AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if you

Techniques for getting your tone to tape.

Moderators: VelvetGeorge, BUG

Roe
Senior Member
Posts: 5047
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Drontheim. Norwegen
Contact:

AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if you

Post by Roe » Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:17 pm

here's what tony plat writes:

O.K. - the details about the recording of B in B are quite widely documented but the basics are.

I do have various preferred microphones but will always vary my choices to suit the room and the particular instruments.

The drums mics were O/H - U87 or U67, Snr top - KM86, Snr under - Shure SM57, Toms - Shure SM7, Kick - U47, Hats AKG 414 or 451.

Gtrs - 1 x U87 & 1 x U67 on each

Bass - AKG D12 & DI

Room U87

Vocals U87

no compression on drums or gtrs

Can't remember vocal compressor

analogue 24track @ 30ips

MCI console

Tannoy monitors

and of course the most important components - AC/DC!

I know this sounds a bit obvious but really the gtr sound comes from getting it right when it comes out of the amplifier and then recording it properly. When you do that then the musician plays better because they can hear the results of their efforts and then that makes you look good because that makes it sound even better still. Choosing a good place in the room helps and using good equipment (and applying some good old common sense) plays a part.

Originally Posted by Rockman
Hi Tony,

It's an honor and a pleasure to have you here. I had a follow up question about the drum sounds, if you don't mind... I was particularly interested in how you got such great depth on the snare sound on that album. I read somewhere that there were some delays and an eventide H910 involved. Would you feel comfortable expanding on that topic a little? To be more specific... What kind of settings did you generally use on those delays? And how far down did you detune on the H910? (which I assume was blended in with the original snare).

Thanks Tony!

Rockman


[tony plat:] You are absolutely right! We fed a gated snare signal into an H910 detuned to about 93 with the feedback and anti feedback up. This was a real pain as it would fail to trigger sometimes. Yes it was just under the real snare. no other harmonizer will work!! I often use short delays to fatten up the sound of many instruments.
Couple of questions regarding the mic setup for the guitars.

Firstly was it one cab per guitarist or was it a more involved setup?

Yes - but we changed the combinations of head and cab to get the sound for each song.
how did you place the mics? what kind of distance from the cabinet was involved and how did you balance and blend the two mics together from a phase coherence perspective? did you adjust this dependant on the song or to the extenet to which the head cabinet combo was being driven volume wise?

I don't really know how to answer this! I combined my experience with my instinct and used my ears to decide what worked. I honestly am not trying to be a clever **** - that is the way I work! Obviously I avoided phase cancellation and adjusted as required.

Did you start with one as your main picture and add some 'air' with the other or did you opt for getting a wider tonal picture by having them both similar distances from the cab and having them on different parts of the cone/cabinet? Was the any degree that you offset the angle of the diaphraghm to account or the amount of air pressure etc. just looking to get some idea of what you were fishing for when you were micing them up and if there were any hard and fast starting points outside of the 'touch and tone' the Mal and Angus supply to getting the results you did?

Again it really isn't that complicated! I listened to the sound of the guitar and found the best way to get that tone and power on to tape. What I was fishing for was to capture what they did.
Apologies for the multi questons - It's pretty much the best rock guitar sound ever committed to tape and I'd kick myself if I didn't take the opportunity to ask!

No problem! I hope I have got you closer to the feel of how I go about things and thank you so much for your kind words.

Tony


Originally Posted by timtoonz
Which MCI console was it? I've got an old 416B I'm having fun with - mostly as a front end for drums.

You know I'm not sure - one of the JH series?
And NO compression on drums? Never woulda' guessed that. It sounds like an 1176 on 'smack'. Huh!

No compression on recording - sometimes a little on the toms or overheads when mixing. Is an 1176 on 'smack' like a DBX on 'crack' [refeers to the comment above]

Of course, I don't have a U47 for my kick, either....
Then a Beyer M380 is awesome!

Tony

What I really want to know how this album have such a amazinf prescence and a great center!...if you listen "You shook me all night long" what strikes me is the center...the kick and snare are just in perfect center and the vocal right in the middle ///is scary ...sounds like brian is singing just here in my face!! maybe sounds crazy...but how you make this amazing center...I did not hear that often....

This has a lot to do with using the sound of the room and mixing very gently and quietly - that way you can get the definition right. making sure everything is in phase helps too and ensuring that the signal path is as clean as you can get it.
Originally Posted by Jaguar Dreams
Tony,

Thanks so much for sharing the mic choice information. I recently found myself studying BIB and thinking "no way in hell that's a 57 on those guitars, must be an LDC or SDC". I was also pretty convinced that was an AKG on the hihat. It's cool to get some validation from the source!

A few more drum questions since they do sound so awesome:
a) Can you talk about the mixing on the overheads? It sounds, on Hell's Bells in particular, like the cymbals are in another room from the rest of the drums. Was that natural reverb from the room, or did you have the overheads going to a send where they were high-passed and then verbed?

