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The making of ……. “Air Ekseption”




I made a cover of “Air” version of Ekseption. In case you don’t know, originally it is a number of Bach (BWV 1068).

However, the famous Dutch rockband made a transition of this classical song into a pop/rock number. Rick van der Linden is a well noticed keyboard player who made 99% of the arrangement. You’ll hear drums, bass, piano, clavecymbal, organ etc.

I made my own arrangement and uses the following instruments of plugins:

  • Logic X
  • Fernandes Revolver guitar with sustainer
  • Avid Eleven guitar effect processor
  • Digitech Harmonizer
  • Session Drummer
  • Native Instrument Rickenbacker plugin
  • Notre Dame the Budapest organ
  • Pianoteq plugin
  • Izotope mastering software


On 06 November 2015, Eagle Rock Entertainment released “The Ritchie Blackmore Story”. This is a simultaneous release on DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats and Deluxe Edition. Without doubt one of the all-time great guitar players, Ritchie Blackmore hardly ever does interviews but has granted extraordinary access for the creation of this truly revealing programme and talks in great depth about his life and career.

The amazing Deluxe Edition contains the DVD of “The Ritchie Blackmore Story”, the DVD of “Live In Tokyo” and 2CDs of “Live In Tokyo” all contained in a 60 page 12” x 12” hardback photobook with a black and silver front cover. “Live In Tokyo” is the first official DVD & CD release of the 1984 concert by Rainbow from Tokyo’s famous Budokan. It was to be the last Rainbow concert before Ritchie Blackmore & Roger Glover went on to reform Deep Purple.

From his pop roots with The Outlaws and his many session recordings in the sixties, through defining hard rock with Deep Purple and Rainbow in the seventies and eighties and on to the renaissance rock of Blackmore’s Night, Ritchie has proved that he is a master of the guitar across a multitude of styles. For the first time “The Ritchie Blackmore Story” tells the story of his remarkable career through extensive specially recorded new interviews with Ritchie himself plus contributions from many of his colleagues and admirers including: Brian May, Glenn Hughes, Lars Ulrich, Steve Lukather, Joe Satriani, the late Jon Lord, David Coverdale, Gene Simmons, Joe Lynn Turner, Steve Vai, Graham Bonnet and Ian Anderson. The Bonus Features on this release offer up over 40 minutes of additional interviews with Ritchie Blackmore and his peers.

How To Chain FX

Rule Number 1 — There are No Rules

BOSS effects pedals

Free BOSS mobile phone wallpaper—choose from 10.

So you decided to play electric guitar. Once you get a guitar and an amp, the next step is to explore effects. Effects pedals can be separated into groups based on their functions. Understanding the different pedal groups is the key to getting the best sound when chaining them together. The largest pedal group is probably overdrives and distortions, and BOSS currently makes 16 different pedals in this category. For our example pedal board, we’ll pick the ST-2 Power Stack. Another category with many choices ismodulation.These are effects like flanger, phaser, chorus, tremolo, and others. Let’s use the most versatile of these—the BF-3 Flanger. Another group is ambience effects, such as delays and reverbs. We’ll use one of each: a DD-7 Digital Delay and the FRV-1 ’63 Fender Reverb.

There are some pedal effects that can add notes or alter the pitch of what you’re playing. For want of a more esoteric name, we’ll call these “pitch-altering” pedals. From this category, let’s throw in a BOSS OC-3 Octave. BOSS also has a few

BOSS ST-2 Power Stack guitar effects pedalpedals that make your instrument sound like some other instrument. The AC-3 Acoustic Simulator will do the job. Some effects change your sound with filtering. This effect type can be used in different places in the signal path, so we’ll use the GE-7 Graphic EQ. A few BOSS effects defy categorization, but are nevertheless very useful in any signal path. The most common of these is the CS-3 Compression/Sustainer. Loopers fall into this category also, so let’s add an RC-3 Loop Station to the mix. And you might want the NS-2 Noise Suppressor to kill the noise in your rig, so let’s add that in, too. What about a tuner? The TU-3 is the most popular pedal tuner in the world.

