Cure/Joy Division tone (not flanger/chorus)

artemy

Member
Messages
24
UPD: Actually it might be Flanger (filter matrix) tone.

Hello, this is my first post, so please excuse me if I used the wrong board
I'm looking for achieving the specific tone, I'll try to describe it:

1. Listen to She's lost Control by Joy Division (studio version from Unknown Pleasures).
When the distorted guitar (starting at 0:56) is playing D power chord (0:59), F# note can be heard through the echo. Especially clear is sounds at 2:06.

2. Listen to Siamese Twins by Cure (studio too, from Pornography).
You can hear the EXACT same note, which sounds like F#, right after the guitar starts (0:16), and especially - when third chord (D5) is played (0:21). This sound can be heard through the entire song.

Sounds kinda like "cold", resonant, metallic-sounding echo.
Any ideas on how to achieve it?

My thougts (sorry, I'm not a good guitar player/tone specialist, so can be wrong):
Since it's studio recording, must be room reverb/mic placement. It's definately not regular chorus/flanger.

I don't really want to buy a parametric EQ just to boost this frequency, there must be the other way.
 
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Kestrel

Member
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1,679
Martin Hannett was the man responsible for Joy Division's studio sound. They sounded very different live. Anyway, Martin tweaked their sound with delays and reverbs which gave Unknown Pleasures and Closer that signature cold, bleak tone. I know for a fact that he used a Melos Echo Chamber among a host of other tape echoes, digital delays and other effects.

It's safe to say that without Joy Division, bands like The Cure, Bauhaus, and a host of other post-punk bands who emulated Joy Division's dark sound would not have existed. In the case of The Cure's Pornography album, it was given the "gothic" treatment, which happened to be THE post-punk sound back in the early 80's. Everyone from Bauhaus, Siouxsie &The Banshees, The Cure, Cocteau Twins, Modern English, Xmal Deutschland and a dozen other bands on the 4AD label copied that sound. Hell, even Tears for Fears jumped on the bandwagon with The Hurting. It was just the sound of the time as post-punk gave way to gothic rock, darkwave, synthpop, dreampop, shoegaze and other left-of-centre music genres.

Lots of those bands used solid state amps like the Roland JC120, Roland Space Echo or Chorus Echo units and Flangers like the EHX Electric Mistress to achieve those cold, biting guitar tones.
 
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Flatscan

Supporting Member
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6,667
It's not Britney for sure.

I don't think of the genre in political terms.

Didn't Sirius invent labels like Darkwave?

This is the music of my youth (had the hairdos too lol) and we never used those terms.
 

Flatscan

Supporting Member
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6,667
Edit: my high school band played an acoustic low-volume version of "No New Tale to Tell" at a Talent Show (song was on MTV/college charts then).

We came out right after a power trio blew out "Tom Sawyer" and everybody looked at us like, "que?"
 

Kestrel

Member
Messages
1,679
It's not Britney for sure.

I don't think of the genre in political terms.

Didn't Sirius invent labels like Darkwave?
I don't use it in a political sense. I simply refer to mainstream pop/ radio friendly/contemporary music as centre. The more classic or traditional stuff leaning to the right, and anything punk, new wave, or alternative to the left. I don't necessarily associate the music with politics.

I believe the darkwave label existed before Sirius. I remember it being also associated with Projekt Records to describe bands on their label that sounded much like the dark sounding post-punk bands of the late 70's and 80''s.
 
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the tourist

Member
Messages
3,378
I don't use it in a political sense. I simply refer to mainstream pop/ radio friendly/contemporary music as centre. The more classic or traditional stuff leaning to the right, and anything punk, new wave, or alternative to the left. I don't necessarily associate the music with politics.
Right. It's like when someone says something is out of left field. They're not talking about baseball. I got ya.
 

starfish

Member
Messages
3,126
Longtime fan of both of these bands since the early 80s. Bernard of Joy Division was using a Shergold Masquerader into a solid state Vox amp. I think it was the same model (UL730?) that the Beatles used later on, not early like the tube Vox amps. I have a 12-string Shergold Custom Masquerader and it indeed can do the steely metallic sound if that's what you want. It can also sound very warm or even airy. The electronics are very versatile on that guitar with a variety of tone controls and switches for coil selection, including humbucker, phased and single coil.



In the case of the Cure, I know quite a bit about the gear that was used over the years. But, I never really gave Siamese Twins much thought. I'll go out on a limb and guess that it's the Jazzmaster, refinished from white to black at the time of Pornography, the one fitted with the extra Top 20 pickup in the middle into an EHX DEM set for filter matrix and into a Roland JC-160, which the Cure began using for the extra power around Seventeen Seconds. The DEM filter matrix setting is pretty cool in that you can get a wide variety of metallic sounds with the ability to tune the resonant frequency. We know that Robert had one of these during the recording of Seventeen Seconds. In flanger mode it is unmistakably the sound of A Forest, though several flangers were used in the recording session. If you have never read this article with producer Michael Hedges, it is quite enlightening:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec04/articles/classictracks.htm
 

BK Verbs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,979
I tend to agree that lot of that sound is the JC -120, especially live. Then a lot of studio tricks and rack delays to dial in that sound.
 

