|Eddie Van Halen||VHI|
|Ain't Talkin bout Love|
|John Petrucci||A Dramatic Turn of Events Rhythm|
|Mark IV Lead|
|Mark IIC+ Lead|
|Steve Vai||Legacy Lead|
|Whammy Pedal Madness|
|Joe Satriani||Is There Love in Space?|
|Always With You, Always With Me|
|Surfing with the Alien|
For some general guidelines on how to use the Pod HD and dial in patches similar to those below, please see my Pod HD tone guide.
Description: Shooting for a VHI tone - should be similar to most of EVH's Marshall tones. The tone isn't super-distorted, but it sounds like the amp is being just completely pummeled. Note I pan the tone a bit left in the mixer. He's pretty much all the way left, but I just wanted to throw in a subtle homage.
Distortion: I find the secret here is to use the Plexi bright model with an EQ in front to feed the amp a lot of mids and treble, as well as some compression and mild distortion. Then give the Plexi a good bit of gain and crank the Presence control, but go easy on bass. Additionally, I absolutely pummel the power section by setting Bias to 100% and reduce Bias X to keep it set there.
DEP's: I keep Maseter cranked to get plenty power amp distortion. I turn Bias up all the way. This is basically running the amp hot, which mirror reports about how EVH got such a nasty tone from his Marshalls. I turn down Bias X to lock-in my bias setting.
Cab/Mic and EQ: Hiway 4x12/57 off axis. The amp EQ is used to dial in the distortion tone, so I use EQ effects to get the right EQ. The Plexi is very warm and midsy (as is the Hiway) - too much so for Eddie's tone. So I reduce it pretty heavily, but I still end up with a pretty midsy tone. I also cut a touch of presence that makes the tone too harsh, and I cut the high and low end a little.
Effects: Optional phaser in front the amp the Eruption and solo tone he sometimes uses. Reverb and delay behind the amp for ambiance. Missing are the Echoplex and flanger. I left out the Echoplex because he used it for how it affected the tone and thickened up the distortion in front the amp, not a usual delay behind the amp. I dial in the tone without it, so I don't think it's essential here. The Pod suffers in the flanger department. I have a good flanger tone for my VHIII patch, but it required a lot of sacrifices. If you want to replicate what I did there here, substituting out the phaser or other effects, it will work, but I couldn't fit it here.
Went for the same tone as above but with a flanger instead of the phaser. Ok, so what's up with this crazy-ass signal chain? I found all the flangers pretty awful except the 80A; however, for some infuriating reason, it doesn't have a mix control. So I'm basically setting it to one side of my mixer and using the mixer itself as the mix control for the flanger. The reason the Studio EQ toggles with the flanger is because the flanger boosts the signal heavily, as well changes the general frequency response. So I'm trying to make the flanger more signal-level-and-frequency-response-neutral. I just want the flange, dammit!!! Normally I wouldn't go through so much trouble for one effect, but the flanger is a staple of Eddie's tone. Leaving it off would be heresy. And we don't want to upset the guitar gods.
Description: Shooting for a VHIII tone, but it should be similar to most of EVH's 5150 tones. Basically a more fine-tuned and less raw version of the above patch, but using a flanger instead of phaser since most of his later lead and rhythm tones incorporate the flanger.
Distortion: Again I use an EQ to filter the signal before the amp. I'm using the Uber model to impersonate a 5150. It's already got kind of a similar tone and the boost dials it in. You don't need much pre-amp gain to get the necessary distortion.
DEP's: I like to turn up the Master a bit to get a more pushed amp tone - the Uber doesn't really distort, but adds rumble and compression. Everything else is pretty much neutral, although I lower Sag to get a tighter feel.
Cab/Mic and EQ: Hiway 4x12 . Now I can use the amp EQ controls for more fine-tuning rather than worry about how they'll affect the distortion tone. I boost mids and highs, give a fair bit of presence, but back off the bass. For some reason the tone has plenty bass. I use EQ effects to suck out a little of warmth/honk, and roll off the lows and highs.
Effects: I'm using the same flanger trick as the last patch. It's essential here to get Eddie's later tone, like VHIII in particular. Otherwise, it's the same reverb and delay to add ambiance.Top of Page
Description: I was going after the A Dramatic Turn of Events rhythm tone, and it gets pretty close. It took me a while, but I found near perfect settings to simulate the Mark IV tone.
Distortion: The Mark IV tone to me sounds like a Mark IIC+ modded to sound more scooped with a tighter and punchier low-end. I like the Uber model here. It can be manipulated more than the other amp models, and kind of tends towards that early 90's-style Soldano/5150 high-gain tone. I use a Mid-Focus EQ to dial out mud and some of the more inconsistent gritty distortion in the top end. I find this sounds good, but it isn't aggressive enough, so I create a high-end resonant peak with a Parametric EQ. It's trebly enough to get some rich upper harmonic distortion but still below the grittiness.
