Mute Noise

How To Record Electric Guitar For Metal/Electro Rock

Hi, I found this great recording tutorial for electronic rock or metal guitar tone. Thanks to Dave for creating such a great video.

Hey Guys how is it going? This is Dave from Exes for eyes, and today we are going to be learn how to mic a guitar cabinet using the 5 most common positions to get a professional metal or electro rock guitar sound. The video is going to feature an Eminence v128 legend speaker and this bad boy here, the Audio technica ATM650.

The Eminence speaker has been made for classic british rock guitar tone and works well for electro punk music as well. The reason why I chose this speaker for this particular video, it’s because it is a very balanced speaker with a lot of definition and rich harmonic detail. The reason why I choose this Audio Technica Microphone is because of its hyper-cardoid polar pattern. This reduces the pick up of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of the desired sound source.

In today’s video we are going to be going over the 5 most common positions of recording a guitar amp for metal music. We will be monitoring both single and double-tracked guitar sounds:

1- Center position

2- Off axis

3- Edge

4-Far

5- Rear

 

The closer to the center, the brighter the tone. Thought it’s still sentered, tilting the microphone off-axis creates darker tones. Double tracking always gives you an intense stereo sound that everyone loves. Placing the mic on the edge of the speaker gives us a balanced tone capturing the lows and higs simultaneously. Far positionning works best with condenser mics but using dynamics can lead to interesting tones. Rear positionning works best with open-back cabinets. It allows you to capture deeps lows, but it’s lacks clarity and high frequencies.

So, now that you’ve heard what each positino is capable of creating, it’s time to get creative and mix and match. I really likes the low end produces by the rear position, so let’s hear how it sounds like when we blend it with the other positions. Let’s try some more combinations. Wow I really dig the the blend of the off axis and edge sound s together. I’m going to try again with the rear position mixed into the blend. There it is!

Thanks for checking out the video, and for more information about Eminence speakers, check out www.Eminence.com and for more information about Audio Technica microphones, checkt out audio-technica.com.

Electro Rock Music Needs A Bit of Acoustic Touch Too!

tanglewood tw15-ce acoustic guitar to record electro rock songs and electronic rock music

Electro Rock Music Needs A Bit of Acoustic Touch Too! After recording “Bend the Universe EP” last year I sold my beloved Martin D18V acoustic guitar to invest in some automated DMX lighting and controllers in preparation for the live show. Time has come to record new tracks for the next EP, so I found myself in need of a new acoustic guitar, as I love mixing electronic rock music with sometimes acoustic instruments. The Martin guitar was quite expensive ($3000) so I wanted to check out some alternatives from good guitar companies with less of a popular name and less heavy price tag.

After a few Google searches, a few names popped out of the rest: Blueridge guitars for the United States and Tanglewood Guitars from the UK. Since I am currently located in Australia, Blueridge wasn’t available in stores so I went with the Tanglewood. Here is a review of the Tanglewood TW15-CE Acoustic guitar I received in the mail this week.

First of all I must say that I am very impressed by the quality of this guitar for such a reasonable price! It was $1200 at a local music store and I got it brand new on Ebay for only $800. This guitar is made with solid wood, not laminate. Mahogany back and sides, and spruce top. Also has a cutaway and comes with electronics(preamp, tuner). So this guitar is good enough for the studio and cheap enough to carry around with you on the road while gigging and touring.

This guitar was serviced and inspected only 6 months ago at the Tanglewood factory, so the action is quite low and nice. The woods sound warm and bright at the same time, which gives this guitar a really balance sound, great volume and projection, whether you are playing it with a pick or with your bare fingers. Sure, the $3000 Martin guitars have a bit more “warmth” or some kind of black magic to them that is hard to replicate, but hey, I’d say my old Martin sounds about 15% warmer than this Tanglewood TW15-CE. Not a bad trade off for a $2200 difference in price!

Plus I’ve been enjoying cheaper instruments a lot these days, they are more fun as you don’t spend your time worrying if your belt buckle is scratching your guitar… Instead you just play away! I also recently bought a used drum set for $200 and have been trashing it and jumping on it with my shoes on, which is a pleasurable experience that you would never dare to do with a more expensive instrument!

