Powerage Era: AC/DC’s “Gimme A Bullet” (with SoloDallas Solo)

07 Oct Powerage Era: AC/DC’s “Gimme A Bullet” (with SoloDallas Solo)

NOW I’m starting to have fun.

This video is the second one of the “debunking” series with the Schaffer-Vega Diversity.

As with the previous one, “Back in Black”, I intend to cover quite a few songs with the exact same equipment they used back then, or the closest approximation I have available.

I used the Schaffer-Vega here only on the solo  – which is my own thingnote – as I believe was on most albums since 1978 onward. I love the SVDS: did you know?

I used a vintage Neumann U47 (the original, tube version), similarly to the original recording, where one Neumann U47 FET was used on each cabinet. The Neumann U47 FET was a non-tube version released by Neumann when the tube for the first type of microphone had gone out of production and couldn’t be sourced anymore. The two microphones are NOT the same, they do sound slightly different, but this is all I have to try with, and I think it can be a fair approximation. By most, the U47 is considered the King of microphones, with the tube version being the most sought after (especially for vocals). The FET version has often been considered inferior, but for us, it is not a matter of which is better; it is a matter of which is more accurate.

In order to get the slightly “boxy” sound Angus has here, I put a plexiglass panel over the cabinet, acting similarly to a baffle panel, which is though an acoustic absorbent (the plexiglass panel is instead reflective). Additionally, I put the microphone in a weird position, off axis and off centre, to try and capture the sound as it was on the album. I don’t think it matches yet 100%, but it is a starting point. The interview with Mark Opitz – sound engineer for this album – states the U47 FET was at circa one inch distance from the grill for each song. I don’t believe this to be accurate. Just as an example, the sound of Angus’ on Down Payment Blues is clearly taken from afar. But it could have been a general rule – with its exception – for the whole album.

As I believe was true for the whole Powerage album, video was shot with a 1979 Marshall 2203 and a 4×12 G12M cabinet (G12Ms are pre-Rolas).

Settings on the amp were presence 0, bass 0, middle 4, treble 5, master 2 and pre-amp 7. I think Angus was in these whereabouts settings wise, too. Same settings used for the solo with the SVDS, however the Monitor output Clean-Boost of the SVDS receiver was at 10 ‘o clock, giving it a nice boost.

You can see clearly that the SVDS was not used on the rhythm part, I’m plugged straight into the amp  high sensitivity channel – no X10 on strap. I wore the other strap with the X10 attached to it instead for the solo. This could/should reflect the band choice at the time, i.e., to play rhythm plugged in with cables, and Angus playing the solos from the control room via his Schaffer-Vega Diversity System for additional boost and comfort.

Mic positioning pic coming shortly.

 

Note: the reason for which I played my own solo here, was due to several factors:

 

– fun factor: this song, is one of the very few of the old “golden era” in which songs didn’t have a solo

I really wanted to start capturing my own “Angus Young Flavor” solo type of sound/tone, using the Schaffer-Vega, not having to double the solo over the existing one and giving therefore a clear listen of how the Schaffer-Vega can sound. Here I tried to create a bit of the Powerage/Highway to Hell solos tone. I think the two are not too far apart, since likely the same instrumentation was used (Amps/Speakers likely). DIfferent microphones were used in the two albums though. 

 

avatar
Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri
sd@solodallas.com

I like Geetars!

55 Comments
  • avatar
    livewiredmike
    Posted at 14:14h, 21 November

    Absolutely brilliant Fil…always inspiring!

  • avatar
    andre peralta
    Posted at 03:22h, 19 June

    hey it is just me? or this song has almost the same chord progression for riff raff intro? BTW REALLY GREAT SOLO THERE FIL!

  • avatar
    AngusRudd1019
    Posted at 05:49h, 11 January

    Was nice to revisit this one. KILLER SOLO FIL!!!

  • avatar
    John585@gmail.com
    Posted at 19:11h, 08 January

    As always, excellent work friend!- certainly on adding an superb Angus solo!

    I am wondering a little more about the tone- ‘boxy’ or ‘nasal’ as I’d describe it. Its a great and unique sound. To quote you: “In order to get the slightly “boxy” sound Angus has here, I put a plexiglass panel over the cabinet, acting similarly to a baffle panel, which is though an acoustic absorbent (the plexiglass panel is instead reflective).”

