13 Nov Playing Back in Black in a studio with The Schaffer Replica
Above is from Youtube. For ALL those who have it blocked in their countries, below!
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Some of you have already probably seen it – I did the opposite of what I was supposed to be doing, i.e., posted “out of here” first, then here. Reason being though, I won’t post here without a write up, and here it is (I always – now and in the future – want to make the difference here by providing ALL the information I can to you all out there, as our experiments go forward).
If you had been reading here in time, you know I had the idea of going to a studio (recording studio) and pour it all out, i.e., try and use the studio acoustics to even go beyond what I have been trying to do in my hole, here.
So we did last Sunday, present our omni-present Franz (banane) and good ol’ time professional sound engineer and friend, Chris. Studio is his, with – though – a lot of gear that has survived my older studio, Studio58a. So it’s a little bit like being home (internally somehow Chris’ studio reminds me of mine, and not by chance).
Chris and I have also recently purchased a super used, 10th hand analog console of the old days, partly similar to the one that was used by AC/DC on Back in Black, at Compass Point Studios: an MCI Jh600 series. AC/DC worked on an MCI jh500 series.
The two consoles are not at all the same, but maintain some similarities. So we went for it.
Here a couple pictures to you of the console and some surroundings.
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So this is the console we used for tracking.
Since I really wanted to try and recreate – as much as possible and only for the “scientific” sake of it – the situation in which Angus recorded back then, I played rhythm in the recording room, and solos in the control room.
Our beloved – and really exceptional – The Schaffer Replica (TSR) has been ON the whole time, meaning that, I used it for both rhythm and solos.
Now, while some my raise their eyebrow saying “… but Fil, it wasn’t used for rhythm on the original recording…” I’d love to remind you that – YES – it WAS used for rhythm, too!
ALWAYS keep in mind that AC/DC technique from Let There Be Rock onward was to let Angus re-play part of the rhythm track in the centre position of the stereo image. This would allow them for a fuller sound – naturally – even considering that they were trying to avoid – after solos – the “fall down” effect, where after the solos, phonically things seems to “go down” if you don’t add something as a back up.
So Angus started to play rhythm – in the control room, using the SVDS – basically even before playing the solos from – likely – Powerage onward, for all the rest of his career.
So, YES (again) the SVDS has ALWAYS been a huge part of the studio (not to speak about the live performances!) sound of those great times. Simply, it’s not necessarily Angus’ sound on the outmost right stereo position (when tracking with the band), but it may be more often in the center.
It certainly is so – with no exception – on the whole Back in Black album. So always keep this in mind! Solos AND rhythm.
TSR in Recording and Control rooms:
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I did a couple of takes of the rhythm parts. Re-listened. Sounded good. Moved onto the solos. Did a few takes of solo one and of solo two. Done.
Took everything with us and brought it down to the lab, where it was assembled (mixed) “in the box” (i.e., into protools). NO EQUALISATION was used on the rhythm: what you hear is what it was.
Some EQ-ing instead was necessary for the solo, basically consisting in what I usually do that is, to take out some HMF and LMF.
I used the same exact settings for both rhythm and solo-ing on my Marshall 1959: Presence 0, Bass 7, Mids 4, treble 4.5, volume 6.5 (clean-dirty, anyone?). The TSR was set as in the picture, and it stayed as such for the whole time.
Guitar was at 7 for rhythm and 10 for solos.
Microphones were the now usual two trust-worthy Neumann U87 and Neumann U67, laid out exactly as show in the picture below:
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If you read here in the past, you know that this is Tony Platt’s way of doing it, same mikes, same spots, same conception: this is simply Mr. Platt’s way of doing it and there’s no secret about this (we’ve learned this in past investigations!).
While I was playing the guitar in the recording room, Chris manoeuvred the mikes gently twisting here and there “until it sounded good”. We left the mikes as they were for both rhythm and solos.
