In this article we’re going to dig into the techniques used when creating iconic vintage guitar sounds. Inspired by the sounds of Khruangbin, we’ will cover live bass mixing, in the box techniques, vintage FX & creating pads and atmospheres.
If you missed part 1 be sure to check out the video where we showcase the best techniques for creating vintage drum sounds and more.
Creating Epic Vintage Bass Tones
Starting with live bass, we wanted to create a tone that provided by both weight and clarity. First up, the Ampg SVT-VR. Founded in 1946, Ampeg know a thing or two or about creating stunning bass sounds and this plugin is no different. Simple and easy to use it lifts our DI signal adding extra weight, clarity and saturation.
Parallel Compression & EQ On Bass
When processing the bass we’re going to use parallel compression. By using two compressors, we’re able to firstly control the spikes using the Distressor then smooth things out with the LA-2A.
The Distressor works extremely quickly and also releases in a similar fashion. Spot the ‘Dist 3’ button too – this is adding extra character and saturation offering yet more vibe.
EQ wise we’re again going vintage with the use of Slates Neve emulation. By pushing 1.6Khz we can bring out the finger noise and top end of the clarity of the notes.
Tips: Try adding some extra top end to your live bass guitar recordings – the extra clarity and help it cut in a mix.
Master Those Vintage Guitar Sounds
A secret to many of the iconic 60’s & 70’s vintage guitar sounds were the use of a slap back delay. In the video, Rich use’s a short delay time of 82ms and sets the delay to ‘ping-pong’ mode. This adds extra width, dimension and space to guitars without being washed out by a reverb.
An extra bonus to this is also the perception of width it achieves – 1 guitar recording instantly begins to feel more stereo.
Level up your production game and learn how to sound analog.
Our vintage guitars collections features the beautiful tones of Runson Willis. Featuring both the original recordings as well as some beautifully processed FX versions they’re absolute Touch Loops classic – check that wonderful demo!
Creating Psychedelic In The Box Guitar Sounds
Finding great vintage guitar sounds doesn’t solely live in the world of the pedal and amp. Rich showcased his favourite chain for getting that psychedelic feel by harnessing a chain of plugins and FX – here they are!
- DI – Record the best signal possible, lots of gain but be careful not to clip the input.
- Guitar amp plugin – There’s hundreds on the market but make sure they contain a ‘guitar cab’ option – this has a drastic effect on the tone
- Pre-amp plugin – We’re pretending we’re recording the guitar in real life so a spicy pre-amp like the Neve clone below does a great job of adding extra harmonics.
- Compression & EQ – We’ve done for the classics so a slow ish attack with a fast release lets the transients through.
- EQ wise 1.5Khz is your friend and it loves guitars. We’ve rolled off the top to remove any harshness at 15Khz.
- Extra weight was added at 100Hz for beef and vibe
- Auto-wah – A certain classic of the 70’s, this effect screams psychedelia and ensures a truly authentic vintage guitar sound.
Building Pads From Harmonics
A simple harmonic is a great way to create an expansive pad sound that’s both organic and ethereal. In the video, a simple harmonic recording is enhanced through the use of Ableton’s Reverb along with AudioThing’s Outer Space plugin.
By utilising Ableton’s pitch engine we were able to sequence these in such a way that we develop a melody, adding yet more interest.
Another method would be to add the processing recording into a sampler. If you fancy doing this you can download the processed recording HERE
For more tips on guitar processing be sure to c heck out our Vintage guitars article that focuses in on exactly how to mix guitars.