Magazine article Guitar Player

Emulating Jack White's "Battle Cry" Tone

Magazine article Guitar Player

Emulating Jack White's "Battle Cry" Tone

Article excerpt

AS A MUSIC COMPOSER/GUITARIST for television and film, I have to cop many different guitar styles and tones. Recently, I was asked to come up with a CD of instrumental compositions for Telepictures Productions--which produces shows such as Extra, TMZ, and Crime Watch Daily--that incorporated guitar tones from Jack's 2017 single, "Battle Cry."

White displays a reckless approach for the song--and that's meant in a good way--that really brings it to life, gives it a "must listen" seductiveness when it hits your ears, and brings on an almost cinematic, "storytelling" vibe. I particularly like the main riff of "Battle Cry," because of its unbridled energy, and its ability to give the listener a feeling of an imminent sense of danger. I wanted to capture this attitude in my compositions for the CD, as well as evoke the same types of emotions. My first step was to identify the basic elements of the riff's tonal characteristics:

* Fuzz tone

* Low-end octave boost

* Long, single-note sustain

* Grungy attitude

* Forward presence of guitar

THE BATTLE BEGINS

There are many excellent amp plug-ins out there, but I used Logic Pro X (via an Avid Fast Track Duo interface). If you use another plug-in, you can probably approximate my choices, as many manufacturers provide a "usual suspects" menu of similar amp flavors, even if they go by different patch names. After establishing my sound goals, I choose a 1977 goldtop Gibson Les Paul Deluxe with mini-humbuckers to achieve the necessary sonic attitude, and I put the pickup-selector switch at the bridge position. …

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