AC/DC “Back in Black” (New Series)

Note: Updated remix with louder Solo!

Technical notes:

Backing Track: multitrack files from the 1992 Donnington Concert
Angus was muted and I re-played his parts.

I chose to go for an original recording rhythm track (i.e., the tone of the guitar and the rhythm nuances, are as much as possible – due to the increased tempo of this live version – the ones of the original studio recording).

The solo is instead Angus’ now classical phrasing of his live versions (tutorial coming for an in depth study of all of this).

The increased tempo of this performance was hard to cope with, especially for the subtle bluesy lick that we all know. It seems that Angus himself has difficulties in keeping it played as it was on the original recording, and the reason – after several attempts and in depth study of this – is quite evident: it’s a struggle to play it at increased speed. Supposedly, he saves his strength to keep up with the rest of the songs he plays live.

The tone of both tracks was carefully recreated trying to match the studio version.

An in depth study of “Back in Black” studio tone will also be covered soon in these pages.

I used a relatively new technology in the realm of modeling for these sounds: The Avid “Eleven Rack”.

Guitar used here is a recent purchase, my usual “issue” guitar. It’s a real 1968 Gibson SG Standard that has been modified in a few parts (images below).

The guitar has had its body (the body only, the neck was left with the original cherry red) painted black.
All of these modifications were done before my purchase, therefore lowering the price of an original 1968 SG Standard.
Always be on the lookout for great, issue instruments!

Bridge pickup cover was removed. Vibrola was removed and a stopbar was added (please note the incorrect placing: the stopbar was placed in the same holes that the vibrola used to occupy, probably to avoid drilling more holes on the body).

Both Pickups should be either late Patent Numbers or T-Tops. Both are original.

Internally, the circuit was left all original with the exception of the pots (potentiometers), that were replaced in 1974 (information provided by the vendor). This should not affect that much the sound also considering that circa 40 years have passed and all the components have aged wonderfully.

The chance for me was good to finally own a much debated 1968 SG Standard.

The year 1968 for late SGs seems in fact to be a magical year because of the characteristics of this model. The following year, many details were changed.

As you can find in a related article (here), Angus’ Young FIRST Gibson SG was NOT a 1968 model.

The tone of the guitars was carefully recreated after the original tone of the 1980 Back in Black Studio Album.

An amplifier modeler was used for this recording, namely, the recent Avid “Eleven Rack” (soon to be covered with a review, link to be added here).

Special care was put in the choice of the Amplifier model, microphone model, reverb and delay, equalization and compression (in depth details to follow for this specific track).

Audio Recorded with ProTools LE 8.0.4 and Eleven Rack.

Video Recoded with a Canon 5D MkII, 50mm f/1.2 lens for added depth of field.

Follows a few detailed images of this 1968 Gibson SG Standard: