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Breaking News: Back in Black Tone Found? (AUDIO UPDATE)

22 Mar Breaking News: Back in Black Tone Found? (AUDIO UPDATE)

Another one, this one is “You Shook Me All Night Long”

Same settings as for the solo, guitar on 6-6.5

Slightly different equalization, moved towards 3khz

You Shook Me All Night Long…?

______________________________________________

 

Okay, before I dance like a native American (an Indian, that is) in happiness,I need YOUR ears. Mine are almost fired already at 11:30 am.

Is it this? It sounds so much like it. Listen to the G chord during the chorus; listen just how it “crashes” onto itself because of the compression. Getting closer to the sound you hear from Angus.

This MP3 has me on the left, Angus in the center. Malcolm was muted.

Are we not there, at least really really almost?

I had to change slightly the settings, and here it is them:

– Guitar: 1970 Gibson SG Standard (I Just used this one, my first one, as it is one I know inside out).

– Amp: 1978 Marshall 2204 stock

– Head settings: Presence 0; Bass 6; Mids 2; Treble 5; Master 6; Preamp 5

– MXR DynaComp Compressor; output Max; sesnitivity half (might be too high)

– SECRET-1: gain 0; Tone 3 o’ clock; Vol Max

– Guitar: on 7 (for the rhythm)

The Solo is just a by-product of these settings, driving the AMPLIFIER more than this, leaving the settings basically unaltered, but I’ll have to give it a go later.

 

πŸ™‚

 

Back in Black Nailed?

Here’s the solo. May need some minor adjustments (and should be played better) but you get the idea. I really think it’s there for the main flavor. Even the euqlization was easier to find now (very similar to rhythm).

The ONLY change was the amp driven the master and pre amp, respectively at 8 and 6.

Back in Black Solo?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Yes, it is definitive now. I don’t have anything to show you or let you hear right now, though. Sorry.

It’s not a joke though: today I spent the whole day – apart some work that had to be done – trying to play the solo for Back in Black.

I wanted to shoot the tutorial, and I wanted the solo tone to be exactly spot on, like never before.

The whole morning went away, and I wasn’t happy at all. I tried using the 1987 for it, as we know solos were played mostly with a 50watter. Though it didn’t cut it.

I have a special pair of tubes on it since yesterday (was retubed and rebiased) it was an experiment but it didn’t work out. Will put new tubes in.

So I grabbed the 2204 (came back from the shop, it was just a fuse blown) and started tying things out.

Naturally, the SECRET-1 was inserted in the main input. I tried at first with the Master at 8 and the preamp at 8 as well, plus the SECRET-1 fully blasted. A bit too much; it didn’t work.

I could always hear – in the solo specifically – a snappy guitar sound, almost clean at times, though still overdriven and massively so at times. It had always – for decades – bugged me how possibly this kind of sound might have been obtained. For decades I thought it had to be the guitars. Then, I bought the guitars. Then I thought it was the amp. And I bought some amps of that era.

Still, no sound. Maybe it’s the playing, but how close can one get to his actual style?

You understand that my process through the years has been to eliminate progressively all the things that didn’t work out, weren’t accurate etc. And now we’ve come down to knowing almost exactly what was used.

In fact, the Schaffer Vega had a boost and a compressor. Wait wait… did I say compressor? Compressor?

Okay, let’s try one. I have been having a Dyna Comp for ages. It’s one of the most famous ones, from MXR. So I plugged it in.

 

Still a mess. too much, but there IS something there. I am starting to hear things…. what’s going on?

So let’s clean up things. Less master: goes to 4. Less pre amp: goes to 5.

SECRET-1 still at full blast, as it pretty evident Angus has been boosting massively the input channel.

 

IT’S THERE. There it is: the missing link was the compression.

I put the compressor in che part of signal chain where I think it belongs: the Schaffer Vega compresses the signal while transmitting to the receiver. So the compressor went AFTER the SECRET-1.

 

It’s there, it’s really there. This DyanComp has two knobs only: Output and Sensitivity. I put Output to the Max and Sensitivity slightly more than half. It’s really there.

It’s IT!!!

I can’t tell you how excited I am. I will try to post some soundclips asap.

