Synyster gates or John Petrucci solo sound

Posted in technique because I believe this is a double sided technical question…both about picking technique but also mainly to me about sound.
Don’t know how many of you have heard barstool warrior by dream theatre or Roman sky by avenged sevenfold, but I am trying to clean up my technique as well as my distortion in order to provide the same sound for a performance next weekend. I need it to be thick and distorted, but clear and to ring over the rest of the band but also blend well in the mix…
My question on the sound side is…what kind of distortion pedals or effects are these guys using to make that fat, powerful sounding but clear tone on their high solos? Compression maybe or heavy mosfet distortion? I have a small cabinet with 2 Peavey valveking 12s in it and a very powerful solid state head. Yes…I hate solid state I know but it’s a monster amp and very loud and clear.
I can’t seem to figure out what kind of distortion pedals or compression pedal to use to make the guitar cut through like that? Help please.

The technique question was if anyone in the state of Texas was familiar with pickslanting…I’ve watched the videos and also done many exercises, but I always learned classical guitar best at school from a professor because I could watch and get a feeling up close for what they’re doing. Reading and watching videos has helped some but I need up close for whatever reason.
Thanks for reading the long post lol rock on

I had stems long ago from two different mixes of “Almost Easy” — one done by Chris Lord Alge, and one done by Andy Wallace. Suffice it to say, this was a very cool way to cross-compare what elite-level rock mixers will do to a song.

The short story is the guitar tones had totally been pushed around, especially in the mids and treble where they sounded utterly different to each other. Without boring you with the details, the recorded output of a band like Avenged Sevenfold is so highly processed with both level moves and EQ moves that whatever “cuts through the mix” at any given moment is just whatever the mix engineer wanted to cut through. Even the volume levels were totally programmed in appearance — quiet verse, loud chorus, even though both guitars are going at 100% high gain saturation.

Do you have another guitarist in the band? A more practical solution is to coordinate with the other player and dial in complementary tones, where one player has the mids and the other player has the bass and treble. If you want to cut through, the mids player just needs a simple volume booster.

That’s what they do in Alter Bridge, where Tremonti has the Rectifier with big bass and Kennedy has the mids tone from I think a Diezel. They talked about this in an interview somewhere.

Ah yes a good idea! I just thought about the other guitarist and yes…she plays rhythm and I play lead, so we may can split the eq a bit. We do have a sound guy who I believe to be decent.
Also, she may be playing on a box whereas I have my Frankenstein amp. Whereas her vox is good with reverb and compression, and I could play a 12th fret and above lead and have a smooth non clippy or fuzzy lead distortion, my amp is better with light overdrive and clean sound. So…
Maybe it would be smart to have her crunch some power chords and for me to play a cleaner solo over top? I know distortion and mixing is probably so individual so maybe one exact amp setting may be different for me or you to think it sounds good. But hey yeah thanks for the great idea. Will definitely try it in rehearsal

@Bimmermanshane have you seen this video?

I’m sure there is compression as well as some kind of a boost, probably a noise gate.

As Troy said, there is going to be a load of studio magic happening too such as extra EQ, delay and reverb.

That’s a good video…definitely a lot of tools, and effects going on in that studio.
I guess all of this is leaving me with the question…let’s say I have a boss mt2 metal zone, a joyous metal pedal and of course the mild overdrive on the amount itself…
Do either of y’all have suggestions as to a better distortion pedals? To me the joyo and metal zone have too much fuzz/trebble fuzziness and nasal sounds when playing up high. Even with adjustment.
Maybe I’ll pick up an eq pedal too.

Depends what amp you’re using, if you’re using an amp at all. The Metal Zone tends to be quite poor in the front of an amp, but works surprisingly well as a pre-amp in the effects loop. I believe but am not sure that the Joyo works the same. Of course, the Metal Zone isn’t versatile at all, but it at least has something going on for it…

Crazy amount of difference preamp and just regular line in. Hmm…
Yes I’m definitely using my amp, to my knowledge it’s a hopped up ibanez tb circuit board, with different resistors and various things hooked up to Peavey valveking 12’s in a cabinet that’s also frankenstein’d. I should probably figure out another way to run it besides just into the front of the amp.
Feel kinda stupid for not thinking of that. Like I know what a preamp is but never thought of running the distortion that way…

EQ after distortion is just EQ. EQ before distortion changes the character of the distortion. You can get a great deal of mileage out of an EQ pedal. High risk of extra noise, though, so be gentle.

Distortion pedals always sound boxy and one dimensional to me by themselves. I strongly prefer pushing dirt into a slightly dirty amp. The tone is generally much more complex (cascading gain stages is the key). For true cleans (if that ever happens), I back off the volume knob and turn on a compressor set up as an underdrive (an EQ pedal or even an overdrive can be set up similarly). But I usually like a little bit of hair on my tone, even in the clean parts, so I can pick softly for clean and dig in for more dirt.

Your tonal preferences are probably different from mine, but one or both of the above approaches might be worth a shot.

Horizon Devices Precision Drive.

Hmm…does have a very thick meaty tone down low…
Wonder if anybody around here’s tried one themselves? Mxr is usually decent at least ones I’ve tried. I really liked the mosfet distortion(I think it was) on the bogner uberschall, but who spends 2 grand for an amp just to gig once a month lol. I think they make a pedal version. I’ll have to try it out, last time I tried one at guitar center it shorted out and was new…bummer.

Depends if you want to boost an amp that doesn’t have enough gain by itself, or if you want a preamp pedal. To me, you’ve not been very clear about that so far. I don’t even understand your amp setup! :sweat_smile:

Guess I’ve been a bit unclear on my amp setup,
I thought I explained more about it in my first post but…
So far, I’m running a 90s Ibanez rg, with s-s-h setup, a Duncan invader humbucker in the bridge.
Before the pickup swap it sounded so…thin and nasally no matter what distortion I had.
My amp is a Frankenstein cross between a Peavey valveking and an ibanez toneblaster.
Valveking cabinet with two twelves in it, and a toneblaster head/circuit with added external heatsinks. So it’s a solid state amp with a spring reverb. Two channels, clean and distorted with eq and gain adjustment on each one.
It sounds very clear and very little noise or speaker/amp distortion of signal even at high volume is effectively zilch.
I’m simply not fully satisfied with either the harmonics/sustain of the stock distortion or gain on it, although once or twice I’ve played with it, and scooped out the mids and gotten very close to a Metallica sound on master of puppets or unforgiven.
However I’m not a super fan of the thin, mid-less sounding solos unless I’m only playing Metallica.
Hence I mentioned John and synyster earlier as people I like to sound more like. They both have very full/thick sounding distortion and harmonics without sounding like that have mids scooped out or like their distortion pedals are buzzy or running out of electricity. Even some of the live concerts I’ve watched sounded great compared to some other bands.
Maybe that helps more with explaining what I’m shooting for or what I’m trying to get rid of.