[GPG] Icebus' choice - "Fade to Black" by Metallic

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Ice
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[GPG] Icebus' choice - "Fade to Black" by Metallic

Post by Ice »

Been wanting to learn more Metallica since we covered RTL, so well, I decided to bite the bullet and pick this classic :)

The GP3 file on MySongBook sounds about right but I haven't had time to check the solos yet.

Enjoy :D
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Post by DGV »

:supa: (<- my new personal favourite, btw) Good choice. Will get right down to work. I'm hoping to get a good recording down as I'm pretty much taking next week off from everything except guitar.
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Post by Bigpops »

Ah yes, the old FTB. A Metallica classic if ever there was one.

Good points:

Intro (nice and simple)
Intro solo (a little sweep picking)
Verse (love that acoustic)
Chorus (Heavy, yeah!)
another solo (Nice, slow, and melodic. It almost sound like Hetfields)
Verse
chorus
bridge (Rock!)
epic solo (Oh no, not again. My fingers hurt)

Bad points:

The original is tuned up 1/4 of a tone, i think.

I think that sums it up pretty well?
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Post by Wolf11 »

EEK :o I remember trying to have a bash at this years ago,I,ve never been much good at acosticy piccy stuff :(..but will give it a go.


Quite a nice Mettalica song...I,ve never really liked it compared to some of there other simpler stuff (probably cos I can play that lol)


Wolf;)
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Post by DGV »

Well, I've tried and tried to find a setting on the Vamp that could get the sound I want for the intro/verse. I can get a lot of nice clean sounds, but nothing quite sounds acoustic enough. So this song has finally pushed me over to do what I've been planning on for quite a while - get my acoustic micced. Now, I know that I could put in a pickup, but since I am thinking about getting a (somewhat) cheap electro-acoustic next summer I am not really partial to that. Also, I think I can probably get a decent mic cheaper that will work fine for now. This would also enable me to work on the singing, which I have also been thinking about ever since Wolf valiantly displayed his skills. So, any tips on the mics? Should I look into music stores or will even good PC mic suffice for this purpose? Also, will recording be a pain in the arse?
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Post by Ice »

The good old Shure SM58 is still a favourite for multi purpose AFAIK :)
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Post by DGV »

I'm sure that's a good mic, but I'm not convinced it's the right one for me. I was thinking of spending maybe like 20£ on this, since I have those plans for an electro-acoustic, and the singing's just a hobby at best. This baby goes for 70-80£ over here so I'm not too sure yet. I'll have to think about it.
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Post by Blam »

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Post by Penfold »

DGV, as Icebus suggested, an SM58 would be a great choice as a general-purpose mic purchase. It would serve you well for many applications and a much better investment than buying a cheap mic now and then a more expensive one later on when it surpasses its use. If I was to recommend the best low/mid-price mic for singing and acoustic work, it would be the Røde NT1 (large-capacitor mic) or the AKG C3000. They are expensive, coming in at ~£150... so nothing like what you're looking for, but worthwhile having at the back of your mind. A regular dynamic mic is great, but not the instinctively preferable option for acoustic instruments and voice. Capacitor mics the best option. That's the difference between a glassy and airy acoustic sound and a woody and dry acoustic recording. (You can't plug a capacitor mic directly into a PC though as it requires power from the cable [phantom power])

In regards to using a PC mic; well I wouldn't suggest it for any use! :D The response of one of those mics is pretty dire. Then again, if it's singularly for the purpose of GPG then I'm sure it would be OK. I would think their SPL (sound-pressure level) tolerance is pretty low, meaning that if you start singing into one it's going to distort easily. The trick with bad mics is to understand their shortfallings (poor bottom/high-end response and bad mid-range peaks) and then EQ accordingly when mixing. No EQing is always the best though. The SM58 has a frequency peak around 3KHz to improve the sound of vocals. This isn't always desirable when recording instruments and such, and might need to be counteracted upon accordingly.

If you're comfortable with a bit of soldering and electronics there were several circuits around the net for converting PC mics (i.e. the Creative ones) into piezo pickups. It's supposed to work quite well.

After saying all this, I have recorded acoustic demos with a £30 microphone. I have got good results with an Audio-Technicia MB3000L (might be discontinued now), and use it every now and again. I was recording an electro-acoustic, with the pickup going into the tube-preamp setting on a POD. I eventually pretty much took out all of the pickup sound and just had the mic sound as it was much nicer. If you'd like an audio clip of it, I can post one up later.

You could get quite a nice sound by close-miking with a £20-30 for the sound of the plectrum and then adding a bit of the PC-mic into the mix from far away to catch a bit of ambience. A dollop of reverb on top and you're on your way.

A final thought, you might like to look into the Sennheiser 'Evolution' range of microphones. They're quality mics but low-priced. Bear in mind, any mic you purchase will require the addition of a mic-cable (and a necessary stand too) which will add another £20/30 onto the price. An SM58 is more likely to set you back at £120. A stange tip I was once told about buying low-price mics is 'If it's got an on/off switch, it's a crap mic'.

