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Santana's sustain....


miroslav

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OK...forget his playing skills and music styles, etc...

 

I'm trying to just get some opinions/answers on how the hell Carlos gets the endless, relatively clean sustain...and at normal levels.

 

It doesn't seem like it's just slammed compression, 'cuz you never hear the pumping on the attack of the first notes, which would happen if you cranked a compressor that hard to get that much silky smooth sustain.

 

And there isn't a whole lot of drive/crunch to his tone either. It sounds fairly clean, which just a little bit of bite to it....but when he hangs a note...it just sings forever.

 

His sustain tone is very violin/cello like.

 

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Well, he tends to use Mesa Boogies with smooth but gainy front-ends, and will move around a room to find its sweet-spots for musical feedback, and then mark the floor in those places with duct-tape X's and the like. If you see him live, he'll return to just such X-marked spots and assume a deliberate position and angle with respect to his speaker-cabinets when he really milks a sustained note.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

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Well, he tends to use Mesa Boogies with smooth but gainy front-ends, and will move around a room to find its sweet-spots for musical feedback, and then mark the floor in those places with duct-tape X's and the like. If you see him live, he'll return to just such X-marked spots and assume a deliberate position and angle with respect to his speaker-cabinets when he really milks a sustained note.

Ted Nugent does the same thing...

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I just saw a documentary on Herbie Hancock doing a lot of recording sessions with various musicians, and one of the was with Carlos...and he's like standing right there playing in the control room, not in front of his amp or anything, and still, there was that famous Carlos sustain. Not the feedback stuff...but just being able to hang a note, and it doesnt die one tiny bit until he lets it go. :cool:

 

Yeah...it looked like a PRS, a quilted green one, and it had a nice smooth tone with just a touch of bite in the mids. No heavy crunch or anything like that.

Of course...they never showed his rig or him setting up...so I didn't get a chance to see if he used anything besides the guitar and amp....???

 

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Santana's PRS guitars are a shorter than gibson 24.5 scale.

not the reason for endless sustain but a cool little bit of useless trivia.

 

How much shorter...what is the scale lenght?

It would give him a bit more softer/flexible feel...and maybe that helps with his bending/sustain...?

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Dude, I also think you can trick people into thinking you have more gain/sustain than you do just from willing it with your technique and phrasing. I know I can. But thats cuz of my buddy Bradford Johnson. Brad has better tone in his hands than SRV, not exagerating. He could plug into a Peavey Bandit and blow your mind with how much he can still make it sound exactly the way he wants.

 

Once I saw that 20 years ago I was like, "oh I suck, I need to play like that."

 

I wish you guys could hear this guy's tone. It is sick. And it is mostly his 'willed' technique. I mean he doesn't rely on anything else. His amp is just a vehicle.

 

He influenced me and I realized I was using gain as a crutch for my technique. He could play with 0 gain or 100 gain and it still sounds amazing.

 

Also you gotta figure (carlos) he is pretty loud number 1, number 2 his guitar is perfectly setup with nice frets, and number 3 his power amp is working!!

 

Power tube compression can deliver a silky smooth sustainy 'clean' sound.

 

Miro, you have a fricken THD Flexi 50! I bet if you had an Air Brake or a Hotplate you would know exactly how he does it.

 

 

 

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Miro, you have a fricken THD Flexi 50! I bet if you had an Air Brake or a Hotplate you would know exactly how he does it.

 

Yes, I have both the Flexi and a Hotplate...and yes...I can get great sustain and controlled feedback...BUT...Santana's sustain is unique to him.

You can hear just 2-3 notes and if he hangs the last one, you KNOW it's Carlos! :thu:

He's had that sustain tone for the last 40 years! :)

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Carlos recently(within the last two years) went to using Dumble amps instead of Boogies, and he says they do the sustain thing better at lower volumes than Boogies. For what they cost, I'd sure hope so...

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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There are other aspects to Carlos' sustain as well. I'm pretty sure he uses a Tube screamer. He is master at setting up an amp just to the point of breakup. And, he doesn't play too many notes. He gives a note a chance....let's it ring. Also, he strikes a fretted note with authority.

 

So, his guitar, his amps, all this, and don't forget THE MAGIC!!! :cool:

Don

 

"There once was a note, Pure and Easy. Playing so free, like a breath rippling by."

 

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=574296

 

http://www.myspace.com/imdrs

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Just sounds like his amp is probably SUPER loud.

 

I mean if I cranked up my SV on that Amber Blues it would be like that. I mean you would be able to milk feedback even without cranking your guitar volume and maintain a fairly clean tone. Granted you would have to standing at the right angle with your guitar. Also a resonant guitar like he has combined with a humbucker..