I think the electro punk genre needs some smoother tracks too, and this nice Tanglewood guitar fits the bill just fine and will be used on all future Mute Noise acoustic tracks.

Electro Rock Studio In A Box

Electro rock studio in a box: perfect for recording electronic rock music

Look at that! An electro rock studio in a box: perfect for recording electronic rock music! Or any music really. This photo has been found on Tpain’s Instagram account. This guy, like many other musicians, spends a lot of time on the road in hotel rooms and build this to stay creative on the road. We’ve all read articles about Skrillex or the Black Eyed Peas recording most of their music on the road in hotel rooms, and this little home made audio here is just perfect for that. Or course these guys just lay down basic tracks in their hotel rooms, then send them over to some audio engineer geek and pay him $10 000 to mix a single song, otherwise they would never sound as powerful and clear. Let’s look at what is in that box:

First of all, an indispensable Macbook Pro laptop computer. These are super reliable, never crash during live performances and have tons of processing and storage power. You can see in this photo that Tpain ask brings with him an external USB hard drive for extra space for samples and beats. I would love to use this same setup to record some electro punk tracks on the go for Mute Noise…

On the left of the laptop is a microphone preamplifier and audio interface: the Apogee Duet. This is is small but amazing. it really delivers professional analog to digital conversion while retaining punchy basses and silky highs. Most of modern music is recording track by track so really you don’t need anything more than this 1 in, 1 out interface.

The microphone that he chose is an AKG 414 XLS, but it can be your microphone of choice. There are so many good microphones on the market, even the ones made in China are awesome, so there is no need to spend $3000 on a mic anymore. Anyhing in the $700-$1000 range will sound AWESOME.

He’s got a mini Akai controller, which has both a piano keyboard and some drum pads. Also some Beats mini monitors. I would personally go for something a bit bigger, but like I said earlier, there is no way you can mix anything decent-sounding which such a setup, it’s more to lay down raw tracks on the go, and then re-open your Logic project in a studio later for mixing. I f I was him I’d also add some type of voltage control to make sure that beautiful treasure chest doesn’t blow up when connecting it to different voltages and unstable voltages in countries like Asia/South america while touring.

That’s it. Thank you tpain for an inspiring portable recording box, I will definitely get one to record electro rock music and electronic rock tracks while traveling with the band Mute Noise.

Review of The Ibanez Iceman ICT 700

Say hello to the Ibanez Iceman ICT 700. This guitar has a big electro rock tone and will complement Mute Noise’s electronic rock compositions and electro punk tracks. I have been playing it for a week and it took a little time to adapt to its jumbo frets, but I’m starting to love this instrument a lot. Here is a video review of it that I found on Youtube, created by Owen from GearWire.com.

This is the 2008 Ibanez Iceman ICT 700, the newest incarnation of this famous, hard rock and metal machine. It is equipped with a pair of DiMarzio D-Activators humbucker pickups. They are very good sounding active pickups. They sound pretty different than the EMGs, they don’t have the same kind of limiting or compression that you usually associate with active humberbuckers. They are pretty responsive to picking dynamics, but still have that focused punch of active humbuckers.

It also has a 5-piece through neck. And you can actually can feel it when you play hard rock or electro rock melodies. You can feel the resonance all the way up and down the neck, and this has a really big effect on the tone, which becomes even more evident when we play it clean, compared to playing it for electronic rock.

It has a custom, string-through Gibraltar bridge. It is a pretty heavy bridge that adds quite a bit to the sustain, you definitely can get some pretty heavy tones out of this thing. The way this guitar has been made makes it easier to play when you adjust your strap higher up, it balances better than way. Most people that play heavy rock music or electro punk tend to already hold their guitar higher so it doesn’t really cause any problem here.

It has pretty big fret wires which makes it a little strange at first, but once you are getting used to them, it makes string bends really satisfying and also makes tapping very easy. Let’s listen to this guitar when using our amp on a clean setting, with both pickups on. Here you can hear how sensitive the picking dynamics are, they are very sensitive especially for active pickups. This guitar has a lot of personality and tone, when using either the bridge or neck pickups.