Phew! Hope that helps. :)
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Post by Wolf11 »

I use a Plantronics PC headset mike to sing into ....I bought it to shout at ppl in Counter strike (well be shouted at really ) ..it,s actually not to bad..but I have to keep my vocals very quiet else it doers distort .....

I took my acoustic to wrk today to try to learn the first bits of this song ...I just never seem to be able to do picky stuff like this ...but thought I better start trying to nail it...


I found myslef walking around like a busker singing my own stuff (no on was about ) and loved singing loudly ......gave me far more confidence to hit the notes easier ..I just wish I could remember lyrics (really why I gave up singing) and guitar parts lol...I really have got a sieve for a brain.....I reckon it,s cos I dont realy have to think day to day :(


My electro acoustic was about £150 I think and I love it. Vintage VEC500



The only mics I,ve got have on/off switches he he :oops:
Wolf;)
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Post by DGV »

Thank you for your extensive replies, Penfold and Wolf. I will definately think about this for a good while and look into my options. The thing is, I'm basically getting the mic just for the GPG. (Sure, there's a few other fun things I'm thinking about doing with it, but those things really don't require quality mics) Also, it's only for the time being, as I am planning on an electro-acoustic, and my need for recording with a mic will be reduced considerably with that acquisition. I will definately look into the ones you mentioned and will avoid the on/off switches at all costs. :bg:
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Post by Penfold »

Heh, the reason for the on/off switch thing is that manufacturers add it to a product to improve its feature list, and it's really unnecessary. More circuitry means the introduction of more noise into the signal of something that's supposed to be completely pure and unmodified. The mic I've got knocking around here has an on/off switch too. :D

I'm working away at this GPG choice, shamefully haven't heard it before. I like it the more I listen to it. My foray into Metallica got as far as the black album. I'm using the 'Fade to Black (8 )' GP3 file. Seems pretty accurate to me, and has great drums too.
Finding it quite difficult to play the Am/C... acoustic bit cleanly at speed. Got the intro solo nearly in the bag. That stretch from in bar 15 is giving me a bit of hassle, keep hitting the 18th fret. Haven't got to the end solo, will have to work myself up to learning those triplet bits.

Just a little curious thing, how do you guys record, sitting or standing?
I stand, unless it's an intricate bit where I either shorten the strap Beatles-style or sit down. :D
Last edited by Penfold on Wed Mar 12, 2003 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Ice »

Penfold wrote:
Just a little curious thing, how do you guys record, sitting or standing?
I stand, unless it's an intricate bit where I either shorten the strap Beatles-style or sit down. :D
Depends on the bit... Tends to be a bit of both. I used to record everything sitting down, but bad posture meant I ended up with a painful back after a while... Now I mostly stand, or sit on my bed/walk about. For rhythm I can get into it a bit more when standing, but lead stuff is comparatively easy either way. I shorten my strap for sitting though, otherwise I end up all hunched over. Am I the only one who changes strap length by about two inches for standing and sitting?
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Post by DGV »

To me, sitting down is a lot easier. I'm practicing on playing standing up, but it's not a top priority to me. As for the strap, I sort of let it slide loosely down my back when sitting. A bit unorthodox, I think.

Penfold: I'm also fumbling at the same point in the intro solo. I am very determined to get it down good, though. As for the end solo, I actually have been practicing very similar patterns as the triplet parts you mentioned, and as I tried it out I could play it pretty decently. So the only problem is getting everything except those triplet runs down. :D Oh, and the acoustic bit is also a bit of a hassle, as it is rather quick. I am fingerpicking it, though, so it's something I'm more accustomed to and I should be able to get it down decently. The part where I tend to do mistakes if they occur is in the second variation of the picking pattern in the G chord. Can't say why for the life of me, but there's something that makes it difficult for me. It's one of these weird things.
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Post by Wolf11 »

99% of the time I sit....But find if I stand I can give it some :D

Easier to play rythmn ....For lead I like the guitar high up Jazz style for rythmn lower ....when I was a nipper I used to play with it really low..

I,d say about 2 inches is about the same for sitting/ standing ....I definatley am more accurate if I sit down for lead but find it far more difficult to mute the strings...a few years ago I couldnt play sitting down at all.


I,m trying to play standing up more now as I have a sore neck nearly all the the time from sitting at a pc with my guitar :)

Really cant get into this song....justy doesnt do it for me....but I,ll do my best


Wolf;)
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Post by DGV »

Sorry to hear the inspiration's not there for you. I'm actually liking this quite a lot.
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Post by Bigpops »

Sitting or standing, now there's a question.

When i first started, i deliberately learnt to play standing, after reading coutless letters to guitar magazines about people being unable to play on their feet.
Everytime i played, or practiced, i'd play stood up. It was the same until very recently. Since GPG started, i've been playing sat down, alot more. I do still stand, but only when i know i'm going to be playing for an hour or two. Most time, i just pick up my strat, and plonk it on my knee for 10 minutes.

When i'm recording, i tend to record long sections stood up, and short sections while sat infront of the PC.
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Post by Wolf11 »

WisH I could wrk out a way to play one part in following GP...then change parts and record it again..but I cant see a way of sequencing it so that Gp tab is in time.