I can't say I had particularly noticed that!. There was no reverb on the overheads and i never high pass cymbals as the main harmonics of cymbals are actually the lower frequencies. I wonder if you are listening to a 're-mastered' version which (in my opinion) is nothing like the original mastering?
b) Can you talk about how you got the kick and snare so isolated? In a nicely live room it can be hard to, for instance, keep something like a U47 on kick from picking up tons of stuff besides the kick. Same thing with the KM86 on the snare. Was it just really good mic placement or did you, for instance, use a blanket tunnel on the kick?

They are not really isolated as such - it's just that the spill from one to the other has not been compromised by excessive EQ. I do sometimes use a blanket tunnel on the kick and I have been know to create a snare 'collar' to keep hi-hat out of the snare mic. Generally though this is when either the kit is not well balanced acoustically or the drummer does not have good dynamic control.

Thanks so much for being a part of such an awesome album, and for taking questions!

My pleasure!
Originally Posted by The Reel Thing
wow, thanks for that tip! i tried it and it works wonders.
i used to fatten the snare with a sansamp unit, but the H910 sound is so instant 80's - really cool!

tom
The irony of course is that whenever I have tried to use it on contemporary recordings artists often say it's 'too 80s' !

Tony


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuntz
That 910 trick really works! I tried it on a low, dry snare it really made it sound quite back in black. Any more details on the kick in terms of head? How ballsy can you get with the 47 in terms of proximity. Putting a 47 on the kick makes me nervous. I don't want to do a $8000 experiment.
The head on the kick will have been a white coated. I quite like the thicker Emperor heads.

The U47 is perfectly capable of taking the kick drum. It is of course not inside! I always angle it slightly away too and use the pad - the -6db is best but the -10db will help if it is a very loud drum.

Best

Tony



[tony:]
I often find the world is divided with those who prefer H to H and those who prefer B in B!

They were recorded in different ways. I didn't actually record H to H - it was done in Roundhouse Studios which was very dead so there was no spill between the instruments. As a result when I came to mix it I needed to create the impression of the room and fed drums and guitars through speakers into Studio 2 at Basing Street.

I was quite pleased with the results but when I was asked to record B in B this led me to make sure I had plenty of controlled spill to help blend the instruments.

I'm not sure I would describe B in B as darker or H to H as warmer so I am not sure what you mean? I think h to H is perhaps lighter than B in B?

The two microphone thing came about because I wanted to spread the guitars more without pushing them too loud.

Thanks for the compliments!




Originally Posted by desol
Hi Tony!

Tony, i need more. lol

Are there any other little tid-bits you could share about the mixing of highway to hell? Any other thoughts, insights, gear used.... Maybe what board it was mixed on? It doesn't sound like there was a whole lot of compression used.

Thanks Tony,

D.
Well it was mixed on a Helios console which had some F760 compressors built in but no not much compression used. I really only had the EMT 140 plates, EMT DDL, tape delay, some Eventide gear, 1176. It was the same room and board where I mixed Catch A Fire.

I used some Altec monitors to feed stuff back into the studio and create more ambience.
Sorry - not much more to tell!


Tony


http://www.gearslutz.com/board/q-haydn- ... black.html
Last edited by Roe on Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.
http://www.myspace.com/20bonesband" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.myspace.com/prostitutes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
JTM45 RS OT JTM50 JMP50 1959/2203/34/39

Roe
Senior Member
Posts: 5047
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Drontheim. Norwegen
Contact:

Post by Roe » Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:18 pm

this is from Compass point studios:
I went through some old files here, and didn't yet locate anything from "Back In Black," but I did find what gear AC/DC brought with them here for tracking during 1985-86, produced by George Young.

Here is an excerpt from the equipment list:

2 Marshall 200 watt heads [major or 2000 series - Roe]
23 Marshall 100 watt heads
1 Marshall 50 watt head
3 Marshall 50 watt Combos
1 Marshall 8 x 10" cabinet
10 Marshall 4 x 12" cabinets
2 Ampeg 300 watt Bass heads
1 Crate Amp

7 Gibson SG guitars
1 Epiphone SG guitar
1 Gibsn Firebird Gitar
1 Pink ESP Strat guitar
1 Gibson "Custom" guitar
1 Gibson Dove guitar
2 JD Custom Firebird guitars
1 Gretsch Roc Jet guitar
1 Gretsch Firebird guitar [?]
1 Squire P bass
1 Fender P bass
1 Williams Custom bass

1 Sonar drum kit w/2 Sonar snares
2 Gretsch snares

There were also lots of the normal little stuff, leads, etc.
http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index. ... msg_131303
Last edited by Roe on Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.myspace.com/20bonesband" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.myspace.com/prostitutes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
JTM45 RS OT JTM50 JMP50 1959/2203/34/39

Roe
Senior Member
Posts: 5047
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Drontheim. Norwegen
Contact:

if you want u47

Post by Roe » Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:30 pm

INTERVIEW WITH COLIN ABRAHAMS

Colin Abrahams worked for Alberts Studios in King Street, Sydney from 1978 to 1982 as both a technician and a sound engineer. His first job there was the installation of their brand new MCI JH-500 console, Australia's first automated console, in Studio 2. This was an amazing period to work in recording studios. These studios worked around the clock, seven days a week. He remembers queuing up to get into a studio
for midnight to dawn sessions and people throwing them out the next morning to start the next day's session.

No Nonsense: First off, you started to work for Alberts in '78. Did you got involved with AC/DC's Powerage album recording?

Colin Abrahams: AC/DC was finishing off their Powerage album when I first started at Alberts. There was often a delay between the time an album was completed and the actual release date.

NN: In January 79 AC/DC reheased at Alberts for the Highway To Hell albums and layed down some demos. How was their rehearsals? Were there only Angus and Malcolm. Or were there whole band? What kind was Bon in the studio?

CA: Shortly after the installation of the new MCI JH-500 console in Studio 2, AC/DC came into that studio several times to try it out. They did several sessions in that studio but they did not like it as much as Studio 1. Studio 1 had a much more open live recording room than Studio 2, which was heavily damped and had a drum hut. Studio 1 remained the "Rock and Roll" studio where most of the in-house Alberts artists recorded, whilst Studio 2 became the "high tech" studio where most of the
outside work was done, including many other major Australian bands signed to other record companies, major commercial productions, Australian country and religeous music.

AC/DC was in and out of the studios quite a lot at that time. Usually, the entire band was there. I was called in at one stage to look at some problem with the gear in Studio 1 and was introduced to the entire band. Bon went out of his way to be friendly and insisted that I stayed for a beer - life's tough in some jobs!

Being the junior engineer, I did not have a lot to do with AC/DC directly. Most of the engineering was done by Mark Opitz, under the watchfull eye of Vanda and Young. At one stage, they were experimenting with different producers. I was called in once to stand in for a set of demos produced by Glyn Johns.

NN: When did this happen?

CA: I think it was after the Highway To Hell album, during a period where they were in and out of the studio doing demos. It was definitely before the Brian Johnson days.

NN: As AC/DC always has stored their takes and out-takes at Albert Studios (nowadays two archive rooms filled with AC/DC material), do you know how much stuff was sent (to Alberts) after the mixing of the albums? Did you ever 'pre-listened' those recordings with Alberts staff?

CA: I do not know anything about tapes coming in from studios recorded elsewhere, but there were lots of tapes from the Alberts sessions. I do remember arrival of the master tapes for the "If You Want Blood" album - I had to do 24 track safety copies before they were mixed down. The tapes came in on massive 15" spools. While the tapes were being copied I

turned up the faders on the desk to have a listen and check things. The guitar tracks were recorded in pairs with different mic combinations. Each amp had at least one U47 mic on it - sorry I can't remember what the other mics were. Just playing it back with the faders almost in a straight line, I remember the sound was awesome! There was an unbelieveable sense of excitement in those raw recordings. I don't think much was done to them in the mixdown - everything was already there. Vanda and Young mixed them down onto 4 track (two sets of stereo pairs), to allow overlapping of the applause between songs before finally mixing it down to 2 track.

NN: Did you worke with George and Harry anytime? Or were they so close team, that they did do all by themselves?

CA: Vanda and Young did tend to work together virtually all of the time, often working on their own Flash And The Pan projects. I was often called in to set up special things for them and to create effects, but usually when they were in the studio they tended to work alone. There were many simultaneous in-house projects going on and they tended to leave people alone whilst they were recording and act as executive producers. Over the time I was working at Alberts, we built two more studios, bringing the total to four. With so many people in the one complex at the same time, musicians often helped out on each other's projects. For example, Ray Arnott played drums on the Flash And The Pan album Light In The Night. Vanda and/or Young often played on in-house projects.

NN: In 1979 you worked for Ray Arnott's Rude Dudes album? This album supposedly featured Angus as a guest musician. Up to this day there are not other known guest visits by Angus and Malcolm after they formed AC/DC, unless you know any?

CA: The Rude Dudes album was recorded over a long period of time. The bulk of the original recording was done by Ray and producer Les Karsky. We tried hard to capture a "big" sound from Ray's rock-solid drumming, recording additional ambience tracks. After Karskey had put together the basic tracks, various musicians came in to add tracks. In fact, only about half of the tracks on the final album came from these initial sessions (for example, Some Feelings and Shakey Knees). More tracks were recorded, this time more heavilly influenced by Vanda and Young (for example "On
The Run", "The World Needs A Shakeup" and "Need Your Love"). Unfortunately we had so many overdubs on some of the songs that our original ambience tracks got deleted!

By this time, AC/DC was spending a lot of time overseas and rarely came into the studio, even when they were in Sydney. Angus came in by himself for this recording.

NN: Were there often troubles with Albert amps? As you've told that when Ted Albert and Bruce Brown were in the control room doing a remix of Vanda and Young's "Down Among The Dead Men" - Studio 2 was a very well-built control room with a floating floor. In the recording area, you barely heard a sound, despite the fact that the main monitors were probably cranked up reasonably loud. Suddenly you heard an ear-piercing scream and looked up and saw two people in the control room with their
hair standing on end like something straight out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. The noise just had to be loud!

Same kind of story was told in 1977 during Let There Be Rock recording sessions Angus blew his amp and George just nodded him to go on. Of course this might be just a story to create a hype. Poor engineers.

CA: [Laughs] No, we normally did not have much trouble with the amps. 300W amps combined with the relatively efficient Altec 604E drivers in reasonably live control rooms could produce sound levels that were truly ear-shattering! In my opinion, they sounded dreadful, with a barking mid-range, no tops and no bottoms. They did come in handy sometimes for pinning the musicians to the back wall during playback to stop them breathing down your neck though! But with that kind of power on tap, the
amps didn't really have to work that hard most of the time. I have never seen anyone blow up an Altec before or since then. It just doesn't happen!

What comes to AC/DC incident - I don't know - I wasn't there then. I'm sure it is possible. I must tell you the story about Sherbet who were made to complete a take whilst a fire was raging outside sometime!

NN: Do you have any photos of AC/DC or their rehearsals?

CA: No. One of my many regrets is that I did not take more photos. In particular, there was a wall in the large recording room of Studio 1 which was covered in graffiti from nearly every artist that recorded there, including AC/DC. I believe this wall was featured in a magazine once.

In general, I rarely saw anyone taking photos during sessions. These were the days when musicians went into studios to record music. I think bands were quite happy to leave the publicity with the screaming girls at the front entrance to the building and seek refuge in the studios. I'm sure the last thing they would have wanted would have been to have someone running around with a camera while they were trying to work.

NN: Thanks for your time!

CA: You're welcome!

http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:RQfR ... cd=5&gl=no
http://www.myspace.com/20bonesband" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.myspace.com/prostitutes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
JTM45 RS OT JTM50 JMP50 1959/2203/34/39

Roe
Senior Member
Posts: 5047
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Drontheim. Norwegen
Contact:

live 2003

Post by Roe » Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:36 pm

A-T Mics Rock Hall Ceremony

New York City (March 18, 2003)--The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony featured Audio-Technica microphones, where they have been the leading choice for six years in a row. This year's presentation took place at the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom in midtown Manhattan and featured over 50 A-T mics.

Recognized for their outstanding and influential contributions to rock 'n' roll, the 2003 performer inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were AC/DC, The Clash, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, The Police, and the Righteous Brothers. Sidemen inductees included Benny Benjamin, Floyd Cramer and Steve Douglas, while the non-performer inductee was Mo Ostin. As in years past, the spectacular performances became the focus of the occasion, befitting an evening dedicated to celebrating the ongoing evolution of music.

Audio-Technica's new Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF Wireless System, which is rapidly gaining favor with a wide range of artists, was the leading choice for frontline vocal performances. Gwen Stefani, John Mayer, Steven Tyler, Paul Shaffer and the Righteous Brothers all used A-T's 5000 Series wireless systems. Paul Simon's vocals featured the hardwired AT4054.

In addition, most drum kits at the show employed the AE2500 kick-drum mic with the AE3000 on toms. The AE5100 was utilized on orchestral bells, percussion and string overheads. The AT4055 was chosen for horns and ATM35s were used for close miking on strings, as well as under every cymbal for AC/DC. The AT4047 and AT4050 were used on guitar cabinets, and overheads also employed the AT4050. Background vocals on the Righteous Brothers performance were also captured with the AT4054.

Audio-Technica's live sound consultant, Joel Singer, worked in cooperation with a number of high-profile companies returning to the production this year, including Effanel Music, the remote recording company that both recorded the program and mixed the broadcast from its state-of-the-art, all-digital L7 mobile recording studio and Chelsea production facility.

Mitch Maketansky was the Hall of Fame's choice as audio coordinator once again, responsible for organizing and assigning all the inputs and microphones for the event. Maketansky commented on his experience with Audio-Technica microphones, "For the past six years, Audio-Technica has been a mainstay at this event, and we stayed true to that proven strategy this year. Many artists performed with the new Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF Wireless System, all with excellent results. I continue to be impressed with the sound quality and dependability of Audio-Technica wireless, and the 5000 Series systems provided the closest sound to a hardwired microphone I've heard to date."

The 18th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held March 10, with a VH1 broadcast of the event premiering on March 16.

Audio-Technica
330-686-2600
www.audio-technica.com

http://www.prosoundnews.com/articles/ar ... 18.2.shtml
http://www.myspace.com/20bonesband" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.myspace.com/prostitutes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
JTM45 RS OT JTM50 JMP50 1959/2203/34/39

Roe
Senior Member
Posts: 5047
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Drontheim. Norwegen
Contact:

Post by Roe » Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:40 pm

AC/DC About To Rock With Two Mackie Digital X Bus Digital Recording Consoles

The Young brothers of AC/DC, Angus and Malcolm, now each have one of Mackie's revolutionary new Digital X Bus X.200 recording consoles in their personal studios–located in the Netherlands and London respectively. In addition, they have both specified Mackie HDR24/96 hard disk recorders and completed their updates with a pair of Mackie HR824 Active Studio Monitors in each studio.

Acting on a strong recommendation from Paul "Pab" Boothroyd, who is AC/DC's FOH engineer and audio consultant for their recording studios, Angus also read every review and piece of information he could gather on the Digital X Bus. This was followed by a call to Mackie and an on–site demo that showed him just how easy it was to get the most out of the new console.



Angus ultimately didn't need much convincing though–having owned and loved a Mackie Analogue 8 Bus for a number of years. This familiarity led to quick praise for how easy the Digital X Bus is to operate: "It's really useable," he commented. The Digital X Bus allows users to interface via traditional knobs and two built–in 15–inch touch screens instead of mouse and seemingly endless layers of sub–menus.


Like Angus, Malcolm appreciates the "hands–on aspect of the system", which combines a fully–functional mixing console with the ability to tap into the latest digital technology when needed. Malcolm plans to use the Digital X Bus's Mackie Control Universal layer to control his Pro Tools software.

Both Angus and Malcolm also loved the sound quality of Mackie's newest offering. In fact, when Angus was doing a demo recording with Pab, applying some of the on–board EQ and compression, Malcolm entered the studio and was amazed by what he heard. "I thought it sounded absolutely brilliant," he later recalled. "But Mackie has always had a good rap."

In their previous studio configuration, they fed the output from their recordings into a Neve mixer, and then used separate Fairchild compressors to create the sound they casually describe as "that classic valve, phat thing." Unfortunately, after years of service, their trusted compressors became unreliable, and the brothers were fed up with having to give them a thump every now and then to keep them going. With that, both Malcolm and Angus opted to specify a Universal Audio UAD–1 DSP card for their new Mackie consoles–giving them faithful emulations of favorites like the 1176LN and of course, their trusted Fairchild compressor. Each Mackie Digital X Bus will support the use of both VST plug–ins as well as accommodate up to three Universal Audio UAD–1 cards.

AC/DC records using real instruments in properly designed live rooms, so it is imperative that they get the very best from their chosen recording medium and so far, Angus and Malcolm are pleased with the recordings they are getting from their new Mackie Digital X Bus consoles. "In the world of audio equipment, there are only a few survivors," commented Malcolm. "Mackie is one of them and they have a good name all over the world."



The Young brothers of AC/DC, Angus and Malcolm, now each have one of Mackie's revolutionary new Digital X Bus X.200 recording consoles in their personal studios
Last edited by Roe on Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.myspace.com/20bonesband" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.myspace.com/prostitutes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
JTM45 RS OT JTM50 JMP50 1959/2203/34/39

Roe
Senior Member
Posts: 5047
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Drontheim. Norwegen
Contact:

Post by Roe » Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:48 am

Marshall law 9 05/2006 [interview with malcolm young]

http://www.marshallamps.com/images/mars ... l%2009.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Over a career spanning 30years, AC/DC have Sculpted riffs so hard, so precise, and so effective it has made them thepersonification of rock ’n’ roll. This legacyhas been achieved
by remaining steadfastlyloyal to the simple virtues of twoguitars, a rhythmsection and one roaring vocalist. After
16albums, their music remains
fierce. AC/DC know how to rock,
alwayshave done, and
alwayswill. Marshall Law
delves into the careerof the
biggestrock band on the
planetand speaksto long
time Marshallplayer and guitar
maestro Malcolm
Young.
C/DC’s monstrous power-chord
roar became one of the most
influential hard rock sounds of the
’70s. No matter how huge and
bludgeoning the guitar chords were,
AC/DC’s rock was minimalist, there was a
clear sense of space and restraint. The
same goes for Malcolm and Angus
approach to their guitar rigs. It’s pure and
simple, plug your guitar into the amplifier
and rock. “It’s just the Marshall 100 Watt
Super Lead amp in the studio and then I
add the Super Bass amp with two more
cabinets for live gigs.” discloses Malcolm.
AC/DC was formed in 1973 in Australia by
Malcolm. Recruiting younger brother
Angus as lead guitarist, the band played
some gigs around Sydney. The brothers
used Marshall in the early days. Malcolm
continues, “It’s always been pretty much
the same set-up from the start, Marshall
100 Watt amps and 4 x 12” speaker
cabinets, lets face it that’s what started
Marshall and you still make ’em . . . so
that can’t be bad can it?” Angus was only
15 years old at the time and his sister
suggested that he should wear his school
uniform on stage, the look became the
band’s visual trademark.
The band moved to Melbourne the
following year, where drummer Phil Rudd
and bassist Mark Evans joined the band.
The band’s chauffeur, Bon Scott, became
their lead vocalist and the stage was set
for rock ’n’ roll glory.
Throughout their career they favoured
crude double entendres and violent
imagery, all spiked with a mischievous
sense of fun. The group released two
albums High Voltage and TNT in Australia
in 1974 and 1975. Material from the two
records comprised the 1976 release High
Voltage in the US and UK, the group also
toured both countries. Dirty Deeds Done
Dirt Cheap followed at the end of the year.
In late 1977, AC/DC released Let There
Be Rock, which became their first album
to chart in the US.
Powerage, released in spring of 1978,
expanded their audience even further,
thanks in no small part to their dynamic
live shows housed with walls of Marshall
cabinets. What really broke the doors
down for the band was the following
year’s Highway to Hell, which hit number
17 in the US and number 8 in the UK,
becoming the group’s first
million-seller.
AC/DC’s train was
derailed when Bon
Scott tragically died on
February 20, 1980.
After much debate, the
band replaced Scott
with Brian Johnson.
The following month,
the band recorded Back
in Black, dedicated to
Bon and this proved to be their biggest
album, selling over 10 million copies in the
US alone and hitting Number 1 in the UK
and Australia.
The years that followed saw the band
become one of the largest rock bands in
the world, with For Those About to Rock
We Salute You topping the charts in the
USA in 1982. In 1983 Flick Of The Switch
also topped the charts. While the early
’80s and ’90s weren’t as commercially
successful as the late ’70s AC/DC
maintained their status as a top
international concert draw. 1990’s The
RazorÕs Edge, which spawned the hit
‘Thunderstruck,’ and in 1995, their
sixteenth album, Ballbreaker, was
released. The album received some of the
most positive reviews of AC/DC’s career.
Ballbreaker entered the American charts at
Number 4 and sold over a million copies
in its first six months of release. “I’ve used
my favourite amps on all these recordings”
recalls Malcolm. “I have an old 100 Watt
Super Lead amplifier [probably a jtm45/100 Super amplifier, not a Super lead - Roe], the one with the
white plastic backplate with gold script
lettering, it’s a great amp, I also have a
100 Watt Super Bass amp that’s great
too! They are both well old and well used!”

In 1997 the band brought about the jewel
in the AC/DC back catalogue with the
release of Bonfire, a five CD box set
featuring previously un-released tracks
recorded with previous lead singer Bon
Scott.
The long-awaited new album Stiff Upper
Lip was released in 1999. Elektra, MTV,
Ebay and AC/DC teamed up to form an
on-line auction where you could bid for a
guitar lesson with Angus Young. The
album was premiered at a special listening
party at the New York Hard Rock Cafe.
AC/DC kicked off their world tour at Grand
Rapids in 2000.
The early part of 2001 saw the band
playing in Australia and Japan. In the
summer of that year AC/DC returned from
some American concerts to play large
open-air concerts in Europe and Milton
Keynes, the home of Marshall amongst
them. A few old classics were added to
the set list for the European concerts.
Marshall Law asked Malcolm if he ever
changes his approach to a song when
playing live rather than playing what’s on
the original recording. “Whatever it takes
on the night, that’s it!” replies the guitar
legend “I just play the basics, I’m not a
flash player, I just play what’s needed,
that’s what it’s all about.”
AC/DC signed a deal with Epic Records
in 2002, a division of Sony Entertainment,
which has seen their back catalogue
re-issued and future records appearing
on the Epic Records label. The band was
bestowed with the honour of induction
into the Rock Hall Of Fame in 2003. A
one night only show was booked for the
band to play at the Hammersmith Odeon.
When they played at Hammersmith on
their first UK tour in 1976, lead singer
Bon Scott took the train to the gig and
had to buy a ticket to get into the venue
after he couldn’t get past bouncers. This
time the ticket booking lines were
jammed for hours as the show sold out in
less than ten minutes, highlighting the
bands massive popularity and fan base.
The band are currently in the studio
recording and writing material for the
eagerly anticipated next album. We asked
what’s coming up for the band but
Malcolm is customarily cagey and keeps
us guessing “It’s the same as always . . .
rock ’n’ roll!”
Malcolm signs off from Marshall Law with
a request to our own living legend Dr Jim
Marshall. “Make ’em louder!” he laughs.
“No seriously, we’d like the small PA
20 Watt head or a 30 Watt would be good
too, but with the regular Presence, Bass,
Middle, Treble and Volume controls as on
the 100 Watt head, that would be a great
little amp! Very workable in small gigs . . .
Come on Jim!” We’ll see what we can do!
Check the bands official website for
further AC/DC news http://www.acdcrocks.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.
Last edited by Roe on Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.myspace.com/20bonesband" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.myspace.com/prostitutes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
JTM45 RS OT JTM50 JMP50 1959/2203/34/39

Roe
Senior Member
Posts: 5047
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Drontheim. Norwegen
Contact:

Post by Roe » Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:03 am

Alan Phillips MSc(EE)
Carol-Ann Custom Amplifiers LLC http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showth ... olm&page=3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
A good friend of mine, Mike Kidson, is AC/DC's Tour Manager.
I can verify that Angus Young uses a standard 1966 JTM-45 [possibly a jtm50] for the live FOH mix. It usually sits beneath the stage in an isolation box with a single 1x12 speaker cabinet . He uses Reissue 100W Plexis loaded with EL34's for his stage backline. He runs into just channel 1 with the volume at around 5-6 (12 O'Clock) and all EQ controls on about the same setting, although once in to power tube overdrive many of the overtones are created after the tone stack so eq settings make little difference anyway.
His tone comes from his fingers mainly, I know it sounds cliche, but with such a dynamic amp, the harder you dig the dirtier it goes and visa versa.
He usually uses the JTM-45 for most recordings.
Last edited by Roe on Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
http://www.myspace.com/20bonesband" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.myspace.com/prostitutes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
JTM45 RS OT JTM50 JMP50 1959/2203/34/39

Roe
Senior Member
Posts: 5047
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Drontheim. Norwegen
Contact:

Post by Roe » Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:08 am

Angus Young: Seriously By Jas Obrecht From Guitar Player, February 1984
You've been known throughout your career for using Gibson SGs. What's the appeal of this guitar?
When I bought the first one-and I've still got it now-it was like a gift. It was something I always wanted. I went into this shop and picked it up, and it was so easy for me to play. I always thought that it was just a run-of-the-mill Gibson, that they were all basically like that, and that you might get better ones. Over the years, I've never found one that was the same as it.
Have you found a wide difference in tones from one SG to the next?
I have, in fact I've never come across two that are the same.
How many SGs do you own?
I have maybe 16 or 17 now. I would say my favorite one is from about '67 or '68. It used to have one of those engraved metal things on the back [base plate] with the little arm-the tremolo-but I replaced that with another tailpiece. But I've got a couple of them that have the vibrato arm still.
Do you ever use a vibrato arm?
No, not really. There are songs where I can do it for the sake of convenience, for tuning or something. I've used it on some songs in the studio for [imitates a descending growl], but mainly I would do that with a [tuning] key because you can go up a way or down a way. But I've got one that's all set up and put there on the stage, and if I want to , I might use it just for a song.
Do you record with guitars other then the SGs?
No, I've just used the SGs.
What kind of neck do you prefer?
Just as long as it's thin. The first one I had was a very small, thin neck. I showed it to a guy from Gibson, and he wanted to do some photos of it and look at the pick-ups. I said, "Could you get me one the same as this?" And he went, "I've never seen one like it." It wasn't shaved either. It had come direct from their factory. It had all the original pieces. I've got another guitar that's a reject [a second], and it's and incredible guitar. I said, "If you can make a few more rejects, I'll like them, too [laughs]."
Are your guitars modified?
Not unless there's an earth [grounding] problem or something. But basically, no.
Do you leave in the original Gibson pickups?
Yeah, I try. Those pickups that they make are good. I've even got a couple of their newer ones that are really good. I've also got a few different pickups that a guy in England made for me once-I can't remember his name. He knows how I like guitars because he used to repair them all the time. They are basically the same as Gibsons. So, if I'm in England, I'll use him. If I'm in the U.S., I'll try and get a Gibson one.
Does leaping off risers cause you tuning problems?
When you jump off things, yeah, you can have problems. But it's basically down at the guitar. Some guitars sit well-the tunings stay in no matter what you do. I've got a few of them that won't for the love of anything stay in tune. You can just use them for a second and they go out.
Are your strings changed often?
Yeah. Every show they have to be changed. Nobody plays them in. They just give them a tug-pull them in. And then I'll get a hold of them and pull them in just to make sure. There's nothing worse then going onstage and being out of tune.
Do you work your tone and volume controls much?
Mainly the volume. I usually stick to the one sort of tone, and that's more or less flat-out.
Do you use any effects?
No, I just have a Schaffer-Vega wireless system. For me, it's probably the best. I've tried a few other ones, and they sort of cut out. The further you get away, the weaker the signal. The Schaffer seems to stay; it seems to keep going even if there are obstructions. I've been outside of buildings and played with that, and it still fires up really well.
Have you ever picked up radio signals with it?
No, except in some cases where we go to a town where they've got a big radio on top of the building.
What's your amp setup?
I've got this big, giant custom amp that Marshall built us at their factory. I think it rates about 350 watts. Then I've got about eight 100-watt Marshalls up there, but I think they only use four at once. We mike the amps; there's nothing direct except the bass. They take a D.I. [direct input] for the bass.
How important is equipment?
Well, I like it to work. It's a big, important thing. On the stage, we know how to use those amps and everything. They are always repaired after the tours. They are a good, reliable amp, Marshall. I very seldom have ever had problems with them.
What kind of picks do you use?
It varies. I recently got a bundle of Dean Markleys or something. I use Fender ones-heavy gauge. The thicker the better.
How do you hold a pick?
With me fingers [laughs]! I just hold it anywhere it fits-between my thumb, index, or middle fingers. Sometimes it slips, and then you're playing it with your thumb and pinky.
Do you use all the fingers of your right hand?
Yeah, it's all going at once.
Does your vibrato come more from your fingers or wrist?
Fingers more then anything. Sometimes I'll shake the neck a bit, because those necks get wobbly sometimes.
How do you bend a string?
I've only got a small hand so I use all my fingers to bend. I really push it with all my fingers backing it up.

