Posts: 117 Member Since:13/05/2011

#41 [url]

Mar 28 17 10:29 AM

d gauss wrote:

trock wrote:
That's great about mutt, he is the one who recorded and nailed this sound with the unit. Hearing it probably brought back many memories!


no disrespect to mr. mutt L., but while the "production" may have improved with him coming into the fold (and i think it surely did), it is hard to argue the fact that from Powerage on, the geetars always sounded great.

Gauss, brother - of course: it's always AC/DC!

If I only have one thought, a sort of wish... I wish Mr. Manning could have engineered-produced AC/DC. Even recently. I mean it seriously. 
In fact, what *I* will try and do is, I will try to suggest this - my humble self, for the next AC/DC album (hush: there may be one last album with Angus as captain, within a year from today).

Going back to your thought about Mr. Mutt, it is a certain fact that he is a genius. The particular way he produced back then - the whole process - was far ahead of the times and simply mindblowing.
We have witnesses in the likes of Tony Platt himself describing this. It's people that were relatively young at the time and learned from each other - as well.

Particularly, I have been studying (as of recent) the specific interventions that were made on the sounds of the guitars for Back in Black. As you know, an MCI JH500 serires was used to track and it was fundamental (Compass Point). Much - most - of the sound was actually carved at Compass Point - between the console, the microphones (and the large diaphragm approach with 87s and 67s), the room itself and the environement - it was just magic. The rest was performed in NYC on a Neve console with 31102 modules. The intervention on the guitars we essentiallyu to make the guitars further stand out and the 31102 was evidently used more as a contour EQ than a surgical one. 

I do have to stress - however - the importance of the mental approach that had been planned ahead of time and then put into practice for Back in Black - specifically. 
It is now wildly documented (and solely thanks to PRW and specifically, thanks to Terry!) but now we know what was done.

I have spent the past four months trying to replicate the sound of some of those guitars on the album - it's tough. And I have everything that was used in terms of guitars, amplifiers, microphones (the rest I try and emulate on Universal Audio equipment).


One thing is to sound great in the room (and they did) another thing is to capture those sounds on tape. The latter was truly magic workmanship.
The intervention on the MCI console with its brilliant EQ points (attaching image) and the microphone placement and - again - the room were just magic. Magic.

While I love them all, I find Back in Black to still be magic. And one of the highest selling albums across any musical genre today!

To me it was thanks to these minds - minds in the likes of Terry Manning, Tony Platt, Mutt Lange. 
And of course, AC/DC!

Love to you all. 

Fil 'SoloDallas'

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Gold Finger

Posts: 408 Member Since:11/10/2013

#42 [url]

Mar 28 17 10:48 AM

Terry mentioned once he could have worked with them but had prior commitments! Terry works with Mutt, apparently recently and for many years. The cool thing would have been Terry and Mutt! at compass point with AC/DC. but sadly some of those pieces are gone now, CP being the main one. the other, the band is totally different, whatever it actually is now. It seems Angus is enamored of Axl and I have read more than 1 article that they will do an album or may be working on something already, just something thats been posted around.

I will say this, Brian sounded really good on the last album, better than MANY other ones in the more recent past. Not sure why but I know I listened to Rock or Bust just like all the others since ML, and this one i REALLY wished for Mutt to have been involved because while again great riffs, catchy melodies, they all in the end sort of fell flat for me. and thats the song writing craft right there. Brian did sound good though
I will say of the more recent AC/DC songs, Rock and Roll Train is an example of what i'm talking about, of course it totally doesn't matter what I think, but that riff and the chorus are just so catchy, but the bridge didn't work for me, and the after solo just fell flat. ML would have probably brought those pieces into something that worked way better.

everytime i read something about them recording, so take that with a huge grain of salt, the people who produce them basically say they just sort of stay out of the way and let them roll, with maybe some small suggestions. not sure if ML got them when they were still "making it" and they would listen? but I think sometimes these songs would be of the caliber they had if they worked things out a little more. lol me saying ac/dc should work stuff out a little more, classic.

What Terry did with Rhino is great, and was just a huge raw rock sound that happened to sound like ac/dc, although that lead singer is really cool and guttural, almost a combo of Bon and Brian. And or course mutt did work with them and crafted those amazing albums. together that would be pretty unbelievable. and thats my suggestion of the day lol

sorry to get way off here, I am really thankful that we found all this info out though on a great raw rock sound, its really exciting!

