Analyzing Linkin Park’s One Step Closer


Script Notes:


See the video description or pinned comment for some of my sources.

The album Hybrid Theory was recorded at NRG Recording Studios, which is a top of the line studio in Los Angeles, CA  One Step Closer, the song being analyzed in this video, was Linkin Park’s debut single and it along with several other singles propelled them to worldwide rock stardom. Hybrid Theory. To date, it has sold over 32 million copies making it the best selling rock album of the 21st century.

Brad Delson, lead guitarist for Linkin Park, uses the equipment that I’ve listed on screen. Some or all of this gear was used to record the songs on the Hybrid Theory album.

A few tips for recording high gain electric guitars:

It’s best to be set everything up separate from the cabinet itself, so that you are hearing the amp through a microphone then through control room speakers and not in person. This is also where a DynaMount remote microphone placer helps out.

For EQ, set flat on the amp. Flat settings depend on the amp but are usually labeled at zero but it could be another setting. Tune up then play an E note to set bass, play an A for mids and D for the treble control. Tone and volume controls on the guitar itself also need to be set.

Back off the gain. You should have just enough for that metal sound but not too much that it destroys your string attack and turns it to mush.

Record layered guitars. Pan left and right 100 and 80, four different tracks. Triple tracking can also work. The playing must be very tight. Re-tune after every take. Bridge vs. neck pickups or change the guitar for another brand with different style pickups.

Mike Shinoda also plays guitars here and there. Early on, he was an Ibanez user, particularly the RG120 and RG2020X models. He could also be seen playing the PRS Santana SE and PRS Standard 24.

Rob Bourdon is LP’s drummer. GMS Drum Company drum set is listed in the liner notes along with Paiste cymbals. Other gear is shown on screen.

Remo Ambassador heads. Gibraltar hardware. 

Vater American Hickory 5B wood tip sticks. 

DW double kick pedal.

To my understanding, Linkin Park’s bassist did not play on the album. Studio musicians Scott Koziol, Ian Hornbeck and also Brad Delson shared the low end string duties. Koziol is credited as the bassist for “One Step Closer” in the liner notes and is featured in the music video.

For curiosity’s sake, here is Dave “Phoenix” Farrell’s equipment rig:

As for the electronic elements…they Mr. Joe Hahn and Mr. Mike Shinoda used a bunch of stuff. I’ll leave it at that.

Chester recorded with a Telefunken ELA M 251. The one shown on screen is the actual one that was used during Hybrid Theory’s recording sessions. I’ll post a link to that below as well.

This is the actual microphone that Chester used to record Hybrid Theory. We thought it was fitting to use it when we…

Posted by Grey Daze on Saturday, April 13, 2019

For the rest of the video, where you can hear the mix stems, you’ll need to go to Real Home Record dot com and find the link. Thanks for watching and don’t forget to tap that thumbs up button if you learned something from this video.

Possibly a Paul Reed Smith CE 24 guitar. 

DiMarzio Dropsonic AKA D-Sonic bridge pickups

D’Addario strings. .010 set, .049 on low E.

Drop D tuning

Various Boss pedal effects, going through the effects loop post amplifier.

Ibanez RG7620, 7 string guitars may have also been used for layering.

Marshall 1959SLP 100W but not on this song. Mesa Boogie slant or Recto 

Mesa Boogie 100W Dual Rectifier amplifiers. Brad Delson also uses a 

Traditional 4×12 cabinets with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.

An EBTech eight-channel hum eliminator serves as Delson’s effects loop, 

running everything through channel selectors.

Microphones: Shure Beta 57 or maybe a Royer 121 or Heil PR30

But for curiosity’s sake, here is Dave “Phoenix” Farrell’s equipment rig:

Music Man Stingray, Fender Precision Bass and Ernie Ball Stingray as well.

Dean Markley Blue Steel strings.

Dunlop Tortex Standard 0.88mm pick

Ampeg SVT-CL, Ampeg PN-410HLF and Ampeg SVT-810E cabinets. 

Tech 21 Sansamp NYC model PSA-1

Pedals: Dirty Boy Bass Bully, ZVex Mastotron Fuzz, EHX Holy Grail Reverb, 

Then 33 year old Artists and Repertoire guy Jeff Blue is in a large way 

responsible for getting Linkin Park signed to Warner Brothers Records. 

( The band was shopped for three 

years for a total of 43 record label showcases. He then negotiated in his 

employment contract Linkin Park’s signing. He previously worked for Zomba, 

which signed Xero…the original Linkin Park lineup. 

The same year LP was signed to WB, the Hybrid Theory album was released and 

the rest is history.

Author: Adam

Adam is a professional photographer, videographer and audio engineer. He started Real Home Recording back in 2011 and in 2017 launched Don't Go to Recording School.