So, where does each pedal go in the signal path? Here are some tips to keep in mind before you start plugging pedals together:

How to Chain Your Guitar Effects Pedals – Part 2

Rule 1—There are no rules. The sound you’re after might not be made by what we could call the appropriate or logical signal path, but that’s not always the issue. The issue is this: what does it sound like? If it makes the sound you’re after, then it’s rightalthough, you may have to do something about the noise. Traditional pedal board arrangements were designed for certain reasons, and keeping the noise down is one biggie. Following the principles of how sound is made in physical space is another (see Rule 4 coming up). But the final choice is yours. As a very wise man said: if it works, don’t fix it.

Rule 2—Some pedal types work better in certain parts of the signal path than in others. Octave pedals or tuners, for example, don’t work as well with a distorted signal as with an undistorted signal, so they should be placed before the distortion.

Rule 3—Noise can be a problem, particularly with high-gain distortion sounds. Pedals that can add volume—such as compressors, wahs, EQs, and overdrive/distortions—will also amplify any noise created by the effects placed before them.

Rule 4—Taking sound-making devices like stompbox pedals out of the equation, there’s an order to the way sounds naturally occur in physical space. For example, guitar amp distortion is made in physical space by turning an amp up enough to cause its circuits to overload, and any echo you might hear happens after the distorted sound hits walls or ceilings and bounces back to your ears. Therefore, logic says that your reverb and/or delay pedals should be last in the signal path, since that is how the sounds they produce actually occur in three-dimensional space.

BOSS pedal board signal flow

In keeping with these rules—okay, they aren’t really rules, so let’s compromise and call them “guidelines”—here are some essential concepts for lining your pedals up:

  • Pedals that amplify or add noise should go near the beginning of the signal path. This includes overdrive/distortion effects, compressors, and wah pedals. If they’re later in the signal path, they will amplify the noise of everything before them, which can be difficult to control.
  • Pedals that produce tone go before things that modify tone. This is logical, because you want to create your basic sound first, then tweak it with some kind of modifying effect. For example, this means that overdrives go before chorus effects.
  • Pedals that create ambience go last. This goes back to the “how does sound actually occur in physical space” idea. So, delay and reverb should go after all other effects.

We will continue this conversation soon. In the meantime, click on the image below to experience BOSS effects connected to each other.

Steve Vai’s Bo is back

SteveGreat news everyone: Bo, Steve’s mirrored JEM that went missing this past weekend, has been found left in the bushes at the gate on Steve’s property. We do not have any more details on how it got there and will perhaps forever remain a mystery. The entire Vai camp is grateful for all the amazing outpouring of support we have seen regarding this issue over the last week. Bo is now ready for 2016 and all the notes she will once again be singing from Steve’s fingers and soul.

Steve Vai’s Guitar Stolen Outside L.A. Benefit Concert

Mark Davis, Getty Images Mark Davis, Getty Images

Steve Vai‘s “Bo” guitar was stolen outside a benefit concert today (Dec. 12) for Tony MacAlpine. Guitar tech James Shotwell is now offering a reward.

The instrument, a mirror Ibanex JEM with blue LEDs pictured above, vanished from the loading area of the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. Vai is appearing there with Zakk Wylde, Billy Sheehan, Derek Sherinian, Mike Portnoy and John 5.

Vai’s Facebook page includes detailed information on “Bo,” including distinctive wear marks. “This is a one-off, irreplaceable guitar,” says Shotwell, who has worked for Dio Disciples’ Craig Goldy and the Lucky Strike Live venue in Los Angeles. “Anyone sees this guitar, contact me immediately! This isn’t hard to spot and is very unique.”

This wouldn’t be the first guitar Vai has lost. In fact, his web site lists a number of missing axes that have been “stolen, misplaced or loaned and never returned” – including a guitar used in the “Yankee Rose” video during Vai’s tenure in David Lee Roth‘s band, a black Ibanez loaned to a second studio engineer, and others.

MacAlpine, who is fighting colon cancer, has previously worked in bands with Vai (The Breed) and Sherinian (Planet X) as well as Portnoy and Sheehan (PSMS). Sheehan and John 5 are also Roth band alumni. Tragically, MacAlpine’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in June.

