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Avid Pro Tools 8: Build an “acoustifier” for electric guitars, using DigiRack plug-ins

July 1, 2010

OBJECTIVE: Give electric guitars some of the responsiveness of acoustic guitars.

BACKGROUND: Hitting an acoustic guitar hard makes the sound subjectively brighter; electric guitars don’t act similarly. However, you can simulate this effect by inserting an expander/high-pass filter combination in parallel with your dry electric guitar track. The peaks of your playing will sound brighter and more “alive.”

071011. Go Track > New and create two audio tracks—one for the dry sound, and one for the processed sound. Assign both to the input fed by your guitar.



071022. In the processed track, insert the Expander/Gate Dyn 3 followed by the EQ 3 4-Band.




071033. Edit the Expander/Gate Dyn 3 parameters: Range –80dB, Attack 20ms, Hold 5ms, Ratio 3.0:1, Release 600ms, Threshold –6dB.









071044. Edit the EQ 3 parameters. HPF: High pass mode, Q 24dB/octave, Freq 1.32kHz. HF: Shelf mode, Q 1.48, Freq 1.8kHz, Gain 12dB. No other filter sections are needed.







071055. Adjust levels for the desired balance of straight and processed sounds.


· Step 3: The long release prevents the signal from “fluttering” with decaying chords.
· Step 5: If you solo the processed sound, you should hear only the peaks of your playing. If you mute the processed sound when playing at low levels (with the dry signal present), you should not hear a difference.
· Steps 3 and 4: The settings are a suggested point of departure. You’ll need to experiment for the best results with different guitars, pickups, playing styles, etc.

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