Been perusing a loooong thread on gearslutz.com about the recording of various Extreme albums – because I was going to do a post on the most recent Extreme album and Nuno’s gear. But retrenching a bit because of this quote in that thread from producer Michael Wagener:
Funny enough, the setup we used on Vito [Bratta] was almost exactly the same as the one we used on Nuno (and Skid Row), down to the same settings on the ADA.
We also used [with White Lion] one of the first Groove Tubes 30W tube amps with a direct recording output, still got it, looks beautiful, red and Chrome, like an old Chevy. That amp is what you hear on the solo on “Wait” which he played during drum tracking – originally as a scratch, but we never got the same feel as the scratch so we kept it.
A great guitar player makes an engineer’s/producer’s life extremely easy and fun.
The same settings?!
More on the ADA
The ADA MP-1 was a preamp that was all the rage back in the ’80s – the early “had to have a rack” days. Anyone who got guitar magazines back then might recall the ADA ads – Paul Gilbert, other guys, lots of guys were using them for a while.
(You might also remember that lead singers apparently had to look like girls, like Sebastian Bach at the time and the White Lion dude. The end of this era was when poison came out with bubblegum metal and all wearing makeup….)
Apparently the players liked the ability to control things: Distortion levels, distortion with articulation, channel switching, sustain, etc. Plus they also sounded good. Here’s one example: Paul Gilbert talking about the MP-1, starts at about 4:15, after all the funny stuff….
Here’s a link to what the MP-1 controlled (too much for here).
Here are the MP-1 settings Michael Wagener said used for the above bands:
Overdrive 1: 4.0 dist
Overdrive 2: 5.5 dist
Master Gain: 7.5 dist
FX loop: off
He also said, “From the ADA it went into the McIntosh 2100 (transistor) power amp and from there into a vintage Marshall 4×12 cab with the original G12Hs inside [30-watters].
“At that time I normally used Fostex M11RP ribbon mics and Countryman Lavalier mics through a John Hardy M1 to record guitar.”
All the deets you need….
Here’s Bob St. John, who engineered most (or all?) of the Extreme albums on Nuno’s tone:
That “tone” is a question that is asked more than any other. I wish I could make people happy and say it was “this piece of gear” or “that piece of gear.” But that sound is what comes from Nuno.
Although you may be inclined to say that Nuno is a derivative of so many other ’80s guitar players, I feel that he is in a class by himself. That sound is more a function of his technique and the way he hears things and interacts.
I’ve recorded Nuno playing through Marshalls and Hiwatts, Laneys and Fenders, Ampfarm and a Rat pedal direct. They all sound uniquely like him. Go figure.
Wagener on tone:
90% of the sound of a guitar player is creasted by his hands, and it wouldn’t matter much which amp he/she uses, if it’s at least in the same distortion range.
I think these guys are mixing tone and style together a bit, but….