the-secret-pedal-behind-black-sabbaths-tone?

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by BanditPanda, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    BP

    The churning distortion that brought heavy metal out of Birmingham's factories was the result of a surprisingly Spartan rig.

    In our video above, Andy Martin breaks down the basic elements of Tony Iommi's sound and shows off a few pedals that can give you that same tone today.

    While listeners may think the Black Sabbath guitarist was using a fuzz pedal to help make his gigantic tone, it was actually just a Dallas Rangemaster treble boost pedal into a high-gain amp. In the early years of the band, that amp would have been a Laney LA 100 BL, with various other Laneys and a modded Marshall Super Lead 1959 coming into the fold as he continued to experiment with his sound.
    The Rangemaster—having been used not only by Iommi but also Eric Clapton for his "Beano" tone, Queen's Brian May, Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore, and other guitar greats—is a rare and expensive vintage effect to find these days. But luckily the circuit has been replicated by plenty of brands.

    The Catalinbread Naga Viper is a great and affordable clone, while the Greer Moonshot and Analogman Beano Boost will also take you to those same heights. The Tony Iommi signature Laney Black Country Customs TI-Boost takes the emulation a step further—tweaking the circuit to sound exactly like Iommi's own Rangemaster plus the sound of his Laney LA 100 BL amp. It's the entirety of early Black Sabbath tone in just one pedal.

    Watch the full video above to hear it in action, and then find your Black Country Customs on Reverb here.

    Gear Used in this Video
     
  2. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    Great tone from that lp
     
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  3. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing this Ray, I am a big Iommi fan, one of the reasons I picked up the guitar in the first place.
    I have been able to learn quite a bit on how he got those monstrous tones over the last number of years.
    Cheers and thanks again for sharing this bit of intel.
    Mitch
     
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  4. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    The tuning of the guitar is what makes it all work
     
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  5. AAHIHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing

    AAHIHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing Well-Known Member

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    Ok, dumb question: what exactly does a treble booster DO?

    I mean obviously it boosts treble, but why is that different from cranking it up on your amp an eq in front of amp (assuming treble booster is in front and not in loop)?

    It just boosts treble? Adds gain too? tightens up? Thins out a muddy gain sound?

    I used a virtual one (guitar rig) on the virtual amps (also GR) on last project I recorded/mixed, and I liked it over the other boosts and ODs, but dont really understand WHY, i.e. what exactly it does. You dont have to get real techhy with it (I wont undertand anyway), more a layman’s answer.
     
  6. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    Treble and base are at opposite ends of the frequency range . A passive filter cuts one or the other so you hear more of one. Hope that helps
     
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  7. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    It is called a high pass filter. It will allow higher frequencies to pass through while blocking lower frequencies.Your amp treble does not do that.
    Yes it can also be used as an over drive not being as dark as your run o the mill O/D.
    That's all I got!
    BP
     
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  8. AAHIHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing

    AAHIHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing Well-Known Member

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    Oh ok. So it would be akin to applying an hp filter on a guitar in a mix, while simultaneously applying a high shelf?

    or cutting lows and boosting highs (assumably by same amount) on a eq pedal?
     
  9. SmokeyDopey

    SmokeyDopey Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    You modify the sound in an earlier gain stage of the whole chain. The EQ of an amp is later on in the chain, and a booster is in the first stage (assuming it is just that pedal then amp). The way the sound distorts, how it reacts, feels, and general characteristics can change depending what gain stage is being modified/affected.

    You also mentioned the FX loop... That is basically a way of being able to modify the sound in a later stage of the chain. And, as I suspect you noticed, it is different than modifying it in an earlier stage.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
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  10. Drinkingdeath01

    Drinkingdeath01 Well-Known Member

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    I love the story Tony tells about asking Laney to build a higher gain model head and they told him nobody would buy something like that.:shrug:
     
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  11. AAHIHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing

    AAHIHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing Well-Known Member

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  12. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    The power curves and frequency roll offs of the preamp is worth looking into. Thar is a lot you can work with.
     
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  13. purpleplexi

    purpleplexi Well-Known Member

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    That Laney black country ti is a great pedal. Not just for Sabbath either - it's really versatile. It is kind of surprising that TI used a treble booster to get the huge thick sound but the thing about treble boosters is they often have quite a bit of adjustabilty
    Brian May used the Vox top boost to get his sound which is a channel with built in treble boost (surprise) and you wouldn't say he had a bright sound..
     
  14. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    Something about hearing the words Treble Booster makes me think of glass cutter.
     
  15. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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  16. Exojam

    Exojam Well-Known Member

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    That guys playing style is very nice. Even though it says no “picks”; when you first watching it definitely looks like he has one even though he does not. Wish I could pull that off.
     
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  17. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    Yes I have often wondered how it does that. Does he grow the nail of his thumb or index finger long or callous the side of his thumb ?
    Anybody know?
    BP
     
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  18. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member

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    :shrug:
     
  19. RLW59

    RLW59 Well-Known Member

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    Into an already distorting guitar amp that's already as loud as it can go, boosting treble at the input doesn't make the treble louder -- it makes it more distorted and more compressed. Actually fattens up the overall tone rather than thinning it out.

    Without turning the bass flubby like a full range booster can.

    Into a clean amp that has lots of headroom, yes a treble booster can be shrill and thin.

    (A treble boost in front of an overdrive/distortion/fuzz may work into a clean amp.)
     
  20. AAHIHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing

    AAHIHaveNoIdeaWhatImDoing Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I don’t ever get to have my amp nearly as loud as it can go, don’t know if that invalidates the treble booster’s usefulness.


    Must confess I’m a little lost here, unless you mean modifying the preamp circuit or whatever (not my forte).
     

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