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Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Lesson 46 of 74

Clean Guitar Tones


Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp

Lesson 46 of 74

Clean Guitar Tones


Lesson Info

Clean Guitar Tones

(metal music) (plays guitar) That's good. You can probably fade it from there, so ... Yeah. (door squeals) Hey. Yep, I'm probably good from there. Are you using that? Yeah, I need to do another octave of that, so I'm gonna do that on a different pickup, probably the neck. Maybe even in P90, so ... (plays guitar) Yeah, that's more like it. It's very glassy. Yeah. Alright, you ready? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, sure. (metal music) (plays guitar) We can do that again. I had turned you up part way through. Yeah, thank you, yeah. I couldn't really hear what I was doing, so ... (plays guitar) Think that was better. Alright, you ready? Yep. (metal music) (plays guitar) (strums guitar) One little mistake and it just comes through on these bits. Yeah. Yeah. Ready? Yep. (metal music) (plays guitar) We're gonna have to do that first one again, I made a really big schoolboy mistake. You mean the low one. Yeah, the lower one, yeah. What was the big schoolboy mist...

ake? I did ... I did ... (plays guitar) Instead of ... (plays guitar) (sighs) (chuckles) Yeah, man ... I'm sorry, man. No, I'm just kidding. Alright, so redo the bottom one? Yeah. Are you changing the pickup back, is that where it was? Yep, done, yep, done it. Okay, cool. (metal music) (plays guitar) Cool. Was that that whole part? Let's add another octave. (laughs) Alright, great. Okay. (strums guitar) Let me just play this out. (plays guitar) Do you wanna change the tuning up there? (tunes guitar) (plays guitar) (tunes guitar) (plays guitar) Okay, yeah, let's do it. Ready? Yeah. (metal music) (plays guitar) Cool? Cool. Yeah, that's a whole bit. Alright. And that's pretty much what repeats throughout the whole thing. Alright, so let's talk about it. Why did you choose octaves for that? I love octaves, by the way. I guess it just creates this like pianoy kind of sound to it. I don't know. It's really hard to explain, but I guess it's something that you can build up with texture, you know? You can drop things out and it just like, opens things up, if you add more of the same thing, I don't know. I feel like octaves, it's very easy to make a melody pop through the mix when you layer in octaves. Exactly, yeah. I agree as well, and also just like it, I don't know, it just makes the note come out, as you said. I guess that's probably why I do it more. Well, as opposed to doing harmonies. Sometimes when you do harmonies, you have to get more stuff out of the way, I've noticed. Exactly, yeah. And they tend to blend more, but when you are just emphasizing the same note over and over and over, even in different octaves, it just pops more and it just sounds really cool. It sounds cool, yeah. So let's talk about the sound you made. Okay, so ... Any POD XT users out there will know this is the piezo or piezo, or whatever it's called, acoustic model on the POD. Doesn't actually sound like an acoustic though. No, it sounds more like a piano to my ears, but it creates this really glassy sound to begin with, especially if you turn the drive up on the POD all the way up and from there I will compress it pretty heavily using the inbuilt compressor on the POD XT, which is based off of an LA-2A apparently. Probably sounds nothing like an LA-2A as well, 'cause it was back in the day. And then from there on in, it's just a bunch of effects, so there's like a really mild chorus, a really gentle chorus going on in there and a really big reverb as well and that's pretty much all that's going on there. And let's talk about the pickup switching. Okay, yep, so much like we were talking about earlier, we're changing guitars for different parts, changing pickups as well can also add more space into the mix. If you've got three guitars playing different octaves on the same pickup, it can get a little bit messy, but if you play between the pickups, between the neck, middle, and bridge position, or more if you have more pickups in your guitar, then it creates a variety of different sounds, so you're not really repeating in the same frequency