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Struggling with AC/DC's Back in Black.

Discussion in 'The Cellar' started by SoloDallas, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Well-Known Member

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    Well, long story short: after literally years of searching (badly) and rehearsing, I think I have found the amps - or the amps types - used in Back in Black by the brothers.
    Now, that album - Back in Black - is no easy task, despite it may sound simple, it ain't easy. But this, you - reader - probably knew already.

    My ultimate attempt is and has been, the replication of Back in Black tone.
    I have begun a long time ago, but only during the last two months I feel I have made progress to an interesting point.

    Now, here's my take (over the original song). Please have a listen if you like:

    SoundClick artist: SoloDallas - page with MP3 music downloads

    The amplifiers I am using now are several late '70s JMPs.
    Here, in this sound file, a 1976 JMP Super Lead has been used with a 1971 Gibson SG standard for rhythm and a 1967 SG Standard for the solo.

    I need your ears.
    Here's the equalization curves I used (I used an Audio Technica AT4047 close on AXIS to the cone of a 1969 4x12 Marshall Cabinet with original greenbacks in it, which I think were used as well on the original recording; I am waiting on another cabinet with G12H30s from 1973 to try and see differences):

    Lead tone:
    [​IMG]
    Settings for the head for the lead were:
    Presence 0, Bass 2, mids 10, treble 2, Volume I 10, guitar volume 8.
    I tried other settings - like treble higher and mids lower, but it simply won't cut it. Please state your opinion if different.

    Rhythm curve:
    [​IMG]
    Settings for the rhythm were: presence 0, bass 8, mids 4, treble 6, volume 8, guitar volume 7.

    What do YOU think? How would you equalize? I worked hard on all this.
    Frankly, while I think I am almost there on the rhythm parts, I feel the solo needs another curve or other settings. Help.

    Thanks for reading,

    SD

    PS

    I have a site working on all of this, here's the post link:
    1976 Marshall Super Lead MkII & Back in Black

    (needs registration)
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  2. LPMarshall hack

    LPMarshall hack Well-Known Member

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    Holy hell! Is that your guitar in the song? Sounds just like the original song. Great job man.
     
  3. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Well-Known Member

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    Yes it's me (thank you).
    I have been after this one for so long that I am now unstoppable.
    I have been working on this for a long time. Decades, probably.

    Back in Black is my favorite song of all times, and the album is my number one rock album of all times.
     
  4. thrawn86

    thrawn86 Well-Known Member

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    I am very impressed. And far from a critic, but the only (very very very minor) deviation I hear is that it seems just a touch bright in the rythym during the first half of the song.....probably just me! Wow, this is great. Thanks for sharing!
     
  5. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Thrawn and no, it's not you: it's too bright. I am listening to it right now with headphones. I did the equalization after a day of attempts and my ears were fried. Too bright. The solo instead is plain wrong. Not a completely different sound, but not close either. I am doing something wrong.
    I know Angus used a different head for solos. Truth is, I think he used MVs for solos and/or 50 watters (instead of a 100 watter that I know he used to rhythm).

    Will try again tomorrow :)
     
  6. bulldozer1984

    bulldozer1984 Everybody's Favorite Member VIP Member

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    Struggling with AC/DC's Back in Black ?? Hmm na dont think so mate.. Sounds real good mate your hard work has paid off !
     
  7. chuckharmonjr

    chuckharmonjr Well-Known Member

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    DUDE! DAYUMN! Bright schmight....that was absolutely fantastic! Very Very well done!
     
  8. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Well-Known Member

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    Well... IF it comes directly from Down Under... :p Thanks mate.
     
  9. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member VIP Member

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  10. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Well-Known Member

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    Huh thank you guys. I don't mean to play the false part of the humble at all costs, but it's been so long for me that I am striving to get there. I mean, there.

    The solo tone sounds off to me. I tried and tried. Any suggestions, given the EQ curve?
    To me, it seems like the solo tone on the record is "rounded".
     
  11. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Man, honestly, sometimes especially in solo's it is really hard to nail the tone because a lot of it is in the aggressive attitude and hands at the moment. Not to mention that Angus very well may have had half dead strings saturated in sweat at the time. You just don't know and can't recreate everything. Let me put it another way. Maybe Angus could not nail the tone either with out the very same beat up strings, half baked tubes and de-magnatising pickups that are now 30 years older than when he first recorded it. I applaude you and your effort. To get any closer could be, well, a bit obsessive. But if we are to obsess then tone is the right subject matter. Best to you and well done again.

    David
     
  12. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Dave! Words of wisdom. But I am obsessed. I will go further. I will try. It's been a long ride (hit at 10 years old, now 42, been trying, researching, studying and amassing gear for... over 25 years. It's too late for me, abandon me here :D )
     
  13. drriff

    drriff Well-Known Member

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    Dallas, that seriously KICKED ASS!!! I am not even that big of an ACDC fan and I thought you did a fantastic job!
     
  14. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Carry on Sir, I respect determination. Seems to be a better word than Obsess, lol.
     
  15. Adwex

    Adwex New Member

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    I'm not sure.
    First of all, great job. I've heard/seen some of your videos, you nail Angus perfectly.

    Regarding the EQ, I detect a little too much in the high mids, as compared to the original I can hear in my head. Couldn't tell you which frequency, but "high mids" seems in the ballpark.
     
  16. RiverRatt

    RiverRatt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Damn! Great job! I think you're going to have to get Mutt Lange to get any closer. 99.9999999% of the population OF GUITAR PLAYERS wouldn't know that ain't the real thing.
     
  17. LPMarshall hack

    LPMarshall hack Well-Known Member

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    Yeah when the first chords rang out, I thought it was the CD version.
     
  18. chuckharmonjr

    chuckharmonjr Well-Known Member

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    Uh gentlemen?...Listen closer one more time. The CD was playing along at the same time. He has it nailed so perfectly it really sounds one and the same.
     
  19. thrawn86

    thrawn86 Well-Known Member

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    I knew he was using it as the backing track.
    And it sounded great; the solo is, of course, going to be off because, let's face it: Even the best can't fully copy a solo.....too much going on there to grab every tiny nuance.....what you've done is incredible. If it was played with the solo phased out in the background, it would blow our minds. That's probably what you think is 'plain wrong'. It might actually be a tad 'dark', but beyond that, there is NOTHING you've struggled with here.....you nailed it.

    We All Applaud your incredible effort. :applause: :thumb:
     
  20. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Well-Known Member

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    I need to thank you all guys. You were more generous to me than myself.
     

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