In addition to being a great tab and notation generating software, Guitar Pro 6 is also a robust sound processing bank that stores guitars, effects and even amp models that can be applied to whatever piece of music you're working on.
In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to add distortion to a track, adjust volume properly and then save it all as a user-defined preset in Guitar Pro 6.
The software makes this incredibly easy.
Moreover, all the well-known distortion models you would expect are available, right down to specific pedals.
Why you might want to add distortion
Being able to add effects is an incredibly helpful feature to have packaged with tab and notation software.
It allows you to hear what certain measures and licks might sound like, were they to migrate from Guitar Pro 6 to your actual rig.
In other words:
If you want to use a particular distortion sound, you can get a feel for what it will sound like from within Guitar Pro 6 without having to pickup your guitar.
While the effects aren't going to sound exactly true to the real thing, they at least give you an idea of what to expect and aid in the songwriting process.
Some options in the "saturation" library:
- Blues overdrive
- Tube Screamer
- Rat style distortion
- Grunge distortion
- Classic overdrive
- Modern metal
Aside from distortion you'll have a full range of other effects to choose from as well, which can be engaged in the same step-by-step manner I've outlined below.
Let's jump in.
How to Add Distortion: Step by step Guitar Pro 6 Tutorial
Open Guitar Pro 6 and create a tab to add the distortion to. I've removed standard notation just to make the sheet simpler and cleaner.
On the left hand menu, find the guitar pedal logo and click on it. This will bring up the effects selection window:
Click one of the blank pedal spaces then select the "Effects" tab.
There should be 14 pedals under the "Saturation" section, all of which are different types of distortions.
Double click the distortion pedal you want to use (I used the "Rat" model in the example). It's engaged by default.
Click the play button on your track to listen to the distortion with your tab.
To turn the pedal off, simply click the button on the graphic and the red LED light will switch off.
Adjusting Gain/Volume for Pedal & Track
Volume can seem a bit off going from your clean sound to your distortion in Guitar Pro 6 if you don't take the time to adjust settings. Fixing it is a fairly simple process.
First, you'll want to make sure the mix volume is properly adjusted.
For your clean sound, try and match both the Channel level (blue) and Master level (orange) to around 3db.
From there you'll want to move over to your pedal controls.
For the Rat model, I found that bumping the volume up just past 12 o'clock, with the gain around 2-3 o'clock, gave me a great balance of volume between my clean and dirty sound.
The Tube Screamer worked better with the volume a little closer to 11 o'clock:
This is how you can approach tinkering with these effects and adjusting volume.
Just use your mouse to drag the knobs to one direction or the other and make sure you settle in on a slight volume bump with your distortion pedal engaged, just like you would on your actual rig.
Once you get things set the way you like, you can save the effects bank as a user-defined preset.
Saving a User-Defined Preset
To save a preset, click the drop-down menu right above the pedal graphics. It should say "Clean" by default.
From the drop-down menu select "Save a User-Defined Preset."
The next window allows you to save your settings as a .preset file which can be read by the Guitar Pro 6 software.
Choose a location, a name for your file (for example, I called mine "Rat distortion") and then click save.
To load one of your saved presets, go back and click on the drop-down menu, go to "Load User-Defined Preset" then select the name of whatever preset you want to load.
Guitar Pro 6 is a powerful program with a lot of features and capability. If you have other questions about using it, or just want to explore the software further, I'd refer you to the following links:
You can download Guitar Pro 6 onto a Windows, Mac or Linux machine, as well as most smartphones, tablets and mobile devices.
The trial version isn't limited in time, though is limited in terms of functionality.
Saving, as well as the import/export features are disabled. Likewise, the guitar selection for playback is limited to just a few options, whereas the full version has a ton of different instruments to choose from.