 

Love,

 

Fil

 

 

avatar
Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri
sd@solodallas.com

We Are Rock 'N Roll People.

214 Comments
  • avatar
    ar2619Rob
    Posted at 10:40h, 22 March

    Eureka! This will give you huge enthusiasm just for playing now you have the settings. I have been trying a liitle compression too but before the boost not after (as that’s the way it is in a multi-effects) will have to try separate units, it just makes sense with the Schaffer Vega circuitry being that way.
    I hope now you can finally get some inner peace and satisfaction πŸ™‚ I tend to think you may be distracted away on your holiday, lol.

  • avatar
    nitroangus23
    Posted at 04:59h, 22 March

    I’m excited!

    lol

    Really can’t wait Fil,should be Epic-ness all around πŸ™‚

  • avatar
    sarge
    Posted at 03:46h, 22 March

    fil i have an article i wrote on epiphones can how can i post it on here for everyone to see? message me

  • avatar
    JaiminhoPagina
    Posted at 02:38h, 22 March

    Fil! That sounds like great news! πŸ˜€
    I’m excited. Can’t wait to hear what you got! If you say you nailed it, then it must be true :P.

    “Less master: goes to 4. Less pre amp: goes to 5”

    You know… I think I really remember reading somewhere that Angus and Malcolm didn’t really play super loud with their amps in the studio.
    Here. It’s a really really interesting interview (I think maybe you already read it):

    http://www.crabsodyinblue.com/acdcguitarplayerfeb84.htm

    Look at this section in particular:

    “Do you play loudly in the studio?

    Not really, no. Most people hear distortion and they think it’s loud. We keep it as clean as possible. The cleaner you do it, the louder it will sound when they do the cutting of it.”

    So, I think that was really another secret for their studio sound πŸ˜›

    Cheers!

    • avatar
      Dries
      Posted at 09:16h, 22 March

      hmm, could be.
      But on several recordings ( overdose for ex. ) you hear angus’ SG immediately feedback after a chord stroke.

      • avatar
        banane
        Posted at 09:22h, 22 March

        And that feedback would suggest a higher loudness level?

  • avatar
    whiskeyontherocks
    Posted at 00:06h, 22 March

    Congrats Fil, must feel great for all your work to pay off!

  • avatar
    Tyler
    Posted at 23:35h, 21 March

    This is wonderful Fil, congratulations! I wish I could shake your hand and congratulate you! I think this was the hardest part of the task of “conquering ac/dc tone”. Im sure from here on out the sounds from these classic ac/dc albums will come to you more easily.

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 23:37h, 21 March

      Thanks buddy. To me but I also hope, to you, too, if you want it. This is why I am posting (and have been) all of this. I really want us all to get there, if we want to. Then we can switch to something else (Boston, Free, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, … ) but I think this – as an exercise – has brought and is bringing good results to us all πŸ™‚

      • avatar
        Tyler
        Posted at 23:45h, 21 March

        Can’t wait till we tackle boston’s tone, that would be really sick, tom scholz is a mastermind of tone lol

        • avatar
          SoloDallas
          Posted at 23:50h, 21 March

          That will be even harder, but at least, much of it is documented!

  • avatar
    jakesg61
    Posted at 23:23h, 21 March

    Im really happy for you Fil, you deserve this after all these years of searching and helping other people its great that you have finally found what you have been looking for, for so long, well deserved.
    I also think this really does conclude that simple really isnt easy, ive heard people say that ac/dc is simple its easy to play etc, etc im sure youve heard it too, but this and everything youve ever said and all the fine detials thats define this amazing sound and tone, just go to show how fantastic ac/dc are and how there ‘simple-ness’ front couldnt be anymore far from the genius behind it πŸ˜€

