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Long Time: Gear & Tone


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The electric guitar tones on display here in this song are the stuff of legend. They were very unique sounding for the time period of the mid to late 70s. An additional Graphic EQ is a really big part of the tone shaping, so, that said, the choice of guitar here matters a bit less.
Guitar 1 can be any electric guitar with a humbucker pickup in the bridge position, and it must have a whammy bar such as a Floyd Rose for some crazy bar work during soloing.

For Guitar 2, a Les Paul guitar was used on the recording. There is debate as to whether P90 pickups or humbucker pickups were used. The good news is that these pickups sound very similar. A P90 can be described as a clearer but noisier version of a humbucker. Either pickup in the bridge position will do the trick.

Guitar 3 is an acoustic guitar. Any acoustic is suitable to play this song, but one with a brighter tone will help cut through the band better.

As far as amps go, a Marshall style tube amp is the best choice. Crank up the preamp gain to full for a big crunch sound. Roll down the bass control, crank the mid control to halfway, and set the highs to around 3/4.

As I mentioned earlier, the tones are EQ'd even further using a 6 band EQ pedal. The general approach here is to emphasize the lower–mids (500-800 Hz) and pull down everything else. This effectively "slots" the guitar somewhere between the bass and the vocals. Beware though, that radical EQing like this makes the guitar sound rather thin if you are playing by yourself. However in the context of a dense mix, it sounds very cool. The EQ pedal is placed between your guitar and the amp.

Guitar 1 use heavy compression, chorus, and delay for extra sustain and lushness. The use of heavy effect processing like this on electric guitars started to creep into recordings around the mid-70s, and this song was no exception. This "ultra-produced" sounding approach was definitely a precursor to the heavily effected guitar sounds of the 80s.
Add some reverb to all guitars for depth. Here are the settings I used:

Marshall Plexi Model:

Drive: 100% Bass: 10% Mid: 50% Treb: 75% Presence: 65%

7 Band Graphic EQ:

100Hz: -25% 200Hz: -25% 400Hz: +50% 800Hz: +100%
1.6kHz: -25% 3.2KHz: +40% 6.4KHz: 0


Input: 50% Sustain: 85%


Rate: 20% Depth: 70% Wet/DryMIX: 35%


Time: 325ms Feedback: 40% Wet/DryMIX: 20%

Plate Reverb:

WetDryMIX: 40%