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Really smooth distortion;Brian May, David Gilmour,Tom Scholz

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(@number6)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 152
Topic starter  

I know each of the players I mentioned uses different guitars/amps/effects, but I was wondering what type of effect would get me closest to their sounds (in their solos in stuff like Killer Queen, Comfortably numb and More than a feeling) with my homemade guitar and Line6 solid state amp. I want to get something fairly smooth overall, with a bit of screech at the upper end. Any suggestions?

Thanks

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(@clazon)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 502
 

Sounds like you want an Overdrive pedal, rather than a distortion pedal.

Gilmour and May certainly used overdrive pedals in their solos.

Sorry I can't help more, but there are quite a few out there. Check out "guitargeek" for some examples.

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(@Anonymous)
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Here is a DigiTech Artist Series- Brian May Pedal. Check out the sound bytes.


   
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(@coloradofenderbender)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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I agree with the overdrive pedal. But, all of those guys (who most definitely overdrove their amps) also used tube amps. That is the way you get smooth, creamy, distorted sounds.


   
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(@guitar4k)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 24
 

I get a pretty close Gilmore sound with my TS-9 (808) overdrive pedal playing with a strat. However, this is through my fender tube amp. When I play with the same pedal through my solid state "hybrid" Marshall amp, I don't get the same feel at all. Its still a decent sound, but the tube amp makes a huge difference.


   
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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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a tubescreamer or Big Muff. they've been around for a long time.

Im a tubescreamer devotee!

oh, and adding a delay will help for the Gilmore stuff.

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(@flashback)
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May used his amp turned up LOUD and added a treble booster. So did Clapton in the early days. But a good Treble Booster really sends the amp into overdrive and smooths things out. Definitly worth trying out. But then again a good Tube Screamer can do something along the lines. But if you want May's knarling sound then definitly a treble booster is the way to go.

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(@number6)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Topic starter  

What do treble boosters do exactly? Can they only be used on tube amps?

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(@bold_as_love)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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for gilmour i would recommend a delay, big muff and a compressor of some kind (mxr, boss etc). A big muff has been and continues to be a part of Dave's pedal board since the 70's and most of his leads are done with a big muff and compressor. And the delay or echo is an essential part of the Floyd sound. For May I would use some sort of tightly compressed gain pedal like a Homebrew Electronics Treble Booster or a Beano Boost.


   
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(@Anonymous)
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May used his amp turned up LOUD and added a treble booster. So did Clapton in the early days.

If you're talking about the tone he gets on the beano album, it's a myth! Clapton didn't use a treble booster then, it was all tube amp :D


   
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(@witchdoctor)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 124
 

One way to smooth out your distortion is use Brian May's technique of rolling off the treble. He would roll it off at the amp, and get a really articulate yet smooth overdrive.


   
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 PJS
(@pjs)
Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
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I use a combination of MXR Dynacomp and a EH Big Muff Pi for my gilmourish distortion. Cut back on the big muffs sustain and 'boost' the signal with your compressor. Ad 'some' delay and you're there.


   
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(@kevin72790)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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Gilmour used a Big Muff (USA version) on Comfortably Numb. Those are great effects, and I'd go for it. Cost about $70 new.


   
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(@hyperborea)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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May used his amp turned up LOUD and added a treble booster. So did Clapton in the early days.

If you're talking about the tone he gets on the beano album, it's a myth! Clapton didn't use a treble booster then, it was all tube amp :D

I dunno, there's a lot of info out there that says he was using a Rangemaster treble booster.

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