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Clean Guitar Tones

Lesson 46 from: Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Eyal Levi

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Lesson Info

46. Clean Guitar Tones

Next Lesson: Lead Tones


Class Trailer

Intro to Bootcamp


Purpose of Pre-Production


Technical Side of Preproduction


Pre-Production: Setting Up the Tempo Map


Pre-Production: Importing Stems


Pre-Production: Click Track


Creating Tracking Templates


Intro and the Tone Pie


Drums - Lay of the Land


Bearing Edges


Wood Types


Depths and Sizes




Sticks and Beaters


Drum Heads


Drum Tuning


Drum Mic Placement Intro


Basic Drum Mic Setup


Cymbal Mic Setup


Touch Up Tuning


Microphone Choice and Placement


Drum Tracking Intro


Getting Tones and Final Placement


Primary Tracking


Punching In and Comping Takes


Guitar Setup and Rhythm Tone Tracking


Amplifiers - Lay of the Land


Amplifiers & Cab Shoot Out


Guitar Cab Mic Choice and Placement


Guitar Tracking and Signal Chain


Finalizing Amplifier Tone


Guitar Mic Shootout Round Robin


Intro to Rhythm Tracking


Setting Up Guitars


Working with a Guitarist


Final Guitar Tone and Recap


Guitar Tracking with John


Guitar Tracking with Ollie


Final Tracking


Tracking Quads


Intro to Bass Tone


Bass Tone Setup


Bass Tone Mic Placement


Bass Tracking


Intro to Clean and Lead Tones


Clean Guitar Tones


Lead Tones


Vocal Setup for Tracking


Vocal Mic Selection and Setup


Vocal Mic Shootout


Lead Vocal Tracking


Writing Harmonies


Harmony Vocal Tracking


Vocal Warm Ups


Scream Vocal Tracking


Vocal Tuning and Editing Introduction


Vocal Tuning and Editing


Routing and Bussing


Color Coding, Labeling and Arranging Channels


Setting Up Parallel Compression


Setting Up Drum Triggers


Gain Staging and Trim


Drum Mixing - Subtractive EQ


Drum Mixing - Snare


Drum Mixing - Kick


Drum Mixing - Toms


Drum Mixing - Cymbals and Rooms


Drum Mixing Recap


Mixing Bass Guitar


Mixing Rhythm Guitars


Basic Vocal Mix


Mixing Clean and Lead Guitars


Mixing - Automation


Mastering - Interview with Joel Wanasek


Lesson Info

Clean Guitar Tones

(metal music) (plays guitar) That's good. You can probably fade it from there, so ... Yeah. (door squeals) Hey. Yep, I'm probably good from there. Are you using that? Yeah, I need to do another octave of that, so I'm gonna do that on a different pickup, probably the neck. Maybe even in P90, so ... (plays guitar) Yeah, that's more like it. It's very glassy. Yeah. Alright, you ready? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, sure. (metal music) (plays guitar) We can do that again. I had turned you up part way through. Yeah, thank you, yeah. I couldn't really hear what I was doing, so ... (plays guitar) Think that was better. Alright, you ready? Yep. (metal music) (plays guitar) (strums guitar) One little mistake and it just comes through on these bits. Yeah. Yeah. Ready? Yep. (metal music) (plays guitar) We're gonna have to do that first one again, I made a really big schoolboy mistake. You mean the low one. Yeah, the lower one, yeah. What was the big schoolboy mist...

