My guitar still sounds amazing

I’ve been playing with AmpliTube a bunch. It lets you hook a bunch of virtual amps up to your guitar or bass. Some of the amps are unicorns that I wouldn’t want to buy or maintain. I owned a real tube amp (Fender Super Twin) for years and it sounded amazing. I loved the clean tone. But it was expensive every time I wanted to get it rebuilt (by the way if you ever need your tube amp repaired take it to Blackie Pagano — he’s the best). And it was heavy!

I finally sold that amp when I moved to Miami. So now I need a way to get that tone from my computer. And AmpliTube comes close. I can swap in the different amps, play with the settings, mix and match pedals, and then mic up the virtual cabinet to get the sound I want. I can even move the mics around to adjust tone and room sound. People love AmpliTube because it responds realistically to how the guitar is played, so you can get clean tone at softer volumes and satisfying crunch when you hit the strings harder.

It’s pretty darn cool.

They’ve got a paid version that comes with a bunch of gear, and a free version that only comes with a few things. But they’re doing a special this month where you can buy two extra modules for the price of one. So I bought the Fender collection for my guitar and got the Ampeg collection free for my bass. Now I’ve got more gear than I know what to do with and I paid a total of $99 (half the price of the full version).

It’s hours of entertainment.

You can check out the AmpliTube deal here.

I like putting guitar into my tracks. It’s hard though, especially when I’m also trying to put synths in there as well. The guitars and synths eat up the same frequency, plus they compete with the vocals, so a song can get crowded fast.

The more I listen to non-band music on the radio, the more I realize that they’re just using one or maybe two main instruments. They saturate them so they fill the sonic space and then lay the vocals over the top. If they add other instruments they’re very light, and mostly used just to vary the rhythm. It’s not like a full band.

When producers use guitar on radio tracks they leave sonic space. Check out “Style” by Taylor Swift or “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus — there’s pretty much only the guitar when it’s playing (plus drums and bass).

Bands have it easier, of course. Maroon 5 can record songs that just sound like a band is playing, even though they’re heavily produced.


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