• Wish list
  • gb
    Choose your store
    All countries
  • 0

Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Guitar Setups

4. Metal-Setup

Though ‘metal’ is nowadays a rather broad category encompassing many discrete styles, most of our observations here cover the whole range, as the basic requirements are the same - high gain and high volume!

The Guitar

There is no precise dividing line between heavy rock and metal, in sonic terms at least. Early metal bands simply went one stage further than the heavy rock bands of the Seventies by turning up louder, using more distortion and playing harder and faster. Consequently the gear used in the early days was more or less the same.

The Strat and Les Paul each offered advantages to early heavy rock/metal players, and it was only a matter of time before players and designers would conspire to combine the high output of humbuckers with the expressive potential of a whammy bar - ‘Superstrat’ describes a Strat-style guitar with at least one humbucker. The Fender tremolo, though radical in its day, was not really designed for the sort of antics that metal players were getting into by the late Seventies and early Eighties. The Floyd Rose tremolo, introduced around this time, offers greatly improved tuning stability and the ability to bend both up and down. A Floyd Rose-equipped Superstrat became the weapon of choice for metal-merchants, and a number of guitar manufacturers appeared as if from nowhere to claim territory that Gibson and Fender were a little slow to identify, the big names being Charvel/Jackson, ESP and of course BC Rich. The latter company’s designs are possibly the most iconic metal guitars, with their rather rude shapes and even ruder names. Ibanez catered for the needs of the more sophisticated metal player, and have long been identified with virtuosos such as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani.

Paul Reed Smith guitars combine the best of the Gibson and Fender traditions with guitars that have set new standards in build quality, versatility and choice of sounds. Though not cheap, and originally aimed at a rather different type of guitarist, PRS guitars are highly popular with American nu-metal players.

The Amp

This is one style where combos don’t usually make enough noise to compete. A metal player needs to hold his own against shrieking vocals and pounding drums, often including very large crash cymbals and a double kick-drum pedal. Metal audiences have come to expect a wall of sound that can be felt as well as heard - to this end a 100W stack with two 4x12” cabs has become the norm, even for relatively small venues.

The venerable Marshall stack is still a popular choice, but other companies have specifically targeted the metal scene. The most significant of these is undoubtedly Mesa-Boogie, whose ‘Dual Rectifier’ valve heads have a sound which, though firmly in the Marshall tradition is a little more ‘processed’, but also more aggressive and simultaneously clearer - heavy distortion with less ‘surface fuzz’, in a sense. This is the dominant sound of nu-metal.

Effects

Though having the correct basic sound will cover most of the ground in heavy metal, a few effects are specifically associated with the style, and often employed for solos and instrumental sections. ‘Flanging’ and ‘phasing’ are particularly effective when used on clean sounds for intros and verse patterns - without some effects, the contrast between clean and fully distorted sounds can be a little too extreme.

The ‘octaver’ effect is also generally associated with heavy metal. This is a pitch shifter which produces the effect of playing in octaves from a single note or chord. When combined with distortion, the effect is big and thick. ‘Pitch shifting’ in general can also be used to enable one player to replicate the ‘twin lead’ sound of Thin Lizzy or Iron Maiden, particularly the more sophisticated ‘intelligent’ pitch shifters which vary the interval they produce to give diatonic harmonies in a specific key or mode.

When using heavy distortion, effects placement becomes particularly critical. Certain effects sound awful when placed before distortion –chorus or flanging for example – and must therefore be placed either after the distortion pedal, or in an FX loop. Any pitch shifting effect, including octaving, should be placed before distortion, otherwise the distortion harmonics themselves will be shifted with rather odd-sounding results.

Your Contact People
Phone: +49-9546-9223-20
FAX: +49-9546-9223-24
Hot Deals Get Your Free Copy of our Hot Deals Catalogue!

More than 8.300.000 musicians are avid readers of Thomann's Hot Deals catalogue. Get your free copy now! More than 400 current offers!

