How to get this type of high gain tone with crazy aggressive mid attack sound?




  • I am a huge fan of Exodus and Gary Holt and

    he has some of the sickest metal tone out there in my opinion, AND he uses Kempers a lot. The caveat being he uses profiles of his own amps.


    Anyway, on the last 3 Exodus albums, the guitar tone has this crazy super aggressive mid attack that he describes as "almost wah like" to me it sounds so mean. Gary says he gets the tone by using a parametric EQ in front of the amp and boosting the shit out of the mids, and i am assuming scooping them on the amp (that's what i heard on another forum) to me it sounds like its kind of "filtered" (I know that's the wrong word) but its so cool and I wish I could know how to get that effect. Anyone who's audio savvy/good at dialing in metal tones have any insight?


    In the that example I linked, the song funeral hymn, on that album it sounds really dirty but crisp and super distorted and on the next one Beyond the pale, the tone is so clear and crisp but so ripping. I just want to know how its possible to even get a sound like that. I know its not studio magic because I've seen videos of him doing demos with the same tone.

  • Also interested, i like Exodus guitar tone too


    What amps they use, sounds bit like 5150 style or is it just this midrange tone which cuts through


    Generally there is lots of studio mixing and eq and post processing on record versions and sometimes its even not possible to re-create tone with guitrar/amp by itself, also on youtube or gear demo videos, there is tons of post-processing but how they sound on live or on live records ?

  • Also interested, i like Exodus guitar tone too


    What amps they use, sounds bit like 5150 style or is it just this midrange tone which cuts through


    Generally there is lots of studio mixing and eq and post processing on record versions and sometimes its even not possible to re-create tone with guitrar/amp by itself, also on youtube or gear demo videos, there is tons of post-processing but how they sound on live or on live records ?

    I've heard Gary play in a video where he is just showing how to play some riffs, no studio editing, and he has the same tone. He said he ran a parametric EQ in front of the amp, only running the mid band, and somehow that gave it that crazy bite. I read on a 10+ year old forum post on this subject that he did that, then on the amp heads EQ, he scooped the mids, after they were boosted with the parametric EQ in front.


    And yeah it does kinda sound like a 5150 tone, but I think it's slightly more than that. I know on the Atrocity Exhibiton record he used a Peavey Triple XXX, and on Exhibit B he used an ENGL Savage 120, and on the last one Blood In Blood Out he used a Kemper profile of his modded JCM800 (with this EQ effect happening)


    I am just wondering if this effect/ tone is something you can simulate with the Kemper alone and not a physical parametric EQ, I am not quite good enough at dialing in profiles or with audio engineering in general to have figured it out

  • I think the amp used for this album was Peavey XXX with EL34s. Those power amp tubes are supposed to be a little more mid heavy, but the tone sounds very bright to me. Still a great tone, but it may not fit other productions so well where there is more going on.

  • Exothrasher just try to experiment with different profiles and EQ. Don't be afraid, no one is going to die. If it didn't work out well, at least you have tried. Gary didn't come up with this without trying to experiment.

  • I think that is essentially what a Tube screamer does- magnifies the mids before the amp. Dial in a profile with lots of mids, then after the preamp give it a midcut. For me, I like -3 at 400 because it reminds me of Diezel meanness, but 500 and 750 are more popular frequencies.


    Using an eq in front to boost mids I could never get right, always preferred an OD set as a clean boost, but play around and see what you can come up with

  • I just commented in another post on something similar:


    Some of the best dirty tones I get is using a "clean" profile of a high gain amp, keep the amp gain at Zero, then stack a tube screamer and then an OD in the stomps. The individual string clarity is awesome that way - which may or may not be what you want. But it definitely throws the guitar "in your face" in a good way.


    Mids are boosted and highs scream using this method. I would also cut mids in the OD EQ and Amp EQ to get the metal scooped sound.


    This is a neat trick to do. Just don't anyone because it's a big secret!

  • If you're looking for XXX profiles, there is some confusion about the amp. At some point when Joe Satriani left Peavey, they rebadged his JSX amp as the XXX. I don't know what happened to the original version of the XXX though and whether that is the one Exodus used.

  • If you're looking for XXX profiles, there is some confusion about the amp. At some point when Joe Satriani left Peavey, they rebadged his JSX amp as the XXX. I don't know what happened to the original version of the XXX though and whether that is the one Exodus used.

    xxx 2 is supposed to be same as old jsx i think.


    Xxx crunch channel should be the same as jsx ultra channel.

    btw i did an attempt last year, i did a thread about it, so maybe you have just tried it.


    Exodus Tone