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electronic MUSICIAN

Learn Power App | SONAR X1e

By Craig Anderton | December 1, 2011

Add a more dynamic feel to dry electric guitar tracks.

Acoustic guitars have a strong dynamic sense because hitting the strings hard increases brightness. You can emulate this effect with dry electric guitars by copying the electric guitar track, feeding it through an expander/highpass filter combination, and mixing in these accentuated, bright peaks with the main guitar track.


Copy the dry guitar track by Ctrl-dragging it into another track.


In the ProChannel, insert the PC4K Expander/Gate before the EQ.


Edit the PC4K parameters: Range around –35 to –40, Release 2.5 seconds, Gate/Sidechain/Fast Attack off, and a high threshold (e.g., –1.0dB) so that only the peaks pass through the expander.


Use the EQ following the PC4K to reduce the lows and boost the highs (try HPF Freq 2.4kHz, Slope 12dB, Gloss on, and one parametric stage set to Freq 6.7kHz, Q 1.0, and level at 12dB).


Adjust the channel levels for the desired balance of dry and processed sounds. The “expanded” channel will probably need to be quite low.


  • Step 3: A long release time helps prevent distortion or “fluttering” from the gate opening and closing too rapidly.
  • Step 5: If you solo the processed sound, you should hear only the peaks of your playing.
  • Steps 3 and 4: Experiment for the best results with different guitars, pickups, playing styles, etc.

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