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Posts: 117 Member Since:13/05/2011

#43 [url]

Mar 28 17 10:49 AM

trock wrote:
@Fil - Thank you for your answer and all the details and the schematic! its certainly been an amazing journey you have taken and the end result speaks for itself. So then what is the diff between the storm pedal and the Schaffer replica pedal? I have found both on Reverb for sale. The tower unit is beautiful but out of my price range so am looking at the 2 different pedals. thank you!

@ d gauss - absolutely, we certainly wouldn't be arguing great sound lol. while "Let there be rock" was what I consider the first full great album by them I thought when they hit Powerage they had completed their first phase so to speak and had hit their stride. In terms of production quality, for me, the 3 ML albums are the pinnacle of not only the "sound" but the quality and catchiness of the songs. on those 3 albums I honestly don't hear one clunker. thats me of course, and thats in terms of the songs, as well as the sound. Obviously its many pieces that come together to make something great like these, Tony P, the studio, the songs of course, the emotion, and honestly ML and those pieces had Brian J at his peak. for me the greatest "Rock" singer ever from 80-85 or so.

We will probably never know but my guess is that crafting the songs from the raw power the youngs would bring is the forte of ML. In the other groups and people he has worked with the songs are always catchy, and well constructed and hooks forever. "Animal" by Def Leppard, Bryan Adams, The Cars, were all amazingly catchy. for me again, the production sound from him is always pretty amazing, my writing was massively influence by the big hook, chorus, and build. they always moved me.

Anyway, back to raw rock sounds on guitar!

Upwards and Onwards!

Let me point you to this link where we tried to describe the differences between the TSR Pedal and the Storm (pictured both here - latest pictures I took personally - shameless plug!).
Before I go though, here is my take of why we made the two and we kept both in production:

- TSR (the Schaffer Replica Pedal): my first attempt at a consumer market pedal that had that sound. The circuit SMD and it is 1:1 with the original SVDS minus a minor element (the opto-isolator limiter we had not realized at first was a relevant part of the interaction with this sound and its way to react to guitar playing). It has companding (NE571 or equivalent), boost. Its audio filtering is slightly different than the original however; this results in a slightly stronger mid range than the original. A characteristic that has been (seemingly) loved by Angus (for several reasons that I can and will describe, if there is interest). Angus used the Tower version of this which has virtually the same sound (even I have to go back and forth between the two to start hearing it again). It is powered by a non-market standard 12V, Center positive PSU. We made this decision at one time where none of us were skilled enough in the music industry engineering standards (essentially, the center negative blade etc.) - hence choosing the center positive approach. The 12V was much needed because of the amount of boost we provide (up to +30db of audio signal - it's huge). Today, we kept the center positive approach but we even raised the capacity of the unit so you can use it either 12V or 15V, center positive. It's truly huge. 

Pictured here:  image


- Storm: It is what I sort of wanted from the start. A Market Standard, 9V center negative and battery operated unit that could fit on everyone's pedal boad, elegantly. 
We completley reverse engineered the SVDS again in order to make sure we had done it right the first time and came out with finding the opto isolator limiter that was found in the original X10 transmitter of the SVDS system. The TSR has no limiter (but has companding). In order to contain the costs, we though eliminated the compander from the Storm and introduced the limiter. On the Tower you will however find both - naturally - we propose the Tower as the ultimate replica of the SVDS. The Storm, however, sounds incredibly close to the most recent Tower. Once again, it's only a matter of subleties. 

Let me add a picture of the Storm for all of us to see: 


And now, the link where we made a formal attempt at describing all this:


I hope I was truly able to help. If not, worry not and get ahold of me - any of you guys. I am always here. 


PS sorry for the HUGE pictures - didn't find a way to make them smaller. 

Last Edited By: solodallas Mar 29 17 10:33 AM. Edited 2 times.

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Posts: 117 Member Since:13/05/2011

#44 [url]

Mar 30 17 4:53 PM

Just wanted to add this picture we received minutes ago - this is Tyler Bryant, 'brand new endorsee'. of SoloDallas LLC. Tyler (a fellow Texan ;) ) opened recently for AC/DC and will now open for Guns 'N Roses in Europe (Richard Fortus of Guns 'N Roses is also - proudly - one of our endorsees). So we will have two Towers on the same stage, again (as it did happen with AC/DC and Vintage Trouble, when Vintage Trouble opened initially for AC/DC in the first leg of the tour). Tyler is a young and talented southern boy we love to work with. He is also about to open for Aerosmith and Tom Petty (Central Park).

Life is good.

SD out,


Tyler Bryant in The Tone Kitchen by SoloDallas, on Flickr

(Photo copyright of Tyler Bryant)

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