Hi guys. Are you I'm steve it's, like he said, uh and, uh, thanks to all the great guys here, creative live having me here tio teaches class on getting guitar sounds so I get this question all the time. Uh, you know, be a website, steve it's, dot com or even on facebook and twitter people write me and ask me teo well, I'm in a band and I have, you know, I play this kind of music I play, you know, like melodic medal or I play whatever technical medal play, pop punk or anything in the oh, well, how do you you know what? What do you think I should use for guitar sound? What do you what do you think? Or they'll safe? I have, you know, I have this amp and I have this and, you know, I know that such and such person used used a you know, a mesa boogie on this record and, like, what settings did you did you use? Like what? Can you tell me what you used? Can you tell me you know what you did to get that guitar sound? And, you know, when I really think about it, I mean there's so many variables ...
and, you know, half the time for me it's so instinctual just because I guess because of all the years I've been doing it I go I don't know you know like I just I never really think about it I go oh well I just so a couple of mikes and turn knobs until it sounds good you know but so it was very interesting when they talked to me about doing this class because I am I had to basically deconstruct my thought process and I never like I said I never really think about it I just kind of like oh, you know turn the knobs okay this sounds good that sounds good let's try this head let's try this case let's try this cabinet you know it's there's no like well, we need to do this we need to do that I just do it so I had to really break down my thought process and try and compartmentalize it a little bit too teo explain it to people because not everybody knows and there's no right answer to what makes a great guitar sound because it's like you know they they asked me the question to go how do I get this sound cycle okay, well, what type of player you do you how do you pick the guitar? What type of guitar do you have, what what type of guitar had to use what type of strings to use what's the tuning of the guitar there's you know that there's what type of mike's do you have? Do you have a four twelve cabinet? You have a two twelve cabinet there's there's just so many things involved that you know it's the combination of one or all it's you know there's no right answer and every approach is going to be different and it's really whatever works for you and the stuff I'm doing the things that I'm going to teach today they're always there a guy their road map there's you know there is no right answer because it's what's right for me could be very wrong for you for that for whatever you're doing the same setup in just, you know and it's based on the player to because you know ben I've been then ben's somebody else can play pickup ben's guitar, play through ben's sam and play a dillinger song and it's not going to sound like him it's a lot of it comes from the player and a lot of that that's another part of it that will delve into is really working with the player in the studio and, you know, adjusting techniques or telling him certain things are making him aware of certain things that he could be doing that's going to achieve what you're looking for um so that's really it seems like every approach is going to be different and we'll we'll delve into a few different approaches we have ah a number of different amps here number different cabinets a number of different microphones and I'll be showing some of the differences between the microphones and um yeah it's really just ah also we'll be showing some different techniques between the microphones like a couple different making techniques were using multiple mike's I mean you even said griffin you said like you put a couple of mike's on I'm on a small combo amp you know and you know but you also said that sometimes you try one mike and one might can work you know sometimes you can literally just you know you don't have to overthink everything and sometimes you just throw mike up and that could be fantastic and again it's it's always about whatever works for the song and what inspires you at the time because you know even wrong can be right like you can have a mike that's fell I've had things where I've had instances where literally we dial up the guitar sound in some town something happened the mike stand was loose or it could the mike got knocked I tripped over the cause I'm clumsy and I tripped over the mic cable and I pulled the mike off to the side a little bit and we pull up the sound it sounds weird but because it's the mike is right because the mikes off access and it's a little bit faizi sounding and it's like oh, that sounds really cool and that accident will inspire adjusting the amp and adjusting the tone and working on a different part is like well, it's this is weird sound this will work for this little part let's go to that part let's try and listen work on this guitar sound he's being humble here I'm gonna you know, the truth is is that like I think what he's saying is like, it doesn't it can't always be easy, but it doesn't always have to be hard and the one thing that I'll know I will say I've been working with steve for eighteen years recording with steve for eighteen years and I have a home studio as well I'm like your guys I do a lot on my own but like but one thing I will say is that it sounds almost like you're gonna come out of here not knowing a lot of things because he's like there's no right answer I just play around with mikes he is at least fifty percent science fifty percent artist he'll argue different variations but it is a science and an r and he knows a hell a lot of the science whether he realizes it or not I think he's saying is he starting to realize that now deconstructing what's comes in second nature to him, it's like someone who's like a kung fu master, they're not going to think before they flow a block, but there certainly is a lot of technique that gets you there, and everybody does it slightly different, and I've taken a lot from working with him howto optimized my type of playing that kind of sounds I