I didn't know where this was going when I started writing it, but as can often happen as a musician, I ended up with something that spoke of me personally. This is a direct result of pouring myself into a track.
And apparently, I didn't need to use words.
Most of the time I feel like I have to work at something before it's an acceptable product. This time, though, I spent one day, total, on writing, tracking, and mixing. I feel as though the music created itself. But, whether it did or not, I'm very, very happy with it. This song paints a picture, the way I believe all music should paint pictures. I can just see it in my head, and that is a beautiful thing.
Music really can talk.
THE PRODUCTION ===
PreSonus Studio One 2 Pro
PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL
Dell XPS L502x
2x KRK Systems Rokit 5 RP5G2
Toontrack Superior Drummer 2.0
Native Instruments Guitar Rig 4/5
== Vox AC-30
== Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808
== Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man
== Electro-Harmonix Black Finger
== Pro Co RAT
== Ampeg SVT-2 Pro
== Little Reflektor
iZotope Ozone 5
Waves Kramer Master Tape (Ampex 350/351)
GUITAR TONES ===
Ibanez RG321MH, neck humbucker wired in parallel for the most part, one track using the inside coils of both humbuckers.
No compression. Just heading through the Solid EQ module from the NI Solid Mix Series to brighten the sound (the RG321MH is a bit of a darker guitar), and right into a Vox AC-30TBX. With Guitar Rig, I can blend the Normal and Brilliant channels on the AC-30, so I used a combination of the two, with the gain higher on the main rhythm tracks.
If memory serves, the speakers I used on the AC-30 are the blue bells, and the mic is a Royer R-121 ribbon mic, placed off center for all but the right-hand lead track, which is on center.
The delays I used are the reverse/pitch-shifting Psychedelay stereo delay unit, and the classic analog Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man. The Psychedelay was used more on the rhythm tracks, but it was on all tracks, though slightly. The Memory Man was used on the lead tracks, set at a 1/4 length and mixed more heavily during the last portion of the song.
The reverb on all guitars is the Little Reflektor included with Guitar Rig 5, set using the B-type long reverb, stretched to 115% length.
The ONLY EQ used on the guitars are high pass filters at around 130-150 Hz on the lead tracks and slight boosts at around 2 kHz and 350 Hz on the rhythm tracks during the last portion of the song. The entirety of the tone throughout is done with the mic placement and amp EQ settings. Typically I sweeten the sound of the guitars with the Ampex 350/351 model, but not this time. I didn't need to.
BASS TONE ===
This is a rather complicated chain. The first thing the bass signal hits is an Ampex 350/351 running at 7.5 IPS and over biased. I forget the tape flux I used.
Second, it's into Guitar Rig 4, where there's a custom-designed array of 7 crossovers creating 8 bands I used to perform multi-band noise reduction and compression. To do this, I used the Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor and the Electro-Harmonix Black Finger model on all 8 bands. From there I split the signal to blend between the Pro Co RAT, running at full gain and filtered heavily, and a clean signal. The ratio of clean to drive is 60:40.
All that goes into an Ampeg SVT-2 Pro, both the Ultra Lo and Ultra Hi being engaged and the EQ/GEQ set to enhance the low end. Drive is at full.
If memory serves, there's another EH Black Finger compressor between the SVT-2 Pro and the cabinet, which is technically impossible, but this is Guitar Rig!
The cabinet is the reason I'm still using Guitar Rig 4 for this sound. I took the SWR WorkingPro 1x15 cab and scaled the impulse up 20% to approximate a 1x18 cab. This has two mics on it. One is a Shure SM-7 up close and personal, which is where the low end comes from. The other, if memory serves, is a Neumann U47 far away from the cab, with its phase reversed. These two are EQ'd slightly to accentuate their roles, the SM-7 being boosted in the low end, and the U47 being cut in the low end and boosted in the top end. Since I didn't put a bullet mic on the horn, the resulting sound is pretty beefy in the 2 kHz range, and the phase disagreement causes a lot of the mud in the 200-300 Hz range to go away.
After Guitar Rig, there's a low pass filter to remove some of the artifacts of the old cab impulses in Guitar Rig 4. Then I use a 20:1 compression ratio to flatten the dynamics, and it's into Ozone 5 Dynamics to balance between the high and low end of the sound. On the other side of Ozone, there's a brickwall limiter and another, light compressor on the output. All that compression makes the tone extremely even and easy to control with automation. Since the bass doesn't need to be very dynamic in this mix, that's what I need. The result is crazy sustain and balanced tone.