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Thread: NIN guitar sound?

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    How does trent Reznor get the guitar sound he does? its fuzzy yet full but not hissy.
    all i get is a realhissy buzzy terable sound.
    HELP!

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    Question

    What are <you> using to get that terrible sound?

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    solid state amps boss metal zone crapy cheezy fuzz pedals so far no luck.

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    Lightbulb

    First eliminate the simple cheese sources:
    Replace any cables that have been run over by a truck, chewed on by the dog or have shabbily spliced ends.
    If your bass player used the cord to hang himself, don't just get a new bass player:
    get a new cord!
    kinks and knots are a no-no.
    Get fresh batteries for any of those squash boxes that need it. Evaluate their sound one at a time. Fling those that sound bad when added to the chain.
    Hate to say it, but that POD gets some pretty fuzzy and full tones without much effort....

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    Cool

    One thing you have to remember about NIN is that trent does a LOT of sound processing on his computer. Because of this, a lot of the things he does to his guitar sound can't necessarily be duplicated in real time, at least not with any commercially available effects that I know of. I'm working on a homemade box right now that intentionally undersamples a signal in order to get a really ugly, deconstructed guitar sound. Another trick he uses from time to time is pitch shifting. If you try to shift the pitch of a signal without changing its speed, you have to add new information to the signal to keep the speed right. Since this new information comes from a computer algorhthym instead of an actual instrument, this means that the further you shift the pitch, the less it sounds like whatever made the sound originally. You can try this out with any effects processor that lets you do pitch shifting. Unfortunately, most canned pitchshifters only work well with single notes. Sound forge also has an algorhthm that lets you do pitch shifting. The single note thing isn't a problem there, but then once again your stuck with something you cant do in real time.

    Oh, and as to the pod, i've never used one, but line6's web site says trent uses it, so drstawl is probably on to something there.

    Whew! sorry about the long winded response, but as you can see this is something of an obsession of mine ...

    -Nate K

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    Damn pod..

    I guess I will have to buy one... VISA here I go.

    Emeric

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    nkiner what is this "home made box" you have? how can i build one? or were did you ge it ? do you like it?

    [This message has been edited by reco (edited 10-31-1999).]

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    I think it would be near inpossible to copy Trent's guitar sound. He uses every and any effect, as well as lots of sound manipulation. A fast and easy solution would be a DOD grunge box. Its a crappy pedal, but with some sound editing, it can be a good foundation. You can also try using a nearly drained battery to get a cool sound as well. I would try to do lots of layering, with lots of similar but not identical guitar sounds. Its tough, but I have mistakenly come up with some good NIN sounds before.

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    The homemade box I refer too is basically just a really horrible a/d and d/a convertor. Exactly how horrible it is at any given moment is adjustable. If you convert a signal to digital with too low a sampling rate you get a phenomena called aliasing, which basically means false information is added to the signal. Depending on how low the sampling rate gets, this can vary from a sound thats vaguely not quite right to a sound that totally doesn't resemble whatever it used to be. Bear in mind this is just a tool for the occasional nasty noise, not a way to get an all purpose 'nin sound'. Trent does use something like it from time to time though. As to making one yourself, its doable, and the parts involved are pretty cheap, but you'll need access to a microcontroller programmer (a piece of hardware that, well, programs microconrollers), and those are pretty expensive (I use the one at work).

    -nate k, who is too much of a geek for his own good

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    Lightbulb

    So you can slide in on exactly how much sampling loss you want? I was thinking of a path available to those without electronics
    breadboard chops. Just switch your resolution
    when recording a .wav to 8 bit, 11KHz. That's pretty darn grungy. But it would be marginally cool to investigate all the bit depths and sample rates around the fixed values available in Windows. Especially when you crank it down under 6 bits but keep the sample rate at 22KHz or higher. That's gotta sound unique.

    [This message has been edited by drstawl (edited 11-01-1999).]

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