Who got in Metallica’s ear on the justice tour?

BatmansRigTalk

Active member
In metal, you have to gig with more mids, or everything else gets drowned out by the other instruments.

That is why scooping mids is great if you demo an amp or play it alone but the moment guitarists hit a live setting or play in the band then it becomes quickly apparent that you have to change your settings and the one to change is to bump the mids. Sometimes not even bumping but diming it all the way.

Some guitarists just put the bass on zero, max the mids, and have the trebs a high, and play on a stage sounding completely fine.

That is why when you go to see a guitarist they have a light backing band so they can dial things however they want but when you compete with drums and bass and vocals roaring, forget it. It's mid or nothing.

The moral of the story is that electric guitar is a mid-range instrument.
 

Philhouse

Active member
James recognises his live tones don't work as studio tones, could have been self realisation or could have been Big Mick proving it to him over the years?

"Is your studio setup the same as your live setup?
HETFIELD: My live sound does not work in the studio, which is a completely different animal. Every little thing is detrimental to the sound."


 

Dave L

Well-known member
Cool interview, I remember reading it decades ago when I wasn´t that into gear yet. Kind of surprising to me that Kirk mainly used the 3+ and some Marshalls instead of the Boogie stuff.
 

JimAnsell

Active member
i used to tape trade metallica bootlegs in high school, in the 90s. I listened to tons of their gigs from that tour and TBA tour, and generally these audience recordings back then were made with mics that had pretty extreme bass roll off to prevent clipping, so literally all you hear are mids and highs and it sounds so weird and "tin-y" at first, but you get used to it. you really can't fuck with those performances though. they were on fire.
 

Racerxrated

Well-known member
As much as I love a good Mesa, they have a hard time cutting even in a one guitar band. I gigged a few times with my first C+ before I realized it just didn’t translate that well live…went back to gigging with one of my Marshall’s after that.
 

Metalhex

Well-known member
In metal, you have to gig with more mids, or everything else gets drowned out by the other instruments.

That is why scooping mids is great if you demo an amp or play it alone but the moment guitarists hit a live setting or play in the band then it becomes quickly apparent that you have to change your settings and the one to change is to bump the mids. Sometimes not even bumping but diming it all the way.

Some guitarists just put the bass on zero, max the mids, and have the trebs a high, and play on a stage sounding completely fine.

That is why when you go to see a guitarist they have a light backing band so they can dial things however they want but when you compete with drums and bass and vocals roaring, forget it. It's mid or nothing.

The moral of the story is that electric guitar is a mid-range instrument.
Would a scooped mids sound work live if you turn the volume up to be heard? Why won't that work?
 

Speeddemon

Well-known member
Would a scooped mids sound work live if you turn the volume up to be heard? Why won't that work?
Because with a scooped mids sound, you're mainly occupying roughly the same sonic space as bass guitar and cymbals.
On AJFA, because of the (almost) absent bass guitar in the mix, it worked when scooping the guitar tone, almost suggesting a pseudo-bass, but if your bass player has a prominent sound (think Steve Harris), you're better off with more mids in your guitar tone, or you'd be overshadowed by the other instruments. If you listen to Maiden, the guitarists have a shit-ton of mids in their tone.

If you ever used a Boss MT-2 Metalzone, that you tried your best to create a Dimebag-like tone with, and then you want to play in a band, especially with another guitarist, you'll quickly realise why the absence of mids and only screechy highs and some lows results in you not being heard in the band mix.
 

BatmansRigTalk

Active member
Would a scooped mids sound work live if you turn the volume up to be heard? Why won't that work?
The other lanes can't be used because of big trucks on the bass lane and sports cars flying along the trebs lane but the middle lane is free for your car share to go along without the trucks and sports cars getting in the way. By scooping you are basically trying to get the car share onto the truck and sports car lane. If those lanes are free, it sounds great. If those lanes aren't (like in a band) then you don't have the vehicle to compete. You get crushed by the trucks or the sports cars just zoom past you and won't let you in.
 

