Sound Like Mastodon By Busting the Bank!

In this edition of our Sound Like series, Matt and Rabea have unlimited budget to nail the tones of Mastodon guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher!

Jack Cooper

Jack Cooper

  • BK-600-MGSBS
  • ESP LTD BK-600 Bill Kelliher Signature Guitar
  • https://www.andertons.co.uk/esp-ltd-bk-600-bill-kelliher-signature-guitar-bk-600-mgsbs
  • https://andertons-productimages.imgix.net/122790-tmpCA3D.jpg?w=400&h=400&&fit=fill&bg=FFFFFF
  • 1099.0000
  • 0
  • ESP
  • Brands
  • ESP Guitars & Basses
  • Bill Kelliher from Mastodon needs some serious firepower to play those brutish, chugging riffs and the LTD have given him his very own signature model called the BK-600! Its very similar in shape and feel to the well-known Eclipse models but with some important upgrades and changes that Bill required.It has the full sized eclipse body with no waist cut and a 3-piece mahogany set-thru neck for increased sustain. With a scale length of 24.75 youll easily get away with using heavier strings without hurting your hands. The neck is flat and easy to play with a modern Thin-U shape on the back and a flat Ebony board on the front, and youll always be in tune with the LTD branded locking tuners.PickupsPerhaps the most unique feature on the BK-600 is the pickups. It comes standard with the signature Bill Kelliher Lace Sensors. Theyre called the Dissonant Aggressors and they have got the ability to coil split. These pickups are not incredibly high output, but really offer a lot of clarity under high gain. This will mean you can play clean, overdriven and heavy distortion parts with ease without ever muddying up your guitar tone. They also clean nicely with the master volume allowing you to use a single channel amp on high gain, and roll off the volume for clean sections.Heres what LTD say ABOUT THE BK-600The BK-600 is the LTD Signature Series guitar for Bill Kelliher, guitarist for influential American metal band Mastodon. Designed by Bill to provide the wide range of tones needed for Mastodon’s music while being sturdy and reliable enough for his most punishing rhythms and brutal riffs throughout long tours, the BK-600 is based on the single-cutaway ESP Eclipse guitar style, along with a traditional full body thickness and no waist cut. Its three-piece mahogany neck is joined to the body with set-thru construction at 24.75” scale for smooth and comfortable fast access to the upper frets. The BK-600 offers an ebony fingerboard with pearloid “ESP Flag” inlays and 22 frets, as well as binding on the body, neck, and headstock. Its sound is generated with two of Kelliher’s own signature Lace Sensor “Dissonant Aggressor“ pickups, a sonically versatile humbucker set with excellent dynamic response, sustain and tone. The flexible sounds of the BK-600 are controlled with master volume and tone knobs that each offer a push-pull control to split the bridge and neck pickups respectively. Other professional features on the LTD BK-600 include locking tuners and a TonePros locking bridge, and it’s available in a distinctively cool Military Green Sunburst Satin finish.SpecificationsCONSTRUCTION: Set-Thru SCALE: 24.75 BODY: Mahogany (full thickness) NECK: 3Pc Mahogany FINGERBOARD: Ebony FINGERBOARD RADIUS: 305mm FINISH: Military Green Sunburst Satin NUT WIDTH: 42mm NUT TYPE: Molded NECK CONTOUR: Thin U FRETS/TYPE: 22 XJ HARDWARE COLOR: Black STRAP BUTTON: Standard TUNERS: LTD Locking BRIDGE: Tonepros Locking TOM Bridge & Tailpiece NECK PU: Lace Sensor Dissonant Aggressor *(Pull Tone to split) BRIDGE PU: Lace Sensor Dissonant Aggressor *(Pull Vol to split) ELECTRONICS: Passive ELECTRONICS LAYOUT: Vol(Push-Pull)/Tone(Push-Pull)/Toggle Switch CASe: CECFF CASE INCLUDED: No
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  • 5
  • 1
  • RYRA-THEKLONE-BC
  • RYRA The Klone in Black Cherry
  • https://www.andertons.co.uk/ryra-the-klone-in-black-cherry-ryra-theklone-bc
  • https://andertons-productimages.imgix.net/128011-tmp76B5.jpg?w=400&h=400&&fit=fill&bg=FFFFFF
  • 199.0000
  • 0
  • RYRA
  • Guitar Pedals
  • Overdrive and Distortion Pedals
  • The Klone is, as you may have thought, a clone of the famed silver Klon centaur overdrive. It was recently on an episode of That Pedal Show where the guys rated it as the best Klon clone that theyve heard!The Klone absolutely nails the holy grail of adding gain to your tone without significantly affecting the tone. The Klon is probably where the Transparent Tone term originated.It will push the front end of your amp to give you a warm but clear overdrive sound and with its simple layout, youll easily be able to dial in a guitar sound that rocks.Gain - The gain knob will add the dirt. From nothing at all to mild, sweet overdrive. Treble - This will bring back the top-end and works really well with humbuckers to give you more presence. Output - The overall volume output of the pedal. When used with the gain on 0, it will act as a boost pedal.A bit about RYRARYRA is a small one man company consisting of Shane Logan. RYRA stands for Rocking Your Repaired Amps and theyre predominantly known for their Klone pedal, however he does build bespoke guitars too.Made in America, all the pedals are meticulously built and go through a painstaking QC process by Shane himself. SpecificationsExterior dimensions of 4.7 x 3.7 x 1.18 Buffered Bypass DC Jack 9V Battery Black Cherry Metal Flake with OEM Oxblood knobs
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  • VICVX
  • Victory VX The Kraken 6L6 Loaded 50w Valve Head
  • https://www.andertons.co.uk/victory-vx-the-kraken-50w-hand-made-valve-head-6l6-loaded-vicvx
