05 Jan AC/DC’s “For Those About To Rock (Album Compilation of Covers)”, The Schaffer Replica™ Series (SoloDallas covers)
I am going to try and compile here – this time – the covers that refer to For Those About To Rock.
Just for ease of access really, and to try and keep what I write in a sole place so that you don’t have to go picking up stuff around in bits and pieces.
NOT that I think what I have to say is SO important after all. So the big chunk I am going to say it right after the first three covers. Enjoy.
So now that we have them posted, I’ll tell you what I know.
We know that the guitars were recorded with SM57s. This we know because it’s written in that book – AC/DC In The Studio – that we mentioned several times. For people like us, willing to match sounds as much as possible with given resources, it’s important.
So I have used both of my SM57s, the contemporary one and the Unidyne III, the vintage SM57 made in the USA.
Frankly, the Unidyne III sounds SO much better that I try and use it as THE main microphone when two SM57s are involved, as in this case. So I coupled them both together (to avoid phase cancellation) but I positioned the Unidyne where I wanted the sound, the other one was just randomly next to it. Still, it helped thicken the sound some. I must also tell you that it didn’t take much for both sounds types in both songs (C.O.D and Let’s Get It Up) to sort of match my sounds to what’s on the album. Not that I think I “did it” and you won’t notice the difference. There is still difference. But I was sort of content. For these two songs,
I am certain that the case here is 1959 Super Lead (Angus). I played Let’s Get It Up with the TSR™ at all times, because it helped me fatten up the sound; since the whole album was played in a large rehearsal room, via a mobile studio, I figured that Angus may as well have used the Schaffer-Vega Diversity (SVDS) to record even the rhythm parts. At least, sometimes? Additionally, the guitar in the centre – and there IS one on Let’s Get It Up – we know was always played with the SVDS, so… it’s still appropriate.
This is an update as of early January 2014. Opposite to what I thought I knew up there, is a new certainty that instead, For Those About To Rock – the whole album – was pretty much played in the following conditions (Angus):
– Rhythm tracks, always 2203
– Solo tracks – at least the most of them, a 50 watts head amp with the SVDS. Surprisingly, settings should be relatively clean. The tone of the FTATR leads is definitely clean(er). A sort of trend probably started in the previous album (Back in Black) continues here and way forward in subsequent years. It probably seemed to them that cleaner lead tones were cutting through better and were definitely fatter (they were, especially thanks to the SVDS compressor). So The volume of such 50 watts Marshall head could be around 4 or 5; maybe even 6. You try. Used here (on all the above solos) was my 1973 Marshall Model 1987. I simply love how the TSR® makes this amp sound.
– Speakers type: in my opinion, having tried much so far, it seems to me that rhythm was played with G12-65s and leads with G12Ms. Could be all on G12Ms for what we know, but I was able to match finely with G12-65s. Reason probably was that the G12-65s keep well the high pressure of a 100 watts amp and its headroom. Additionally, they are darker than G12Ms, and especially for rhythm, one is going to soften the highs on rhythm sections from within the console anyways. Microphones will add some treble spark so very often that it is just taken away. G12-65s may be suitable specifically because they are not as bright as G12Ms.
Few to no doubts instead are left for soloing on G12Ms (a trend that probably continued on to present day for Angus). They just cut through better. There is – now – no doubt. I have tried countless times to EQ some solos played with G12-65s having slightly a hard(er) time, though still always using the rest of the gear I have as you know. When I switched to G12Ms, it was almost instant-easy match. There is a gutsy character to G12Ms, scorching mids ‘n’ highs. Hardly swappable for something else or messing around at the post production console. G12Ms were them! The G12Ms used in these recordings are true late 1970s G12Ms, as I think were used by the band in those years. Cabinet is a re-issue Marshall of the early 2000s.
Additionally, as our close contributor and friend currentpeak has found here on wikipedia,
“AC/DCs “Back in Black” , “For Those About To Rock” and many Queen, Led Zeppelin, and other rock albums were recorded on the Harrison-designed MCI consoles
Which should be kept in mind when post-producing the songs from this album (for example, an MCI had a 4 band EQ in the style of SSL 4000 consoles, good hint to try and post EQ such songs once recorded!).
Article in Development – please check back.