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Thread: Death metal guitar sound

  1. #1
    Metal Messiah Sakkaku's Avatar
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    Question Death metal guitar sound

    As the title would indicate, this thread is about the sound of a death metal guitarist. So for those of you who aren't interested, feel free to click on another thread!

    What I would like to know, is what do the guitarists employ to get such a savage, razorblade kind of tone ? Do they use a distortion pedal of sorts, or just the distortion that comes from the amp?

    I'm thinking of bands in the vein of Six Feet Under, Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, and even Arch Enemy (although the 'death metal' status on their band is debateable - I personally rate them as death metal)... how do they do it ???

    Another question is the solos in a death metal songs, I'm mainly thinking of Arch Enemy and Obituary here... obviously they use a whammy bar and do the 'shuddering' effect (or whatever it's really called), but do they use specific scales? I would think diminished because of the odd intervallic sound and structure, but I could be wrong.

    Any one for a bite of this subject? Maybe I should ask a technical jazz question or something next time... death metal isn't what most people wake up thinking about in the morning, but each to their own.
    Sakkaku
    -Gitarrenmeister-

  2. #2
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    I think in most cases they use distortion from they amp, I know I do. Usually distortion pedals sound thin in the mix. And remember if you scoop your mids playin w/ a band you've just taken all of your prescence out of the band.

  3. #3
    Laiho's heir guitarist wild_child's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metaljustice83
    And remember if you scoop your mids playin w/ a band you've just taken all of your prescence out of the band.
    but if the rest of the band is playing with scooped mids it wont matter - i think thats the key to get a good death sound, you need to put alot of emphasis on bass, that goes for drums, too. you dont want anything too bright in there, especially if youre playing some chunky riffs or whatever.
    when it comes to solos though, kick up the mid and you'll cut through it all like a chainsaw
    "Remember, it's all good, everything goes and there ain't no damned rules or boundaries. So get off! Tear it a fresh ***, tear it hard, rip gaping holes in it! Make tracks, leave marks!

    "forever stronger than all" - Dimebag Darrell

  4. #4
    Metal Messiah Sakkaku's Avatar
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    True. What kind of eq setup do you use on your Amps? I'm running a Marshall AVT150, and mic it through the PA. It sounds really fat (thick) when I'm practising by myself at home, but because my bass player changes his sound as frequently as most people change their underwear, sometimes the tone is good, sometimes it gets a little lost...

    At the moment I'm about to go into a recording studio with some digital drum tracks laid down, and I'm going to record both guitar and bass parts... (vocalist to follow)... nothing fancy, just a mate with a computer, some decent instrument mics, and recording software etc, but it'll do.

    Any ideas how to obtain that really thick wall of sound? Just throw a double-tracking in there (or quadruple tracking as I tend to do), or something more 'musically sound' ?

    Cheers for your help guys.
    Sakkaku
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  5. #5
    Registered User Vance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wild_child
    but if the rest of the band is playing with scooped mids it wont matter
    That may be a very hard thing to accomplish....especially with Drums and Bass. Remember, it's all about frequency. When playing live, the Drums and Bass can quickly "EAT UP" all them lows...and what little highs the guitar amp has left just won't be able to cut through.

    I've fought with this for years, and unless you are set up with a happenin PA and, a soundman that is willing to spend a LOT of time tweaking your scooped sound into the mix, you will be buried.

    Also. volume alone will not compensate for the lack of the midrange frequencies that are getting clobbered by the rhythm unit.

    What I do now is after we are all set up, I go out front and the singer slaps on my guitar and the band just does a quick jam. I just showed him an easy 2 finger bar chord that he can chunk along with. Then I get to hear what it all sounds like out front.

    Vance

  6. #6
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    http://www.guitarworld.com/lessons/a....metalshop.php see what they say about scooping the mids, I agree w/ them

  7. #7
    Laiho's heir guitarist wild_child's Avatar
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    i used the term 'scoped' mids a little too loosely there, i dont mean that you should take it out totally - that would definatley be no good. i'm suggesting that 'scooped' mids refers to the bass and treble being set higher, but still with a fair bit of mid range in there.
    i still think alot of it depends on drums - you need those things tuned really low with a very tight snare.
    oh, that reminds me of another thing - downtuning everything is pretty much the status quo when it comes to death, it really adds to the dark feel.
    "Remember, it's all good, everything goes and there ain't no damned rules or boundaries. So get off! Tear it a fresh ***, tear it hard, rip gaping holes in it! Make tracks, leave marks!