  • https://andertons-productimages.imgix.net/81360-tmpB250.jpg?w=400&h=400&&fit=fill&bg=FFFFFF
  • 949.0000
  • 3
  • Victory
  • Victory Amplifiers
  • Victory Compact Series
  • Hand Made in the UK
  • The Kraken can be fitted with either 6L6 or EL34 output tubes - it’s simple to switch the output valves in this amp, although for optimum performance & valve life you should get an amp engineer to re-bias the amp every time you change the output valves. In the original tone testing of the Kraken (that included Martin Kidd & Rabea Massaad) it was agreed that 6L6s gave the tone we were looking for, & so the “regular” Kraken comes with these valves fitted as standard. However, if you think you’d prefer the Kraken fitted with EL34s you can order that as standard if you want. It should be noted that in Rabeas stereo Kraken set up (which is without doubt the most crushing guitar tone we’ve ever heard!) he uses EL34s in the amp he sets to channel 1 & 6L6s in the amp he sets to channel 2.Sorry, we have to do it.... RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!!!!. Victory have made some great amps over the years and have built up a reputation for high quality, tone rich heads that deliver a truly stunning range of sounds. The new Kraken head is, like its namesake, a real monster. Similar to its more refined sibling the Countess the Kraken is a portable, 2 channel head but you wont find a subtle clean channel here. Instead the Kraken presents you with 2 gain channels, 1 based on British tones and the other on American sounds. If you like your metal heavy this amp is for you. Two Gain ModesWhile a lot of amplifiers will offer you a clean and crunch channels very few offer you just two high gain crunchy overdrive channels. If you play rock or metal the clean channel may be completely useless to you so why not replace that with another gain stage so you can free up your pedalboard of all of those pesky drive pedals. Two Tube TypesThis version of the Victory VX comes as standard with a set of 6L6 power amp tubes. You are not stuck with these for life though as you can easily change out the 6L6 tubes for EL34 at any time as long as you bias the amp after changing over. The differences between these tubes are subtle but noticeable in the feel to the player. If you would rather get a version pre configured for EL34 valves click here.Variable Power50w is a lot of power but it is often needed at medium to larger size venues to even be heard when miced up. When you are at home however that can just be overkill. Victory know that you dont always need 50w so you can switch the Kraken down to 15w, 9w or even 2w of power for use at home, in the studio or on smaller stages.Extended Range FriendlySo many artists that play prog metal, djent or similar genres are using extended range guitars. Whether that is 7, 8 or even 9 strings the Kraken has a trick up its sleeve to make sure you never get flabby low end again. With a flip of the Bass Focus knob you go from a tight and focused low end that works great with extra low tunings to a looser lower end perfect for grungy American metal tones.ReviewsGuitarist - 9/10For the VX to pack such a powerful punch from such a small package makes it one of, if not the best metal amp we have ever played through.To all extended range players: Consider yourself well and truly catered for. Unleash The Kraken, indeed!Heres what VX Kraken User Rabea Massaad has to say about the 6L6 and EL34 versions6L6 - The 6L6 Loaded Kraken has a little more warmth in the low end, and has a slightly smoother/sweeter top end which is great for singing leads. The mid range is barky and aggressive with a powerful punch. This configuration lends itself to anything between warm, pushed clean/crunch tones, through to powerful and chunky rhythm tones.EL34 - The EL34 Loaded Kraken has a powerful and cutting mid and high range, with a controlled low end. Gain 1 gives you a classic British crunch to enjoyable high gain tones, whereas gain 2 gives you soaring lead tones, a biting mid range and a solid low end. The difference is pretty subtle but does make all the difference in feel to the player.Heres what Victory have to say about the KrakenVicto
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  • 4
  • 6
  • VH4
  • Diezel VH4 Overdrive/Preamp Pedal
  • https://www.andertons.co.uk/diezel-vh4-pedal-all-analog-pedal-based-on-legendary-vh4-amp-vh4
  • https://andertons-productimages.imgix.net/125028-DP_VH4-pedal-FACE-1200-x-1200.jpg?w=400&h=400&&fit=fill&bg=FFFFFF
  • 259.0000
  • 1
  • Diezel
  • Guitar Pedals
  • Overdrive and Distortion Pedals
  • All Analog Pedal Based on Legendary VH4 Amp
  • The Diezel VH4 is one of the most loved high gain metal amps in the world. Its four channel design has found its way in to studios around the world becoming a go to amp for a lot of metal bands. Now the incredibly powerful channel three from the VH4 is not available in this single pedal that can either go straight in to the front of your amp or in to the power amp section acting as a standalone preamp.So Much PowerWhile the VH4 does indeed have a fourth even heavier channel than the third channel this pedal is based on it has all of the gain you will ever need. Turned down low this pedal goes from a saturated mid gain sound all the way up to screaming solo heaven that only gets better when matched up with a classic green boost pedal. VH4 Control SchemeWith some amp style overdrive pedals they often miss off a lot of the controls that give that pedal character. The VH4 does not with a full 3 band EQ like you find in the