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 23:33h, 21 March

      You are right on the money my Dear Jake. Thank you for your words concerning me – and I am looking forward to having YOUR ears hear it – but what you said about “easy” I got it so many times for years and years. Even before I was on youtube, I was hearing this thing that AC/DC were easy. I heard it many times, but no one, no one and no band could ever seem to replicate them or even get close. Additionally, I was trying on my own the style and the sound, and I could not get near it. Why, I wondered? If it is so easy, why has this thing taken me decades and I can’t nail it? So I started digging deeper into music and guitar in general. Playing live also helped very much, especially trying to play blues and ’70s classic rock. Only after a few years I realized with extreme certainty that both Malcolm and Angus knew exactly what they wanted and that they worked super hard to get it. All the compositions, the arrangements, the sounds, everything has been thought out and laid down carefully, even in the early times, where and when it was more instinctive (in the studio though, you had Vanda & Young, two big experts that wouldn’t let the younger brothers get away with crappy results). So I realized there had been a huge, huge work on rock and roll to make it work. Which is why I even fell in love more with the simple (but not easy, apparently?) rock and roll. Simplicity as a result of synthesis – that is – not just as an improvised attempt at composing and playing. That kind of simplicity completely fascinates me, as it is indeed a form of geniality and great effort. (sorry for the long comment!)

      • avatar
        jakesg61
        Posted at 23:51h, 21 March

        I completley agree 100% its is so far from easy, I think this is what many people are mislead by, simple doesnt mean easy.
        I think many poeple over look it, alot of people my age seem to go for bands that just dont cut it for me, If only they could truley have a good listen to ac/dc and then they would step back and think wow! how do they actually do that? Ive never heard a tone like it from anyone ecept ac/dc, and now you of course πŸ˜‰ and it seems to capture the mind.
        Like you said its very evident that Angus and Malcolm will only accept perfection and nothing less, and so much thought and effort must have gone into comming out with a sound like that, and not only the tone but they lay-out of the songs and how they are played, no ‘sloppy-nesss’ every single note is dinfined in the solos, backed up by a rythm that I dont think anyone in the world can match, and even the drumming, Ive seen many people turn a blind eye to Phil Rudd because he plays ‘simple’ beats but I have yet to see anyone that can drum like him, or sound like him for that matter. I think this amazing sound explains why they have sold so many albums. Ive never really ever been that close to angus tone in my own playing, purley becuase I didnt have the gear or the skills, but ive always wanted that sound and have been massively inspired by it, angus, malcolm, the band and you also as true musicians or perfectionists you might say, an that of course genuinly nice people πŸ˜€ (sorry for my long comment too hehe)

      • avatar
        rjofig
        Posted at 01:26h, 22 March

        True that; reminds me of a couple of nice quotes on the subject:
        “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak”, Hans Hofmann
        “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.” E. F. Schumacher

  • avatar
    banane
    Posted at 23:07h, 21 March

    Congratulations, Fil πŸ™‚ Have to go to bed now, workind the whole day on second job, can hardly keep my eyes open. Maybe I can listen to a nice record tomorrow morning πŸ™‚

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 23:08h, 21 March

      You have a nice “Schlafen” then my friend πŸ™‚

  • avatar
    GoingDownOnTheWay
    Posted at 22:24h, 21 March

    MV at 4? Did they use the MVs to keep the volume down or is that powertube saturation already?

    Imagine at least two fifty/hundred Watt heads, drums, bass amp and vocals at full volume, that’s a lot.

    Really excited waiting for your results, I can’t imagine that solo with a compressor yet. However, I have never been disappointed by your research.

    Salut you Fil!

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 22:34h, 21 March

      Good point. Here’s my thinking: for late ’70s JMPs MVs, they are really the same amps as their NMV counterparts, 2204 = 1987 and 2203 = 1959. There are some minor differences between the two, including the additional gain cascade on the MVs. But they truly do sound very similar, if not identical. In fact I believe that they can be made to sound identical. So, with this premise, I decided to use the 2204.
      Additionally, we really do not know what they used in the studio. Powerage had 2203s or 2204s, we know for certain as the sound engineer talks about it. So, AC/DC had at least used once MVs in the studio. Furthermore, Platt (sound engineer for Back in Black) states that AC/DC were not at all so loud in the studio. This lead me to additional thinking such as, they MAY have used master volumes in the studio. If so, I presume that they were not cranked up high, otherwise the benefit of using MVs would have been meaningless. Given all of this, I used the 2204 (and recently, I have been using more the 2203). I would love to already let you guys hear something. I did record Back in Black (rhythm and solo) today, but it’s downstairs. Wife is watching TV, daughter asleep but son is with me and won’t be able to move for a couple of house at least.

