|HOME| |DIY FAQ| |GEO FAQ| |Debugging Page| |Links| |Schematics| |Wiki| |Layouts Gallery| |STORE|
|AMPAGE| |GEOFEX| |AMZ|

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
April 16, 2014, 09:59:03 AM
945426 Posts in 101546 Topics by 31667 Members
Latest Member: kevinh92
Home Help Login Register
DIYstompboxes.com  |  DIY Stompboxes  |  Building your own stompbox  |  Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal  (Read 18957 times)
halen
Posts: 17


Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« on: November 18, 2009, 03:57:07 PM »

Hello everyone im glad i found this great site, anyway i have tried numerous overdrive-distortion pedal and none seam to achieve what im looking for,the van halen 1 sound, so i thought about building a bsiab II pedal i have heard good things about this pedal,i was wonder if this pedal can achieve the van halen 1 sound(first album tone),i play though high gain amps and it seams to me when you listen to van halen 1 it sounds like its beyond high gain if you know what i mean,i have read all the early 70s interviews about Ed and what he used to achieve that tone but i take those early interviews with a grain of salt,alot of BS,i have owned and played early marshall plexis and superleads none of them sounded like that,i also tried the variac thing and that didnt do much,even modded marshall dont achieve that tone so thats why i believe and many other guitar players believe that Eddie did have some type of overdrive-distortion pedal in front of his amp to achieve the van halen 1 sound,if you listen to van halen II and the rest of the van halen albums none of them have that type of over the top crunch,edgeness that was achieved on van halen 1 so i just wanted to get your inputs and thoughts,thanks.........
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 04:00:48 PM by halen » Logged
Ice-9
Posts: 1489


Mick T


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2009, 05:40:07 PM »

Yeah i know what you mean about interviews and stuff about how musicians get there sound and it's usually biased by who sponsors there equipment, eg every Van halen 5150 amp head weather its a peavy or the new fender one he now uses "this is the best i have played " quotes etc.

Anyway Van Halen did use Plexi's on the 78 era sounds and i do believe he also used MXR dist+ ( unknown if it was modded or not)

I can say the BSIAB11 goes a long way to getting that VanHalen sound especially if a phaser is used as well
The closest i have got is with my Marshall JMP1 set on a clean ch which is set quite bright with a BSIAB11 before it, with gain set at about 3/4 and the tone set nearly full up and the phaser set for slow/medium for lead. with those settings i can get a good eruption sound with the phaser off its a good rhythm. With the phaser on you can also get a very accurate "atomic punk" intro.

I'd so go for it and build the BSIAB11
Logged

My favorite setting on one of those is BYPASS.
MoltenVoltage
Posts: 741


Cascade Range, Oregon


WWW
Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 12:47:26 AM »

I think some of the unique sound came from the frankenstrat

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenstrat
Logged

MoltenVoltage.com for PedalSync audio control chips - make programmable and MIDI-controlled analog pedals!
Shepherd
Posts: 182


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2009, 01:47:19 AM »

I think some of the unique sound came from the frankenstrat

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenstrat

Do you have a tone control on your guitar?
Logged
halen
Posts: 17


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2009, 07:29:47 AM »

No tone control, a paf pickup is clean to begin with,the first album(van halen 1)all the non-trem songs were done with a so-called ibanez destroyer(explorer guitar)and all the trem songs were done with the frankenstrat guitar,Ed so-called, took a paf pickup from a 1961 gibson es-335 guitar and stuck it in the frankenstrat,for effects Ed did use a original mxr phase 90,mxr flanger,ep3 echoplex,mxr 6 band eq,now i do believe but Ed doesnt say,when you listen to van halen 1 could he have used the original mxr distortion +,does it sound like it when you listen to van halen 1 ?,there is something in front of the amp to achieve that type of over the top crunch and edge,no stock marshall plexi or for that matter modded plexi will give you that type of crunch,tubes can only distort so much.If i did build a bsiab II pedal or some type of pedal that can achieve the van halen 1 sound i would like to have someone build it for me,im not very good with a soldering iron if thats possible.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 07:35:25 AM by halen » Logged
modsquad
Posts: 447

Stan - Austin, Texas


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2009, 08:05:43 AM »

Oh man total geekdom going on here  icon_eek

Plexi + BSIAB II + Phaser + (EQ to your hearts content) goes along way to getting the sound
Logged

"Chuck Norris sleeps with a night light, not because he is afraid of the dark but because the dark is afraid of him"
halen
Posts: 17


