Amp modeling now offers such realism and convenience it requires a special occasion to mic up an actual combo or stack. Plug-ins like Native Instruments’ Guitar Rig and IK Multimedia’s Amplitube evoke the essence of Fender, Vox, Marshall, and more. But having just depleted your piggy bank for Ableton Live, you may not be ready to shell out another hundred or two for amp modeling software. Fear not—if you bought the Live Suite, you can get a gamut of amp and effect sounds without any further spending by using the Amp and Cabinet plug-ins included with the DAW. Combining these two plug-ins with a few others—some included in basic Live, some available free on the interweb—you can dial up “virtually” any guitar sound. Let me show you how to build a software amp and effects rig that will have you thinking twice before throwing that SM-57 in front of your amplifier.
Instead of four boring “Your Ad Here” banners on the side, I decided to replace three of them with ads for my books.
Getting Great Guitar Sounds has been in print for 30 years and is still relevant. I carefully stuck to basic principals rather than specific products so the info is not dated. Covers everything from the guitar to the amp and beyond.
I was thrilled to be Creative Consultant on this video. Paul and Rob from DCI were drummers and weren’t sure what to ask him to demonstrate. When he says, “I was told to tell you that I use the compressor on all the time,” I was the one that requested he say that, as I felt it was a big part of the way he was able to get controllable feedback. Adrian had a bad cold that day from being immersed in a tank of cold water for a previous video shoot. .
This is a trick I discovered on my own a couple of years ago, but Shawn Persinger a/k/a Prester John demonstrates it beautifully in this video. I would add two things: you don’t necessarily need reverb, but don’t we just love it? And, depending on the octave fuzz, you might find that lowering your guitar volume, while on the bridge pickup, increases the “sitar” effect.
Paul Guy, a guitar repairman in Sweden has issued a wonderful treatise on tuning the instrument. I have written about this myself, but I learned a couple of new things from this. I imagine you will too. If you want to skip the theory, go straight to Intonation. One thing he doesn’t address, that I have experienced, is some guitars just “sound” more in tune than others. My theory is that the vibration of some guitars, as it is transferred to the strings, contains more “harmonious” overtones than other guitars. Has anyone else had this experience?
Tuning the guitar by Paul Guy
Tuning has always been a bugbear for guitarists. Every guitar player – and every guitar builder and repairer – is familiar with the problem. No matter how good the instrument, and how well tuned and adjusted, it never sounds perfectly in tune in all positions and keys.