Question!
Question! Give the right answer and win 1x Samson Powerbrite PB10 worth €85.
How many sales departments has Musicstore Thomann?
Conditions of participation
Terms and Conditions for participation
in online competitions

Note: Participation in an online competition runs independently from any purchase at Thomann GmbH. The following Competition Rules apply when participating in any online competition run by Musikhaus Thomann:

  1. Competition

    1. The competitions are organised by Thomann GmbH, CEO: Hans Thomann, Hans-Thomann-Straße 1, 96138 Burgebrach, Germany.
  2. Participation

    1. Competitions are only open to persons of full age.
    2. To take part in the competition you must answer all questions correctly, fill in the registration form and submit your entry to Thomann GmbH by pressing the "send" button.
      By pressing the "send" button the participant accepts the aforementioned terms and conditions.
    3. The participant is responsible for entering their email and/or postal address correctly. Entries to the competition will be logged electronically.
  3. Qualifying Entrants

    1. Staff of Thomann GmbH and any cooperation partners and their dependants are excluded from participation.
    2. Should these conditions of participation be violated, especially by using illegitimate means, Thomann GmbH reserves the right to exclude persons from the competition. In case of such violations prizes can be withdrawn and claimed back subsequently.
  4. Announcing the winner

    1. The winners will be notified by Thomann GmbH by email or in writing and their names may be published on the homepage www.thomann.de. The winner accepts this form of publication explicitly.
      Should for whatever reason the winner not claim their prize, then a new winner will be drawn.
    2. The prize presented to the winner may not be identical to the item description. There can be deviances regarding the model, colour etc.
    3. The merchandise prizes will be sent by Thomann GmbH or by one of its contracting delivery companies, per freight forwarder, courier or postal service to the postal address indicated by the winner.

      The delivery is free of charge. Only extra transport costs and customs/duties must be covered by the winner. In the case that the delivery has to be made through a freight forwarding company the freight forwarding company will contact the winner to arrange delivery timings.
    4. An exchange, cash alternative or replacement prize is not possible.
    5. The claim to the prize or replacement of the prize cannot be assigned to a third party.
  5. Data protection

    1. The participant accepts explicitly that Thomann GmbH saves all necessary data for the duration of the competition and forwards them exclusively for purposes related to the winning process to the respective cooperation partner, who is also permitted to save the personal data only for the duration of the competition. The participant is free to withdraw his entry at any time. Please direct the withdrawal to:

      Thomann GmbH
      to the data protection officer
      Hans-Thomann-Straße 1
      96138 Burgebrach, Germany
    2. Thomann GmbH is obliged to consider the regulations for data protection according to the Federal Data Protection Law (BDSG) valid at the conclusion of the competition. In this context the general data protection regulations under notes regarding data protection should be noted.
  6. Liability

    1. Thomann GmbH will be released from any obligations by handing out the prize.
    2. Thomann GmbH is not liable for the insolvency of a cooperation partner and the resulting consequences for the implementation and processing of the competition.
  7. Other

    1. Legal proceedings are barred.
    2. The law of the Federal Republic of Germany applies exclusively.
One of our Fans
I would like to complement you on your excellent customer service. I would not hesitate to buy from your company again
drxxxne@btixxx.com, 25.08.2017

Guitar Setups overview

Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 Upgrade Roland SH-01A gray Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 Varytec LED Theater Spot 100 3000K Digitech SDRUM Strummable Drums Boss Katana Mini Fender Standard Telecaster MN BB Kala Spruce Mahagony Sopran Ukulele Arturia KeyLab Essentials 61 Stairville Octagon 20x6W Tourpack 4 Darkglass Alpha Omicron Bass Distortion Arturia KeyLab Essentials 49
(4)
Recommended
Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 Upgrade

Virtual Drum Production Studio (Download)Upgrade from Toontrack Superior Drummer 2 to Superior Drummer 3 Based on meticulously recorded samples of high quality drums, Recorded in 11.1 Surround by George Massenburg in the Galaxy Studios, Over 230GB...

