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I love the sound of the guitar in this video: (starts at 21 seconds)

I've tried a number of things to recreate it, but I'm no expert sound designer so how you suggest I reproduce it in the box?

I've tried layering a few different distortions, then adding a flange, and automating a lowpass filter to cut out some highs and then sweep across when the saw sounding loud note hits. It was close, but just not quite the same.

The I tried something similar only I ran the guitar through a vocoder, and it made it sound a bit more synthy, but the hardest part to replicate seems to be the strong flange on that louder note.

Do you think there's some layered synth going on here? It seems difficult to get that strong synthy sound along with the chunky funk style palm muting.

On a related note if you know of a synth plugin that adds synth qualities to a guitar I'd love to hear about it!

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  • I experimented with an LFO on a format shifter and actually that seems to be working pretty well to imitate the deep flange feel. I also got rid of the lowpass filter sweep and sent the guitars to separate sends for the synth sound. This allowed me to simply automate the volume on the synth guitars instead of the lowpass. It probably needs a bit more work, but it's definitely closer!
    – skinneejoe
    May 15, 2020 at 3:52

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This IS a guitar but several other things are contributing to this sound.

The guitar has been double-tracked. The guitar part has physically been played twice (not copy-pasted) and each version has been panned to opposite sides of the stereo image (probably about 70% in either direction).

There's also a second guitar playing a constant muted funk line underneath it all which helps to thicken the occasional muted parts from the main melody.

There may be a synth backing up the un-muted notes in the main melody but it's hard to tell.

And, of course, the whole mix has been compressed to within an inch of its life.

With regards to the guitar sound - it sounds more like a 'fuzz' than an 'overdrive' but there's still a big chunk of the lower frequencies left in. There's also a very short but fairly quiet 'slap-back' delay. The funk muted part seems to be on a relatively clean sound. The standard compressor and noise gate combination are also on here.

The delay and the double-tracking combined are what you're picking up as flanging/phasing.

The double-tracking and panning are what's giving the wide sound.

This is NOT a DX7 or Dexed - there are all sorts of subtle bending, sliding and vibrato actions (guitar is probably not the artist's primary instrument so it's a tiny bit sloppy) that cannot be produced by a synth without a whole lot more work than it would take to simply double-track a guitar.

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It doesn't sound like a guitar at all to me.
It's reminiscent of a DX7 'guitar' where the 'filters'* open with velocity. That through a Rockman would probably do it [that would give you your distortion and chorus].

A lot of these 'new' bands are simply re-doing what us oldies did first in the 80s. They've all been listening to Axel F & Jan Hammer, for sure ;)

There's a possibility that the very hard attack could have been accentuated with a comp, but the DX could actually get that much 'click' into the sound on its own. It had very fast attack for a synth of its day.
The main riff does sound like it's doubled left to right, with a slightly different emphasis & timing. It's hard to tell from the stereo mix whether it's just a delay or another take. The Rockman did have a delay built-in, so it might just be that.
The little pick-pick noise on the right might even be the same sound, without the amp fx.

*Yes, I know a DX7 doesn't have filters, but that's what adding higher harmonics appears to emulate.

BTW, there seems to be a lot of this about at the moment - there was a recent question on music practise - https://music.stackexchange.com/q/99361/12556 It was closed as off-topic, but there's a lot of chat in the comments

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  • Yeah the main riff is panned left. Examining the wave form I believe it's two takes and one is mixed brighter than the other and they are offset. And you can hear a faint funk guitar pluck going in the background. I think the thing that's throwing me is what sounds like palm muting at points. Very chunky non-harmonic feel to it. I couldn't find any way to reproduce something similar on my JDXI or other in the box synths.
    – skinneejoe
    May 15, 2020 at 12:56
  • Try something like Dexed There's no way you're going to make a Roland sound like a DX7. I do think half the sound is the 'rockman' [or emulation of] though.
    – Tetsujin
    May 15, 2020 at 13:02

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