preamp section on top of the Deep and Presence controls that are normally part of the power amp section. These are part of what made up the signature Diezel sound so it only makes sense that they are here on this pedal.Preamp or Overdrive Pedal?Heres what Diezel sayBecause this pedal is made in a very similar way to the original preamp in the actual amp it can be used as either an overdrive pedal or as a preamp to feed in to your amps power section. The benefit here is that by going direct in to the power amp you get all of the great Diezel tone uncoloured by your own amplifiers clean channel.When musical architect Peter Diezel created the DIEZEL VH4 in 1994 he unknowingly sparked a revolution in tone, creating such a demand that he literally had no choice but to put his own personal creation into production. More than 20 years later, the VH4 has become one of the most loved high gain mps in the world and the powerhouse that put DIEZEL at the forefront of music with some of the most iconic players (from Metallica to Guns N Roses) performing with it on some of the biggest stages and in studios around the world. For the first time ever, this powerful performance tool can be found in the new DIEZEL VH4 PREAMP PEDAL with all the lush, dynamic overdrive character of the VH4 Channel 3.Unlike traditional overdrive stomp boxes, the VH4 Pedal is a true preamp which delivers an authentic representation of its namesake - real Diezel tone - not emulated, not modeled, but sincerely reproduced. The entire signal architecture is faithful to the original: Bass, Mid, Treble and variable Deep and Presence controls allow you to tailor the uniquely Diezel Overdrive character. The command found in the Gain control gives a player everything they will ever need with lower gain settings producing the classic Diezel sparkle and chime to saturated mid-gain sounds, to scorching Diezel leads by cranking it all the way up.As close to the original VH4 preamp, the VH4 pedal can be used as either an overdrive or as a standalone preamp to feed into your amps power section. What players take away by going direct into the power amp is all the dynamic, unfiltered Diezel tone by simply plugging into your amplifiers clean channel. Two outputs are provided with the first intended to connect to the front of a guitar amplifier and the second allows for a connection to a line-level power amp or power section of your amp via the Effects Return.SpecificationsPreamp pedal based on the legendary VH4 Channel 3 Controls: Volume, Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Presence and DepthPedal be powered between 12-18VDC (no battery)12V power supply included18V power supply cable included (for use with 9V isolated power supplies)Assembled in USA
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  • 0
  • EHXPOG2
  • Electro Harmonix Pog 2 Synth Octave Pedal
  • https://www.andertons.co.uk/electro-harmonix-pog-2-pedal-ehxpog2
  • https://andertons-productimages.imgix.net/24084-EHXPOG2.jpg?w=400&h=400&&fit=fill&bg=FFFFFF
  • 300.0000
  • 0
  • Electro Harmonix
  • Guitar Pedals
  • Octave Pedals
  • Electro Harmonix Pog 2 Pedal What Electro Harmonix say about the Pog 2Back in 2005, Electro-Harmonix unveiled the original POG, a polyphonic octave generator that enabled guitarists to conjure everything from the surreal jangle of an 18-string guitar, to rich, thick walls of symphonic sound. The POG2 will take you even higher. Use the new attack control to fade in lush, smooth swells. Tune in the new second sub-octave to reach deeper than ever before. The 2-pole resonant low-pass filter now includes two additional Q modes. Slide in the newly enhanced detune to further refine your sound.The POG2 delivers unrivaled tonal variations -- and now you can save your favorite settings, and recall them with a click. The POG2 just plain sounds better, thanks to an enhanced algorithm that delivers a more focused and in-the-pocket harmonic performance. And all this is now packed into our rugged and pedalboard-friendly diecast chassis.
  • That Pedal Show
  • 5
  • 2
  • LSPARROWHAWKMGSBS
  • ESP LTD Sparrowhawk Bill Kelliher Signature Military Green Burst
  • https://www.andertons.co.uk/esp-ltd-sparrowhawk-bill-kelliher-signature-military-green-sunburst-lsparrowhawkmgsbs
  • https://andertons-productimages.imgix.net/136292-tmp6075.jpg?w=400&h=400&&fit=fill&bg=FFFFFF
  • 1329.0000
  • 0
  • ESP
  • Electric Guitars
  • Modern Body Guitars
  • The Sparrowhawk is an offset shaped metal machine. In a brand new Military Green Sunburst Satin finish it'll fit in any hard rock or metal band.The Lace Sensor pickups are clear and defined even when you turn the gain right up and the neck-thru body construction means the guitar resonates with every note you play. This is because the neck and body are glued together and the notes resonate through both pieces of wood.The TonePros locking TOM bridge creates a great point of contact to allow the strings to resonate and sustain. The 24.75" scale length means the guitar is comfortable to play and this enhanced by the Thin U shaped neck.Here's what ESP say about the Bill Kelliher SparrowhawkThe Sparrowhawk is the newest LTD Signature Series guitar for Bill Kelliher of the respected American metal band Mastodon.With a body shape designed by Bill based on elements of a number of different guitars he's admired, the Sparrowhawk has a vibe all of its own, while still retaining some classic aspects that make it outstanding for a variety of different genres. It features a set of Lace Sensor Divinator pickups, with a push-pull coil-splitting control for a variety of