Beyond the door (Vinnie Moore) - Cover by Tommo - I splurged and got a professional mix!

Hey All!
This one took me ages to record to a decent level, and at the end of it I decided to reward myself with a professional mix by Chernobyl Studios! He promised me that the edits were few and minimal (e.g. shifting some notes by a few ms to avoid double tracking artifacts) - but in the next few days I will try to make a demo mix on my own to show you the raw thing, if it can be of interest!

To me the song feels like a “Neoclassical Blues”, and it forced me to work on a lot of my weaknesses - e.g. trying to make a slow melody sound nice and “alive” with proper phrasing (well, at least I tried!). Funnily enough one of the hardest things for me to get right was a single long note: the pinch harmonic/vibrato in the very first riff - actually I don’t think I got it 100% right but at some point you gotta stop and finish the job :slight_smile:

Picking-wise there are some tough challenges in here, even though the speed is not that high compared to other pieces I played. My default approach has been that of the “Anti-gravity” seminar (Batio/Vinnie style of picking), though there are occasions where Gambale / Eric-Johnson / Yngwie-style strategies have been used.

The harmony parts at 1:26, for example, feature a nasty combination of sweeps and single/double string skips which I tackled with inside picking - I will add a tab + description for this particular lick in the next post, and in general please let me know if there is any lick/section of the song where people would like more details on the techniques used :slight_smile:


Very impressive Tommo, beautifully played, some of those tapping sections reminded me of greg howe! You nailed the melodies for sure man. I struggle with long note quarter bend stuff too. Love the harmony sections! Do you think your choice of inside verses outside picking is a result of the starting note or do prefer one over the other?

Listening to this track really got me thinking about starting to approach this kind of music with the mindset of them being like jazz standards. The head and structure is set, keep the track’s hooks and wing the rest. I find it harder and harder to do note for note versions, though there is fantastic amount of learning and exploration that happens. For example I spend weeks on trying to figure out what YJM is doing in a single bar! He’s just winging it, but to transcribe it all the time is just madness, I find it’s good for leaning the tropes, I guess the more I try I hope to find him reuse stuff.


Hey Twangsta, time for some replies and thank you for being so positive about my playing once again :bowing_man: :+1:

To answer properly I think it’s time to tab out the example at 1:26 (ish):

 D  U  D U U U  D U  D U U U  D U U U  D U... (keep alternating)

U/D= upstroke/downstroke

As you can see I’m opting to complete the upwards sweep before changing direction, which forces me to do the big string skip in the middle with “inside picking”. I feel like my hand is waiting until the last moment to go into “escaped upstroke” mode, and it does so with a sort of “whipping” motion. So I end up on the high E string with a lot of momentum and hit the first note of the new arpeggio quite hard. This heavy accent sounds ok to me as the note falls on the beat :slight_smile:

An equally valid choice would be “outside picking”, where the descending arpeggio is played as “U U D”, and then we would have to hit the high E string with a “U”. The second “U” is where the transition to upstroke escape should happen, and then again we would have to transition to downstroke escape after hitting the lower note with “D”. I like this way less as it feels like it requires more “planning” - but other players might like it more!

I’m totally in the same boat! I spent countless hours trying to transcribe solos from Vinnie Moore’s records, but I am not sure anymore that there is so much value in going 100% exact. Once we understand the harmonic choices / general vibe of a solo, I think we can go ahead and put our own ideas into it.


What a great cover Tommo! You’ve done a fantastic job transcribing and learning this. It was a good opportunity to improve in your weaker areas and you did just that.

I have to say I’m a bit underwhelmed regarding the mix, considering that it’s done by a pro studio.

Drums and bass sound fantastic, full and fitting for the song, but the result on your lead guitars is pretty average.

Especially the transition between the tones on 1.01-1.03 is mediocre at the very best. The goal is to not hear the transition between takes and bring all the lead tones to a somewhat similar vibe.

Overall I’ve been very impressed with your playing and patience, but you deserve better mix wise.


I’d have trouble playing it the way you do. I’d have to maslmsteenize it.
First start on an U, the D U, and pull off while I escape my pick for the next string on an U, and then D, and D on the next string. Is this what is known as a double escape? This for the first part. But I’m wondering what I’d do on that big jump! My scheme will fall apart lol!

You are way ahead of me, I haven’t started playing more than three string arpeggios yet. The three note ones I’ve been using are kind of easy as most start on a pull off as is described earlier, the top note on a D. I’m working my way through the Joe stump book, I think I should look ahead and see what he has so say about it.

I found my self going back into perpetual and micro checking all the timing nuances, will send you a PM of another take and tone.

BTW the mix is incredible!

Bill, my ears aren’t as good as yours, I have to listen a few times to pick out what your describing… thanks mate, always something to learn! I’m going to send you a clip, I’d love to hear your thoughts if you don’t mind :slight_smile:

Sure, I don’t mind at all!

About the current mix here, I don’t want to hijack the thread, it’s a great cover by tommo and that’s what matters.