    • avatar
      SGACE
      Posted at 23:07h, 21 March

      MV at 4 is the start of the sweet spot if you understand what I mean, is where the amp breaks nicely..

      • avatar
        SoloDallas
        Posted at 23:08h, 21 March

        That’s why I chose it πŸ˜€

        • avatar
          GoingDownOnTheWay
          Posted at 23:29h, 21 March

          Thought so! πŸ˜‰

          Never played a proper Marshall, only modded monsters, really don’t have a clue.
          Sweet spot…? Put it on 11! πŸ˜€

          Though I noticed something different:
          Even on my transistor amp the volume works as an EQ at some level. Higher than 11 o’clock gets more bassy and trebly. I was told by an sound engineer that the human ear ‘hears’ treble and bass louder the louder the sound gets while mids don’t increase that much.

          Have a good night! Gute Nacht!

          • avatar
            SoloDallas
            Posted at 23:48h, 21 March

            Won’t work at 11! I tried it SO many times… especially prior to the Clean Boost, I just couldn’t figure out how Angus would get such drive. I went left and right, tried everything (including, recently, hotter pickups) but still, not the same result. The clean boost and the compressor were the missing links to this. Surprisingly, NOW Angus’ words make sense, when he mentions he wouldn’t run the amps to 10. Of course he would not… he was boosting them!

  • avatar
    thearmedmonkey
    Posted at 22:18h, 21 March

    Best news today! (I watched all the local news on the TV today)

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 23:09h, 21 March

      I almost don’t watch the news anymore. Italian news are depressing, with sexual scandals all the time and Big Brothers everywhere. There’s only dirty deeds being shown (done dirt cheap!). I tend to give only the good news to our friends here at solodallas πŸ™‚

      • avatar
        thearmedmonkey
        Posted at 18:33h, 23 March

        And much appreciated, that is!

        The soundclips made me laugh uncontrollably, it’s THE tone! Great work Fil!

  • avatar
    TheBrowling
    Posted at 21:59h, 21 March

    congratulations Fil, you have discovered one of the most well kept secrets of rock and roll! It is said that Lemmy Kilmister from MΓΆtorhead uses Back in Black to test how the amps and everything in his studio is set before recording, so imagine!

  • avatar
    adam10603
    Posted at 21:19h, 21 March

    What about the VEGAs that you have ? Have you tried them out already ?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 21:26h, 21 March

      Yes, sorry guys, had to eat πŸ™‚ Been “downstairs” all day.
      So yes, it’s confirmed that there is a compressor (as well as a boost) in the CETEC Vegas. One has been opened and it’s being investigated already. It was in fact for this reason – having spoken with the tech on the phone late morning – that i decided that I had to try a compressor. The only one (for guitar, that is) around was the MXR, which is also a very famous compressor. So I decided to give it a serious try. Settings for the amp are not surprising, except for the fact that I think even less mids can be applied: I was a low as 3 in fact. Treble 5, presence 0, bass 6, master 4, preamp 5-6. Boost at full. Compressor output full, sensitivity 3/4ths.
      Also, there is some equalization “In post”, that is, after the microphones. That was also there on the original recording. The curve is basically almost always the same for back in black, that is, a sort of peak on the 2-2.5k khz freqs.
      Micophones were one close to the grill, one approximately furhter at around 3cms away. None of the two were on the center of the cone, rather off centered both of them.

      • avatar
        SGACE
        Posted at 22:01h, 21 March

        As you described the settings, I recall all the info that we gathered (interviews, web search, etc) and I believe that the amps settings that you describe are far the most reasonable.. This settings actually are what I use for most of the times.. so with the missing links of the boost and the compressor everything comes to a point… Nice work Fil… Bravo once again…

        • avatar
          SoloDallas
          Posted at 23:10h, 21 March

          Efkharisto!!!!

          • avatar
            SGACE
            Posted at 23:15h, 21 March

            Gracie is for me about your continuous work..
            did you use the vintage dyna comp or the simple dyna comp?