Read More: Steve Vai’s Guitar Stolen Outside L.A. Benefit Concert |

Fata Morgana – Efteling

Fata Morgana – Efteling

I made a song, original composed by Ruud Bos. This song “Fata Morgana” is part of the fairytale theme parc Efteling (The Netherlands). The music is componist by Ruud Bos.
I made this song using the soundsamples of East West Symphonic Orchestra


“Hallo Mijnheer de gitaarman”

Het heeft meer dan twee jaar geduurd, maar eindelijk is het dan zover. Ik ben klaar met het schrijven van mijn boek over mijn gitaarcollectie.

Het resultaat mag er zijn; een mooi persoonlijk boek wat dit keer niet gaat over de technische specificaties van de gitaren, maar over de relatie die ik met elke gitaar afzonderlijk heb. Elke gitaar vertegenwoordigd een waarde voor me door bijvoorbeeld het moment waarop het gekocht is, de muziek die ik ermee gespeeld heb of gewoon de vormgeving en het achterliggende verhaal van de ontwikkeling.

Ik moet opmerken dat het me nog niet gelukt is om het boek in het formaat pdf te krijgen zoals ik het wil, en de grootte van het boek is nogal fors (100 MB). Maar dan heb je ook wel wat!

Kijk maar op GitaarCollectie.pdf

Guitar Recording

Recording Electric Guitars In Logic


Dit artikel bestrijken effectief twee gebieden – de basis-methoden voor het opnemen van de elektrische gitaar en een aantal technieken voor het opnemen en verwerken die specifiek zijn voor Logic. Dus, als je geen Logic gebruiker bent, zal het meeste in dit artikel nuttig zijn. Een groot deel kan ook op andere   software platformen toegepast worden. In het verleden konden we neit anders dan een microfoon voor een versterken hangen of zetten en deze aansluiten aan een opname unit. Tegenwoordig hebben (vooo)versterkers, zowel analoog als digitaal, die voorzien zijn van een uitgang die direct aangesloten kan worden op een opname unit. We zien steeds meer actieve en passieve speaker simulators, software voor het moduleren van gitaar voorversterker, die als plug-in gebruikt kunnen worden. Er zijn ook mogelijkheden tot aankoop van een speaker kast in een geluiddichte behuizing, die u kunt verbinden met je eigen versterker en dan via een microfoon kunt opnemen. ortom, er zijn genoeg mogelijkheden om tegenwoordig de gitaar op te nemen. Maar inmiddels zie je door de bomen het bos niet meer.

Ontdek hoe je je elektrische gitaar op kan nemen binnen Logic waarbij je gebruik kunt maken van plug-ins die van invloed zijn op je eindmix.
Paul White / Theo Vermeer
logic header.s

Photo: Richard Ecclestone

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Recording Tips

If you are going to mike up an amplifier, it obviously needs to be a nice-sounding amp, and for most discerning players that means a well-maintained tube amplifier of some kind. Unless you have a very large recording space, a smaller amplifier is easier to mike up than a large one and the 6W Cornford amp that Dave Lockwood played through at the guitar show proved to be so loud that we still needed to use a power soak with it to cut down the level reaching the speakers. If you have a larger amplifier than this, and most people have, then a power soak between the amp and speaker is a good way to keep the level down while still allowing your amplifier to work hard.

While it’s easy to suggest mic types for vocals or specific acoustic instruments, you can try just about anything you have on a guitar amplifier and get an interesting tonality. The old standby is a Shure SM57 or Sennheiser MD421 dynamic cardioid, but you can try literally any dynamic or capacitor mic you have in your locker, from the cheapest to the most esoteric. Often where you place the mic makes more difference than what the mic is, and sometimes a mic that sounds dreadful on vocals can sound very musical on guitar.

You’ll notice that the sound becomes more focused as you move the mic closer to the speakers, and it also gets more mellow as you move away from the centre of the speaker towards the edge of the cone. You can also turn cardioid mics slightly so the sound is hitting the mic off axis if you need less top end. In most studio situations, cardioid mics are used to reduce the amount of spill or room interaction, but as guitar amps are relatively loud and the mics generally set up pretty close, you can also try omnis or figure-of-eights if you have them and the spill shouldn’t get much worse.

logic Miked Marshall.s

Placing your guitar’s amp on a chair or stand to raise it off the floor will change the recording, because of the different way the sonic reflections combine with the direct sound.