No EQing was done either on the console, just some really minor treble filtering, but really something like “-1” 😆
It felt like I was there. With them.
wheelmanPosted at 06:52h, 07 April
Excellent job Fil. What year sg and stock pickups?
NathanBrazilPosted at 20:47h, 30 November
Hey Fil, nice job!!
Is there any how you offer the RAW recordings??
Angusrocks101Posted at 05:54h, 24 November
I was watching your rock n roll singer cover and saw where you set the amp at 10 and EQ at 10 except for bass at 0. Also volume on guitar around 5-6. I tried this and it was awesome. And I thought maybe I can get Powerage and hth sounds if I clean boost. I clean boosted it and it had a sound reminiscent of those albums. The differences would be the SVDS I would assume. Since he may have been used to recording like this before the SVDS he wanted to do the same but with the boost. Which leads me to the conclusion that maybe he might have used a 1959 on those albums. Not certain but still a possibility that I think you should try. But then on back in black he turned the volume down. So the sound got creamier. I don’t know but it’s just a thought.
Andrea SgPosted at 14:27h, 22 November
oh what’s goin on there!!! eheh , I missed some stuff this month mybad… I was not at home.
this schaffer seems want to rock really hard!
ehi fil next week I’m moving to rome for 6/8 months
If you want , we could take a drink together!
adam10603Posted at 00:52h, 22 November
Very nice take, Fil! 🙂 But I think I have to point out something. It might be just my opinion, but I seem to hear this in almost every BiB recording of yours. If you listen to the original very carefully, you can hear that it’s a crystal clear recording of the amp. Even some white noise is present, which means that the high frequencies were not cut off, therefore, the sound is as clear as can get. In your recordings however, I seem to notice a lack of clearness and brightness. The very highest frequencies are not present.
Please don’t get me wrong, your whole tone is exactly spot on. But IMHO it’s missing some of the highest frequencies.
Might be the presence at 0… might be the mic at slightly more off-axis than should be… might be just my ears… 🙂 But to put this thing in perspective, we are talking about 0.01% of the tone. The rest is spot on Fil 🙂 Great job
adam10603Posted at 00:55h, 22 November
Maybe it’s because youtube converts the sound into a sh!tty mp3… who knows 😀
R.O.C.K.E.RPosted at 13:12h, 21 November
What is the TSR?? Tropical Storm Risk? 🙂 wich picture shows it?
R.O.C.K.E.RPosted at 13:14h, 21 November
Oh, sorry :-s The Schaffer Replica, the most important part of this post haha!!
SoloBakersfieldPosted at 00:22h, 16 November
Fil Ive been watching your videos since the early youtube days and in each video your tone gotten better and better, Since the website you had very good tone but something was still missing and that was the vega , the vega separates good tone from legendary tone it was the compression and boost that was missing and you found it good job and your hard work paid off 🙂 every cord sounds amazing and the solos sound FULL I would love to order one but I dont know how, Im not to good with computers but Ive been getting better, thank you for helping me out.
SoloDallasPosted at 10:37h, 16 November
I know you, I remember seeing your screen names for years 🙂
Brother Solo ( 😆 ) just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name, solodallas.com screen name and address; you will be added to the official list of those who will have one “Gold Tag” Replica unit.
When appropriate, we will then send everyone an invoice (one month likely).
Easy, that’s all 🙂
SoloBakersfieldPosted at 00:23h, 17 November
I sent one did it go through? Thanks again
SoloDallasPosted at 00:29h, 17 November
Gotcha: you’re IN!
druckerPosted at 17:13h, 18 November
so are we still going to pay a deposit or just get invoiced for the full amount when the replicas are ready
bananePosted at 17:44h, 18 November
Just as described in the preorder post. Sending out the prepayment mails in a few mins.
depuis1899Posted at 17:58h, 18 November
I will transfer that email to my father, it’s his paybal account 🙂
druckerPosted at 18:27h, 18 November
Thank you banane I just got email for the deposit .
