Author Topic: [muso] How do you get that sound?  (Read 988 times)

easytarget

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[muso] How do you get that sound?
« on: April 05, 2013, 10:19:12 PM »
Thread for muso types to discuss how different noises are made, with a view to making those noises themselves.

I’ve recently started playing bass and I’ve found a brilliant bass tone I’d like to steal:

George Square Thatcher Death Party by Mogwai: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbp3k3rYMs4

Would any of you like to guess at how this sound is made? I’m guessing the bass is played through either a tube bass amp that’s just breaking up or a regular clean solid state amp and some kind of overdrive pedal is employed. But maybe you need a special bass, or metal fingers? Help me figure this out so I can make my band go all post-rock!



DukeDeMondo

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 10:35:18 PM »
You're obviously talking about playing live; in recording situations I tend to play the bass through the laptop and fuck with it accordingly. I do love the garrumphin tone on that Mogwai record. I've tended to just overdrive everything live and see what happens.

I also like ploughing the bass to bejeesus and playing it with a plastic coke bottle lid. Beautiful scratching thriss that comes off it.

easytarget

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 10:45:24 PM »
Yep, live. Recording is a whole other ball of worms.

A coke bottle lid? Seriously? I thought I was going it a bit with my 2mm Dunlop pick.

DukeDeMondo

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2013, 11:10:32 PM »
Try it, it sounds beautiful. Using the end nearest to the bottle, mind. Not the soft bit at the top. And it needs all the scuzzy drive your amp can give it.

DukeDeMondo

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2013, 11:20:54 PM »
I did it at 5:01 0f this. Not trying to spam, just a demonstration, and not a very good one, but you get the idea. Maximum scuzz, it gives.

https://soundcloud.com/aaron-mcmullan/aaron-mcmullan-sundogs

copyingdogs

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2013, 02:41:35 AM »
What I want to know is how the fuck you can get the guitar tone on the main guitar riff of 'Wings' by The Fall. It's so distinctive. Is it just a guitar that's been played through a cheap tape player?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m2lfk4Bm34

Dusty Gozongas

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2013, 06:39:00 AM »
Sounds like the whole jam was recorded in a room with a few mics and the vocals overdubbed later on to me.

Johnny Yesno

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2013, 06:36:40 PM »
Sounds like the whole jam was recorded in a room with a few mics and the vocals overdubbed later on to me.

'Jam', indeed!

That might be how the overall sound of the band was captured but it doesn't explain how the guitar sound was achieved, which was the question.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 06:47:24 PM by Johnny Yesno »

Dusty Gozongas

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2013, 07:10:59 PM »
Ah.

I'd probably try some overdrive/distortion, turn the low frequencies right down on the amplifier and fiddle with the mid/treble knobs. Maybe also a bit of reverb thrown in for good measure. (along with recording the whole thing with cheap/badly placed microphones)


Johnny Yesno

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2013, 07:12:49 PM »
Ah.

I'd probably try some overdrive/distortion, turn the low frequencies right down on the amplifier and fiddle with the mid/treble knobs. Maybe also a bit of reverb thrown in for good measure.

Yes, it certainly is a very middly sound.

easytarget

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2013, 09:05:55 AM »
For the Mogwai thing I posted about originally - a simple, dirt cheap Boss DS1 seems to get me pretty close to the noise I want.

Quiet little fucker though.

NoSleep

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2013, 09:38:03 AM »
What I want to know is how the fuck you can get the guitar tone on the main guitar riff of 'Wings' by The Fall. It's so distinctive. Is it just a guitar that's been played through a cheap tape player?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m2lfk4Bm34

Sounds like the guitarist is using a flanger or chorus pedal (hence the cheap tape effect; slight rising and falling of pitch) but not too heavily[nb]The modulation/LFO set slow, the depth set where you can just hear the modulation, the mix set about 25-50% effect[/nb]. Also sounds like the part has been doubled, so it's two guitars playing in unison.

The other distinctive thing about the sound is that it's played on two strings; the lower one ringing away on a single open note, whilst the higher one plays the melody. Similar to the way Peter Hook plays bass, with the D string playing (an open D) underneath a melody on the G string.

Just tried it on a guitar and it seems you have to tune the guitar to E flat, let the bottom E flat string ring out whilst playing the melody on both the next string above (tuned to A flat) with your first finger (which also mutes the next string up) and the octave above on the 4th string (tuned to G flat). The octaves are probably why it sounded like two guitars to me initially.

Something like that, anyway.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 10:18:34 AM by NoSleep »

NoSleep

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2013, 09:47:00 AM »
Thread for muso types to discuss how different noises are made, with a view to making those noises themselves.

