As you may have understood by my username I'm a fan of Nirvana, I've been trying to sound like Nirvana with my amp but still haven't got the sound I want with the settings that I've tried... Any ideas on what i should do?


Bear in mind that the albums are often double tracked and or have things like stereo separation effects that alter the sound from the way the band actually plays a song live. Also, microphones play a bigger role in recorded tone than average people credit.

Cobain was not known for a ton of effects: clearly he used tremolo and phaser/flanger effects on albums but in the following photo, it looks like he is only using boss "DS-2 turbo distortion" and a "Sansamp classic" amp simulator pedal. Pretty simple. It is possible some effects are in a different loop off camera.

Many guitarists simply use a chain of gain. I myself use a compressor, a special wah never off, and then a tube screamer fed into an amp that is up just enough to barely break when the pedals are off.

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  • Tremolo? Where? – user6591 Jan 10 '20 at 18:53
  • I also doubt he used a phaser. – user6591 Jan 10 '20 at 18:55
  • Tremolo - Fender-style vibrato effect on amp. Chorus, phaser, flange and tremolo can all sound very similar especially when used together. Not really important, as many photos only show a very small number of effects. I think in a photo from a well-known live show (easily seen on youtube), there he has a boss bs-2 and a Rat both taped down to the floor, but not sure there was anything else in use. Note I also suggest that the sound engineers may have been responsible for some of the effects in the studio. – Yorik Jan 10 '20 at 19:27
  • The point about recordings sounding different than live is very true. My point was I doubt he ever used tremolo or phaser. Chorus, yes. – user6591 Jan 10 '20 at 19:30

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