TH2: Using Guitar Amp Software Live

Turning this powerful amp, cab, mic & pedal modeler into a MIDI-controlled effect for live use.

Original article posted on The Cakewalk Knowledgebase

TH2 is the guitar amp modeling software included in SONAR X3 and Music Creator 6 Touch, and while it deserves all the high praise it’s received as a guitar processor, one aspect that is often overlooked is its deep MIDI routing capability. More specifically, it’s possible to adjust the settings of TH2’s amps and effects pedals and even switch between separate banks, sounds and variations by using a hardware MIDI controller or a MIDI CC message in a track. With this setup, TH2 can become your full-time pedalboard and let you take the sounds of your studio recording to the stage.

Wait, what’s that sound? Oh, it’s all the groaning from the people who think that mixing “MIDI” with “stage” will only lead to wasted time and headaches. Fear not, TH2 is smarter than usual software and the flexibility you’ll gain—even if you don’t make TH2 your Continue reading TH2: Using Guitar Amp Software Live

Guitar Tips: Open Up Your Guitar Tunings

Tuning your guitar differently can produce some incredible new sounds for the creative process. Open tunings in particular produce shimmering and complex overtones when you play with a lot of open strings. Here is a quick rundown on four different tunings for you to experiment with when you’re looking for a bit of inspiration.

Standard Tuning

First you have the good old Standard tuning that everyone uses. This tuning is mostly in fourths and is called “Standard Tuning” because every guitar comes stocked with it’s strings tuned to E A D G B E.

Playing a major shape in this is tuning is rather easy and introduces the use of the “power chord”. To constructively show off the different tunings I’ve used a progression of G, A, Bb, A as a reference for the rest of the tunings. The major shape in this tuning looks and sounds like the following:

DADGAD

DADGAD is my personal favorite alternate tuning due to it’s suspended sound. The stacked 5ths and suspended 4th produce an incredible harmonic series above just about any passages you play.

The easiest way to get your guitar to DADGAD f Continue reading Guitar Tips: Open Up Your Guitar Tunings

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)

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