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2009, 08:19:50 AM »

Thats eaiser said then done.....
Logged
ItZaLLgOOd
Posts: 198


John E


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2009, 08:51:17 AM »

I'm sure with a good amp/effects set-up you can get very close, without Eddie's brain and fingers close will have to be acceptable.
Logged

Lifes to short for cheap beer
modsquad
Posts: 447

Stan - Austin, Texas


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2009, 08:51:37 AM »

I guess I just don't get the obsession of trying to get the "exact" sound of Van Halen, SRV, etc.  There are so many dynamics involved other than the technology that go into it.   I can get pretty darn close to the sound of these guys.  Not the exact sound because I don't hold my pick exactly the same way, apply the same pressure on certain strings,etc.  But you get my drift.   This discussion goes on foreeeeeeeeeeeeever on how do I get the sound of so and so on the such and such album.  You could have the exact same setup and equipment and still not nail it exactly.
Logged

"Chuck Norris sleeps with a night light, not because he is afraid of the dark but because the dark is afraid of him"
petemoore
Posts: 18697


As Yet Unrated


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2009, 09:01:32 AM »

  Preface:
  The tone heard on the record player speakers has been through many a process in addition to pickup>effect>amp>Speaker.
  100w Plexi is such a nice name, and such a brutal beast, scale it down if you want to tame it without getting in trouble, that amp is a cop magnet, requires gargantuan speaker force transduction etc.
  There's a tendancy to skip right over a make or break topic...the room, or hall, or theatre. the early reflective surfaces and distant RS's, their accoustic properties etc., is a make or break situation, how well does the system fit' in the room[s ["side-chambers"?, size, shape and surface composition matters, scaling down the system to what the room will accomodate is strongly recommended, 2watts is about right for nice sound, and loud without drums in a large living room.
  ...starting at the speaker end of the chain...
  Cabinet: closed back, doesn't have to be a 4x12'' 1960, but the basice volume per cone area dimension is a little tight [small], this is the design to get or look at when mulling designs [the Marshall 4x12'' cabinets are built a certain way so as to have a bouncy projection, also called 'punchy'].
  Speaker: This is one of those things I just can't see, same with the box and the guitar body, hard to tell what is actually in it. Greenbacks or similar I suppose, something with easy break over and punch-projection.
  So now you have a cabinet with X# of speakers [choose for amplitude = application, too big is just too big to punch a certain way, turning down is what you don't want to have to do, cranking is what you'll need to do].
  OT: I think Ed did real good here, better or best is a great place to start, second best tends to sit in the closet too much.
  PT: Same here, very smooth power supply that is 'crunched' is, I believe part of the distortion/tone of the sound you're looking for, cheap probably won't cut it.
  Now you get to the 'amp'...18watt comes to mind, mind that it is Loud through effecient speakers, say 1:2 as far as amp watts/speaker watts.
  You'll have to pick tubes etc., I like 'better' [premium] tubes, Blackplates or 'best NOS' I reserve opinion on.
  Then some dirtbox..more on that later.
  Pickups...Dimarzio Super Distortion pickup, bridge [just a hot, well rounded suggestion I know well], something hot @@R@ate.
  I also like maple necks that are skinney between the frets and back for the brightness and ability to use finger mechanics [pulloffs/hammerons].
  Now, last but not least, Distortion. Distortion + is a fine platform to discuss, if it's not grinding fast enough, boost what goes into it, then use the topology, choose where to select values, add switches/extra knobs etc.
  Choose the distortion circuit, modify it.
  I used to build 2, and 'race' them. Setting one up with say BTB symmetric diodes and treble / gain [and pre-booster] settings, the other with...something else, then A/B test.
  Boil and filter the distortion box down to where it's a 2 knobber again, perhaps an added switch.  
  I'm using PAF pickups and a pre-Dist+ booster. Phase 90...they say script logo, but researching the circuit pretty much allows anything from the MXR-VH-90 through script and block logo 90's.
  Reverb for sure, compression/eq?
  PA or stereo, but mostly automotive speakers is what I'm hearing when I'm hearing VH.
  Mic, board, processing, bigamps>PA speakers thing certainly helps add dimensions to the guitar sound mix, a whole different sound than guitar-effects-amp, sounds like all that's in there too.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 09:14:29 AM by petemoore » Logged

Convention creates following, following creates convention.
Caferacernoc
Posts: 296


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2009, 09:07:54 AM »