Although the traditional rock approach is to put a dynamic mic right up against the grille, you can often get a better sound by backing off from the speaker slightly, just by a few centimetres. I’ve also had good results miking the back of an open-backed cabinet or, in a decent-sounding room, putting the mic up to a metre away from the front grille. In this latter case, placing a reflective board on the floor between the amp and mic can liven up the sound in a very useful way. You’ll also find that the sound changes depending on whether the amp is on the floor or on a stand (or chair), as the floor reflections will interact in a different way. Open-backed cabinets tend to have a ‘bigger’ sound than closed ones, as the speaker doesn’t have a cushion of air to damp it, so low-frequency sounds seem more pronounced. Where you have the facilities, you could also try combining the outputs from two mics, one close, and the other further away, or one in front of the amplifier and one behind.

Of course, using two mics on any source raises the issue of phase. If your mixer has a phase switch, listen to see what difference reversing the phase of the distant mic makes, as this will affect the way the sounds combine — you can also vary the mic distance to adjust the relative phase of the two mic signals. If you want to be purist about it, you can use Logic‘s Sample Delay plug-in to delay the close mic so that it is in phase with the distant mic. Sound travels at roughly one metre every three milliseconds, so to add three milliseconds of delay at a 44.1kHz sampling frequency you’d need to add a delay of about 132 samples. You can fine-tune the result by ear to see what value gives the most solid sound.

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Speaker Simulators

Where the sound of a cranked guitar amplifier would cause problems with spill (or neighbours!), a good combined power soak and speaker simulator will allow you to DI your guitar amp without the speaker connected and still capture something very close to its natural tone. However the results vary drastically from model to model.

A typical speaker simulator comprises a reactive dummy load, allowing the amplifier to work normally, followed by circuitry that approximates the filtering effect of a guitar loudspeaker. Apart from the dummy load, which is, of necessity, passive, the filter circuitry that replicates the speaker’s frequency response may either be passive or active. The output appears as either a mic- or a line-level signal, which can be plugged directly into a mixing console. Most power soaks can handle between 50W and 100W of input power, which means that the majority of guitar amps can be run flat out to get the best overdrive sound.

Isolation cabs can work exceptionally well and also allow you to experiment with different microphones, though the tonality of the speaker in the cabinet may not exactly match the one in your amplifier. Nevertheless, this is a very practical way to work where you wish to retain the essential character of your amplifier, even though a little EQ may be needed to get closer to the sound of your own speakers. Using power soaks or speakers inside isolation cabinets falls somewhere between true amp miking and the ‘short cut’ world of digital amp emulations.

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Digital Modelling

Although there are still some excellent analogue recording preamps made for guitar, digital models are currently the most popular and arguably the most versatile. Both are used in essentially the same way, by DI’ing their outputs at line level, though with an analogue model you’ll probably have to add your own delay, chorus, and reverb effects afterwards if you need them.

Some of the digital emulations are incredibly good, and very versatile tonally. If anything, they miss out on capturing the real low-end thump of a close-miked tube amplifier, but they can get pretty close to the sound of a range of real amplifiers, and the better ones also respond well to playing dynamics, such as picking intensity or backing off the guitar’s volume control. Logic Pro now includes a very simple but useful guitar preamp plug-in, and an even simpler version (lifted from Garage Band) is included with Logic Express.

logic Preamps.s
logic DIBox.s

If you aren’t able to record with a real guitar amp for whatever reason, there are at least two other options available: you can use one of the large range of modelling guitar preamps on the market (such as the Vox Tone Lab or Line 6 PodXT shown on the left), feeding the output into your audio interface’s line inputs; or you can use a DI to feed the clean electric guitar signal into your audio interface’s mic input (right), relying on the amp and speaker simulation built into Logic.

The only technicality to consider when recording a guitar for processing via a software plug-in is that guitars need to be fed into a high-impedance instrument input, not a mic or line input, so if your audio interface doesn’t have one of these you’ll need to buy an active DI box with a high-impedance input, and then connect this to the mic input of your audio interface (or the mic preamp connected to your audio interface). Most active DI boxes can be run from a phantom-powered mic input to save on batteries. You’ll also need to set your system latency (buffer size) to its lowest stable value if the player is going to monitor the sound with Logic‘s effects and amp modelling added.

