Effects processing for gritty Psychedelic Leads
Today we’re discussing some common effects processing techniques for creating gritty Psychedelic Leads – Distortion, Saturation and Bit Reduction.
One of the many great aspects of owning hardware equipment is the ability to modify it to create your own unique instrument or effect. Granted, it’s not something we all do, but for those looking for something truly unique – this is usually the way to go.
Cytomic’s The Scream is a component-modelled distortion plugin based on the Ibanez Tube Screamer, a well-renowned distortion pedal in modding circles. The interesting aspect of this plugin is the ability to modify the components within the circuitry of the distortion to create your own unique tones – no soldering required.
We all want our own unique distortion tone, however it’s something we often just want to slap on and tweak to taste and not have to worry too much about the very-fine details.
Grab this plugin, take some time to modify your own unique circuit, save the patch and you’re good to go.
For these gritty Psychedelic Leads it often helps to apply some pre-EQ before the distortion, to remove any unwanted frequencies and shape the sound before distorting it.
Another current favourite of mine is Soundtoys Decapitator, it’s an incredibly versatile saturation plugin with various analog emulation models. The “Punish” setting sounds great on almost all leads I’ve tried it on, and it’s got internal filters to shape the sound, negating the need for further EQing.
For those looking for a bit more modulation capabilities, a technique I apply often on particularly transient leads is to use something like Kilohearts Snapheaps envelope follower to boost the drive of a distortion plugin on every pluck of the sound, this is great for accentuating the first hit of a sound without getting any of the release or reverb being distorted.
Another classic effect, one which is probably built into most DAWs – the Bitcrusher.
It’s a great way of adding an almost vocal characteristic to a lead sound, it can be mixed in for subtle effect or used alongside something like a bandpass filter for great results.
For an in-depth walkthrough on these techniques, check out the video here:
Here are the plugins I’ve mentioned: