TOPIC: Brown sound Quest Part IV

Brown sound Quest Part IV 1 month 1 week ago #17161

OK, once more here (you will start hating me)!

This time I mixed two tracks, one with the Jackal and another with the Steeler, blended to taste, added a reverb to the side (not the best reverb really), and added a Nick Crown Lab Tube Driver to the Mix bus.

What do you think? I like it... it's getting better and better every time.
https://soundcloud.com/user-576997318/vh5
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Brown sound Quest Part IV 1 month 1 week ago #17164

I like the sound :good job: :rock out:
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Brown sound Quest Part IV 1 month 1 week ago #17165

Nonsense. We appreciate the effort. You get closer and closer each time you do this. Great sound and great playing!
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Brown sound Quest Part IV 1 month 1 week ago #17166

Sounds great!

Cab IR this time? G12M20?
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Brown sound Quest Part IV 1 month 1 week ago #17167

Thanks guys! I appreciate the time you spend listening...

The cabs are the Bletchley and the Basketwave.
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Brown sound Quest Part IV 1 month 4 days ago #17204

That’s pretty much the sound I came up with. I found it very difficult to get the EVH tone I wanted with any amp sim. Good job
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Brown sound Quest Part IV 1 month 4 days ago #17207

It is quite difficult indeed! The tone has to be very bright, and there is some "sponginess" (for the lack of a better term) to the lower frequencies that is incredibly difficult to achieve.

Although I have never tried a Variac before, I believe those qualities and the additional overdrive comes from that device.
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Brown sound Quest Part IV 1 week 2 days ago #17403

I want this presets!! ;D
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Brown sound Quest Part IV 1 week 18 hours ago #17406

asintoras wrote:
It is quite difficult indeed! The tone has to be very bright, and there is some "sponginess" (for the lack of a better term) to the lower frequencies that is incredibly difficult to achieve.

Although I have never tried a Variac before, I believe those qualities and the additional overdrive comes from that device.

I think you are right on with your description. The lowered supply voltage causes the stronger fundamental notes to "brown out", so the attack harmonics "splat" along with the ducking effect, so the crunchier harmonic distortion isn't too hard sounding. The key is in setting it just right.

No BS, but way back when I experimented with NI Guitar Rig. and knew virtually nothing about how EVH got his early sound, I set up a Plexi style amp preset with the Voltage knob at 90V (just above where the sound started to fizzle out) because it had a certain quality I really liked. Funny that is the same recommended Variac setting for an EVH type crunch. You could experiment with the "Grid Current" setting on the free Distorque 'Range Bastard' VST PC plugin. It's really a "Treble Booster" sim, but can create various full range Germanium style overdrive sounds. It's a great plugin. I don't off hand know of a valve style plugin with a voltage adjustment, but you might get just what you want from the Range Bastard. I set up a preset that sounds pretty convincing with the Grid Current at 9 0'clock and a few other choice settings. I can share it here if you are on PC. Probably take some tweaking to sound right with your setup.
Last Edit: 1 week 17 hours ago by GCKelloch.
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Brown sound Quest Part IV 1 week 2 hours ago #17407

Hi GKelloch, thanks for the suggestions! I have the Rangebastard but haven't really messed with it.

I am a PC user, so if you have something to share, please go ahead, but here is my attempt using it.
I recently downloaded the new Soundtoys Reverb Plate plugin, and it sounds great for those early VH tones.

http://soundcloud.com/user-576997318/vh6
Last Edit: 6 days 15 hours ago by asintoras.
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Brown sound Quest Part IV 5 days 17 hours ago #17413

Soundtoys is good stuff for sure. Definate EVH vibe there.

OK, After realizing I was basically boosting my amp sim preset with the Range Bastard, I experimented more to find what seems like and EVH Plexi crunch setting for it. I set output "Set" knob on the front panel for roughly unity gain, and the Grid Current knob then sounded right to me down at ~7:30 O' Clock where the attack and sustain level seems to even out and some cool harmonic wildness comes up using the more midrangy higher gain "2SB175" transistor. I set the Treble knob up a bit for definition, because I normally keep it down on my amp sim presets. You'll have to experiment with that and the Pickup switch for your amp presets. You might want to roll filter off some bass with the "Input Filter" knob. I don't need it with the Grid Current set so low. I don't think there is any significant bass roll off from either channel when a Plexi is dimed. I could be wrong. You may also need to drive the plugin with a trim/level plugin of some kind to get enough gain. It might be really cool when you get everything balanced right.

