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Metalcore, downtuned guitars - what gear and production tips?
Old 3rd February 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Metalcore, downtuned guitars - what gear and production tips?

I'm currently liking the UK band Architects a lot. One of their songs guitars are tuned down to G#(!). I've been told it's a seven-string 27'' barytone guitar tuned half a step down, then a further step on the low string (but that's all I have, googling turned up nothing).

Yet their production is as clear, deep and punchy as I figure it can be. Another British band Sikth comes to mind as well in terms of a down-tuned, high-gain wall-of-sound guitar sound that still allows modern, melodic nu-metal elements to shine through. Any idea about the guitar gear used for such?
Old 3rd February 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
organsymphony's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I think Korn are a good example of this. Not on their earlier stuff, but definitely on their latest two albums they've managed to keep a lot of definition in the guitars, avoiding excessive muddyness but still having a lovely low end growl.

I'd have to disagree with "high gain" though... i really don't think the gain is kranked too much. Relatively low gain sounds for the upfront tracks, and then a higher gain, muddier track somewhere at the back of the mix for a bit of sizzle to it.

Maybe you should check out bands like Nile and Behemoth, especially Behemoth, its interesting to listen to how their tone is sculpted through double tracking drastically different tones... and its awesome :D Niles tone is generally just really muddy... but the musics still nice and pleasant


i dont have any hints on gear though
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
uptheoctave's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I am producing a metalcore band at the moment.

It isn't much different to a band at regular tuning.
You just use different high/low cut points and massage the mix a bit differently.
A lot of the magic seems to coming in how the guitars are arranged, rather than mixed.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for your replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by organsymphony ➡️
I think Korn are a good example of this. Not on their earlier stuff, but definitely on their latest two albums they've managed to keep a lot of definition in the guitars, avoiding excessive muddyness but still having a lovely low end growl.

I'd have to disagree with "high gain" though... i really don't think the gain is kranked too much. Relatively low gain sounds for the upfront tracks, and then a higher gain, muddier track somewhere at the back of the mix for a bit of sizzle to it.

Maybe you should check out bands like Nile and Behemoth, especially Behemoth, its interesting to listen to how their tone is sculpted through double tracking drastically different tones... and its awesome :D Niles tone is generally just really muddy... but the musics still nice and pleasant


i dont have any hints on gear though
Well, it's still 'high gain' in my book compared to any other kind of music. I'm not into death metal anymore - I find the musical clichés and cookie monster vox annoying.

Would still like to hear if anyone knows the studio gear used by Architects, Sikth and the like.
Old 3rd February 2009
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
I'd probably reccomend recording with the head in the control room and the cab in a seperate room and EQ the sound from there with a couple (or 3) mics that are phase aligned. This way the guitarist wont be so inclined to just boost the low end too much as they would in the room with the cab. A really good head (Diezel, Bogner) and high quality cab and you should get a tight, high gain sound with enough work. Bit of high and low passing and bob's yer uncle.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by boulty ➡️
I'd probably reccomend recording with the head in the control room and the cab in a seperate room and EQ the sound from there with a couple (or 3) mics that are phase aligned. This way the guitarist wont be so inclined to just boost the low end too much as they would in the room with the cab. A really good head (Diezel, Bogner) and high quality cab and you should get a tight, high gain sound with enough work. Bit of high and low passing and bob's yer uncle.
Obviously everyone has their own techniques, but I think setting out to have 3 mics phase alligned and talking about EQ is a bit heavy.

99% of my projects are just 1 sm57, properly positioned and I really wouldn't want anything else from the tone. I'd really try and get the sound as perfect as possible and only use the EQ for HP and LP if possible.

Also amp wise.....Diezel and Bogner are no doubt good amps, but the difference in price won't give you a better tone - just a different one (and usually more options).

A peavey 5150/6505 is on more metalcore albums than you could possibly think of and you could pick up a couple for the price of those expensive amps. 5150, Krank, Mesa are all perfect for metalcore stuff - also cabs with v30's are great.

You'll want to quantize the drums pretty heavily, make sure the guitars and bass lock into the kicks. You will also be wanting to use samples with the drums, to at least augment them to give them that solid consistency.
Old 3rd February 2009
  #7
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
You could try recording the guitar(s) clean with a DI, then reamp the track to set up the tone to work with the song later.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by machinated ➡️
Obviously everyone has their own techniques, but I think setting out to have 3 mics phase alligned and talking about EQ is a bit heavy.
By EQ I meant the head and not sticking an API or something into the chain. All I meant is that it's easier to dial the tone from the monitors than sat in front of a screaming guitar cab.

I tend to use two mics when I have the time (not usually a luxury as most bands try and book as little time as possible and are ridiculously impatient when you are trying to get the tone right), a 57 or i5 can be ok but usually I find it won't cut through just on its own without a few layers so a second mic can definitely help thicken it up.

The only EQ I usually do afterwards is high and low pass unless a band were particularly impatient and then I have to try and alter it in the mix which rarely works.

Also you would be shocked how hard it is to get hold of a 5150 these days, it seems they are gold dust which is kinda ironic considering about 7 or so years ago they were all over the place.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by boulty ➡️
By EQ I meant the head and not sticking an API or something into the chain. All I meant is that it's easier to dial the tone from the monitors than sat in front of a screaming guitar cab.

