Jump to content
cglaser68

Tone help for 80's pop

Recommended Posts

Our bass player wants to do 'Head On' by The Jesus and Mary Chain.  (Youtube video of song:  https://youtu.be/eGp47YwDZ48 )

When I first heard it I figured it be easy to dial in the tone,  as to me it just sounds like some simple tube distortion and a ton of reverb on the chorus part. and then the same but less verb and then dialed back a bit for the rhythm.  But for the life of me, I can't seem to get something that's close for the chorus.  Everything I try doesn't have that 'softness' to the distortion and sustain.  I can tell there's a lot of reverb being used, but I don't know how to take the edge off the distortion so it's got that softer, fade away feel to it.  Something tells me compression might be in play to take the attack off, but compression is something I don't have a lot of experience with and I'm trying to get the sound to fade off, not add more sustain which is what I thought compression did.

 

If someone could take a listen and point me in the right direction, or to something on custom tone that sounds close., I'd appreciate it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm hearing, in addition to the reverb/delay, a subtle modulation effect, chorus or detune, which often softens things.

 

You can assume with some certainty that there's compression on just about everything to some degree on just about every studio recording ever made, but I didn't hear anything that jumped out at me and made me think compression is what is making the guitar sound that way.

 

Beyond that, I think it would be hard for anybody to really help you unless you shared your preset. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chorus on guitar WAS the 80s.  plus, humbucking pickups in an ibanez style shape guitar played fairly clean or at least without anything adding to the sustain of the instrument... hard attack, short sustain, fairly clean, not much high treble articulation, relatively thin sound... chorus

 

that's in general though LoL.. not specific to yoru song which I haven't listened to yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks.  The Modulation comment was spot on, it really helped to 'soften' the sound.  I'm getting closer to it.  I think I just need to play with the Master/Gain settings a bit now in conjunction with a distortion stomp to get a distortion with a shorter sustain like it has in the song. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although Chorus was a popular effect in the 80's.... I don't necessarily hear it on this track. That track is either doubled, multi-miced and panned, or both! It's a huge tone, but as you say - soft! 

 

  • If you want to soften the track and mimic this doubling try the Dimension effect. It will be under "modulation/legacy". 
    I would start by setting all the "SW Buttons" to OFF, then bring the MIX down so it becomes very subtle. 
  • Another option (if you are using amp/cab blocks) is to use a DUAL Cabinet... Set one cabinet with a dynamic mic at about 1", the other with the 121 (ribbon) around 6" - 8". This option sounds best in stereo, but will still soften the track in MONO. 
  • The other thing to add  is the LA Studio Comp. Place it at the end of the path. Set the gain reduction so the meters are just starting to read... nothing extreme. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing is a limiter or compressor to squish and soften some of that attack... that was a big technique in the 80's.  Chorus, as mentioned was pretty much mandatory, but turn the depth and speed down so it's more of a color in the tone than an obvious effect.  If you're doing an amp model, the JC120 is a good one to go with for your 80's sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, zappazapper said:

Sir, the Dimension effect IS a chorus. 

 

Where did I say it wasn't?

Although I don't hear any chorus on that track, getting that sound might require that type of effect. 

 

Seeing that the dimension can get very subtle... it has the capability of sounding more natural than most chorus effects. 

 

On 10/22/2020 at 7:18 PM, zappazapper said:

I'm hearing, in addition to the reverb/delay, a subtle modulation effect, chorus or detune, which often softens things.

 

I think we are on the same page :)  

Although I don't think I hear a chorus on that track, a detune (sometimes referred to as a doubler) could certainly be possible. Unless I am mistaken (always possible) the Helix does not have a dedicated detune effect and that is why I suggested the Dimension.... it's the closest thing to it with all the SW buttons off... IMO.

 

You also state subtle which I agree with 100%. If an effect is actually used (rather than a doubled tracked guitar), it's very subtle. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair enough. I read it like, "it's not a chorus, it's a dimension."

Anyway, the point is that the song is from that era where it seems like everything had to have some kind of chorusey "enhancement" to be considered worthy, so that's first thing I would reach for, try to find something close and tweak it. I'd do that before compression anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, codamedia said:

Although I don't think I hear a chorus on that track, a detune (sometimes referred to as a doubler) could certainly be possible. Unless I am mistaken (always possible) the Helix does not have a dedicated detune effect and that is why I suggested the Dimension.... it's the closest thing to it with all the SW buttons off... IMO.

I'm not at home and don't have my Helix in front of me, but... a detune is just a slightly pitch shifted copy (or one copy shifted slightly up and another shifted the same amount down) mixed into the original, not time-shifted and not pitch-modulating. One could use any pitch shifter that allows fine control over the shift and a mix parameter to do a detune effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, zappazapper said:

I'm not at home and don't have my Helix in front of me, but... a detune is just a slightly pitch shifted copy (or one copy shifted slightly up and another shifted the same amount down) mixed into the original, not time-shifted and not pitch-modulating.

 

I think there is one ingredient missing from this recipe which is "randomize". A good detune effect will not use fixed values for pitch and time.... it will randomize them within pre-defined settings making it much more natural. I'm NOT saying the Dimension solves this... it's still noticeably absent there as well :) 

 

27 minutes ago, zappazapper said:

One could use any pitch shifter that allows fine control over the shift and a mix parameter to do a detune effect.

 

Certainly an option... but the Helix does not currently have polyphonic pitch detection, so (in theory) I already question the results - although testing really is the only answer. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/22/2020 at 11:48 PM, cglaser68 said:

Our bass player wants to do 'Head On' by The Jesus and Mary Chain.

 

Well that track really is quite different to the way they started out, which was basically wailing feedback and reverberating drum, vaguely akin to some of the Velvet Underground stuff. This track is from an album that was mostly ignored by people familiar with the earlier stuff as it's not quite as raucous.

 

In trying to dissect  the guitar tone, I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned that vaguely 1950's style Duane twang going on in the track, and I've also seen this track described as similar to early Cure and JoyDivision/New Order and, would you believe, it has even been compared to the Beach Boys!

 

As for the live version - Well, they were never that picky about sounding like the original recording!

 

 

 

I believe that William Reid used a Shin-Ei fuzz wah later referred to as the Psycho Candy Fuzz after that particular album, though it's not evident on "Head On".

Get your hearing damaged by this early incarnation “The Jesus and Mary Chain".

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...