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First song with an 8-string

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    First song with an 8-string

    I don't know how I found the time to do this all this weekend, but here it is. I haven't tested the mix in the car or home stereo yet, so there might be some rough patches, but this was a nice first adventure with the new 8-string guitar.

    All guitars and synth guitars were recorded with the Fractal FM3. No real amps on this one. Bass is my normal bass rig of an MXR Bass Compressor into a Darkglass Alpha Omega Ultra pedal. This is written to have vocals on it, but since I can't sing, hey it's an instrumental.

    Last edited by desertdweller; 08-23-2021, 05:41 AM.

    #2
    Very cool. This is definitely a song that would be fantastic with vocals but also works as an instrumental. Great job, Vince! Nice mix, too!

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      #3
      BRB... making plans to order an 8 string....

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        #4

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          #5
          Very cool! That might be the first 8-string thing I've ever heard that didn't sound too thick on the low end. I like the way you incorporated the low string without overdoing it.

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            #6
            Really cool pice, I really like the clean passages and delay effects. On some parts Iā€™m getting Satriani vibes.

            Good shit
            Last edited by Megametal7; 08-24-2021, 10:56 AM.

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              #7

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                #8
                That was awesome. Love the contrast throughout.
                Don't expect much, it's not like I'm a Rocket Surgeon...

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                  #9
                  The atmospheric section around 2:30 rules. More, plz!

                  The rest... honestly, from a mix standpoint, seven strings are hard enough, and 8's are really pushing the limits of what you can realistically get away with from a guitar. The opening palm mutes, and similar figures elsewhere, get sort of fuzzy and flubby in the low end, a sound sort of like thwacking something with a huge wad of cotton balls. I can't hear the bass guitar at all in here, which I suspect means it's mixed way back to still allow the guitars some low end. The little In the Hall of the Mountain King run sounds a little dissonant, not I suspect because you're out of tune but because I think melodic runs pitched that low on a guitar just become kind of discordant (I abuse the shit of inverted thirds in the low strings of a seven, like 2nd fret B 5th fret E stuff, but precisely because they sound like shit until you resolve them back to a power chord).

                  The clean stuff is cool though, and I LOVE that synth/guitar interlude. The solo section after that, bass needs to come up, bass frequencies in the rhythm part come way down, but I love the mood and melody through here, I'd love to see this become more of a composition in its own right.

                  It's REALLY hard to do anything articulate and melodic with distorted guitars pitched this low, though. Djent made it work by making guitars basically a percussive instrument, getting rid of that low end, upping the mids, and keeping the gain back a bit to bring out the impact of the guitar, but trying to make a normal modern metal tone work a F# requires some huge compromises in the mix. Clean works pretty well, and that sparser middle section where the notes swell more than hit is pretty effective, but fast, muted riffing tuned that low is a mess to get to sit right in a mix. It's REALLY hard to make good sounding guitar music mixes at these tunings.

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                    #10
                    nicely done. Sounded nice and tight
                    O K T H E N

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                      #11
                      Fuck yeah dude
                      Leon Today at 7:59 PM: Ripping farts is heaven

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                        #12
                        Sounds awesome! A more expensive 8-string wouldn't have helped; you did the right thing.

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                          #13
                          What Drew said. The arrangement is cool, and so are the clean parts. The ultra low stuff that takes advantage of the low range is mush, just like every other 8 string recording ever done.

                          You could have saved 600 bucks by doing this in drop A on your Hellraiser and not have that abomination in your collection, besmirching your temple of shred.

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                            #14
                            Drew - I actually really appreciate that you took the time to listen to it and gave great feedback. By no means was this a finished mix, but what I was able to write/record over the weekend while balancing with time with the family. Some of the fuzziness in the sound is the stock bridge pickup IMO, and I may need to either lower the pickup a few mm or lower the gain on the amp block. I already lowered the gain a few notches below what I usually use, and if I'm playing on a 75+ F# string, yeah I need to lower the gain a bit more.

                            As for the bass not being as present - lately with my mixes I've made the bass a little too present at first and had to go back and re-mix, so I erred on the side of the bass being a little tighter. The guitar and the bass are playing in the same octave here too which doesn't help differentiate them! If I mute the bass in this mix, the bottom completely drops out, but I will say that I can do a bit of EQ and reduce some of the bass in the guitar and up the bass by half a dB or so and it will work nicely. Once again, weekend mix while writing and recording - not done by any means. The cymbals/hat are a bit high in the mix as well and the snare could use more room mic, but I digress - I can remix 100x times and still find flaws for sure.

                            I've actually found that I like the 8 string more for clean tones than heavy ones. So I used the lower string a little more sparingly in this song, but my word I love those huge piano string-like BONGs the low strings make on this thing in the clean sections. It's also really fun to play around the 5th, 7th, 9th, etc. positions, which is why I had some fun with the 16th note scalar runs near the end of the song in lieu of a true guitar solo.

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                              #15
                              I'm 100% with you on clean tones, dude - it saves a lot of the mixing challenges of not having your low end turn to mush, while also not having your high end become icepicky. If I ever were to get an 8, that would be the reason - I could see them ruling for chord melody type stuff.

                              The rest, yeah, it sounds like you're using patches optimized for six and seven strings, that aren't really up to the task of an 8. Al that other stuff with the drums - that's all taste, really, and unless it's egregiously BAD (which this isn't), then you're fine. But, the real crux of it is finding a way to get that low F#, AND "normal" pitched guitar parts, to sound cohesive, and it's a fucking nightmare and I don;'t envy you.

