to produce a no nonsense old school sounding metal album for real fans of metal.

    Some of those 80's albums have little mistakes here and there. It's like the bands were so angry they couldn't even be bothered to put it right and I think that rules!!! It sounded like they just stormed in there and unleashed hell.

    The "in your face sound" makes metal albums sound gay, it's like those bands are so weak and scrawny they have to hide behind fake-loudness to make up for it. I want none of that for my band
     
  9. guitarguru777

    guitarguru777 Member

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    Seriously, you need to let go of the punch in thing. Its not "more metal" to not use them. you want your music to sound good, not have bad notes. If it has those things then the listeners turn away. You have to realize music is a 2 way street. You have to give the listeners what they want but at the same time keep true to your own musical vision. Its a very delicate balance.

    The metal bands that are still around today from the 80s realized this and thats why they use a more modern metal production now. If you dont care about getting signed, touring, and are content with playing in your garage the rest of your life, by all means stick to your guns and do it your way. but if you plan on getting out there and having fans, and people who actually want to listen to your music you need to make it sounds as good as possible.

    now dont get me wrong that doesnt mean it needs to be played to a click, edited all to hell, and auto-tuned. It just means make sure your parts are as tight as they can be. if that means re-doing rhythm guitar parts to make them sound as tight as possible then do it. If you need to punch in a section do it. There is NOTHING wrong with it. ALL of the metal bands have done it since the invention of multi track recording.


    As for the amps and techniques. if you are planning on going the Marshall JCM 800 / 900 route, I would put an Ibanez Tube Screamer or ProCo Rat Distortion in the front of it as a boost just to get some extra gain.

    As for the Cabinet I would go with a Marshall loaded with GT75 or G12-30 speakers. Single SM57 about 3 inches from the face of the amp dead center on the cone. This should give you a far amount of "air" and make the sound a bit more distant to your liking.
     
  10. RUJoking

    RUJoking Member

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    The more you talk about what you don't like, the more I think the sound you're going for is super easy to achieve. Just don't edit much and don't process much.

    It takes unnatural EQ and compression to get that modern sound. I'm thinking that if you just EQ to taste and don't compress, you should get that sound you're looking for. For the money you'd spend on an enginerr, just get Pro Tools or Cubase or whatever.
     
  11. \m/Antisocial\m/

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    Just because they approach the playing of metal in a boy-band like way doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Modern metal bands sound almost identical to each other and this tells my ears that they're scared of 'not fitting in', well we dont care about fitting in or becoming successful.

    We're happy with our methods, we have a fan base and couldn't want for more. Like I said before, we dont write songs with melodies designed for girls, we play metal, no nonsense thrash metal and that is that lol girls dance to modern metal music therefor it isn't metal, it's pop music

    RUJoking, we have our own DAW and a bunch of recording equipment but I dont understand it. I'm not really into the technical side of things I just want to play but I'm willing to learn, we have no other choice but to learn now anyway we've wasted pretty much all our money in studios lol we were so unhappy with what the engineers did we destroyed the recordings
     
  12. guitarguru777

    guitarguru777 Member

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    Not to be a dick dude but then why are you coming here asking for advice if you aren't going to take it?

    ESPECIALLY when the people that come here are purveyors of the "modern metal" sound.
     
  13. \m/Antisocial\m/

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    I'm not attacking you or anyone else bro! I guess it's easy to put a hostile tone to words on a PC screen and assume the worst. I can see that my language is strong though but this is just the way I am. I've tried several other forums too but haven't really found the answers we're looking for, we're willing to PAY too!!! We will physically pay someone to help guide us or teach us or whatever. We're so frustrated!!!

    I'm just trying anywhere sound-engineering related online. I dont care for Andy Sneaps production methods and never have but at least he doesn't butcher albums like Rick Rubin. I figured there'd be at least one guy here who could give us some good advice is all. There has to be someone or somewhere out there!!!

    I'm sorry if I've rattled any cages and mean no harm. I appreciate the time and energy involved in you guys replying to my messages \m/\m/
     
  14. guitarguru777

    guitarguru777 Member

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    My reply was not meant in a hostile way it was just a legitimate question.

    i think the best place to start is if you could like any one band and album who would you want it to be. That could guide us to giving you tips and tricks to get that sound.
     
