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Experiments w/ new amp - "Radio in Your Head"


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#1 Vectorman

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Posted 17 March 2021 - 11:31 AM

After years of using software sims and "amp in a box" pedals that are either solid state or just have a single preamp tube, I decided to try a full amp head. Picked up an Orange Rocker 15 and a Suhr Reactive Load so I could record silently (using cab IRs in the computer). It's been kind of interesting...the tonality is a little different when you can crank a complete amp and drive things at both the preamp and power tube stages. Guitar is definitely not my main instrument or I would've had real amps long ago, but it's sort of cool to play through a real amp for the first time. Old news for any of the guitarists on here who have had full amp rigs for years and years, but a novelty to me, anyway!

Here's the first thing I've recorded with it. There's a fair variety of tones used, since I was playing around looking to see what kinds of sounds I could get out of it. The initial idea was to do something with a kinda/sorta classic rock vibe, so for the keyboards I stuck to sounds that would've been available circa 1980 or so.


https://www.dropbox....16-bit.wav?dl=0

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#2 stoopid

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Posted 20 March 2021 - 03:38 PM

View PostVectorman, on 17 March 2021 - 11:31 AM, said:

After years of using software sims and "amp in a box" pedals that are either solid state or just have a single preamp tube, I decided to try a full amp head. Picked up an Orange Rocker 15 and a Suhr Reactive Load so I could record silently (using cab IRs in the computer). It's been kind of interesting...the tonality is a little different when you can crank a complete amp and drive things at both the preamp and power tube stages. Guitar is definitely not my main instrument or I would've had real amps long ago, but it's sort of cool to play through a real amp for the first time. Old news for any of the guitarists on here who have had full amp rigs for years and years, but a novelty to me, anyway!

Here's the first thing I've recorded with it. There's a fair variety of tones used, since I was playing around looking to see what kinds of sounds I could get out of it. The initial idea was to do something with a kinda/sorta classic rock vibe, so for the keyboards I stuck to sounds that would've been available circa 1980 or so.


https://www.dropbox....16-bit.wav?dl=0

I've had modest amp setups in the past and/or played through them as part of a project/band, and for home recording don't see their value.  Stacking virtual rack mounted effects, pedals, and virtual amps is plenty for me to dial in a good tone.  Or maybe my tone sucks and I don't realize it.  lol

#3 stoopid

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Posted 20 March 2021 - 03:43 PM

View PostVectorman, on 17 March 2021 - 11:31 AM, said:

Here's the first thing I've recorded with it. There's a fair variety of tones used, since I was playing around looking to see what kinds of sounds I could get out of it. The initial idea was to do something with a kinda/sorta classic rock vibe, so for the keyboards I stuck to sounds that would've been available circa 1980 or so.


https://www.dropbox....16-bit.wav?dl=0

The guitar tone might be a tad too fuzzy for my tastes, but I prefer a bit more aggressive distortion these days.  There's certainly nothing *wrong* with how this sounds.  The guitars just sit too well in the mix, lacking the dynamics I would expect from them in the style they're being played and placement in the mix (hard panned L/R).  The heavier guitars have a 1970s distortion flavor to them, and IMO that was an awkward era for heavier music because the amps/heads available were not muscular enough.  It wasn't until sometime in the 1980s metal and hard rock guitar started to sound appropriate to my ears.

Love the synth that comes in around 3:20  Yeah 80s to say the least  lol

The bass tone is (as always) great though.  Please don't change anything there!

Edited by stoopid, 20 March 2021 - 03:50 PM.


#4 Vectorman

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Posted 20 March 2021 - 10:29 PM

Thanks for listening and sharing your observations! It's definitely useful since I'm better versed in synth and piano-driven arrangements than I am in guitar tones.

It's kind of cool that you heard the crunch guitar parts as having a '70s flavor, as that's what I was shooting for on this. The last few weeks, I've been watching some of those "classic albums" documentaries...Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, The Who, etc., and it kind of had me in that headspace. I'm a bit fascinated with that right now since, strange as it undoubtedly sounds, there's a LOT from the '70s I've never delved into. Apart from Rush, I hardly have any '70s classic rock albums - I only just bought my first Pink Floyd album (DSotM) last year. So that enormous body of music that most people on a Rush board have probably been very familiar with since they were teens, I'm only now discovering.

