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Thread: Rockman Tone in 2017

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    Mojo's Minions Sirion's Avatar
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    Default Rockman Tone in 2017

    Any suggestions how one would go about to recreate the classic Rockman tone today, without the units themselves (and without playing samples through a Kemper)? I know it is a controversial tone, but for 80s aficionados it can be indispensable.

    Let us, for simplicity's sake, limit ourselves to the Sustainor sound, and keep the iconic choruses and delays out of the picture.

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    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    Using a modeler (BIAS) and VSTs, I walk through it step-by-step:



    Subtract the delay/echo & H910 parts for the basic tone... although they are key.
    Last edited by LLL; 07-03-2017 at 01:31 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgecrusher View Post
    I thought it sounded great, until I heard something that sounded good.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker ICTGoober's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    As I remember, Boston used a graphic equalizer to remove much of the bass tones of their guitar sound.... Of course, lots of distortion.

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    Mojo's Minions dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    The basic ingredients are a solid state distortion, compressor, and graphic EQ. I'm not 100% sure where the compressor goes in the chain, but the EQ needs to be after the distortion.

    As a basic starting point, I'd try something like a Boss CS-3 set for heavy squash into a DS-1 and run that through a GE-7. That won't sound exactly like a Rockman, but should be at least somewhat close.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    Dumb question... can't get a rockman off of eBay for like $25?
    Oh no.....


    Oh Yeah!

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    In Fluence Y'all frankfalbo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    It's a "fixed wah" style resonance before the distortion as well. That's why whatever pickups you use, those Rockmans still sound very similar.

    The Rockman Sustainor had a send/return between the compressor and pre-filtering and the distortion. The big eye opener for me, was that if you plugged into the distortion section, bypassing the pre-filtering, it sounded like any other totally boring distortion pedal. In fact, it was dark and muffled sounding. So a parametric midrange boost before (any) distortion is necessary, as well as bass and treble filtering after the distortion.

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    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    The 1st album and apparently most of the 2nd album were made with an early 70s Marshall (attenuated), DiM SD, and the accompanying EQing (wah too), EV RE-20, Echoplex & Eventide... Rockman gear didn't exist then.

    The 3rd album (Third Stage) was made with Rockman gear.
    Last edited by LLL; 07-03-2017 at 02:36 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgecrusher View Post
    I thought it sounded great, until I heard something that sounded good.
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    Mojo's Minions Sirion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    Wow @ the first video! Way to end the discussion before it has even begun, and with grace and style to boot! Awesome!

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker ICTGoober's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    Wow @ the first video!
    Finally got around to watching the vid.... VERY good representation of the original Boston tone.

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    I poop in my KISS diapers while I cry that they are mean to me Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    I remember plugging into a Rockman through headphones and going "OMG - the Scorpions used one of these!!!!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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    Mojo's Minions Sirion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    That's the thing, isn't it? There are plenty of people who don't like the sound, and I can understand why, but in the 80s it was so ubiquitous, and a lot of stuff just sounds wrong with a more traditional guitar tone.

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    One of Jerry's Kids Securb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirion View Post
    That's the thing, isn't it? There are plenty of people who don't like the sound, and I can understand why, but in the 80s it was so ubiquitous, and a lot of stuff just sounds wrong with a more traditional guitar tone.
    That is what caused the death of SR&D. My old boss worked there. From what he told me Tom Scholz is an egomaniac. Scholz would not allow the "Boston" tone to be dialled out of the Rockman line of gear even though guitar tones had drastically changed in the 90's. He felt his tone was the holy grail and everyone should be using it. The tone and the product eventually became useless for most guitar players. Imagine how bad Slayer or Pantera would sound on one of those things!

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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    I think I had a Rockman for a few days before modding it...haha that tunnelvision sound buggged me!

  14. #14
    Little Pigbacon
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    And yet at the same time it's so mesmerizing.

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    I poop in my KISS diapers while I cry that they are mean to me Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    There are a lot of tones that today you think of as "cliche" that were the cat's meow when they first occurred.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    There are a lot of tones that today you think of as "cliche" that were the cat's meow when they first occurred.
    I thought our band sounded awesome when we got one of the first Spyders and used the Recto and Insane settings. The recordings actually sound awesomely terrible.

    Back then you could buy JCM900s for a song, I wish he had gotten one of those instead...
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    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    You can EQ out the "rockman" out of the Rockman... pre and post EQing.

    For example, Def Leppard's Hysteria was almost 100% Rockman on guitars:

    http://www.guitarworld.com/interview...pards-hysteria

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Collen
    Pretty much. I used a small Gallien-Krueger amp on the demo for “Love Bites,” which made it on to the record, and also on a bit of “Animal”—that little feedback thing in the intro is me leaning hard on the Krueger. But otherwise the sound is all Rockman. And the reason for that was there were so many layers of tracks, and the sound was so huge that if you had had a massive Marshall sound it wouldn’t have fit sonically. The guitars would have smothered the vocals and drums. They really had to fit in a specific slot. Plus, Steve and I weren’t playing straight power chords; we were doing all these inversions and partials and different things that required definition. That would have been lost with a big, overdriven-amp sound.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgecrusher View Post
    I thought it sounded great, until I heard something that sounded good.
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  18. #18
    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    The guitar tone on Hysteria is probably one of my least favorites of theirs.

    Sent from my MotoE2(4G-LTE) using Tapatalk

  19. #19
    One of Jerry's Kids Securb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL View Post
    You can EQ out the "rockman" out of the Rockman... pre and post EQing.

    For example, Def Leppard's Hysteria was almost 100% Rockman on guitars:

    http://www.guitarworld.com/interview...pards-hysteria
    That is so far from Pantera and Slayer or any 90's tone it is comical. Outside of 80's hairband and arena tones, the Rockman is pretty useless.

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    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rockman Tone in 2017

    The point being that the Rockman isn't just a one-trick pony if you know how to work it.

    Hysteria doesn't sound like a Rockman at all. (I could care less about the album or tone itself; that's the album that I stopped listening to Def Leppard.)

    I'll bet you could get Pantera tone out of one... Pantera tone being very SS-ish and midrangey. Slayer? Who cares about faux-satan-worshiper tone.

    EQ is everything.
    Last edited by LLL; 07-04-2017 at 02:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgecrusher View Post
    I thought it sounded great, until I heard something that sounded good.
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