  15. \m/Antisocial\m/

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    You're right bro, I shouldn't be asking about this stuff in this place. I saw the words "ultimate metal" and some naive part of me assumed someone here would understand what I'm trying to achieve.

    The advice so far has been incredibly helpful and I'll put it into practice too. I'm just not very bright lol thank's again \m/\m/
     
  16. grywolf627

    grywolf627 Member

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    GG, have to make one correction on your band list: Anthrax. While Scott used JCM 800, that's only half the sound you're hearing. Danny used a Mesa Mark III. That's how I first fell in love with that Marshall/Mesa combination sound. :)

    And definitely, you will most likely want to sample replace your drums, unless you've got a killer engineer. The art of properly micing drums is being lost today. Some Slate stuff as mentioned, I'm finding Superior Avatar can be tweaked for some pretty nice 80's sounds as well. Also look into blending some Alesis D4 snares and kicks in there. ;) And like GG said, you WILL punch in stuff. NO ONE is that good. Like I said yesterday, I'll describe some things for you. I've just been really busy today. But I'll get to it. ;)
     
  17. Robert W

    Robert W Member

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    @Antisocial: You really answered your own question. If you want something done right, and no one else can do it for you, then simply learn to do it yourself.

    Trust me when I tell you I know exactly the "sound" your looking for. Hell, my favourite mixes are Hellhammer's Apocalyptic Raids and Celtic Frost's Morbid Tales.

    As for the "modern metal" sound, I agree w/ you a 100%. It sounds generic and way too sterile, especially the drums.

    Guitarguru777 gave you some really good advice. Get a Marshall JCM 800, and put a tube screamer in front of it. As for a cab, get an older Marshall 4X12.

    As for finding an engineer to do an 80s sounding job, why bother? It would make so much more sense to just learn to record the stuff yourself and get the exact sound you want rather wasting yr money and time trying to get something that no one really wants to give you.

    Also worth considering is this, modern production/mixes are geared towards cds/mp3s/digital everything, whereas 80s stuff was produced and mixed for vinyl. Now if I remember correctly, analog tape was supposed to roll off some of the low end or something like that. So that's something to consider as well.
     
  18. grywolf627

    grywolf627 Member

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    Don't worry about it. It's fine to ask about this here, as there are plenty of us around here that like the stuff you're talking about as well. It's a diverse place. But, when you mention the guitar and drum sounds suck on the latest Megadeth...well...you know...this IS the Andy Sneap forum, right? The guy that recorded/produced that. ;)
     
  19. guitarguru777

    guitarguru777 Member

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    Im just looking for some insight into what you hear in your head really. Thats why I asked for references for material you like the sound of.

    Its tough to give advice when you don't know the sound a person is looking for. I understand you are talking 80s metal, but even in the 80s there was a variety of sounds.

    You had the early Metallica / Megadeth sound. The Anthrax / Testament sound. the mid 80s Master of puppets & killing is my business thing. Then you had the 80s over produced hair metal shit storm.....lol

    Oh and the bass guitarless and justice kind of thing.
     
  20. \m/Antisocial\m/

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    Absolutely!!! That's what I'm talking about bro!!! Is it difficult to learn sound engineering??? You guys must have spent years learning or maybe gone to a special college.

    I hate to play up on stereotypes but I'm not very good with technical things, I can play just fine but when it comes to technical things like sound engineering my brain kind of turns off. However I'm passionate and determined enough to learn, I'm just nervous about doing so. I'm stupid.

    You guys understand things which seem technically foreign and intellectual to me, I mean you must need a PhD in maths or something to do this right? I dont understand what all the numbers on a compressor mean or how it even works. It just makes things louder right? EQ is a no no for me, I just turn the knobs on my amp until it sounds good. I dont understand the graphs and things.

    So far my sound engineering skills are poor but I'm a noob. I'm actually too embarrassed to share some of the mixes I've made because they'd get torn apart in a second lol
     

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