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Dirty Experimental Guitar Song

The song at the top gave me a lot of headaches. The song was improvised as always and I recorded it live. But when I reviewed the audio material a day later (I just saved the project after I was done with the recording), I suddenly started to dislike the AmpliTube preset I had created for the song. And not just that, the guitar part had completely uneven loudness across the whole track and this happened the first time to me. It might be due to the fact that I didn’t have the compressors enabled during record but who knows. I had difficulties to fix it, I mean I never had it that difficult. I think a combination of a heavy limiter and a parametric EQ to kill the blatant peaks worked somehow, although, that changed also the tone but I didn’t like the preset I created anyway. Ironically, it was a clean guitar preset and I usually like them but this preset had too much treble when played with my Telecaster and it might be that I created the preset one day when I had the tone controls on the guitar dialed down (stupid, huh?). Yes, I think that might have been the problem why the preset was horrible.

But I must admit, I don’t want to say that the settings I used for the upload are now perfect. I just went full experimental mode and created a completely new preset for it. I usually don’t like overdrive emulation in amp sims or as plug-ins as it never really sounds real but that doesn’t mean that I don’t experiment with them. As I didn’t like the saved project anyway, what more could go wrong? I duplicated the guitar track multiple times to enable and disable them, setting up different new AmpliTube presets for them and to be able to decide later. I used the Fender SuperReverb amp in AmpliTube and when I combined an MXR Dynacomp with a T-Rex Mudhoney pedal, a tremolo pedal, a graphic EQ and a gain booster in AmpliTube, it sounded pretty fancy, at least after I fiddled with the knobs. I duplicated the guitar track with those settings and panned each of them individually hard to the left and right. The duplicated guitar track was then edited. I did, for example, disable the Mudhoney pedal and inserted a Fender ’63 Reverb pedal, a Seymour Duncan Shape Shifter, a BOSS SD-1, and the graphic EQ was set differently on that track as well.

I somehow ended up with a fairly light overdrive preset that sounded interesting enough, especially with the tremolo effects. I now had two different guitar tracks on each ear, one panned -29 to the right and the other -29 to the left to blend them a bit with each other. I think the double-tracking and the fact that I modified the tracks to blend with each other well, made the guitar sound fuller and the overdrive a lot more dynamic than with just one track. Talking about EQ, I really went with the “muffled” type of sound, maybe because I was annoyed by listening to my previous preset that had too much high-frequencies lol. So, what I did now is very unusual, but it was an interesting experiment. I also experimented with different room settings as I used a convolution reverb plug-in that has different impulse responses recorded at real locations. I liked the room recorded in the Clubhouse Rhinebeck New York but adjusted all room parameters and lowered the room size setting as well. I can’t say that I am perfectly happy with the tone I created but it was far worse previously and I didn’t want to delete the guitar song I recorded. So, hey, I had fun nonetheless.

And I think that’s what it is about. Playing guitar is fun, and experimenting with our records can be too. We have no professional gear or a studio where we can record stuff. So, I try to achieve something with the stuff I have. In my case, it’s guitars and software. And it’s fun to save my own progress on YouTube and maybe also some ideas, like guitar riffs and so. What do you think about the guitar track I recorded?

6 Comments »

    • Thank you John 🙂 I’m glad you like my recording. It’s never too late to learn an instrument. And times are good because even affordable instruments (for practicing and finding out if you want to continue) are now far better than what was available at these prices back then. Plus, there are tons of lessons on YouTube. 🙂 I didn’t take lessons for guitar either, I just fiddled around until I understood some things on my own. And recently it’s YouTube that takes me one step further because many people share their techniques and knowledge there. So, you can learn much better today and that without teacher 🙂

      I also wanted to try playing bass but you can just have so many hobbies and money 😀 I am already too deep into guitars, photography and whatnot. If you still have time left for another hobby, I’d say go for it!

      • Enjoyed that. Think you dialled in the guitar well. Tremolo sounds just right to me (sounds like the princeton!) and the compression/sustain sounds great. Suitable swampy guitar sound — one of my own favourites. I would dial back the reverb a tad, especially on the drums but that’s just me.

        • I featured out that the AmpliTube overdrive pedals sound a bit more acceptable when “modulated” by the tremolo because it probably hides the issues with these emulated pedals. And if I lower the level/gain of the drive pedal a lot. Yes, I agree with the reverb. I used a convolution reverb and tried to get a room sound that fits my living room. I tried to emulate the “playing an amp in a room” kind of sound. Because in my previous guitar videos it often sounded too direct and it made the guitar playing in the videos look unreal. There is a knob in the reverb plugin where I can blend the direct sound with the room sound and I had it on 100% in the current experiment with the plugin. Maybe I should try having sound from both, like having the knob on 50%. Because afterward, I thought the same as you, it’s too much room sound.

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