I don’t know if you can actually tell while listening to this video, but these D-Activator pickups have the bridge pickup with a slightly higher output than the neck pickup. DiMarzio says that the bridge has and output 25% higher in volume than the neck pickup. I don’t know what the actual decibel difference is though. It creates a dynamic between lead and rhythm that most hard rock and metal guitarists are looking for, and is a really smart and logical feature and a nice addition to this guitar.

So that was my review of the Ibanez Iceman ICT700 for 2008. It is very good guitar for hard rock and heavy metal type of music, pretty much a guitarist’s dream when it comes to those style of music including electronic rock fusion as well.

Pretty sweet! I love this guitar and also the price tag (only $700). I does the job and sounds really, really aggressive and awesome when played through my new EVH 5150 guitar amplifier.

New amplifier in the studio ready to rock alongside electronic beats!

EVH 5150 III amplifier which will be used to record some of my electro rock tracks and some electronic rock and electro punk songs as well

New Amplifier in the studio ready to rock alongside electronic beats! I bought an EVH 5150 III and it got delivered this morning. I got it second hand for $1300 including a 2×12 cabinet. Color of the amp is ivory and the cabinet is black. Both don’t even have a scratch on them! You might be wondering why I chose the EVH while my blog post earlier this week said I was going for the Peavey 6505… well I just took the first that came up on Gumtree.com.au.

In the meantime I actually bought a good old Boss MT-2 metal zone distortion pedalwith a Diezel modification which is suppose to simulate the expensive Diezel amplifiers, but it came in the mail and doesn’t work… I’ll need to do a Paypal claim for this and get my money back. Anyway the distortion and overdrive on the EVH 5150 is AWESOME. I like it even better than the classic Peavey 6505 sound, as it was a bit too “metal core” for me. The EVH has nice crunchy middle frequencies which can be tamed with the EQ if you do want that metal core sound, so it’s more versatile in my opinion.

I played this thing all day until my fingers and wrist hurt! It sounds so good I can’t wait to used it to record guitar parts for my new electro rock tracks. It is a perfect match with my new Ibanez ICX 700 electric guitar and I’ve been even composing a brand new songs with it today, inspired by its grit and awesome sound. I have a feeling that his piece of gear will stay in my studio for a long time and its sound will be featured in many of my future electronic rock tracks and electro punk tunes for Mute Noise’s new album.

I’m not sure if my neighbours appreciate its power and loud tone, but I surely do, and so do my cat. haha

Electro Rock Band Necessity # 2: Business Cards

Electro Rock Band Necessity # 2: Business Cards.

Marketing 101 for electronic rock bands and electro punk musicians: treat your band as you would treat a business, as IT IS a business. Now for the ones who still are naive enough to think that ‘bands get discovered’, please stop reading right now. Famous bands are the fruit of TONS or targeted marketing efforts. So let’s start at the start.

Bands need branding, and the most important thing for a band is the logo. Get one of your graphic designer friend to design it for you. It has to be simple but carries your style, message, emotions, branding. It has to not have too many details so that it looks good printed large or small, full color or black and white. After getting your logo, the least you should have is a website and a couple of business cards in your pocket. Bring them EVERYWHERE you go. You always meet the most important people  that could help your career at the least expected time. Don’t be shy to hand them out everywhere you go and give them to everyone you meet.

You might be wondering how much do they cost and where to buy them from? I strongly suggest Vistaprint.com. It is the easiest and cheapest way to get business cards. I just got 500 business cards printed with my custom artwork and logo on both sides for $33 including shipping! Now that’s is cheap and will last for months! You can also get matching accessories on the same website, like return address labels, fridge magnets, pens, mugs, t-shirts etc. I personally love the magnets. One of my friend had an electronic rock band and was bringing a magnet to each house party that he was going to on the weekend. He would stick one to the fridge. Trust me fridge magnets are almost as permanent as tatoos! Once they are up, no one will ever take them down! Imagine how many people you can get exposed to your brand and electro punk band in one year by using this simple trick!

