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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone know how Ed REALLY recorded using his Peavey 5150s?

    I was working on a demo recording with my band today, (which happened to be our cover of Unchained). 'My tone' that I am always going for is similar to Balance and For Unlawful, so I figured I'd take a shot at the song using the Hagar era settings. I quickly came to realize that I have no idea how Ed ACTUALLY recorded in studio when he was using his 5150 heads.

    Now, I know like say for Balance, Ed just recorded the amp dry, then added effects later -- that makes sense. I can do that and my detune is so close to his I'm not worried about it. But getting the base recorded amp tone is the hard part. I'm close, but I'm wondering if anyone 'knows better' and knows what Ed really did.

    What I'm really wondering about are the details of how loud it was, how many cabs did he use, how many speakers were mic'd, where were the mics placed, etc.....

    Are there any friends of Ed who have been in 5150 during a recording session lurking around here on the forums?

  2. #2
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    He's always said he just uses 2 sm57's on a speaker.
    One in front and one @ an angle.
    I used to have a MIX magazine from 1995 and i think Eddie talked about recording in the issue.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybeane View Post
    He's always said he just uses 2 sm57's on a speaker.
    One in front and one @ an angle.
    I used to have a MIX magazine from 1995 and i think Eddie talked about recording in the issue.

    JB
    Thanks -- if you have more info from that magazine, it would be great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybeane View Post
    He's always said he just uses 2 sm57's on a speaker.
    One in front and one @ an angle.
    I used to have a MIX magazine from 1995 and i think Eddie talked about recording in the issue.

    JB
    I heard the same thing, only from an interview later on (I think as recently as '04, when he was talking about recording the BOBW tunes). Two 57s--one straight on the cone and one at an angle. How he busses and/or mixes them together is anybody's guess. But, yeah, Ed had recorded most things with one amp and one cab, dry. Effects happen in the mix.

    Remember, though, that there is a lot more to it than just mics and cabs. The odds are those mics are going through one or more elite mic pre-amps, tubed or otherwise. And even the channel pre-amps on both the tape machine (Ed still tracks analog initially) and the SSL board in 5150 have a big impact on tone (the SSL is what's currently in there, though there was something else post-1989/pre-2000-ish that FUCK and Balance were recorded on). Moreover, he might be using some sort of compression, and he's likely EQing slightly at the board. Then there's the room. Is the cab sitting directly on the floor, or does it have wheels on it? Is the room small and carpeted or large and reflective? Even if you're putting mics straight on a speaker the environment matters. My buddy who co-engineered III said once that Ed had him putting his cab everywhere from the bathroom to the closet.

    Though I don't really think my tone is incredibly similar to Ed's (despite playing a Wolfgang through any version of a 5150), I've had some surprising "accidental" uncanny EVH tone moments, and I generally always stumbled on them by accident. I honestly think it's just best to play around with EQs, settings, mics, and mic pre-amps to see what you come up with. Replicating Ed's supposed settings and even mic placement is still just a small part of what happens in the studio.

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    don't forget..20 000$ worth of rack effect, and a Top gun mixer, a moded 5150, broken speakers..and hum...oh, Ed's hands..

  6. #6
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    I'm surprised to read that Ed recorded his 5150 dry and added the effects later. Isn't that opposite of what he did in the early days with his Marshall and classic pedal effects? I remember Gene Simmons saying most people record dry and add effects later but that Eddie did it the other way and it worked perfectly. I always liked that about Ed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    I heard the same thing, only from an interview later on (I think as recently as '04, when he was talking about recording the BOBW tunes). Two 57s--one straight on the cone and one at an angle. How he busses and/or mixes them together is anybody's guess. But, yeah, Ed had recorded most things with one amp and one cab, dry. Effects happen in the mix.

    Moreover, he might be using some sort of compression, and he's likely EQing slightly at the board. Then there's the room. Is the cab sitting directly on the floor, or does it have wheels on it? Is the room small and carpeted or large and reflective? Even if you're putting mics straight on a speaker the environment matters. My buddy who co-engineered III said once that Ed had him putting his cab everywhere from the bathroom to the closet.

