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salmonellapancake

Black Metal tone

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     I've seen some posts about tone, but I'd like to start a thread about the ideal guitar tone in Black Metal. I rely solely on my amp for the distortion: I put the gain all the way up, treble all the way up, mids at 4, and bass at 1. For the guitar parts that I really want to pop and get that "buzzsaw" sound, I flip my pickup switch to treble, with the respective volume and tone knobs at 10. As for the more underlying guitar parts, I flip my pickup switch to rhythm, with the respective volume and tone knobs at around 6 or 7. I have a pretty small and shitty amp, but I'm happy with the sound I get, considering what I have. What do you guys do to get your ideal Black Metal tone?

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Tone is too complex to boil down to a handful of amp settings. Personally I don't usually like a treble-heavy sound. I might use more gain for a BM recording than I would for progressive DM stuff, but it would really depend on the music, the drum sound, and what I was trying to do with the recording.

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As far as what I personally do when recording, I prefer miking my amps to running direct for most sounds. My VHT into my Peavey 4x12 has a lot of clarity, and tends to be very bright, which I counteract with EQ and also by using darker microphones. It sounds great by itself, but sometimes I'll use a Maxon overdrive in front for some extra grit and compression, especially for lead sounds. I'll typically keep its distortion control set very low. I can also use the Maxon's tone control to shave off some high end. My Traynor head doesn't have usable distortion on its own, so I use the Maxon in front with more distortion, or sometimes the Maxon and an MXR Distortion III in line, and try to find a sweet spot by stacking those with the amp's natural gain. It's a little weird to record since I have it going through a Hartke bass cabinet. Mic position is absolutely key.

I'll use the VHT for a more intelligible modern sound, and the Traynor for a thick, filthy tone. I used the VHT for the guitars on the last Black Harvest album, and recorded the bass through my old modeling head; I used the Traynor for all the guitars and bass for the Crisis Actor stuff. I'm considering writing some more black metal but I'll have to feel out which amp works best once I start coming up with parts.

I'm hard pressed to think of many black metal albums that have production I actually like. I dig the sound (as well as everything else) about the first two Furia albums, and there's something special about the sound of "Bergtatt". I like the direction Khold took with their beefy bass sound and dry vocals, but their drums were always a bit lacking. I think the particulars of guitar tone need to be pretty malleable and respect the context of the recording.

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15 hours ago, Balor said:

How do I get the best Black Metal guitar tone?  What amp settings do you think are best and why?

I've merged this with the existing topic - probably better suited to a discussion thread rather than the Q&A format. What kind of tone are you interested in? Any recordings in particular you really like?

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6 minutes ago, FatherAlabaster said:

Also, welcome back again, ChainscaleAkimDawn... :D

Thanks. Yeah i´ve asked a namechange.. it just didn´t feel right to use the name of a 2 man project i had in the past.. i originally chose the name here because i figured i´d start using it for my own personal projects too, but just wasn´t right.. it´s been bothering me (sometimes the smallest things do..) so it needed sorting. This is what i´m called everywhere else, so why not here too. :) 

ps.my little over week absence was due to not having a computer, had to downgrade to squeeze some money for living. Got a working pc again so easier to visit the forum again. (i can´t stand browsing forums with a phone, therefore i don´t do it) 

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22 minutes ago, FatherAlabaster said:

I've merged this with the existing topic - probably better suited to a discussion thread rather than the Q&A format. What kind of tone are you interested in? Any recordings in particular you really like?

Thanks, I realized that after I posted it.

I'm not quite sure what tone I want, but I really liked the sound of the guitars from Deathcrush.

3 hours ago, ChainsawAkimbo said:

Find the smallest amp possible, max out everything, record using a headset microphone. Voilá. :D

I'm planning on recording my stuff with a small digital tape recorder, so that might help.

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Depends on the the black metal... There's some crushingly heavy shit juxtaposed with dreary, frail, hollow, shrill stuff within the same piece.  Using a setting that will somehow allow both is great.  As said micing cabs really adds to the atmosphere and rawness. DI'd black metal sounds kinda lame, just the though of it.  I'm sure there great black metal done that way for whatever reason.  I would however think if such projects were recorded from live cabs, they would be better. That's just me and my opinion though..

not something to be taken too seriously though haha

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