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Tips on getting that modern hard rock sound?
Old 31st December 2002
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
just like to butt in here...

ok. im not a pro or anything but i don't think people are answering the original question.

in my experience of hardcore stuff, ti ain't about 'big' guitar sounds in the normal sense... to me it sounds more like traditional slashed cone type sounds, distorted and grainy.

theres a *big* difference between numetal/metal/industrial or whatever, and the modern 'hardcore' scene, which is essentially just an extension of the 1980s DC punk scene - started by bands like minor threat, and to some extent the dead kennedys... nowadays snapcase (although theyre getting on a bit now), boysetsfire, fugazi (in ethic if not in sound).

get them to describe themselves then get some cds by the bands they say. i think you'll find they sound quite different to how you expect, and while some bands use rectifiers i dont think its usual. a bit of essential hardcore listening for ya... (all quite 'classic' now)

sick of it all - yours truly
snapcase - progression through unlearning
boysetsfire - after the eulogy
grade - the inneficaincy of emotion
refused - the shape of punk to come (actually this is a bloody ACE album which everyone should own :p)
minor threat - out of step
dag nasty - can i say

as an aside, theres 1001 different types of hardcore, all ending in -core. although tis easy to get them mixed up with emo subgenres too. examples...

metal-core (hardcore screaming, metal guitars, silly riffs. think killswitch engage and converge)
noise-core (very nasty noisy stuff. think combat wounded veteran, to some extent agorophobic nosebleed, festival of dead deer...)
post-hardcore (more mellow with a similar edge. fugazi, q and not u. basically some of the more recent dischord stuff.)
emo-core (emotional hardcore. shutdown, jerry built)
zombie-core (dress up like zombies. send more paramedics (uk band) think is how silly it gets...)

as ya can see it a bloody complex field filed with subgenres within subgenres, all with a pretty distinct sound. get them to describe themselves, till tell you more than anything else

good luck!
Old 1st January 2003
Gear Head
Lars FM's Avatar
🎧 15 years
He was actually speaking about the sound that bands like POD have

Old 1st January 2003
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
well pod ain't a hardcore band... :p
Old 1st January 2003
Gear Maniac
nemisis633's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Whether or not they're a hardcore band is really irrelevant. They do have that hardcore guitar sound. At least I think so anyway. But then again, I am the one asking the question =)

Old 1st January 2003
Lives for gear
jeronimo's Avatar
Well, I really don't think that we're talking about bands that are hardcore style... but we're talking about bands that have agressive guitars. By the way, most of the bands you mentioned doesn't have the heaviest guitar tones around... I love snapcase, but to me, they're more like spending time creating very cool guitar parts than spending time to get the heaviest, dirtyest tones...
Old 1st January 2003
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
well id say 'the hardcore guitar sound' would be possesed by bands that have 'the hardcore style' . they ain't all about big guitars like i said. if you're recording a hardcore band (like you said) then thats my reccomendation, if you're going for a big guitar sound thats a toatlly different thing.. just making it clear
Old 2nd January 2003
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Having worked with the Cro-Mags and Rocky from Suicidal Tendencies I'd have to say that most of it is the player. Those guys usually dialed up a medium to high gain amp, not deafeningly loud but we were pushing some air through one 4x12. Roll back the bass, add some mids and enough top and presence to add some bite and definition. If it matters, I remember Rocky had the gain on the Dual Recto about half-way up unless he was doing a solo, then it was a little bit higher. The mids were almost half way up, usually between 11 and noon or 1-ish. We had the solid state recto and the bold switch on. Solos got tube and/or spongy. The cab was a regular JCM900 slant with the crappy Celestion 75's. I also rolled off lots of bottom on the guitars, high passed to maybe 100 or 150hz and on some songs I added a little peak around 120 to give them some meat but keep the low end clean. You want definition, not mush and it's really ****in' easy to get mush.

I usually had a few mics on the 4x12. Always a 57 and 421 with the capsules aligned, some kind of mic about 3-5' off the center of the cab aimed at the logo and maybe one or two other mics which varied from session to session. Sometimes a TLM 103, Baby Bottle, D112 or Oktava MC012 with a cardiod cap. The distant mic was usually the Sank 260DX, but it might also have been a 414 in fig 8 or omni. We built a little tent around that mic so the cab fired into it and we didn't get a ton of room sound. Various mic pres were used all coming into the console at -3VU to 0VU (average) and blended together to one buss, then tape. 456 at +6/185 15ips which wasn't my choice but that's a whole other ****in' story.
Old 2nd January 2003
Lives for gear
Knox's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Having worked with the Cro-Mags and Rocky from Suicidal Tendencies I'd have to say that most of it is the player.
I have posted this before but . . It is always funny to me how the GREAT players have THEIR sound no matter what amp or guitar you give them. We had some benefit once where all these hot shot and famous guitarists came up and did a song or two. They all played through a Marshall stack if I remember. Everyone played straight guitar into rig . .without their HUGE effects or Bradshaw rigs. Some guys really sucked without their rigs. The great players still sounded like themselves. David Gilmour blew EVERYONE away though and I remember he was playing a Roland guitar synth but not as a synth . . . it just happened to be the only guitar he had in NY. He sounded like Gilmour! A real gentleman too. So yea. . . . most of it really is the player.
Old 2nd January 2003
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Damn, I ****ed up the first line of that. It should have been;

Having worked with the Cro-Mags and Rocky from Suicidal Tendencies and people a bunch of people who want to sound like them I'd have to say that most of it is the player.