Here are images of the cards I just designed in Photoshop and printed via Vistaprint.com. I’ve even downloaded templates with bleed from their website, which come in a Photoshop or Illustrator format. that way you are working with the exact size that they need to print your business cards from the very start, and you are avoiding bad surprises when the actual printed cards arrive in the mail. No one likes to get 500 cards printed at the wrong resolution and end up with blurry logos or badly cropped images. Make sure that you triple check your spelling as well, especially if you write your website or contact information on the card! Vistaprint.com has a cool function on their website where they show you the finished product in a real mockup photo, so you really get a feel on how they will look and see if you want to make changes before placing your order. Here is how they look like:

Front side:

front side of the business cards for my electronic band mute noise

Back side:

back side of the business cards for my electro punk band

To conclude, business cards are a necessity if you want your electro rock band to be taken seriously. And for less than $50 no one should have a reason to NOT have some. Now go out there and market yourself!

Marketing Idea for Electro Rock Band

marketing idea for electro rock band and electronic rock musicians

I just had the best idea for marketing my electro rock band! An Idea so clever that NO ONE ever thought about it, not even music marketing giants like Sony or BMG. Do you want to know what it is? Of course you do you marketing idea thieves…

I want to use geek online marketing techniques and apply them to promote my electronic rock music. The way the internet works is that every single web page or website needs to target a specific keyword, to answer to a query that people type in Google search engine. For example: You wake up one day and write “buy t-shirt” in Google. The websites that will appear on top of the list are the ones who do their marketing the best, have a lot of links for related websites and have created such a good reputation for their brand that many people are writing about them on other websites. This is how Google analyzes what should be on top of their search results. So eveytime an online blog links to you you go higher in the search results. So imagine havinng an article about your electro punk band writtent in a magazine like BEAT in Melbourne. Not only you can exposure but you also get the article online , linking to your electronic rock band’s website. this is why public relations and media pitching are more important than ever when it comes to music marketing: not only it created a professional image from you to appear in the press and the public eye, but it also makes you go higher in Google!

Well believe or not, NO ELECTRO PUNK BAND or even no band in the history of man has ever thought about this! Sure , radio stations spend millions of dolalrs to rank well for keywords like “rock music” and such, but Mute Noise is such a specific genre (electro rock) that no one targets this keyword in their marketing. Well, I will.

So how do you know if a keyword is worth targeting? Often, what you type in Google is not the same term that the majority of people would think off. Using Google’s keyword planner (formerly Keyword Tool) is what you need. Sign up for a free Adwords account and type your keyword in the keyword planner tool. This will show you how many people type it in Google in average every month. You can also filter the results by Country or even cities, making your marketing efforts targeted to a certain region or worldwide. How cool is that!

In a few months this will give me about 3000 people per month visiting my website, listening to my electronic rock music and downloading tunes for free. This is as many people exposed to my electro punk style of music as if I would play a live gig in a bar to 100 people every single day, 365 days per year! That’s a lot of people!

I will use this clever strategy along with other forms of off-the-wall marketing and advertising strategies to promote Mute Noise.

-Marc

Electro Rock Band Necessity #1: A cool looking guitar!

Electro Rock Band Necessity #1: A cool looking guitar!

Ibanez Iceman IC700 to play riffs in my electro rock songs

Electro Rock Band Necessity #1: A cool looking guitar! I chose the Ibanez Iceman IC700 because of it’s very different shape. This baby was hard to find in Australia as Ibanez does not distribute this model down under, so I had to buy it from a guitar collector in New South Wales. This guitar was part of his collection and still has the plastic covers over the tuning pegs! I wanted this mostly for the look as it would complement the Mute Noise ‘electronic rock’ look, while not looking to pointy or cheesy like the metal guitars.

I discovered this guitar because Daron Malakian from System of a Down uses it a lot on stage. I thought it was a fairly recent model but discovered that it came out in 1978 and even Kiss was using it back in the days!

Kiss with Ibanez Iceman before even electronic rock music was born!

It arrived in the mail this morning, in its customer Ibanez Iceman case (the weird shape of this guitar means it doesn’t fit in regular guitar cases). First impression: it’s absolutely gorgeous. Quite heavy as well. the neck is a bit thicker than my other Ibanez which was annoying for the first 5 minutes but I got used to it really quick. Another downside is that it’s weird shape makes it a bit unbalanced: it tends to point at the ground a lot unless you wear your guitar strap really high.

