Tight, heavy guitar tone?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by GavinMajesty, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. GavinMajesty

    GavinMajesty Guest

    I'm currently working on a musical project that i've been writing for sometime and am looking for a really tight, heavy as hell guitar tone to underpin technical melodies and heavy use of orchestration.

    My two choices for guitar tracking are an M-Audio Black Box and Native instruments Guitar Rig 2.

    My question is really, what would be the best compressors for working with distorted electric guitars. I'm double tracking each one with distortion on like 4 or 5 to avoid fuzz but i'm still looking for a way to tighten my guitar tracks.

    If you need more info, just ask. I realise it's a pretty vague subject. I'll upload an example of what i'm looking for later tonight.

  2. GregP

    GregP Guest

    Sorry that I can't be of more specific help, but if you're using heavy-as-he## tone, it's already so compressed that a compressor might not give you the "tightness" you're looking for.

    I personally feel that mixing in an overdrive (ie. non-fizzy) or crunch (again, the non-fizzy kind) sound in with the high-gain sound will help you maintain focus and definition.

    A well-known technique is to even just mix a bit of the clean/DI tone back into the dirty signal. Juuuuust enough to allow some pick attack and dynamics back in. THAT signal can be compressed.

  3. GavinMajesty

    GavinMajesty Guest

    I never thought about adding clean... Thanks a lot of that!

    I'm gonna be experimenting the next month or so with a good recording tone!

    Thanks for your advice and any more is welcome :D
  4. GregP

    GregP Guest

    Be aware that many "heavy as hell" tones get their definition and hugeness by layering and playing with the stereo field. Not always layering the same take, either, but manually doubling the parts (you'd be amazed at how little you notice discrepancies in human error as long as the parts are played as similarly as possible.

    The more layering you do, the more important it is to use a 'send' for your reverb instead of trying to add individual reverb to each track.

    Also, the more layering you do, the less gain per-layer you need. You will be tempted to keep your drive/gain cranked up, but hovering somewhere around 2:00 should be all you want, if you're planning on retaining any semblance of tightness and definition. Of course, that's not a "rule", just a guideline. Another way to approach it would be, in at least one layer, have it as your "base" sound, which can have more gain and therefore more harmonic excitement when you squeal those pinch harmonics (if you plan to use that technique), and then the other layers can have the gain backed off more.

    I haven't recorded a lot of metal, but I listened to a BUNCH recently as part of a discussion on high-gain tone, and this seemed a common technique. For all I know, it's so common that it's a cliche. But I thought it was good sounding:

    In a two part rhythm, have the first part panned hard left (I guess you could go right, but for some reason left was more common) and fire up the riff. You could even then switch to your second riff/tone hard right, and silence the left. (like a conversation!) The individual tones will sound relatively weak, though of course you still want them to sound good. But then, when they start playing together, bring them in a bit from hard panning so that they "overlap" in the stereo image. This usually comes after a pregnant pause, and when the two guitars slam in at the same time, the impact is practically tangible. ;)

    Like I said, it's just something I was noticing... since you're experimenting (as I am! I'm certainly no pro-- rank amateur here!) it's something you could mess around with.

  5. GavinMajesty

    GavinMajesty Guest

    Thanks again man!

    If this makes it easier for anyone, i cut a clip of the best example i could find.


    I want rhythm guitars like that underneath my fast technical melodies and such.
  6. GregP

    GregP Guest

    Yup, pretty much layering and a combination of high-gain and medium-gain/crunch tones. The crunch tone blended in will work the way the "clean" tone I mentioned would work. Gives definition and punch, but is still distortion.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

Share This Page