    I honestly think it's just best to play around with EQs, settings, mics, and mic pre-amps to see what you come up with. Replicating Ed's supposed settings and even mic placement is still just a small part of what happens in the studio.
    Thanks! That is exactly the kind of info I am looking for. I realize I'm never gonna get his tone, but there are certain tricks like you mentioned that will get me at least a tone that is better than what I am getting for recording. Really, I'm not trying to outright copy Ed's tone -- but the tone I hear in my head that I'm after is fairly similar to Eds during the 90's, which is why I go about 'chasing my tone' with a 5150 and similar gear to Ed.

    I kinda figured he would experiment a ton with the cab's environment.... I'll have to do that more once my new studio is finished.

    Has anyone used a stock 5150 cab for recording and had good luck? I have 2 x 12" versions of 5150 cabs (the bottoms of 5150 combos), and those are tough speakers to get sounding NOT harsh. I'm guessing it will become much easier to record though when I can put them in an isolated amp closet and crank them up as much as I want...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    Thanks! That is exactly the kind of info I am looking for. I realize I'm never gonna get his tone, but there are certain tricks like you mentioned that will get me at least a tone that is better than what I am getting for recording. Really, I'm not trying to outright copy Ed's tone -- but the tone I hear in my head that I'm after is fairly similar to Eds during the 90's, which is why I go about 'chasing my tone' with a 5150 and similar gear to Ed.

    I kinda figured he would experiment a ton with the cab's environment.... I'll have to do that more once my new studio is finished.

    Has anyone used a stock 5150 cab for recording and had good luck? I have 2 x 12" versions of 5150 cabs (the bottoms of 5150 combos), and those are tough speakers to get sounding NOT harsh. I'm guessing it will become much easier to record though when I can put them in an isolated amp closet and crank them up as much as I want...
    Are you using any tube mic pre-amps? If not, see about getting one or two. I've got a few affordable recommendations if you want them.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    Are you using any tube mic pre-amps? If not, see about getting one or two. I've got a few affordable recommendations if you want them.
    Actually, no I'm not.... I know it makes a difference, but I figured that my mixer's inputs would be good enough if I could get the amp sounding great... will a tube pre really take the harshness off the speakers?
    Last edited by mrjstudios; 04.18.09 at 09:19 AM.

  10. #10
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    when i record using my 5150 i really like the sound of my celestion loaded marshall 4x12, it's not the regular sized one but quite a bit smaller, i think it came with the valvestate line of amps (i think brett mentioned he used one too) anyway they round the edges off the tone quite nicely in the studio, but i prefer the stock 5150 cabs live.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommywho5150 View Post
    when i record using my 5150 i really like the sound of my celestion loaded marshall 4x12, it's not the regular sized one but quite a bit smaller, i think it came with the valvestate line of amps (i think brett mentioned he used one too) anyway they round the edges off the tone quite nicely in the studio, but i prefer the stock 5150 cabs live.
    Ya, I've noticed I like the sound of the 5150 cab a lot better live than in the studio.

  12. #12
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    My recollection is that he was actually RECORDING his "dry" tone using his old Marshall cabs with low-wattage speakers. The 5150 cabs were certainly a staple for his live playing. I could easily be wrong.

    Maybe in his W/D/W (wet-dry-wet) rig the Marshall sat in the middle, while the higher wattage cabs were on the book-ends. Possibly the significantly higher-wattage 5150 cabs would be better at handling "effected" tones while maintaining resonance? I wouldn't know....that's pure speculation, and probably pointless.

    We know Carnal Knowledge was recorded almost totally with a Soldano amp w/ low-wattage Celestions, and also a test model CAE 3+ preamp for "Judgement Day" and maybe one other tune. I doubt there were any Sheffields on that album, so we can forget it as a point of reference.

    I did have a Peavey rep. tell me once that Eddie was scolded for still having a Marshall cab visibly on stage during the Balance tour, but that could be baloney as well.

