Get Marty Friedman's tone with plugins and IRs

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In this video tutorial, I want to take you behind the scenes and show you exactly how I dialed in the tone for 'Fall Into Place' - a song by Federico Ascari featuring Marty Friedman and Kerim 'Krimh' Lechner.

We're going to focus on the guitar-oriented part of the mix, and this mix is made entirely using digital amps and impulse responses, so you can recreate this tone at home.

Lead tones

Marty's playing is an absolute joy to work with. His unique phrasing and incredibly precise bends take this track to a whole new level.
When you deal with players that are as dynamic as Marty, I usually like to split the lead tone into different tracks. This way, I have a lot more control over the tone, depending on the part.

Marty Friedman lead tone amp

Main distorted lead

Here, I am using the Toneforge Jeff Loomis signature plugin by Joey Sturgis tones using the lead channel. I disabled the cab section and used an IR called 'Ouch' from my Leads And Cleans pack. My impulse responses already have all the post processing I would normally do on my productions and they are mix ready, or even 'mix finished', if you will.

Marty Friedman IR cab

There's not much more going on other than a tube screamer before the amp, and then a touch of EQ after the cab.
You can see I also apply a multiband compressor from Fab Filter to tame the high-mids a little bit. What I'm doing is pushing the gain up in those areas and then compressing it back just a tiny bit. You will notice my attack time is quite long, as I want to get the notes to get through properly.
I usually use a stereo delay on guitar leads. Here, I am also using a room IR. The last step is adding a hint of stereo doubler on, but it's really just a tiny bit.

Softer lead

On this lead by Marty, I am also using the Jeff Loomis plugin but on the 'rhythm' channel. For IRs, I am blending 'Watershred' and 'Watershed 3'. You can also see a multiband compressor here instead of just an EQ. Since I don't use a pedal before the amp, I am using a post EQ to round off the low end, as it has a bit of low-end rumble.

Marty Friedman soft solo multiband

The third type of solo is the very aggressive and super fast passage. For this one, I use a Nembrini 808 pedal and the Diezel VH4 from Plugin Alliance. For the impulse response, I've chosen a blend between 'Hair apparently' and 'I won't bite'. You can see the same kind of very subtle multiband compression going on here as well. I also have a little bit of a low-end lift there since it goes pretty high up. It felt good to support those fundamental frequencies a little bit.
You can also see that I added some volume automation. It's fairly detailed, but not too much of it.

Clean guitars

Now let's move on to the clean sounds. I am using one very clean guitar on the left and one that's a little grittier on the right.
For the amp, I loaded up Amp Hub from STL Tones and G45. Of course, I follow that up with my own IRs from the Leads and Cleans pack. This time it's 'Lovepump'.

Clean guitar Impulse Response

After that, I have a tiny bit of EQ taking out some of the resonances created by the guitar itself. To add some dimension, I am using a stereo delay again and a little bit of a doubled that I tend to like to use. So that's pretty much it.

Outro cleans

One thing that is perhaps a little unusual is in the outro, where I layered the arpeggio part with a raw DI. Sometimes using a raw DI as a blended layer can be pretty powerful. It gives me an extra bit of shine that I can blend back into the amp signal.
For the impulse response, I am using 'CrazyShine' on one guitar and 'MeatNPotatoes' on another one. I also used 'Telocastme' on one of the clean guitars, and that one is one of my favorites in this pack.

There a few layers of clean guitars, and on another set, I use the Neural 'Plini' plugin. Again, I'm not using any of the internal IRs I prefer having my own. In this case, it's 'Popstalk' IR. You can see I used very little post-processing. If the source is right, that shouldn't be a need for it.

Right, so what I've actually done here is I loaded up the BX 4000 SSL emulation from Plugin Alliance, then a Fairchild 660 from Universal Audio. Really great opto-compressor grab on this one.
Again, a tiny bit of post EQ, a little dynamic EQ as well on some resonance points, nothing too fancy.

Heavy rhythm guitars

Heavy Rhythm Amp

Now for the heavy rhythm guitars! I choose the Granophyre from Neural DSP in the KT 626 mode, which I could describe as sounding a little bit like 'bigger gravel', compared to the more sandy 6L6 or the muddy EL34s. Again, I don't use the internal IRs here; I use my own stuff. And for this one, it's one from the latest free update to the Rhythm IR pack - 'Dropdesoap'. No post-processing is needed on this one. I do have something on the master bus for those guitars - an EQ to bring them into their place in the mix.

Heavy rhythm amp impulse responses

You can see that I raise the low heft a little bit, and I take out a little bit of this mid where the lead guitars are very prominent. That makes the lead guitars really come through, and the rhythms find their own spots in the mix.

I hope that you have enjoyed this mix walkthrough, where I've been focusing on mixing guitars with only amp sims and impulse responses. Now go make cool music and take care!