Not sure if this is the right forum to ask this (my apologies in advance to the mods if not).

There is this specific tone that I've been trying to get and would love if an expert out there could point me in the right direction on how to achieve it. I'm going to start with a few examples below. They're both reminiscent of the 80s (correct me if I'm wrong, I was born in 89) and what I dig about the sound, is their super tight, crystal clear, almost synthetic tone. I hear this tone used in jazz fusion/progressive rock also, especially during harmonized duo-solos and melody lines.

Kid Cudi - Pursuit of Happiness (solo starts at 2:41)


Chromeo - Bonafide Lovin' (Guitar line starts at 0:04)


Dragonforce - Through the Fire and Flames (solo starts at 1:35)


The Guess Who - American Woman (I know this isn't the 80s, but it seems they were on to a similar tone even back then. Though it's distorted, it still sounds super clean, and nearly synthetic. It's the famous solo which plays at 0:11)


Hudson Mohawke - Ice Viper (This is actually a synth solo that sort of mimics a guitar solo. I'm showing you this to show you the style that I'm leaning more towards. It sounds very fusion-y to me and that's what I'm into. Although that tone is found in a variety of different tones.)


I know that someone out there knows exactly what I'm talking about. Any info on how I can go about achieving that tone would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you could point me in the direction of some more music like the more fusion stuff that I mentioned, I'd love to hear it. I'm into stuff like Allan Holdsworth, Caldera, Return to Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra with those complex, Allan Holdsworth chord changes.

I'll be using primarily virtual amp sims to emulate this sound, but I'm not opposed to whatever techniques you may provide, be it hardware or software. I'll find a way even if I don't have the necessary gear. I'm just dying to know this. Thanks so much in advance!
Last edited by camrox22 at Feb 24, 2014,
The biggest theme I saw through all those was a good amount of squeeze from a compression pedal. That saturated, even sound often comes from a bit of compression, and it also aids in giving you a very defined pick attack. It's one of the keys to getting that Santana sound.

Get one, play with it. I recommend it to just about everyone.
treble booster pedal or so I've heard (I've never been able to get the sound), and like JustRooster said a compressor to smooth out the pick attack.
I've heard it mostly comes from the fingers and your phrasing.
of course the master of this tone being
Someone is wrong on the internet. Only you can help.

Originally Posted by Tulkas
Stairway is required on any list of anything involving the words guitar or song, I believe Congress amended the constitution in order to put it into federal law.
Awesome. Thanks a lot guys. Thanks JustRooster for the advice. That makes a lot of sense. I'll try that out. And Thanks for the advice and the video, Kernel. I'm gonna do more research on Chris Poland's tone and see what I come up with.

Thanks again