range. Basically just giving it more space in the mix, whilst filling it up at the same time. Yeah, and then it just becomes easier to separate things as well. Exactly. Yeah. Alright, so this part right here, repeats in the next chorus, correct? Mm-hmm, yep. We can copy paste that. If you really want to. Or you can do it again. Copy paste, for now. (chuckles) Alright. I guess if you really want to. And we'll move onto the next part. And this will repeat twice. In fact, no, I better do it again. Oh, yeah. It's a double chorus, so yeah. Okay, explain to them why you would need to repeat this twice. I know why, but ... Yeah, with the clean guitars, you have all the effects going on already. You're already sending the effects straight into the door, so the moment you try and cut anything, you start getting weird things happening with like, if you're using delays especially, which I'm not for this, but the reverbs, you can hear them when they cut in because it's slightly different every single time. But the reverb is carrying the chorus, which is a pitch modulation with it. Exactly, yeah. It's a long reverb, so the pitches that you hit are basically playing over everything that you will then be playing. It's hard to explain, but if you hit a wrong note, or you come in in the wrong spot, you'll hear the mistake, or you'll hear the punch. Also, I think, with clean guitars, they're much more naked than distortion. Like, if you're not playing at the exact same intensity level, exact same way, you can hear the punch right then and there. Exactly. Yeah, the distortion hides a lot. It does. You ready? Yeah, I'm ready. Me too. (chuckles) Okay, low? Yeah, low one. (metal music) (plays guitar) You know, while we're here, let me play this tail for people, just to basically highlight what we were speaking about earlier about punching in or having a wrong note in there. Listen to how long this carries on for. (plays snippet) So if he were to play a wrong note in here somewhere, you would be hearing the reverberation of that wrong note all throughout this tail. And just ruin it completely. Yep. Okay, next? Yeah, let me remember what pickup I was on. (strums guitar) It was that one. Ready? Yep. (metal music) (plays guitar) Alright, you wanna do the (mumbles) one? Yes. I can't remember ... (tunes guitar) Think it's that one. Yep, cool. Okay. (plays guitar) Okay, yeah, I got it. Hey, real quick ... One thing about these types of tones are that, in my opinion, you should get this type of tone as close to the finished product before you even start recording it because the effects and the sound are gonna dictate how you play it. I think that you're gonna get much better results if you do it that way, rather than just record super clean and get the effects later. Ready? Yep. (metal music) (plays guitar) Cool. This happened over the- Bridge, yeah, you know it. Where's it start and it fades in, so ... Uh-huh, so let's ... Can you just play it back a minute, so I can have a little listen to what I did, if that's okay? Yes. Not from there. You can start a bit further, that's fine. (metal music) What do you know, the same clean part. (chuckles) Okay. So I'll just phase in and then ... Interesting. I didn't play it all in one. What's that? I didn't play it all in one on the other one. (chuckles) Well, it sounds like you probably played this one and then copied it here and then just did a fade up. Yep. So is it the same thing? Do you want me to just double check? Yeah, it's exactly the same thing. I can just play it all the way from there and you can fade it in if you want. Sure. Okay. So now they're at the same clean part. Think it is actually the same clean part throughout the entirety of this song. We're gonna start right on the ... Yep, I'll start there again, just play it all the way through. Okay. (strums guitar) Alright, you ready for the low? Yep. Okay, so you're starting right on the bridge intro? Yep. Got it. (metal music) (plays guitar) I screwed it up. Okay. So this bit was alright. We can just come in from the other bit now if you want. From the bridge? Yeah. (strums guitar) Okay. (strums guitar) Alright, ready? Yep. And this is gonna work because of the fade in we're gonna do. Yep. So basically- Otherwise it wouldn't do this. If we do it on the fourth track, then you'd have