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I'm pretty sure he uses a Tube screamer.

 

Historically, his high-sustain lead sound all comes from amps with cascading sequential gain stages, Boogies for the most part, and now Dumbles. If you ever play a two-bucker guitar through a Boogie lead channel, you'll see why a Tube Screamer isn't needed.

I did read an article where Carlos said he didn't use strats live for a long time because he couldn't make them sustain like a bucker guitar without playing so loud, he might not be able to have kids afterwards. Then he asked Rene Martinez, SRV's old guitar tech, how Stevie got so much sustain out of a strat, and Martinez told he used stomp boxes. SO now when he plays strats, in studio, I guess, he uses tube screamers and Diaz fuzz boxes like SRV did.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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Picker...I'm pretty sure Carlos has had a Tube Screamer on his pedal board for quite a while. It used to be on his web site in a section called "gear". But, he appears to have taken that off his site. Here's from another site;

 

Santana Gear

 

Carlos Santana: guitar

Paul Reed Smith Santana model guitars (3)

Alvarez-Yairi CY127CE nylon-string acoustic

Mu-Tron wah pedal

Ibanez Tube Screamer

Jim Dunlop customized selector box

Dumble Overdrive/Reverb amp head

Mesa/Boogie Mark I amp head

Fender Cyber Twin amp

Motion Sound AR-112 rotary guitar amps (2)

Mesa/Boogie 1x12 cabinet

Marshall 4x12 speaker cabinets with Celestion G12M Greenback speakers

Brown 4x12 cabinet with Tone Tubby Speakers

 

Don

 

"There once was a note, Pure and Easy. Playing so free, like a breath rippling by."

 

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=574296

 

http://www.myspace.com/imdrs

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That's not what he had on his web site for the past four years or so....maybe longer.

 

He uses Mu-Tron Wahs, and a Ibanez Tube screamer, along with that custom amp switcher. I can remember there being any other effects. I've actually seen pics of his pedals...again, it used to be on his web site. Also, I remember Carlos himself, in an interview discussing the Tube Screamer, and comparing all the reissues, and about how his tech guy has bought up all the old Mu-Tron wahs that they could find.

Don

 

"There once was a note, Pure and Easy. Playing so free, like a breath rippling by."

 

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=574296

 

http://www.myspace.com/imdrs

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I suspect that his functional Mu-Tron's have become scant, so it makes sense that he'd go to the Dunlop Wah live. I did some more digging, and found this;

 

"[edit] Effects

For the distinctive Santana electric guitar sound, Santana doesn't use many effects pedals. His PRS guitar is connected to a Mu-Tron wah wah pedal (or, more recently, a Dunlop 535Q wah) and a T-Rex Replica delay pedal,[7][8] then through a customized Jim Dunlop amp switcher which in turn is connected to the different amps or cabinets.

 

Previous setups include an Ibanez Tube Screamer[9] right after the guitar.

 

In the Song "Stand Up" on the album "Marathon", Santana uses a Heil Talk Box in the guitar solo."

 

Like most, obviously his live rig evolves.

 

I found another source that credits his PRS' solid Brazilian Rosewood neck with helping with his tone as well.

 

Don

 

"There once was a note, Pure and Easy. Playing so free, like a breath rippling by."

 

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=574296

 

http://www.myspace.com/imdrs

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The T Rex website shows a photo that's supposed to be Carlos' pedal board from a gig in Jan '04. It's got a T Rex (surprise!! LOL), and a Wah that looks to be the Dunlop. It's definately not the old Mu-Tron.

 

http://t-rex-engineering.com/default.asp?show=page&id=2363

 

 

Don

 

"There once was a note, Pure and Easy. Playing so free, like a breath rippling by."

 

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=574296

 

http://www.myspace.com/imdrs

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Don't forget his Gibson L6-S. Gibsne ran a ton of ads with Carlos and that guitar.

 

Peace

Ya' mean like one a dees?

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y49/Rampdog/Ramps/Head.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y49/Rampdog/Ramps/Intire.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y49/Rampdog/Ramps/Front.jpg

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Don't forget his Gibson L6-S. Gibsne ran a ton of ads with Carlos and that guitar.

 

Peace

Ya' mean like one a dees?

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y49/Rampdog/Ramps/Head.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y49/Rampdog/Ramps/Intire.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y49/Rampdog/Ramps/Front.jpg

 

Yeah, he said the L6S was like an American Motors car(for those who remember the Rambler, Hornet and Gremlin), always in the shop for one thing or another. That's why he quit using them.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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