Sound like Alice In Chains (Friedman, Helix & Axe Fx III)

Guitarjon

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2,379
Hi all!

I love Jerry Cantrell's tone and style, just such an awesome player, musician and composer. I have a lot of respect for him, but who doesn't, right? To be honest, I really love their last 3 albums the most. For some reason those albums and productions hit the right chord with me or something :). Of course I also love the classics, it's hard not to.

So, I wanted to see if I could get close to Jerry's tone using a bunch of different platforms. Of course I wanted to use my Friedman JJ JR as a reference but I also wanted to feature my main platforms, the Helix and the Axe Fx. I got really close with the real amp I think. I tried to keep everything as basic as possible so no dual amps and no quad-tracking but despite that it sounds really close imho. When I got the real amp sound close I worked on the Helix tone, which sounds really damn close tbh. Then after that I tweaked the Axe Fx as well. The Fractal sounds a little different (differently voiced) but still cool! This wasn't meant to be a direct comparison anyway and the modeling platforms don't have a JJ amp. I used the York MRSH 412 MV30 for the cab tones and no post processing aside from a low-cut.

So here are the results! Let me know what you think:

 

DrewJD82

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1,083
I’m not even going to bother listening to this on my ipad, I’m going to wait to get home to listen in my studio because Cantrell tones deserve it!

While the early albums will always be classics to me, I do very much love the production on the newer stuff. When they dropped that first single for Black Gives Way To Blue, the second that riff came in I knew my favorite band of all time was going to be coming back strong. Nick R. (not even gonna try to spell his last name) has done an outstanding job with those albums.

Sometime last year I brought my AxeFX over to my buddy’s place because he hadn’t heard it yet and I hadn’t heard his JJ head in person, plugging into the Return of it and tweaking an HBE model I got pretty damn close to mimicking the JJ, enough that my “I hate digital, only tubes for me” buddy finally had to concede that modelers don’t sound like PODs anymore.
 

Guitarjon

Member
Messages
2,379
I’m not even going to bother listening to this on my ipad, I’m going to wait to get home to listen in my studio because Cantrell tones deserve it!

While the early albums will always be classics to me, I do very much love the production on the newer stuff. When they dropped that first single for Black Gives Way To Blue, the second that riff came in I knew my favorite band of all time was going to be coming back strong. Nick R. (not even gonna try to spell his last name) has done an outstanding job with those albums.

Sometime last year I brought my AxeFX over to my buddy’s place because he hadn’t heard it yet and I hadn’t heard his JJ head in person, plugging into the Return of it and tweaking an HBE model I got pretty damn close to mimicking the JJ, enough that my “I hate digital, only tubes for me” buddy finally had to concede that modelers don’t sound like PODs anymore.

Thanks! I hope my tones do his tones justice! Of course my tones and riffs aren't as good as his but hopefully in the ballpark... :)
 

DrewJD82

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Messages
1,083
I did my best but with a very simple and basic signal flow. I guess his tone is a bit more involved.

Back in the day it was a mish-mash of different amps, these days for his meat and potatoes tone I think it's a ton of JJ, but wouldn't be surprised if he does exactly what he does live; blending a less distorted head with a more saturated one. Once he starts getting outside his main rhythm tone I'm guessing it's an amp party in the recording studio.
 

deathbyguitar

Member
Messages
253
While the early albums will always be classics to me, I do very much love the production on the newer stuff. When they dropped that first single for Black Gives Way To Blue, the second that riff came in I knew my favorite band of all time was going to be coming back strong.
If I'm not mistaken, the first single was A Looking In View. That song rules so hard it's ridiculous. What a crazy good comeback that was.
 

mikah912

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,952
Back in the day it was a mish-mash of different amps, these days for his meat and potatoes tone I think it's a ton of JJ, but wouldn't be surprised if he does exactly what he does live; blending a less distorted head with a more saturated one. Once he starts getting outside his main rhythm tone I'm guessing it's an amp party in the recording studio.

Yeah, I read in Guitar World that for both Rainier Fog and Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, they were blending even for his main rhythm tone. He says a Bogner is always in there somewhere. No word on whether it was the Alchemist, Uberschall or Fish preamp, because he's used all three in the past.
 

mikah912

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,952
Tones are all really solid, but you're going to get roasted here for implying that the Axe-Fx BE doesn't quite sound like the amp. :D

Should a BE100 with EL34s sound identical to a 20-watt JJ Jr. with EL84s, tho? No matter how identical the preamp topography may or may not be, the tubes/wattage has got to make a significant difference in tone.
 

DrewJD82

Member
Messages
1,083
If I'm not mistaken, the first single was A Looking In View. That song rules so hard it's ridiculous. What a crazy good comeback that was.

