No Wave (Guitar)

  • I know there are many guitarists lurking out there in the monome community. Any tips on getting a super harsh Arto Lindsay DNA days guitar tone? Sorry if this is way off monome topic but I'd much prefer to ask you all than on any guitar forums, I feel more at home here. Thanks HN

  • Not too familiar with the band but from a quick youtube search it looks like it could be pretty straight forward to accomplish.

    I noticed that in some vids he was using a 12 string, coupled with the hectic playing style would get some very interesting results.

    It sounds like the guitars have very little processing, just an overdriven tube amp. I would experiment with Eq-ing on the amp. Bass down, mids about "5" and trebles pretty high. If you have an amp with pre and post gain circuits try different combinations of presence and resonance on the post gain side.

    I'll have a play tonight when I get home and see if I can be of more use!!

    Oh yeah, nice clean new strings are always good at getting the harsh metally edge!

  • Thanks, I'll give those things a try tonight, hadn't even considered new strings duh. I've been using the same strings for about 5 years, love the dullness most of the time but I guess its killing some versatility. I hear a kind of chorusing on alot of his stuff too but maybe thats from the 12 string. I'd be glad to find that its not pedal enhanced, like you said just straight in to an amp, I'm fed up of gear and am trying to pair everything down. Still loving my little gs64 though

  • If you're looking at that kind of tone, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, that a lot of that stuff was recorded in the '70s or the '80s. That whole time is notorious for some seriously tinny recordings. A perfect example is just about everything that Spot did for the early SST bands (including Spot's own solo album). Some of it borders on unlistenable for me due to the insane amount of tin can fidelity happening on those albums. If it wasn't for the fact that the music was so damn good (early H

  • Definitely put on new strings!!

    I've had a Chuck Collins Harmonic Percolator for about 6 or 7 years, and I still use it quite regularly. Most of the time it's the only distortion pedal I use.

    Also worth noting, I'm pretty sure Albini plays with metal picks rather than plastic. If you can find a broken crash or ride cymbal and a saw, you could make one or three yourself.

    This might also be a good question to ask over at the electrical audio forums ( Aside from being snarky, they tend to be pretty good folks.

  • Haha.. troodat on the Electrical Audio forum. However they might enjoy dissecting Arto's tone if given the opportunity.

    Cool that you have that CC Percolator. They look ultra finicky to me but I'll bet that they are awesome when you find the sweet spots.

    Metal picks are also a good idea... you can even just buy them at most music stores these days. And definitely new strings.. haha.... Or at least take the ones you have off of your guitar, and drop them into boiling water for a bit.. and then put them back on after they are dried off. That will get you 1/2 way or so back to a new set of strings. Dull strings will muffle the harmonics which are naturally and constantly flying off of them. A big part of achieving the tone you're after is accentuating specific harmonic frequencies, and if your strings aren't giving you those.. no amp is going to fix it. It will all sound like it's coming out of a solid state Peavy practice amp from the '80s or something... and no one needs to deal with that, believe me.

    I got to see Shellac twice last year and they are still ripping it as hard as ever. Wish I'd have seen that Big Black reunion at the T&G Festival a few years ago though.. ahh well...

  • > It will all sound like it's coming out of a solid state Peavy practice amp from the '80s or something... and no one needs to deal with that, believe me.


    unstable might be a better word than finicky for the percolators.. they squeal quite nicely, albeit sometimes too often.

    i didn't know about the boiling the strings bit.. does that help remove oxidation?

    and yeah, that big black reunion was worth it, even though it was only 4 songs. not to rub it in or anything ;)

  • Metal picks and new strings would be my starting point too. I used to use a metal pick with my bass and that made for some interesting sounds. Not sure if Lindsay was using them though... The sound is fairly distinctive, and the DNA I know was a little less shredding than the typical metal pick sound I got.

    Albini probably used metal picks, but be warned... The armor doesn't always protect your fingers:

    I believe that shirt to have been white at the beginning of the gig. Ouch.

    Shellac live is something everyone should experience. I just hope they're still playing when my kids are old enough to go see 'em.

  • Kerosene is my all time-fave Big Black song. I was just watching that CBGB performance yesterday. I, too, doubt that Arto was using metal picks, but it would still be worth the experimentation if getting to know that kind of tone is your game.

    Boiling strings is kind of a trick that bass players sometimes use, given that a set of bass strings can often set a guy back more than is desired on a constant basis.. especially in a touring situation. You'll get a fair bit of slinky tone back into your strings by boiling the crap off of them when you can. Also, finding random boiling pots of water is never anything I am able to regularly lock-down while on the road (imagine that?).. at least guitar strings are cheaper.

    Also, it can pay to try out various brands of strings because, depending on the core materials and grade of steel used, a person's PH will react very differently while playing. There are certain brands of strings that I can kill in one night of practicing - easily. Then there are the ones that I've found can last weeks without too much tone loss. Everyone's body is going to be different so experimentation is the only way.

  • hey, cool ... hadn't heard about him before ... watched this: and in the beginning when he demos his guitar sound i was goin: 'oh dear ...' but the song they play after that is really nice. he seems to be referred to on the web as a free jazz or punk guitarist, what i've heard so far reminds me more of Talkin Heads or Arthur Russel

    he's got one of my favorite guitar amps, the Roland Jazz Chorus .. gotta get myself one of these some day, they're really cheap now ...

    thx for posting this, always good to find new music to listen to :)

  • @discopimp

    Did you see that plaid suit Melvin Gibbs is wearing? My eyes! The goggles... They do nothing!

  • Wow, there are a lot of shellac fans here, I haven't seen them live in about 6 years, nice to know they're still as good as ever.

    Albini used to use what looked to be custom built amps the times when I saw them, all they had on the front was a on/off switch, a VU meter and 1 big knob in the middle, things looked amazing.

  • Hey everyone, thanks for the replies. I knew you wouldn't let me down. I read somewhere that Arto completely detunes the low strings on his 12 string until they dont really make a note, just rattle around, you can hear that the rest of the strings are a really strange tuning. I believe in experimentation and originality, but when I hear someone with a great tone, playing style etc I find it helpful to try and work out what they're using and what they're doing with it, before moving on, and hopefully taking some of it with me.
    @ discopimp Yeah I love that video, not as much as this one though;
    The Lounge Lizards with a great Marc Ribot solo. Arto was an original member of the Lounge Lizards. One of my favourite bands ever.