Can anyone help with a guitar distortion I'm trying to achieve? It's a smooth yet powerful gain type distortion.

This song is a Bollywood song with rhythm guitar (starting at 0:19 minutes) which is playing throughout the song.

  • honestly, it sounds like an 80s Rockman, on the Chorus setting [though it probably isn't]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 21:43

2 Answers 2


As blusician says, there's nothing extraordinary about that sound. In fact, if you heard that guitar by itself you'd probably find it pretty dull and thin. The reason it sounds powerful in the mix is that every single chord is actually a tight combination of guitar-powerchord + bass-fundamental + kickdrum (and the mix is substantially compressed). The guitar itself is probably also double-tracked, and of course there's some well-chosen subtle room reverb on the recording.

It's no good trying to achieve that effect with guitar alone; in fact a guitar sound with so much bass frequencies would be utterly unusable in a mix. So, keep it simple, use a tube amp with a cabinet that matches the basic character (Vox AC seems indeed the right ballpark) and blow it – not too much! – with some distortion pedal (IMO that actually sounds more like a substantially muffled Tubescreamer sound, re-brightened through a bit of the amp's own distortion). A tiny bit of chorus or flanger could also be useful to imitate double-tracking, but don't use any heavy fudge or long delay/reverb.


That's quite simple. I like that sound too. The best way would be with a tube amp, even something simple like an AC15, and an distortion pedal. You can use a solid state amp, but probably won't sounds as good. If you plugged straight into a computer interface, check out Amplitube.

  • 1
    That's like a recipe for spaghetti bolognese which starts "take some spaghetti & some bolognese sauce..."
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 21:44
  • Right? The easiest answer in the world!
    – blusician
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 21:58
  • 1
    AC15's break up is too hairy for that sound. I'd say a JHS Pollinator would do a good job of replicating that sound.
    – John
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 0:00

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