ake? I did ... I did ... (plays guitar) Instead of ... (plays guitar) (sighs) (chuckles) Yeah, man ... I'm sorry, man. No, I'm just kidding. Alright, so redo the bottom one? Yeah. Are you changing the pickup back, is that where it was? Yep, done, yep, done it. Okay, cool. (metal music) (plays guitar) Cool. Was that that whole part? Let's add another octave. (laughs) Alright, great. Okay. (strums guitar) Let me just play this out. (plays guitar) Do you wanna change the tuning up there? (tunes guitar) (plays guitar) (tunes guitar) (plays guitar) Okay, yeah, let's do it. Ready? Yeah. (metal music) (plays guitar) Cool? Cool. Yeah, that's a whole bit. Alright. And that's pretty much what repeats throughout the whole thing. Alright, so let's talk about it. Why did you choose octaves for that? I love octaves, by the way. I guess it just creates this like pianoy kind of sound to it. I don't know. It's really hard to explain, but I guess it's something that you can build up with texture, you know? You can drop things out and it just like, opens things up, if you add more of the same thing, I don't know. I feel like octaves, it's very easy to make a melody pop through the mix when you layer in octaves. Exactly, yeah. I agree as well, and also just like it, I don't know, it just makes the note come out, as you said. I guess that's probably why I do it more. Well, as opposed to doing harmonies. Sometimes when you do harmonies, you have to get more stuff out of the way, I've noticed. Exactly, yeah. And they tend to blend more, but when you are just emphasizing the same note over and over and over, even in different octaves, it just pops more and it just sounds really cool. It sounds cool, yeah. So let's talk about the sound you made. Okay, so ... Any POD XT users out there will know this is the piezo or piezo, or whatever it's called, acoustic model on the POD. Doesn't actually sound like an acoustic though. No, it sounds more like a piano to my ears, but it creates this really glassy sound to begin with, especially if you turn the drive up on the POD all the way up and from there I will compress it pretty heavily using the inbuilt compressor on the POD XT, which is based off of an LA-2A apparently. Probably sounds nothing like an LA-2A as well, 'cause it was back in the day. And then from there on in, it's just a bunch of effects, so there's like a really mild chorus, a really gentle chorus going on in there and a really big reverb as well and that's pretty much all that's going on there. And let's talk about the pickup switching. Okay, yep, so much like we were talking about earlier, we're changing guitars for different parts, changing pickups as well can also add more space into the mix. If you've got three guitars playing different octaves on the same pickup, it can get a little bit messy, but if you play between the pickups, between the neck, middle, and bridge position, or more if you have more pickups in your guitar, then it creates a variety of different sounds, so you're not really repeating in the same frequency range. Basically just giving it more space in the mix, whilst filling it up at the same time. Yeah, and then it just becomes easier to separate things as well. Exactly. Yeah. Alright, so this part right here, repeats in the next chorus, correct? Mm-hmm, yep. We can copy paste that. If you really want to. Or you can do it again. Copy paste, for now. (chuckles) Alright. I guess if you really want to. And we'll move onto the next part. And this will repeat twice. In fact, no, I better do it again. Oh, yeah. It's a double chorus, so yeah. Okay, explain to them why you would need to repeat this twice. I know why, but ... Yeah, with the clean guitars, you have all the effects going on already. You're already sending the effects straight into the door, so the moment you try and cut anything, you start getting weird things happening with like, if you're using delays especially, which I'm not for this, but the reverbs, you can hear them when they cut in because it's slightly different every single time. But the reverb is carrying the chorus, which is a pitch modulation with it. Exactly, yeah. It's a long reverb, so the pitches that you hit are basically playing over everything that you will then be playing. It's hard to explain, but if you hit a wrong note, or you come in in the wrong spot, you'll hear the mistake, or you'll hear the punch. Also, I think, with clean guitars, they're much more naked than distortion. Like, if you're not playing at the exact same intensity level, exact same way, you can hear the punch right then and there. Exactly. Yeah, the distortion hides a lot. It does. You ready? Yeah, I'm ready. Me too. (chuckles) Okay, low? Yeah, low one. (metal music) (plays guitar) You know, while we're here, let me play this tail for people, just to basically highlight what we were speaking about earlier about punching in or having a wrong note in there. Listen to how long this carries on for. (plays snippet) So if he were to play a wrong note in here somewhere, you would be hearing the reverberation of that wrong note all throughout this tail. And just ruin it completely. Yep. Okay, next? Yeah, let me remember what pickup I was on. (strums guitar) It was that one. Ready? Yep. (metal music) (plays guitar) Alright, you wanna do the (mumbles) one? Yes. I can't remember ... (tunes guitar) Think it's that one. Yep, cool. Okay. (plays guitar) Okay, yeah, I got it. Hey, real quick ... One thing about these types of tones are that, in my opinion, you should get this type of tone as close to the finished product before you even start recording it because the effects and the sound are gonna dictate how you play it. I think that you're gonna get much better results