The all-in-one channel strip plugin Strip V3 gives you everything you need to craft a great guitar sound. We’re going to start off with a more or less ideal DI recording of a clean electric guitar, and then use Strip’s EQ, compressor, and expander to give it the tonal quality it deserves. Here’s the track in its dry state – apart from some reverb on an effects send it’s completely unprocessed:

Clean Sound Cleaning

We’re aiming for a modern, and clean sound. The console model ‘H Digital Clean’ (chosen from the drop down-menu above the gain slider) fits this description perfectly.

As of now the guitar sounds quite dull, so we definitely want to brighten it up quite a bit. Thus, we turn the HIGH-gain on the EQ all the way up and set the FREQ to 11kHz. Next, we need to take out some of the ‘boxyness’ in the lower mids. To do that we back off the MID-gain to -3 and set the FREQ to 1.5kHz. Finally, we don’t need all of the boomy bottom end, so we take everything below 330Hz (FREQ) out with the LOW-gain-knob.

Next up is the compressor. The initial hits of the strokes in the recording are a little bit too loud in comparison to the rest of the signal, so we need to reduce the dynamic range a bit. Therefore, we set the THR-control to 8, which gives us between -4 and -6dB of gain reduction when the chords strike in, but leaves the rest of the recording mostly untouched. Instead, we want to both emphasize and thighten the dead notes between the chords. The expander will help us with that: first, we turn it on by clicking the ON-button, then we set the threshold (THR) to just under 9, and the EXP-knob to about 1.7. The purple meter on the left of the gain slider should now display a reasonable amount of expansion, especially during the dead note-passages.

The interface of the plugin should now look something like this: mixing-clean-guitar-strip-v3-interface

The Result

That’s it – we’ve just turned a decent guitar recording to something way more convincing. As you will notice yourself, the combination of compression and expansion really tightened things and brought out the dead notes nicely, which are crucial for the groove. Here’s what it sounds like with Strip V3 engaged:

You can download the preset for Strip V3 here: clean-guitar-strip-v3-preset-fxp