SCANDAL's guitar tone - how do you get yours?
Posted on Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:51 am


kudo_maharizu

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There was a short discussion amongst some SH members on sculpting guitar tone to sound like the band using whatever guitar/effects/amp they have. I thought it'd be a great idea to start a thread where SH members who play guitar/bass to share what they do to recreate the girls' sounds in their own covers.

We all know tone is very subjective, so I do hope this thread will be used for sharing as opposed to telling people they got it wrong etc. Even if they have, please be constructive and do provide suggestions for improvement. I, for one, would love to learn from others.

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I'll kick off with mine. I don't have a set MAMI/HARU tone (I play guitar mainly and suck at bass heh), and over the past few covers I've attempted I felt I kinda 'got' what I felt to be MAMI's tone in a generic sense, but probably for just this song.

On Rainy - MAMI's tone sounded like it was mainly her Marshall. I did experiment with pedals but all it did was colour the tone too much, so I went back to basics with just the amp. This was my amp setting on Rainy using an old Marshall VS100R, a solid state 100W 1x12" combo with a single 12AX7 valve in its preamp.



As you can see, this is obviously not the same as the photo of MAMI's Marshall ([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]). I'd like to add, I guess with high gain, odd tweaks to the left or right doesn't make much of a difference. Hehe.

Channel - OVERDRIVE 2 (kinda equivalent to the Ultra Gain channel of her JCM2000)
Power dimension - ON (this emulates, especially at lower volumes, the extra saturated tone you get when you play with the transformer and valve power stage cranked to the limit)

It's just the above setting in the photo - no reverb, no nothing. Guitar --> cable --> amp. To emulate MAMI's tone as best as I could, I used a guitar with the pickup selector at the humbucker on the bridge position. Obviously, the guitar is the most important factor in tone sculpting, but you don't really need a Strat with a humbucker - any guitar with a humbucker would do.

This is what it sounds like:


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Re: SCANDAL's guitar tone - how do you get yours?
Posted on Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:36 am


fishmcdippers

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The first song I heard from Scandal was Awanai Tsumori No, Genki De Ne.  Mami playing lead is what got me back into playing the guitar after a 10 year break.  As I listened to more songs, I realized that she used the same signal chain settings (whatever they are, who knows...) on quite a few songs.  So, when I started playing around with distorted tones again, I wanted to get something close to that tone.  I played around a lot with my rig's settings and this is what I came up with:

Fender Standard Stratocaster HH (Bridge HB, Volume 5-6, Tone 10) --> Boss DS-1 (Tone 3:00, Distortion 9:00, Level 12:00) --> EHX Little Big Muff Pi (Volume 10:30, Tone 3:00, Sustain 10:30) --> Orange Crush 12 Amp (Volume & EQ 12:00, Overdrive OFF, Gain 9:00)

I also played around to get Haruna's rhythm tones.  For her lighter, overdriven tone (e.g. Departure verse riffs) I use these rig settings:

Fender Standard Stratocaster HH (Bridge HB, Volume 5-6, Tone 10) --> Boss DS-1 (Tone 3:00, Distortion 9:00, Level 12:00) --> Orange Crush 12 Amp (Volume & EQ 12:00, Overdrive OFF, Gain 9:00)

For Haruna's heavier distortion (e.g. Awanai Tsumori No, Genki De Ne), this is what I came up with:

Fender Standard Stratocaster HH (Bridge HB, Volume 5-6, Tone 5-6) --> Boss MT-2 (Level 10:30, High 10:30, Low 3:00, Mid 10:30, Mid-Freq Max, Level 1:30) --> Orange Crush 12 Amp (Volume & EQ 12:00, Overdrive OFF, Gain 9:00)

From what I can tell, Haruna's distortion tends to be heavier than Mami's, with the mids & highs dialed back a fair amount to allow Mami's playing to cut through the mix.

Anyways, you can probably tell that I leave my amp settings the same.  I kind of set it and left it because that's how I personally prefer to play it when playing clean.  I just adjust my pedals and guitar to get the tone I'm looking for.

Just my $0.02.  I'm 100% positive that everyone who posts here will have different rigs (guitars, effects, amps) with completely different settings.

Also, like I said in the other thread...replicating a tone is cool, but it's so awesome to find your own tone.  I'm not sure if anybody here is familiar with the Pillows, but they have this really great song "Funny Bunny."  The band Ellegarden did a cover with their own unique, more distorted and energetic tone (vs the more mellow original tone) and it was almost as popular as the original.  I think that's what's so great about being a musician, even if you're just an amateur or hobbyist...creativity is what it's all about.

