Guitar pedal that makes me sound like the band?
September 10, 2011 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Does a guitar FX pedal or computer program exist that let's me plug in, select a song, and then start playing my guitar with the exact FX the original guitarist used?
posted by WhereAmI to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not that I've ever seen. You'd be hard pressed to find out the original guitarist's signal chain of even recently recorded songs, much less account for what the mix engineer/producer does with it after it's recorded.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 12:14 PM on September 10, 2011

A lot of the Line 6 products, such as the newer PODs, have some "good enough" settings. They might have a setting like "Stairway - solo" that is a pretty good imitation of the effects used for the Stairway to Heaven solo, or settings for Pink Floyd songs, or whatever. Some of them are endorsed by the original artists (Satriani - Satch Boogie) while others have names that hint at what they are, but are just different enough to prevent a lawsuit or something.

Like most of these things, there's a lot of guitar god wankery settings, but some of them are decent.
posted by bondcliff at 12:19 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

this would be really hard to accomplish.

just last night i spent some time reading about the replica deacy amp that took 12 years to make and they were only successful because they got brian may's permission to completely disassemble his amp and test every single part individually.

or like when sonic youth got a truck full of gear stolen, there were sounds they weren't able to make again because they were dependant on heavily modified equipment spanning 15 years of playing and tinkering.

with a little more work, you could use a resource like guitar geek and a piece of equipment like the line 5 pod hd and do the set ups artist by artist, but that still won't get you song by song.
posted by nadawi at 12:25 PM on September 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

There is some set of plugins that will mimic any set of effects chains.

The technology that lets you duplicate other songs is to go on a guitar message board and ask people which plugins would duplicate the effects in the songs. (or just google it)
posted by empath at 4:30 PM on September 10, 2011

A song is not recorded with "an effect on the guitar". It's recorded and engineered with layers upon layers upon layers of effects and equalization." It's not just one thing and would be impossible to identically reproduce.
posted by xmutex at 6:55 PM on September 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

arg. i, of course, mean line 6. those damn keys are like RIGHT next to each other.
posted by nadawi at 8:23 AM on September 11, 2011

I agree with the other advice here. There's no device that will give you exactly what you need.

I'll add that Guitar for the Practicing Musician (an American magazine published in the 1980s and 1990s) used to sometimes show diagrams of exactly what pedals and settings were used for a song transcribed in the magazine. If you're trying to replicate the sound of one particular song from that era, it might be worth seeing if it's online somewhere.

Also, interviews with guitarists (or even guitar techs) often describe what equipment was used in the studio.
posted by tomwheeler at 11:23 AM on September 11, 2011

Another guitarist here, completely seconding everything The World Famous said.
posted by troywestfield at 6:24 AM on September 12, 2011

Response by poster: Interesting, I appreciate the feedback.

Any suggestions on a cheap, long memory looper? It seems so expensive for loop pedals that have more than 30 seconds of memory, but I've downloaded a 1.99 app on my smartphone that loops up to 5 minutes. What gives?
posted by WhereAmI at 3:28 PM on September 12, 2011

Guitar Rig will let you do that. I use it to mimic Brad Paisley's tone just because I like it. Watch Dweezil Zappa demo it. It's pretty dead on. It may not use the exact same effects the original artist used but it will allow you to compare, side by side, the tone from the original song and your settings. Pretty badass.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:46 PM on October 2, 2011

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