TheGreatGreen

Well-known member
Would a scooped mids sound work live if you turn the volume up to be heard? Why won't that work?

When you're playing with a band, amps with scooped mids tend to have a strange softness or squishyness to them that's kind of a unique characteristic of a scooped tone. Even when you turn them up, you get a boomy bass and sibilant highs, but all the clarity in your pick attack, the definition, and depth/richness of the tone... just isn't there. And I'm saying this as somebody who loves big, tight, modern high gain tones.

I think it's possible to scoop some of the mids just a *tiny* bit for added clarity and to lessen the megaphone / cocked wah effect of too much mids, like just a couple db, but it's very easy to go overboard. Anything more than that just hollows out your tone.
 

glip22

Well-known member
Metallica's live tone.... There sound has no power or thump live. The last tour's sound was so bad we almost left the stadium. I think it was the Worldwired tour. It was as if there was a wall between them and the audience. It was really that bad and I am a fan. It was impossible to connect with them because of it and it was not the venue. U2 blew them away for sound. Rush destroyed them in the same stadium. The sound sucked worse than any of the 12 shows I saw recently. Back in the day I saw them once and it was much better from what I can remember.
 

Donnie B.

Well-known member
Didn't they also kinda shaft Newsted during the final mix by putting him crazy low?
Justice was weird in that it was definitely some of their most brutal and pissed off shit
but the album just sounded really thin.

Check this out:

 

tonedover

Member
…And Justice had ZERO mids and live was CRAZY mids. Like Slayer mid bump shit. Anybody know who dropped the hammer? Big Mic?


wow i cant believe ive either never noticed this before, or never listened to the justice tour live before.... more mids than the black tour as well

its a DISTINCT difference
 

Speeddemon

Well-known member
Didn't they also kinda shaft Newsted during the final mix by putting him crazy low?
Justice was weird in that it was definitely some of their most brutal and pissed off shit
but the album just sounded really thin.

Check this out:

Yep, the story was that Lars approached the engineer with what he (=Lars) wanted as a drum-mix and the engineer told him it was shitty. He mixed it the way he wanted, including a great marriage of Jason's bass tone with Hetfield's rhythm parts. Lars then asked the guy 'what happened to my drum sound' and then wanted the bass 'almost inaudible'...and then even asked 'drop it another 6 to 8dB!'

So, because Jason was still getting hazed as the new guy and Lars is a vindictive lil' punk, the result was that battle was fought out over an album mix!
 

Monkey Man

Super Moderator
Yep, the story was that Lars approached the engineer with what he (=Lars) wanted as a drum-mix and the engineer told him it was shitty. He mixed it the way he wanted, including a great marriage of Jason's bass tone with Hetfield's rhythm parts. Lars then asked the guy 'what happened to my drum sound' and then wanted the bass 'almost inaudible'...and then even asked 'drop it another 6 to 8dB!'

So, because Jason was still getting hazed as the new guy and Lars is a vindictive lil' punk, the result was that battle was fought out over an album mix!
That's exactly what I heard many years ago; there's some truth to that for sure IMHO.

The results speak for themselves.
 

BatmansRigTalk

Active member
Yep, the story was that Lars approached the engineer with what he (=Lars) wanted as a drum-mix and the engineer told him it was shitty. He mixed it the way he wanted, including a great marriage of Jason's bass tone with Hetfield's rhythm parts. Lars then asked the guy 'what happened to my drum sound' and then wanted the bass 'almost inaudible'...and then even asked 'drop it another 6 to 8dB!'

So, because Jason was still getting hazed as the new guy and Lars is a vindictive lil' punk, the result was that battle was fought out over an album mix!
The same engineer was talking with Lars years later and reminded him of what Lars told him to do and Lars was like "Huh? I don't remember any of that."
 
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