I will pay in a day or so if thats ok as I will first need to put money into the account that paypal links to
depuis1899Posted at 18:36h, 18 November
Btw, Franz, any information on how much the logos I could want would cost ?
bananePosted at 18:43h, 18 November
Ah yes, that. Didn’t checked that out yet, sorry. Will tell you later. But I would calculate at least EUR 150 per side. As we spoke, machine rigging costs that much, no matter how many prints you do.
depuis1899Posted at 19:09h, 18 November
Oh, well, let it go then, dont worry about that.
But then I want it signed by you and Fil 🙂
JohnnyPosted at 21:12h, 18 November
payment sent, thanks banane 🙂
AaronPosted at 01:12h, 19 November
Ack! good thing I checked my spam. Google would have owed me a TSR.
depuis1899Posted at 06:54h, 19 November
Thanky you for this, now I owe you my TSR hehe 🙂
JohnnyPosted at 21:15h, 14 November
ummm i watched the back in black vid, and after it ended i seen a vid of fil n franz talking about the replica, and ond vid of fil playing the replica………was i suppose to see that lol cus i dont see them uploaded here yet??
JohnnyPosted at 03:38h, 15 November
also fil, what were the settings on the aracom??
SoloDallasPosted at 10:38h, 16 November
Aracom was at half I think (will go look exactly what letter it is set on, still left it like that). Frankly it sounded freaking awesome.
SpellboundPosted at 04:57h, 14 November
So Ang rerecorded the rhythm riffs to put it on top of the pre-existing ones?
Because I do hear Angus in the center on some songs through the 80s (primarily Fly on the Wall) along with him on the right, but not so much in the 90s. This is what he does to “fill it up”?
I don’t completely see why he’d want to if this is the case. Listening to “Get It Hot”, it doesn’t sound fuller in the way I’m thinking, it just sounds like a third guitar is in the mix. I’m not sure if that makes sense but I don’t know how else to say it. lol. Back in Business does this too. Except the second rhythm track and solo/licks are on a completely different recording.
SoloDallasPosted at 10:22h, 14 November
Yes, that’s what they did. I think it may have been common song production techniques, certainly not an exclusive of AC/DC, but that’s what happened. Maybe in more recent years they haven’t done that anymore, wouldn’t be surprised.
SpellboundPosted at 12:33h, 14 November
Nah, they still do it. Black Ice has songs with guitars all over the place. RnR dream sticks out the most, with Mal having 2 different rhythm and Ang having one or 2 different rhythm tracks ALONG with the one or 2 overdubbed solo tracks.
It’s almost cumbersome to listen to lol
SoloDallasPosted at 12:43h, 14 November
It’s understandable. VERY difficult to make an album – a recording that is – full, “radio friendly” etc. without messing around with the sounds and guitar parts. Heh.
SpellboundPosted at 00:20h, 15 November
Maybe the radio friendly part is what’s dragging them down. 😛
AngusRudd1019Posted at 03:10h, 14 November
Fil, when this replica is complete. You should try and find out what Angus is doing in LTBR The Movie. I am really curious and try to match that tone.
SpellboundPosted at 04:47h, 14 November
I second this. Ang’s tone from LTBR: The Movie is to me as his tone from Back in Black is to you, Fil. 😀
AngusRudd1019Posted at 05:17h, 14 November
The tone in the movie really kicks ass. Soo much force and power is behind it and the Replica will get me 1 step closer to it but I would like to know what settings for the amp and so forth aka “I AM IN NEED OF A SOLODALLAS(Fil) TUTORIAL”
SpellboundPosted at 05:28h, 14 November
So much wet moist goodness…. 😀
I hope there’s a tutorial for this!
AngusRudd1019Posted at 14:29h, 14 November
I was watching the movie again last night and the first 3 chords of Live Wire just growl.
