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Free Boston/Rockman IR's (Zip updated Nov 19)


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8 hours ago, rockmancentral said:

Def Leppard used the X100 for the recording of Hysteria, but used a modified Rockman XPR processor for the tour (since it handles all the switching of sounds via MIDI).


I always find it interesting when people talk about "THE" Boston tone.... my response is always, "Which one?"


Tom used many different tones over the decades.  Each song usually had its own tones, and multiples of different tones were layered up or used for different parts in a song.  For example, on "More Than A Feeling" there are 2 different distorted tones used in the chorus rhythm (and each are double tracked), another one used for the distorted rhythm during the solo, and another less distorted rhythm used for the very last chord of the solo.  The clean electric tone is run through a cocked wah as well for a very low-fi sound.  For the leads, there's a lead tone for the fills, but then the main lead solo lines have a different tone all together (a really nasally cocked wah AFTER the gain stage).  BTW, there are actually 6 tracks played (3 part harmonies double tracked) for the last 4 notes of the lead solo!!


And that's just for ONE song.  The other songs on that album use different tones too, as do the songs on all the other albums.


The first 2 albums mostly used a Marshall Plexi, and then Third Stage was mostly Rockman IIB, X100 and Model 100 Sustainor.  Walk on was mostly Model 200 Sustainor and the Ultimatum Distortion Generator.  Since then, he's mostly been using a VERY rare "Rev 20" revision of the Model 200 Sustainor for some time now, both live and in the studio.  Like, maybe a dozen or so were modified at the factory?  Yeah, THAT rare!!  I've seen them go for upwards of $5,000 IF you can find one.  They do sound quite different from your run of the mill Sustainor... more gain, more bite, and the auto-clean works very good.  I can do the Rev 20 mod on a Model 200 Sustainor, but it takes me like 17 hours to do it.  Very intensive!!!


Excellent info! I went back and read mike shipleys old post about recording the guitars on hysteria with the rockman and he did say the sound of the X100 on its own was pretty awful, but layered up and going through palmer speaker simulators, it worked, plus the fact they notched some frequencies etc.


Clearly, its not going to be possible to match that sound, but going back to your point about the Boston tone actually being multiple tones, I think most of us chasing that tone on a modeller would be happy with something that had that rockman characteristic, but sounded more rounded out, almost like a composite of all the different Boston or hysteria tones without being specifically any one of them.


I didn't know Leppard used the XPR on the hysteria tour, I know they were using Randall solid state amps, I know of someone who has one of the very ones used, so is the XPR just a processor then because even as a big Leppard fan, I never thought the guitar tone on the hysteria tour was particularly good, very harsh and treble like. All the following tours were different story though, fantastic huge sounding guitars.


So if we're trying to get some of those X100 characteristics in a helix tone, have you got any tips on how to do it? Should we be boosting 800khz or adding a static wah etc?

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"he did say the sound of the X100 on its own was pretty awful"


Well, take that with a grain of salt because tone is obviously very subjective and let's face it, the cork sniffers have been against ANYTHING without tubes since the Rockman was invented.  The fact that that was THE go to sound for so many studios in the 80's, because of it's ease of use, kinda puts that opinion in perspective (at least for me).... YMMV.


Here's a photo (though, it's not a great one) on Phil Collen's XPR rig that he used for Hysteria and in the studio... note the Palmer simulator on top, the Randall 220 amp in the bottom of the top head, the Rockman Pro Bass in the top of the bottom head, and the XPR under it.  Phil has been using the Palmer with a Marshall JMP-1 for a long time, and that is his overall preferred tone.






" something that had that rockman characteristic, but sounded more rounded out"


Yeah, that's pretty much the Rev 20 Sustainor.... it has that Rockman characteristic, but also has the bite of a real amp.


"so is the XPR just a processor"


Yes, and there was a modified version called the XPRa, which had extensive mods to reduce the noise floor on it quite a bit.  There was also a "boombox" style one called the XP100 with a 100 watt stereo amp in it, as well as a rare XP212 which was the XP100 in a cabinet with 2 12 inch Celestian G12-T speakers.  Then of course, there was the full stacks with the 500 watt amp.  I have all of the above, including the full stack, XP212, Rev 20, etc.


I temporarily bypassed the cab sim circuit on my Rev 20 Sustainor and took some Kemper (sorry Helix guys) profiles of that, then ran that through Ozone Isotope for some EQ matches of various tone and created merged profiles.  I was able to get some pretty damn close tone matches that way.


"X100 characteristics in a helix tone, have you got any tips on how to do it? Should we be boosting 800khz or adding a static wah etc?"


I used to have an HD500, so I'm only vaguely familiar with the Line 6 amp modelers.... but yeah, I think I recall using compression, then an EQ curve like the 6 band photo posted from my web site (ahem!, without permission...  LOL!) and a Plexi amp.  From there, the cab sim IR's posted should get you in the general ballpark, I should think.  You can trade out the 6 band EQ with a cocked wah, and/or you can add a cocked wah AFTER the amp for an even more pronounced effect.  Like I said, this is pretty much what I'm doing with my Kemper and the tone matches are pretty close (I think so anyway, YMMV).  Here's a couple of examples... first directly from the master then followed by mine (which admittedly is a bit thinner, I think, but the honk is definitely there).








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