Btw, the bass sound on this is just my Lakland JO4 plugged direct into the interface. There's a bit of plugin compression and EQ on it, but nothing drastic, and no overdrive or amp sim at all. That bass has a nice midrange bark to it. I bought a USA Geddy Jazz a couple of years ago and sent it back because the Lakland, oddly enough, had more of that aggressive Geddy-esque midrange that punches through than the GL Jazz did.

(I'll check out your newest recordings tomorrow when I can turn up the speakers again - my better half is already asleep.)

#5 stoopid

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Posted 20 March 2021 - 10:54 PM

View PostVectorman, on 20 March 2021 - 10:29 PM, said:

Thanks for listening and sharing your observations! It's definitely useful since I'm better versed in synth and piano-driven arrangements than I am in guitar tones.

It's kind of cool that you heard the crunch guitar parts as having a '70s flavor, as that's what I was shooting for on this. The last few weeks, I've been watching some of those "classic albums" documentaries...Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, The Who, etc., and it kind of had me in that headspace. I'm a bit fascinated with that right now since, strange as it undoubtedly sounds, there's a LOT from the '70s I've never delved into. Apart from Rush, I hardly have any '70s classic rock albums - I only just bought my first Pink Floyd album (DSotM) last year. So that enormous body of music that most people on a Rush board have probably been very familiar with since they were teens, I'm only now discovering.

Btw, the bass sound on this is just my Lakland JO4 plugged direct into the interface. There's a bit of plugin compression and EQ on it, but nothing drastic, and no overdrive or amp sim at all. That bass has a nice midrange bark to it. I bought a USA Geddy Jazz a couple of years ago and sent it back because the Lakland, oddly enough, had more of that aggressive Geddy-esque midrange that punches through than the GL Jazz did.

(I'll check out your newest recordings tomorrow when I can turn up the speakers again - my better half is already asleep.)

They're not a source for heavier guitar tones (although there are a few tracks that have some fuzz), regardless you should give Steely Dan some spins.  I knew of their radio hits mostly and recently dove deeper, and I'm now among the growing consensus that they're one of the handful of √©lite bands from that era.

Definitely the similarity to Geddy's 80s bass tone I'm enjoying, he had some great bass sound from PeW through RtB.  He's always had great bass tone, but that era in particular is exactly where your bass sound is nailing it.  It's a very flexible tone for rock/prog IMO.

#6 Vectorman

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Posted 21 March 2021 - 10:51 AM

View Poststoopid, on 20 March 2021 - 10:54 PM, said:

They're not a source for heavier guitar tones (although there are a few tracks that have some fuzz), regardless you should give Steely Dan some spins.  I knew of their radio hits mostly and recently dove deeper, and I'm now among the growing consensus that they're one of the handful of √©lite bands from that era.

Definitely the similarity to Geddy's 80s bass tone I'm enjoying, he had some great bass sound from PeW through RtB.  He's always had great bass tone, but that era in particular is exactly where your bass sound is nailing it.  It's a very flexible tone for rock/prog IMO.

Coincidentally enough, I also just picked up my first Steely Dan album (Aja) a couple of weeks ago. I'd had people tell me some of the more semi-jazzy moments in stuff I had done reminded them a little bit of Steely Dan (though I guess that kind of jazz/fusion-esque influence came to me more by way of Bruce Hornsby), so I figured I should check it out. I'd heard "Peg" and one of the other tracks on the radio like everybody else, but most of it was new to me.

#7 stoopid

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Posted 22 March 2021 - 05:17 PM

Black Cow's a great track!  As a bassist you will hear pure genius in the session players they used.

Fwiw, all I ever hear in your compositions is Rush rush rush rush rush rush rush... and Rush.  lol

Not a bad thing, as it's certainly uniquely your own thing based on their brand of busy bass (and sometimes synth) heavy prog, and a style I enjoy in particular.

Edited by stoopid, 22 March 2021 - 05:20 PM.





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