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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
anyone know how steve got that tone for the crossroads movie? i've wondered that for years. that, to this day, is the best tone i have heard. that wailing tight, thick, crunch tone he has there is just amazing.

thanks,
steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i just love that tone. here's maybe a stupid question...why would you need a ds-1 or any distortion pedal if you have a marshall cranked? or any head for that matter? would you run distortion on the head AND the pedal? wouldn't that be too much? i never messed much with distortion pedals..i always used the preamps in the rack units OR the head itself.
 

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shredmaster said:
i just love that tone. here's maybe a stupid question...why would you need a ds-1 or any distortion pedal if you have a marshall cranked? or any head for that matter? would you run distortion on the head AND the pedal? wouldn't that be too much? i never messed much with distortion pedals..i always used the preamps in the rack units OR the head itself.
Older amp designs dont have very much gain. The ds-1 is not used as an actual distortion pedal only as a tone booster, think of it as almost a preamp or eq pedal that changes the signal's overall eq shape. TONS of guitarist use this and some of the best tones ever made are created with this type of setup. Its not easy to dial in but once your in the zone with it it is fun. I prefer a real high gain head myself but this was the only high gain tone years ago, and I think its more of a leftover from the fact that vai has been playing for years and is really used to this sound. You think if he was starting out now he would be using a different amp design? I would think so
 

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sniperfrommars1 said:
Older amp designs dont have very much gain. The ds-1 is not used as an actual distortion pedal only as a tone booster, think of it as almost a preamp or eq pedal that changes the signal's overall eq shape. TONS of guitarist use this and some of the best tones ever made are created with this type of setup. Its not easy to dial in but once your in the zone with it it is fun. I prefer a real high gain head myself but this was the only high gain tone years ago, and I think its more of a leftover from the fact that vai has been playing for years and is really used to this sound. You think if he was starting out now he would be using a different amp design? I would think so
it's nice to use a pedal for a bit of gain boost if you don't want to play with high gain all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hmmm....cool. all the years of playing, i just plugged in to my heads or amps or pres. right now i use line6 pod pro....maybe i'll check out the pedals. i just hung around people who couldn't afford nice amps (well i couldn't really either) and i thought they used the distortion pedals cuz their amps had no distortion. maybe i'll pick up a pedal to use in combination with my crate 2X12 combo distortion? hmmm. thanks!
 

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The Crossroads tone is very processed - just like the Eat'em and Smile, Skyscraper and SOTT...
A lot of compression, some delay, not much distortion and an Eventide H3000 Harmoniser.
Oh, and a LOT of compression.
Add Paf Pros and one of the best electric guitar players at the time -> Jack Butler.....
I'm pretty sure Steve was playing Carvin X100B amps at the time.

ilia
 

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I think lots of Vai's tone comes from the (2) eventide 3000s and the eventide H949 he uses. I'm wanting an Eventide Harmonizer really bad. If you're looking for Vai's tone or those Hollow distortion runs ..... well, get an eventide and a Lexicon PCM 70 reverberator. You'll sound better than you actually are ..... if you've got the cash to drop on them.

Later, Jeremy
 

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dex said:
The Crossroads tone is very processed - just like the Eat'em and Smile, Skyscraper and SOTT...
A lot of compression, some delay, not much distortion and an Eventide H3000 Harmoniser.
Oh, and a LOT of compression.
Add Paf Pros and one of the best electric guitar players at the time -> Jack Butler.....
I'm pretty sure Steve was playing Carvin X100B amps at the time.

ilia
pardon the ignorance... but does the Eventide add the distortion? :?:?

I mean, with my boss pedalboard, i can only get that kind of thick sound we all love and use (not that i get near Steves sound there, but you get my meaning :lol: ) by using a little distortion, and lots of gain in the amp modeller (i think "metal" with 90% gain is what i use, dont remember now)...

So, when you say "not much distortion" you leave me reaaally confused!!
 

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You see there's a lot of misconception about Steve's tone.
Most people don't realise that the distortion level is under 7 but there's a compressor maxed out in front of the distortion.
Add a little reverb (or delay) and away you go.
The only way to get that really compressed sound without a compressor is to max out the gain on your Boss/amp (which is what most people do) but then the tone becomes too buzzy and Steve's is very clear and violin like.
Anyway, Steve used so much gear on Disturbing the Piece, Eat'em and Smile, Skyscraper and SOTT that getting that tone out of 2/3 pedals and an amp is not going to be easy.

ilia
 

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dex said:
You see there's a lot of misconception about Steve's tone.
Most people don't realise that the distortion level is under 7 but there's a compressor maxed out in front of the distortion.
Add a little reverb (or delay) and away you go.
The only way to get that really compressed sound without a compressor is to max out the gain on your Boss/amp (which is what most people do) but then the tone becomes too buzzy and Steve's is very clear and violin like.
Anyway, Steve used so much gear on Disturbing the Piece, Eat'em and Smile, Skyscraper and SOTT that getting that tone out of 2/3 pedals and an amp is not going to be easy.

ilia
Or possible at all.

Regards

André
 

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dex said:
You see there's a lot of misconception about Steve's tone.
Most people don't realise that the distortion level is under 7 but there's a compressor maxed out in front of the distortion.
Add a little reverb (or delay) and away you go.
The only way to get that really compressed sound without a compressor is to max out the gain on your Boss/amp (which is what most people do) but then the tone becomes too buzzy and Steve's is very clear and violin like.
Anyway, Steve used so much gear on Disturbing the Piece, Eat'em and Smile, Skyscraper and SOTT that getting that tone out of 2/3 pedals and an amp is not going to be easy.

ilia
I see... thanx! :)

ill try it out with compression, always felt compression kinda killed the note's sustain...
 

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Killed the sustain?.......have you noticed that Boss's compressor is called compressor/sustainer?.......
A good compressor (stay away from Boss) will sustain the note very well and compress the sound so you'll have great sustain and punchy sound without distortion.

ilia
 

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I have Crossroads on DVD, watching it showed me a couple things: He's not using the Green Meanie like I thought he was. He's using a red sparkle Charvel, looks like a soloist. The pickups are direct mount, not on a pickguard. Although I'm sure they're PAF Pros, no doubt about it. He is using the Carvin though. As far as the effects go...I remember reading somewhere when Steve was talking about what he used that he kept it pretty simple. I don't think he used the Eventides on it, I remember him saying that he had his Phase 90 (doesn't sound like he used it) and a Crybaby. There were other things too but I can't remember them. I absolutely love Steve's sound in the 80's, like on "Is This Love" where he must have had every effect he had on it, but the Jack Butler sound is more stripped down and basic. I'd try just a plain Marshall amp, a compressor, reverb, a wah pedal, and a PAF Pro-equipped guitar if I was going for that sound.
 

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It was RECORDED with the Green Meanie. That Red charvel is just a stage prop,it never belonged to him. He may have been playing when they shot the scenes, but what you hear was recorded at a different time.

Thats why you can hear fancy fills and stuff that you can see that Vai obviously isnt doing if you watch his fingers carefully.
 
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