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MartinH.

Senior Member
Help! I'm slowly but surely going insane over trying to replicate this guitar sound (see attached mp3 and screenshot of SPAN).


1567856832067.png



I've tried dozens of different distortion pedals and ampsims and cab IRs, but nothing comes close to this sound in the way that I consider "close". In the mp3 at the beginning (first ~third) you can hear one guitar in isolation, that's what I'm struggling the most with. I think the other (deeper) one would be easier for me to approximate, so lets focus on the first one for now.

Here are my notes/questions so far:
- I assume it's tremolo picking, but I don't know if it's only one guitar or two.
- Both shreddage 3 and when I play it in myself on my guitar have crazy amounts of pick noise that I can't find a way to get rid of. How do I avoid/remove that and why don't I hear the pick noise in the reference track?
- There is a lot of stuff in the 6k+ frequency range but most of my cab IRs don't let enough of those frequencies through at all. Any idea what kind of speakers/microphones/techniques might have a similar frequency response?
- The graph in the screenshot looks a lot "smoother" than the one for my signal chain ever does. I always have huge spikes of the harmonics sticking out above all else, instead of this nicer and smoother fuzzy curve.
- I don't know what kind of guitar/distortion/amp/cab/whatever could possibly be used here. The only thing I was able to find out about the production is that on their previous album (which sounds almost the same) they kept it fairly minimal in terms of processing. Just some EQ and "basic effects" whatever that means.
- I believe the riff is this:
1567857653921.png
But I'm starting to believe that there's a second guitar just tremolo picking D throughout the riff. Is that possible? There is one peak at the frequency of D that never moves position, so I wouldn't know how to explain that differently.
-It sounds fairly centered to me, but it's not purely mono, how is that side channel information generated? Are these just two guitars panned super slightly left and right and playing something different each? Is anything "doubletracked in mono"?
-I suspect there is some reverb on but I'm not sure and I struggle to replicate it.
-I tried Ozone8's match EQ to mimic the cab IR, but that never quite worked out. I think I didn't try this with the correct 2 guitars version of the riff yet though, so that's what I'll try next.


I mainly use free stuff for amps and pedals, but I wouldn't rule out buying something more proper if I could verify with a trial that it actually gets me the exact result that I want. But I don't want to go analog. If it can't be replicated digitally I'll have to settle for another sound.


Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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MarcusD

Active Member
Sounds like 2 guitars playing. 1 is playing the melody and the other is just playing the same note.

EDIT : Been listening on loop for a bit and it sounds like they've recorded a smaller Cab like a 2 x 12 (to get that thinner sound) as well as a 4 x 12.
 
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Breaker

Member
For me it sounds like there is just one guitar playing the riff. That would also be idiomatic for the music style.
It also sounds bit wide, so it is probably double tracked.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
Sounds like 2 guitars playing. 1 is playing the melody and the other is just playing the same note.
After replicating that I think you're correct, both guitars panned very slightly off center.

For me it sounds like there is just one guitar playing the riff. That would also be idiomatic for the music style.
It also sounds bit wide, so it is probably double tracked.
I don't think that riff would be practical to play accross two strings on one guitar because I don't think in the tuning they use one of the high strings is tuned to D.


- Both shreddage 3 and when I play it in myself on my guitar have crazy amounts of pick noise that I can't find a way to get rid of. How do I avoid/remove that and why don't I hear the pick noise in the reference track?
I googled a bit and much of it seems to come down to (lack of) technique. Someone recommended to use a "paper pick", and I thought that was a joke, but I still tried picking with a folded piece of paper. That worked surprisingly well and dampened some of the pick noise.
Turning down the tone knob was also recommended which does seem to help too. Believe it or not, I never knew what that thing was good for because I always thought "why would anyone want less treble in their sound?"

- There is a lot of stuff in the 6k+ frequency range but most of my cab IRs don't let enough of those frequencies through at all. Any idea what kind of speakers/microphones/techniques might have a similar frequency response?
- The graph in the screenshot looks a lot "smoother" than the one for my signal chain ever does. I always have huge spikes of the harmonics sticking out above all else, instead of this nicer and smoother fuzzy curve.
By accident I discovered that adding a delay with sub 1 ms delay time creates this "comb" pattern in the frequency spectrum through phase cancellation (at least I believe that is the reason). So going by what I know about recording guitar cabinets I would deduce that at least two microphones were used and one was slightly further away.

Is anything "doubletracked in mono"?
Due to the phase cancellation that would introduce, I don't think that's the case.