I plugged it in and noticed an instant difference in sound. Way more pleasing than with my old, cheap Ibanez. these are quality pickups and really shine through even my shitty amp. (I’m still shopping for some killer Mesa Boogie, Peavey, Diezel amps and cabinets…) Playing it is very easy, not as easy as the Ibanez RG prestige that I tried at Allan’s Music yesterday but it is also half the price of the RG so it’s understandable. It is quite heavy on my neck and unbalanced which makes it not really comfortable to play standing up, but it is the price to pay for it’s really awesome shape. I can’t wait to hear this guitar through a Peavey 6150 amplifier!

So overall I rate this guitar a 8 out of 10.  the RG prestige definitely is better and more comfortable, but it is also double the price. I didn’t want to spend so much on a guitar and be afraid to scratch it. I wanted a cool-looking, good-sounding, quality guitar that I don’t mind wrecking a little bit. And the Ibanez Iceman perfectly fits the bill and is an awesome addition to our studio setup while we get ready to produc new electro punk tracks for the next Mute Noise EP “Everything you can’t see”….

Cheers – Marc-Andre

Shopping for guitar amplifiers for new electro rock songs

Shopping for guitar amplifiers for new electro rock songs

For the ones who’ve been following my musical journey since a few years, you might have noticed a drastic change in the sound of Mute Noise. Originally inspired by hard rock and punk rock, then by raves and techno music, then influenced by everything acoustic. Releasing the electro rock EP ‘Bend the Universe’ in 2013 was really going back to my roots and mixing the best of both worlds: electronic instruments and live acoustic guitar to create an original sound which can be categorized as electronic rock or electro punk.

I quite enjoyed the result and have been composing harder and stronger sounding guitar riffs since a few months on my cheap Ibanez guitar and crappy piece-of-trash amplifier. I really want the next EP to be a mix of Nu Metal and drum n bass, as you can tell by the the single release in March 2013 titled “Change”.

So moving on with that musical goal in mind, I researched what gear and amps does my favorite band System of a Down uses, so I can Taylor a similar AWESOME heavy guitar sound in my new electro rock tracks.

Amp Shootout: Which one will suit my electronic rock sound?

So after researching a lot on the internet and after also being distracted by some great indie electronic rock tracks on Soundcloud, a few guitar amps stood out from the rest when it comes to HEAVY metal guitar sounds:

 

Peavey 6505

Peavey 6505 amp to record electro rock

Mesa Boogie Mark 5

Messa boogie mark 5 to record electronic rock

Diezel Einstein

Diezel Einstein amplifier for fat sounds on my electro punk tracks

 

It was really surprising to see that Marshall is not a favorite brand of amps when it comes to metal music. Basically those 3 amps above all sound AWESOME, with the Peavey being slightly more affordable then the other 2. So I went down to Allan’s Music in Melbourne to try them out, they only had the Peavey model, but trying only that model was enough for me to understand why it is the ultimate standard when it comes to metal guitar sounds since over 20 years. It’s AWESOME! It also has a new big brother, the Peavey 3120 amp. So the price for both the head and the cabinet is roughly around $2500-$3000.

It was my first time trying such LOUD and high quality amplifiers and OMG it is such a step up from my crappy 5 watt amp. They sound so professional, all you’d have to do is plug in a mic pointed at the amp and you have the best guitar sound ever straight from the source, ready to rock my new electro punk tracks.

Conclusion: The 6505 will be featured in all future Mute Noise electro punk tracks

Why the Peavey 6505? Honestly, because iit is more available on the 2nd hand market. why pay $3000 for an amp when you can pay $1500? See through the years as a musician I realized that more expensive is NOT always better. I’ve had way more fun and compased way more songs with my crappy $200 guitar than I ever did with my Martin D-18V ($3000). Man, these things are so expensive, I was afraid to scratch them! So here’s my advice for all the home studio enthousiasts out there: stop thinking about gear, just buy decent, second hand, affordable instrument and start playing, recording , and having fun!

I don’t mind having to look at a few fingerprints, scratches, or buggers. I just want AWESOME sound at the cheapest price. :)