Creating The Guitar Sounds Of Khruangbin


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.



Download Your Free Pack of Vintage Guitar Sounds 👉 HERE


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.


Vintage Guitar Sounds_AmpegSVT


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.


Vintage Guitar Sounds_ParallelBassCompression


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.


Free Samples


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.


Vintage Guitar Sounds_SlapbackDelay


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!


  1. DI - Record the best signal possible, lots of gain but be careful not to clip the input.
  2. 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
  3.  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.
  4. Compression & EQ - We've done for the classics so a slow ish attack with a fast release lets the transients through.
    1. EQ wise 1.5Khz is your friend and it loves guitars.  We've rolled off the top to remove any harshness at 15Khz.
    2. Extra weight was added at 100Hz for beef and vibe
  5. Auto-wah - A certain classic of the 70's, this effect screams psychedelia and ensures a truly authentic vintage guitar sound.


Vintage Guitar Sounds_ITBGuitarSounds


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


Vintage Guitar Sounds_GUitarHarmonics


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.


What guitars and techniques do Khrunagbin use when recording guitars? 

The guitarist employed various techniques and equipment to capture Khruangbin's distinctive guitar sound. This includes the use of specific guitar models known for their unique tonal characteristics, such as hollow-body guitars or vintage instruments. Additionally, techniques like fingerpicking, slide guitar, or unconventional tuning methods Are crucial in forming the Khruangbin sound. Live, his guitar of choice is a modified Fender Stratocaster!

What guitars pedals do Khrunagbin use when recording guitars? 

Pedals played a pivotal role in crafting Khruangbin's signature sound. For instance, reverb and delay effects are frequently used to create a sense of space and atmosphere in their music, enhancing the dreamy, ethereal quality of the guitar tones. Other effects like phasers, tremolos, or octave pedals might also be employed to add texture and color to the guitar sound, contributing to the band's distinct sonic identity.  His delay of choice is always the Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo. 

Are the techniques used by Khruangbin only applicable to that style of music? 

The techniques can certainly be adapted and applied to other genres or styles of music. Concepts such as layering multiple guitar tracks, experimenting with different effects combinations, or incorporating world music influences into guitar playing are versatile approaches that can be creatively utilised across various musical contexts. By understanding and experimenting with these techniques, musicians can expand their sonic palette and develop your own unique artistic voice, irrespective of genre boundaries.