80's pop tones

Discussion in 'Music, Theory, Tab and Such' started by RoyalWe, May 16, 2019.

  1. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-holic

    Sep 5, 2012
    Eugene, Oregon
    I'm doing a bunch of 80's covers for a themed gig coming up in a few months, and I can't figure out how to get the right sounds for the style. How do you get these tones?!
    This lead sound

    The tight, spanky rhythm sound AND/OR The guitar solo sound from Kiss

    Theres so many more great examples, but these are what I kinda think as quintessential 80's pop guitar tones.
    I'm mostly hoping for EQing and effects recommendations, not so much guitar, amp, or pickup change solutions.
    As for what I have to work with,
    Guitars: CV Duo Sonic, Es175 copy, Peavey Patriot, Partscaster tele w/ p90 & Dynasonic.

    Amps: Lab Series L5, Monoprice 15, Peavey Royal 8, Gibson G10.

    Pedals:Behringer TO800, MXR Chorus, Danelectro Phaser, generic delay, Joyo Tremolo, Vox Wah, Ibanez FZ7.
    Kenneth Mountain and dbrian66 like this.
  2. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    I can't listen to any of the examples right now, and I can't recall the tunes in my head, but compression was a big factor in 80's tones.
    dbrian66 and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  3. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    Also, I promise you, the audience isn't going to be anywhere near as critical as you are. So, let's say hypothetically, to really NAIL IT, you'll need to change guitars every song, and tweak some amp/pedal knobs or whatever. Those changes are going to be way more distracting and detract from the experience more than if you only get the sound 60% right.
  4. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-holic

    Sep 5, 2012
    Eugene, Oregon
    I’m not worried about getting them perfect, more so what is going on so I can closely approximate them with single guitar/amp rig.
    Kenneth Mountain and dbrian66 like this.
  5. daan

    daan Squier-holic

    Oct 21, 2013
    Twin Cities
    JC-120 and a Strat? Glassy, glassy cleans...
  6. surf green

    surf green Squier-holic

    Jul 15, 2014
    Don't forget the Outfield. They opened up for Jefferson Starship (Grace Slick was bleeping HOT!) at Great Woods in the 80's. They killed it and he crowd loved them, then they disappeared off the face of the earth. Amp- everything to 10, gain to 2...……….and a mullet.

  7. Bassman96

    Bassman96 Squier-holic

    Nov 13, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Wasn't' 80's pop sound all neon and cocaine?

    Probably not much help but following because now I'm curious.
  8. daan

    daan Squier-holic

    Oct 21, 2013
    Twin Cities

    Ha, the Outfield... “Say it isn’t so” was the first song I could play all the way through.
    I was fairly obsessed by them, and looked up their “sound”
    “Amps were Marshall JCM 800's for most things and mic'ed the cabs with a Neuman u87. I believe the guitar was a Telecaster.

    They made stereo rhythm guitars by double tracking and panning left and right and sometimes using an Ibanez Dual Chorus pedal and feeding it's 2 outputs to two Marshalls side by side. No other pedals in front of the amp other than the aforementioned occasional chorus.”
    It sounds like the kind of rig you could play many kinds of heavy music through, but the way they recorded it, it was just ...nice guitar tones. And, reasonably easy to replicate, as opposed to someone with 4 dozen pedals into a stack of unobtainable amps...
  9. ksandbergfl

    ksandbergfl Squier-Meister

    Sep 7, 2015
    yes, lots of stereo chorus and compression. then add overdrive/distortion, and maybe some reverb, to taste.
  10. SoundDesign

    SoundDesign Squier-holic

    I would expect Huey Lewis & The News to be rocking some more traditional / Fender-y guitar gear but otherwise, this. Very sterile cleans and chorus-erific.
  11. optofonik

    optofonik Squier-holic

    The 80s were an effected extravaganza filled with compression, chorus, heavy reverb, slapback and other delay types that all became mainstays of the era. If you can score either an Yamaha SPX90 or an Alesis Quadraverb II cheap, do so. Better yet; get both. Those two boxes are chock full of 80s goodness.

    Hey, I wouldn't use my 1001st post to steer someone wrong
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  12. JurnyWannaBe

    JurnyWannaBe Squier-Nut

    Feb 14, 2019
    I dunno...a little Reverb, a little trem, a little delay, add some crunch. Bass at 4 treble and mid at 6...?
    RoyalWe likes this.
  13. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
  14. Stratlover84

    Stratlover84 Squier-Nut

    Jun 16, 2016
    When I think of 80's pop guitar... I think:

    1. Loads of chorus
    2. Loads of reverb (the long type too)
    3. A super clean amp tone, and not so much the Fender clean tone, but more like JC120 sterile clean (for layers upon layers of chorus and reverb)!
    optofonik likes this.
  15. optofonik

    optofonik Squier-holic

    Oh, I almost forgot... gating.
  16. Afrika61

    Afrika61 Squier-holic

    Another high water mark for '80s pop:

    The guitar at the very end and the very beginning still haunts me,..
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