Indeed it was! I couldn’t remember the name and was being lazy. From the second that song starts it’s just “Yep, this is Alice In Chains”, but that bendy riff with all the delay….man. :love:
 

DrewJD82

Member
Messages
1,083
Yeah, I read in Guitar World that for both Rainier Fog and Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, they were blending even for his main rhythm tone. He says a Bogner is always in there somewhere. No word on whether it was the Alchemist, Uberschall or Fish preamp, because he's used all three in the past.

Add in the Snorker on Facelift; a Bogner modded JCM800 50 watt combo. Because I’m a Cantrell dork, I’ve had this saved on every computer/device I’ve owned since he posted it-

(Apologies for the wall of text, but this is unedited)

"...i know this is a really old thread,i just came across it...my name is Ronnie Champagne i was the engineer with Dave Jerden Producing on Facelift...i am the owner of the Snorkler...that we used for most of the guitar and some six string bass tracks on the album Facelift...its a Marshall 50 watt jcm 800 combo 4010 that i had Bogner modify for me...4-12ax7a tubes and el34's for power...i got in Canada in '83 as a trade for a 50 watt half stack that i didnt want to carry to the states when i moved to L.A. in '84...i was using Andy Brauer rentals in n.Hollywood for most of the gear we used on Janes Addiction's Nothings Shocking and Andy turned me onto a Bogner Modified jcm 800 that Rheinhold had modded...apparently he did a few...for Eddie and Steve and Joe...well i had the same amp and took it over to Rheinhold and asked him to do exactly the same thing to mine...he refused... saying that he was trying to launch his own product...i told him i didnt care how much it costs and that my clients would send him a ton of business,to which he capitulated,grudgingly....good move i'd say!this is the nastiest amp ive ever played thru...you are correct that we used a 4x12 with greenbacks in a stairwell all knobs on ten for solos...but we also used it in various settings for a multitude of overdubs...using a shure sm57 into a neve 1073 into a la-2a compressor/limiter to the tape machine...i also used it on Janes Ritual,Social Distortion,Deconstruction with Dave Navarro and Eric Avery from Janes....and many other records worldwide...plus i toured Europe with it as my main amp...we also used Bogner Ecstacy(?) and Fishes with Navarro....none had the totally full on brazen tone though...it is THE platinum amp,priceless to me(Jerry offered me big cash for it,but i aint no dummy!)in fact the last time i hung out with Alice(new guys) in Boston he still was complaining and wanting....as a side note i also used a R.K.Butler TubeDriver pre amp into a vintage Fender Bassman for many of the 'mellower' tones and also my pink Kramer Baretta 1 with a Ultrasonic 3 pickup(single and humbucker modes) plus a lot of Telecaster drop D tuned...the Snorkler responds unbelievably to single coil pick ups...we also used a Coral elecric sitar (amazing!) thru it...plus the six string bass for chorus's on many tracks...ala the Who....the Snorkler logo is from an old fire extinguisher i found in Hollywood...plus its a reference to blow snorters...my assistant attempted a clone of it but for some reason the o.g. still kicks its ass...ive a/b 'd it to most of the Bogner amps and this puppy is a boutique slayer...i also had some minor alterations done to it by the Professor in Seattle,mostly grounding and switches etc and he built me a new enclosure,i got the vox fabric from Jackson Brown....oh ya i used a KK Audio 1x12 cabinet with an ev 250 12L speaker(totally killer!)for most of the tracking....if y'all have any questions feel free to e-mail me at (removed)...i love chatting gear!but i live to play it!!!!Ronnie C.
 

machinated

Member
Messages
174
JJ circuit and BE circuit are pretty similar, should be able to coax a lot of similar tones between most Friedmans. The power sections would make a difference though.

I think the Uberschall is an underrated component of Cantrells tone in recent years. As is blending Greenback cabs with V30’s
 

Badonkey Kong

Member
Messages
391
Awesome as usual Jon. I haven't had a chance to plug in and play in over a month doing home reno stuff (still play every evening but just not plugged in to anything) but I am looking forward to giving your settings a try (and maybe grabbing that York pack) on my Helix.

I think you nailed the tone and the vibe. I've always loved those off the wall bends Jerry puts into things, seemingly always at the perfect place. Pure bad-assery... :D

And yeah, the last 3 albums really hit a sweet spot for production and consistently great material, although Would, Dem Bones, The Rooster, etc... will always just give me goosebumps, especially when cranked up.
 

Jarick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,098
Sounds killer as always Jon!

I'm always impressed with how you can dial in these great tones on any device, as well as the great production and riffs. I think you had that song in a prior video as well? It reminds me of "Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" era AIC!
 




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