to copy over it 'cause we've got that fourth track free still, haven't we? Mm-hmm. So we can just do it on that if you want. Or I can put this on the fourth track actually. Okay, yeah, do it, yeah. I'd prefer to do that. You know, I'll do the fade up right now while we're here, while we're at it. Okay. Do you care what style? Probably a little bit more so it's like, less of the start and like more exaggerated towards the end. That would be more like a switch. Yeah, exactly, yeah. Okay. And then ... And then I'll start from a little bit before, so we have the reverb tail and it should be okay. Cool. Okay. Alright. Yeah, let's do it for that. Ready? Yep. (metal music) (plays guitar) And this one's ... I've got this panner on. So are you not gonna do octaves here? Yep. You are? Only one more though, for this part. Okay, give me one moment, please. I'm going to ... Fade that one, alright? Well, this fades in, so I think ... (metal music) Okay. Okay, cool. Let's do the second one? Alright. And that was on the neck peak, I'll put that down, so ... (strums guitar) Ready? Yep. Is that a coil tap by chance? Yep. Okay. (metal music) (plays guitar) It sounds so nice. It's a nice verb. Very. It's really bizarre. They've not been able to replicate that same verb on any of the newer Line 6 units. It sounds like a modulated reverb. Yep. Have I shown you the hollow (mumbles), I think? Yeah, it's amazing. This kinda sounds a little like it. Yeah. Okay. Okay, that's the only two for that part. So now I need to do this ... It's a little clean part where it changes, so I need to put that on here and I gotta just find it quickly. Is it sounds a little more percussive or like- No, it's got the swelling from left to right, so it's a panner. Oh, okay, got it. It's like an auto-panner on here, I've just gotta find it quickly. I remember all those Line 6 effects, they were so good. They were so cool, right? Yeah. Okay, it's not on that, it's on modulations, so- Even on the original POD Bean. Yep. I can't remember who, yeah, it's auto-pan. Here you go. (strums guitar) I just need to get the speed right. It's dotted quarter 140. I don't know if that helps you. That actually helps, completely. Dotted quarter 140. Mm-hmm. Let's actually ... Perfect. So it'd be something like ... (plays guitar) I'm gonna need to turn the mix all the way up. So it's like that. (plays guitar) Too fast. So that means it must have been ... Here, so that one. So what's half of 140? 70. Must have been how I did it. Okay. Let's try that quickly. Alright, ready? So ... (strums guitar) (plays guitar) That's more like it. Check that tuning. (tunes guitar) It's weird, isn't it? Yeah. I think. Well also using modulated effects will sometimes trick you into thinking that the guitar is out of tune. Of tune, yep. So gotta be careful. I guess I should probably explain that we just put an auto-panner on the POD XT and it's basically panning the signal from left to right for this one part on Quasimodo, 'cause at the time I thought it was cool. And back to what I said before about getting the effects right going in on stuff like this. It's a lot cooler if you program the auto-panner and then play into it 'cause I know you did it via automation and Pro Tools because it's going to affect his feel. Yep. Alright, ready? Yep. (metal music) (plays guitar) Sounds tuney. (tunes guitar) A bit like ... Like when you get up there. (tunes guitar) It's pretty in tune, man. (tunes guitar) (plays guitar) Right there. (tunes guitar) Those are the notes I was hearing. (tunes guitar) (plays guitar) I think I might put an L. It's really just that high G. (tunes guitar) But it's not so bad when you just play it once. (plays guitar) That sounds alright. Let's try it. Alright. Let's give it a whirl. We'll give it a whirl. Yeah, should we try it on this pickup instead? (plays guitar) Yeah, I was gonna say that that ... You read my mind. This is on P90 mode now? Mm-hmm. What was it before? It was just on the single coil mode, so the single rail on here. So this is a three way pickup. It's a Seymour Duncan P90 rails and it has a P90 pickup and then a single coil rail pickup which you can use in humbucker mode, P90 mode, or single coil rail mode. Alright. So lots of options. (metal music) (plays guitar) No. (tunes guitar) (plays guitar) (tunes