Steve Albini's guitar sounds?
January 25, 2008 12:34 PM   Subscribe

How does Steve Albini get those metallic guitar sounds so badassedly made famous in Big Black, Rapeman, and Shellac?

Yeah the sound has changed (grown warmer?) over the years but there's a lot of similarity among his bands.
posted by xmutex to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You might be able to find the answer at the Electrical Audio forums. If not, you could post there and ask Albini yourself.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:44 PM on January 25, 2008

A small part of it is that he uses a metal pick.
posted by drezdn at 12:44 PM on January 25, 2008

Something makes me afraid to ask Steve Albini anything.
posted by xmutex at 12:48 PM on January 25, 2008 [4 favorites]

A Harmonic Percolator? This video (in which Steve tests an imitator) rocks, if only to see him on stilts discussing equipment.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:48 PM on January 25, 2008

Guitar Geek has the rig he used in Shellac, though no pointers on how to get a particular sound.
posted by InfidelZombie at 12:51 PM on January 25, 2008

You can ask him yourself at his studio's forum here at Electric Audio. He's very open and honest and posts regularly there (although I would search the archives tirelessly before asking a question - the board members are ruthless with lazy or clueless newbies.)

A large part of Albini's sound comes from his collection of aluminum guitars. He has several Travis Bean and Electrical Guitar Company Aluminum necked guitars. He also uses an Harmonic Perculator pedal. These are bug fuck insane sounding pedals that as far as I can ascertain are made out of crashed saucer technology recovered from Rosewell - you can see him talking about them here at YouTube.

The last time I saw him talk about it he said that the setup at Guitar Geek was nearly on the money.
posted by oh pollo! at 12:52 PM on January 25, 2008

Oddly enough, I found out recently that Steve Albini is a pretty good poker player who frequents a stud forum on a website that I read and post on daily. He's a nice guy to boot. I'd ask him for sure if I was you.
posted by RustyBrooks at 1:03 PM on January 25, 2008

nthing just ask him. in every interaction i have had with him he has been nothing but nice.

that being said i would do your do diligence searching the electrical forums first.
posted by phil at 1:25 PM on January 25, 2008

i wanted to add the link to the electrical guitar company's website. kevin is also a really nice guy and his guitars are bad ass.
posted by phil at 1:27 PM on January 25, 2008

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