My only concern is about the tonal differences between the various lead parts through the song. It sounds like entirely different setups, if that was the goal, then it’s a job well done.

I don’t think that’s the case though, especially on the original. Listening to it right now I can clearly tell that Vinnie Moore used the same tone throught the song, with minor gain/volume adjustments here and there, probably with his guitar volume.

The studio guy got that part wrong. Instead of lowering the guitar in the “verses”, he just changed tonal characteristics. We can clearly hear that the guitar sound on 00.00-0.40 is the same as the rest of the song, but the guitar is higher or lower in the mix depending on the part. It’s higher in the intro-chorus-solo and lower in the verses.

It’s not a bad mix at all, but I think it’s a underwhelming for a professional. My personal view on this and I hope it doesn’t take anything away from tommo’s work.


Hey Bill,
I’m very happy to have your opinion about the mix, I still have a lot to learn on this topic!

In this case I gave the guy at Chernobyl Studios (Scott) some freedom to reinterpret the tones for this song, and told him I wasn’t looking to copy Vinnie’s tone but just use it as an inspiration. I thought that we would obtain better results by letting him follow his tastes.

We ended up settling for a Mercruiall Spark JCM800 for the melodies and AFD for the main solo.

The first solo, originally a soft and rounded keyboard solo, instead became a sort of Petrucci-style aggressive solo “played on top of a big a** mountain” (almost exact quote). We used the Reaxis for this one. Not what I expected but in the end it grew on me :slight_smile:

The result feels very different from Vinnie’s original, which can be both a good or bad thing depending on what one likes to hear :slight_smile:

By the way this was my original demo mix without edits for those who are curious - all tones done with the Mercuriall SS11X and various IRs


The thing I like in your mix is the consistency of the tones from part to part, you can’t even tell it’s different takes.

If I could combine the two, I would keep Scott’s mix of the bass and drums and your guitar mix. Of course everyone likes things mixed differently.

I can definitely hear the 3 different plugins that you used on the end product. He must have used different reverbs too.


This is killer. Honestly, these look like the kind of mature motions we film.

I think the demo mix is great. It’s drum-forward. And when you listen to almost any rock from the '80s, notice how drum-forward all the mixes are:

Things can be louder than other things. Your ear can still pick out the guitar no problem. That was the secret to why those mixes sounded more “live” than a lot of modern stuff where everything is brick walled. You do have to crank the stereo louder to get the average level up. But isn’t that what it’s all about?

Excuse me while I adjust my hearing aid.

Great work here.


Cheers (with northern English accent)! Guess where I got the inspiration :wink:

Busy Saturday but will try to reply better later!

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Very happy that you like it but I can only claim ownership of the guitar tones. The Drums + bass + keyboards are straight from a beautiful (and free!) backing track by Sølvin Refvik:
I like it a lot as it is essentially arranged as a blues, yet it accommodates very well Vinnie’s neoclassical lines. The result is of course very different from the original, also because I double tracked and hard panned all the melodies (instead, Vinnie had all the leads panned centre).

The more serious answer is that I am almost 100% happy (let’s say 90%) with the technical foundations I built for this style, with many thanks to the CTC team!
My current goal is not to get faster, but to get cleaner, more reliable from one day to the next and — most importantly — more relaxed/expressive in my phrasing and dynamics.

PS: I wanted to write down one more tab to illustrate a very useful concept I developed post - CTC: the idea of re-fretting licks to make them easier to play (the definition of easier being different for each player). At 3:27, there is a tricky descending-3s arpeggio sequence (Dm triad) which I was struggling to play all-picked and in one position. With a couple of sneaky pull-offs and by moving one note to a different string, I found a way that works with escaped downstrokes only:

 D     D  U  U  U  D     D  U  U  U

Hey @Twangsta! just a quick update in case you are still interested in this lick :slight_smile:
Your malmsteenization works, provided you are willing to do the big jump with hybrid picking: as you pointed out you will end up with the downstroke on the D string, so you could now pluck the high E string with your middle finger. I have seen you hybrid pick some very hard stuff (SRV’s Scuttle Buttin for example), so this should be doable for you.

If you are interested and get a chance to try it, let me know how it feels. Even for me I think this would be a more reliable solution, e.g. for live playing.

Tommo, you’re an absolute darling! I’ve been reluctant to use any of the hybrid stuff so far because I wanted to nail the DWPS thing for real, at this point it makes since to bring in hybrid to join the party, I would not have thought about it, case of can’t see the forest for the trees.

I’ve had two brilliant insights today, your suggestion is one and the other is using a miced signal into an FRFR amp/cab for wet courtesy @Peter_C

Love you guys :hugs:


To get a consistent tone, you’ll need to build up callouses on the tips, a bit painful first time your building them, it’ll start to hurt, but keep going as it’ll numb after a few strokes and then no pain for the rest of the session till you take a break. This will last a week or two; depending on how much you play and use those fingers. Would be a terrific addition to your arsenal, you’ll be quite terrifying bro!

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