#1
I'm writing a song and the lead melody is being played in the top octave of the guitar - and unfortunately its sounding pretty thin. Does anyone have any tips on how to thicken up the tone? I'm running a somewhat hi gain lead w/ reverb to add some smoothness.

I'm going to try doubling the part (maybe panning them +-30) and/or try adding some chorus, maybe even try doubling it 8vb and blending it in the background.

Would love some ideas to try! Thanks!
#2
All kinds of effects can "thicken" your tone. Reverb is one, but OD, Distortion, Fuzz, Delay, Echo, Rotary, Vibe, Octave and Chorus can do so as well. Which to use- and how much- depends on your precise tonal target.

I think it was Tom Scholz of Boston who used to split his signal* and have the second signal tuned 25 cents off.


* or use 2 guitars playing the exact same stuff.
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#3
Quote by dannyalcatraz



* or use 2 guitars playing the exact same stuff.


i would do that, and try using a compressor in the end of the mix for your tracks.
An EQ would be really helpfull to give every instrument the right space in the mix..
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#4
What guitar/amp?
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#5
IDK have you tried using the neck pup?, if you have a decent neck humbucker it can fatten up your lead tone, simple but effective.
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#6
Evilnine

Good call.

I have a couple of guitars now that have a single coil-size very hot humbucker (DiMarzio Fast Track II) in the neck position. Not only does it produce pretty clean bottom end (because of its single coil size), but it's a really effective lead pickup at 18Kohm. It's particularly effective if you're working above the 12th fret.
#7
A big part of a thick lead tone - to me - is prominent mids. Don't confuse your otherwise good tone (rhythm) for a good lead tone; the guitar is a mid-range instrument, so if you're scooping out the mids on single-note leads they will sound weak, brittle, and thin.

EQ is a lot more subjective than this other stuff though; doubling your guitar track, adding chorus, etc. will all thicken up your sound and there's no arguing with that. Try adding more mids and see if you dig it.
#8
dspellman

Yeah I play different types of music but I have always found that using a neck pickup will fatten up my lead tone and give it a warmer darker vibe.

lumberjack

Agreed I scoop my mids a bit when playing rhythm at home to fatten up my sound in the absence of bass/drums but I will use a different channel with mids for lead, I do not scoop mids when playing in a band situation where the bass/drums bring the bottom end and the guitar needs that mid punch to keep from getting lost in the mix. I think a lot of players scoop the mids to get that fatter sound but then they leave the EQ scooped when playing in a groupd setting and struggle to be present in the mix.
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
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#9
Quote by lumberjack
A big part of a thick lead tone - to me - is prominent mids. Try adding more mids and see if you dig it.


Good point. I have a couple of guitars with a Chandler Tone-X built in. It's an active sweepable mids boost (about 16 dB) on a push-pull. It's essentially an onboard "parked wah." I think Fender has a mids boost out there that's centered on a single frequency (don't recall). Leads have been described as vocals without words. You'll want to emphasize those frequencies in the vocal range; the human ear is optimized for them.