get and things like that from just sitting in working with him and him recognizing the strengths and weaknesses I have and the kind of sounds I'm going for, and I've brought that home to my home studio, so I really think people will get a lot because I have certainly got tremendous amount knowledge from just being seeing his process, and I'm making my own adjustments or things I'd like to maybe do a little differently that he hasn't let me do one with him. So, you know, it's it's true, like I said, it's it's, a road map, and when the show techniques and hopefully you can apply these techniques into your situation, whether it's in an actual professional studio, or it's, a home studio within her face in a couple of mike's it's, the concepts are all the same, and when we showing how to even like blending multiple mikes and like showing how to do that on the analog side, with an external mixer and then showing how to do it also if if you don't have an external mixer I can show you how to do it uh digitally inside pro tools or logic or whatever you're using um and the main thing always is served the song I know that sounds simple and you know that's maybe it's obvious but some people don't you know you really have to think about what you're doing and think about what it is in itself and what you're trying to achieve on that particular song on the particular guitar tractor you're doing so you're always always to me the song is always the most important thing you know I know some guitar players will always want toe you know noodle around good like that it's more of the technical thing but you're still even unlike the dillon stuff even you know this far even if the people go they always really technical but it's like there's still a structure and there's still a song there and you're always trying to serve the song so that's really important um so also to me like what makes a great guitar sound it's like no it going from me when I was even like a kid and getting into music into heavy music into whatever I mean listen I run the gavin listening to like I grew up on like a lot of classic rock and progressive rock I was I went through a big phase on listening to a lot of really like crazy progressive rock seventy stuff like yes and genesis and jethro tull and all that stuff andi I went through like a metal phase and then when it got into punk so I mean I have a broad amount of interest in time in terms of music so I think that also gives you a pallet toe work from and think about sounds inspire you and listening to other types of music even if you play primarily a certain type uh like you play medal but like listening to like the progressive kind of stopped or even the pop stuff and listening to the sounds and listening to sounds that inspire you and might give you some ideas in a little bit of cross pollination between different sounds in different styles because sometimes that will open up a whole new palette but to me always going back from when I was a kid it's a great guitar sound is going to make me wanna uh you know, jump around my room, play air guitar with a baseball bat like I'm you know like I'm twelve again you know that's like that's the main thing that's always you can see he has but that's that's always that thing that you know it's it's almost like chasing the dragon I'm always looking for that thing that kind of like that that moment that that moment of inspiration and it can come from the sound it can come from the plane, but they're there to me they're one and the same. Um so I mean to you guys, I'll pose the question what makes a great guitar tone to you were proposing you guys are opposing the the audience, the internet audience? Um, yeah, I've I've always been just a high gain, you know, nerd, I got into punk as a teenager and just I just never looked back. So, um, growing up ah, you know, I remember my dad playing, you know, boston and journey and some of the some of the arena rock stuff and ah, and then also metallica's black album, you know, we listen to that always a good one. What? Yeah. So being eight, nine years old and listen to metallica with my dad, but so I think just from there, once I got into the punk thing, it just it just straight up just went high gain and I just never looked back, so and then from there I got into synthesizers like later. So that's where my interest in guitar effects like kind of comes through ah fromthe synthesis, yeah, so it's cool, even though I've never owned a synthesizer myself but but I mean, in essence you are I mean with petals, you know, we're going to dive in a little bit too also guitar pedals a little not so much but a little bit of it but that's, you know, when you're modulating with a course or something, I mean, you're using a hostile later it's the you know it's is into me it is in essence synthesis, so so I would say, uh, for me when you know it's inspiring, obviously, but kind like when you read a book and when you're into it, the book disappears when you stop worrying about your tone and thinking about your tone and you just start playing uh, that's I think when you've got a good tone work with right on, I think a big part of it for me is like the chemistry of how it affects the song as a whole and not just musically but how it sounds against the base tone and the drum tone and how do you adjust it to make it fit right with the whole song is one unit right and that's that's a great point because again like the same thing like go back to the first thing I said, when I get these questions where a guy goes well, I have this and I play in this kind of ban is like I don't know what your song sounds like how am I going to tell you what what you're using to dialling you know what compression setting to use on the guitar but you're going to die alone on the guitar and it's like, well, play I mean, this is what I'll be showings like you have to play the song to me it's always you know, like I never I'm not one of these guys that way dogs are sound and that's the guitar sound we're going to use on every song on this record, you know, like next track saying guitar sound no and even if it is the same guitar sound but I'll have the guitar player play along with the tracks that play along and I'll adjust the