tones.The Sparrowhawk has a solid feel, with a maple-capped mahogany body, set-thru construction, and a smooth heel joint for fast access to the highest frets. It offers a three-piece mahogany neck with satin finish, a 22-fret ebony fingerboard with block inlays, and a TonePros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece to provide stability and sustain.The Sparrowhawk is finished in Military Green Sunburst Satin, and is available in both right- and left-handed versions.SpecificationsCONSTRUCTION: Set-ThruSCALE: 24.75"BODY: Mahogany w/ Maple CapNECK: 3Pc MahoganyFINGERBOARD: EbonyFINGERBOARD RADIUS: 350mmFINISH: Military Green Sunburst SatinNUT WIDTH: 42mmNUT TYPE: MoldedNECK CONTOUR: Thin UFRETS/TYPE: 22 XJHARDWARE COLOR: GoldSTRAP BUTTON: StandardTUNERS: LTD LockingBRIDGE: Tonepros Locking TOM & TailpieceNECK PU: Lace Sensor Divinators *(Pull Tone to split)BRIDGE PU: Lace Sensor Divinators *(Pull Vol to split)ELECTRONICS: PassiveELECTRONICS LAYOUT: Vol(Push-Pull)/Tone(Push-Pull)/Toggle SwitchCASE CODE: CSPARROWFFCASE INCLUDED: No
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  • 0
  • EQDDIS2
  • EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master v2 Reverb & Delay Pedal
  • https://www.andertons.co.uk/earthquaker-dispatch-master-v2-reverb-delay-pedal-eqddis2
  • https://andertons-productimages.imgix.net/125083-DispatchMaster.jpg?w=400&h=400&&fit=fill&bg=FFFFFF
  • 199.0000
  • 1
  • EarthQuaker Devices
  • Guitar Pedals
  • Delay Pedals
  • If you like your delay and reverb sounds to be on the large side you need the EarthQuaker Dispatch Master Delay & Reverb pedal in your rig. This small pedal perfectly combines a modern but cavernous sounding reverb with a digtal delay that has up to 1.5s of delay time. Run them on their own or at the same time this pedal is incredibly versatile.This is version 2 of the Dispatch Master with a slightly bigger chassis, soft switches and top mounted jack inputs to save real estate on a pedalboard. Single Pedal, 2 JobsNearly every pedalboard in the world has at least a reverb and a delay on it. These pedals are the backbone of a great tone and are one of the best investments you can make to your rig. But why use two pedals when you can just use the Dispatch Master. With both a high quality digital reverb and digital delay built in this pedal does both jobs amazingly well.4 ControlsOn the front of the pedal you have four controls that set your tone. These are Mix, Reverb, Repeats, and Time. Reverb is the only control for the reverb and sets both the depth and volume at once. The Mix, Time and Repeats controls are all for the powerful delay setup. Because you can mix and match the two using the mix and Reverb controls you can actually run one without the other or both at the same time.Here's what EarthQuaker say about the Dispatch MasterThe Dispatch Master is one of our favorite devices at EQD, and remains our top-seller to this day. Pick one up, and you'll know why.Crystalline digital delays up to 1.5 seconds without nasty self-oscillation. Luscious reverbs that seem to last forever, like a collect call from beyond the fourth dimension. Ethereal ambient soundscapes that drift off into outer space like a psychedelic shooting star. Over ten thousand pickers, grinners, heshers, singers, shredders, ivory ticklers, trumpeters, bassists, and synthesists use the Dispatch Master to make and receive music in all genres - anything from thick swatches of reverb and delay, to a quick chicken-pickin' slapback, or even just to add a little bit of room sound to a signal that's a tad dry.The delay signal is clear and strong, with no gross digital artifacts or tonal degradation. The reverb is massive and cavernous. With a twist of the "Mix" knob, you'll hear everything from subtle ambient spaces, making the Dispatch Master a useful "always on" pedal; to cavernous reflections and echoes with near-infinite repeats.The Dispatch Master is designed to be a little more hi-fi than the Ghost Echo or Levitation, for those players looking for clean, articulate time-based effects in a versatile yet still compact footprint. The Delay and Reverb effects may be used separately or in tandem. You just have to answer the call.The Dispatch Master is true bypass, and built one at a time by retired telephone switchboard operators in Akron, Ohio, USA, the Clark Kent of the Midwest.The Dispatch Master uses silent relay-based soft touch switching. Audio will not pass without power.
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  • BOSSGE7
  • Boss GE-7 Graphic Equalizer Compact Pedal
  • https://www.andertons.co.uk/boss-ge-7-graphic-equalizer-bossge7
  • https://andertons-productimages.imgix.net/26841-BOSSGE7.jpg?w=400&h=400&&fit=fill&bg=FFFFFF
  • 73.0000
  • 4
  • Boss
  • Guitar Pedals
  • EQ Pedals
  • The world's best known compact pedal manufacturer
  • Powerful 7-Band EQ!Shape your sound and eliminate feedback with seven bands of equalization. Includes frequencies ranging from 100Hz to 6.4kHz with a powerful 15dB boost/cut per band. While the sound man might be great, relying on him to reset your eq on demand is not gonna work. An EQ pedal allows you to get that boost you need when you need it and its so easy to use you can fine tune your tone in less time than it takes the drummer to count you in. SpecificationsCompact EQ pedal with 7 bands of adjustable EQ sliders Allows for boost/cut of up to +/- 15dB per band Perfect as a boost pedal for solos, creating an alternate sound, or for eliminating feedback
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  • Boss Pedals With Patch Cable
  • 4
  • 9

