Michael Kang (SCI) tone

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by musicbliss, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. musicbliss

    musicbliss Supporting Member

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STcW8dkYZ8o

    His lead tone comes in at around 4 minutes in the vid.


    there is not a lot of info on the net about his rig besides that he uses 2 rock amps, tubescreamers, and a g force multi effects. Some detailed feedback on how to get there is greatly appreciated.

    Some other info is that he actually plays an electric mandolin, not a guitar. I can get close to his sound with a Les Paul, compression-> tubescreamer->tubescreamer-> delay, into a fender amp. But can't quite get that smooth, clear, soaring nature to his lead tone. It is kind of a mixture of trey Anastasio and David Gilmour.
     
  2. dB

    dB Member

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    I've seen them a bunch over the years and have always thought that MK basically has two tones: Trey and Jerry. He's a great musician; I think the fact that he is playing a mandolin has helped him to create a signature/recognizable tone and style, but at the base of it all, I just really just hear him copping Trey and Jerry.

    It's really the phrasing that is essential...good luck. Beyond that, a couple Tubescreamers and a Ross style compressor for Trey, and a Twin/JBL/Strat middle pickup for Jerry. I think MK has sort of developed a hybrid tone of the two, using the Trey aspect for the thick sustain and the Jerry approach for the clean and articulate quality. And then a Mutron, as necessary.
     
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  3. charley

    charley Supporting Member

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    What more do you really need than Trey & Jerry? Seriously. Clean, clear, articulate to fluid, liquid, fire.
     
  4. musicbliss

    musicbliss Supporting Member

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    From listening to a lot of their stuff, it seems that he used to have a tone a lot more like Trey's in the early 2000's. Now, I hear something a lot more unique. I think that it's mostly more delays, but am wondering if anyone has any other ideas.

    Of course the phrasing is a big part as well.
     
  5. henryjurstin13

    henryjurstin13 Member

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    Yeah, what he said.... pretty much sums up most of what I'm looking for. Snappy cleans that strum well, and smooth gain that sustains. Hollowbodies do it best for me...
     
  6. otari

    otari Member

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    It was dual TS-9s when I looked into his rack quite a while ago.
     
  7. Squigglefunk

    Squigglefunk Senior Member

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    he's got bales of dank sticky tone for sure
     
  8. danonbass

    danonbass Member

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    I lol'd. Hard.
     
  9. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Big fan of all the guitarists mentioned above! I have a Trey-esc rig (see my signature). I am not sure if MK uses a compressor, but that definitely smooths things out a bit. I also run my amp much darker than someone who is just starting to figure out how to get a jam tone. That also smooths everything out; you will have plenty of treble at gig volume or when mic'ed, but it will sound dark at practice/bedroom levels. Remember - a Fender has a ton of bass and treble, not much mids. A Two-Rock can be Fender-like (bassed of a Dumble, which is based off a Fender Bassman), but has much more mids available; keeping the treble and bass pretty low is a good start at getting closer.

    IIRC MK also uses delays to create modulation; I thought he uses at least one Deluxe Memory Man with a very short delay, essentially making his own chorus effect. I think that is a huge component of his tone and sets him aside from Trey and Jerry in that regard (Trey uses his Vibe sometimes).

    I also think the hollowbody is essential for MK and Trey, with low-output (PAF) buckers.
     
  10. Mr. Limbic

    Mr. Limbic Member

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    I run into his band mates Travis and Jason every once in awhile so I will ask them about it. They have a cool electronic/improv project called EOTO that plays a similar circuit we do. Anyway, at Electric Forrest this year he used a couple Bogner amps and had a big pedalboard but I didn't get much of a look at it, I dont think he was using any rack gear there.
     
  11. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Dark means turn the treble down. It really smooths out the tone.