That 6 band MXR EQ pedal is known for adding some flavor of its own. I definitely do not hear a DIST+. He does not sound like Randy Roads! There was someone on this board a couple years ago making the MXR EQ pedal saying it worked better as a boost than anything else he had ever tried. And I know it's pretty amazing the different tones you can coax out of a overdrive or amp by using an EQ pedal in front of it. That is something people always miss when trying to cop the Slash tone too. He hits the Marshall with an EQ'd boost.
But I don't hear DIST+. Not at all. I hear boosted tube amp, like this:

 http://www.runoffgroove.com/salvo.html

Scroll down to the Omega sounds. Hit Clip 3.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 09:09:49 AM by Caferacernoc » Logged
MoltenVoltage
Posts: 741


Cascade Range, Oregon


WWW
Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2009, 09:41:45 AM »

from Wikipedia:

Tuning

Though rarely discussed, one of the most distinctive aspects of Van Halen's sound was Eddie's tuning of the guitar. Before Van Halen, most distorted, metal-oriented rock consciously avoided the use of the major third interval in guitar chords, creating instead the signature power chord of the genre. When run through a distorted amplifier, the rapid beating of the major third on a conventionally tuned guitar is distracting and somewhat dissonant.[citation needed]

Van Halen developed a technique of flattening his B string slightly so that the interval between the open G and B reaches a justly intonated, beatless third. This consonant third was almost unheard of in distorted-guitar rock and allowed Van Halen to use major chords in a way that mixed classic hard rock power with "happy" pop. The effect is pronounced on songs such as "Runnin' With the Devil", "Unchained", and "Where Have All the Good Times Gone?".

With the B string flattened the correct amount, chords in some positions on the guitar have more justly intonated thirds, but in other positions the flat B string creates out-of-tune intervals. As Eddie once remarked to Guitar Player:

    A guitar is just theoretically built wrong. Each string is an interval of fourths, and then the B string is off. Theoretically, that's not right. If you tune an open E chord in the first position and it's perfectly in tune, and then you hit a barre chord an octave higher, it's out of tune. The B string is always a mother@#$%er to keep in tune all the time! So I have to retune for certain songs. And when I use the Floyd onstage, I have to unclamp it and do it real quick. But with a standard-vibrato guitar, I can tune it while I'm playing.
Logged

MoltenVoltage.com for PedalSync audio control chips - make programmable and MIDI-controlled analog pedals!
WGTP
Posts: 2458


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2009, 09:44:31 AM »

+1 Petemoore  Stuff you hear on home speakers has been heavily processed, even if attempts were made to keep the original sound. The actual recording process is still imperfect enough (now 30 years ago) that trying to cram a Raging Marshal Stack (RMS) into 5" speakers is not going to work.  Thru my own recording I realize that EQ changes, Dynamics change, etc.  Where is Ted Templeman (record producer) in a Box.  He did a great job of capturing the RMS of EV.

Having said that, using some of the better distortions from around hear with the correct EQ (including guitar, amp, speakers, etc.)(which will vary from guitar to amp to speakers to room to recording process) will get you close...  
 icon_cool icon_rolleyes icon_twisted icon_wink
Logged

Stomping Out Sparks & Flames
oliphaunt
Posts: 256


Brent B.


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2009, 11:19:33 AM »

Over the years I have been a session player, engineer and producer.  Like most people I started out trying to capture the sound of my amp, or someone else's, and most always failed.  Even when I succeeded the results where often quite "wrong" to sit well in the mix and a lot of post processing was required.  Now, when I record my own guitar I tend to set up a cabinet in the recording room and take my amp head and all of my effects and set up in the control room. I "build" the guitar sound from the control room, listening through studio monitors, playing along with the mix.  Often I will get great sounds then wander out into the room where the cabinet is to listen.  The guitar sounds are often hideous!  It is the combination of guitar/effects/amp/speaker/room acoustics/mic/placement/mixer/monitors and, most importantly, the player that create the final sound in the control room. 