The only realistic way to evaluate a modelling guitar processor or plug-in is to listen to the sound over the studio monitors and see how it stacks up against the guitar sound you hear on records in a similar style. You can’t expect to get the same listening experience sitting in front of studio monitors that you get standing in front of a 100W stack, because the volume level when you play back a record is very different to what the guitarist hears at a live gig. This may sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many guitarists comment that the sound isn’t as big or powerful as it is when they’re actually playing.

Electric guitars don’t have great signal-to-noise ratios, especially those fitted with single-coil pickups which are prone to receiving hum from surrounding wiring and equipment. In particular, CRT-type computer displays and TV monitors affect guitar pickups very badly, so a flat-screen computer display is strongly recommended. Logic doesn’t have a specific de-humming plug-in, but by using two EQs in series you can set up a whole series of very narrow notch filters starting at the fundamental frequency of your mains supply. In the US this is 60Hz, but in Europe we like to do things a little more slowly, so we have a 50Hz supply. In Europe, the filters can be set for 50Hz, 100Hz, 150Hz, 200Hz, 250Hz, and so on. If the hum doesn’t have too many buzzy harmonics, four or five filters should be enough. Because of the precision available with digital filtering, even quite severe buzzes can be removed with little subjective effect on the wanted part of the guitar sound. However, don’t make the filter notches any deeper than you need to, as you may then hear too much tonal difference.

Broad-band noise can be removed with de-noising software, but sadly Logic‘s Denoiser plug-in is next to useless (aside from emulating live news reports from war zones!), which is odd when you think how good the other plug-ins are. If you have really serious noise problems, then the TC Powercore or Waves sound-restoration plug-ins will do a good job on steady background hiss, as will Bias Sound Soap and Sound Soap Pro.

logic HumKiller.s

Here you can see how to set up a chained pair of Channel EQ plug-ins to reduce levels of hum and noise in a guitar recording.

Logic‘s Noise Gate or Expander may be used to clean up the pauses between notes or phrases, but as electric guitars can sustain for a long time, there may be few periods of true silence where the gate can be effective. In any event, the gate release time needs to be set long enough to allow the guitar to decay naturally without being cut short. Any such noise-removal processing should be applied before any delay or reverb effects are added. This way the reverb or delay will still decay naturally and help cover up any audible artefacts caused by the gate or filter action. Where you’re using a lot of overdrive, cleaning up the sound with a gate or expander is a good idea.

Logic‘s High Cut EQ and Low Cut EQ can also be effective in cleaning up the sound of the electric guitar, because, as a rule, the guitar sound has quite a limited frequency response, while the noise may continue right to the extremes of the audio spectrum. By setting the upper cutoff frequency to between 2.5kHz and 4kHz, it is often possible to significantly improve the signal-to-noise ratio of a typical electric guitar sound without dulling it excessively — use a filter slope of between 12dB/octave and 24dB/octave. Rolling off all frequencies below 80Hz or so may also help clean up the low end.

Finally, some of the best clean electric guitar sounds are obtained simply by connecting the guitar to the computer’s audio interface via a DI box — just add a little compression, gentle EQ, and perhaps a hint of reverb. This style of recording can suit funk music, though rumour has it that the guitar on Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ was also DI’d clean and then compressed.

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Processing Options In Logic

Recording engineers tend to like leaving as much processing as possible to the mixing stage so as to keep their options open for as long as possible, whereas guitar players like to hear something approaching the final sound as they record — what they hear affects the way they play. For that reason, stomp-box effects are often recorded rather than added later, though effects such as delay or reverb might be safest left until mixdown. If the player needs to hear these to feel comfortable, they can be mocked up in Logic for monitoring using any of the available reverb or delay plug-ins. Ultimately, the performance is what really counts, so whatever keeps the player most happy tends to be best in the long run!

logic Rotary.s

Rotor Cabinet, designed for use with Logic‘s internal tone-wheel organ instrument, is great for giving a little modulation to guitar sounds.

Some engineers have been known to re-amp a guitar track by feeding it out through a guitar amplifier, which is then miked up and re-recorded onto a spare track. This can sound very effective, but can also be a bit tedious to set up. However, if you have the facilities to do it, then give it a try. It’s also a great way to take the nasty edge off a guitar track that has been recorded with some inadvertent clipping!

