8

In the solo, he makes these weird scratching / whistling noises, and I was wondering if anyone knew how exactly he did it?

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    I think there are some videos on youtube where tom himself explains how he is doing his different voices. Ill check That when im back at my pc. – Olli Sep 16 at 10:04
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    I really want to add a #RATM tag to this question. – naught101 Sep 16 at 13:44
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    Tom Morello has a MasterClass that goes into this sort of thing: check out the Noise Chart chapter – Rob Caplan Sep 16 at 15:44
  • Here is a video of Tom Morello going over some songs and explaining what he is doing to create some of the sounds youtube.com/watch?v=aJXzY9vhqZg I don't know if the sound from your question is shown, but I think its very interesting non the less. – Olli Sep 16 at 19:15
  • Do you mean the sounds at 1:25, or at 3:55, or somewhere else? The video currently starts at 2:05, but I don’t hear any sounds there that seem to match your description. – PLL Sep 17 at 8:03
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That's one of his fun, "nothing to do with a guitar" types of effetcs.

Basically he's just using the guitar jack to get a ground hum and a bit of wah and effects to shape the tone.

Check out this video which shows examples.

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    Might be whammy pedal instead of wah. Sometimes it’s hard to be certain with him. – Todd Wilcox Sep 16 at 12:56
  • I've never seen the explanation videos talked about—though I'm going to go find them—but I'd almost guarantee it's a whammy pedal. He used whammy a lot and this has that characteristic sound of the whammy pedal's imperfect pitch tracking. Another thing is that I'm hearing some (downward) string sliding toward the end of the sound so I wonder if he's actually using the jack method here. That could bit whammy bending, but I hear the sound of frets and strings sliding down and whammy bending slightly up sometimes (as well as being pitch shifting to begin with). – user66401 Sep 16 at 16:23
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    He did an interview - which I can't find now - where he talked through this specific solo and his use of the jack plug. You may be right that it is whammy and wah, but the guuitar itself is not doing anything musically in this solo. – Doktor Mayhem Sep 16 at 17:25
  • Maybe he's sliding the plug on the strings then (instead of just touching the bridge)? I could certainly be wrong but I hear string noise. – user66401 Sep 16 at 18:35
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I think this video is a good place to start. It's Tom Morello himself doing a whole run down of his rig and how he makes particular sounds. I don't know if the exact passage in this song is covered, but he really demonstrates a lot of his tricks.

At least one important part of it is his kill switch, which you can see him using in this live video. The kill switch is a big part of the attack (sound envelope.) Instead of strumming and dampening strings, he uses the kill switch on a big, sustained sound, getting a sharp, clean break between full sound and full silence. It makes the guitar sound more like an organ. This is a big part of Morello's style: non-traditional technique to make the guitar sound like anything but a guitar!

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