    "forever stronger than all" - Dimebag Darrell

  8. #8
    I, Galactus oRg's Avatar
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    I'm able to mimic pretty much the death metal sounds and I use a pedal. The pedal I'm refering to is the Boss Metal Zone. It sounds very nice and it has a nice EQ on it. I run it through a Randall RG-100 watt head and a 4x12 Marshall cabinet. I play on the clean channel on my amp and use the pedal for distorsion. I like it alot and so far it fits with what I play. I play stuff like Six Feet Under, Behemoth, Darkane, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Slayer, Napalm Death, Lamb of God, etc etc. Of course I also use a PA system as well which I noticed makes a difference when you record. You hear one thing but when you record yourself playing through the amp it sounds totally different. I also mic my amp, and this set-up suits my style of playing well.

  9. #9
    Metal Messiah Sakkaku's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by oRg
    . I play stuff like Six Feet Under, Behemoth, Darkane, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Slayer, Napalm Death, Lamb of God, etc etc. .
    Woah, that's a good list right there. Have you got any Lamb of God, Napalm Death, and Six Feet Under tabs that you can throw my way? I've been meaning to get some, but just never got around to it...

    Any links would also be appreciated.
    Sakkaku
    -Gitarrenmeister-

  10. #10
    I, Galactus oRg's Avatar
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    Here's some Six Feet under tabs. my favorite song by them in Impulse to Disembowel off of True Carnage
    http://metaltabs.com/band/49/

    Here's some Behemoth tabs.
    http://metaltabs.com/band/98/

    Here's the website of the guitarist of Darkane. So you know the tabs are right .
    http://www.christofermalmstrom.se/frames.htm

    Here's some Dimmu Borgir tabs.
    http://metaltabs.com/band/19/

    Here's some Cradle of Filth tabs. One of my favorite bands. Damnation and a Day is my fav CD of theirs.
    http://mxtabs.net/songs.php?path=Gui...radle+Of+Filth

    Here's some kick *** Slayer tabs. I like South of Heaven.
    http://metaltabs.com/band/21/

    Here's some Napalm Death tabs.
    http://metaltabs.com/band/13/

    Here's some Lamb of God tabs.
    http://metaltabs.com/band/319/

    Overall if your looking for some tab so some pretty hardcore bands I would try mxtabs.net and metaltabs.com. Metaltabs usually has most of the stuff you would look for unless your looking for something like Defile or something like that. They don't have alot of local or unsigned bands to my knowledge but they got some kick *** bands like Iced Earth, Hypocrisy, Kataclysm, etc etc. Have fun...

  11. #11
    Metal Messiah Sakkaku's Avatar
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    Thanks man! Those wil sure be really handy in my quest to blow peoples eardrums up!
    Sakkaku
    -Gitarrenmeister-

  12. #12
    Since 1988 Carvinite's Avatar
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    did you guys try powertabs?

  13. #13
    Metal Messiah Sakkaku's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kramer_man
    did you guys try powertabs?
    Yeah, I do.. Have you got some death metal powertabs ?
    Sakkaku
    -Gitarrenmeister-

  14. #14
    I, Galactus oRg's Avatar
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    I don't have any myself...I mainly use Guitar Pro 4. I usually get my songs from a German website http://digitalsounds.de. I guess it kinda helps that I can read some German...not alot but some.... GP4 is pretty cool as well cuz you can add extra instruments so it sounds like a real song...with out vocals of course.

  15. #15
    Metal Messiah Sakkaku's Avatar
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    Only problem is, I can't open any GP4 files, because my copy is just that... a copy... it blurbs on something about it's an illegal hack, and won't open any...

    I really want to learn Silent Wars by Arch Enemy, especially the solo, but I can't even open the file... If I REALLY wanted to, I could learn it by ear, but I'm too lazy when it comes to solos, which I guess is a bit of a downfall... maybe I shouldn't be so lazy...

    Any ideas ???
    Sakkaku
    -Gitarrenmeister-

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