if you do it that way, rather than just record super clean and get the effects later. Ready? Yep. (metal music) (plays guitar) Cool. This happened over the- Bridge, yeah, you know it. Where's it start and it fades in, so ... Uh-huh, so let's ... Can you just play it back a minute, so I can have a little listen to what I did, if that's okay? Yes. Not from there. You can start a bit further, that's fine. (metal music) What do you know, the same clean part. (chuckles) Okay. So I'll just phase in and then ... Interesting. I didn't play it all in one. What's that? I didn't play it all in one on the other one. (chuckles) Well, it sounds like you probably played this one and then copied it here and then just did a fade up. Yep. So is it the same thing? Do you want me to just double check? Yeah, it's exactly the same thing. I can just play it all the way from there and you can fade it in if you want. Sure. Okay. So now they're at the same clean part. Think it is actually the same clean part throughout the entirety of this song. We're gonna start right on the ... Yep, I'll start there again, just play it all the way through. Okay. (strums guitar) Alright, you ready for the low? Yep. Okay, so you're starting right on the bridge intro? Yep. Got it. (metal music) (plays guitar) I screwed it up. Okay. So this bit was alright. We can just come in from the other bit now if you want. From the bridge? Yeah. (strums guitar) Okay. (strums guitar) Alright, ready? Yep. And this is gonna work because of the fade in we're gonna do. Yep. So basically- Otherwise it wouldn't do this. If we do it on the fourth track, then you'd have to copy over it 'cause we've got that fourth track free still, haven't we? Mm-hmm. So we can just do it on that if you want. Or I can put this on the fourth track actually. Okay, yeah, do it, yeah. I'd prefer to do that. You know, I'll do the fade up right now while we're here, while we're at it. Okay. Do you care what style? Probably a little bit more so it's like, less of the start and like more exaggerated towards the end. That would be more like a switch. Yeah, exactly, yeah. Okay. And then ... And then I'll start from a little bit before, so we have the reverb tail and it should be okay. Cool. Okay. Alright. Yeah, let's do it for that. Ready? Yep. (metal music) (plays guitar) And this one's ... I've got this panner on. So are you not gonna do octaves here? Yep. You are? Only one more though, for this part. Okay, give me one moment, please. I'm going to ... Fade that one, alright? Well, this fades in, so I think ... (metal music) Okay. Okay, cool. Let's do the second one? Alright. And that was on the neck peak, I'll put that down, so ... (strums guitar) Ready? Yep. Is that a coil tap by chance? Yep. Okay. (metal music) (plays guitar) It sounds so nice. It's a nice verb. Very. It's really bizarre. They've not been able to replicate that same verb on any of the newer Line 6 units. It sounds like a modulated reverb. Yep. Have I shown you the hollow (mumbles), I think? Yeah, it's amazing. This kinda sounds a little like it. Yeah. Okay. Okay, that's the only two for that part. So now I need to do this ... It's a little clean part where it changes, so I need to put that on here and I gotta just find it quickly. Is it sounds a little more percussive or like- No, it's got the swelling from left to right, so it's a panner. Oh, okay, got it. It's like an auto-panner on here, I've just gotta find it quickly. I remember all those Line 6 effects, they were so good. They were so cool, right? Yeah. Okay, it's not on that, it's on modulations, so- Even on the original POD Bean. Yep. I can't remember who, yeah, it's auto-pan. Here you go. (strums guitar) I just need to get the speed right. It's dotted quarter 140. I don't know if that helps you. That actually helps, completely. Dotted quarter 140. Mm-hmm. Let's actually ... Perfect. So it'd be something like ... (plays guitar) I'm gonna need to turn the mix all the way up. So it's like that. (plays guitar) Too fast. So that means it must have been ... Here, so that one. So what's half of 140? 70. Must have been how I did it. Okay. Let's try that quickly. Alright, ready? So ... (strums guitar) (plays guitar) That's more like it. Check that tuning. (tunes guitar) It's weird, isn't it? Yeah. I think. Well also using modulated effects will sometimes trick you into thinking that the guitar is out of tune. Of tune, yep. So gotta be careful. I guess I should probably explain that we just put an auto-panner on the POD XT and it's basically panning the signal from left to right for this one part on Quasimodo, 'cause at the time I thought it was cool. And back to what I said before about getting the effects right going in on stuff like this. It's a lot cooler if you program the auto-panner and then play into it 'cause I know you did it via automation and Pro Tools because it's going to affect his feel. Yep. Alright, ready? Yep. (metal music) (plays guitar) Sounds tuney. (tunes guitar) A bit like ... Like when you get up there. (tunes guitar) It's pretty in tune, man. (tunes guitar) (plays guitar) Right there. (tunes guitar) Those are the notes I was hearing. (tunes guitar) (plays guitar) I think I might put an L. It's really just that high G. (tunes guitar) But it's not so bad when you just play it once. (plays guitar) That sounds alright. Let's try it. Alright. Let's give it a whirl. We'll give it a whirl. Yeah, should we try it on this pickup instead? (plays guitar) Yeah, I was gonna say that that ... You read my mind. This is on P90 mode now? Mm-hmm. What was it before? It was just on the single coil mode, so the single rail on here. So this is a three way pickup. It's a Seymour Duncan P90 rails and it has a P90 pickup and then