Digital guitar processing: tone control

Yesterday I wrote: ‘I will always record with the volume control(s) and tone control(s) fully open.’ This way I can capture the unaffected tone of my guitar. But I can still lower the treble of the sound using a simple EQ in my DAW in the same way as a tone control on the guitar would. Or I can lower the low end like you can on some of the new G & L guitars, which have a high pass filter as extra tone control. This is a neat way to remove some of the low end of humbuckers and make them sound more like a single coil.

Of course you can also use these techniques in the Line 6 Helix, the Kemper Profiler or any other digital guitar processor.

Here’s an example using the neck pickup of my telecaster with the great DC-9 tube screamer emulation by Blamsoft in combination with the Kuassa Matchlock which is my favourite Fender amp simulator. The speaker filter I am using is my own custom made IR (more about that later). Listen to my example. The first 4 measures are with the EQ bypassed, the next 4 are with the EQ activated (the lovely Channel EQ in Reason) doing its magic like a treble booster.

This is the beauty of working in the digital domain. You can even put an EQ before and after every virtual device in your signal chain to change the sound in any way you’d like. You can mimic treble loss and all sorts of analog impedance voodoo by just fooling around with EQ.

Try it yourself!

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