* Making a guitar sound real *

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Mr Mowgli
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Post by Mr Mowgli » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:07 am

+1 buy a guitar! Or Use guitar samples (no plug intended!)
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Posts: 1996
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Post by laird » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:43 pm

Nothing beats the real thing...

but there are some excellent tricks to be learned by TRYING!

3 I've learned:

1)note bending: global pitch bend doesn't mimic bending one string out of a chord. I never got comfortable with poly-aftertouch -> pitch, so instead, I often use a cheap pseudo-emulation using Madshifta! vst... any pitch bending plugin can be used... just automate the pitch bend amount in semitones (make a small ramp up at the end of every 8 bar loop, for instance), and set the wet/dry to 50/50%. i call this pseudo-emulation because it doesn't mimic guitar playing, but the blended-bending effect can be somewhat similar in feel.

2) microphones + amps are great. Amp modelers are great, but i often hear so much more when I play a track through a real amp than I hear when its on my headpphones... so I highly recommend trying to rerecord a synth through even a cheap amp sometime. Stomp pedals come in handy here, too.

3) distortion + EQ. Putting EQ after distortion is very different from putting it before distortion, something every good guitarist knows. The former shaped the distorted sound, while the latter shapes what sounds get distorted.

4) Share a distortion. I love routing several tracks through a distortion send effects, the results are often quite unpredicatable, as one sound suddenly takes over from another and changes the tone of the distortion completely. I don't know what this has to do with guitars, other than the fact its an easy way to get some punk-rock unpredictability that MIDI and Digital Audio squelch.

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Location: PDX

Post by laird » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:47 pm

5) double-tracking. Even vocalists know this one, record the same thing 2X and hard pan the two takes left/Right. This doesn't work with synthesizers whose pitch remains fairly constant, and especially not with quantization.
So, instead, I will record my MIDI synth track, and then record something analog and mix it in below the original. Often my own poor voice works just fine... mixed in quietly enough you don't really hear it, just all the times where my pitch is off or timing is off, creating some beat patterns in the main sound for added interest.

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Post by Ezmyrelda » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:51 pm

Da hand wrote:
Ezmyrelda wrote:All this is very good.. modeled instruments are getting more realistic though. I just found a demo for "open guitar" vst. Sounds very realistic and does strumming better than other vsts I've heard. Costs $40 USD though.
One thing to keep in mind is that there is a difference between modeling an instrument in a production, where you can tweak every parameter to your heart's content, and trying to emulate the same instrument live.

I agree that you can get extremely convincing results of most instruments nowadays in production situations, where you can take your time to ponder each note. In live situations it is much more difficult, if not impossible. This is not due to the samples and capabilities of the software, but more down to the controller you use to emulate the instrument.

One has to remember that the original instrument is the best controller for that instrument's sound. The sound of the instrument is a result of how one can control the sound of that instrument.

For example, You can play (hammer on), bend and vibrate a note on a guitar all at the same time with one finger. You would need at least three fingers (or equivalents of) to do the same on a keyboard.
Absolutely true. Bluegrass fingerpicking would be especially hard on a keyboard as well I imagine.

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