Help getting Grateful Dead sound

Discussion in 'Tone Workshop' started by justinval, Sep 8, 2007.

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  1. justinval

    justinval New Member

    Hello everyone - I'm new to the forum, but it looks like a wealth of information so far.

    I've been struggling trying to get a grateful dead / jerry garcia type sound and would like some help if possible. I'm familiar with Jerry's rig and effects, as well as instruments but have really been unable to come up with something good or even similar so far. I am playing a strat with EMG active pickups and have been able to get a 'close enough' sound using my fender blues jr and analog effects with this guitar, so I know that it can be done (just not by me apparently!) :)

    In case someone is up for the challenge, here is a Utube links to the type of sound I'm interested in achieving. Thanks in advance for any assistance!

    [ame=""]YouTube - Dark Star Orchestra - Terrapin Station - 3-2-03 - Santa Cruz[/ame] (skip to about 5 minutes in and that's the sound i want)
  2. EL34xyz

    EL34xyz Forum Member

    You don't need guitar rig for that.
    Just take a large stick and beat a house cat with it for the length of an album, say 45 minutes?

    Sorry, couldn't resist.
  3. Fill Brisell

    Fill Brisell NI Product Owner

    Seems that the tribute band you linked to (aren't there any original 'Dead stuff on youTube?) nailed Garcia's signature 'clean' sound pretty well, so you could try to contact the guy in that band!
    Jerry's guitars were generally special one-of-a-kind builds (you know all this), but what they had in common was that they were heavy and provided extra long sustain. This factor alone is fundamental, and if your guitar can't sustain anything like that, there's no equipment in the world that can 'fix' it.
    In the latter years he tended to go right into the board - no guitar amp. This is an important clue as well.
    In GuitarRig, use the 'DI-box' choice in the cabinet sims, and no 'amp' at all.
    JG used two paralell effect loops (or am I off here?) - actually routed through his guitar(!) so he could mix them easily, but anyway. To my ears this assumption also sounds correct: there is a clean path and a slightly distorted path mixed. In GuitarRig this is really easy to set up using a split. My first choice for a distortion unit would be the 'Skreamer' component, the TS9 emulation, set to a low amount. Perhaps another distortion will work better - you have to experiement. I'd use the Tube Compressor in front of either both paths or just the clean path. In the clean path I'd throw in an EQ too, with a slight peak at perhaps 300 hZ, like a mild wah in a fixed position. This slight 'honk' I hear can very probably come from his guitar pick-ups instead; set to an out-of-phase or coil-tap arrangement. Throw in some mild chorusing in the clean path too. In GuitarRig I think the best chorusing comes from the Quad Delay: rate & depth sets the amount (use little delay; just a fast slap). The dedicated chorus effects (Ensamble, chorus+flanger) are probably more similar to the vintage stuff JG seemed to favor, but I think there's something 'wrong' with them still... - too dense and one dimensional IMO.

    Hope this can be of any use!
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2007
  4. justinval

    justinval New Member

    thanks for the advice - i'm going to try this and let you know!
    there's tons of dead on you tube but that clip had the sound nailed and it was easier to post that one than search the thousands of utube postings since i had one already :)
  5. DMCrimson

    DMCrimson Forum Member

    To be honest, I think those EMG pick-ups are going to always pose a problem with getting the Dead tone. Jerry Garcia played with passive humbuckers so you may want to look at other guitars.
  6. luckyscs

    luckyscs New Member

    Thanks alot, I hooked this up to a jazz guitar sampler in Reason and ran it through Logic and it sounds great. You really know your stuff.
  7. 12string

    12string NI Product Owner

    > > Jerry's rig:
    > > Chandler Stereo Digital Echo
    > > Korg O1R/W
    > > Korg M1R
    > > Emu Proteus/1
    > > ADA MicroCab
    > > Alesis Midiverb
    > > Boss OD2 Turbo Overdrive
    > > Boss OD1 Overdrive
    > > 2 Boss GE7 Equalizers
    > > Boss OC2 Octave
    > > Mutron
    > > MXR Phase 100
    > > Groove Tubes Trio
    > > Tube Works Real Tube Reverb
    > > some ADA rack mount FX box
    > > And a couple of other things here and there
    > Synths:
    > The Roland GK-2 controller (gutted to fit inside guitar cavity)
    > fed the Roland GR50 unit (used to convert pitch to MIDI data)
    > which then originally drove a Korg M1R (as heard on Without A Net).
    > Later the M1R was replaced with an O1R/W unit. I don't think the
    > EMU unit was a Proteus /1 but an EMU World Percussion unit.
    > Lake Butler MIDIGator footcontroller (to select synth patches).
    > Lake Butler RMC MIDI footpedal (as a continous controller device).
    > Rane SM26 Line Mixer.
    > Mutron = Mutron III envelope filter follower.
    > The ADA 2FX unit (mod'd to use a volume pedal to control
    > aspects of that unit's patches).
    > The Trio unit was used to replace the Fender Twin preamp.
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