DEP's: I like to turn up the Master a good bit to get a more pushed amp tone. I like to boost Bias quite high to get a more edgy, modern sound. I like to boost Bias X fairly high to get more of a bloom quality to the sound as you sustain a note, which I think is an essential part of the Boogie tone. I turn Sag down to get a tighter response, but not too far down or it hurts the tone.
Cab/Mic and EQ: Hiway 4x12 57 on axis/XXL V-30 4x12 57 off axis. I vary the EQ on the two amp models. The XXL's presence can actually sound real wide and end up thickening the tone too much, and the treble interferes with the Hiway's treble. Otherwise I use a Mid-Focus EQ to roll off the high-end and some low-end, and a Parametric EQ to cut a little mids. You don't need to cut as much mids as you'd think looking at Petrucci's settings - the Mark is just a very midsy amp, at least for the distortion tone he uses. The Uber doesn't naturally put out THAT much mids, so you don't need to cut very much.
This is basically the same tone as above, but I a delay. This means I can't fit two EQ's, due to DSP limitations. That's ok, because I don't want to cut the mids here anyway.
Description: The Mark IIC+ has been the staple of Petrucci's lead tone since Images and Words. He's deviated it from time to time, especially to simplify his live rig, but most of his studio leads are pure Mark IIC+. This tone is designed to capture a singing lead tone.
Distortion: So I basically use the same mentality as the Mark IV tones. I want to use EQ to get the Uber to get a very smooth, clean, saturated tone. I use the Mid-Focus to dial out the mud and grit. I don't need anything else here.
DEP's: I like to turn up the Master a bit to get a more pushed amp tone. I like to keep Bias around 50% - this keeps the tone from being too edgy but it's still got a modern bite. I like to boost Bias X fairly high to get more of a bloom quality to the sound as you sustain a note, which I think is an essential part of the Boogie tone. I keep Sag at 50%, so the response is a bit looser than the Mark IV tones. Between the Bias and Sag, I get the Mark IIC+ tone rather than the Mark IV - more singing than shredding.
Cab/Mic and EQ: Hiway on axis/XXL off axis. The Hiway gets more mids and highs. The XXL has nearly all its EQ's around 50% but bass which I turn down a little bit. I use the Hiway for most of the presence. Then I just roll-off the highs with a Mid-Focus EQ to get the creamy mid-range response.
Effects: Just a reverb to make the tone sing.
Description: Shooting for the rhythm tone on Petrucci's solo album, Suspended Animation.
Distortion: The Treadplate model sounds pretty darn close to a Dual Rectifier. I EQ it a tad, just to tighten it up a touch.
DEP's: I like to crank up the Master and Bias a bit here to get a more aggressive amp tone. I add Sag or the tone gets a bit too nasty on the attack.
Cab/Mic and EQ: Hiway 4x12/XXL V-30 4x12, 57 on axis/409 Dynamic. This combination works well here - the 409 Dynamic provides that kind of wall of midrange this tone wants, especially in the upper mids. My target tone is pretty bright, so I boost the treble and presence on the amps, but I roll off the ultra-high-end to keep it from getting harsh. I also cut the honk a little but boost warmth. I use the Low Cut and Thump Cab DEP's to keep the Recto from being too boomy, and I reduce Res. Level to get more crispness to the tone.
Almost the same as above. I use less EQ effects, so I can make room for a reverb and a delay. This means the EQ's I do use are a little more extreme. The low-end is kind of out-of-control, which I tame with the Low Cut Cab DEP's and a Mid-Focus EQ. I also put one EQ in front the amp, which is used to change the distortion tone of the Rectifier. Petrucci I believe uses the vintage voicing for his leads, whereas the model is based on the modern voicing. So I'm boosting punch and warmth to try to get the distortion to be a bit more vintage sounding. I think it ends up sounding a bit smoother and more open.Top of Page
Description: Going for a Vai lead tone, similar to either Fire Garden or Ultra Zone. I went for pure tone here, not any effects because I max out the DSP. I save modulation, harmonizer, and whammy effects for later patches.
Distortion: I'm using the Uber model here, with the pre-amp providing most of the distortion tone. I use EQ before the amp to make it less muddy, but not completely so - Vai's tone sounds a tiny-bit muddy. I crank the power section, but that just adds a little compression and hoarse-ness to the tone.
DEP's: I like to crank the Master up to about 95% to get compression and a little rumble out of the amp model's power section. I lower the bias to make the power section breakup more warm and less crisp/harsh. And I raise Bias X to get that bloom to the notes as you sustain. Otherwise, I leave things alone.
