29 Mar AC/DC’s “Ride On” SoloDallas Cover
You wanted original sounds, like the ones recored. Well, we promised you that actually.
So take this. Hope you like toons?
Took me 5 days to accomplish.
At first, I was like – happens often – “this is going to take me one day only. Did it many times already, already covered, tutored, everything” (though it was years ago).
Additionally, I was thinking that given that these were the early days, it could be that Angus wasn’t as skilled as in the later years. So once can hope to nail his licks more easily.
Was wrong on all accounts, naturally. Been doing this for years – really – and I still fall into the usual mistake of overlooking things with this “simple” music.
Also, “blues is easy, ain’t it”? You still hear folks referring to these things this way.
Nah folks – brothers in sounds – not us. Not that it’s impossible, but definitely, these are “virtuoso things”, and we must be aware: to do it right, one must prepare himself.
So did I, once I sent Franz – banane – the first clips for sound tests, as we usually do every time.
As the hours passed by though, and I was rehearsing the solos (did the solos first), I realized I was making mistakes on a number of levels.
1.) Was using the 1959 with volume next to 10. Wrong: it has been stated many, many times that more often it was around 7. Took me two days to find out a-gain!
The volume naturally will translate into “drive” of the amp, and the original soloing done on “Ride On” is evidently “clean” (so to say: “clean dirty”, as Tony Platt called it).
2.) microphone position has always to be experimented for optimal results. And it’s so much fun to do as well. It’s really research, and it can be accomplished by any of us using time and some good common sense.
Used one Neumann U67 on the non slanted Marshall cabinet with 1969 G12Ms, and put the mike up left (facing the cab) with the mike tilted towards the outer edge of the cab, but still capturing sound incoming from the top left speaker.
Distance more or less 3 centimeters. In fact, besides it being a “dirty clean” solo sound, there is a terrific “Hollow sound” feeling in this – as in many other solo sounds from the same period – and this was surely accomplished by moving the microphone off axis, off centre.
You really can place the microphone in a number of fantastic spots on a Marshall 4×12 cabinet. Hard work at times, but always pays off.
3). The guitar here has obviously the tone control of the bridge pickup closed to some degree. I tried 2, 4 and 3, and 3 seemed to match the best (final result is what you hear in the video). WHY do this? I.e., why close the tone knob some? CUT THROUGH the mix was the answer.
Remember, at the time there weren’t stomp boxes or other gimmicks. Furthermore, it’s not like Angus would use them even if available. He’s always stated “he’d use the guitar”, and he always did. I think most of these things – including the inner concepts, the “philosophy” about all this, was passed on to him by his older brothers – namely George first and Malcolm second – early on, “forming and forging” him forever. Closing the tone knob some will make for a thicker body of sound, which could then be shaped even better with post EQ (tracking console and mix console). It is true.
4.) These were the years when probably Vanda-Young production used a lot Neve consoles. Therefore, if we want to emulate “that” sound, we must look for Neve plugins.
Used two here, one Slate Virtual Console emulator, and one UAD Neve 1081SE Equalizer module (emulation of a very famous Neve module). There are increasingly more and more plugins out there, for any giver DAW (digital recording platform). I use UAD (Universal Audio) but there is also Wave plugins out there, and they’re good and don’t require additional hardware (as the UAD does). I wholeheartedly recommend that you spend time recording and messing around with post-production (after recording) sound manipulation. I’m always here to help if you need me.
To my ears, it came out close to Angus’ original sound. They may have used some baffles – I hear certain notes resonating against something for sure – but I haven’t. I used open mic on the cab as most of the times.
I truly think “my” results are replicable, and this is why I have been writing all of this down for all of these months: I think one can replicate and even do better than me. Do it, it’s worth it!