Blues guitar is often defined by its light, natural-sounding distorted crunch and a pleasant, round tone. You’ll also need to use the natural expressiveness of the guitar to be able to play both softly and loudly during a blues song, and so I always recommend blues musicians going for a tube amp. Set your gain right where you can play lightly for a nice, clean tone, but where you’ll also get some tasty, soulful distortion when you dig into a note. If you’re getting a tube amp, I’d recommend getting something with a lower wattage so you can crank the gain right on the amp and use its natural distortion settings (no need for fancy pedals in the blues).
“At the end of the day, being able to throw your hands up and laugh when a project goes horribly awry, or bringing an attitude of openness and humor onstage, can make space for very magical things to happen out of the blue, and that’s what I love most of all.
Learning to become an accomplished and knowledgeable audio engineer is an enormous undertaking. While we’re lucky to live in the age of the internet, where so much information is available for free, that information is not always presented in a form that allows us to make the best use of it. Spend time on YouTube, for example, and you’ll find a wealth of video content aimed at those who want to master the art of mixing, yet a lot of it is inaccurate, misleading, out of context and inapplicable, or simply incompatible with your own experience and what you’re attempting to do in the studio.
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“You can’t really beat them for that warm, saturated sound that you can only get from analogue tape. I picked up a digital version recently, an RE-3, and it’s nice for what it does but it doesn’t have the magic of the real ones. I like the crunchiness when you overload the tape and the spring reverb is really good… We’re always picking up interesting old analogue gear, but we’ve never found a tape echo that’s better than the Space Echo yet, so yes, I guess it is something of an icon.”
Kenneth Estrada y Santiago is a producing songwriter, musician, and YouTuber, based in Berlin, Germany. In his YouTube channel, SHOEGAZER he reviews effect pedals, teaches guitar chords and interviews weller known bands of the shoegaze scene. He was the frontman of the band Downhill Willows and releases his own albums on Bandcamp.
Another great set of tools comes courtesy of Goodhertz. Tools like their Faraday Limiter and Lossy will help you approximate some of the preamp sounds Boards of Canada use. The standout from this company, however, is the Vulf Compressor. Made in collaboration with and named after the sensational retro-funk weirdos Vulfpeck, this paid plugin aims to emulate the vinyl simulation compression of the Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample. This unit was and is crucial to the workflows of lo-fi beat makers such as Four Tet, Madlib, and the late J Dilla.
“Thank U, Next”: The sustain of that dreamy electric piano in this chord loop solidifies the G♭ chord as a G♭M13 and the F chord is an F7(#9) secondary dominant (V/vi )! Then we have a regular B♭m before returning to the tonic — but not so fast! We haven’t really returned home, since it’s a D♭7, another secondary dominant (V/IV) that sends us back to G♭M13. These secondary dominants act like coal nuggets to fuel a perpetual motion chord-loop machine. Form-wise, you could also call the chorus extensions “post-choruses,” but I already used up my “P” for the pre-chorus sections, so I’ll just call these extensions “variations” and be done with it.
Vocal effects may be added before or after you record. You can add these by using a combination of the sound effects in Logic’s library, and pressing the audio effects button.
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Brown even had to record a new song under a completely different, fake name — Nat Kendrick and the Swans’ “Mashed Potatoes,” for a different label entirely — just to get Nathan to reconsider.
Explore how common music theory is used in pop songs like “Superstition,” “Get Ur Freak On,” “Teenage Dream,” and many more and how you can use the same basic theoretical concepts to add color and complexity to your songs with our free Theory for Producers series.
Outside of the basic major (Ionian) and minor (Aeolian) scale modes, the Dorian mode would be considered by many to be the most important diatonic mode in any improviser’s toolkit.
Music sure has changed since I was a youth. The way we find new music, the way we listen, and the way we share what we’re listening to has all changed; and the political and social climate of today’s culture is reflected in today’s music in a way that has changed massively since 20 years ago*. But I don’t look back and think, “now that was good music!”
Jazz amps need to produce an absolutely crystal clear sound. While of course many jazz guitar players use a lot of gain, the most important attribute is that clear tone. The clarity of a solid state or combo amp might give you an edge. That said, tube amps tend to produce more internal noise, so you might have a difficult time achieving the specific guitar tone you want. On the other hand, solid state amps are usually a bit more “transparent” when it comes to signal.