14 Nov AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” New Series
Heh. I think I am getting closer.
Highway To Hell seems “easier” to get to in terms of tone replication. I am convinced strongly, more and more, that Angus recorded many parts with a Marshall 2203 or 2204.
This one was recorded with a 2204. One Microphone (AT4047) for the rhythm, two for the solo, but I had to change positions for the solos as it seemed that the solo was recorded off axis. So did I.
Now, a tutorial will come, a new one, for this one too. But I am pleased to ask you to notice WHERE I am playing the main riff: over the neck pickup.
I spent a good number of hours trying to figure out how Angus had been muted possibly on tape, when he was stopping the strings and changing positions (i.e., if you listen to the record, there is NO noise whatsoever of him moving into position for the riff chords). At first, I thought it had been edited, as it was so silent and I just couldn’t be as silent, putting my hand back on the bridge. So after a while I tried the most natural position that comes spontaneously to mute the strings while playing this: it was with the pick over the neck pickup. Not only did that completely solve the mystery (otherwise, you would have heard a lot of buzz while changing chords for the riff) but also, the SOUND changed for a good part, and for the better: it finally gave it an additional “raw-ness”, hard to describe, but it’s a fact. The strings are also softer on that spot, and rhythm chords bounce marvelously. So I made it a little mission to aim at the screws on the neck pickup lol. I was in heaven when I found out. Absolutely try this for yourself when you have a chance.
Guitar is also a first timer here, and it’s not catalogued either yet here (boy, didn’t have time). It’s a got a few issues on the fretboard, despite a re-fret job and a PLEK job, the D string “plinks” too much. Will have to send it back to the shop. Tone is great though, as you can hear. It’s a late ’68 early ’69.
TheBrowlingPosted at 18:02h, 13 November
Fil! I’ve done it! I’ve made my own little smokey amp!! (an amp that will fit in a cigarretes box! I have spent about 6€ on it and lots of hours of correcting and reading about the stuff in the internet, but it’s worth it! I’m so excited!
OldSchoolRocker666Posted at 17:28h, 13 November
Such an simple song, but still so hard to get right 🙂
This is the only song i can decently cover(in sense of timing, soloing, rythm part e.t.c), trying to nail back in black but the bluesy solos keeps killing me, but i Will nail it , i can’t imagine how many hours Fil been practicing to nail it, it’s simple but simple doesnt equall being easy, great video and tone 🙂
But tell me, i recently bought a couple of Fender Extra Heavy(love them, they don’t break as the other picks i’ve used before), but when you say made of ”tortoise shell”, is that a special version of Fender Extra Heavy or?
SoloDallasPosted at 17:35h, 13 November
That’s exactly why I used to say “simple ain’t easy”, if you remember. Simple can often (not always) imply that it’s a simplicity derived from “synthesis”: a complex procedure that painstakingly removes the unnecessary and keeps stuff at its bare bones. Those bare bones, sing, but it truly is difficult to get there. This, for me, tells it all about AC/DC. To nail this it took me a life time. It’s not been matter of hours, it’s been a matter of listening to it for years. Because I now realize I never really had listened the way I am doing now. If you really listen to their playing, whenever it’s possible, you realize how sophisticated it is. That apparently constant timing never really is, it’s always moving and grooving. You hear it, and it sounds so natural. You try and play it like them, you realize how much effort it takes. Tortoise shell: it’s the name of the pattern of the matter of the pick. If you look at it, it should be brown with lighter spots of yellow, subtle colors in those shades.
OldSchoolRocker666Posted at 17:52h, 13 November
Then it’s the same picks i bought , they look good to 🙂
I started to realize how hard it actually is first times i tried to do it myself, the rythm, the timing, all components together, ”damn it’s so simple” i thought, ”but hell they do it so naturally, they truly are underrated!”..
