Am I becoming a tonal dinosaur? Modern metal tone

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by farren, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Yeah, definitely one of my favorite tones of all time.

    My ALL time favorite is the main riff of Ratt’s “Lay it Down.” As far as I’m concerned, the 90s was a lost decade of metal. I hated everything that came out, for the most part.

    But farren, are you talking about when you’re playing at home, or listening to music / in a band setting? If I’m playing at home, nothing is more fun that a modded JCM800 with a scooped EQ or a Mark IV scooped EQ tone. But in a band setting, that ends up sounding too hollow and fizzy to me. It might sound odd, but in addition to that VH and Ratt tone, I also like bulb’s tone off of Periphery I. And I think it’s just because of how it sits in the mix. I hate his tone on amp demos, but love it when it’s recorded. And when I try to reproduce a good mid-centric guitar-in-mix sound at home, I have to scoop the EQ a bit.
     
  2. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Yeah, definitely one of my favorite tones of all time.

    My ALL time favorite is the main riff of Ratt’s “Lay it Down.” As far as I’m concerned, the 90s was a lost decade of metal. I hated everything that came out, for the most part.

    But farren, are you talking about when you’re playing at home, or listening to music / in a band setting? If I’m playing at home, nothing is more fun that a modded JCM800 with a scooped EQ or a Mark IV scooped EQ tone. But in a band setting, that ends up sounding too hollow and fizzy to me. It might sound odd, but in addition to that VH and Ratt tone, I also like bulb’s tone off of Periphery I. And I think it’s just because of how it sits in the mix. I hate his tone on amp demos, but love it when it’s recorded. And when I try to reproduce a good mid-centric guitar-in-mix sound at home, I have to scoop the EQ a bit.
     
  3. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    Ratt's material from 81-91 was fucking great. Even the new track, Nobody Rides for Free, on the 81-91 best of. From what I understand, Lynch and DeMartini were both renting the same Marshall for albums, and were trying to outdo each other, particularly in the tone department. I would assume they are using Greenbacks, and they sound killer. That said, I think George Lynch is using something in addition to Greenbacks.

    As for the 90s in general, fuck it. A few good bands, a few decent to cool albums, but mostly a load of junk. Though, if you venture outside of those genres that were popular in the 80s like hair metal, thrash metal, etc., there were quite a few bands like Cannibal Corpse, Death, and even some black metal bands that were doing some cool stuff if you're into extreme music. None of it had the killer tones and equally killer playing as that from the 80s, though.

    And I don't scoop the mids, ever. I hate it for the most part. If I want it to sound more "recorded," I'll set the treble at 12:00 or perhaps scoop them a bit. If necessary, I'll Autumn daylight savings time the mids. ie, turning them back an hour from say 2:00 to 1:00.
     
  4. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Yeah, good point about the more underground metal in the 90s. There was some really good stuff then. But nothing you’d hear on the radio, or in general out and about. I even felt let down with Metallica’s 90s stuff. I was so into Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, etc, and just never really got into the black album.
     
  5. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    I've never actually listened to any of the Hagar material so I'll check out F.U.C.K
     
  6. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    It also wasn't party music, which was why metal was so popular and fun in the 80s. Once the 90s hit, everything was fucking dreary and dreadful. Third rate Black Sabbath wannabes trying to peddle doom and gloom to a bunch of disillusioned youngsters who have been raised by the television and suffer from what I called "Can't Keep Up with the Jones Depression Syndrome." They see shit on TV, realize their life is nothing like that, and feel like they aren't normal, when it's the garbage they're watching that isn't normal.
     
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  7. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    [​IMG]

    By the way, F.U.C.K. is a Soldano SLO. I'm not sure if it was the album or the tour for said album, but OU812 may've been an 800 after the Plexi started to shit the bed and needed to be gone over. From what I understand, a few amp makers have gone over Eddie's original Plexi, and all have said it was basically just a bone stock Marshall. Crank it, Variac'd, and most important: boosted with an Echoplex, and that's basically the bulk of Eddie's tone. Don't forget a PAF and you're pretty much there. At points he may've used a JB, 59, or some sort of Duncan pickup, but the verdict is still out on that one, and pretty debated. Apparently around 79 or 80, he needed a pickup either fixed or made for Bumblebee, and Duncan did so, which I think is offered as a custom shop model. Later, around 5150 era, he may've used the aforementioned JB, 59, or whatever.

    And now that that tangent is over...
     
  8. farren

    farren SS.org Regular

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    Wow, hating '90s metal. I'm stunned. Let me recover my composure a bit...

    Ok, I'm good. :p

    I'm talking about all of the above, really--practice tones around the house, studio tones, live tones. I think I mentioned in the OP that I appreciate that more mids are needed to cut live/in a recording (and especially when you have really low-tuned guitars competing with bass/kick, or multiple guitars of any tuning with similar tone that require differentiation) and like you say, it can sit just right in a mix, but those are the kinds of tone that often do not sound quite right standalone. And yet, I hear people using them as standalone tones more often. The more extreme middy tones, on the other hand, sound shitty to me even in a final mix...