    You'll notice the 5150 III cabs are back to 20-watt Celestions. Not the mega-bass resonance-monsters like the Sheffields.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majestic View Post
    My recollection is that he was actually RECORDING his "dry" tone using his old Marshall cabs with low-wattage speakers. The 5150 cabs were certainly a staple for his live playing. I could easily be wrong.

    Maybe in his W/D/W (wet-dry-wet) rig the Marshall sat in the middle, while the higher wattage cabs were on the book-ends. Possibly the significantly higher-wattage 5150 cabs would be better at handling "effected" tones while maintaining resonance? I wouldn't know....that's pure speculation, and probably pointless.

    We know Carnal Knowledge was recorded almost totally with a Soldano amp w/ low-wattage Celestions, and also a test model CAE 3+ preamp for "Judgement Day" and maybe one other tune. I doubt there were any Sheffields on that album, so we can forget it as a point of reference.

    I did have a Peavey rep. tell me once that Eddie was scolded for still having a Marshall cab visibly on stage during the Balance tour, but that could be baloney as well.

    You'll notice the 5150 III cabs are back to 20-watt Celestions. Not the mega-bass resonance-monsters like the Sheffields.
    Yes, I know about the Soldano and CAE on For Unlawful. I'd love to have a SLO someday... such a wonderful amp.

    It would make sense that Ed used his old cabs to record with, even being driven by the 5150 heads. Although his live balance tone was almost dead on with the album -- just more effects in the mix, and he DID use 5150 cabs on that tour for the most part. Now, he could have swapped old speakers into the 5150 cabs, but I have no idea if that kind of thing went on. One thing that I haven't been able to try yet is actually recording a stock 5150 cab with the amp pushing it at a full post 6-8 volume. I have a suspicion that when there is a lot of air being moved, the harsh Sheffields will open up quite nicely. I can already tell they sound a lot better when I'm able to get them up louder live.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    Yes, I know about the Soldano and CAE on For Unlawful. I'd love to have a SLO someday... such a wonderful amp.

    It would make sense that Ed used his old cabs to record with, even being driven by the 5150 heads. Although his live balance tone was almost dead on with the album -- just more effects in the mix, and he DID use 5150 cabs on that tour for the most part. Now, he could have swapped old speakers into the 5150 cabs, but I have no idea if that kind of thing went on. One thing that I haven't been able to try yet is actually recording a stock 5150 cab with the amp pushing it at a full post 6-8 volume. I have a suspicion that when there is a lot of air being moved, the harsh Sheffields will open up quite nicely. I can already tell they sound a lot better when I'm able to get them up louder live.
    The best sounds I've ever gotten from my 5150 amps and cabs in the studio is when I've turned them up ALL THE WAY.

    I can tell you that Ed did record at least some of Balance with the stock 5150 cabs, because he gave a few of them away to people who worked on the album. A couple of those people even knew what songs each was played on; I unfortunately can not direct you to any of that info since I found it in passing over the years. But as usual Ed still used a mix-mash of amps and cabs for Balance.

    Consider some sort of tube pre-amp for recording, mrj. I've abandoned 57s for most types of amp recording because I've found I simply favor condensers for their broader frequency response. And the BEST combo I've found for recording my high-gain amps (5150s through Marshalls most of the time) is an AKG 451 small diaphragm condenser through a Demeter H-Series tube pre. The Demeter is the true gem in that combo, but it's kind of a pricey guy. For affordability, I've been amazingly impressed with ART tube pre-amps and compressors. For being lower/middle of the road kind of stuff, they're impressive. You can pick up an ART Gold VLA tube pre for not a lot of cash, and it works well for tons of instruments. It'll warm up the 57 a lot and give you more EQ flexibility.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    I'm close, but I'm wondering if anyone 'knows better' and knows what Ed really did.

    What I'm really wondering about are the details of how loud it was, how many cabs did he use, how many speakers were mic'd, where were the mics placed, etc.....

    Are there any friends of Ed who have been in 5150 during a recording session lurking around here on the forums?




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