I've looked at a couple of their live gigs and I've seen at least one 5150 amp on stage, so that's the ampsim I'm trying next ( free one from here http://pvamps.blogspot.com/ ). The pedals they use were never clearly in view and the lighting always makes it impossible to even clearly see what color they are.
 

shawnsingh

Active Member
By accident I discovered that adding a delay with sub 1 ms delay time creates this "comb" pattern in the frequency spectrum through phase cancellation (at least I believe that is the reason). So going by what I know about recording guitar cabinets I would deduce that at least two microphones were used and one was slightly further away.
Can't listen to the audio right now to check. But the feeling of comb filtering could also come from a delay, phaser, flanger, or chorus, each in slightly different ways. Is it possible it's over it those FX?
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
Can't listen to the audio right now to check. But the feeling of comb filtering could also come from a delay, phaser, flanger, or chorus, each in slightly different ways. Is it possible it's over it those FX?
I can't rule it out because I don't have a lot of experience with those, but I doubt it. At least there isn't the kind of "slow wobble" that I would associate with flangers or phasers.

Let me know what you think when you get a chance to listen to it. I thought it sounds really raw and unremarkable, but it turns out to be super hard to recreate for me. But I feel like I'm learning a lot from my attempts, so I'll keep at it.
 

MarcusD

Active Member
It's definitely two guitars playing. You can hear the 1 playing 16ths while the other is playing a melody over it in 16ths, if the guy has 4 arms that'll explain everything. But they've probably just double-tracked the melody and recorded the drone underneath to thicken up the intro. It's not uncommon in metal. They've probably also double-tracked the single note using two different positions, one on a high string and one on a low string. Same note, different place = thicker tone.

Bounce me the DI signal and let me know what AMP sims you're using and i'll try to re-create the tone and send you the preset. Don't forget IF you're trying to get the tone using a sample lib, you won't nail it. Most of the tone comes from the player.
 

Breaker

Member
I don't think that riff would be practical to play accross two strings on one guitar because I don't think in the tuning they use one of the high strings is tuned to D.
Sounds like a regular tuning to me, which would make this totally playable.

But I have been wrong before.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
Thanks so much for your help everyone! I believe I have come close enough for now and should switch over back to the other (guitar) tracks and try to get those closer now. I've learned a lot already from this.

But they've probably just double-tracked the melody and recorded the drone underneath to thicken up the intro. It's not uncommon in metal.
I've listened to tons of metal but I'm not super familiar with what's common for "cheating" on the production side except double/quad tracking. I always think of it in terms of "how could this be played live with the number of musicions the band has", which already falls flat in this example because I hear 3 different guitars during many parts but they only play live with two guitars and one bass.


They've probably also double-tracked the single note using two different positions, one on a high string and one on a low string. Same note, different place = thicker tone.
Interesting idea! I never thought of that. In stereo double tracking i could see it working, but in just layering two mono tracks, wouldn't the phase cancelation make it sound worse?


Bounce me the DI signal and let me know what AMP sims you're using and i'll try to re-create the tone and send you the preset. Don't forget IF you're trying to get the tone using a sample lib, you won't nail it. Most of the tone comes from the player.
Thanks so much for the offer! But I think I'm close enough for my purposes now and a big part of what is missing is most likely in my lack of skill as a guitar player and the guitar / gear itself.
Though... I've seen you have a youtube channel - if the sound of the band intrigues you, it might be worth making a video about how to create the sound of their new album. It has gotton 200k+ views in the first week and since they are very popular in their genre but still fairly unknown in the big picture, there seems to be very little content for fairly many search queries. E.g. if you check out the channel of "Dev Gohil" he got way more views than normal for him on a video that hat the name of the band in the title. Can't guarantuee it works, but it could drive some new people to your channel. You can check out their new Album here:




Not common, but it does happen in this genre.
lol!


Sounds like a regular tuning to me, which would make this totally playable.

But I have been wrong before.
Thanks for persisting, I think you're right. I looked deeper into the issue with the pick noise and it essentially seems to be an almost unsolvable problem, at least with realtime audio effects (there was mention of using audio restoration tools to get rid of it, but I don't want to do that). So that made me wonder how there is almost no pick noise on riff from the reference. I think it is because when picking accross two string (highest string played open, tuned to D and, playing the melody on the second highest string) you essentially mask the transient and harmonic from touching the string with the pick by having the other string still ring. The reason I thought "this can't be it" was my bias as a bad guitar player speaking. I thought this seemed too hard to play and indeed I can't play this. It took me playing the riff many times and painstakingly editing together the least bad parts of the various playthroughs to fake one that comes somewhat close. But that's ok, I just need the amp sound for now, when I write my own riffs I can easily play more to my strengths.


