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Topic: Distorted 2-note E. Guitar 'chords' - a question about dissonance

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  1. #1

    Question Distorted 2-note E. Guitar 'chords' - a question about dissonance

    Hey guys, i have this weird question.

    You know when you need a 2-note electric guitar 'chord' (given it has 2 notes its not technically a chord but lets call it that), something like a power chord just not perfect 5th or 4th.
    For example it could be:
    C + D#
    C + E
    C + F#

    I'm talking about heavily distorted guitar, chords like these (or with more than just 2 notes) are extensively used for example in progressive metal (Dream Theater anyone?).

    Now, im sure you can imagine that while heavily distorted, the sound created would be quite dissonant but still bearable, 2-note chords like that sound pretty good even though of course not as 'clean' as perfect 5ths/4ths.

    Problem is that with sample libraries (im using Prominy LPC Clean), 2-note 'chords ' like these are not sampled (there are only power and 'standard' chords) so i have to create them using single notes. And as you would guess they dont sound that great, they lack the 'chord quality' and especially, they sound very dissonant (if thats the right term)

    What i'd like to ask first - is there any library that could possibly have these chords sampled? Lyrical Distortion maybe? But i think not.

    So the other question would be - isnt there any trick how to minimize dissonance and/or in general, some trick so chords created with single notes would sound better without much dissonance?
    I dont know, maybe somehow routing the AMP simulator (amplitube or Guitar Rig 2 in my case) in a different way?
    I tried using a different amp for each note but that way the chord quality is lost and it just sounds like 2 notes played on 2 different guitars (obviously).

    What do you think?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

    Re: Distorted 2-note E. Guitar 'chords' - a question about dissonance

    Well, I am not a guitarist and am not an expert, but here are a couple of thoughts.

    You should make sure the two notes are not samples from the same string. This can be accomplished with LPC, which has samples up each string sampled. I am not so sure about LD1/LD2.

    You will have to time them so there is a slight delay, as in a strum.

    Note that there would not necassarily be much dissonance, depending upon the harmony and the context.

    For example, you refer to C + E. Well, this is usually considered a major triad (depending upon the context). It should not sound dissonant.

    That's about all I got.

    jeffn1
    For original progressive electronic rock influenced by J.S. Bach and (old) Rush, check out: www.soundclick.com/jeffreynaness.

  3. #3

    Re: Distorted 2-note E. Guitar 'chords' - a question about dissonance

    LD handles this via scripting. You can KS all 2 note chords, or play them(or more than 2 notes).
    If you play a chord with samples you get a huge wall of sound, but on a real guitar, the higher notes in a chord are drowned out by the lower notes. So the script works in this same manor, How it works is the notes after the root note can have the volume adjusted.
    The old fashion way, is you would have to track that second note on it's own track and adjust the volume until it blends right.

  4. #4
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    Re: Distorted 2-note E. Guitar 'chords' - a question about dissonance

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffn1
    Well, I am not a guitarist and am not an expert, but ...
    Well, I am a guitarist, and I am an expert....

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffn1
    You should make sure the two notes are not samples from the same string.
    Good advice.

    Keitaro, I am not sure what you are getting at, but when you say, "2-note 'chords ' like these are not sampled" (etc.) - are you saying that if you use (for ex) an E and a B above (perfect fifth to form one of those "chords") that the sound is dissonant? Shouldn't be - unless the library was poorly recorded/guitar was poorly tuned. Taking both of those notes - same string or not, should NOT produce any dissonance. Taking a Maj 3rd, say E & G above, might - depending on tuning, depending on neck position and, oddly enough - depending on whether or not the guitar utilized the Buzz Feiten tuning system (do a Google search).

    Can you maybe post some examples?

    Cheers.

  5. #5

    Re: Distorted 2-note E. Guitar 'chords' - a question about dissonance

    RiffWraith

    Keitaro, I am not sure what you are getting at, but when you say, "2-note 'chords ' like these are not sampled" (etc.) - are you saying that if you use (for ex) an E and a B above (perfect fifth to form one of those "chords") that the sound is dissonant? Shouldn't be - unless the library was poorly recorded/guitar was poorly tuned.
    Oh no no, perfect 4ths and 5ths are of course sampled (in many different articualtions) and sound great. Even with single notes creating them.

    But for ex. diminished fifths (C+Gb) or augmented fifths (C+G#) sound much dissonant on almost any amp.

    I dont know maybe its really normal, im not a guiatarist, i dont know how much work and tweaking it takes for pro guitarsits to perfect their sound.

    Here is a little sample, dyads progress as follows:
    http://www.keitaro.sk/download/chordsample.mp3

    major 3rd (C+E)
    perfect 4th (C+F, not dissonant obviously)
    dim 5th (C+Gb)
    perfect 5th (C+G, also good sounding)
    aug 5th (C+G#)
    major 6th (C+A)

  6. #6

    Re: Distorted 2-note E. Guitar 'chords' - a question about dissonance

    I tried to record "your" chords with my real guitar through V-AMP2. Here's the link:

    http://paluchowski.pl/guitar_chords.mp3

    It's:

    00:00 - the chords on E string
    00:23 - the chords on A string (it sounded better - but I have to state that my guitar is tuned down to C# - so the sound on E string is sometimes muddy)
    the rest - fun on A string with chords

    maybe this will help with the discussion.

  7. #7

    Re: Distorted 2-note E. Guitar 'chords' - a question about dissonance

    Great thanks, that helps. Now i get the idea how it should sound... Well as i thought, the real chords have more unified sound because i didnt have sampled chords, only single notes making a chord.
    Still the dissonance in my version is higher, i guess its the vibration of the strings or something. Well guess thats one of the reasons why they sample whole chords, it just cant sound totally realistic while creating them using single notes.

  8. #8

    Re: Distorted 2-note E. Guitar 'chords' - a question about dissonance

    and here's another one:

    http://paluchowski.pl/guitar_chords_2.mp3

    this time it's:

    1 - dry guitar signal with bypassed VAMP2
    2 - signal with distortion and amp simulation but without cabinet simulation
    3 - all together (dist+amp sim+cab sim)

  9. #9
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    Re: Distorted 2-note E. Guitar 'chords' - a question about dissonance

    Keitaro, the samples you provided is kinda how it should sound. Honestly, they sounded a bit fake to me, and furthermore, they actually, weren't dissonant enough - believe it or not. They were almost "too good".

    nozoku provided soem good examples...keep in mind something: as wierd as this may sound, when you add layer upon layer of distorted guitar, that disonance actually tends to disappear. Say you play the same chord four times on four different tracks. You might think that the sound will be more disonant, and the dissonance is still there, but the chords actually tend to melt together, creating a more "unified" sound. Best way I can describe it, really.

    Cheers.

  10. #10

    Re: Distorted 2-note E. Guitar 'chords' - a question about dissonance

    RiffWraith:

    Keitaro, the samples you provided is kinda how it should sound. Honestly, they sounded a bit fake to me, and furthermore, they actually, weren't dissonant enough - believe it or not. They were almost "too good".
    yeah i know they sound a lil fake, you just cant get a real chord sound from melting sampled single notes...thats why they sample whole chords....but i imagine it would be a huge load of work (and gigabytes) to sample all the possible dyads, in different articulations and all... so for now we need to create them like this.

    Well anyway, its good to know that there is nothing really wrong with that. I was just going by what i hear in professionally mastered music so i guess that can't be compared to the 'live' untweaked sound.

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