What makes it so fun is the fact that it IS hard, and that it forces you to play better and better, a challenge.. There is no shortcut to improvement 🙂
AngusrocksPosted at 10:01h, 14 November
turn your hifi up, turn your amp up, your guitar on 8 and rock with ACDC, live or studio or whatever. This is a lot of fun and nearby you get the timing (-:
KinglancePosted at 17:36h, 13 November
I got the purple ones… I saw on thomann (german store): http://www.thomann.de/be/search_dir.html?sid=5588d1c2024424cf5f5747203a32f43c&xsid=5588d1c2024424cf5f5747203a32f43c&sw=fender+extra+heavy that there are brown ones too…
KinglancePosted at 17:04h, 13 November
Got my Shure SM57!! And my Fender extra heavy picks!! I’m totally broke now, have no more money… 😀 This evening we can do a test-drive!! Hell yeah!! 😀
davidon66Posted at 14:20h, 13 November
Superb camera angle on the solo . ….
HagusYoungPosted at 12:27h, 13 November
Holy Shit, Fil ! Dude i’m out for a few weeks, come back, and you pulled off this Highway to Hell tone ! Really close, to me its a bit thin around the Bass but the distortion type Mids and Treble is awesomely close to what i consider as the HtH tone !
Did you double the tracks or anything (ive heard these rumours that the original was double tracked a few times) ? Is all that tone just a JMP thing (besides having a authentic sounding SG) ?
bananePosted at 15:20h, 13 November
Hi Hagen, already wondering why you’re so silent 🙂 As far as I know, yes, its just the JMP. Look at the “If you want blood” posting, Fil tells there a bit about the HWTH album and the jmp.
SoloDallasPosted at 17:36h, 13 November
Welcome back 🙂 That is entirely 2204, bare 2204.
ChrisPosted at 12:09h, 13 November
man fil, really, it’s , i don’t know how to explain it, the way you play it, the way it sounds
one of the beautifulest guitars, with one of the best amps, with one of the coolest guys i know, thats the sound i love 😉
Chris / depuis
deni91Posted at 10:36h, 13 November
What kind of tuning is it? Standard, or different?
Usually, which tuning is used for AC/DC?
SoloDallasPosted at 17:37h, 13 November
Tuning: hard to say. I truly do not know, and I don’t think it’s set into any particular half exact step down. It’s “there”. Not sure whether it was tape slowed down or they played it like this.
AngusrocksPosted at 09:54h, 14 November
Standart tuning is 440hz, Highway To Hell is on 432hz. On a POD XT it`s easy to see….
AngusrocksPosted at 10:47h, 14 November
i forgot, there are a lot of people who have no POD. HTH CD in, track 3 Walk All Over You, tune your deep e- string to the e- chord at the beginning of this song and then you got it. And, of course, the rest of your strings to your e -string then.
cupcakePosted at 10:01h, 13 November
Nice solo 😀 sounds JUST like AC/DC. Care to share the amp settings with us mortals, oh mighty Fil? 😀
SoloDallasPosted at 10:09h, 13 November
Thank you, yes of course. The reason for I don’t do it immediately is that I realized that the amplifier settings are useless. Bass 0, mids 5, treble 6 volume 8, pre 6 or 8 for rhythm and solos. presence 0. Settings are useless I was saying, as what really makes the difference here is the microphone placement and equalization (post). The amplifier type and model is instead very important, and so is the cabinet with speakers type. All of these contribute to the tone we heard on the records.
KinglancePosted at 00:31h, 28 November
My sound with the Shure mic on my fathers Tascam isn’t that. Recorded with Audacity. Do I need an equalization? Do I need to equalize after recording with the mic? Maybe that’s the reason of my bad sound…
Dave4433Posted at 09:48h, 13 November
The camera angle during the solo was so perfect ! I could see allmost all the notes played. 😀
And that “raw-ness” I totally felt that too. SooOo SweeeEet 😀
AngusrocksPosted at 08:52h, 13 November
Yep, everything is perfect !!
That`s what it should sound like (-:
solocaliPosted at 04:57h, 13 November
love the echo is it a pedal or something else?
KyleSGPosted at 03:57h, 13 November
Awesome Job! Fil
solocaliPosted at 03:55h, 13 November
thx I will try the 78 and keep you posted its only 5 bucks more than the 77 haha I also love the solo I wonder why angus never plays the second solo live I think it sounds great
LeroyKincaidPosted at 03:20h, 13 November
Absolutely perfect Fil! I loved the camera angle when you were doing the solo – very nice touch.
