QOTSA - Know One Knows Tone (pedal?)

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by EchoGecko, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. EchoGecko

    EchoGecko Member

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    I've been meaning to ask this for awhile…I just love the main guitar sound on this song. What's more, I was BLOWN AWAY when I read how it was achieved for the album. Josh Homme basically requested three of the crappiest solid state amps that could be found for the album, and the producer intensely labored to find a way to mike and mix them to produce the sound you hear.

    Probably a long shot, but is there a drive pedal out there that can get close to this sound? Slightly fuzzy, yet chewy. Doesn't sound muddy, the highs are clear but not harsh. Very cool sound. So much for tubes here!

    http://youtu.be/s88r_q7oufE
     
  2. fuzzfoot

    fuzzfoot Supporting Member

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    I can get a VERY close sound running a PDF-1 into a Tube Driver. I also have a Maton MS500 so that may be a factor, having identical pups. I run the Tube Driver at very low gain (just a hint of grit) and push it with the PDF-1, which is set to filter and fatten the sound a bit. I can also use the Minifooger Drive and get close. Just don't use too much gain!
     
  3. SquareWaveFuzz

    SquareWaveFuzz Member

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    Everything I've heard about the recording of SFTD points towards ZVEX SHO into an Ampeg V4, and I suspect the Gorilla amps rumour to be Homme's personal joke at people chasing his tone.

    Pedal wise, the Catalinbread SFT is pretty much designed for the Queensy Ampeg tones, although I have no personal experience with it.
     
  4. flyonthewall150

    flyonthewall150 Supporting Member

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    Does anyone know what setup he was using on the first QOTSA album? I like his guitar sound best on that one.
     
  5. macmax77

    macmax77 Supporting Member

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    it was an ampeg amp. I don't know what pedal he used.
     
  6. willatkinson

    willatkinson Member

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    I'm pretty sure he used the PDF-1 into the Ampeg.
     
  7. NewDr.P

    NewDr.P Member

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    any random low gain dist/ overdrive with a guitar tuned to C+. the tuning is what makes that tone. not a distortion pedal.
     
  8. IRG

    IRG Member

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    I was playing that riff the other day, using just a Honey Bee and humbuckers in my Fender Humboldt. Sounded pretty close to me. I have the nature knob on the HBOD set low for a deeper sound, around 9 o'clock. Dig that tone a lot too.
     
  9. NewDr.P

    NewDr.P Member

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    theres a video or 2 from that era in the studio with him standing in front of an SD1. his tech pitched a fit when his SHO broke, they bought another one, and it didnt sound identical. that mayve been where the sd1 came from before he started using the fatboost during that time period.
     
  10. Billy Idle

    Billy Idle Member

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    No one knows...:wave
     
  11. EchoGecko

    EchoGecko Member

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    Check out post # 25

    https://www.gearslutz.com/board/q-eric-valentine/147697-qotsa-songs-deaf-details.html

     
  12. Empros

    Empros Supporting Member

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    Nice post, but still - a PDF1 into an Ampeg will get you that tone. Or that Catalinbread ampeg pedal with the PDF1.

    The Foxx Octave Fuzz that post is talking about is the Fulltone Ultimate Octave.

    There are so many posts about Homme's setups, and a lot of them tell different stories. Good luck hunting the truth down!
     
  13. la noise

    la noise Supporting Member

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    We have a winner, folks!!! :aok
     
  14. ryandfl

    ryandfl Supporting Member

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    Yes, at least on the first part.
     
  15. lux_interior

    lux_interior Member

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    Check older TGP posts on Homme's gear. I have written a lot about it (I had a serious obsession with his setup and did years of research from his early Kyuss days up to Era Vulgaris and Vultures - I stopped listening after Clockwork and gave up the idea of making a "Gilmourish" site about him due to lack of time and decrease of my interest). Ampegs yes, the ZVex SHO details are a bit shadowy apart from the short interview of his tech in the "Fuzz" documentary, the PDF-1 didn't exist back then, the Maestro Parametric Filter did, but sometimes it was used and sometimes not. It's not such a crucial element (I had one for years, too). You can recreate its wah-like mid boost with other simpler solutions like Boss EQs or Dunlop Q Zones, both of which were used extensively in Homme's pedalboard. But it's not at all the "secret Homme sauce" as it's been marketed.

    The interview where he is mentioning the Gorilla amps is from the Vultures era, much much later. The Tube Works amp head was used a lot in the last Kyuss album and live (2 of them), mostly in '95. I can look at my files to find the model, if you want. The elaborate setup described above was not really his live setup - it was much simpler and included the Fulltone Ultimate Octave (one of the main ingredients on a clean or a bit gritty amp, and a bit of a "shortcut" to that sound).
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  16. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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    My first amp was a Gorilla from the Sears catalog. I was sooo far ahead of my time..
     
  17. Empros

    Empros Supporting Member

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    Lux knows a lot about Homme gear, follow his post! He's always posted on Homme threads, always interesting to read.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  18. gripweed

    gripweed Member

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    As was already mentioned, he used a bunch of crappy solid state amps to record Songs for the Deaf. I think you're on to something with the parametric eq though. Troy said in his rig rundown that there was one secret pedal that could make his Vox amps sound like Josh's old sound. I suspect he was referring to either the Stone Deaf or the Maestro para eq. If I were trying to get that sound, that is where I would start.

    Edit: just saw Lux's post, so never mind! Lux, do you have any idea what pedal Troy was talking about in the rig rundown?
     
  19. Stratburst70

    Stratburst70 Member

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    According to Premier Guitar's Troy van Leeuwen's rig rundown, he has a WHE Pork Loin underfoot, plus a Green Rhino, a Fuzzrocious Demon and an EQD Dispatch Master in a rack drawer behind him.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    It's also worth noting that he uses another Green Rhino in his lap steel pedalboard. Hope this helps.
     
  20. lux_interior

    lux_interior Member

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    Thanks Empros (with the awesome nickname!)

    @Gripweed: I am guessing it's the PDF1 - they are much easier to obtain and to engage than the Maestro which requires you either to step on the whole thing or to put it into a true bypass loop (I don't know if it was true bypass, so it might also "suck tone" a bit, although when I had it I never noticed that at home or at rehearsals/gigs). But really, any parametric EQ that allows you to dial a medium Q range of emphasis around the low mids area (400Hz or so) is fine. The Maestro's 2 clipping modes sound very harsh and hard to use when you have so many other EQ tricks and boosts in the chain like Josh has, so my own guess is that it was almost always in one of the 3 EQ modes, most probably the one with the moderate Q (not the very narrow and not the very wide). He once said he sometimes uses it to sweeten up the sound of the Ampegs and bring up that hollow mid range-y tone. In the two interviews with the Vultures guys he talked a bit about that trick, not directly referencing the Maestro but rather focussing on what he does with that EQ range. In Vultures shows he was also using a Boss EQ with the 800Hz slider up to recreate that effect.

    Josh's old sound (first 2 albums) is mainly C-tuned pure Ampeg grit coming from specific EQ switch placements (I have them somewhere), occasionally with the Ultimate Octave, and the trademark studio magic of Goss. It's a sound very similar to other trademark Ampeg grit like in Greg Sage's Wipers riffs and Stones from "Exile in Main Street". They obviously don't sound the same, but if you listen closely the vibe is there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015

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