The ones who tried to implement guitar parts in
a MOD , know that module files have a very bad relationship with guitars
. The explanation is quite simple . Guitar is an instrument that allows
the player to form his own playing style . A guitar player can use techniques
such as slide , pull-off , hammer-on , etc . All these factors cannot be
easily represented with numbers . So what can we do? There are two ways
to deal with the problem . The first is to include the guitar parts in
the module and try to make it sound as near as possible to a real guitar
and the second is to play the guitar parts on a real guitar and mix them
with the module (where you have the rest of the instruments) . Both
solutions have advantages and disadvantages .
Temple Of MOD - MODs And
- Guitar In A MOD
The first (and most frequently
used) solution is to include the guitar parts within the module . There's
nothing special you have to do . Just place the notes on the tracks like
you do with all other instruments . However , there are a couple of things
you should keep in mind .
First of all you need guitar samples that sound as
real as possible . 99% of the guitar samples most people have , sound nothing
like a guitar . If you own a guitar , the best thing to do is to make your
own samples using a sound recorder (like the one included with windows
- though there are countless better programs) . If you own an electric
or an acoustic with pick-up just plug it on the line-in of your sound card
and start recording . If your guitar doesn't have that ability you can
always use a microphone . However , there are much better solutions which
you can check out if you visit a guitar store . Keep in mind that if you
want the guitar parts to fit with the rest of the instruments you have
to tune it before sampling and always play the C note or a C chord . If
you own an effect processor or effect pedals you can customize the sound
the way you want it before recording it . If you don't , you'll have to
do that using a wav editor .
We assume you now have your samples but they don't
have the effects you wanted either because you don't have an effect processor
or because you didn't create the samples yourself . A wave editor can help
you customize the sound afterwards . Programs like
Edit Pro , Sound Forge , etc support digital effects . So you can add
delay , reverb , flange , distortion and many other popular effects . However
, you'll never emulate a real effect processor this way . The problem is
that sound editors apply the effect on the single sample you have . Processors
apply the effects on the whole progression of notes . So , for example
, you can't create the jet sound by applying flanger on your sample with
Cool Edit . Delays and reverbs work fine .However , since the release of
(windows tracker) things are starting to change . Buzz , allows the user
to apply digital effects on the whole progression of notes (a whole track
for example) . It works like a combination of a tracker and an effect processor
. So , check it out if you're having problems with the guitar sound .
Now , you have the sample you like and you want to
implement it in your XM or IT . Traditional trackers like FT2 and IT support
some "effects" . We're not talking about digital effects such as reverb
or chorus . I would say these are more like playing styles . Tracker effects
is a very large topic so I won't get into it here . The best thing you
can do is to take a look to your tracker help file . Another , good source
would be the Tracker's
Handbook which includes a chapter dedicated to the tracker effects
Another good solution would be to record certain
chords and include them in the module . For example if you want a Dsus4
chord in your song you'll have to play it on the guitar and sample it .
Most times it works better if you record a single stroke . You can also
record small riffs but you have to play them at the same speed with the
rest of the song . A metronome would be helpful for this .
Arpeggios sound quite good if you use a good sample
. However , you'll have to split the arpeggio to 4-6 channels . This will
make sure that the 1st note will be mixed with the 2nd and so on , which
is what happens when you play it on the guitar .
Solos are very hard to represent within a mod . Since
a solo usually includes sliding , bending , etc you'll have to record a
different sample for every playing style . Another solution would be to
record the whole solo and synchronize it with the rest of the song , but
this would increase a lot the size of the module . If you have only one
sample to use in a solo , the best thing you can do is to use the tracker
effects to represent the playing techniques . However , don't expect miracles
||- The song can be distributed as mod file which
is usually small .
- The composer can re-edit the song .
||- You'll never be able to make the guitar sound
- The guitar parts need a lot of tricks to sound
good (effects , 3-4 samples for the same riff , etc)
- Guitar On Another Channel
The most "professional" way
to mix guitar parts with your modules is multitrack recording . This means
that the guitar and the module are recorded separately and then mixed together
. The first thing you need is obviously a multitrack recorder . There are
quite a few programs for this job like Cool Edit Pro , n-Track Studio ,
Let's see how this works .
First of all you need to convert your module to wav . This can be done
easily with standalone utilities like XM2WAV or (better) using MOD players
that can convert the modules to wav files . Mod
Plug Player and Winamp are two of the best programs that have a Wav
writer . Now you can open the wave file on your multitrack recorder and
assign a channel for it . So you have all the instruments , except the
guitar , on your first channel . You can use the second channel to add
the guitar . While playing-recording the guitar you can hear the other
instruments . This way you'll be able to synchronize the guitar with the
rest of the song . You can do that several times until you get the guitar
parts played perfectly . Then you'll have to set the correct volume for
the guitar channel so that it fits with the rest of the instruments . Now
you're ready to mix the channels and get a wav file that contains both
guitar parts and the rest of the instruments . If you thing that you can
improve the final wav file , you can use a wav editor like Cool Edit Pro
to produce the sound you want (increase bass or treble , reduce noise-hiss
, add digital effects , etc)
If you want to distribute
the file you can encode it to mp3 (using one of the many mp3 encoders available)
. Also you can burn an audio cd with your tracks if you have a cd-recorder
Provided that everything went
fine , the outcome should be nearly as good as most of the songs recorded
on professional studios with expensive hardware .
|| - The outcome can be very realistic . If
the rest of the MOD is good , the song will sound like a professional recording
- You can use several tracks to record 2 or 3
guitars , eg. an electric and an acoustic guitar .
||- You can only distribute your songs as mp3 files
which are usually much larger than MODs .
- You can't re-edit the song once it's done .
You'll have to record the song again .