Anatomy of an FX Chain: CA Vintage Wah (Free Download)

You know you want it…there’s something irresistible about a greasy wah effect

by Craig Anderton

Some people think all you really need for a wah sound is to set a parametric EQ to bandpass with a fairly high Q, and sweep it back and forth. However, a vintage wah’s bandpass filter has a skirt that rejects high and low frequencies, which doesn’t happen with a parametric EQ’s bandpass response.

I came up with a technique that does the vintage wah effect quite well by copying a guitar track and flipping it 180 degrees out of phase so the signal canceled. Then, I’d set one track’s parametric to bandpass with a fairly high Q and sweep it. Because the only difference between the two channels was the bandpass peak, that’s all you heard—the highs and lows canceled out.

The VC-64 is ideal for this application, because it has two parallel paths and you can throw one of them 180 degrees out of phase. However, it’s a very Continue reading Anatomy of an FX Chain: CA Vintage Wah (Free Download)

Anatomy of an FX Chain: CA Power Chord (Free Download)

Let’s de-construct an FX Chain, and find out how to optimize distortion guitar sounds

by Craig Anderton

I like big, rich, smooth power chords—harshness need not apply. While TH2 Producer’s presets were a point of departure, I wanted to take them further.

The UI for the Power Chord FX chain

So I got to work on an FX Chain, and I’m happy to share it with you. The final FX Chain ended up as Continue reading Anatomy of an FX Chain: CA Power Chord (Free Download)

Guitar Tips – Advanced Theories Behind Chord Structures

Have you ever wanted to start experimenting with different chords?

The charts outlined in this blog article take a bit of a different approach when constructing guitar chords and their shapes. It simplifies finding chord voicings by outlining the root notes and what intervals each neighboring fret represents.

Before examining the chord chart let’s talk about intervals and their meanings. An interval is the amount of distance between two  notes. Both chords and arpeggios are made up of many different types of intervals. Continue reading Guitar Tips – Advanced Theories Behind Chord Structures

HOW TO CREATE A VIRTUAL 12-STRING GUITAR

And not just that, but virtual “Nashville tuning” too…and 18-string guitars…with lots of audio examples!

by Craig Anderton

One of the reasons I got into Gibson’s newer guitars is because of the way they implement hex outputs (i.e., each string has its own audio output). Although Gibson isn’t the only company that makes guitars with hex outs, they’ve taken the concept seriously and keep improving on it.

This all started with the HD.6X-Pro back in 2007 (the guitar that’s been in my avatar all these years!), which used a magnetic pickup; since then, the Dark Fire, Dusk Tiger, Firebird X, and Les Paul X have all had hex outs based on piezo pickup technology. The X-series guitars are my favorites, because they’ve increased the isolation between strings by reducing crosstalk even further.

The obvious use for hex outputs is hex processing, like the kind of super-clean, almost synth-like sound you get from distorting each string individually. But using a piezo pickup means it’s also possible to obtain very convincing acoustic guitar sounds, and with hex outputs, you can apply SONAR’s offline pitch transposition to emulate acoustic 12-string guitars as well as 8-string basses, “Nashville” tunings, and even guitars that don’t exist—like a 12-string where the top two strings aren’t doubled, but also transposed up an octave. Or how about an 18-string guitar, where you add another set of six virtual strings transposed up and an octave, and another set transposed down an octave Continue reading HOW TO CREATE A VIRTUAL 12-STRING GUITAR

14 Tips for Guitarists Before Entering The Studio

Entering the studio can be a stressful task if it is your first time. Here at Cakewalk we’ve outlined a few things that every guitarist should know before walking into a tracking session.

1. Change your strings every 24 hours of play time

Guitar strings can take a beating in the studio, especially if your plan is to record a whole album’s worth of material. To keep strings from become dull and bland make sure to switch them out every 24 hours of play time. If you do switch them before a session, make sure to properly break them in so that you are breaking them in while you record.

2. Improve pick attack and dexterity

Sometimes one of the reasons why guitarists have a hard time getting the sound they want in the studio is because their pick attack is not as hard as it needs to be.  A lot of the time in rock and heavy metal recordings much of the sound from the guitars is what drives the song. If that sound is not a particular tone and aggressiveness then the sound of the track will not sound correct for that style. A harsh palmed muted passage played by someone who isn’t quite versed in that style sticks out like a sore thumb.

3. Practice, practice, practice to a metronome

This goes without saying. Make sure that you are practicing to a metronome and internalizing the clicking. Don’t tap your foot or make any loud gestures to count the beat to yourself. You must feel the metronome in your playing or else you will have a hard time staying quiet in a recording booth while tracking.

4. Practice playing full takes

Recording full takes is definitely one of the Continue reading 14 Tips for Guitarists Before Entering The Studio