guitar) (plays guitar) Gonna have to do an octave lower. Alright, try it. Okay. Ready? Yep. (metal music) (plays guitar) So are you going from a wound string to an unwound string? Yeah. It sounds weird, going from wound to unwound. Maybe like, shift up on the same string. I know that might mess you up. Oh, just on that one bit? Yeah, it's just, it sounds weird switching from wound to unwound. (strums guitar) Like, instead of ... Yeah, instead of going down across strings, go up 'em actually. Okay, well maybe I can do that higher here then. (plays guitar) Okay. Okay, I can probably do that. (plays guitar) How's that sound? It sounds in tune. (laughs) Okay, let's try it. Alright, ready? Yeah. (metal music) (plays guitar) Maybe pick a different pick up for it so that doesn't sound so round. (plays guitar) See, that sounds better, I think. (plays guitar) Okay, yeah. Let's do the low one then. Okay, cool. Ready? Yeah. (metal music) (plays guitar) And I'm guessing there's no double on that. No, no, no, it's just a single one. Okay. I think anyways. You wanna listen to the top bit so we can doubly check? Yeah. I would figure it's just one, but ... (metal music) That one? There's a low one. There's a high one. (metal music) So the one's panning and the other ones are fading in, yeah. Okay, you can probably just take that from the other bit, if you want. The fade in? Yeah, just take out the fade in, yeah. But the fade in's on the low and it's higher, so let me just do the high one again. Okay. Okay, so ... (tunes guitar) (plays guitar) And this is not an auto-panner, is it? Oh, no, it's not is it, no. One second. There you go. (strums guitar) Oh, wait a minute. Turn the delay off. There we go. That's a cool delay. Yeah, the delay's cool, but it wasn't needed on these parts 'cause you know, you're picking all of them, so ... (plays guitar) In fact, should we try this? (plays guitar) Try it, but I hear it tuney, but maybe it's not. Okay, let's do it. (metal music) (plays guitar) And this is a fade up. Yeah. Okay. Or you can just stop it dead. Oh yeah, fade it in and then stop it dead, 'cause it just goes into that. (strums guitar) Or whatever it is, I need to play that one out. (strums guitar) Same style of fade? Yeah, fade in, yeah. So yeah, seeing as how the fade in is- Yeah, the before. The previous one, okay, got it. Yep. The end chorus you can probably copy and paste from the other chorus, if you want, 'cause there's no delays on it, so it's not gonna be weird, so ... (metal music) Oh wait, we're hearing this thing. Mm-hmm. (metal music) Are you sure there's no- I think it's a lower one, isn't it? Yeah, I'm sure I'm hearing a lower one- Yeah, let's do the low one then. Than the original one. Yep. I do need to make a new track if we're gonna do that, though. Give me one second. (strums guitar) Alright, you ready? Yeah, yeah, I'm ready. (metal music) (plays guitar) So this is a ... I think it should be a little bit less of an extreme fade in on the other bit. Sure. I don't know how difficult that is to sort out. I have the power. You have the power of God in your hands. Right there. There you go, that's better. However, the low one got kinda off. What do you mean? Towards the end. What do you mean? Look. (metal music) Hear that? The (mumbles). Yeah, yeah, too high, I hear the little bump. Let's do that again then. Ready? (strums guitar) (metal music) (plays guitar) Thank you. Now, does this one fade in? What do you mean? The low. Yeah, it does, yeah. Okay, same style as the high one is- Yep, those, yep. Alright. (strums guitar) How many tracks (speaker drowned out by crosstalk). We do have the end chorus, but you can probably paste that from another part, 'cause it's exactly the same thing, but again ... Yeah, but even over the modulated? It should be fine 'cause I'm playing it in triplets. Okay, let's check that. Okay. How many tracks do you need for that lead? Like two? Two, yeah. You're gonna double it and stuff? Yeah. Okay. Alright, let's make sure this works. Yep. (metal music) It's not gonna be nowhere near that loud anyways. Exactly. Okay- Well, you wanna compress all of them really heavily, with an API 2500. Okay. But you don't have to do that now, we can get the lead tones done, I guess, for now. Yeah, let's do that. Alright, let's choose a lead sound.