I was wondering if you could tell me what guitar leads/cables you’d recommend? Mine old one’s getting on a bit and it’s starting to buzz.
nitroangus23Posted at 03:16h, 13 November
Now THAT is easily the closest you’ve ever gotten before Fil.
I thought the recent If You Want Blood video was perfect,this is Godly!!
The tone is spot on,
Man I can’t wait to hear some other songs with this set up!!
bananePosted at 02:26h, 13 November
Man FIl, what a gread vid. Not even the sound is perfect, but the view in general and especially at the solo is perfect too. I can just see everything. Very great. In my opinion, your best video ever.
You just deserved another beer 🙂
SoloDallasPosted at 02:28h, 13 November
Danke!!! But whatcha doing up this late brother? I am about to fall asleep 😛 Posted on YouTube, too, and the copyright claim got me automatically: this video is blocked in Germany. Not here on Vimeo though, thank god I chose Vimeo for us here 🙂
bananePosted at 02:36h, 13 November
Ah well, worked all the day from 7 until evening (having 2 jobs) then rehearsing 2 hours till 10 (first time this week, had missing playing so much), then again rehearsing with unplugged guitar, and now I’ll have a day-closing beer and some cigarettes while looking around here 🙂 Late, but the best hours for this week. Tired, but happy again 🙂
I’ll have a look if its blocked in here in austria too.
Yeah, lets hope that Vimeo keeps this on.
bananePosted at 02:43h, 13 November
Funny, youtube vid is viewable here in austria.
06AngusSGPosted at 02:47h, 13 November
I can see it on youtube here in the U.S. also.
bananePosted at 02:49h, 13 November
Maybe then a german company told youtube to block this.
06AngusSGPosted at 02:15h, 13 November
I think the sound is el perfecto!!!! Closer I think you couldn’t get. I also love the “in your face” solo!!!
But… you look to cramped up in your little pod/basement/ room whatever, in this vid.
SoloDallasPosted at 02:19h, 13 November
Thanks Jon 🙂 I am cramped a bit, I had more space to use on the headstock side, but didn’t want to use it or else you’d be seeing freaking shirts hanging… this place is/used to be a walking closet in the basement!!! 😛
06AngusSGPosted at 02:42h, 13 November
Speaking of t-shirts. Selling yet?? My wife needs Christmas ideas.
Also got the parts today for the SG re-wire. Can’t even work on it till Monday. 🙁 I’m working a crazy weekend schedule for the next couple of weeks.
Almost done with the cab build post and can’t wait to start on the the next.
solocaliPosted at 02:14h, 13 November
great love the sound, we learn more & more everyday. fil just when I left to go finally get my jmp 1977 they told me they have a 78 is it better? one more thing I’ve been wanting to ask you do you still use the angus young signature pick up because I haven’t seen you use it in a while and you seemed happy when you got it? thx for everything 🙂
SoloDallasPosted at 02:20h, 13 November
’78 may be better, yes, because slight changes were made to the circuit which got even more aggressive in tone. Go for it.
KinglancePosted at 02:05h, 13 November
Also wanted to say… this is so spot on, the solo, can’t hear the difference with the original song. Really great performance, awesome stuff!!
SoloDallasPosted at 02:20h, 13 November
I am pleased you noticed that.
KinglancePosted at 02:00h, 13 November
Marvelous, so sweet, great, kicks ass as always, superbo, fantastico, magnifico, favoloso,… !! Love the JMP!! 😀 U know which picks Angus uses? U’re using the same? Gr
SoloDallasPosted at 02:02h, 13 November
Seems like you like huh? 😉 Thanks mate. I tried a “more in your face” soloing position for effect while playing. Anyway, Angus uses Fender Extra Heavy pickups made of tortoise shell. Same do I.
KinglancePosted at 02:07h, 13 November
The solo is really really great! Love the “in your face” position… It’s always nice to do something new. Tomorrow I’ll go to the shop for new picks, now I’m using Dunlop’s 0.75.