Making the Mix with Matty Amendola – Part 2 of 5: Guitars

So you’re probably wondering now, why did I make groove templates on that hi-hat?

Well, it’s sixteenth notes pretty much throughout the entire song keeping a nice pulse and a really good groove, and Brit had a guitar part that starts the song off that sounds like this.


Now I didn’t think that this, “dun dun dun dun duh” sixteenth note would be very cool throughout the song, I thought that it could use some more texture, so I went into my pedal collection, and I pulled out a little pedal that had that Green Day “dah dah dah dah” stutter thing, and I asked her to just hit whole notes.

We kind of realized that it was a little wonky. The timing just wasn’t really working.


With the timing being so weird, I said let me throw it through a plug-in and try it that way.

So we did that, and then it was in our opinion, way too locked to the grid.


That didn’t really have any character, but yet, using the pedals was out of time.

So what did we do here? We opened up Flex Time, and as you can see, now the Flex Time is actually doing something.

These are the guitars, the three guitar tracks here. One was a DI, the other ones are AC30s. Room mic and a Royer 121 on the grill, and I’m quantizing them to the groove template that I made from the hi-hat track.

So if we listen to that hi-hat now, with these guitars, and the drums are not quantized, mind you…

[drums, guitar, click]

So now it’s almost as if the hi-hat is triggering. “Bah bah bah bah” those guitar stutters.

Here it is with the full kit.

[drums, guitar]

Alright, here’s our other guitars throughout the tune. Once again, AC30s.


Alright, so what do we got going on for these guitars. Very basic EQing with the Pro-Q2, which is one of my favorite surgical EQs in the box.

Every guitar was also recorded through an SSL Alpha pre, going into the A-Designs HM-2 EQ, the Hammer, to have a really simply three-band EQ to just not get too surgical. You can do that in the box, but to have it run through a nice piece of analog gear that’s nice and colored in a great way and be able to cut and boost two or three dB on each frequency. It was key.

So moving along now to the pre-chorus, it has a sound that people kind of continually ask me to get for them based off of all the records I’ve done, which is this weird pedal, steel sounding ambient thing, that I probably stole from John Brian, and here’s how I get that sound.

First thing I do is I record some MIDI.

[MIDI synths]

It’s a little corny. I’m not going to lie. But it’s only one piece of the puzzle.

From there, we have guitars where I’m using a volume pedal with no attack. I’m just swelling in. That paired with the pedal steel MIDI and Brit’s favorite reverb pedal, the Holy Grail, it created a sound that sounded like this.


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