amp I'll adjust a little bit of the q you know you're always adjusting to the song because you know again you like you said, how is it going to work with the base? How's it working with the drums? Is it like a lot there there? Is there a lot of down picking like palm unit with judge indigent like a lot of that stuff and it's like ok what's the kick drum pattern are you following that katrine pattern are you you know is do we need to tighten up the bottom end to make it like lock in with the kick better or we wanted you know, like give it more base to make it kind of expand over the kick and make it you know, make it a little messier and make it give it you know it's it's and it's again it's all about feeling it's all about what you're doing and you're listening to the player and the players inspiring the sound and then the sounds inspiring the player and vice versa and so it's like this whole kind of cyclical thing and there's a lot of there's a lot of there's a lot of symbiosis all right, so the right we're okay. Yeah there's there's a lot of that going on for sure. No griffin yeah, I never know really how to find a good tony I know what when I hear it I don't know why you know exactly and that's and that's again that's my thing when they told me teo you know, do a ten hour, you know, basically ten hours because har sound like world am I gonna fill this and then but then you think about it it's like, well, breakdown that process how do you know but it's like is it is it and it's just a feeling thing, but and if you break down the process and you go, how does you know what makes it what makes it feel good to me? And if you really think about it you know you can break that process down a little bit and then arrive at something and then you know it's not even just arrive in it but it's it's another like little tool it's another piece that you just keep in your back pocket that again you recall it just by you say you know it but there is there is a thing and you have obviously experimented so you know that you put in a couple of mike's on your combo lamp and you know that's that's a good starting point it might not be the end point but that's a starting point so that's that's what it is I'm giving I'm going to be giving a lot of starting points but once you get past this pine of I was called like I refer to it in mixing two but it really can apply to anything and tracking you get past this point of objectivity or I call it where it's like ok it's not wrong but once it's not wrong once like ok, this doesn't suck then what's right is completely open to taste opinion there's so many variables once you get past that point of ok it's pretty good but now what's actually great you don't know think one of the things that differentiates maybe steve's way and even you know in the way that I do things with steve on my own from a lot of maybe the new producers you have access to so much technology and simulated sound guitars that are already kind of set already and sound great on their own or sound like a hard tone you heard on the record he loved or whatever is that um like what he's going to do here today is not necessarily tell you what the end process sound like he's going to show you the steps that will help you arrive there in the in the right way and I think the one thing that we do feel is right and wrong here is that you don't try and just serve the guitar tone on its own you want to serve the part you want to serve the song so you don't start with a great guitar tone without thinking about the song you start you go through the process and you get what's right from the situation and I think that's what people really learn here with steve today are the process to get there and when you know what you're going to hear, we can't tell you what that isthe we can't tell you what a great guitar tone is like you said you know when you hear but he's going to show you ways that enable you to get there in a more efficient more you know, I think a more efficient way that will be more beneficial to the whole yeah um yeah because they could that's the tone that I'd island right now like over that we're going to die alongside global dial in this tone on the mesa and we'll go that sounds great but to somebody else they'll be like that sounds terrible you know they're going to be you know you put put a guitar sound out and five people are going to say it's not awesome five people going to say it sounds like garbage so that also songwriters have an idea of what the final product should something in their heads so their kind of deconstructing like a like a movie maker like anything else when they're shooting a scene when they're doing the parts that kind of idea of the whole so like you know, like I might know that in the end after I oh I still have all these other parts I have do so I'm considering that in my head I need to keep space for those so I'm not making the atar tone that's going to make the whole album sound amazing right now I'm making guitar tone that's gonna leave space for that little lead in that little percussive thing I want to put and then there's a I'm having so for every person, every songwriter and hopefully a producer understands that and knows where the song is I'm supposed to go and understands the player so that together they can come with come to that conclusion yeah and you know and again I keep stressing the same points and I'll be going through a lot of that because there's very recurring themes in a lot of what I do because it's more of an old school approach even though we're using digital medium but um for perfect examples I mean, like I said sometimes terrible is great you're talking about punk and it's like I talk about when I first started getting into punk you know, listening to like the guy got into like bad brains and it's like you listen to like the first bad rains record and like ban in d c and like like big takeover and stuff like that that guitar is amazing, but if you listen to it but if you actually really focus on that guitar sound it's awful like on a technical a purely technical side of things it literally sounds like it's recorded through like it sounds almost like a direct like with just the distortion box on her like a little like