a single coil rail pickup which you can use in humbucker mode, P90 mode, or single coil rail mode. Alright. So lots of options. (metal music) (plays guitar) No. (tunes guitar) (plays guitar) (tunes guitar) (plays guitar) Gonna have to do an octave lower. Alright, try it. Okay. Ready? Yep. (metal music) (plays guitar) So are you going from a wound string to an unwound string? Yeah. It sounds weird, going from wound to unwound. Maybe like, shift up on the same string. I know that might mess you up. Oh, just on that one bit? Yeah, it's just, it sounds weird switching from wound to unwound. (strums guitar) Like, instead of ... Yeah, instead of going down across strings, go up 'em actually. Okay, well maybe I can do that higher here then. (plays guitar) Okay. Okay, I can probably do that. (plays guitar) How's that sound? It sounds in tune. (laughs) Okay, let's try it. Alright, ready? Yeah. (metal music) (plays guitar) Maybe pick a different pick up for it so that doesn't sound so round. (plays guitar) See, that sounds better, I think. (plays guitar) Okay, yeah. Let's do the low one then. Okay, cool. Ready? Yeah. (metal music) (plays guitar) And I'm guessing there's no double on that. No, no, no, it's just a single one. Okay. I think anyways. You wanna listen to the top bit so we can doubly check? Yeah. I would figure it's just one, but ... (metal music) That one? There's a low one. There's a high one. (metal music) So the one's panning and the other ones are fading in, yeah. Okay, you can probably just take that from the other bit, if you want. The fade in? Yeah, just take out the fade in, yeah. But the fade in's on the low and it's higher, so let me just do the high one again. Okay. Okay, so ... (tunes guitar) (plays guitar) And this is not an auto-panner, is it? Oh, no, it's not is it, no. One second. There you go. (strums guitar) Oh, wait a minute. Turn the delay off. There we go. That's a cool delay. Yeah, the delay's cool, but it wasn't needed on these parts 'cause you know, you're picking all of them, so ... (plays guitar) In fact, should we try this? (plays guitar) Try it, but I hear it tuney, but maybe it's not. Okay, let's do it. (metal music) (plays guitar) And this is a fade up. Yeah. Okay. Or you can just stop it dead. Oh yeah, fade it in and then stop it dead, 'cause it just goes into that. (strums guitar) Or whatever it is, I need to play that one out. (strums guitar) Same style of fade? Yeah, fade in, yeah. So yeah, seeing as how the fade in is- Yeah, the before. The previous one, okay, got it. Yep. The end chorus you can probably copy and paste from the other chorus, if you want, 'cause there's no delays on it, so it's not gonna be weird, so ... (metal music) Oh wait, we're hearing this thing. Mm-hmm. (metal music) Are you sure there's no- I think it's a lower one, isn't it? Yeah, I'm sure I'm hearing a lower one- Yeah, let's do the low one then. Than the original one. Yep. I do need to make a new track if we're gonna do that, though. Give me one second. (strums guitar) Alright, you ready? Yeah, yeah, I'm ready. (metal music) (plays guitar) So this is a ... I think it should be a little bit less of an extreme fade in on the other bit. Sure. I don't know how difficult that is to sort out. I have the power. You have the power of God in your hands. Right there. There you go, that's better. However, the low one got kinda off. What do you mean? Towards the end. What do you mean? Look. (metal music) Hear that? The (mumbles). Yeah, yeah, too high, I hear the little bump. Let's do that again then. Ready? (strums guitar) (metal music) (plays guitar) Thank you. Now, does this one fade in? What do you mean? The low. Yeah, it does, yeah. Okay, same style as the high one is- Yep, those, yep. Alright. (strums guitar) How many tracks (speaker drowned out by crosstalk). We do have the end chorus, but you can probably paste that from another part, 'cause it's exactly the same thing, but again ... Yeah, but even over the modulated? It should be fine 'cause I'm playing it in triplets. Okay, let's check that. Okay. How many tracks do you need for that lead? Like two? Two, yeah. You're gonna double it and stuff? Yeah. Okay. Alright, let's make sure this works. Yep. (metal music) It's not gonna be nowhere near that loud anyways. Exactly. Okay- Well, you wanna compress all of them really heavily, with an API 2500. Okay. But you don't have to do that now, we can get the lead tones done, I guess, for now. Yeah, let's do that. Alright, let's choose a lead sound.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Eyal Levi Bootcamp Bonuses
Drum Editing - HD

Ratings and Reviews


I'm on lesson 19! Already worth every dollar!!! Priceless insight! I have already incorporated some of the ideas (preproduction common sense stuff that I never thought of, but damn). VERY HAPPY with this course! ALWAYS LEARNING and looking forward to the next 50 (or whatever) lessons!!! Excellent course! GREAT PRODUCER/ENGINEER, GREAT DRUM TECH, and GREAT BAND!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!


I'm just part way though and I'm blown away by the quality approach Eyal takes to getting the best out of the sessions. I love how well everything is explained and Eyals calm manner is just awesome it really makes you want to listen to the gems of wisdom he offers.


Wow is all I can say. This bootcamp goes in so much depth from tuning drums, setting up guitars, to recording and mixing. I have learned so much by participating in this bootcamp. It has taught me some new recording techniques and signal routing for my mixes. I just want to thank Eyal, Monuments, and Creative Live for taking the time to do this. It has been amazing and I will keep going back to these videos.

Student Work