With 7 Studio albums under their belt, Grammy award winners Mastodon have been redefining the sound and shape of heavy metal for over a decade.

The Band’s progressive style and seismic sound is due in-part to their wide range of influences; a combination of classic rock, thrash metal and even a bit of country & bluegrass makes for a truly unique and instantly recognisable sound!

Before we begin, let’s take a listen to some of the huge tones that Mastodon guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher are known for.

Listen To The Original

Let’s dive into some Mastodon tones

You’ll know that Mastodon have achieved some of the biggest guitar tones on the planet in the last few years and have even gone against the rulebook when it comes to metal guitar tone. They generally use heavy drop-tunings but on normal scale guitars. This is an interesting approach because their amp and pedal setup gives them a tighter bass and low-mid response yet in theory, tuning low on a normal scale guitar should sound more ‘flabby’ than normal. But this helps Mastodon achieve a loose sludgy feel with a tighter low-end than you’d expect.

Rather than scoop the mids, Mastodon make sure that their guitar sound has plenty of mid dialled in. This is so that the guitar will be heard under all that distortion. They use British style amps to achieve this and crank the amps (and the gain) up to 11. As for effects, they tend to dial in loads of different tones (Especially modulations, reverbs and delays) with the axe-fx but an Octave pedal and a TS-style overdrive will get you close.

Please remember that these sounds haven’t been endorsed by Mastodon and we are just offering some advice on how to get similar guitar sounds. Also, never follow the rulebook and feel free to take these guidelines a step further and create your own sound.

Guitars

Bill Kelliher Guitar Sound

To nail that heavy Bill Kelliher tone you need a fat sounding, LP style guitar. Fortunately this is easily achieved with his two signature ESP guitars. We’ve chosen his singlecut LTD BK-600 which has a familiar feel and design to other LTD guitars but with a very big difference at it’s heart. The pickups. These are hot without being super modern or scooped sounding. In fact they’ve got a mid-range sweet spot that works well with his Friedman Butterslax amp to give you an aggressive, throaty mid-range sound with an open, dynamic low-end. Perfect for drop-tunings and especially good with the high gain channel cranked on your amp.

ESP LTD Mastodon signature

Kelliher has got another signature LTD which is called the Sparrowhawk for the more open-minded player. This offset body shape has similar spec to his BK600 but with Divinator pickups instead which are slightly lower resistance pickups but still retaining plenty of heat! To get in the Kelliher ballpark you’ll want a meaty sounding guitar like the LTDs with clear sounding medium/hot pickups. This is what will give you the clarity you want under all that gain!

Brent Hinds Guitar Sound

Brent Hinds is a famous Gibson user. He’s been seen using everything from Flying Vs to SGs and Les Pauls! He even has a signature Epiphone Flying V which was designed to give you his powerful signature tone. Go for a guitar with powerful passive pickups and enough mid-range sizzle to cut through loads of gain.

Amps

Bill Kelliher Amp Sound

It’s no secret that Mastodon use bucketloads of gain on their guitar tones. But what is interesting is how they still retain note definition! The easiest way to nail Kellihers amp tone is by using his signature Friedman Butterslax amp.

He uses channel 3 so that he can really pile on the distortion. The Butterslax is a tight sounding 100w head, so you’ll want to avoid any flabby low frequencies (Especially with the lower tunings) if you decide to use something different. It’s powered by 4x EL34 tubes which give you that classic British sizzle but with all of the modern low-end you need.

Brent Hinds Amp Sound

Rabea chose the Victory VX Kraken to get the Brent Hinds sound. By using channel 1 (The ‘British’ side of the amp) he was able to achieve that signature fatness that Mastodon get. But in a similar way to Bill Kelliher, Brent Hinds doesn’t lose clarity by cranking the gain and scooping the mids. Instead, he keeps the gain up and uses high output pickups (With a present mid-range) to get that brutal tone.

The Kraken Head by Victory Amplification

Brent Hinds currently uses a JMP and a Diezel to get his tone so if you want to be spot on then you’ll want to have a healthy dose of British overdrive with powerful German distortion. Why not try the Diezel VH4 Preamp/Overdrive pedal into a clean amp to get that tone?

Pedals

Bill Kelliher Pedals

v
The octave is there to fatten up the low-end and beef up any rhythm tones. Traditionally you wouldn’t use it over your lead tones. But by dialling in octave onto your dry signal (This is easy to do with something like the EHX nano POG,POG2 or Boss Super Octave) you can add chunky bass notes without making your tone muddy.