Kestrel

Member
Messages
1,679
Longtime fan of both of these bands since the early 80s. Bernard of Joy Division was using a Shergold Masquerader into a solid state Vox amp. I think it was the same model (UL730?) that the Beatles used later on, not early like the tube Vox amps. I have a 12-string Shergold Custom Masquerader and it indeed can do the steely metallic sound if that's what you want. It can also sound very warm or even airy. The electronics are very versatile on that guitar with a variety of tone controls and switches for coil selection, including humbucker, phased and single coil.



In the case of the Cure, I know quite a bit about the gear that was used over the years. But, I never really gave Siamese Twins much thought. I'll go out on a limb and guess that it's the Jazzmaster, refinished from white to black at the time of Pornography, the one fitted with the extra Top 20 pickup in the middle into an EHX DEM set for filter matrix and into a Roland JC-160, which the Cure began using for the extra power around Seventeen Seconds. The DEM filter matrix setting is pretty cool in that you can get a wide variety of metallic sounds with the ability to tune the resonant frequency. We know that Robert had one of these during the recording of Seventeen Seconds. In flanger mode it is unmistakably the sound of A Forest, though several flangers were used in the recording session. If you have never read this article with producer Michael Hedges, it is quite enlightening:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec04/articles/classictracks.htm
Excellent post. Spot on about the Filter Matrix on the Deluxe Electric Mistress.
 

starfish

Member
Messages
3,126
Martin Hannett was the man responsible for Joy Division's studio sound. They sounded very different live. Anyway, Martin tweaked their sound with delays and reverbs which gave Unknown Pleasures and Closer that signature cold, bleak tone. I know for a fact that he used a Melos Echo Chamber among a host of other tape echoes, digital delays and other effects.

It's safe to say that without Joy Division, bands like The Cure, Bauhaus, and a host of other post-punk bands who emulated Joy Division's dark sound would not have existed. In the case of The Cure's Pornography album, it was given the "gothic" treatment, which happened to be THE post-punk sound back in the early 80's. Everyone from Bauhaus, Siouxsie &The Banshees, The Cure, Cocteau Twins, Modern English, Xmal Deutschland and a dozen other bands on the 4AD label copied that sound. Hell, even Tears for Fears jumped on the bandwagon with The Hurting. It was just the sound of the time as post-punk gave way to gothic rock, darkwave, synthpop, dreampop, shoegaze and other left-of-centre music genres.

Lots of those bands used solid state amps like the Roland JC120, Roland Space Echo or Chorus Echo units and Flangers like the EHX Electric Mistress to achieve those cold, biting guitar tones.
Martin Hannett was a very talented producer, a brilliant engineering mind in the right place at the right time. A week ago I pulled out my vinyl copy of the US pressing of The Psychedelic Furs s/t LP and finally noticed after all these years that Martin Hannett produced a couple of the tracks.

Excellent post. Spot on about the Filter Matrix on the Deluxe Electric Mistress.
Thx! :)
 

artemy

Member
Messages
24
Wow, thanks, very helpful info.
So it turns out it is EHX flanger, at least as far as Cure is concerned.

There's not much info on Joy Division gear (http://www.joydiv.org/eqpt.htm), it's only known that Bernard Sumner did use flanger pedal, but exact model is unknown. Some people think it might be EHX Echoflanger, that looks similar to Polychorus. Both pedals do have Filter Matrix setting, that does this "frozen flange" effect.
There was also Boss BF-1 with unusual design and Resonance knob produced back then.

Looks like I need Polychorus or Mistress in Filter Matrix mode for this sound.
 
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Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Supporting Member
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28,378
Agreed with all the above. I'm a huge fan of both early Joy Division and The Cure, and although the OP says not flanger/chorus, I find that those two effects are indeed what are needed to get that sound. Personally I used a 70s MXR M117 flanger and set it to almost a set filter matrix - you cant hear much warble, but regen is cranked so you can hear the "clang." Then I use a Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble, which is the unit found in those Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus amps, and subtly use the chorus function to get the right amount of swirl/atmosphere. For certain rhythmic things, I'll kick in a big box Deluxe Memory Man.

Those late 70 big box mains effects are huge and clunky but they get the job done. Single coil guitars with thick gauges help too, I find.

Not exactly what you're asking for since this sound is more like A Forest, but in '09 I was demoing a Bass VI build and used most of the effects mentioned:

 
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Bartimaeus

Member
Messages
1,295
The right EQ and a dark plate reverb can get you surprisingly far in the Joy Division direction. I've always found that I can get quite close to Unknown Pleasures by setting an AC30 and RV3 just right (RV3 can get quite dark and COLD, which I love), but perhaps I'm tricking myself because I know Bernard Sumner used a Vox during that era. I think Bernard also used an old Melos echo unit. Flanger/chorus (placed pre-dirt) is important to perfecting that sort of sound, but not necessary to get an essence of it?

My rule of thumb, though, is distorted Vox to cop their live tone and a less distorted Vox with plate reverb for their studio sound. I've actually also used the XO Electro-Harmonix Clone Theory (Hookey used the original on bass) and it definitely got my guitar in Joy Division territory for a tribute gig that I did. Even got some of compliments after too.
 




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