    My question is can you please expand the physical description of this? Do you mean literally a square piece of plexiglas completely covering the whole grille cloth of the cabinet? I have a modern 2203 and a 1960AX with G12Ms, so you know I am going to stop by the hardware store tonight :)

    Where did you get that idea, or is that a common tone altering technique?

  • avatar
    NathanBrazil
    Posted at 16:22h, 12 October

    Hey Fil, AMAZING!
    The sound you took out of that 71′ for the solo is 99,99% ANGUS TONE from that era, rlly impressive!!!
    Nice work, and keep rocking!

  • avatar
    Ben
    Posted at 21:20h, 11 March

    Nice solo man! Can just imagine Angus playing something just like that over the rest, spot on tone too.

  • avatar
    Ant
    Posted at 23:02h, 17 October

    Never getting bored of this! \..\ o.0 /../

  • avatar
    Ant
    Posted at 17:46h, 12 October

    What does the SVDS sound like on GR4? iv yet to hear a sample 😉

    Any chance you can give us a quick demo?

    I just want to know what to expect sound wise if i purchase the beast of a replica 😀

    Await in anticipation!!
    Ant

    • avatar
      Ant
      Posted at 17:49h, 12 October

      ….oh yea just to let everyone know

      GR5 demo is now available for download!! give it a go its worth it!

      Ant :)

  • avatar
    JaiminhoPagina
    Posted at 23:43h, 10 October

    The feeling I got while I was listening to this is that I was hearing an actual Powerage outtake! haha xD
    It really sounds THAT authentic. I’m telling you! 😀

    Outstanding work once again Fil! That thing is MAGICAL!

  • avatar
    Ant
    Posted at 13:31h, 10 October

    Had to listen to this again it realy is a master piece

    gona listen to this when at the gym will make me run a mile :)

    Saltue,
    Ant

  • avatar
    SoloBakersfield
    Posted at 05:25h, 10 October

    Fil the tone of the solo was great and I cant get enough of those grinds 2:56 to 3:00 great job

  • avatar
    HagusYoung
    Posted at 22:14h, 09 October

    Dude ive been away too long, im totaly out of this technical context (lots of exams for a bachelors degree…). I love to see you playing that devisish red candy lookin SG, what a great find 😀
    You caputred that little brittle thing from the record very well, its brittle on spot but not thin. Great Cover, i hope your doing well,
    Yours,

    Hagen

  • avatar
    Andrea Sg
    Posted at 19:41h, 09 October

    Love this sound to the right, during the intro!!!!

  • avatar
    Dries
    Posted at 14:46h, 09 October

    Think you should try the Y-setup with a dynamic mic, as opitz’ technique. But it can be hard to get rid of the phase cancelling.

    The sen MD421 is a great dynamic mic!

  • avatar
    tjtristan
    Posted at 11:00h, 09 October

    I love the tone of the solo, it sounds pretty similiar to the solo sound of riff raff on the powerage album (studio version). would be even cooler if you could just cover Riff Raff 😀 (im sure he used SVDS in the solo there)

  • avatar
    dash8311
    Posted at 02:35h, 09 October

    Sounds great Fil. Trying to learn this from your video…looks like A…mine doesn’t sound the same. Quick chord review pretty please? Cheers!

    • avatar
      rugster
      Posted at 09:39h, 09 October

      You need to tune down. When you hear the first A chord, try and match your A string as close as possible and then your other strings relative to that. A lot of the early stuff has similar tuning, it depends on the song. :)

      • avatar
        dash8311
        Posted at 09:46h, 09 October

        After a few minutes of playing around I figured this out after posting :) thanks rugster!

        • avatar
          banane
          Posted at 10:00h, 09 October

          Made the same mistake, welcome to the club :)

      • avatar
        SoloDallas
        Posted at 09:58h, 09 October

        This is exact. Recently, I have done as follows:

        Open Audacity
        Import the AC/DC song file
        Locate the waveform that correspond to an open, easily audible open chord
        Select that single waveform
        “loop” play that single waveform (Shift-Play)
        Play along the corresponding open string and tune it
        Tune the rest of your strings

        • avatar
          rugster
          Posted at 11:10h, 09 October

          If you just press L it will loop, does on a MAC anyway.

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