The Grid Current adds tube grid clipping above 12 O' Clock. You might like that, but I don't think it browns out at all. I think only very low settings start to brown out. You'll notice the volume increases down near the the lowest setting where it starts to actually loose harmonics. I imagine it's auto loudness compensation. Doesn't seem very well calibrated, but no big deal. I can't seem to attach the preset, so use my settings recommendations as a guide. Let me know what you think.
Last Edit: 5 days 17 hours ago by GCKelloch.
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Brown sound Quest Part IV 5 days 16 hours ago #17414

Thanks for your determined effort, A. The solo notes and your playing sound great. To my amateur ears the chords sound a little “muddy” compared to Eddie’s sound. But I can’t find that clear distorted EVH tone either. Always appreciate your contributions.
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Brown sound Quest Part IV 5 days 16 hours ago #17415

Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I agree with you, it's still not there and I will continue on this quest... Like I said, it's a very bright tone that helps articulating that distorted sound, but it is difficult to achieve that brightness with virtual amps without sounding too harsh. Tape recording and tube rectifiers seams to really help taming that harshness somehow. I can get closer by boosting some frequencies, but then, I also hear lots of unpleasant artifacts, so it's a compromise.
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Brown sound Quest Part IV 1 day 17 hours ago #17423

You might read through this short article if you haven't already:
legendarytones.com/edward-van-halen-brown-sound/

It mentions that the dummy speaker load eventually used in his studio rig was set to 20 Ohms to protect the amp, but that is a misnomer. It really wouldn't be necessary with a 90V Variac setting, and only heats up the output transformer as well as squash the amp section dynamics. There would at least be more crunch at 90V, along with more sag. John Suhr pointed out that the tube bias would have to be reset for a 90V supply, as he did on Pete Thorns custom SL68 with the 90V switch. EVH's amp may then have had more 2nd order harmonics, but it depends on where it was biased in the first place.

I really think the EVH amp sound can be covered close enough with some choice settings on the Stealer amp model. It won't be quite the same, but the essential harmonic content, spectral balance and response/feel can be pretty closely emulated. The low end can also be made more resonant to perhaps mimic 6CA7 tubes by setting the Pres Frq knob very low and then lowering the Middle knob a bit to retain the dipped-mid quality compared to KT88's. I actually had a set of Sylvania 6CA7 tubes in my Hiwatt combo in the late 70's -- big punchy bottom, meaty mid growl and a nice sparkle without all the 3rd order hash of an EL34. Beam tetrodes don't generate as much 3rd harmonics. Check out the monstrous sound of the JJ 6CA7 tubes in this '71 SLP demo:

If it seems a tad dark for an EVH sound, it's probably the lack of the JBL D120f speakers. I figure the KT88-based crunch sound of the Stealer should work with the right knob settings: SAG set high with the Bright Contour set for just the right balance of punch and sparkle with the "Middle" knob down a bit and a very low Pres Freq setting to mimic 6CA7's mid dip and resonance.

I made a Stealer preset that sounds pretty EVHish when driven hard enough along with the right ~1.1kHz eq boost after the GFS 'VEH' bridge pickup in my cheapo XV-585 guitar. I also made up a more mid dynamic version in the Amp B slot you might prefer. Compare the 3 knob changes from the Amp A version. A Maple neck Strat type should sound brighter than my XV-585, but much depends on the pickup and cable capacitance. You will need to drive the amp really hard to get the right saturation and sustain. I thought the extra gain stage of the Boost switch didn't sound right...your call. Don't forget to try a ~1.1kHz boost to taste b4 the amp.

The speaker cab is arguably where the tonal character really happens. I do think the JBL D120f's had a lot to do with the EVH tone. They add that tight deep low end punch and extended high end with a bell-like ring from the Aluminum dust cover. Not sure where to find a closed-cab IR of D120f's. Redwirez offers the "Marshall 1960 4x12 • JBL K120s • Cabinet IR Library:" roughly 3/4 down the "Big Box" web page that should do the trick well enough. I got the "'68 Marshall Basketweave • Vintage G12H30s • Cabinet IR Library" with the 55Hz cones for bluesy Hendrix sounds -- a very good set for mixing with other cabs. That EVH had SM57 mics on each speaker makes it easier to set up. Redwirez IR's are recorded via solid state amps powering the speakers, so it's recommended to set the IR "Z" setting between 4~5 for the right bass/treble balance -- I generally set it the same for both cabs in a mix. The V30/G12M speaker cab mix in my preset sounds surprisingly good for the sound to me, but feel free to experiment.

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Last Edit: 1 day 17 hours ago by GCKelloch.
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Brown sound Quest Part IV 17 hours 59 minutes ago #17425

I have given up on using SGear for EVH tones. I have found TH3 Overloud gets me the closest to his sound. Try tweaking the Crazy Train preset in the demo
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