Audio News // Detuned Electric Guitar Ambience

Detuned Electric Guitar

Hello there, you trippers of the light fantastic.

Every week we will be sharing a little audio news about what goes on behind the scenes of the audio department at Antagonist. Dan, head of audio stuff, splits his time between his studio where he writes and mixes music, the office where he sits to edit and develop the design of the audio, and various locations around and about where he records environment sounds, wildlife, ambience, etc.

This week’s audio news, with some detuned electric guitar:

Many greetings!

It’s been a bit quiet on the audio front this week as I was away in New York between Tuesday and Saturday and have been recovering from a mixture of jet lag and a loud and obnoxious Yankee cold since then. So I thought I’d go through something I recorded a few weeks ago for the first Through the Woods demo level.

I came up for some music for the start of he demo at the request of Ole, the creative director man. He sent me a few reference tracks to guide me and I came up with a couple of bits and pieces. I wrote a nice little sad piece with a struck piano sample library and some grainy, crackly strings which sounded pretty nice, but I sometimes forget Through the Woods is supposed to be a horror game, not a nice game.

Once I heard the music playing there in the demo, I realised it didn’t really fit very well. It was more sad than scary. I was also struggling a little to come up with an interesting lead instrument. I’m a guitarist almost from birth, but never thought about using a guitar for the game for that very reason as I wanted to try other things. But one drunken evening I was at Ole’s place and he was banging on his old guitar, and he detuned it a bit, played some low notes and twisted the tuning heads around and mumbled something like, ‘How about that?’

A few days later I got out my old Les Paul (which I hate) and tuned all the strings way down, turned the gain way up and recorded a couple of improvised pieces. With the volume up high, you get a pretty cool electrical humming and cracking (from the awful pickups, I guess) and every movement you make with the guitar creates a lovely, disturbing, detuned electric guitar atmosphere.

I usually leave the excess strings uncut when I replace them and it makes an interesting sound when they twangle together. The sound is just about picked up the the pickups.

Anyway, I sat there just tapping this detuned electric guitar, scraping a string here, twingling the excess string on the headstock there, and managed to get something much better than my original sad, lonely track. It’s a dark and suppressive ambience to accompany you as you walk through the forest. I uploaded the detuned electric guitar tracks to my SoundCloud page if you want to check them out. Both were just one take and one track of audio each.

Ok, that’s it from me for this week. As always, any questions can be mailed to or you can leave a comment below.

Check back here next week for some more audio news. Until then, have a great week!


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