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Production Techniques for Electric Guitar: Part 3

Hi, it’s Warren Huart here. Hope you’re doing marvelously well.

Today, I want to do some more guitar production stuff on Alexx Calise’s material that I’ve been co-writing and producing with her, and we’re going to go to this song called “Blood,” where it was like a writing demo that I’ve been producing.

So what happens a lot for me is I’m with an artist, I’ll plugin a DI’d electric and put a plugin on it, you know, like a SansAmp. In this case, it’s SansAmp and Decapitator together, and sometimes, that’s a great, great sound, and other times, I want to replace it. In this particular song, I want to replace it, because it’s kind of got a fun 70’s kind of feel about it. We can listen to it in a minute.

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Anyways, so let’s look at the track. I’m going to plug in a guitar, and redo this part.


Stereo guitar. It’s good. I mean, this is the original tone.


Just a good old fashioned DI. There’s a SansAmp on it. Then a Decapitator after that. Decapitator has got some drive. So let’s just go in and redo that sound. The reason why I want to redo it is not that it’s bad, I just want a fuzz on it. Make it sort of feel more like a 70’s kind of messed up, you know, guitar tone. Like that sort of fuzz pedal into a console kind of Jimmy Page, Zeppelin kind of thing. So let’s try that.

So again, let’s setup two new tracks. It’s Shift+Command+N. Then obviously, it comes up and says 1, so let’s make that 2. Hit Return, and we can name the first one. We’ll call it Fuzz Guitar. Like such. And as you’ve seen before, what I’ll do is I’ll copy it, go to the next one, go “.DI,” and now I’m going to take those two tracks, go Command+G to make a group, and paste that in, Fuzz Guitar. There you go, that was quick. Okay, so outputs. Because they’re both highlighted, I can send them to the same output by just going Shift+Option, and you see how I can change it to any output I like. So both can go to 11, 12, and here we’re going to go out 15 and 16.

So you can set your inputs and outputs. When things are grouped together like this, they’re all highlighted, if you do Shift+Option, whatever is highlighted will follow suit. Okay, so our guitar input is 18. Our DI input is 9. I don’t need to hear my DI, so I’m going to mute it.

Now, I’m in group, and the way I’ve got my group set is if I hit — if I touch any control, it will do global. You see, like this. It’s doing globally. It’s doing both of them. So if I wanted to move in and out of that, I can just literally hit Control on my keyboard, and then hit mute. See? Take off — finger off Control. There’s this. Hold Control down then click on it. Cool.

So that means I don’t have to keep disabling my groups to do things. Okay, so let us plug in a guitar. Okay, great, so back to a good old Pacifica. We’ve got our Carl Martin Fuzz setup now, and let’s listen to the original part.

[full mix]

Cool. So it’s quite a straight forward part. I actually got that from — that idea from a Bowie song. A song called Dead Man Walking. He doesn’t have a guitar in it, he has a keyboard doing that riff, but I really like that kind of riff, so that’s what inspired me. So that’s the 70’s kind of thing. Even though Dead Man Walking is from the album Earthling, I still feel like it was something that had a very 70’s kind of rock feel. It made me think of that.

Okay, so what we’re going to do is — there’s a couple of things we can try. I was thinking of doing it a single note.

[electric guitar, fuzz]

And then when the vocal comes in, go to…

[electric guitar, chords]

So let’s try. I’ll click in. Single note. Going to chords.

[full mix, recording guitar]

Cool. So that was fun. What I did is I went to the full chords when the bass came in just to kind of give it that lift, because the bass doesn’t come in until after the second verse.

I like that, I think one guitar will probably carry it. Tone wise, just to have that kind of fuzz is really cool.

[fuzz guitar with click]


It’s great sometimes just to have a pure fuzz tone. I’ve got — it’s going through my Marshall, it’s going through the JMP, but set super, super clean, so maybe with that fuzz, it’s getting a little help from the amp, but you know, sometimes it’s nice just to have the fuzz pedal going to the front of your preamp, and that gets it really, really hairy. We can go complete sort of crazy distortion on that.

We can try that on another song as well.

So that’s basically it. If we go to the chorus, have a quick listen.


Cool. So the chorus part is basically this.

[chorus guitar]

So we’re going to keep that same kind of rhythm. So I’m on my own here, so what I’m going to do is this. I’m going to put where I want to come in. See, I’m hitting on the top of the chorus here, and let’s get our transport so we can view it. We can do 2buss like such. Hit Return and we’ve got pre-roll. So now what I’m going to do, I’m going to record.

[full mix, tracking guitar]

Haha! That’s a great tone, I love this fuzz pedal. It’s just like, you know…

[fuzz guitar]

It’s a great kind of lead. You can get very — you can use Blues scales in a very naive way, and it creates a very 70’s — well, almost like a late 60’s kind of…

[fuzz guitar, blues scales]

You know. Rather than being all sophisticated. It’s very Jimmy Page. I love it. Anyway, I’ll have fun with that all day.

So yeah, you see what I was doing there. Again, the fuzz pedal, I’m doing the — keeping that same rhythm.


So it’s just [imitates guitar]. Cool.

So it keeps the continuity going through the whole song.

Great. Well, thanks for watching. What you saw there was me just going back through sessions, and you know, checking what I want to improve upon. I mean, a lot of the times, I love using plugins like SansAmp, Decapitator, Eleven is great, and when I’m writing with an artist, I’ll just plug in the guitar quickly, and quite often, we’ll just have a kick drum or a click going, or sometimes a loop, and we’ll work on the song that way, and then a lot of other times, of course, I’m writing primarily on an acoustic guitar and vocal and then building the track afterwards.

When I do that, I start with acoustic, you’ll probably find there will be less scratch things, because I’m just adding to the production, but the great thing about writing and recording at the same time is that quite often, that energy and — that you get from the writing process is transferred into the recording. So quite often, I’ll come back and try and beat something, like a scratch guitar part, and I’ll never make it better, because there was just a fire of a…


You know, some kind of fiery thing that was happening between the artist and I when we were writing the song. But anyway, I think in this instance, the part is very, you know, that…

[guitar riff]

You know, it’s not a feel thing so much as a really great tone, and obviously, the Carl Martin Fuzz here has really brought it up quite significantly from just using the DI.

Anyway, thanks for watching. Please subscribe. If you go to, you can sign up for the email list, and you’ll get a whole bunch of free stuff to download, you’re going to get exclusive videos on recording drums, and pianos, etcetera, and we’re adding more stuff to that. Plus downloads of tracks. We’re going to add the drum samples. We have to add the drum samples. We’re going to add those so you can have the same drum samples I use.

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Warren Huart

Warren Huart

Warren Huart is an English record producer/musician/composer and recording engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Learn more at

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