On the track "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay, how does Jonny get his guitar to make the sound it does at 1:38?

Also, On the track "Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love" [also by coldplay] how does he get the guitar to sound like it does in that one? [sort of a toneless, sustained, eerie sounding thing]

thanks for the help.
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i would figure it for you, but in order to that i would have to listen to coldplay, and im not willing to do that.
haha, just kidding, but if you linked to a video of those songs i would listen to it.
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Ok. Fair enough.
Here is Lovers in Japan (Studio): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9aek_TeIKQ
And Lovers in Japan (Live): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRtSR82cUFA

(The reason I posted both live and studio is cuz someone said its expensive MIDI stuff. so i could be wrong about this, but i dont think u can use that stuff, at least not in the same way live)

Viva La Vida (Studio): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5TNK-TvIcI

Viva La Vida (Live): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HfhD-qfySw
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I'm no expert, and I'm probably wrong, but I think you could pull it off with an acoustic simulator pedal (might be able to do it without with the right p/ups and amp with your output turned way down), and the right reverb (maybe delay, I'm leaning more for delay). There sounds like there is a light phaser in the back or maybe that's just a keyboard.

But you could pull the phaser background thing off if you got a nice A/B/Y switch ran one line to the acoustic/delay and the other line through the phaser, and maybe dial down the volume on the phaser line, then recombine them.

Now that i listen to it again I'm not sure if you could pull that off with just a phaser, maybe, but I think you'd need to make the sound a bit more nasaly, almost with a wah stuck forward, but not quite. Maybe.

Or just mess around with some multieffects pedal for a while, but I like complicated and real.
Last edited by matt787 at Aug 22, 2008,
I'm going to venture to guess that (at least in Viva La Vida) it's not guitar at all, but a keyboard.
Nevermind the background is delayed and different, it has to be another guitar or more likely a keyboard. It sounds kind of steel drum like. I think the Allman brothers put a pick between the bridge and the strings to get a kind of steel drum sound, you could use that to duplicate the background sound. It sounds like you'd still need some light phaser though.

Foreground I'm sticking to acoustic simulator and reverb.

Dude just get a keyboard. Make it easy.
Last edited by matt787 at Aug 22, 2008,
kk... but.. i only have one question. if its a keyboard, why is he picking/strumming the guitar?? Its hard toimagine anyone, especially coldplay, doing that just for looks... If that makes sense. but in the live version of Lovers in Japan, jonny isnt even near either of the keyboards when it makes the sound im talking about. I guess it could be programmed/recorded, but still. Jonny starts picking when that 'eerie' sound i was talking about starts. its kind of hard to know. =\. i remember reading somewhere, though, that he uses a bunch of crazy ass effects. so im sure i'm going to end up spending more money, anyway.

Oh... one thing. Speaking of those effects, there was one called "Colorsound Tonebender"... could that possibly be the key? Cuz if the effect does what the name says, it would make sense. the one in viva la vida is very high pitched and it sounds like bent notes. maybe using that and a tremolo pedal simultaneously could get the sound in Viva La Vida... And as for Lovers in japan, possibly a delay+tonebender?? Turn the tone way down... idk. this would be a lot easier if i could try out like... every effect in every combination possible. ._. but for now, what are your thoughts on the tonebender and whatnot?? Could it be possible?
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On no, the foreground seems pretty simple, definately a guitar. Has an acoustic sound with some reverb. An acoustic simulator would do the trick.

I was messing around with my effects and I got a *similar* background sound using a tremolo and and a phaser that I timed out of sync. But even with that I couldn't get the percussion you here with it. The background sounds like a steel drum, but I don't know of a way you can get that percussion sound on a guitar, not to mention after I listened to it again there is no way I can think of that the background and foreground could be created with one guitar.

Did you try googling it. I'm sure there has gotta be someone out there who just knows.

I've never heard of that blend thing.

Oh and an autowah might help on the background, since it sounds kind of wah ish.

I still think the background is keyboard. If he can pull that off without a guitar that's pretty impressive!
well... i'm 95% sure that sound [the jingly thing in viva la vida] is coming from a guitar. acoustic simulator with wah, and tremolo, as well as delay and reverb.[tremolo because of the +2/-2 octave thing]

(Its very high pitched, not very electric sounding, but obviously electric, it ranges from having an "Ooh" sound to a "Wah" sound... i need not say more there, and if you listen close, the notes echo].

However, as for the sound in Lovers in Japan, I'm confused. I have the tone itself figured out, but on the recording, its sort of 'seamless'. you cant hear when he strums/picks. its just very smooth sounding, but clearly, by watching the live vid, it IS the guitar, and he DOES strum the 3 high strings.

Anyway, if i can find good deals for all those pedals i mentioned on ebay or something, i'm going to get them all and see if i cant figure it out. but that will be a while....
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To Morello used to do this delay trick where he would just turn the decay all the way down hit a couple notes and let it run. If he did slow strumming and kept the delay fast, the delayed over sound should take care of the pick sound. So if he is still strumming he probably has the decay slightly up, with a quick repeat so it should cover the pick sound. That and it sounds like the P/Up volume is way down which would help get rid of that noise. That's my best guess at least.

You know I've never been a big Coldplay fan but that viva la vida solo is pretty creative. If you figure out how to pull it off can you let know?