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Death Metal Guitar Tone

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DevilsBreed View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DevilsBreed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Death Metal Guitar Tone
    Posted: October 21 2011 at 06:44
Hi Guys,

First post, be kind!

Right - I'm in a thrash/death metal band and am having a few small problems with my rig to get the right sound I'm after..

Gear I'm using:

Guitars:

Schecter w/ EMG 81/85
DBZ w/EMG 81/85

Both tuned to standard C.
Both stung with Hi-Voltage Dimebad Darrell strings, .10 - .52

Pedals:

Maxon SM-9 Pro+
misc. Tuner pedal/Delay pedal
Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster

Amp:

Marshall MG100HDFX/MG412

Signal Path:

Guitar - Pickup Booster - Maxon Super Metal - Delay - Tuner - Front end of the amp.

Before anyone slays the amp - I KNOW! But I can't afford to replace it anytime soon so I need to work with what I've got.

I'm getting ALMOST the sound I want - high gain chug-chug-chug, however it's a little too bassy, and I mean marginally. For chord sections it's great, but when I'm trem-picking the low C it's a little too muddy.

My amp settings are relatively flat, I've dropped the Bass to about 3 or 4, Mids are about 6 and Trebs about 7.

Maxon pedal settings - Gain is a snatch below MAX, Scoop & Edge about 6/7, level is set so that it's about the same overall volume with the pedal off (clean amp sound) as it is when the pedal is on.

For leads the sound is great, the 85's kick out their sound as they should (unless I drop below the 8th fret on the thickest 3 strings).

For rhythms with mostly fast chords it sounds pretty much spot on, but when it comes to skipping between trem-picked open C and individual notes things start to get a little too muddy - the clarity is still there, but it lacks a little of the "bark" of the notes, especially the open C trem-picking - this is really my only problem.

So I need any advise anyone can offer just to tighten up the trem picking and individual notes - my picking technique is fluid, accurate and powerful enough for the gauge strings, and the pics I use are suitable for my style/general sound (3mm Jim Dunlop Big Stubby).

I know the problem probably derives from the amp I have, but as I said, I can't afford to change it anytime soon, so please, no opinions on the amp! I'll be upgrading to a Blackstar Series 1 head in the future (love that amp!) but not for about a year!

Thanks in advance for any input.
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himtroy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote himtroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2011 at 08:55
I hate that metal tone, but that processed sound people get comes from what we call smiley face EQ.  Drop the mids all the way back and boost the treble and bass all the way, then adjust from there (though on my amp mids at 0 and bass and treble at maximum gets me right there, except not really because it's a tube amp)
Which of you to gain me, tell, will risk uncertain pains of hell?
I will not forgive you if you will not take the chance.
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stonebeard View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stonebeard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2011 at 15:22
^ That. Mids get you a richer, more bluesy tone. Cut those out, leave bass at around midway and treble maybe slightly less, but tune to your liking. It's probably going to sound a lot better with a really good amp, but you get what you pay for really.
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Epignosis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Epignosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2011 at 16:03
Originally posted by DevilsBreed

Both stung with Hi-Voltage Dimebad Darrell strings, .10 - .52


Well there's your problem right there- you're using knockoff strings!  Wink


Edited by Epignosis - October 21 2011 at 16:25
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Triceratopsoil View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Triceratopsoil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2011 at 22:15
It's the amp.  Buy a Mesa Boogie or some sh*t.
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TheMasterMofo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TheMasterMofo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2011 at 22:46
My first "big" amp was a Marshall MG100DFXback probably 8 or 9 years ago and it doesn't really cut it for death metal tones for me, either, even playing through a Schecter Jeff Loomis 7 string. In fact, I actually prefer my Fender Princeton 112 these days and use it for playing at home and for any small gigs. For anything else I go through my friend's Mesa Boogie, which most definitely gives me the heavy metal tone that I want...

Like you and others already said, the amp is going to limit you when it comes to death metal tones... It's limited me there, too. You could always go for a cheap used distortion pedal off of Ebay or from a pawnshop as a temporary fix, but it'll have that digital sound.
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Hanke666 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hanke666 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 28 2011 at 08:02
Another thing you could try for a bit more clarity is thicker gauge strings. 10-52 sound a wee bit too thin for C standard IMO, maybe you should try 11-56 instead.
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