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Re: SCANDAL's guitar tone - how do you get yours?
Posted on Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:17 am


kudo_maharizu

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I actually could try your set up as I have those pedals (although mine's the regular Big Muff pi). I've a small Orange AD-5 5W valve amp. Looking forward to try it later this evening.

I'm also interested in how you have your guitar volume at 5-6, which is something I should do, I guess, to use the guitar to control how overdriven its tone is.


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Re: SCANDAL's guitar tone - how do you get yours?
Posted on Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:38 pm


fishmcdippers

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kudo_maharizu wrote:I actually could try your set up as I have those pedals (although mine's the regular Big Muff pi). I've a small Orange AD-5 5W valve amp. Looking forward to try it later this evening.

I'm also interested in how you have your guitar volume at 5-6, which is something I should do, I guess, to use the guitar to control how overdriven its tone is.

IIRC, the regular Big Muff Pi has a bit more volume and drive (contrary to EHX's claim that they're exactly the same), so you might need to back those two settings off a bit.  You'll probably get a bit more crunch from your amp, even with the same settings as mine.  So I'd say use my setup as a starting point and fine tune to your rig.  I think it'll be pretty close, but who knows.

I used to have my guitar volume dimed all the time, but it always pushed any dirt pedal so hard that I had to turn down any gain/distortion settings.  IMHO, keeping guitar volume anywhere between 5 and 7 allows you to (1) increase the grit when you increase the volume, and (2) clean up your tone when you roll back the volume below 5.  The only caveat about defaulting to the middle range for volume is that if you turn off all your overdrive/distortion pedals and play clean, you have to dime the volume (or use a clean boost) to hear anything really...

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Re: SCANDAL's guitar tone - how do you get yours?
Posted on Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:42 pm


gt.ch

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I find it really interesting how the two members who posted before me in this chat happen to have these pedals as well (Boss DS-1 and EHX Little BMP). :O

Because I normally play with a band that covers Japanese songs, including some SCANDAL songs, I don't really adjust my pedal settings for each song that we play, but my signal chain for SCANDAL songs goes something like this:

Epiphone Les Paul Special II (bridge/treble pickup, volume 7, tone max) → DOD Overdrive Preamp 250 (gain 8:00, level 14:30) → Boss DS-1 (tone 13:30, dist MIN, level 13:30) → EHX Little Big Muff Pi (volume 12:30, tone 14:00, sustain 13:30) → Marshall MG15CF (clean channel, volume 14:00, EQ bass 6 middle 6 treble 4)

I've got to say I didn't choose these gear specifically for SCANDAL as I started listening to SCANDAL after I began guitar, though.

I don't use both the DS-1 and Big Muff Pi at the same time. I use the Muff for most of SCANDAL songs, and the settings as they are work great to me for songs like Syunkan Sentimental, Your song (especially the sustain during the verse when lead goes up to the 21st fret) and DOLL.

I use the DS-1 for more "crunch" than "distortion" songs, such as Departure, but I do roll back my volume to clean it up a bit since there's still quite some distortion.

Also, fishmcdippers, regarding the problem with clean volume, can't you set the level/volume of your dirt pedals down so they correspond nicely to your rolled back clean volume? That's just the way I normally do it haha.

EDIT: After experimenting a while more with using the overdrive pedal I had as a booster (who needs overdrive, right? Ahhh, stop throwing things at me), I've updated the new settings I use. It gives me a nice balance between the high sustain I need for songs like Your song and the cleaner chords of, say Syojo S.



Last edited by gt.ch on Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:06 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: SCANDAL's guitar tone - how do you get yours?
Posted on Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:19 pm


fishmcdippers

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gt.ch wrote:Also, fishmcdippers, regarding the problem with clean volume, can't you set the level/volume of your dirt pedals down so they correspond nicely to your rolled back clean volume? That's just the way I normally do it haha.

That's kinda how it started out.  I had level/volume set around unity, but I wasn't getting the sounds I wanted at that level.  So I played around with settings on everything to get the spectrum of tones I was looking for.  Diming the guitar volume when playing clean is a small price to pay.

It's all subjective anyways, right?

