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I am trying to achieve a +2 Oct pitch shift effect like in the song Pantera - Becoming. I am aware that Guitar Pro has a Whammy Pitch shift effect, but this effect only goes up to +1 Oct (and has to be automated).

The best way I found to produce pitch shift effects is to use artifical harmonics, where you can pitch up to +3 Oct. However, the sound also changes and the notation does not show that a pitch shift is used.

How do I properly program a pitch shift like this in Guitar Pro?

1
  • You Guitar Pro users are lucky. We Musescore users can't even pitch shift up a perfect 5th.
    – Dekkadeci
    Nov 4, 2023 at 18:04

2 Answers 2

1

TL;DR

You must use not one, but two Whammy Pedals in the guitar effect in Guitar Pro 8 on order to achieve the 2 octave pitch shift.

As far as I know, there is no standard notation to indicate a pitch shift. You can put a custom symbol or a text character or a short acronym like P.S. (pitch shift) and add a corresponding description in the beginning of the score. Guitar Pro 8 inserts automatically a text note when you create a sound automation for a change of effect, so that would also be clear enough. Skip to the end of the long answer below to see a screenshot of how it looks like.

Long answer

The general consensus online is that the effect you hear is achieved using the Whammy pedal to create a 2 octave up pitch shift. This YouTube video details further exactly what notes to play and how: you play an octave interval at the same time you use the Whammy pedal.

See below the instructions to create the double whammy guitar effect on Guitar Pro 8, both for the audio playback and the score. In case you already know how to do it, skip to the end to see a screenshot with the final result.

Program the playback sound for the whammy pedal pitch-shift:

The idea is to create a new sound effect which is a copy of the original effect you are using in the guitar plus two whammy pedals (each whammy pedal shifts the pitch one octave up) and then to automate the track to change to this sound effect and back to the original effect whenever you want to play these pitch-shifted notes.

Follow the steps below to do this:

  1. Press F6 to open the Track right side menu.
  2. Go to the SOUNDS section.
  3. Click the + button to add a sound.
  4. In the pop-up menu, select Copy sound from <original effect>.
  5. On the newly created Whammy effect, click on the second row (with the triangle pointing down) to expand the effect menu and see its details.
  6. Here, click on an empty row and on the pop-up menu select Pitch > Wham'.
  7. Click the pedal icon on the left of the new Wham' pedal row to configure it.
  8. Turn the PITCH regulator to 12 (to pitch-shift an octave up) and the FILTER regulator to 0 (maybe other values work but this is the one that sounds best to me).
  9. Repeat the three previous steps on another empty row to add and configure a second whammy pitch-shift pedal. After this, this effect is now a copy of the original effect but pitch-shifted 2 octaves up.
  10. On the score, move the cursor to the note you wish to pitch-shift and press SHIFT+Down to select it.
  11. On the menu on the top horizontal bar, select Edit > Sounds and then select the Whammy effect you created in the previous steps. This adds both the sound automation to change to the Whammy effect on the note where the cursor is currently at and also the sound automation to change back to the Original effect on the next note.
  12. Repeat the previous two steps on any other note you wish to pitch-shift.

After doing this process for all the desired pitch-shifted notes, if the audio playback does not sound the way you intended, go to the menu on the top horizontal bar and select Edit > Sounds > Sound automations... to see the list of all automations on the given track and try to find what is wrong (maybe a sound automation is missing, is in the wrong place on the score, has the incorrect effect, etc).

If even after debugging the sound automations you still have problems in the audio playback, then you may be experiencing audio playback bugs in Guitar Pro 8 when using sound automations. When I was testing this answer on my side, I noticed for example that when placing sound automations on each consecutive note of a 3 note sequence, the audio playback would not produce what was written in the score. Some sound automations would mysteriously disappear from the sound automation list when I added more sound automations.

Depending on how close the pitch-shifted notes are to each other, the score may look clean or it may look like a mess with lots of text notes overlapping each other. To fix this, see the next section.

Notate the whammy pedal pitch-shift in the score

As far as I know, there is no standardized notation for pitch-shift pedals (not even on Guitar Pro 8, except for the Wah Open and Wah Close Wah pedal effects). Therefore, the best thing that I could think of was the following:

  1. Press F6 to open the Track right side menu.
  2. Go to the SOUNDS section.
  3. On the Original effect, click on the second row (with the triangle pointing down) to expand the effect menu and see its details.
  4. On the Label displayed on the score textbox, write Orig. (or any other short name you prefer for the Original effect, such as Fuzz, Clean, etc).
  5. On the Whammy effect, click on the second row (with the triangle pointing down) to expand the effect menu and see its details.
  6. On the Label displayed on the score textbox, write W2 (or any other short name you prefer for the Whammy effect).

Finally, press T in the start of the score and the following manual text note:

Score symbol chart:
W2: use the whammy pedal to pitch-shift 2 octaves up;
Orig.: go back to the original effect, i.e., stop using the whammy pedal.

After doing both these things for the audio playback and the score, I tested this and managed to create a working example. The final result should look something like this:

Guitar Pro screenshot

The audio playback always plays the original effect except for the middle note of each triplet, where the whammy pedal is used to pitch-shift the sound two octaves up.

The sound automation list for the example in the previous image is as follows:

enter image description here

-1

I think you should go with the AH because it's highly likely Pantera used a harmonic and it would be the correct technique.

Also I'd recommend this regarding your question with the notation because the sound changes, implying something different is happening and people quickly figure out it's a harmonic if they see the tab stays the same and know guitar techniques and Pantera in particular. It's a bit curious that the software doesn't show it, I believe TuxGuitar marks those as "A.H."

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  • 1
    Pretty sure Pantera used a Whammy Pedal for this effect: youtube.com/shorts/RU6YwLP8SdA
    – lmaooooo
    Dec 7, 2023 at 16:08
  • @Sebastian if an harmonic were used in the Pantera song, it would be a pinch harmonic and not an artificial harmonic on that context. There is a somewhat widespread misconception about these two types of harmonics, especially among electric guitar players (one that I had for many years too). Artificial harmonics are mostly used in acoustic and classical guitars for fingerstyle playing, while pinch harmonics are mostly used in electric guitars with pick playing. This YouTube video shows the difference. They are notated differently: A.H. and P.H. Dec 7, 2023 at 18:12

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