Class Description

Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp will give you access to one of metal’s most in-demand producers and educators. You’ll also get to watch the talented and seasoned performers of Monuments show you how to record flawless takes and how to prepare to enter the studio.

Recording Metal with Eyal Levi: A Bootcamp is the definitive guide to recording and producing metal. From soup to nuts, start to finish, A to Z, you will learn everything you need to know about recording and producing a metal song.

Eyal Levi will take you inside the studio with Monuments as they record a song from scratch at Clear Lake Recording in Los Angeles. In this bootcamp, you will learn how to:

  • Prepare for a session in preproduction by choosing tempos and organizing the session
  • Record flawless drums from selection and reheading/tuning to mic choice and placement to editing
  • Record rhythm guitars
  • Record clean and lead guitars
  • Record bass guitar
  • Record, edit and tune lead vocals, harmonies, and screams
  • Mix and master from session setup to final bounce


  1. Intro to Bootcamp
  2. Purpose of Pre-Production
  3. Technical Side of Preproduction
  4. Pre-Production: Setting Up the Tempo Map
  5. Pre-Production: Importing Stems
  6. Pre-Production: Click Track
  7. Creating Tracking Templates
  8. Intro and the Tone Pie
  9. Drums - Lay of the Land
  10. Bearing Edges
  11. Wood Types
  12. Depths and Sizes
  13. Hoops
  14. Sticks and Beaters
  15. Drum Heads
  16. Drum Tuning
  17. Drum Mic Placement Intro
  18. Basic Drum Mic Setup
  19. Cymbal Mic Setup
  20. Touch Up Tuning
  21. Microphone Choice and Placement
  22. Drum Tracking Intro
  23. Getting Tones and Final Placement
  24. Primary Tracking
  25. Punching In and Comping Takes
  26. Guitar Setup and Rhythm Tone Tracking
  27. Amplifiers - Lay of the Land
  28. Amplifiers & Cab Shoot Out
  29. Guitar Cab Mic Choice and Placement
  30. Guitar Tracking and Signal Chain
  31. Finalizing Amplifier Tone
  32. Guitar Mic Shootout Round Robin
  33. Intro to Rhythm Tracking
  34. Setting Up Guitars
  35. Working with a Guitarist
  36. Final Guitar Tone and Recap
  37. Guitar Tracking with John
  38. Guitar Tracking with Ollie
  39. Final Tracking
  40. Tracking Quads
  41. Intro to Bass Tone
  42. Bass Tone Setup
  43. Bass Tone Mic Placement
  44. Bass Tracking
  45. Intro to Clean and Lead Tones
  46. Clean Guitar Tones
  47. Lead Tones
  48. Vocal Setup for Tracking
  49. Vocal Mic Selection and Setup
  50. Vocal Mic Shootout
  51. Lead Vocal Tracking
  52. Writing Harmonies
  53. Harmony Vocal Tracking
  54. Vocal Warm Ups
  55. Scream Vocal Tracking
  56. Vocal Tuning and Editing Introduction
  57. Vocal Tuning and Editing
  58. Routing and Bussing
  59. Color Coding, Labeling and Arranging Channels
  60. Setting Up Parallel Compression
  61. Setting Up Drum Triggers
  62. Gain Staging and Trim
  63. Drum Mixing - Subtractive EQ
  64. Drum Mixing - Snare
  65. Drum Mixing - Kick
  66. Drum Mixing - Toms
  67. Drum Mixing - Cymbals and Rooms
  68. Drum Mixing Recap
  69. Mixing Bass Guitar
  70. Mixing Rhythm Guitars
  71. Basic Vocal Mix
  72. Mixing Clean and Lead Guitars
  73. Mixing - Automation
  74. Mastering - Interview with Joel Wanasek



I'm on lesson 19! Already worth every dollar!!! Priceless insight! I have already incorporated some of the ideas (preproduction common sense stuff that I never thought of, but damn). VERY HAPPY with this course! ALWAYS LEARNING and looking forward to the next 50 (or whatever) lessons!!! Excellent course! GREAT PRODUCER/ENGINEER, GREAT DRUM TECH, and GREAT BAND!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!


I'm just part way though and I'm blown away by the quality approach Eyal takes to getting the best out of the sessions. I love how well everything is explained and Eyals calm manner is just awesome it really makes you want to listen to the gems of wisdom he offers.


Wow is all I can say. This bootcamp goes in so much depth from tuning drums, setting up guitars, to recording and mixing. I have learned so much by participating in this bootcamp. It has taught me some new recording techniques and signal routing for my mixes. I just want to thank Eyal, Monuments, and Creative Live for taking the time to do this. It has been amazing and I will keep going back to these videos.