    Now that I think about it, the conflation of standalone tone and mix tone might have something to do with the prevalence of AxeFX/Kemper/Bias and sharing patches intended for recording purposes which end up being used for practice and everything else. Like others have said, a lot of tone preference is just what you're used to, and with preset-based modelers (and in my experience synths), it's easy to settle on a preset and adapt to it. I'm sure this is only a minor factor at best, but it's something I hadn't considered before.
     
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  9. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoils = tr00

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    Interesting thread! I think there's a few reasons that together make modern metal so uninteresting to me:
    - Every instrument needs to be super clear, whatever crazy EQ and compression it takes
    - When everything's that clear, everyone can hear the slightest mistake so it's edited to robot perfection
    - When everything is that perfect, the band wants everything to be at the forefront. "Listen to how tight my 16ths on the ride are!!" "Hey, over here, listen to how tight my palm mutes are instead!" "Nonono, listen to how huge my bass tone is instead, fuck those guys!"

    I'm not too worried about it though, it's an exciting time for music right now and I'm hearing new stuff I love every day. Turns out I'm not gonna be a devout metal head for the rest of my life, but so what, I'm writing this on what is likely the last Apple computer I'll buy. Things you like change, so just find new things you like when that happens :)
     
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  10. exo

    exo SS.org Regular

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    Well, I'm likely to listen to "metal" till the day I die.....but the first half of your post is pretty spot on. That "robotic precision" thing in so much modern music just kills me....UNLESS the genre or project absolutely calls for it. There's a lot of stuff out there that's popular that feels like I just wanna say "EDIT LESS! PLAY MORE!!!!" Those little imperfections, like the ever so slightly off time bit in Master of Puppets, or the way Orion's tempo walks around a little bit.....those are what allow music to breathe and be "alive".


    Might just be that a good portion of my dislike of "5150 blended with........" type tones stems from an association with music that is just "too precise" on the production end of things for me.....food for thought.

    Cool thread, first time in a long time I've actually tried to analyze "why" certain tones appeal to me, and it's not a simple answer.....
     
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  11. couverdure

    couverdure No Gear Day

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    I actually like the more "loose" sounding tone of the Dual Rectifier over those ultra-tight 5150+OD+gate (or probably an ENGL) type of sound that's present in a lot of newer metal. It also helps that the amp is also used a lot outside of metal because of its versatility.
     
  12. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoils = tr00

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    I think another aspect of it is that lots of metal is written on computers rather than in the rehearsal space these days. The great thing about writing/arranging together in a room is, to quote my bass player: "It doesn't sound good? Well play better then!" :lol: If it sounds muddy in the rehearsal space, maybe playing an octave up/down or playing 8ths instead of 16ths is what's needed to clear up the mix, maybe you need to play a little off beat to let the bass out, it's easy to find out and it'll translate great onto a record. But if you write in a computer, and use EQ, compression, samples and editing to get it all to fit together, chances are that the arrangement doesn't stand very well on its own.
     
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  13. exo

    exo SS.org Regular

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    I'll be blunt honest, I've never actually been in a band, and any "recording" I've done hasn't been much more than "GarageBand hacked together on a iPhone", so yeah it's "digital sims", but I've been inherently limited by the capabilities of working from an IOS device, and I simply CAN'T do the type of refinement and editing that a "modern studio" or even most folks working from a desktop with a bunch of plugins at their disposal can.

    I'd never even tried to lock in multiple tracks to a click before February of this year. I'm not exactly "tight" doing it either.

    I STILL find I'm more pleased by the tones (Apple fake Marshall with treble booster on one side, Apple fake recto with the same booster on the other) than I am a shit-ton of modern recordings.......and while I would never classify my rudimentary attempts as "great tone", because it's obviously NOT, I'm beginning to think there's more to "awesome tone" than simply the tone.....
     
  14. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    I'm tired of super perfect bullshit music. Everything is right on the beat, and few players have swagger, attitude, or vibe. A great player knows when to play slightly behind the beat, right on the beat, or just ahead of the beat to push and pull a song. Maybe everyone needs to go back to doing drugs or something, because this new shit just ain't cutting the mustard.
     
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  15. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Music used to be more collaborative. By snapping each drum hit to the grid, recording guitar bits one-note-at-a-time and at half speed, and autotuning the shit out of the vocalist, I think that collaboration has simply shifted from the musicians to the engineers and the DAW software and plugins.

    When MIDI started taking the keyboard world by storm, I recall hearing someone say that music would one day become machines performing for other machines. While MIDI isn't exactly why or how that happened, it seems like it happened anyway.
     
  16. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoils = tr00

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    Speaking of, I find it pretty funny that so many modern metal producers/musicians tear their hair out over programmed drums, orchestral samples etc. sounding "fake" yet they go through a ton of trouble making their guitars, bass and vocals sound programmed :lol: Like sure, spend a day "humanizing" your Superior Drummer midi but if your guitars are surgically time stretched and your growls are quad tracked and autotuned and vocaligned, why are you worried about your drums sounding fake? :lol:
     
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  17. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    It'd make sense, especially when you hear them live, and they sound jack shit all like the record.
     
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  18. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    Agreed. The entire production already sounds faker than Pamela Anderson's tits look, so what difference, at this point, does it make?
     
  19. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Everything moves in cycles.
     
  20. farren

    farren SS.org Regular

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    Oh shit, now we're seriously dating ourselves...
     

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