A lazy equivalent is to take a basic guitar track and then further process it through a modelling preamp plug-in such as Logic‘s Guitar Amp Pro, and I’ve done this very successfully with both guitar and bass-guitar parts. If only the tonality needs changing, you can pick a clean, benign amp model (or even bypass the amp model altogether) and then try out different speaker types, whereas if you want more overdrive you can add that by picking an amp model designed to produce overdriven tones. The electric guitar sound is not, and never was, natural, so there are no real rules as to how it should sound.

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EQ: Suggested Settings

You can also use Logic‘s Channel EQ to shape the sound. Some of the frequency ranges described below may be of help:

Cut applied at between 120Hz and 280Hz can help reduce lower mid-range muddiness or boxiness. Boost in the same range can fatten a thin sound, often in combination with some upper mid-range cut.

Cabinet thump can be accentuated by boosting at around 75-90Hz, though how successful this is depends on what is present in the original signal. If all else fails, you can use a little of Logic‘s SubBass plug-in to bring in those deeper frequencies that may be missing from your recording. Just don’t overdo it!

Bite or definition can be added to the sound anywhere between 2kHz and 4kHz. There’s little point in boosting higher than this, as guitar speakers tend to roll off sharply above 4kHz, so there may not be anything left there to boost other than hiss.

A fizzy high end can be tamed by using a high-cut filter with a steep roll-off, adjusting the frequency as low as possible such that the essential bite of the sound isn’t adversely affected. This will attenuate all frequencies above the filter cutoff point and produce a more focused sound as a result.

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Creative Processing Ideas

Aside from optimising the EQ, what else can you do to a guitar sound? The answer depends on whether you want to enhance the sound in some way or change it into something radically different. Logic offers tools for both as well as ones that fall somewhere between these two extremes. The obvious effects to explore for traditional guitar sounds are reverb, delay, chorus, phasing, flanging, vibrato, and so on, but I find simple compression very useful, on both clean and distorted electric guitar. You’ll often find that using as much distortion on a recording as you do live results in a very messy sound that spreads right across the frequency spectrum, so a useful trick is to use less overdrive on the guitar and then add compression to get the sustain back.

logic Comp.s

A compressor setting such as the one shown allows you to back off your guitar overdrive without sacrificing too much in the way of sustain.

Using a faster release time in combination with a high degree of compression can cause audible level pumping, but this may be used creatively to enhance the sense of power and loudness. Medium to high compression ratios (between 4:1 and 10:1) work well for this, with the threshold set to give between 8dB and 15dB of gain reduction on the loudest peaks. In Logic‘s Compressor, try the Peak and RMS side-chain settings and see which one suits the sound best. Of course you have to bear in mind that every decibel of compression you add reduces your signal-to-noise ratio by a decibel, so it is advisable to clean up the signal first using a gate or expander.

If you’re after a conventional rock guitar sound, then the basic overdrive sound often only requires a little EQ and reverb to make it sound right. In this respect, a short reverb with a fairly bright character is ideal for rhythmic parts or staccato playing, as it adds a sense of space and impact without making the mix sound cluttered or messy. Longer reverbs, or combinations of delay and reverb, can be used for more languid guitar parts. Further movement can be added by feeding the effects send through a chorus or flange unit before it gets to the reverb unit. This is easy to do using Logic by inserting the modulation effect directly before the reverb plug-in in the Buss Audio object being used as a return.

Slightly less common treatments include feeding the guitar through the rotary-speaker simulation from the Logic tone-wheel organ plug-in or (one of my favourites) feeding it through the stereo vibrato plug-in adjusted to give square wave chopping at eight or 16 pulses to the bar, sync’ed to the Song tempo. I’ve used this trick to turn simple chordal guitar parts into integral parts of the rhythm track in all styles of music, from dance to mainstream pop. If you also filter out some low end, what you end up with is almost like a melodic hi-hat part, especially if the source is a bright, clean guitar sound.

Another trick I’ve experimented with is playing solo guitar lines that include string bending through Logic‘s Pitch Correction plug-in. Set normally, this ensures all notes are bent to the nearest correct semitone, but you can also speed up the correction rate to produce a mild ‘yodelling’ effect that gives the sound a slightly Eastern flavour. This may be even more effective if you set up your own custom scale based on an Arabic note sequence.