We spoke with Vixen, guitarist, creator, and songwriter who rose in popularity over on the platform TikTok. She knows a thing or two about the guitar, proficient in shredding, to be specific.
Exploring how FAST plugins can help produce quality tracks, we had a peak at the flow of how Vixen writes and edits her audio. Watch the latest video below.
"The plugins are like having a producer who is there and who will make all of those little tweaks for you."
Being a guitarist, it’s only logical that Vixen starts building her idea with the instrument in hand, getting down a chord structure. Once the key and rhythm are set, she quickly moves on to bass whilst the rhythm is still fresh.
Drums are laid down using samples to help tackle the rhythm takes. Final layers are added — a whole three layers of guitar dedicated to the rhythm — to fill out the track, with some mixing on the go, such as panning and volume.
"FAST plugins have been really useful just to drag it on, tweak it a little bit from there, and that amount of tweaking is where I’m cool with. Whereas going into the depths of exactly how to EQ a guitar, I’m not amazing with."
FAST ON GUITAR
First things first, the rhythm guitar is made to be more aggressive (than it already is). Vixen achieves this by making the guitar brighter and lowering the frequencies labelled in the Boost area, which mainly consists of the mid-frequencies on a guitar which are often reserved for lead guitar tones.
Vixen finds the labels on FAST View digestible and easy to use, as they clearly describe what the FAST Equaliser will affect. This is great for instant tweaking of the sound, especially if you’re new to using EQ.
Once the desired sound is found, Vixen saves the settings to a preset, which will be handy if any other guitar layers are added.
"A lot of rock guitarists put some more mids into their lead sound, compared to their rhythm sounds, to cut through a little more. You get pedals like Ibanez Tube Screamer that typically do that — I’m going to replicate that with some EQ."
When it comes to FAST Equaliser on the lead guitar, it’s trial and error by using her ears to find the right tone. Before using EQ, the sound was somewhat harsh, which was wanted for the rhythm section; however, Vixen wants the lead tone to be more refined.
Interestingly, she opts to use the Learn functionality and starts from an Intensity of 0, slowly raising the slider to find the sweet spot before changing any frequency ranges.
Boost is added to bring life to the lead guitar so that it cuts through the mix and stands out against the rhythm section. A lot of Body is brought up for the lead tone to help with this, with the Bright Flavour adding the sparkle.
"I would say the only difference between my lead sound and my rhythm sound is EQ, particularly mids."
FAST ON BASS
Regarding bass guitar, Vixen modestly claims she isn’t the best at programming the sounds. The dirty, gnarly tone is there for the track, but the tightness of dynamics is missing — enter FAST Compressor.
Compression can sometimes be challenging to understand; however, using FAST Compressor allows Vixen to tame an overpowering bass guitar in the mix instantly.
Vixen aims to get more comfortable with the settings such as Knee, Attack, and Release found in Detailed View; for now, FAST View provides her with excellent sounding compression on her bass to fit in the mix.
"My guitar tones are pretty decent; I’m not going to need to do much to them, but the bass… no; I need all the help I can get."
FAST ON SNARE
Vixen layers two separate snare samples; one is thin, sounding like a clap, with the other being more of a tuned-up snare hit. FAST Verb is used after selecting the instrument profile on the plugin to fatten the snare and fill in some space created by the syncopated rhythm section and general mix.
Being more comfortable with the advanced features, Vixen heads to Detailed View to make the reverb darker in sound. Reducing the reverb time makes the snare pop rather than linger and distract from the other instruments in the mix.
Say goodbye to presets, say hello to FAST.
The FAST range keeps you in the creative flow, so you can focus on making music. The powerful AI will adapt the settings to your audio and instruments so that you can achieve great-sounding results instantly. Create today with FAST Bundle and get access to FAST Compressor, FAST Equaliser, FAST Reveal, FAST Verb, and FAST Limiter. Focusrite and Novation registered hardware owners receive a 30% discount on the FAST Bundle and individual plugins.