I always try and play it through in one hit AKA Live ....but this makes my recordings sound scruffy ...


I,m getting slighly more into this...the first intro part is ok..it,s the more chordy picky bit I just cant play even at 80 BPM I struggle lol :oops: ....If it didnt have that bit in it ..I,d like it far more :bg: .


I really get angry with myself I,m sure I,ve got mild altzeimers lol....as I learn a pattern perfectly but as soon as I play along my mind goes blank ....(although I slightly put this down to years Of playing a Live approximation ) ......I think as I learnt early on and Bigpops said....I suppose you really have to know the solo,s (Ie hum them ) to really nail them rather than just playing Patterns....I usually sight read the tab in solo,s...maybe thats my downfall :(



If I could remember what I practised I,d be set .......must look into self hypnotism to see if that would help ? who knows lol


Wolf;)
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Post by DGV »

Wolf, this is how I do it. First I record the midi drums and bass and whatever I choose to include into a .wav file using the stereo mix recording option. Then record all the guitar parts accompanied by GPro but recording with the line in -option and not the stereo mix - thus getting just .wav files of individual guitar parts. What you do need, though, is some software that allows you to combine all these. I use Acid XPress which was luckily included in my recently acquired new soundcard. With sequencing software like this, it's very easy and timing is no longer a problem as long as I play accurately.

It can also be done so that you play the GPro file and play along with it and record that guitar/midi combination with the stereo mix, then if you have software that you can play back the file you just created and other software to record, you can play the file you created with one program and play another part along with the file and record this with the other software (stereo mix, once again). The problem is that you will need to play the entire file each time you want to record and the quality will most likely suffer, and there is no equalizer type thing to control the sound levels, which may make it sound weird. I did do one GPG file like this, but it never did get any critical acclaim for sound quality. :bg: Can't remember which one it was, though.

Now, I hope I answered your question and not just ramble pointlessly. I suppose my advice was mainly to get some good software for the sequencing.
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Post by Wolf11 »

Thanks DGV - I think it makes sense :)....


Only bit I cant se is how you trim the begginings so it all starts at the same time ..It,s probably just me being thick .

Cos I,ll have say about 5 wavs ....But they wont have obviously started at exactly the same time (fumbling with record button-bringing up gpg etc ) ...


Anyhow I,ll have a play .....


Wolf;)
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Post by DGV »

If you have a good program, the starting time won't matter. For example in Acid Xpress I just open all the .wavs I've created - they're displayed by a sort of graph or curve or whatever - and just click and drag them in either direction until they're in sync. That's essential to this method, really. The second way I tried to explain doesn't really need that, since you'll essentially be playing over the previous recordings.
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Post by Wolf11 »

Thanks DGV
Yup that makes sense ..I,ve got a couple of programmes that came with my soundcard Cubasis & Acid & some others I,ll have a look and see :)


Althogh software & wolf usually=disaster :P ..I,ll have a play :)


Still cant get the picky bit..been trying on and off all evening..it,s the third part of it that I struggle with..cant se how they play it that fast :)

Ps..i Like you new sig thingy DGV m8 :)


Wolf;)
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Post by DGV »

Hope you work the recording methods out. Btw, I believe the section you mentioned is the same one that I've had a hard time with. It's got some tricky parts for sure.

Funny how I noticed I was about the only one without a signature picture. As I had some spare time and was gazing at guitars in another window as I noticed that, inspiration struck me.
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Post by Ice »

Nice sig DVG ;)

Recording wise... I make a recording of the full GP3 midi into a WAV (using "What You Hear" then import this into N-Track. I include the metronome click and the four beat count in. This way, if I turn off the metronome in N track (or if the track has one continuous tempo, just use the N track metronome...) and everything is in time. Then I just record bits and EQ them as I go. In N-track the way I record is record is play a little bit of the last track I recorded (i.e. hit record and then come in on the fourth bar) and you get no gaps/loss of timing...

Hope that helps a bit :)

Pete
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Post by DGV »

It's time for an update on the microphone situation. I eventually disregarded all the good advice I got and went out and got a cheap 7£ microphone. :bg: I reckoned it would be a waste of money to get a good one since I'm seriously getting an electro-acoustic. I was looking at a few in the 400£ price range that really really pleased me. So that's my next project. Anyway, the recording isn't great, but then I didn't expect it to be. This'll easily suffice for GPG for now, though.

I might sing this one. But only if you people promise not to laugh. :wink:

What sucks about recording with a microphone is the background noise. I was getting a fairly perfect recording of the first acoustic bit when my phone started ringing right at the end of the take. Thank you very much. Incidentally, it's been quite a while since I last played acoustic. Last thing I did before I started concentrating on electric was that I put extra thick strings on it to strengthen my finger muscles. (I figured that might be a cool excercise...) Now it's actually rather tough playing it, since I don't have lighter gauge strings available right now and am too lazy to go to a guitar shop again, since I hadn't noticed this when I was getting the microphone.
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