Having reverb on the tone will warm up your signal and make those octave sounds a little bit bigger. You can add reverb to taste depending on the tone, but just remember that having a dry signal will make your tone ‘tighter’ and more in your face. You can use anything from the MXR Reverb to the Boss RV-6

Brent Hinds Pedals

Any TS-style mid-range overdrive (Try the Maxon 808 or an Ibanez Tubescreamer) will be useful for getting the Brent Hinds tone. Turn the gain all the way down and set the tone where you want it and just watch how it tightens up the low-end on your dirty channel. Rabea found that adding a Klon style pedal (RYRA Klone) into the mix works wonders for the Mastodon tone. It adds a touch more gain but also saturates the sound a bit which’ll just help in fattening those riffs and tones.

ryra klon,pog, maxon,

For EQ Pedals Something like the BOSS GE-7 will just allow you to take out some of the high-mid and remove any fizz that you might have from running so much gain.

It’s worth having a delay and reverb (or combo pedal) in your effects loop or at the end of your chain to warm up those lead sounds. Having the delay and reverb on for the single note runs will give your tone space in the mix and give it width. Again, this makes your guitar sounding bigger and more powerful. For an example listen to the solo on Oblivion and you’ll easily get an idea of how reverb and delay should sound. The Earthquaker Dispatch Master was an easy way to fatten up the Brent sound.

Soundcloud

Do you think Rabea & Matt got close to the Mastodon sound? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

If you’re interested in finding out how to achieve the tones of your favourite artists, check out more of our Sound Like articles by clicking here.

Transcript

Rabea: Is cameraman filming?

Matt: he’s filming, right.

Rabea: All right guys, I’m Rabea.

Matt: And I’m Matt.

Rabea: This is Sound Like on Andertons TV

[music]

We’re back at it again with more Sounds like videos.

Matt: Yes we are. This is sound like Mastodon.

Rabea: By Busting the Bank.

Matt: We all know what that means. That means it’s colossally expensive, hopefully a lot closer to the rigs they actually use.

Rabea: It’s exciting, they just released a new album.

Matt: They did.

Rabea: Emperor of Sand.

Matt: It’s really good. This is a really well time video hopefully, it should be fun. Last one was really good as well.

Rabea: It’s going to be really loud, it’s going to be really fun and it’s going to be really heavy with lots of riffs.

Matt: That sounds terrible.

Rabea: Sounds like my breakfast.

[scene change]

Rabea: Well, I’m doing Brent Hinds and normally we would go for, I suppose with it being Brent Hinds he’s got his own signature Epiphone V, which Andertons don’t actually have in stock, but because it’s “by Busting” I’m just going to get a really, really nice V. Let’s have a look. Well , there are two V’s here.

Matt: yes, there are.

Rabea: These are the only two it seems.

Matt: About 2017.

Rabea: These are the new Gibson 2017.

Matt: £1200.

Rabea: £1200 is all right. The problem I foresee is that I’m not very good at holding and playing V.

Matt: You have to wedge it in your leg. It’ll be fine.

Rabea: It’ll be fine.

Matt: That is beautiful.

Rabea: There you go.

Matt: Look at it.

Rabea: It’s got dirty fingers pickups in it. This is the guitar for me and Brent Hinds.

Matt: Boom. Now Bill Kelliher, he has a Signature ESP and a Signature amp. It’s a little bit boring but can you not use it? Probably not. His Signature guitar is right here, the ESP/LTD, Bill Kelliher, which is-

Rabea: Mate, look at that.

Matt: – a stonker, and it has lace sensor pickups and this matte black with a greeny burst top here.

Rabea: It’s a lovely looking guitar.

Matt: It is, isn’t it, yes? I’m sure it’ll sound amazing. So I’m going to use this.

[scene change]

Matt: Right, we have guitars, I think we’ll be suitably “Masterdon-y”.

Rabea: We should get your amp first.

Matt: We should get my amp first.

Rabea: Because with any look they have the Bill Kelliher Signature Friedman in stock.

Matt: Which has an amazing name.

Rabea: It does.

Matt: It’s called the Butterslax.

Rabea: It’s great.

[scene change]

Matt: Well, there you go. This is the Butterslax – the Bill Kelliher Signature. It’s rather heavy but it is a beautiful, beautiful amplifier.So, I’m definitely going to be using this for my rig, paired up with this Friedman 2×12

Rabea: £779, £799, even.

Matt: So, say 800 pounds for cab. The head is also crazy, crazy expensive but hopefully, well, by the sounds of the other demos I’ve heard, it should sound amazing.

[scene change]

Rabea: Now, we’re on to Brent Hinds and this is going to be slightly more of a challenge, purely based on the fact that Brent Hinds uses Diezel, which we can’t get but there’s also I’ve seen Oranges and Marshall plexi’s and he also uses some Fenders for cleans.

The options really are, do I go Orange? Do I go Marshall? Do I go Friedman as well or do I get something unexpected and then get a couple of pedals to compensate?