to the product
€169
Recommended
Roland SH-01A gray

Roland SH-01A gray, sounds of the classic roland sh-101 synthesizer via acb technology; new unison, chord, and four-voice polyphonic modes expand on the original's sound palette; built-in sequencer with 64 patterns; arpeggiator with 3 playback modes, note hold, 3-way transpose...

to the product
€398
Recommended
Toontrack Superior Drummer 3

Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 (ESD); virtual drum production studio; extensively produced drum software, based on meticulously recorded samples of high end drums; recorded in 11.1 surround sound at the Galaxy Studios by George Massenburg; over 230 GB of raw, unprocessed...

to the product
€329
Recommended
Varytec LED Theater Spot 100 3000K

LED Theatre Spotlights With Fresnel lens and 3000K colour temperature, Replaces conventional stepped lens spotlights of the 500 - 650 W class, Adjustable beam angle via manual zoom, Very quiet temperature-controlled fan for quiet operation, Light source: 100 W...

to the product
€321
Recommended
Digitech SDRUM Strummable Drums

Digitech SDRUM Strummable Drums, drum machine in stomp box format, creates drum patterns based on scatches and strums across muted strings, 5 studio quality drumkit sounds, 12 different hats/rides styles, stores up to 36 differents songs, 3 song parts programmable...

to the product
€219
(1)
Recommended
Boss Katana Mini

Modelling Combo Amplifier for Electric Guitar 3 Basic amplifier types selectable (Brown/Crunch/Clean), Analogue multi-stage gain circuit with 3-Band analogue EQ, Channels: 1, Power: 7 W, Equipped with: 1x 4" speaker, Cabinet construction: Closed, Controls: (Mono): Gain, Volume, Bass, Middle,...

to the product
€98
Recommended
Fender Standard Telecaster MN BB

Electric Guitar Mexico, Alder body, Maple neck, Modern "C" neck profile, Fretboard: Maple, 21 Medium jumbo frets, Nut width: 42 mm, Scale: 648 mm (25.5"), Pickup: 2 Standard Tele Single Coil, 3-Way toggle switch, Volume knob and tone knob,...

to the product
€595
Recommended
Kala Spruce Mahagony Sopran Ukulele

Kala Spruce Mahagony Soprano Ukulele, Soprano body size, 348 mm scale, overall length 533 mm, Spruce top, Mahogany back and sides, Mahogany neck, 12 nickel silver frets, Black Walnut fingerboard, Black Walnut bridge, chrome, geared machineheads, Aquila Super Nylgut strings,...

to the product
€78
Recommended
Arturia KeyLab Essentials 61

USB MIDI Keyboard 61 Velocity-sensitive keys, 8 Velocity dynamic pads with aftertouch, A Clickable encoder, 9 Rotary control, 9 Faders, 13 Keys, Transport section with 4 function buttons, LCD display, Pitchbend and modulation wheel, Chord Play mode, Mackie /...

to the product
€249
Recommended
Stairville Octagon 20x6W Tourpack 4

Stairville Octagon Theater 20x6W 4x Tourpack incl. Flightcase, 20x6W CW / WW / A, Complete Tourpack with 4 pieces Stairville Octagon Theater 20x6W in a stable roadcase. Professional LED Theatre Spot with infinitely adjustable colour temperature. The, Octagon Theatre is...

to the product
€925
Recommended
Darkglass Alpha Omicron Bass Distortion

Effect Pedal for Electric Guitar Provides the distortion and flexibility of the alpha-omega in a smaller format, With the two distortions, it offers the same harmonically rich, various sounds as its big brother, Knobs: Blend - mod - level...

to the product
€269
Recommended
Arturia KeyLab Essentials 49

USB MIDI Keyboard 49 Velocity-sensitive keys, 8 Velocity-sensitive pads with aftertouch, 1 clickable encoder, 9 Rotary control, 9 Faders, 13 Buttons, Transport section with 4 function buttons, LCD display, Pitchbend and modulation wheel, Chord Play mode, Mackie / HUI...

to the product
€199
Feedback Found an error or want to give us feedback about this page?

We're looking forward to hearing from you and aim to solve any problems as soon as we can.

Please leave a comment. Please enter your e-mail address.