How to get Jack White’s – The White Stripes guitar tone with a smartphone

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How to get Jack White’s – The White Stripes guitar tone with a smartphone

We all are familiar with the cult songs that he wrote such as “Seven Nation Army” and “Blue Orchid” in which he’s got oddly satisfying guitar sounds.

He describes his playing and his tone quest as a fighting. He believes that one must struggle with the instrument to be more expressive. And he once said,

-If you want it easy, buy a brand new Gibson Les Paul or a brand new Fender Stratocaster

In the documentary “It might get loud” where Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin and Edge from U2 play guitar with Jack White.

Apparently he loves rare equipment. We traced down his Guitar Rig, pedalboard, amps and replicated it using a smartphone.

If you’re interested, read on

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How to get Slash’s guitar tone with your smartphone

Have you ever dreamed that you walked into a Guitar Center and bought every gear that Slash (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) uses?
It would cost you thousands of dollars, a small fortune.

We broke down his guitar rig into pieces, analyzed it and we have found a more affordable solution for you, that includes your smartphone.

Android users! Don’t leave! Your phone is compatible too as well as iPhone…

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5 ways to use an Equalizer pedal for better tone ( +1 bonus)

Equalizer (EQ) pedals are maybe the most useful tools in a signal chain. It can make a bad sounding amp to sound good. It can simulate the “radio effect”. It can manipulate some other effects to react differently.

Here’s 5+1 ways,


1 – Classic tone shaping


If you have a vintage sounding amplifier and you want make it sound modern, you can use an EQ pedal right after the amplifier (in the FX-loop if you’re using a real-world amplifier). Cut the mids (around 500Hz to 1000Hz) few dBs. Bump up the low-mids (100-200Hz) and high-mids (1000-4000Hz) few dBs. Voila. You have a modern sounding amplifier.

If you need a vintage sounding amplifier while you have modern one, then you do the opposite ↩︎ Bump up the mids, cut the low-mids and high-mids.

2 – As a booster pedal for solos


If you have a low output guitar like a stratocaster and you want to have some high gain tones then you need a booster pedal or an overdrive pedal to boost you signal. OR you can use an EQ pedal in front of your amplifier. Push the volume slider up (and don’t touch nothing else) of your EQ pedal until you satisfied with your high gain tone. You have a transparent booster pedal.


3 – For tight, djent, modern, low-tuned high gain tones


If you’re a metal head you may have heard the term “DJENT”. And if you have a low-tuned or 7/8/9 string guitar you’re probably trying to achieve tones of Periphery and/or Meshuggah 🤘🏻.

Fear not. There’s an easy way. You can use an EQ pedal in front of your amplifier to get similar tones. Just lower the frequencies gradually to the left starting from 800Hz. Lesser the bass going into the amplifier, djentier the tone. Don’t forget to use a noise gate.

4 – For retaining tone after drive pedals


Overdrive pedals are really useful tools for adding some “dirt” to the tone. But they suck some of the very high and low frequencies because of their architecture. If you put an EQ pedal right after your favorite overdrive, you can take those frequencies back. Just push 120Hz, 2kHz and 6kHz up a little bit. You’re back on the original tone of your guitar.


5 – For manipulating AutoWah pedal to suit different styles


You can use AutoWah pedal in many different styles. Funk, reggae, rock, disco… you name it. They all sound different of course therefore you may think that you need different wah pedals. Nope, let me explain.

Autowah pedal works based on your input. It reacts the amount of level of incoming guitar signal. Your signal triggers the WAH effect.

Different guitar strings produce different volumes. Thicker strings are generally louder than the thinner ones. If your style requires WAH effect on the thinner strings (funk, disco) then you may not be able to trigger AutoWah effectively. You need to manipulate AutoWah with an EQ pedal. Just put an EQ pedal right before AutoWah. Push the mids and highs until you’re satisfied with the WAH effect on the thinner strings.

Bonus 6 – Lo-fi “Radio” effect


Put an EQ pedal after the amplifier. Take down the highs and lows. You got a radio effect 📻. Use it in and out from time to time to increase the impact of your songs.



4 reasons why digital could never replace analog


There’s a debate about analog-versus-digital over the past few decades and it seems like it will go on and on.

This debate has been discussed in photography for years and the end result is on digital’s favor. Even the most professional photographers are using digital cameras (DSLR), digital editing softwares like photoshop, digital galleries like Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr these days and nobody’s complaining.

What about the music?

Do pro-musicians prefer digital or analog while crafting their art?

What is the most common medium to consume music?

And finally, how far can digital go?

I broke this debate down into 4 categories for the sake of being just.

Spoiler alert, “Digital is taking over, will took over more areas and I’m very happy with it as an Audio Engineer”.

Here’s why

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Tuner ・ What, Why, How, Which?

Tuner What, Why, How, Which?

Let me answer the missing questions first.

Who ・ Everyone should use a tuner to tune their instruments.
When ・ All the time. 

What is a tuner?

A tuner is a device used by musicians and technicians to measure the pitch of a musical instrument to adjust or correct the input signal to the desired pitch. It basically shows how far you are from the nearest musical note.

Why should you use one?