SpellboundPosted at 01:02h, 15 November
Rocker and Walk All Over You do it for me… Sweet jesus the solos sound orgasmic.
AngusRudd1019Posted at 06:17h, 15 November
Once the replica comes out, people can start experimenting with it. I probably won’t be able to get exact tone when I get my replica but I will get close. If I had the right cab and a 2203 I might match it but I got a 1960A and 1959SLP. So I will get close once I get my hands on this replica.
SpellboundPosted at 12:04h, 15 November
After you buy The Schaffer Replica, start saving. I know there are some 2203s on ebay right now, one from ’77 and another from ’79.
How does the 1959SLP sound? I’ve been wondering about getting a couple modern Marshall heads before going vintage, but I heard they were really grainy/gainy in a not good way.
AngusRudd1019Posted at 02:59h, 16 November
I really like the 1959SLP, not gainy at all. Very good, vintage tone. If you come and see my band in January like we talked about on acdcfans.net, you will hear it :). I know they are handwired and made with the same specs as the original except they added a +10 dB boost on the back and a Effects loop which you can bypass.
SpellboundPosted at 12:08h, 16 November
Can I get a backstage pass? 😛 lol, you said it was in West Palm right?
The 10 db boost sounds really cool, if I were to mix that with my Cetec Vega R42 I could get a whole 30dB boost!! 😀
AngusRudd1019Posted at 23:24h, 16 November
Idk, it’s a tribute band contest. Either way, you’ll be able to meet me and such.
The 10+ dB boost is great, I use it when needed though lol. A cranked 100W Marshall usually is enough without a boost
AngusRudd1019Posted at 23:25h, 16 November
Oh, and yes, it’s in West Palm
SpellboundPosted at 23:52h, 18 November
Lol, like I said man, it’s all dependent on if I can find a way there. Not sure how I’ll manage it, but we’ll see.
Why not use it regularly? Surely it gives a good tone boost too. 😛
druckerPosted at 15:25h, 18 November
Hi spellbound, I managed to buy a 1978 jmp superlead MKII the 1959 model non master volume type with 4 inputs just last week and its an incredible sounding amp really superb it has one of the most awesome overdrives I ever heard once its cranked, its not far behind the same level of gain that my jmp 2203 has, I paid about the same for the 78 JMP 1959 as you would expect to pay for the reissue 1959SLP and the 78 JMP is waaay better ,I have played several reissues and they ARE ok but for the money the original sounds superb ,mine even came loaded with ALL mullards
SpellboundPosted at 00:06h, 19 November
That’s AWESOME! 😀
I remember finding a couple of superleads for about that price a few months back – wish I had a steady income to buy these things!
So would you say you prefer the ’78 JMP over the 2203? I was debating after I buy a Superbass whether or not to go for another vintage marshall (either a 70s 2203/Super Lead, a Marshall Major), or a Wizard set up. Currently I’m more inclined to the wizard, but they’re very expensive, so maybe another Marshall might have to suffice. The problem is which one! 😛
bananePosted at 00:17h, 19 November
Check the “Vintage Marshall guide” post if unsure 🙂
SpellboundPosted at 19:25h, 20 November
I’ve been looking at that a lot lately. 😀 It’s been a lot of help in deciding what to go for next (heavily considering the Marshall major :D), along with dating the Superbass I’m after.
druckerPosted at 19:41h, 20 November
If you put a gun to my head and made me choose just one marsall it would be my 2203
SoloDallasPosted at 10:23h, 14 November
Kirk2000Posted at 02:58h, 14 November
Sounds great Fil.. Are you going to break out the Gibson Custon Angus SG and see how that sounds thru the TSR.. I’d like to hear how the custom pickups they put in that guitar sound compaired to the Gibson Angus Signature pickup.. KIRK
SoloDallasPosted at 10:24h, 14 November
yes I am. I have already done it, not on video or recorded, and it does naturally sound mean 😆
Thing is that the Custom AY sig has really strong, mid-strong frequencies that really kick some major butt.
dash8311Posted at 19:27h, 13 November
Sounds great Fil. I may have pointed out on Facebook that you had posted away from SD.com. I hope that wasn’t taken in a poor light.
