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I've been listening to this song for years and have never been able to figure out how they got that distortion sound during the solos. My only thought was that maybe they mic'd an unplugged electric guitar and then re-amped it to get the distortion? Any thoughts?

Rock on! Sam

http://www.shipwreckmotelmusic.com

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mm that's a tricky one , well lets think about the distortion a bit,the creamy top end makes me look at a fuzz, maybe an octa/fuzz with the octaver low in the mix, cause i hear some low end which i cant really explain otherwise (but that does not refer to the core of the sound).

So , yea, Fuzz would be my go to effect in that situation (it's not a very high gain fuzz , more like gilmourish fuzz). But before you steer to other effects test and try a lot of fuzz, octafuzz!

Fuzz plays tricks with your mind in this one , cause if done correctly , you can both hear a good mix of the clean sound (that's why you think it's an unplugged guitar) and the distorted one, it's like the 2 sounds co-exist nothing like normal distortion or overdrive , which change the sound 100%. That said , of course it could be a piezo mic'ed guitar (like those acoustics that they play).

Every time you think about bands and sounds in recordings , allways think about the context , i can see it happening before my eyes , the guitarist going "hey man let's run that acoustic through my fuzz and laugh" if you hear a band experimenting a lot (like radiohead) it's a bit harder to understand some sounds, but if you hear a more typical band (in terms of experimentation) then the whole thing is a bit narrowed down by itself.

So recap, definately check out acoustic guitar through fuzz, also i think there was a bit of hybrid playing both pick and fingers in some notes.

Now to quickly explain the rest of the sound, i think the acoustic/fuzzed guitar is recorded via DI in the tape machine (cause i hear minimal space) --That's also a classic practice with acoustic guitars to avoid weird feedbacks.-- now this one is panned Hard Left!

Then there's a delay (used as pre-delay) panned Hard right! 30-50 ms (50 is a bit stretched for this vibe) that goes to a reverb. This way you can create that kind of effect where the guitarist plays on your left , and on your right there's a big wall that echoes and reverbs the whole playing (also amplifies it a bit so check your stuff with compression to make the sound a bit fuller, giving the perception of loudness)

Last , EQ accordingly, use the Tone knob of the fuzz until the sound is kinda dull but the top end is creamy , if no avail use the guitar tone to feed a dull(-er/-ish) signal to the fuzz (which sometimes decides that every sound passing through it ,should be brighter than the original :P ).

good luck!

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