Should you abandon the search for the EVH tone?  No, but don't get too caught up in the details.  The guitar sound you are looking for probably never existed except on your home stereo.  You will find his tone more in your fingers than with any piece(s) of gear. 
Logged
fpaul
Posts: 154


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2009, 12:15:25 PM »

A plexi or 2203/2204 may not nail it but I think it is the place to start.  I've always thought that technique is important but without out the right rig Eddie would NOT get the sound he does.  Read the EVH thread on the Metroamp forum.  A member named Rockstah has EVH clips with different rigs.  I think the 2203 with low filtering nails it but others prefer other clips.  Alot of people think EVH slaved his amp into another power amp and that clip sounds good too(1959). I read one post where someone said he could tell Rockstah had been practising.  Rockstahs comment was that he hadn't practiced at all, he just finally had a rig that allowed him to do it.  I can't play like EVH and don't want to copy him but I do want to try playing through a similar setup.  I disagree with anyone who says it's ALL in the fingers. The hard part is coming up with and crafting the songs, which does require great technique. Just my opinion.
Logged

Frank
petemoore
Posts: 18697


As Yet Unrated


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2009, 12:40:29 PM »

  One thing that's missing, I forgot to add earlier, is that scaling is different of course than stack or stax, in that there is a phase delay [and other cabinet/room resonances] involved with having multiples of speakers.
  This seems to be true of multiple amplifiers in general and in a particular instance: how much phase shifter sound is heard in front of an amp/speaker which sees only the guitar pickup, but happens to be sitting next to a guitar>dist>phase shifter effected amp/speaker.
Logged

Convention creates following, following creates convention.
Ed G.
Posts: 767


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2009, 07:47:48 PM »

Check out some of his live videos on youtube. You'll find that he didn't have the same sound live. Of course, he took newer production marshalls on the road with him instead of the old plexi, but still, like mentioned earlier, a good bit of the sound was done in the studio.
Logged
spaceace76
Posts: 117


Chris Valent


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2009, 07:48:43 PM »

this is about the tallest order in stompbox design, right up there with a tube simulator.

the slaving thing is nice sounding, and will get you pretty close. i do not believe Ed slaved early on (I'm a member of the metro forum, we talk about this all day at the EVH section) but slaving is a good way to cop the sound you want. Do not underestimate the importance of the EP-3, the MXR 6-band, Sunset Sound, or Ted Templeton and Don Landee in the studio helping produce the final tone on the record.

I can tell you all kinds of things to dispute slaving, and point out the lack of evidence for it, etc, but at the end of the day it does sound good. So if someone were to ask me how to get Ed's sound, I'd tell them to give slaving a try despite the fact he likely didn't use it until the early 80's, when we have proof he slaved into those awesome H&H poweramps.

The basic key to the early album sound is just a cranked plexi hitting the speakers and getting gobs of speaker distortion. In the studio there were two mic's set to different spots on one speaker, essentially one was for the lows and the other was for the highs. There may have also been some EQ in post. The recording was then put through a high-end speaker in the Sunset Sound reverb room to create a wet track. The end product on the album was a result of good production and a fantastic guitar player. It's not the type of thing you can slap together in your spare time, or hope to get from a stompbox. Slaving though, does have it's sonic appeal, so I suggest giving that a shot first. Slaving also allows you to run time based effects after the first amplifier, yielding less noise in the case of old tape delays and probably better sounding modulation since it doesn't have to run into a wide open plexi.

As has been stated, all this will do nothing for you without Ed's hands. More specifically, Ed's 1978 hands. Unfortunately, you will have to settle for having your own sound  icon_biggrin
Logged
Paul Marossy
Posts: 12526


Just Another Guitarhead


WWW
Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2009, 08:19:00 PM »

One word: "Variac". I submit to you that he could have gotten that sound simply by cranking the amp while it was operating on a Variac, which is something that he reportedly used to do back in the day. What that does is lower the B+ voltage in the amp, which in turn lowers the headroom, which in turn makes it distort more. This might also account for the crunch in the tone. He might have also used a pedal of some sort, too, but I think his use of the Variac is probably the biggest factor in his tone on the early albums.

http://mr5150.vhvault.com/evh-brown-sound.html
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 09:40:33 PM by Paul Marossy » Logged

_/\_/\_PJM_/\_/\_

www.diyguitarist.com
www.soundcloud.com/Paul-Marossy

"Tone is in the fingers."
caspercody
Posts: 536

Rob Schneider


Re: Van halen 1 sounding overdrive-distortion pedal
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2009, 09:59:04 PM »

Look at Wamplers Pinnacle pedal. This is a pedal you can buy, since you mentioned you are not good with a iron. Or if you want to try I do have the schematic for this pedal, it is a modified BSIAB2. Or check out the Thor by Runoffgroove .com. I also have been looking for the Brown sound, and I like the Pinnacle, and Thor, so far. 
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to: