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Guitar Mantainance: keeping your fretboard clean

Guitars are supposed to be played – that is a given – but it also means that they will suffer quite a bit of wear and tear, no matter how careful or gentle you are.

The frets and the board itself are the parts which take most of the beating.

Obviously, the frets are under constant friction from the strings. All that grinding can leave the frets in pretty rough shape after a while, especially with a lot of bending and vibrato. You may start feeling like there is sand or something under the strings, making playing very uncomfortable. You can solve that by polishing the frets with a very fine steel wool. It’s a good idea to protect the board with tape before starting.

All you have to do is polish the frets to remove the rough surface. That can be made into another post later, so let’s move on.

In some cases the string can eat up the fret and form a few “dents”. This is totally normal as long as it doesn’t cause severe buzz or stops the note from sounding. There’s a point where a fret leveling may be a good idea, but generally if it’s playing well, there’s no need to overthink it. Heavier string gauge or an iron-tight grip on your playing hand may be damaging the frets faster, so keep that in mind as well (you don’t really need to hold down the string like it was a struggling animal. In theory, you only have to make it touch the fret with as little pressure as possible). Read more >

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"Whole Lotta Rosie" sound chain

AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie” From Live Album “If You Want Blood”, 1978

Now, whether you know it or not, this is a controversial one. In the sense that, some folks believe this version was not at all recorded during the actual live show held somewhere in 1978 in Glasgow (and several dates at that); rather, they think it may be just an alternate version from some takes made in the studio at the time of recording studio album “Let There Be Rock”.  

Whether or not you believe this to be true  – I am personally in Read more >

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Stereo Center

UPDATED: Back and Hacked! New Developments, The BIB Album Tone & Playing debunked

 

Update is added to the end of the post!

 

Howdy Fellow members!,

Ant here writing up a brand new post…. for a while i have been brewing something special and i don’t mean in the flatulence sense!

First let me just put out there that i am not an audio engineer nor a hacker of any sort!! :P what i will be posting here is purely findings from my own research and experimentation with audio and various freebie software that’s on the net.

Tone searching, equalizing and listening is what i have been working hard on over the last year or two, searching ways, trying things out purely for the purpose of making decent original studio or live backing tracks from the original AC DC recordings and playing along with them. Of course in the beginning (not in 1955!) i was a complete newbie to the world of audio\listening and its theory but over time i came to learn more and progressed finding new techniques and using the tools readily available to me. Only recently (couple weeks) i stumbled across an amazing tool but i will cover this later on……  i know what your thinking so don’t even think of skipping the next bit!! :P

Now i will leave you to have a quick listen to these two sound samples….

 

Angus (not Fil)

Malcolm (again.. not Fil :D)

 

Hi Welcome back! :-)

Sound familiar? Now you’re either wondering what the hell was that!? some of you may think “WOW” and others “Meh” but this my dear friends is something that will aid us in the very depths of our reason for being here.. to debunk and break down what the Young brothers are doing on these great albums and recreate the very pleasure playing it!.

So! what DO! we have here, well we are hearing Angus and Malcolm’s guitars INDIVIDUALLY yes its in bold and caps ^^ this allows us to listen even closer than before to boldly go where *cough* got to stop its star trek! wrong place for it, originally we were just muting either channel and monoing the one we wanted to listen too but THIS is an extraction of the very essence in the tack. There are artifacts in the audio yes this is inevitable but only because that the very frequencies they are on are being shared with the other instruments and vocals.

 

HOW? Well that’s a good question, its quite simple really (i say this after months of searching Doh! same old story!)

First it was just 5.1 audacity..

initially for live i would whip out the DVDs imported the 5.1 tracks essentially breaking up the instruments/vocals to a certain degree and the re-piece them taking out either Angus or Malcolm and exporting in a stereo format. Didn’t always work as you can still hear them in the mix and of-course it didn’t work for studio albums either as they were not 5.1

Next we have Riffstation..

Now this is a great piece of software as it analyses in on both stereo channels, it lets you dynamically whip out a specific section of the stereo with additional filtration.. i wont go into to much details but i would suggest checking it out! this software works wonders on some of the Young’s live performances

Third Audacity Phase cancellation!

another method i used to use was phase cancellation..yep i used the idea of mic phase.. by inverting one channel (make both tracks mono) the frequencies that matched each other canceled each other out leaving both guitars in a mono state in a single track, i then used this mono dual guitar track inverted it and then placed it back on the original track mono-ed again and inverted to cancel out the guitars :P nifty eh? didn’t always work to well but it was better than nothing at the time.

Then GoldWave.. ever heard of this one?

Well this little bad boy just made my day…

First let me cast you back in time… one day i was walking down the street singing do a dee a dede dum *cough* listening to the usual back in black and my headphone cable popped out of my phone just slightly now what happened to my ears was beyond a miracle i could hear Malcolm’s playing as clear as you could say dede do! i was thinking oh crap why is this happening its incredible (for me). So i started experimenting, Google searching and fiddling with cables to try and record what i was hearing but just couldn’t get it to work so here i was with a set of headphones that let me into the track that most people may never have heard before! oh the irony!… time past i went through all my tricks mentioned above until phase cancellation it became clear to me that the headphones connectors were jumping over each other and the tracks were inverting on each other!

Back to GoldWave, this little gem lets me dynamically remove/extract sections that are played from left, Center and Right with the use of a plugin called Stereo Center.
Download it and then the plugin and have a play! its free… for a while :P

I haven’t read about how it works but it uses some advanced processing technique called Fast Fourier Transform… its beyond me to so cant explain any of it ^^ (rocket science)

I’m sure from here on with these audio extracts it will bring us that little bit closer to solving the mystery’s behind these great albums!
again im no sound engineer of any sort but some of you may have already witnessed these tools or even have better ones but the difference is im sharing my findings here for the benefit of the cause

 

Sound is wonderful thing.. the more you listen the more you learn and enjoy it.

I will leave you with a couple more for listening, i hope you enjoy them as much as i do.

 

What do you do? Angus & Malcolm

 

Shoot to Thrill Angus & Malcolm

 

Until next time ;)

Yours
Ant

 

UPDATE: Goldwave additional detail and a few Solo Snippets

Couple of people have been giving it a go so i thought it would be good to update the post with a bit more support on the goldwave program to assist others venturing into doing it themselves :)

 

First off download Goldwave from there website

Install

Open a track that you have from one of your CD’s or downloaded Albums (iTunes ect)

Click Effects

Click Stereo

Click Stereo Center

This is what you should have.

Stereo Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose either side/center to remove/isolate and change the 4x to 16x (better quality) FFT leave as default and click OK

File SAVE AS
give it a name, save and Bingo your done!

Happy Times!

 

Also been wanting to post these few solo snippets with added initial findings listening to them, Enjoy

 

Hells Bells – You can hear some sort of tape delay or re verb kick in part way though the solo.. hear it?

Shake a Leg – This particular solo is one of the solos that was partly redone at electric lady land without the SVDS… can you hear when it changes? ;)

Rock and Roll ain’t Noise Pollution – Those vibratos are killer! notice how its all one take for the solo track? truly amazing

 

Drop a comment in this post if you have trouble and i will respond

End of Update! :)

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