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Old 05-31-2013, 12:29 PM   #1
ingames
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Distorted Barre Chords that actually sound good.

Any idea how Opeth, Muse, My Chemical Romance get a rounded, thick, full on distortion while playing barre chords?

Tried:

+ on Mids
Medium bass
Medium-High Treble

Problem is the notes merge into a mess instead of melding in a distorted harmonized state.

Haven't an amp atm, so I'm using NI Guitar Rig 5 through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. Guitar is a Dean Z.

Examples:

Full Barre Chords


Arpeggios


Thanks for reading.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:54 PM   #2
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You might want to try using less gain; most bands (with the exception of death and black metal) probably use a lot less gain in their sound than you think they do and get more thick sounds either by layering or, in live situations, just sheer volume.

Also I'd say this is a situation where pickups matter a fair bit; you need a decent set of pickups and a good set up (like action, pickup height and so on) to really get the clarity of each note to ring evenly.
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr : 05-31-2013 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:00 PM   #3
WholeLottaIzzy
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Clarity is what counts. In your pickups, in your wiring and in your amp. If you have a cheap any one of those, your chords will sound muddy.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WholeLottaIzzy
Clarity is what counts. In your pickups, in your wiring and in your amp.

And in your playing too. I don't know, maybe he is a kick ass guitar player but if the notes don't ring out loud and clear adding distortion only makes it worse.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:40 PM   #5
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Also having actual tube amp helps. Ss amps usually clip it weird, even at the lowest gain

Od pedal works, distortion pedals..not so much. I havent' played THAT much gear but thats what I found.

There's also intonation and pickups which make a big difference.

Lots of overtones with od, so more gain means that a slight inaccuracy gets like inaccurate 10 fold
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:50 PM   #6
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How much gain are you using with whatever amp model you are using? Can also roll back your guitar's volume knob(s) to clean things up too. I use alot of open chords, and pretty chords with dirty tones and for the most part I have to set the gain so those chords dont come out muddy.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:00 PM   #7
ingames
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I'm aware that layering and Mixing plays a huge role, and I never like too much gain. For me it's a sign of incompetence.

Producing a tone that sounds good on its own is vital to me, though. It can only get better from there.

For the moment I'm just looking to record with VST. I've got a sweet clean sound, and a heavy fuzz. For some reason, good compressed distortion is eluding me...
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:15 PM   #8
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Incompetence!? Sometimes you need to crank the gain and just bang on the guitar for a bit. It feels good after lots of technical practicing.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:25 PM   #9
ingames
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No use if it sounds like crap. A big fat thick tone with Black Flag riffs is awesome though.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ingames
...[ ]...For the moment I'm just looking to record with VST. I've got a sweet clean sound, and a heavy fuzz. For some reason, good compressed distortion is eluding me...
Have you actually tried using a compressor? If you stuff it in the line after the DB, it should sand off some of the jagged edges of the distortion, and give you more of a "syrupy sound". Although God knows, you might have to play around with it for weeks maybe to be able to get the sound(s) you're looking for. (And likely have to EQ the output also).

With compression, you don't have to add so much gain to accomplish almost infinite sustain.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 05-31-2013 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:36 PM   #11
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Start with all the eq knobs at noon.
Then change each one to what sounds good to you, not what you think it should look like.

can you add something like a Tube screamer pedal from your program? I don't use the computer method I prefer a real amp
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:03 PM   #12
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Tune your guitar properly and make sure the intonation is spot on, even full bar chords will sound good then.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:24 PM   #13
ingames
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Thanks. I fine-tuned my guitar, and tweaked a crapload of different components. I managed to get a chunky sound, precisely what I wanted - but it seriously lacks oomph. Even with layering and bass lines beneath it it hardly seems it'll make any impression.

Any tips on this?
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:50 PM   #14
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get an amp. headphones will never sound like an amp in the room
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