Effects and technices for Metal music

Started by Tmk, December 14, 2005, 10:00:13

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Hello folks, Firstable i'd like to take the opportunity to thank those who innovate Modplug Tracker(OpenMpt) by free will, You kept the legend running! :)

I wanted to ask for help on technices of using guitars in OpenMPT in metal music, and to ask what effects should i use to make metal sound even better in OpenMPT, If you have tutorials it might even be better :)

Secondary but least important for me now, I have problems in writing Bass guitars in my music, i just lack the understanding on how to attend it in my music, can anybody help me in it?

Sorry for the long letter, and Thanks in advance dear musicians,

"feel, deny, reveal, regain
touch my soul's part once again
and see into my eyes"
-Rotting Christ


tubeamps (e.g. freeamp) might help with your guitar-sound

for bassguitar it will be best and easyest to have the same melody as on your leadguitar but with less notes

you play a physical guitar and save your wav-files on HDD?

writing drum-lines for analogue music is really hard imho.

will be best if you get some inspiration from other productions and try to rebuild the drum-lines
and after you understand how to work with the drums you can write your own
10 years on ModPlug... f#cking hell...

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Here's just some ideas thrown together to get you started. From there you can take things your own way.

Start off with an accoustic melody, nothing to complicated, vary it up a little. Put some fairly simple drums to it (think how real life drummers do it, and drum parts you've heard in rock tracks before). Add some bass that follows pretty much the same melody as the accoustic, but with a more regular rhythm and avoiding extreme notes of the melody.

Drop the accoustic and kick in with a hard rhythm guitar, and think about how guitarists strum - that's your rhythm. Try to keep this part fairly simple, using  maybe three or four chords per bar. Change one of the chords per bar to keep the variance running, use slightly different drums from the accoustic part, and let the bass line use a regular rhythm following the rhythm.

Next comes the lead part - it should follow the chord notes of the rhythm to keep it in tune, but you can go crazy and wild with the melody here, and use irregular rhythms. Just make something that sounds good to you, and often trial and error is the only way.

Maybe drop into the accoustic section for a short while before the highlight of the track - the heavy guitars kick in again, the drums go a little mental (think adding rolls and toms at the end of bars, and a couple of crashes at the start of each bar) - here the lead goes into a highly melodic, fast section. Try adding a lead with exactly the same notes but a 3rd higher.

After this you need to wind down your song - use the parts before and gradually wind the song down to a finish. The drums can add a bit of class to a finish, think of rock tracks where this is used.

If in doubt, look to real life rockers for inspiration!

Hope this helps.


And I suggest of using the I3DL2Reverb on the echo ones. I actually do not like the echo ones, except when it comes in handy!  :)
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well, i recently have been working on my first metal song (which is currently on hold due to my comp frying itself... literally), so im by no means an expert, and i dont know how much you know of guitars or music in general, but ill tell you what i have learned.

first off, find some good clean guitar sample sets, with sustained/muted/harmonics.  i found a really nice one called the 'damant spectrum guitar', i dont remember where i got it from tho, try searching google.

next, reserve 6 channels for the guitar, one for each string and label the channels with the string's low note (this makes it pretty easy to do strums, and makes it easier to think of how the part would actually be played).

next, get a good distortion vst and apply it (maybe a flanger, chorus, compressor, reverb or eq also, but the distortion is the most importaint), best one i have found for this is mda combo, its perfect for the heavy metal feel.  i would suggest experimenting with the rez filters too, especially for the lead (maybe varying them as a guitarist would do with a pedal).

also, when you are writing the parts, use the muted and harmonic sets in places where they sound good (or if you know about guitars, where they would actually be).  like, try putting in a couple short muted notes at the end of one pattern before a long sustained note at the beginning of the next.

so yah, thats about all i can think of, hope some of it helps.


WoW, I must say that i didn't expect so much help in so little time..

I already did some of the thing that you written, And i guess that by putting the other technices it could realy shine :)

I'd like to put my first metal masterpiece(for me its the masterpiece)
for you to critisize me, without critisizm we won't get nowhere..

i'll try to put it on the releases page..[/url]
"feel, deny, reveal, regain
touch my soul's part once again
and see into my eyes"
-Rotting Christ


I'd certainly be interested to hear it - I've been writing music of that genre for a while now, and I'm still not entirely happy with the electronic sound that I produce. It really is a rather difficult type of music to write on a computer.


Metal is definitely very hard to make in ModPlug without it being really obvious that the song was made with a tracker. The guitar is a very organic instrument...


Another little tip may be to play around with the random variation stuff in OpenMPT. This will add some dynamics to your sound. I have little experience with metal music but I assume that using cuttoff and resonance on lead guitar might spice things up a little - also adding volume variation to drums especialy snare drums might be a good idea also. Your best tip may be to sit down and try to image how the diffrent instruments are played in real life. How the sound behaves like for example a drum; the chances that the drummer will hit the exact center of the drum with the drumstick every time is near to nothing. Most likely the drummer will hit with a tiny offset who will affect the vibrations in the membrane and thus sound. If you want to create music as close to reality as possible you should imho really analyze what's actually going on... Good luck! :)


The best thing to remember is to use variation.  It may not sound good to you at first, but no real-life instrument is perfect.  Lack of organics is one of the reasons that tracked music comes off as electronic-sounding and often just plain flat.  Many VSTs simulate organics, so they can help, but some of ModPlug's features are not supported by VSTs.  Try to rely on them as little as possible and see what you can get out of OpenMPT's built-in effects (filters, variations, etc.) first.