Way back when I started playing guitar, I was chasing after the elusive “metal guitar tone.”
You know, the ones you heard on the heavy rock albums.
Thick, juicy and amazing.
I had to have it. I wanted that guitar tone so badly that I tried every distortion pedal in the store.
Too Bad a Massive Guitar Tone Doesn’t Come From Pedals
Sad Björgvin became sadder.
None of those pedals gave me that souped up sound I was looking for.
Sure, they all sounded super heavy but the tone wasn’t there. I added on the distortion hoping to get the sound from the records but to no avail.
It was a teenage mistake, thinking that a single pedal could reproduce those guitar tones.
That massive guitar sound doesn’t come from the pedal alone.
It’s the combination of the guitar and amp. But it’s mostly the amp. The amp is what creates that elusive monster sound. You can’t just pile on the distortion through your pedal. If you’re still working with a lousy practice amp then it’s just gonna sound hissy and small.
Harder sounds aren’t more distorted. They’re recorded through bigger and badder amps.
The ones that go up to 11.
Those are the ones that give you your monster guitar sound.
Not a tiny little overdrive pedal.
What was I thinking?!
A Juicy Guitar Sound Comes From the Amp
There’s a reason Eric Clapton refused to lower his amp when he was recording with Cream. A tube amp on full blast makes you deaf if you’re standing next to it, but it sounds heavenly on your songs. Punch, power and massiveness comes from your amp.
If you’re recording distortion through a pedal and into your interface, then you’re doing it wrong.
I tackle how you should handle too much distortion, unbalanced EQ and miking up that powerful cabinet in Recording Strategies.
Learn the right way to record guitar, and how to get a massive guitar sound.