The goal for my template is that I want to compose in midi and then later start replacing the guitars piece by piece and I want to minimize "surprises" in terms of sound changing when I record them. Not sure how far that's realistic because shreddage sounds quite different than my guitar and playing, and as it turns out some of the stuff I need is just not replicable with samples, period. But if I can get at least "somewhat close" that would be pretty cool. I can lose myself for hours in tweaking these sounds, which is why I thought it's better for my sanity to just copy a reference track and then leave it like that. Otherwise I'll keep tweaking till my hair turns grey and never compose anything.




Here are the vsts and settings that I used:


mgla-lead-guitar-tone-settings.jpg



If anyone wants to try to replicate that Mgla guitar tone, the "messiah_3.wav" IR is from an IR pack with 4 impulses that I bought years ago. It was called "Messiah Impulse Pack" and I'm not sure it's available anywhere anymore. Just use something else that has a full enough frequency spectrum and compensate with the match-eq. Except for the IR, EQ and Reverb every other plugin is free. I've used SPAN to compare the frequency spectrum and if you don't have a match EQ you could try to shape the sound with lots of bands on e.g. ReaEQ in Reaper. I'm mainly just mentioning this in case anyone finds this via google because it's possibly now the only place on the web where getting the Mgla guitar sound with (mostly) free vst plugins is discussed. Hope it helps someone get started.


p.s.: In the mp3 the riff plays only once, it's the original at the beginning and fades quickly into my version after the first ~1.5 seconds.
 

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EvilDragon

KSP Wizard
Definitely sounds like 5150 alright. Most common thing in a lot of metal for a long time was Rube Screamer into 5150.

Can you post the link to the full song? Needed for research purposes. :)
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
Definitely sounds like 5150 alright. Most common thing in a lot of metal for a long time was Rube Screamer into 5150.

Can you post the link to the full song? Needed for research purposes. :)

It's the 4th song from the new album I linked in the spoiler tag of my previous post, starts at 20:43. Enjoy!




P.s.: I tried the old freeware version v1 of TSE x50 yesterday and I quite like it.
 

Breaker

Member
Thanks for persisting, I think you're right. I looked deeper into the issue with the pick noise and it essentially seems to be an almost unsolvable problem, at least with realtime audio effects (there was mention of using audio restoration tools to get rid of it, but I don't want to do that). So that made me wonder how there is almost no pick noise on riff from the reference. I think it is because when picking accross two string (highest string played open, tuned to D and, playing the melody on the second highest string) you essentially mask the transient and harmonic from touching the string with the pick by having the other string still ring. The reason I thought "this can't be it" was my bias as a bad guitar player speaking. I thought this seemed too hard to play and indeed I can't play this. It took me playing the riff many times and painstakingly editing together the least bad parts of the various playthroughs to fake one that comes somewhat close. But that's ok, I just need the amp sound for now, when I write my own riffs I can easily play more to my strengths.
I actually would play the D fretted on 5th fret except for the third "chord" (the octave). And I think I can hear a slight change on the pedal D tone on the recording at that point as well.

I haven't touched a guitar in months so probably this would take some practice before I could nail it myself. 20 years ago it would've been a breeze :cool:
 

EvilDragon

KSP Wizard
Here's the tab.



All possible on one guitar. :) Although, there's some slides in the upper voice which could make it a little tricky, but it shouldn't be impossible. These black metal dudes actually aren't THAT great guitarists. :P


EDIT: listened on headphones finally. That intro riff is definitely played on a single guitar, it is panned to hard center, no apparent overdubs.
 
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MartinH.

Senior Member
I actually would play the D fretted on 5th fret except for the third "chord" (the octave). And I think I can hear a slight change on the pedal D tone on the recording at that point as well.

I haven't touched a guitar in months so probably this would take some practice before I could nail it myself. 20 years ago it would've been a breeze :cool:
Yeah that could work. I guess I didn't think of that because high strings low frets is my second least favorite part of the fretboard to play on ^^.


These black metal dudes actually aren't THAT great guitarists. :P
That's why I thought it has to be two guitars at first :P.


Here's the tab.
Great find! I think that's the most plausible and comfortable way to play it, that was presented so far.


EDIT: listened on headphones finally. That intro riff is definitely played on a single guitar, it is panned to hard center, no apparent overdubs.
Thanks!
 

MauroPantin

New Member
I use BIAS, mostly. It has an amp match feature that works quite okay. I also have a GSP1101 which is quite old at this point, but you can upload your own IR responses and I like the sound of the emulated Carvin Legacy on that one combined with a custom oversized cab IR that I loaded on it.

I'm a guitar player, so I can't say how well it reacts to VIs, as I play them in, but I imagine it's probably good with most vanilla guitar techniques. Some things like artificial harmonics usually don't respond well to re-amping, so not sure about using an amp simulator with those, YMMV.
 
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