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Re: SCANDAL's guitar tone - how do you get yours?
Posted on Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:03 pm


MamiXHaruna

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I've been wanting to ask this question for awhile so I'm glad you created this thread..

Our band is covering some Scandal songs and I'm the Rhythm guitarist so I really want to know how I can get Haruna's tone..I'm using a Multi effect zoom's G1xon .. For now, my current patches is Overdrive, Room Reverb and Marshial 1959 amp (all normal set up).. Do you have any suggestions on how I can improve the patches so I can get close to Haruna's tone (with this cheap multi effects-LOL)

Currently, we are practicing Scandal Baby, Shunkan, Harukaze and Shoujo S..


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Re: SCANDAL's guitar tone - how do you get yours?
Posted on Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:06 pm


spacecadet

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I've always liked Haruna's live tone better than anything on the albums and also better than Mami's, but I don't really like Gibson-style humbuckers (which is what's in her Fenders). So I've got a Fender Twin Reverb amp (the amp she used before her Shinos), a Fulltone OCD and then I usually just play one of my Jazzmasters, which with that OD and amp still sounds reasonably like her.

Her live tone is very simple, just a lot of volume and overdrive and not much else that's obvious, and with a pretty flat frequency response to my ears, maybe a little extra low end. Actually in the more recent vids I've seen it sounds like they've dialed her guitar back quite a bit, which might just be the way it's mixed but it seems consistent from one vid to another so I'll bet it's real. That'd be kind of disappointing if true; whenever I play one of their songs I try to sound like the way I remember from when I've seen them, with just this thunderous but cutting overdrive.

Anyway, so I've tried setting up my OCD the way she has it in that one issue of GiGS magazine, although I don't think she says there if she uses the high or low drive mode. To me the high drive mode sounds more like her live sound, while the low drive mode sounds more like her sound on the older albums (though I doubt she's really using an OCD on any album). I don't have the magazine in front of me right now but IIRC the knobs are all basically around the 12 o'clock position. High drive with those settings also sounds basically like her tone on the "Awanai" recording, although that's also got a ton of reverb and she's pretty quiet in the mix.

I keep my amp set up with the bass, mids and trebles also in the middle, with the reverb around 2 or 3, just enough to add a little depth but not enough to obscure anything. The Fender Twin is a pretty bassy amp at reasonable household volumes, so keeping the EQ knobs at 12 o'clock sounds right to me - it'll pound you in your chest the way her sound does. With a smaller or less powerful amp, you might not even be able to get enough bass. I've got a couple of practice amps (a Marshall MG10 and a Yamaha THR10) that just can't really do it.

I keep my guitar on around 7 for volume and 5 for tone. I normally have my tone up around 7 or 8 but dialing it back a little bit helps approximate the tone of a humbucker, which have a naturally muddy sound compared to any single coil.

When I did have her signature Tele, I thought this setup with that guitar sounded pretty much exactly like her. Though that could have just been something like confirmation bias, I guess.

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Re: SCANDAL's guitar tone - how do you get yours?
Posted on Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:57 pm


kudo_maharizu

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MamiXHaruna wrote:Our band is covering some Scandal songs and I'm the Rhythm guitarist so I really want to know how I can get Haruna's tone..I'm using a Multi effect zoom's G1xon .. For now, my current patches is Overdrive, Room Reverb and Marshial 1959 amp (all normal set up).. Do you have any suggestions on how I can improve the patches so I can get close to Haruna's tone (with this cheap multi effects-LOL)

Herein lies the problem - everyone has different set ups and speaking for myself, I find it difficult to answer your question as I don't possess the ZOOM multieffects that you have. And please don't apologise if it's cheap.

I know this sounds like a cop out answer - use your ears. Firstly, please bear in mind you may want to set up your sound on an amp that you will be using when you play with your bandmates, or something similar. I find that when I set up using a smaller amp - playing the same setup on the multifx later on a bigger amp, I usually find that the tone sounds different. I don't know if anyone else has this problem, or it's just me. Heh.

The overdrive is fine. Even though HARU doesn't use a Marshall, if your ZOOM's amp simulator had the Marshall sounding good enough as what HARU sounds like for you - then use it. When HARU performs live outside of Japan, she usually plays a Fender (usually a Twin Reverb) - try that one if the G1Xon has it, and adjust your overdrive's gain accordingly. Failing all that, though - don't lose heart. With that list of songs your band is covering, a generic overdriven sound shouldn't go far wrong.

Good luck!