I’ve recently started playing bass and I’ve found a brilliant bass tone I’d like to steal:

George Square Thatcher Death Party by Mogwai: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbp3k3rYMs4

Would any of you like to guess at how this sound is made? I’m guessing the bass is played through either a tube bass amp that’s just breaking up or a regular clean solid state amp and some kind of overdrive pedal is employed. But maybe you need a special bass, or metal fingers? Help me figure this out so I can make my band go all post-rock!

I think you got the settings right; slightly overdriven bright-ish sound. Most importantly; played using a pick, not fingerstyle.

Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2013, 03:15:11 PM »
Ok, guys. What the hell is the riff/loop which starts at 0:31 of Thomas Bangalter's Ventura? How has he got that sound? It's like an electric guitar with a load of chorus only it's made out of molten silver.

Edit: Link http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=k1I9Io2xHf8
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 03:39:18 PM by The Βoston Crab »

Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2013, 03:34:25 PM »
Sounds like a riff that's been reversed, creating the sucking effect. I'm not even sure it's a guitar, but could be.

NoSleep

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2013, 06:38:30 PM »
It's a sample of several instruments, probably from a record, then reversed. The sound is about the same played backwards as it is forward.

Johnny Yesno

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2013, 07:00:10 PM »
What I want to know is how the fuck you can get the guitar tone on the main guitar riff of 'Wings' by The Fall. It's so distinctive. Is it just a guitar that's been played through a cheap tape player?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m2lfk4Bm34

Couple of ideas here.

Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2013, 07:11:34 PM »
It's a sample of several instruments, probably from a record, then reversed. The sound is about the same played backwards as it is forward.

Cheers, and to gabriel, but I meant more 'what is producing that sound and how has he manipulated it?' Obviously it's a sample but I can't make out what combination of instruments it is, and it must have several effects on it. It's been on my mind for fifteen years.

Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2013, 08:45:30 PM »
Well besides it being reversed audio it sounds quite smoothed, and since NoSleep says it sounds roughly the same played backwards as forwards he's added some effects somewhere down the line. If I had to guess I'd say he's reversed it, put it through some reverb, reversed it again and applied some other light effect and reversed it again. This is a fairly common technique for smoothing out a sample; one example is the synth in Eno's An Ending (Ascent).

NoSleep

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2013, 08:49:50 PM »
I can't really discern what instruments were used in combination on the original sample, but there's a few.

Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2013, 09:02:02 PM »
Thanks chaps, the stuff about smoothing the sample is pretty interesting to me, I've not really heard of that before but I've done similar without necessarily knowing what I was doing, just to make them something other than their source. I think he's come up with some sound there, though, intangible and difficult to pin down but still very powerful and euphoric.

McFlymo

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2013, 12:13:35 AM »
Re: Ventura. I am pretty sure it's a sample from a funk record: i.e. a combination of a live brass section, the tail end of someone singing "ooooh", there might be some strings in there too, I can also hear bass and percussion.

Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2013, 01:00:57 AM »
Are we all even talking about the same part? I'm using this one as a reference since it's a bit higher quality and I'm listening to it again through some decent headphones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2yjrVV-76Y

So, from 0:31 there is

-hats
-bassline
-kick
-snare/claps
-reversed-sidechain synth thing
-vocal sample
-repeating guitary thing (is this what you're talking about?)

At about 0:59 he does the French house/Daft Punk thing of massively low passing the whole mix before letting the higher frequencies back in - at this point the guitary thing I'm talking about drops out.

Listening again I don't think he's done that reverse-reverb-reverse technique I was talking about earlier, at least not on the sample I'm listening to. If anything it sounds more like a sampled snippet of a record in its entirety that's been sped up and EQd quite heavily.

NoSleep

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2013, 02:55:24 AM »
It's only the chord sound that we're talking about, the sample thingy that comes in at that point.

I don't think it's been heavily processed but I'm pretty sure the original has been played in reverse (and a stereo chorus effect added after). The other alternative is it's a section from a record where they hold a chord (played between several instruments) that has been looped to play continuously and has been enveloped to have a slow attack and is then played on a keyboard.

easytarget

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Re: [muso] How do you get that sound?
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2013, 02:05:55 AM »
I think you got the settings right; slightly overdriven bright-ish sound. Most importantly; played using a pick, not fingerstyle.
Cheers. I use a pick for everything because I'm a guitar player (and barely even that).
Our drummer modified an old DS1 to increase the output level - I think I'm closing in on the holy grail!