I tend to use two mics when I have the time (not usually a luxury as most bands try and book as little time as possible and are ridiculously impatient when you are trying to get the tone right), a 57 or i5 can be ok but usually I find it won't cut through just on its own without a few layers so a second mic can definitely help thicken it up.

The only EQ I usually do afterwards is high and low pass unless a band were particularly impatient and then I have to try and alter it in the mix which rarely works.

Also you would be shocked how hard it is to get hold of a 5150 these days, it seems they are gold dust which is kinda ironic considering about 7 or so years ago they were all over the place.
Yeah should have guessed you were talking about the amp EQ. Also, the 'Studio Fredman' style micing can work quite well for this stuff (2 sm57's in a kind of V shape with one pointing dead on the speaker and the other at 45 degrees). Just got to watch for phase (to make sure the right frequencies are phasing out and not the important ones).

5150's are now built under the 6505 name (5150=6505, 5150II=6505+). They are EXACTLY the same as their older named counterparts, just had to change the name to suit EVH. I picked mine up brand new for £600 - far cheaper than any other amp I'd consider for heavier stuff.

Also a common thing with this type of music is to run a tubescreamer before the amp. The TS will remove some low end and top end and really tighten the sound up - crucial for mesa amps (I wouldn't go near one for this stuff without a TS), 6505's, Kranks etc. ENGL amps doesn't really benefit from TS's in most cases, but I find ENGL's tend to have more quirky, unique kinds of tones than your typical metal sound.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Get a 5150. Super cheap and one of the best for this type of stuff. I'm surprised someone said they're hard to find... they're everywhere in my area. I got one with a roadcase for $600... it's my 2nd 5150. I think anyone who records a lot of metal should have one at their studio.
As long as you put some effort and time into finding the right mic position, a 57 is all you need. Record a DI track along with the amp. This will make it easier to do any edits and you can reamp later if needed.
Making sure the guitars are super tight is the biggest thing. Drums are always 100% to the grid and if they players aren't good, so are the GTR and bass.

The new Architects record sounds pretty good, but I didn't think the guitars sounded that great. Really fizzy, sounds like too much gain... hard to even tell what they're playing sometimes.
Less gain = clearer guitars = bigger, punchier mix.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Nut
 
liquidtension47's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by organsymphony ➡️
I'd have to disagree with "high gain" though... i really don't think the gain is kranked too much. Relatively low gain sounds for the upfront tracks, and then a higher gain, muddier track somewhere at the back of the mix for a bit of sizzle to it.
thats exactly what i was going to say. most of those "huge" metal guitar sounds you here today are comprised of many low gain tracks with very few high gain tracks thrown in there.

id suggest recording a DI track along with the amp. that way if you decide on a different tone later, you can re-amp till the sun sets.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
bgrotto's Avatar
I do a lotta doomy, sludgy, stoner-y metal, which, while not quite metalcore, tends towards downtuned guitars.

The main things you gotta nail are:

1. a really good player (duh)
2. a properly set-up guitar, set-up for the tuning it's being used for

Good playing and a good setup will eliminate intonation problems and consequently the mud. It'll also make for tighter performances, which of course helps keep things, well, tighter.heh

As for amps, well, most anything works. I've used everything from Plexis to Double and Triple Rectifiers to (most recently) an Egnater Rebel 20 (which was ****ing great, by the way!).

I tend to start with either a 57 and a TLM170 or a 57 and a 421. 9 outta 10 times one of those combos works. Room mics are cool, too, at least for the stuff I do. Probably less useful for tighter, in-your-face-er metalcore stuff.

Remember this too: half of a good guitar sound is a good bass sound! Especially with detuned guitars. A lotta folks (myself included, from time to time), actually record the bass last to ensure a suitable sound.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Yeah, forgot to say about the bass - sansamp is the way to go to get that kind of clunky distorted bass sound. I think the low end should be very controlled on the bass, so make sure you use a decent quality bass to track with (and get the bassist to play HARD to get the notes to poke through).

In fact, guitars, bass and drums should all be played really hard - it really makes the music jump out of the speakers.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Lotta thanks for the replies, very useful info here.

Who do you think has the best 'raw' technical metalcore sound? I agree about the Architects being overgained and not that interesting in the tone department, but all I've got is mp3 anyway.

Oh, and I'm hearing lots of bass bombs on the Architects. What's the production rundown on these?

Thanks again!
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
LeMauce's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SRFProductions ➡️
You could try recording the guitar(s) clean with a DI, then reamp the track to set up the tone to work with the song later.
+1 and layer re-amp take's. 1 clean, 2 bit more distr. 3, open and hardcore. Do this for left and right (so 6 tracks or even more) and mix them together. Layer of with tracks will give you a WALL of git sound.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
don´t want to be more than clever , but.... :-)

helll,

1. Setup the guitars. Many players don´t know what they do. If you got a palm mute hitting the neck, it will produce bass peaks by hitting wood that you won´t get rid of easyily
If the guitars got no, well how is it called in english if you press flagole at 12th and than the note.... you´re out of serious business...
replace sloppy strings and so on
2. what if the guitar guy doesn´t have it...tell him to play more to the bridge? tell him to use 1.0s and no 0.6s? Try, it is much. IF he can´t nail it, well, phone, do yourself, or let the band tell you they wanted iced earth....
3. many amps, etc... first push amp to shake with the soeaker&mic, than push preamp until it ends distortion before next hit chaka-chaka-chaka--

3b some maps are shxt, get the good ones, when found read "mixing with your mind" and do it like this.

Peace 666
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