Source www.guitarplayer.com
http://www.myspace.com/20bonesband" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.myspace.com/prostitutes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
JTM45 RS OT JTM50 JMP50 1959/2203/34/39

Roe
Senior Member
Posts: 5047
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Drontheim. Norwegen
Contact:

Post by Roe » Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:26 am

Guitar world November 1995, p. 177: High Voltager. Getting AC/DC’s legendary marshalls into explosive working order by Ritchie Flieger
The fist two amps I examined were JTM 100’s [jtm45/100s?]. The first 100-watt amos Marshallm made, they are quite rare. My guess is that these particular amps were build around 1967 [1966? – Roe]. JTM100’s are basically beefed-up versions of the 50-watt JTM 45’s, with bigger transformers, power supplies and four KT66 output tubes. […] The KT66 could withstand immense [B+] voltages, which in this case hovered around 625VDC. […] We finally tracked down eight [NOS kt66’s] tubes, at 150$ a piece!
There were some other aspects of the amps that needed attention, like filter caps and plate resistors. L replaced some of these, while the remaining work was performed by Rick St. Pierre [of Wizard amps] after the recording sessions [for Ballbreaker] were moved to Los Angeles. The JTM 100’s were old and used up, but unfortunatelythey were the only things that delievered the exact sound the Youngs wanted […]
“We got it down to five amp between the two of them,” says [Alan] Rogan. […] For the recording of Ball Breaker, both guitarists used only one amp and cabinet at a time. Angus soloed through an old “basket weave” grille cloth 4x12 cab loaded with Celestion Greenback 25 reissues. “A bottom cab, never a top cab,” Alan stresses. […] Many people ascribe the unique sound of these cabs to the wood, but it’s really all in the cloth. Angus preferred Celestion Vintage 30’s in his cab [for everything except the solos presumably – Roe].
“Angus’s amps were all JTM 45’s,” Rogan continues. “He uses one for the tracks, one for solos and one for the power cords. […] He used a [stock - according to the mag’s poster - Roe] ’64 Gibson SG Standard strung with Ernie Ball .010’s most of the time.”
Last edited by Roe on Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.myspace.com/20bonesband" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.myspace.com/prostitutes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
JTM45 RS OT JTM50 JMP50 1959/2203/34/39

User avatar
Bluesgeetar
Senior Member
Posts: 900
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 2:33 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Washington State

hmmmm

Post by Bluesgeetar » Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:14 pm

Thanks a ton ROE for this info. It is refreshing and really wonderful to see some posts about some real guitarists/musicians here. I really really appreciate your effort in making a post like this. I think that if I saw another post about some certain 80s style guitarists who's names I won't mention, I was gonna puke. Don't get me wrong these particular guys were and are really great, but I don't think they should encompass everything this forum is about. It is really really nice to see some more AC/DC stuff here. One of the greatist guitar bands ever! This is not my opinion as a guitarist but that is the opinion of the world. :D

Sorry if I offended anyone with hair spray toxicity. :D

Roe
Senior Member
Posts: 5047
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Drontheim. Norwegen
Contact:

Post by Roe » Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:38 pm

thanks for the kind words!
I'm trying to find reliable sources for info about the AC/DC sound.

some of angus's "jtm45s" are probably black flag jtm50s. see pic

I had a old mag - a interview from something like 1984 were mal talks about modified 200w marshalls. he wanted it cleaner or something. talked about removing part of the preamp. i believe it was majors, but perhaps it could have been the 2000 series amps as well
Attachments
angusjtm50ogjmp50.jpg
angusjtm50ogjmp50.jpg (88.09 KiB) Viewed 15415 times
Last edited by Roe on Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.myspace.com/20bonesband" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.myspace.com/prostitutes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
JTM45 RS OT JTM50 JMP50 1959/2203/34/39

Roe
Senior Member
Posts: 5047
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Drontheim. Norwegen
Contact:

Post by Roe » Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:51 pm

a couple of mal's custom guitars: Image
Image
Last edited by Roe on Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.myspace.com/20bonesband" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.myspace.com/prostitutes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
JTM45 RS OT JTM50 JMP50 1959/2203/34/39

Roe
Senior Member
Posts: 5047
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Drontheim. Norwegen
Contact:

Post by Roe » Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:54 pm

and a single cut gretsch: Image
Last edited by Roe on Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.myspace.com/20bonesband" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.myspace.com/prostitutes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
JTM45 RS OT JTM50 JMP50 1959/2203/34/39

Roe
Senior Member
Posts: 5047
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Drontheim. Norwegen
Contact:

Post by Roe » Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:57 pm

ang's mic preamp:

AC/DC guitarist Angus Young uses two [Avalon] Vt-737sp to mic his amp in the main mix. http://www.avalondesign.com/newusers.html
http://www.myspace.com/20bonesband" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.myspace.com/prostitutes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
JTM45 RS OT JTM50 JMP50 1959/2203/34/39

Roe
Senior Member
Posts: 5047
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm
Just the numbers in order: 7
Location: Drontheim. Norwegen
Contact:

Post by Roe » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:06 pm

amp rig from the 1980's: Image
Last edited by Roe on Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.myspace.com/20bonesband" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.myspace.com/prostitutes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
JTM45 RS OT JTM50 JMP50 1959/2203/34/39

Post Reply