    I have a Mesa MKIII and a Deluxe Reverb that I use for similar tones. I turn the treble and bass completely off on the Deluxe, not to mention I was using a mid-boost EQ the last time I was playing it, which, in other words, turns the treble and bass down even further. On my Mesa, I keep the treble at 4, bass at 2, mid at 5. I suspect your Two Rock is between those two amps as far as tone controls; try the treble and bass very low then add more as needed. In addition the the EQ on my amps, I also use midrange-focused speakers that are all similar to a Celestion Blue, not sure what Kang uses though.

    PS - what comp are you using? And try it after the Tube Screamers. Also, a hollowbody guitar would help.
     
  12. musicbliss

    musicbliss Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the help

    I use a Ross Clone by a pedal maker in New Orleans who does good work. I put it before 2 Tubescreamers. (I like it better before Boosts). I also play through a Fender Blues Deluxe, which I really like at lower volumes, but it farts out pretty quickly. I keep the mids high and the bass and treble low. I am thinking of upgrading the amp to a different fender, mesa, or Two Rock.

    Do you think that Clean Boost pedals bring more clarity and mid sparkle than a compressor does?
     
  13. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Not too familiar with the Blues Deluxe, but I often find myself wanting to modify Fender's for even less bass (and sometimes treble) even after the knobs are turned down completely. What speaker are you using? You could try a speaker that can handle bass better, or one with a tighter low-end (bass) to help control the 'farting-out.'

    Kang has used Two Rock, Mesa and Fender Silverface Deluxe Reverb amps I think. Two Rock is based off of Dumble, which is based off of Fender (Bassman) and (particularly early) Mark Series Mesa's were very similar to Dumbles (and also Based off Fenders - Princeton Reverb). I have a Mesa Mark III and a Silverface Deluxe - the Mesa has much more midrange and compression. Fenders can be modded for more midrange (either by decreasing bass and treble, or by changing the tone stack to a modified James). Last week I was using an MXR 6 Band for a mid-boost on the Deluxe; the two outside sliders at -9db, the two middle ones at +9db and the other two at +6db. Although, modern Fender amps I have played leave a lot to be desired.

    It can be hard to compare a comp to a clean boost; some people use a comp for a boost, however some Ross variants are very very compressed even at the minimum setting while others are relatively open (not compressed). Also, a Ross comp is midrange focused itself - some are sweeter, having more upper mids (maybe sparkle?), while others are fatter (darker), having more lower mids. Also, most clean boosts won't add a particular mid sparkle unless they are a mid-boost, in which case I would suggest an EQ instead so you can pick the midrange characteristic. As for clarity, some people might describe an open sound (less compressed) as more clear, although I find some EQ's to have a similar smoothing effect to compression - I think comparing a boost with mid-sparkle to a compressor in terms of clarity really depends on personal perception and specific gear (the Boss PQ4 is a great EQ, but has a smoothing effect similar to a comp, yet that could be perceived as less clarity). I think this midrange sparkle is what I was talking about on my previous post; it really comes out at stage volumes and/or when your mic'ed - midrange at bedroom volumes sounds dark.

    I use my comp after my TS's partly because it makes them sound smoother, but also because I use my volume knob or my volume pedal (before the TS's) to clean them up; Kang seems to keep his TS fairly clean, which I guess is why you might refer to the TS as a boost, but for most Jam, such as Trey Anastasio, I think of them as an overdrive - though when I play blues, I think of them a bit more like a boost.

    Do you have any recordings? It seems like you want a specific change, but aren't sure where to begin - I think that might help; there are a lot of variables we are discussing above and it is likely one or two might be the ticket to getting you a lot closer to the tone you want, but changing all of them - or the wrong one - could be a frustrating hassle.

    *Also gotta say the typical thing here; there is quite a bit in the style and technique (hands) - not to be stereotypical, but changing your amp could be expensive if it isn't a change you need to get where you want (though most new Fenders don't do the trick for me without a few changes).
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  14. charley

    charley Supporting Member

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    How are you running your TS's? To get a singing boost I usually run a TS with volume at max, and use the gain knob to get the correct levels. Tone knob to taste. The other TS can run more like an OD.
     
  15. charley

    charley Supporting Member

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    Just friend MK on Facebook. I bet he'll answer your gear questions.
     

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