Cab/Mic and EQ: Hiway 4x12/XXL V-30 4x12, 57 off axis/409 Dynamic mics. I set the XXL with less volume to hear the Hiway clearly. I vary the EQ on the two amp models. The Hiway gets more mids and presence, and no bass. The XXL has nearly all its EQ's around 50% but bass which I turn down a little bit. I'm using lots of mids here, which is the key to Vai's tone. As usual, I roll off highs with a Mid-Focus.
Effects: Just some reverb to sweeten up the tone.
Description: Essentially the same tone as above, but with some Delay and a Dimension for a modulation effect instead of the Reverb.
Same as above but with whammy pedal (Pitch Glide) in front instead of the Smart Harmony's, going from unison to +1 octave. I set the patch up with this one on, starting at unison. This can be toggled on/off with FS1. There's a second whammy pedal with the default set to -1 octave, which can be toggled on/off with FS2. This one has a lower mix value so it's an octaver effect, which will get you the Animal tone.Top of Page
Shooting for the same tone as above but without dual cabs, so I can fit two smart harmonies, at -4th and -6th to get a first inversion chord for whatever note you play. It's not quite as crazy as Vai gets with his Eventide, but it's still pretty crazy and a lot of fun. By default only the -4th interval is turned on, which is more harmonic than the -6th, so it's not too crazy by default. The tone is very busy with both harmonies.
Description: Going for Satch's main lead tone. The actual reference I used was his Is There Love in Space album.
Distortion: The two main components to Joe's distortion are a Boss DS-1 which is what actually provides most of his actual distortion and a Marshall amp to color the tone and add some Marshall flavor. I believe he uses the clean channel on the amp - he definitely did when he used the Peavey JSX. I simulate this rig with a Classic Distortion into the Park 75 model. The Classic Distortion provides the distortion. The Park has its Drive set up low enough to stay clean, but high enough so that the tone passes through cleanly. Interesting, if you set the output of the Classic Distortion too high, it actually reduces the amp volume and makes the tone suffer, so I keep the output conservative. I keep the amp's power section fairly low too - enough to color the tone but keeping far away from breaking up.
DEP's: I keep Master low - no power amp distortion, just a little bit of color. I set Bias lower too - I find this gives a more nasal Marshall-esque sound.
Cab/Mic and EQ: Hiway 4x12/57 off axis and a XXL V-30 4x12/57 on axis. The Hiway gives a traditional bright rock tone. The XXL fills in the low end and warmth. I use the on axis here this time to give it more of a midsy tone, than the deep bass I usually use it for. It helps provide that hollow, resonant tone Joe gets. Otherwise, I just give a nice mids boost, which is huge for Satch's tone.
Effects: Dual delays to replicate how Joe adds ambiance to his tone. One short and one longer.
Description: Going for Satch's Surfing with the Alien lead tone, with Always With Me, Always With You used as the main reference.
Distortion: The two main components to Joe's distortion are a Boss DS-1 which is what actually provides most of his actual distortion and a Marshall amp to color the tone and add some Marshall flavor. I simulate this rig with a Classic Distortion into the Plexi Bright model. The Classic Distortion provides most of the distortion.
DEP's: I set Master lower - not much power amp distortion, just a little bit of color. I set Bias lower too - I find this gives a more nasal Marshall-esque sound.
Cab/Mic and EQ: Hiway/XXL 4x12's with 57 on axis. The Hiway gives a traditional bright rock tone. The XXL fills in the low end and warmth. I use the on axis here this time to give it more of a midsy tone, than the deep bass I usually use it for. It helps provide that hollow, resonant tone Joe gets. Otherwise, I just give a nice mids boost, which is huge for Satch's tone.
Effects: Dual delays to replicate how Joe adds ambiance to his tone. One short and one longer.
Same as above, but using chorus in place of one of the delays. I use an external Wah pedal, which gets me his Surfin' with the Alien tone.
Description: Sometimes Satch uses a super-fuzzy distortion tone - I used the solo on Overdriver as reference. Additionally, I included an optional octave effect to get his Super Collosal tone.
Distortion: See the patch above for more on how Joe gets his tone. But here I used an Overdrive effect to get a fuzzier distortion, and I found it sounded best running through the Plexi model which makes it quite fuzzy.
DEP's: I use the defaults here - the tone is pretty much where I want it.
Cab/Mic and EQ: Hiway 4x12/57 off axis. The Hiway gives a traditional bright rock tone. It actually comes out very midsy like I want it - I just need to boost the bass to thicken up the tone since I'm not using dual cabs here.
Effects: Dual delays to replicate how Joe adds ambiance to his tone. One short and one longer. Whammy pedal to get an octaver effect.Top of Page