In Search of the Holy Grail, Part IV (Vai, For the Love of God)

  • I have the carvin profiles from andi now, but for FTLOG this seems to be not the tone.
    no wonder, since the legacy was not available in 1990. i will try to play
    THE CRYING MACHINE with my students with the solo profile, nevertheless.


    My occupation: showing teenagers the many hidden secrets of the A-minor chord on the guitar.

  • Looks like this hunt is still going. Indeed, I think the closest I've gotten is with Vai.God, but I do a couple things in the Stomp section that I find makes the tone more Vai-like. First is a compressor. This helps thicken the tone a little bit which is quite necessary to get his thick lead tone without resorting to over the top gain levels. I don't use too much here - you still want some playing dynamics. I also add some attack to it. So you get thicker tone and more sustain, but still get strong pick attacks.

    Second, the DS-1 he uses I remember in an interview he says he likes to turn up the drive on it until he's got a slight break-up to it - adds more character to the distortion when run into the amp's distortion. So I have my Drive around 3 - 3.5 and the tone around -2 I think. Now, this DS-1 isn't the modded version he has, but it'll do... You might be able to throw an EQ in front of it to draw out more of the modded sound?

    I like Erick's Legacy profiles. I use the same tricks as above and it turns out incredible. I use one of Lasse Lammert's Rectifier cab profiles, and mildly tweak the high/low shift to get a more mid-focused sound.

  • Does anyone know what speakers/cabs were used on this song/album? Best I can find says 2 4x12's with Celestions. I would assume Marshall 1960 cabs, but T75's, Greenbacks, V30's? I know Vai likes V30's now, but I seem to remember him saying something about Greenbacks a while ago. The Legacy cabs were originally loaded with Greenbacks. But I also found an Ebay listing for a Marshall 1960A cab with EVM 12L's. If I remember correctly, Eddie van Halen used Marshall cabs loaded with 2 Greenbacks and 2 EVM's on the first few albums.

    I also see he used a 421 and a SM 57 in terms of mics.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say either 25 W Greenbacks or Greenbacks + Vintage 30's is the right sound.

    I also saw a post that said the two cabs were put in opposite corners of the room and also mixed with a DI through a Palmer's speaker simulator.

  • hey thanks meambobbo!

    it cannot check today, too much work to be done, but it seems to me that you are on the right bus! 8o

    In fact i was never satisfied with my God-tone and this thread i feared was going to die a silent death. Thanks for resurrecting!
    But i have to confess that i am a lazy lion. Could you upload one or two of your teaked rigs somewhere on dropbox or so?
    I have to tweak em for my guitar anyway, but this would save me much needed time.

    In any case, thx and cheers

    My occupation: showing teenagers the many hidden secrets of the A-minor chord on the guitar.

  • If you go back a few pages and check out my soundcloud I have a second "kemper love of god test 2" up that uses my Jem555 with a profile I created using vst software. My profile includes delay and reverb which gets even closer to ftlog sound. Too lazy atm so I'm only uploading if theres interest for it.

  • Of course! I'll get it up later tonight. I am careful right now to only use free profiles, so that I can freely share. I would have shared a lot more already but I don't want to start dropping works in progress.

    right now my version of the rig uses one of Lasse Lammert's cabs of a Rectifier with V30's, so I'm sure it's not going to be accurate to the record. it does sound phenominal, though! I'll try out S. Mehl's and TillS Greenbacks and see if I can find one of them with a 1960 with V30's.

  • ok, here you go:

    I tried a bunch of TillS 1960's until I found a couple that were really close and I got tired. THAT'S A LOT OF CABS!!!! I settled on 019 and tweaked it just a tad to really get there. Then just some post EQ. I am not sure about the delay and verb settings, but they seem to work to me.

    For the initial part of the clip I had the Space parameter in the Output settings on about 3. I thought I could get this out of the reverb, but it didn't match Vai's tone - I needed more space.

    The rhythm tones at the end of the clip are with the compressor and delay turned off. For the Animal riff, I turn on slot B which is just a sub-octave.

  • Meambobo, just wanted to say a very big thank you. I will edit this post on thursday when i will have the time for a recording session.
    Can't thank you enough for the work! :thumbup: 8o

    My occupation: showing teenagers the many hidden secrets of the A-minor chord on the guitar.

  • Could you share this profile, please :thumbup:

  • trust me the "work" was my pleasure. I just wish I played better on that clip. I think there's still room for improvement on the patch, but for my purposes it's not worth the bother.

    also, for reference, I was using an EBMM JPM (first line) but I switched the pickups for the Crunch Lab/Liquifire that Petrucci currently uses. And the strings are 10's. I think with some more 80's-esque pickups, a Jem, and 9's, it would sound a bit closer. But I dunno. Curious to see what kind of tweaks people need to make it work.

  • Meambobo,

    i have forgotten how to play the song! Too busy writing songs right now,but i have checked your files and all i can say is thumbs up and up!!!! :thumbup: :thumbup: 8o

    This! This sweetness of the Sound. Nobody has come closer. It was not the gain, since you even reduced it. Whatever you have done: excellent work!
    Thanks for sharing the rig! The mp3 - nevertheless - seems to be messed up, the two guitars are not synchronous, but who cares? maybe it happenend while mixing?

    I will have to tweak the rig for my guitar, but i think - until further notice - this thread can be called closed. The holy grail has been found! :thumbup:
    At least for the Vai Love of God Sound. The Santana thread is still a mess, no good sound in sight ...


    My occupation: showing teenagers the many hidden secrets of the A-minor chord on the guitar.

  • yeah, the clip is pretty bad I must admit - I was trying to match Steve at first, but then I wanted to diverge so you could hear the different tones - I panned the original track a bit to one side and panned my recorded playing to the other side. It ended up a mess. I just didn't want to make a really long clip or to take the discipline to learn the whole song.

    anyhow, you should get an idea of what to expect from the clip. I think I ended up with too much presence, though. I was kind of using his Erotic Nightmares rhythm tone as an idea of how to EQ things, since the beginning of that song is just solo guitar; but his lead tone has a lot of that brightness rolled off. But yes, I agree that the sweetness and sustain is there.

    I bet if I auditioned more cabs I could find a better fit. I think that's one of the keys here. Also, Vai's tone is wider than my patch. I used the "Space" feature on the output to widen it, but really the Widener EQ or a better reverb setting would work better.

  • meambobbo,

    all of this would be the icing on the cake, but i really wonder how you succeeded. it sounds out-of-the-box with my guitar 50% better than with other rigs.
    incredible job.

    My occupation: showing teenagers the many hidden secrets of the A-minor chord on the guitar.