                              I do love that melodic middle section, BTW. I'd love to hear you explore that kind of stuff more. It'd be a great excuse to do a lot of clean-toned, or mostly-clean-toned, 8 string stuff, as well. \m/

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                                #16
                                I think this sounds awesome for a first pass. The clean passages are especially dope - definitely want more of that. Nicely done.

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                                  #17
                                  What drew said. That middle section is absolutely brilliant Vince. Id listen to an album like that all day long šŸ‘ŒšŸ‘Œ

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                                    #18
                                    Finally got around to hearing this one on headphones, diggin' it!

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                                      #19
                                      Finally had a chance to listen to this. Love the whole song, especially the clean parts with all the effects, but the chunky low rhythm parts are good too. They do sound a lot mushier than anything on my current 8 string, but way less mushy than anything on my old 8 string (and I concluded that the reasons for the mushiness in my old 8 were the too short scale length, too thin F# string gauge, and the pickups, but I actually have the same pickups on my new 8 string, and it really seems that the scale length and the thin F# string were the culprits. I now use a 28.65" scale with an 80 gauge F#, which gets a ridiculous amount of tension... honestly, way more than on any of the other strings on both that guitar and on any of my other guitars, but it completely got rid of any mushiness whatsoever).

                                      I'd say my favorite parts of the song are the first clean interlude, followed by the guitar solo. The low parts were cool, but it's just that there were a lot of cooler parts overshadowing them. I definitely think this could become a really badass song once you get vocals on it like you envision.

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                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Naren View Post
                                        Finally had a chance to listen to this. Love the whole song, especially the clean parts with all the effects, but the chunky low rhythm parts are good too. They do sound a lot mushier than anything on my current 8 string, but way less mushy than anything on my old 8 string (and I concluded that the reasons for the mushiness in my old 8 were the too short scale length, too thin F# string gauge, and the pickups, but I actually have the same pickups on my new 8 string, and it really seems that the scale length and the thin F# string were the culprits. I now use a 28.65" scale with an 80 gauge F#, which gets a ridiculous amount of tension... honestly, way more than on any of the other strings on both that guitar and on any of my other guitars, but it completely got rid of any mushiness whatsoever).

                                        I'd say my favorite parts of the song are the first clean interlude, followed by the guitar solo. The low parts were cool, but it's just that there were a lot of cooler parts overshadowing them. I definitely think this could become a really badass song once you get vocals on it like you envision.
                                        Thank you Naren! I agree with everything you said here. I actually really like how gritty and tough the guitar sounds on the heavy sections, yet grit (good) can quickly become fuzzy (bad) and I think this guitar rides the line a bit too much with the stock Ibanez pickups. They sound good for cleans, really good, but I want something clearer and more defined for heavy music. I have a note out to BKP to see if they can build me a custom Nailbomb, Juggernaut, or Ragnarok that fits this guitar, I'm hoping to hear back this week.

                                        I'm not a singer, but just singing over it, I feel like the heavy chordal sections really set up and leave room for an amazing Katatonia/Karnivool style of vocal. This should allow a talented vocalist a lot of creative freedom with what to do with these sections, and while they may sound a bit boring on guitar, they're purposeful in how I wrote them to allow a vocalist that freedom. Now to find that needle-in-a-haystack vocalist and come up with the time to write and record with them
                                        Last edited by desertdweller; 08-29-2021, 04:57 PM.

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                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by desertdweller View Post

                                          Thank you Naren! I agree with everything you said here. I actually really like how gritty and tough the guitar sounds on the heavy sections, yet grit (good) can quickly become fuzzy (bad) and I think this guitar rides the line a bit too much with the stock Ibanez pickups. They sound good for cleans, really good, but I want something clearer and more defined for heavy music. I have a note out to BKP to see if they can build me a custom Nailbomb, Juggernaut, or Ragnarok that fits this guitar, I'm hoping to hear back this week.

                                          I'm not a singer, but just singing over it, I feel like the heavy chordal sections really set up and leave room for an amazing Katatonia/Karnivool style of vocal. This should allow a talented vocalist a lot of creative freedom with what to do with these sections, and while they may sound a bit boring on guitar, they're purposeful in how I wrote them to allow a vocalist that freedom. Now to find that needle-in-a-haystack vocalist and come up with the time to write and record with them
                                          I think a vocalist like Karnivool's could work nicely, but I thought a vocalist more like Daniel Tompkins (of Tesseract and formerly of Skyharbor) would sound perfect, though finding someone like either could be really difficult.

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                                            #22
                                            Yeah, I'm gonna second Naren here, and call for a full song based n that clean interlude and solo. \m/

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                                              #23
                                              Vince, if you really want to use the 8 string (although I agree with some here that 8 strings aren't really my thing) I think you should look into sidechaining sparingly so that every time the lowest notes hit on the 8 string the other instruments in that range (kick, etc.) are reduced in volume or compressed so you can actually hear it. You are adding a third instrument into the "danger range" of like 80hz-200hz.

                                              A lot of people sidechain just to make appropriate space for both bass and kick.

                                              I ran into a lot of problems on my own shit because I have two drum kits (tribal drums and metal drums) and bass in the "shit can't be masking other shit" range.

                                              I don't do it much, but it would suit your sound, very Soilwork kind of thing. I assume that is what you are referencing against, like The Living Infinite. A lot of plugins allow it, Waves API-2500 is one I've personally used.

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