From the years I’ve been in your/our community, silently on YouTube and now more active here on SoloDallas.com, I know the quality of the contributions here are a huge priority. I know TSR will be a great success because of this. Looking forward to playing one of my own.
SoloDallasPosted at 19:30h, 13 November
you did well to point it out (priority): thank you. No poor light, it is impossible. Truth should never be in poor light (surely isn’t with me!). I love this place!
dash8311Posted at 19:48h, 13 November
A great community with a great atmosphere, this is fact. I think it will continue to contain some very positive opinions and a great learning experience for all! Cheers Fil
SoloDallasPosted at 19:58h, 13 November
Thank you 🙂
And the greatest relief for me is that… it doesn’t depend on me!!!! 😆
JohnnyPosted at 13:58h, 13 November
Sounds FANTASTIC fil, great job 🙂
keithjdaveyPosted at 13:56h, 13 November
Fil – simply awesome from beginning to end.
couldn’t agree with rob’s comments more. Happy days
looking forward to the UK delivery as well.
Best wishes and well done to all, been closely following from the beginning and now so near.
Today is a GOOD day along with AC/DC River Plate Live that also turned up today. 🙂
SoloDallasPosted at 14:08h, 13 November
bananePosted at 13:54h, 13 November
Reading that at the airport in rome, waiting for my flight. Was a great time together again and actually the first time we had enough time for all we wanted to do. Studio was awesome, first time I was in a studio. Well, went by too fast, but had loads of fun 🙂
SoloDallasPosted at 13:55h, 13 November
Have a safe flight, you!!!!
ar2619RobPosted at 12:28h, 13 November
The tone is exactly the same as the SVDS. It really makes all the difference in the solo’s doesn’t it. Congratulations on acquiring that console, your attention to detail is worthy of much respect.
I can’t wait for my replica to come, thanks to you and Franz for making it happen 🙂
SoloDallasPosted at 12:40h, 13 November
Roby! Thanks 🙂
Rob – you probably know how I have always been so careful about stating things since the very beginning. The thought alone of “steering people” makes me puke.
However, this is it. I’m not “proud” in the sense of whatever it means, but I am happy. I know/feel this is good, will be good to all.
For me, THIS (TSR) is THE tool for a guitar player. Not much else needed, really. Plug this into ANY amp – solid state or tube – and it delivers. Next couple videos probably going to do this. Plug the TSR through any piece of equipment – be it quality or crap – and make it scream. PLUS the TSR as opposed to the original SVDS, has way more breadth of operation, meaning it will clean-boost the heck more of any amp. Suffice to say we kept it at 1 o’clock in these recordings, and it was already more than plenty, with the amp being set at 6-6.5 in volume! Amazing. Baci! Fil 🙂
ar2619RobPosted at 14:35h, 13 November
Fil, which of your SG’s is the solo played on, is it the one from Glasgow? It’s hard to tell with the low light but I think so. Anyway whichever guitar, what pick up is in the bridge, AY?
SoloDallasPosted at 14:39h, 13 November
Roby, rhythm is ’69 with AY inside. Solos is the one YOU pointed me to, 1968 standard (yes I think it was the Glasgow one?)
ar2619RobPosted at 14:54h, 13 November
I thought it was, that guitar was such a bargain. To look at it reminds me of how Angus original SG became play worn and modified, it’s possibly my favorite of yours. It also shows how much drive you can get with the TSR as that T-top is probably 7.5kohm at best.
SoloDallasPosted at 18:41h, 13 November
you know when someone tells you something and all you do is nod in silence? That’s me right now.
SoloDallasPosted at 14:39h, 13 November
PS 1968 Standard still with original ttop inside