I’ve made a decision to not use Orange, only because although I think tonally it could be close; the problem with Orange amps is they’re meant to be played loud and although we play loud. I think to get the kind of sound out of it that I want to get it needs to be turned up a lot. With a hundred watt valve head, even on half power I think, correct me if I’m wrong, but I just think that’s going to be a bit too fizzy and it’s going to be hard to control.

[scene change]

I had another thought and I was going to ask Matt about this. Brent Hinds uses a JMP Marshall and a Diezel, one of those is the British, vintage British, high gain and the other one’s a German modern high gain. I’m thinking Victory VX Kraken because gain one is a JCM 900 style British voiced crunch or high gain and then gain two is your American 5150 style.

Matt: It’s a convincing argument,

Rabea: I think it’s a convincing argument.

Matt: Do it, it’s going to be loud enough. It’s going to be; maybe get 2x12s, I’m 2x12s as well.

Rabea: Couple of pedals, EQ to maybe have extra tonal flex.

Matt: If you think you’ll get close.

Rabea: I think it will get as close.

Matt: Especially with the tube screamer up front.

[scene change]

Matt: Pedals pedals, let’s do Brent Hinds.

Rabea: Do Brent Hinds. Ok so obviously he uses a tube screamer style pedal and we’ve got a plethora of tube screamers to choose from.

Matt: Yes we do.

Rabea: You could go for your standard TS808, you could go for a Maxon TS808, you could go OD9. There’s so many different ones but I just spotted this pedal, the Keeley Oxblood. Now I don’t know what it is, it looks like a drive pedal of some form here and it’s got a fat switch. I’m going to get that just based on the name, because I think that that speaks true to the Mastodon kinda vibe.

Do we need to get any kind of leady sounds?

Matt: Potentially, we were talking about getting an EQ each, again.

Rabea: Yes, we were.

Matt: So we should do that. Well, I’m going to get an Octave. Bill Kelliher uses Axe-Fx. Andertons don’t stock Axe-Fx, so in this case, I’m going to pick out just some bits of the sound which I’m trying to replicate. So I’ll go for an Octave, an EQ should push the amp. I’ll hopefully rely on the amp for the rest of the sound given that it’s a Signature amp.

Rabea: I’m gonna get a Klon as well, because I like what Klons do to the front of amplifiers. Just to see different variations of distortions. Obviously, you’ve got your Octave and an EQ to just sort of get tones closer.

I think I’m going to throw in some form of delay-reverb-style pedal, because Brent plays a lot of lead. Even if we don’t play any lead, it’s good to have the option there.

[scene change]

Rabea: We’ve got some bits.

Matt: We’ve got some bits.

Rabea: All of these, hopefully are going to help us to sound even better than the last time we tried to sound like Mastodon.

Matt: Yes. We need to pick up a few more bits out of the back, but these bits should get us a bit closer.

Rabea: Let’s go grab your bits then.

Matt: Oh, okay.

[music]

[scene change]

Rabea: We are back in the room.

Matt: We are back in the video room.

Rabea: I’m just going to say this right now, I think I have found a new favorite tone that we’ve ever done on Sound Like.

Matt: I’ve got to say, of all the tones, the one Rabea’s got here is exceptional.

Rabea: I’m well chuffed. Without further ado, let’s just jump straight in. Let’s start with your rig. Save the best to last.

Matt: Okay. Well, basically nice and simple. I have Bill Kelliher’s Signature LTD here.

Rabea: Which is a beauty guitar.

Matt: Which is a beauty guitar. Yes, just LP style like the satin black as I said in the shop. With lace sensor pickups and locking tuners, made in Korea, it’s basically —

Rabea: It’s a really tidy guitar.

Matt: It’s a really tidy guitar. Really, really beautiful. That is running it directly, well, actually through these pedals obviously, but straight in the front of this Friedman, which is the Butterslax, his signature.

Rabea: It’s a great name.

Matt: It is a great name, isn’t it? Great word. But yes, it’s a Signature head. That’s running into the 2×12, Friedman here as well. One thing to note as always is that it’s really exceptionally loud. I have been playing on approximately between — If 0.5 was a setting, I’d be around there and 1.

[laughter]

Yes, it’s really loud.

[music]

Then I’ve got my EQ upfront going straight into the POG2. I could use a Micro POG. This one is a bit more involved, but we didn’t have any around, so I’ve gone with the POG2, as we didn’t have any budget restraints. That is running into this —

Rabea: LovePedal, isn’t it?

Matt: It’s a LovePedal reverb, yes. Reverb 3. It’s a relatively straightforward rig.

Rabea: What sound on the amp are you using most of, do you think?

Matt: Mostly I was on the gain three channel which is the highest of the three channels gain wise. Yes, gain’s riding on about half, and as I said, the master; exceptionally low.

[music]

It sounds good. It sounds good.

Rabea: It’s got a really rounded grunty mid thing.

Matt: This is a really, really grunty setup. It sounds lovely straight in, which is great. I didn’t actually end up using the EQ, as it seemed to make everything a little bit more —

Rabea: Boxy almost.

 Matt: Yes, compressed. With the POG2 for that Octave — The lower octave sound.

[music]

 Rabea: That sounds sick.

 Matt: That is my favorite sound. I love a good, a really nice thick high gain sound with powerful guitar, and a nice sub-octave, wins for me every time. Yes, so that’s my rig. Relatively simple, but obviously as it’s by Busting the Bank it’s colossally expensive.

