AC/DC “Shot Down In Flames” (Live)

22 Jan AC/DC “Shot Down In Flames” (Live)

sdif720 from SoloDallas on Vimeo.

This is one of the two new videos I have been working on silently during these days (when you don’t hear from me, I’m either away, or working too hard on business or studying new content for SoloDallas.net!).
I have been trying to capture studio tone and the usual performance feeling.
Also, I think I am understanding better and better micing (i.e., the positioning of the microphones), equalizing, recording and mixing in general. It’s. Lot of work, but it is neessary. I am leaning towards thinking that amplifier settings, guitar settings, micing, equalizing and mixing all work together almost seamlessly to get you the tone you have in mind. Naturally, the playing is always the most important component, but the tone… is not in the hands (or not only in the hands). I mean at least, for that whole part that we consider as those tonal characteristics that are contained in the guitar type, amplifier and cabinet types, microphone type and its posotioning, equalization, mixing etc.
There is a lot of components, as you can see and hopefully, hear.
I intend to debunk all of them – I am, actually – because what w hear on our favourite albums, it’s also a byproduct of all of this.

Especially in studio albums, the work to be done is tantamount. I had no idea it would be so difficult but yet, so rewarding. I am really into microphone positioning now (laughs). I spend a lot of time changing – even just slightly – one or both the microphone position, inclination, grill cloth distance, levels, etc. I am actually positioning the microphones first, then I am working the settings on the amp and guitar. I am beginning to have certain types of tones in mind, almost clearly, and I am chasing them by means of all this.

Getting the sound right from the source is what all sound engineers and producers have been suggesting for decades, and I hadn’t given it the importance I am now. It’s really, really amazing how things change.

I’ll even stretch to the point of saying that one can even play better once the sound is a good one. Live is a different thing, But in the studio, where you are working with headphones and the sound is extremely controllable, a lot of different results can be achieved. One doesn’t need to have super expensive stuff, though I like good quality in general. I really think that superb results can be obtained with one microphone – I like condensers, but dynamics are also very good and cheaper – and even no mic preamp (I don’t have one yet in fact: working with a firewire digital interface!). Imagine the difference that great outboard such as Neve can make (and it does). Still, for emulation purposes – we’re not making records are we – it’s superb and any and all of us can do it.

I strongly encourage each one of you to indulge into microphone positioning and equalization (after the take) or – if working with modeling software – the equivalent (cabinet choice, on or off axis, distance etc.). Guitar Rig for example offers a lot of options and it’s totally worth it to experiment. I made my first steps into understanding how these things worked just with Guitar Rig in fact.

This one was played with a 1970 Gibson SG Standard and a Marshall 2204 (both rhythm and solo).

The settings for the rhythm may be more interesting: I set the guitar bridge pickup volume at 5, and the head volume at 8 like the pre-amp. For the solo, I brought up the guitar volume to 8.

Microphones were both facing the same cabinet speaker here. One was on the edge of the speaker border facing towards the speaker center; the other one was on the opposite border also angled towards the centre.

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Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri
sd@solodallas.com

I like Geetars!

86 Comments
  • avatar
    Ryley
    Posted at 01:30h, 18 May

    Fil, im watching the Live AT River Plate dvd, and i noticed that for the first part of the verse riff, angus is only playing the G and B strings, NOT the D string, what r ur thoughts on this?

  • avatar
    jakesg61
    Posted at 11:09h, 20 February

    Totally amazing, once again Fil, this ois one of my most favorite ac/dc songs really gets you goin hehe 😀
    Quick question, the chorus chords, open A open G open D then powerchord C, on the original recording, would the C have been an open C, or the powerchord C like on the live version?
    Thankyou
    Jake

  • avatar
    Dries
    Posted at 00:33h, 05 February

    Do you listen via the headphones to your mic’d amp also, with the equalizer and reverb allready applied, or do you just listen to the backing track?

    Cheers

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 13:38h, 05 February

      In time, I did all of it. Played over the track listening to the live audio of the guitar coming from the amplifier and cabinet, and playing with the headphones on and the sound already equalized. I also played with headphones on and the sound not equalized or post-processed at all. Basically, we as guitar players, must be ready to face any situation. This came clear to me when I used to play live a lot. In the first years, I demanded to hear my guitar perfectly. In time, I abandoned that requisite, as I noticed that it was almost impossible, and learned to barely hear myself in the band context, making sure I could still hear the drums. And I learned from that. Recording can be similar at times, although I try to hear my guitar part the best way possibly (louder than the mix). I almost never use the same tone settings after the take: I always tweak it to make it work better in the mix

  • avatar
    Ryley
    Posted at 21:06h, 25 January

    Fil could you please send me the backing track for this? i cant find it anywhere on the internet :S
    Ryley

    • avatar
      Ant
      Posted at 22:49h, 25 January

      go to youtube and put in shot down in flames backing track and you should be able to find it ^^

      tip let the video fully buffer then goto the temporary internet file directory sort the list by date and copy the largest file there for todays date (or when you view it) then past to your desktop then add .mpg to the end of the file name. presto you have a video copy of the backing track

      also you can look on the net for audio extractor software that can take out the audio on videos and save as mp3 or wav :)

      hope this helps… i will look for a more direct link on youtube 😉

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