Listen to this Iron Maiden song called "Afraid to Shoot Strangers" at about 2:43 (Iron Maiden fans will probably recognize the riff). This sounds very simple to me, but I don't know how they did it. I tried turning on the distortion on my amp, but it doesn't sound right. How can I reproduce this effect?

  • This question is a bit hard to follow, and seems really like 3 separate questions. For the software, it depends entirely on what software you're using. Regarding effects pedals, I don't understand what you're asking beyond "Can effects pedals produce effects" which seems too trivial to be what you meant. I think really you just need to experiment with different effects and techniques to learn how to recognize their sound. Anyways, I'm going to edit this to just be about the last bit. If you think you can re-formulate one of the others into a better question, feel free to post it separately.
    – user28
    Jul 17, 2012 at 21:25
  • @MatthewRead Okay, thanks. Yes, I'll probably ask about the software in another question.
    – Hassan
    Jul 17, 2012 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


For this classic sound you need a metal pedal and an echo or delay. Also you really need another guitarist- Maiden love their dual melody/harmony lines.

Some more detail:

Adrian always used Marshalls, with the treble slightly higher than the bass and mid, and the gain cranked up high.

Delay of about 300ms, with a medium feedback level, and a fair bit of Reverb.

  • Maybe this "dual melody" thing could be achieved with a harmonizer / Pitch Shifter ? If I remember well the two melodies are the same, with the same interval between the notes.
    – Julien N
    Jul 18, 2012 at 12:54
  • Sadly, a fixed interval pitch shifter will not work, as the interval changes. They use a lot of minor thirds and diatonic thirds and sixths - but it isn't the same for every note. A pitch shifter which allows you to alter the interval on the fly could work (some Zoom pedals, and the Digitech Whammy might work) - but could be challenging :-)
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Jul 18, 2012 at 13:30
  • I don't hear a harmonic melody line until later in the song. You could get close to it with a "harmonized pitch shifter" -- there's even one in the budget Zoom G1. You tell it what key you're playing in, and it plays a note shifted up a third adjusted for the key.
    – slim
    Jul 19, 2012 at 15:26
  • Yeah - my old Zoom 4040 did that reasonably well
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Jul 19, 2012 at 16:56
  • But for live changes, the Whammy can do some of this - pedal to change from 3rd to 5th etc
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Jul 19, 2012 at 16:56

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