METEORA guitar tone- the ultimate guide!

Discussion in 'Linkin Park Chat' started by dividebyzero, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. #1
    dividebyzero

    dividebyzero Member

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    The guitar tone from Meteora is easily one of the best guitar tones ever created. If you're a guitar player and want to replicate that sound using only a guitar, an audio interface and software, you came to the right place.

    In this guide, I will explain step by step how you can sound (more or less) like good old Linkin Park.

    STEP 1: THE GOAL
    Take a listen to THIS FILE. The first 18 seconds is the intro riff of my band's debut song "Sinkhole". The next 12 seconds is the intro riff from Linkin Park's "Lying from you". This is the isolated original guitar track from the actual song, for comparison. So, we're trying to get as close as possible to that tone, and the first seconds show how close we're going to get.

    -> This is how the result will sound like.

    [​IMG]

    STEP 2: GETTING EVERYTHING WE NEED
    2.1 The guitar

    • I used a PRS SE 245 guitar for this track, with DiMarzio D-Sonic bridge pickups. You can use any guitar and any humbucker pickup you want, but it will probably sound more like the original when using a PRS guitar and DiMarzio pickups (because Brad Delson did so). I can also reccommend Ibanez guitars for this. I used D'addario EXL110 strings (because Brad Delson did so).
    • You need to change the tuning of your guitar to drop c#. (Tune the E string to D and then tune down all 6 strings by another half step).
    • Make sure you use the bridge pickup only and crank up the eq and volume knobs on your guitar.
    2.2 The audio interface
    • I used a behringer euphoria UMC202 HD, which is not that good actually. Use any interface you want, it does not matter. Conenct your guitar to the interface and the interface to your DAW.
    2.3 Software
    • First of all, you need a DAW. I used Adobe Audition, but any DAW will do.
    • We need a VST plugin called Amplitube 4. It's a little pricy but worth every penny.
    • Inside that plugin, we can purchace more virtual amplifiers (sort of like a DLC). We need the Mesa Boogie package and the Brit9000 preamp. (Depending on which version of Amplitube 4 you buy, those amps may already be included.)
    • We need a good EQ plugin. I used Izotopes Neutron 2 plugin.
    • Optional: SSL Comp Stereo VST plugin.
    STEP 3: RECORDING
    We're going to need 8 tracks of every guitar part. So record your guitar track 8 times. Make sure your audio interface has the same sample rate as your DAW to avoid technical problems.

    STEP 4: AMPING
    Now that we have 8 (almost identical) guitar tracks, we group them in pairs of 2 tracks (so 4 groups). Each of those groups will be threated differently. In each group, we have one track for the left stereo channel and one for the right stereo channel. We will call those groups A, B, C and D from here on.

    Group A:
    This will be our Brit9000 group.
    [​IMG]
    In the stomp A section, st up the graphic EQ like I did. The Compressor is optional. You only need this if you're playing long sustained notes,because this will lead to huge dynamics in your DI signal. The longer your notes, the more "COMP" you need.

    [​IMG]
    Set up you Amp A section like this.

    [​IMG]
    Change the cab to the Mesa Recto Slant. Move the mic directly onto the middle of the speaker, and mute the second mic.

    [​IMG]
    Finally, some EQ in the Rack A section.

    Apply all of this to both tracks in the group A. Pan one of those tracks to the right (75%) and one to the left (75%) in your DAW.

    Group B:
    Do exactly as above, but with these settings:
    [​IMG]:
    [​IMG]
    Solo the first mic here.
    [​IMG]
    Again, apply this to both tracks in group B. Pan them by 91% this time.

    Group C:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Again, use only mic 1.
    [​IMG]
    Panning is 100% this time.

    Group D:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Pan is 95% for group D.

    STEP 5: EQUALIZING

    Apply your EQ plugin to each of your groups. All of them are going to be eq-ed differently.

    Group A:
    [​IMG]

    Group B:
    [​IMG]

    Group C:
    [​IMG]

    Group D:
    [​IMG]

    STEP 6: CUT HARSH FREQUENCIES
    Heavily distorted guitars always cause resonant peaks - unpleasantly harsh frequencies we need to remove. To do so, apply a second instance of your EQ plugin to each guitar group and do the following:
    1. Take one node and reduce it's width to the absolute minimum.
    2. Increase the gain to the absolute maximum.
    3. Move the node through your frequency spectrum until you hear a unpleasant squeaking
    4. lower the gain of that node to about -6db.
    Repeat this about 8 times with different EQ nodes. When you're done, do the same thing to the other 3 guitar groups. This way, your overall tone will sound better to human ears.

    STEP 7: VOLUME AND COMPRESSION
    In the final step, we adjust the group's volume in relation to each other. My settings are:
    Group A: -15db, Group B: -18db, Group C: -18db, Group D: -16db.
    Now apply an instance of the SSL Compressor plugin to each track and just select the preset called "Mastering". This will add a dark sounding boost to your guitars.

    You're done!

    FINAL NOTES:
    • The big sound of Meteora does NOT only come from the guitars, but also from the bass. Keep that in mind.
    • Meteora has a lot of different guitar tones. This is just ONE of them, but you can use it as a starting point for further experiments.
    • You may add a little reverb if you like, but blend it very carefully. I'd suggest no more than 5% reverb in the mix.
    • I am open to suggestions, critique and so on. :)
    Best regards!
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
    Marian-Mina Mihai and Kevin like this.
  2. #2
    Marian-Mina Mihai

    Marian-Mina Mihai New Member

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    Dude, wow, you're absolutely nuts (just like me), amazing job, thank you!
     

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