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I really enjoy experimenting with creating textured guitar tones. Most recently, I added a little texture for Elizabeth and the Catapult’s new record on a song called Magic Chaser.

Elizabeth was looking to add some sustained ambient guitar tones in the second verse of the song. It really didn’t need much. But, with minimalism comes refinement.

I thought I’d share some of my go-to setups for creating guitar textures. A lot of these tips are somewhat gear-specific. It’s certainly possible that similar results can be achieved with other products. But, I can’t guarantee.
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Anyone who has mixed a song will know that mixing is easier when each track is recorded individually. Because of this, most recording engineers will want to track each instrument or vocal part independently when recording a band. This works fine if you play lead guitar, but for some performers, it presents a major problem.
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The word “wizard” tends to conjure images of old, bearded Gandalf types casting spells in Middle Earth or some other fantasy land. The Wizard we’re about to introduce you to, though, is the beautiful daughter of Beres Hammond, and, as far as we know, Jamaica’s only working female music producer. Just a few years removed from her first production credit, for the title track on her father’s A Moment in Time album, she’s already got a sound of her own (think Timbaland meets dancehall) and a growing resume that includes the entirety of Mr. Lexx’s upcoming Lexxicon album, and her cousin Courtney John’s latest effort, The Courtney John Experiment. She’s also produced remixes for Nelly Furtado. Our Martei Korley visited The Wizard at her sonic lair—her father’s Harmony House Studio—for her first ever photo shoot, after which I spoke with her about her unusual name, her unique position in the Jamaican music world, and life with Beres.
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By Ian Vargo

Vocoders can now be heard pretty often in popular music. Dating back at least 40 years, they have been used by influential electronic artists such as Kraftwerk, legendary songwriter and drummer Phil Collins, and more recently by forward-thinking pop performer Imogen Heap. Although the vocoder effect eventually found its way into our music production toolbox, it was originally intended for a much different purpose.
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