 Rabea: Fair, well, let’s get onto my rig-

 Matt: Lets get onto your rig.

 Rabea: – because I’m well excited about it. Just to point out, I think both rigs sound amazing. I’d happily own either of them.

 Matt: Definitely, and they do sound really, really different but still is like — I think on a par quality wise just a different thing.

[music]

 Rabea: I’ll start with the amplifier. I’m using a 6L6 Victory VX Kraken. I thought Channel one is more British Channel two is American. I actually used Channel one the whole time because it’s a bit thicker and more full-bodied than gain two. However, that is the amplifier —

 Matt: Incidentally is that the more British one?

 Rabea: Yes. I know he uses a JMP and the Diezel, we’re over our side of pond anyway. In any case that’s the amp. I’ll show you right after I show you the guitar. I’m not a V guy, however, this is a Gibson flying V 2017. The flying V standard.

 Matt: It’s very nice.

 Rabea: I must admit, now I’ve learned how to hold them. You put the bottom of the v here and you sit like this.

[laughs]

It’s nice for that classical guitarist thing. But in any case it works, and this is it straight into the amplifier.

[music]

The bass focus is pulled out and the gain is on six, just above halfway. To get the tone, essentially at the front I’ve got the EQ; the Boss GE7. I’ve got a Maxon OD808. Got a Ryra Klon Clone, and the Keeley Oxblood and then in the loop I’ve got the Earthquaker dispatch master.

So easy one out of the first this is the dispatch master. Just for leads.

[music]

 Matt: It’s lovely. We used it before

 Rabea: Sounds great. So then, I’ll go through each pedal individually. I’ll just play a straight up Riff-

[music]

Like that, then I push GE7 in.

[music]

Actually takes away a little bit of high mid and fizz – Put the Maxon in; tightens up the low end, gives it more punch and it supplies you with a tiny bit more chord definition.

[music]

Take it back off- Put it back in.

[music]

 Matt: So, your using it on zero drive again.

 Rabea: Yes, zero drive, doing the modern approach.

 Matt: The push thing.

 Rabea: No drive, level on halfway and tone just above halfway. And then the Ryra Klon; which was a guess if it would work on it, but it totally did. Everything’s roughly just under 12 o’clock, so this is without.

[music]

Push it in.

[music]

 Matt: That sounds awesome.

 Rabea: Just before I go back to how awesome that sound is, the Oxblood we literally used for the beginning of Blood and Thunder. So everything stayed on except the Klon and then we put the Oxblood in and this is what you get.

[music]

The reason that we’ve done that. It’s actually a drive pedal with some cool functionality. You’ve got a fat switch, a clipping switch, but it didn’t sound like Mastodon. I knew it was a guess when we got the pedal anyway.

Matt: It was a bit of a gamble

Rabea: I got it because of the name. But it works for that excerpt, so we put all the drive off, level all the way off, tone on full, fat switch out and the clipping stage in. And it gives you that sort of boxy intro to Blood and Thunder.

[music]

Then you take it off.

[music]

Put the Klon back in.

[music]

I could play that for hours.

Matt: That’s really good. You could probably get the intro to Blood and Thunder sound —

Rabea: Without that.

Matt: You can probably get that without spending a lot of money on a pedal.

Rabea: I felt like I just needed to use it though.

Matt: Of course. But I reckon you can probably get that through the amp.

[music]

Rabea: As this is Busting, Matthew, I may as well tot up really quick. This is £1200, the amp’s £900 the cab’s about £500. So I’m way over two grand there. Then my pedals, in all their entirely is about £600-£700, possibly more.

Matt: I think I might have won with money.

Rabea: Yes, I think you might.

Matt: The head here, the Friedman Butterslax, which is ridiculously awesome, ridiculously loud, is £3500.

Rabea: For the head alone.

Matt: So, I’m not even going to talk about the rest of my rig.

[laughter]

I’m just going to leave you with that price.

Rabea: Totally busted the bank, and left everyone for dead.

Matt: Exactly. You can check out all the gear and the latest prices in the description box below.

Rabea: You can, indeed.

Matt: More details of all this cool stuff.

Rabea: Let us know what you think.

Matt: Yes. Did we sound like Mastodon? That’s the question.

Rabea: I hope so. I felt like we were Mastodon in a way. I don’t have tattoos on my face, but it doesn’t matter, because I’ve found stuff that I’m really happy about. I’ve learned from this video.

Matt: Exactly. I’ve learned that the riffs are the most fun to play.

Rabea: They’re totally fun.

Matt: It is the most — If you’re wondering what you should do with your life, start a Mastodon cover band. You will not be disappointed.

Rabea: On that note, I’ve been Rabea.

Matt: and I’ve been Matt.

Rabea: This has been Sound Like on Andertons TV.

[music]

Jack Cooper
Jack Cooper
Jack is our Marketing Manager and owner of the 'best pedalboard' award at Andertons. He plays a Baritone PRS and a Reverend Kingbolt in Drop C# tuning to compliment his fat-sounding pop-punk rig. You can find him exploring the pedal section for a 'new sound that no ones heard before'.

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