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How to Fix Weak Electric Guitars

Dec 25, 2019

Weak electric guitars can seriously hinder the drive of a rock track, which relies on guitar energy for the vibe. We offer 4 tips for remedying this issue.

How to Fix Weak Electric Guitars

Weak electric guitars can destroy a rock mix because they’re often the main driving force behind the genre. By using amp simulations, layered guitars, equalization, and slapback delays, you can create guitar arrangements that carry proper weight.

1. Amp It Up

Recording through a budget hardware amp can result in guitar recordings that sound withered and dull. Plugin amp emulations, like the ones found in PRS SuperModels and GTR3, provide you with access to high-quality amps at a fraction of the cost of hardware. Consider recording your guitars through a DI box and amping them in-the-box for a broader selection of powerful guitar tones.

2. Layer Guitars Together

If you’ve been having trouble achieving guitars that sound as big as some of the guitars in your favorite records, it may be because you aren’t using a variation of guitars. The easiest way to attain a massive guitar sound is by layering different guitar tones together. Even if you only have one guitar, you can run your recordings through different amp emulations and stack them with one another.

Use a plugin like InPhase to ensure that phase cancellation doesn’t suck the life out of your layered guitar recordings.

3. Sculpt the Tone with EQ

An EQ, like the H-EQ Hybrid Equalizer, will allow you to highlight desirable characteristics hiding within your guitar recordings. For example, rolling off frequencies below 40-80 Hz with a high-pass filter can result in less “mud,” whereas boosting the 80-200 Hz range with a bell filter can add more “body.” If a “warm” tone is what you’re after, try boosting the 200-400 Hz range with a broad bell filter. Feel free to EQ your stacked guitars differently from one another; you may want the sizzling top-end of one guitar and the pronounced “body” of another.

4. Use a Slapback Delay

A slapback delay can push guitars forward in your mix and provide them with a gentle sense of space. Instead of sounding dry and lifeless, guitars with a slapback delay applied will sound rich and organic.

To set up a slapback delay, use a delay like H-Delay. Set the delay type to ms, reduce the feedback level to zero, and increase the delay time amount until the delayed signal slightly dissociates from the input signal. Adjust the dry/wet knob to control the amount of the effect you’re hearing.

Want more quick mix fixes? Get tips on fixing thin acoustic guitars.

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