guerrilla one of those old gorilla or create combos it sounds so bad but so bad for the bad brains is so great, so you know whatever it's whatever works um and yeah, I'll give you an example of like something that we dio we'll play you some a little bit of this song here fromthe last dillinger record and to me that that's you know that doesn't a good example of some of the guitar sounds like we've gotten with dillinger and there's we'll get into some of the techniques that we used on some of these things and talking about layering guitars in the studio because that stuff there's I mean if you go through you look there's a lot of tracks um there's the basic rhythms but there's so many little extra accents and a few layers on certain things to sounds that it's you know the combination of the two it's making the big sound because when you listen to the sounds by themselves you know what is this you know and there's so many you know sounds okay there's so many sounds that uh when you're layering guitars in the studio I mean it's really the whole is greater than the sum of its parts it gets to that point where um and you could find on this stuff and I can show you and then there's their stuff floating out on the internet about if you want to like listen for inspiration on certain guitar sounds to hear things and here multi tracks there's stuff floating around out there of lots of multi tracks for obsession, classic albums, old sessions you khun google stuff like unfortunately legally we clearly we demonstrate that play them for you because it's not our material it's copyrighted material it's out there but it is out there it actually uh happens you can uh you can even google like isolated guitar tracks led zeppelin or if you just if you just google isolated guitar tracks there's a lot of things that come up there's that there's not u two's on youtube there is but there's a where did I write down that I think it's called studio multi tracks dot com um you can uh you confined stuff I mean, like I said, they're zeppelin I've seen like bad company like a lot of classic records and you can, uh just kind of here tracks and oh, uncertain things that you can identify and some a lot of classic records that when you hear it by itself you go really that's it because in your head you're perceiving this like huge guitar sound and when you hear it in its essence and by itself it's like no doesn't sound big at all it sounds tiny like there's one I know boston more than a feeling is out there they have those sessions like I know some some of the home engineers watching too like people have these three sessions are floating around a lot of people have them at this point um but you know you you isolate the guitar track and you go wow that's really small sound you know, he's going to ever say those old recordings don't sound good and if you really isolate like we listen to like some stevie wonder ones and any solo the kept driving like that sounds awful yeah, it was hard it sounded like garbage and then they said we sold the base I don't like that sounds horrible and then we just what are you going which I mean no one is ever gonna say like baselines and stevie wonder songs don't rule you know, but it's like, you know and that's a perfect example of deacons like learning by deconstructing and seeing that these people before they had the ability to just simulated guitar tono are just replace a kick drum they were building albums and building songs and not working from the other way around they knew you know why they want to do it, what they wanted to achieve and then the byproduct was a great album and it wasn't the other way around. Um, so uh, that I think is really helpful when you see those things that you deconstruct him in that way to keep that philosophy in your head that there was a time when guitar tone was made there moving mike's and all the stuff that we're going to show you today and stephen to show you and now they could just be complemented with all this technology, and if you don't have the gear, you can compliment it with it's a guitar simulation and if you don't have a million likes, you can do certain things, but it doesn't mean that it wasn't, you know, do it even within the like the am simulator stuff like even what is a pot farm inside pro tools? Or you can get it for anything, but, um, you know, there's certain even techniques you can apply that I know you can, you can select mikes, and you can position the mikes on some of these am simulators and s o you can even take some of the techniques that were showing in the analog world and apply in the digital side of things the technology I don't have a you know, I definitely pick an old school approach, but I don't have a problem with the technology because when you hear the am simulators, when you really think about it, like all these great sounds in the am simulators, they derive these impulse responses by getting these techniques and making the cabinets, and then once you actually get that sound, really, then they make the impulse response, so if you ever wanted to know how those sounds were made, like in your axe effects or in your in your potter and whatever this is it in your temper, you know, that's that's, exactly what? We're going to show you how to do so. And if in and it's important to really understand that if you want, as a musician who records themselves, if you want your music to speak to people and influence people, then there has to be something original about they have to feel like it's. Honest it's. Not just a copy, there's. Something about it. That's about that's you that's uniquely you so even understanding how to do this stuff. So when you get the ap simulation, you can kind of tweak it to be your own or kind of get out of it. What you're trying to accomplish or trying to say, I think a cz you said is really yeah. I mean, I always encourage experimentation. You know? Like I said, I have a a tool box. I have a certain amount of go to things that all right, let's set up this mike let's, do this let's do that. But you have to experiment. You have to make it your own, you know, because the only way you're going to expand your palate is by experimenting and by finding your own voice with this stuff.