Studio Amps

Alice Cooper co-founder and Hall Of Fame inductee Dennis Dunaway answers your questions!

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Babysquid
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Studio Amps

Post by Babysquid » Sun Jan 23, 2022 9:28 am

Hi Dennis,
Happy New Year!
I was wondering if you have much recollection of the types of amps you guys used in the studio. I’ve always loved the guitar and bass sounds on Love It To Death and Killer (actually all your lps had interesting tones) and would love to know more of how they were achieved.

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Dannorama
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Re: Studio Amps

Post by Dannorama » Sun Jan 23, 2022 3:51 pm

Good question. May I also ask if you still have any of these things?
Move aside, mere drop of water - let the ocean pass.

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Dreary
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Re: Studio Amps

Post by Dreary » Sun Jan 23, 2022 5:49 pm

In the studio, Michael and Glen would use a variety of amps depending on what they liked for each song. Fender Twin Reverbs and early 1970's Marshalls were favorites.

As for me, the Ampeg B-15 was the reliable standard in any studio worth it's salt. That's what I used on Love It To Death, Killer, and School's Out (I also used one on Blue Coupe's Eleven Even album). I used a Fender Bassman 100 on Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle of Love.

In all cases, I simultaneously recorded direct relying heavily on the neck position pickup of a Fender Jazz Bass. The direct signal was the dominant signal, with the bass amplifier mic signal most often mixed as a blend under that.

Back then, the bass amp was recorded at a moderately-low volume. But these days, Bob Ezrin, partly because of better isolation rooms, prefers to record bass through an SVT amp at high volume. Either way, the direct signal off the pickup is still most often used as the dominant factor in the blend.

All of these settings vary for each song. That's just the nature of the beast in the recording studio. You can get the perfect bass sound on one song and find that you have to change it a bit for the next song.

I intentionally veered away from the sound that I'm known for on "Sound of A" and "Fireball" from Alice's Paranormal album. I told Bob Ezrin that, for both songs, I wanted the bass to sound more like a powerful undercurrent than my usual distinctive mid-range tones. I mentioned making the bass sound like it was recorded in a cathedral.
And low and behold, the Nashville studio where we recorded had previously been a church. The large room and the boomy setting on the Fender Bassman 100 amp, fully achieved that goal.

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steven_crayn
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Re: Studio Amps

Post by steven_crayn » Sat Jan 29, 2022 2:12 pm

Bob Ezrin “On ‘School's Out’ we didn't put the guitars through an amplifier at all: we just plugged them directly into a Spectrasonic mixing console and absolutely creamed the mic preamps. I really wanted the guitars to be bratty sounding, so we went for ultradistortion. The preamp level was turned up to infinity, so you'd hear this fuzz guitar as soon as the channel fader was brought up.”
Lead guitar on Social Debris. Album on iTunes, Amazon & Spotify, title track featured on TV

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Re: Studio Amps

Post by Dreary » Sun Jan 30, 2022 9:55 pm

steven_crayn wrote:
Sat Jan 29, 2022 2:12 pm
Bob Ezrin “On ‘School's Out’ we didn't put the guitars through an amplifier at all: we just plugged them directly into a Spectrasonic mixing console and absolutely creamed the mic preamps. I really wanted the guitars to be bratty sounding, so we went for ultradistortion. The preamp level was turned up to infinity, so you'd hear this fuzz guitar as soon as the channel fader was brought up.”
They've finally invented plug-ins and amp simulators that sound like an actual amp. You have to be selective though because there are still a lot of cheesy substitutes on the market. And every one of them has a great sounding sales hype.

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