Why? They used my amp and cab. Same mics, same room, same engineer. Besides the player the only other thing that changed was the guitar, but an Ibanez to an Ibanez to an ESP ain't that much of a change as long as the guitar is still well made and not a $1500 ax to a $150 ax. Rocky even played my Schecter on a few clean parts and it still sounded like him. Some chucklehead 17 year old comes in and plugs into the same rig with the same settings and wouldn't ya' know it. Sounds like a completely different player. And that actually happened, they were here for a few days and left. The next band came in and I didn't have a chance to break the guitar rig down so he started with the same settings that those guys had.

I remember working at a NYC guitar show and hearing different players demo'ing and jamming all day. Paul Smith (yeah, that PRS) got up and played, Vernon Reid played, Leslie West played etc. all through the same Marshall half stack and they all sounded wildly different.
Old 2nd January 2003
Lives for gear
groundcontrol's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I was at a jam session at a Sony party some years ago and Angus Young from AC/DC came up to play some. He was using the cheapy backline stuff that was rented for the party (I think it was a strat with lace sensors and a little Peavey!!! ) and when he started "Dirty Deeds", you'd have sworn that he had his SG and Marshall... heh heh That was a fun night!
Old 2nd January 2003
Lives for gear
bassmac's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I once saw EVH play out of a 1x12 combo, same result... sounded like Eddie. heh
Old 2nd January 2003
Gear Maniac
cram's Avatar
🎧 15 years
which is essentially just an extension of the 1980s DC punk scene - started by bands like minor threat,
Umm, I'm not trying to start a fight, but this would only be accurate if you were to ignore the bands listed below. If you were trying to say that Minor Threat started the Straight-Edge scene, o.k., sure. But, not Hard Core by any stretch of the imagination.

The Accused
Napalm Death
Die Kreuzen
Black Flag
Millions of Dead Cops
Anger Overload

And a bunch of other bands that have slipped my memory.

I'm entirely with you when it comes to the difference in guitar sounds. The Hard Core that I grew up knowing and loving had more to do with the message than with the guitar tone.

I really miss the strong messages of Hard Core. Self-reliance, defiance of authority, strong community based on mutual self-interest, anarchy, etc. I don't know if I'm just old, but I don't hear anything like that anymore. I do like Snapcase, but after a while it just sounds like complaining. Where's the bootstrapping?
Old 2nd January 2003
Gear Head
Lars FM's Avatar
🎧 15 years
And don't forget a few European bands as well.

Anyway, i know that Hardcore is used in a different context today, than it was a few decades ago (ie. Hardcore punk). The original question was how to get the modern hard rock sound, like P.O.D and those bands, not very Hardcore punk-ish at all......
Damn, does that mean that a Boss DS-1 into a Sound City 120w head (cheap useless junk in those days) won't work anymore?rollz
Old 3rd January 2003
Lives for gear
jeronimo's Avatar
Ohhh yeah... noew we're totally OT...
Old 3rd January 2003
Gear Head
Fat Cat's Avatar
🎧 15 years
just a few points to make:

A great modern hard rock sound must have a great bass sound as well as great guitars, the two sounds have to work as a whole.

Doubled or quadrupled guitars always make the guitarist happy, but that much distortion can really cloud up the whole mix which could easily bury the drums, etc...
Tool didn't double hardly any of their guitars and it sounds great.

For hard rock, always smash the hell out of the drums with compression and limiting, let's face it, we just have to if the cd is gonna compete in the loudness wars.

Put your ear directly in front of the speaker as you set up the mic. Often times guitar players crank the highs and get a thin sound on the recording because they don't listen to the speaker directly. Don't make this mistake, get your head down there where the mic is, or put the speaker up where your ears are.

Poor bass players sound better than they are when you mic the bass cab, so if the bassist is not so good, mic his cab, it will help.

Unless you are recording to tape, use tube preamps with most of your drum mics. A little harmonic distortion on each drum track goes a long way toward getting that fat rock sound, especially after you compress the kit.

Finally, In order for something to sound huge, we need something small to compare it to. So volume dynamics are important, as are thin eq vs. fat eq adjustments.

I'm sure I've missed many points, but hopefully these few will help you get a better modern rock sound.

Almost forgot,... it dosn't matter what guitar amp you use as long as at least 3 people(preferably guitarist, producer, and enginneer) really like the sound.

Happy New Year!!!
Old 21st January 2003
Gear Nut
jagarinec's Avatar
🎧 15 years
if youΒ΄re interested what some (famous) guitar players use on stage ...


really funny site
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