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Re: SCANDAL's guitar tone - how do you get yours?
Posted on Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:19 am


MamiXHaruna

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kudo_maharizu wrote:
MamiXHaruna wrote:Our band is covering some Scandal songs and I'm the Rhythm guitarist so I really want to know how I can get Haruna's tone..I'm using a Multi effect zoom's G1xon .. For now, my current patches is Overdrive, Room Reverb and Marshial 1959 amp (all normal set up).. Do you have any suggestions on how I can improve the patches so I can get close to Haruna's tone (with this cheap multi effects-LOL)

Herein lies the problem - everyone has different set ups and speaking for myself, I find it difficult to answer your question as I don't possess the ZOOM multieffects that you have. And please don't apologise if it's cheap.

I know this sounds like a cop out answer - use your ears. Firstly, please bear in mind you may want to set up your sound on an amp that you will be using when you play with your bandmates, or something similar. I find that when I set up using a smaller amp - playing the same setup on the multifx later on a bigger amp, I usually find that the tone sounds different. I don't know if anyone else has this problem, or it's just me. Heh.

The overdrive is fine. Even though HARU doesn't use a Marshall, if your ZOOM's amp simulator had the Marshall sounding good enough as what HARU sounds like for you - then use it. When HARU performs live outside of Japan, she usually plays a Fender (usually a Twin Reverb) - try that one if the G1Xon has it, and adjust your overdrive's gain accordingly. Failing all that, though - don't lose heart. With that list of songs your band is covering, a generic overdriven sound shouldn't go far wrong.

Good luck!

Thank you... Happy

I use the fender twin reverb simulator and it sounds better.. I will try to compare it in Haruna's tone on weekend.. My only usual reference for Haruna's tone are the songs with parts that only her are strumming (Scandal baby and Namida Yo Hikare)...


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Re: SCANDAL's guitar tone - how do you get yours?
Posted on Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:49 pm


kudo_maharizu

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Not trying to sound like a salesman, but has anyone tried using an app called BIAS by [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]? One thing about this though, it's available only for the iPhone or the iPad. It costs USD19.99 and for this price, you can get yourself a great amp simulator. There is a desktop version but that one's like USD79 (USD179 for the pro version).



I tried creating my own SHINOS amp based on the specs I could gather online ([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]), and seeing how HARU had used either a VOX or Matchless as backup/alternative backline at overseas gigs (I know she uses the Fender Twin more than these two makes) - I took the liberty of modding a Matchless and changed the valves (or tubes as they call them in the USA) accordingly.





Then I chose a cab (this time I just picked and choose the tone I felt was most appropriate) and mic-ed it:



I dunno about you but I like what I hear. Especially when you have a whole range of amps to play with, and modifiable to boot.

Samples:

1. 「Stamp!」- on SoundCloud: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

2. LIFE IS A JOURNEY - on Dailymotion: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

You can use this for quiet practice/covers (a good pair of monitoring headphones should do the trick) or even plug this straight into the PA if you are rehearsing/performing live.

Positive Grid also does pedals (BIAS FX) but that's another story. Happy


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Re: SCANDAL's guitar tone - how do you get yours?
Posted on Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:13 am


Kevindas

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I like the tone that comes out of my Charvel Pro-Mod, the main thing being the split-coil. With single coil, the JHS Angry Bird, running into my SP ross styled compression than into the front of my Bugera V55. It gets pretty close to nailing her tone but more creamy. With the humbucker mode, I feel it's too heavy, but works well. Also have a Custom Made Canadian Stratocaster with same split-coil system, but with Di-Marzio which does the same thing, more jazzy/bluesy I guess. I guess I like my own sound though. I try not to copy a particular tone, but have something I can enjoy as well. 

I used to have a Marshall DSL100 (same year's as Mami) but sold it (big regret here), but I started looking into the EVH amp that I saw Haruna work with on some concerts. I want to keep the Bugera as my working amp for outside gigs ect ect. and the EVH as my special amp for larger gigs or recordings. 

For that phasing effect that Mami sometimes uses I like the Small Stone from EHX. Doesn't muddy my tone that bad, but has its characteristics. I also use the Memory Toy mixed with a Dispatch Master to get that transparent delay in she sometimes uses, more so in Take Me Out. For Wah I use the EVH one from Dunlop, which has a very edgy sound with big bottom when scooped without killing the mids. 

I like talking of this stuff, kinda a gear head I guess.

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