            • avatar
              SoloDallas
              Posted at 23:25h, 21 March

              πŸ™‚ It is a mission for me, you must have sensed this. It’s been so for years and years. Now with you guys logged in into this, it is even more than a mission. I also feel a sort of responsibility towards you. But it’s the passion that drives me. I used the simpler, newer DynaComp, the red little box one. It’s one of the mostly used ones everywhere, though there are many stomp box compressors for guitar around, and I suppose many would be just as usable. I am eager to discover what compressor sits in the Vegas, but for now, this does it. And it is very, very different to use a compressor ON the guitar, versus one used after the microphone, Completely different result. I know, because I tried both ways, many times. A compressor ON the guitar (meaning, a stomp box) makes playing a lot easier. Strumming can be more delicate; notes last longer, very useful for solos for example. Angus was very smart to have used it in relative…silence. So much for being straight in to the amp… lol πŸ˜‰ The Boost and the compressor together change DRAMATICALLy the way a Marshall responds to the guitar and sounds. I didn’t think it’d be this much. Also, both the boost (the SECRET-1 at least) and the DynaComp boost mid freqs. It was astonishing to find the dynacomp boosting as well mid freqs. What you get almost right away George, is that “mid freq” presence that so clearly you hear on “You Shook Me All Night Long”, for example, clearly on Angus’ guitar. But there is that “mid presence” everywhere across the album. Impressive. I thought it was either the Equalization used after the microphones (but I was NEVER able to replicate it, even with the super professional, top of the line Sonnox Plugins) or the tape onto which they recorded. But it wasn’t. It must have been the Schaffer Vega. I am telling you, I am astonished.

              • avatar
                banane
                Posted at 07:18h, 22 March

                A little red Dynacomp…this one? http://www.thomann.de/gb/mxr_dynacomp.htm

                Credit card warming up… πŸ™‚

                • avatar
                  SGACE
                  Posted at 08:24h, 22 March

                  Guten Morgen Franz, yes this one…

                  • avatar
                    banane
                    Posted at 08:40h, 22 March

                    Thanks, George πŸ™‚ Ok, let’s wait for a sound example, then order it πŸ™‚

                    YSMALN really seems to be the best reference for the BiB album tone. Especially the intro.

                • avatar
                  SoloDallas
                  Posted at 08:58h, 22 March

                  Morgen, Ja it’s that one. FREEZE, wait for the clips, I need your ears too to confirm I’m hearing well…

                  • avatar
                    banane
                    Posted at 09:00h, 22 March

                    Morgen, Fil. Si, will do so. Just checked the prize and things πŸ™‚

                    • avatar
                      Kev
                      Posted at 09:06h, 22 March

                      can’t wait to actually HEAR something!!! πŸ™‚

  • avatar
    OldSchoolRocker666
    Posted at 21:13h, 21 March

    For those about to sound, we salute you!

  • avatar
    headwhop26
    Posted at 21:06h, 21 March

    YOU CANT JUST SAY THAT AND THEN LEAVE US WAITING TO HEAR IT!!!

    *rampage*

    But wow, this is fantastic, Fil! I cant wait to hear. Hopefully I wont feel sad that we’ve come to the end of an era here at SoloDallas

  • avatar
    Kev
    Posted at 21:01h, 21 March

    congratulations, Fil!!! so, you’re happy now, aren’t you?
    πŸ™‚

  • avatar
    06AngusSG
    Posted at 20:59h, 21 March

    What TORTURE! πŸ™‚ To post such a find w/o sound?
    Waiting?
    Waiting?
    Waiting……;)

    By the way. What were the eq settings on the amp?

  • avatar
    Angusrocks
    Posted at 20:43h, 21 March

    WOW !! I clap my hands for you !! Congratulation Fil !

  • avatar
    Alex
    Posted at 20:37h, 21 March

    Great work Master Fil!

    Can you post a picture of your rig and all the details in the solo tutorial video?

  • avatar
    Aaron
    Posted at 20:35h, 21 March

    I can’t wait to hear some sound clips, i will be checking for updates every 15 minutes now haha.

  • avatar
    Devil'Fingers"
    Posted at 20:23h, 21 March

    Ulala! Congrats! Looking forward to hear it! πŸ™‚

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