Whether you are practicing yourself or playing live with a band, your instrument must be in tune with other instruments in order to sound in harmony and musical. If you’re not in tune with others even if you play the right notes on the fretboard you won’t be playing the right song. You are playing something different.

How to tune?

Tuning means adjusting the pitch (tension) of every string on your instrument to a reference point (reference frequency). Reference points of musical notes can be seen here Note Frequencies.

While tuning, you will see a needle that shows your current distance to the reference pitch. You have to tighten or loose your strings accordingly. When done, start over at least 2 times for all the strings. If you have a floating bridge like a Floyd Rose, you may need to do this a few more times and this is perfectly normal.



Which tuning suits best?

There are plenty of tuning styles in the guitar world. Almost all of the guitars pre-set to “E Standard” before you buy them because it’s the standard tuning.

But there are alternative tunings too and you heard them in a lot of records.

Here’s the most used tunings. These tunings are named after the note of the thickest (lowest) string.



Anatomy of a Compressor – What is what, do you need one?

Anatomy of a Compressor – What is what, do you need one?

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-6-45-20-pmCompressor is a limiting amplifier. It limits the volume of the louder parts of a signal according to some setscreen-shot-2016-11-03-at-3-50-32-pms of parameters.

Threshold This is the point where compressor starts to compress (attenuation) the magnitude of signal. When your signal reaches to that level, it starts to get louder lesser than the original signal. If signal does not reach to that threshold, the signal isn’t compressed.

Ratio This parameter determines how much compression will be applied to the signal that exceeds the threshold. Some typical ratios are 1:1 , 1.7:1 , 2:1 , 3:1, 4:1 , 8:1 , 10:1 , 20:1 ..

The first number is the amount of dB that exceeds the threshold

The second number is the amount of dB that will be added after the threshold.

1:1 For every 1 dB above the threshold, the output will be 1 dB. No compression.
1.7:1 For every 1.7 dB above threshold, the output will be 1 dB. Mild compression.

4:1 For every 4 dB above threshold, the output will be 1 dB. High compression.

8:1 and above is practically limiting the signal to a ceiling level (threshold). Limiter.

Attack Is amount of time in milliseconds that has to pass for the compressor to kick in after the signal hits the threshold. Let’s say you’re dealing with a guitar strum. The initial part of uncompressed signal will be loud and the rest will be quieter. High difference in volume.

If you set your attack to the minimum (near 0 ms), initial part of the signal will be attenuated immediately. So there will be less difference in volume between the initial part and the rest (sustain).

If you set your attack rather high (20ms and above), initial part of the signal will be attenuated slowly. Some of the first waves will pass through without compression until the compressor kicks in. So there will be some difference in volume between the initial part and the rest.

Release Is the amount of time in milliseconds that has to pass for the compressor to let signal go without compression after the signal drops down the threshold. In other words, the recovery time of a compressor, the next transient will be affected as if attack was 0ms unless it’s fully recovered.

Gain (Make-up Gain) This is the last stage of a compressor. It boosts the overall volume so the compressed signal can be loud again.


screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-3-50-32-pmThis meter shows the amount of gain reduction, GR (compression/time). When it sit on 0, the compression is 0dB. When it moves to the left side at a certain speed, the compression is what the needle shows. The time that the needle reaches to the far left is attack time. The time that the needle goes back to 0 is release time.

Sometimes it can be used to monitor input and output levels. Its purpose is to compare GR to Make up Gain amounts. Ideally you don’t want a compressor to affect your perceived volume, no boost, no reduction. So you first look at the input meter, see the peak value then you look at the output meter. If there is a difference (there always will be), you compensate it with make-up gain.

Block Diagram


Visualizing the impact


Do you need one?

A compressor is a dynamic range processor. If you want to reduce your dynamic range then yes, you need one.

Meaning, if you want your quieter parts (sustain) louder while not boosting the transients, a compressor is all you need.

It can be used on solos to have longer bigger notes like violin or on funky rhythms and chicken picking to beef it up.

But don’t forget, it reduces your dynamics. You will sound less punchy with a compressor. You can’t have punchier sound with a compressor ON than without it. And also a guitar signal will always run in some kind of compression along its path. Overdrive pedals (diodes, buffers), valve  amplifiers, speakers will always compress your signal anyway. Use it with caution 


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Parallel Processing Explained

We use our effect pedals consecutively, side by side in real world. But it doesn’t mean that they are in series, sometimes. And it doesn’t mean that we can’t use them in parallel fashion, in digital world.

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What Causes Latency

“The sound is coming too late”

“There’s a delay when I play guitar”

These are the most common reactions when a guitar player tries to play the guitar using a software effect processor either on a computer or a mobile device.

It’s like the ping in a multiplayer game. There’s a delay between your inputs and results depending on how much ping you have. Same with the music related softwares. Especially on mobile platform.

So, what causes this latency?

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Sample Rate | Bit Depth

We try to paint the digital world with analog brushes. Our instruments generate analog signals and we want them in our smart devices. These signals must be converted to numbers.

So how much number we must use and what is the biggest number we can give to them?

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USB Audio Interfaces

Recording on a computer or a digital system is a standart for a while instead of recording on a tape. As technology advances, making records gets easier. Anyone can record his/her idea in just a few minutes to a computer, using an “Audio Interface”.

So, what does it do? Do you really need one?

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