I thought a unique challenge would be to try to reproduce some of the sounds from the classic synthesizer song “Autobahn” using just a regular guitar and EHX effect pedals.
Autobahn (German for “motorway”) is an album by Kraftwerk, released in 1974. The album’s 22-minute title track was edited to about three minutes for single release and reached #25 on the US Billboard charts, charting even higher around Europe, including #11 in the UK.
The first part of the challenge was to produce a motor-like pulse that would run throughout the track. I found by using the pre-delay function of the Holiest Grail I was able to produce this effect. With the feedback set to 100%, moving the Delay slider up very fast produced this sound. Once in self oscillation I ran the Holiest Grail out put through a MicroSynth and varied the filter up and down by hand.
To produce the bass sound I used the effect chain below.
I used a compressor in front of the MicroSynth to even out the guitars attack.
This gave the effect an more even, predictable sound of a keyboard synthesizer. Below are the settings for the bass sound.
The melodic chords of this clip were done on two tracks using two different sounds. The combination of the two produced the effect I was looking for.
Track One is a organ sound with a fast attack and fast decay in the upper frequencies of the sound.
Track Two used a Big Muff Fuzz to emulate the sound of an analog square wave analog synthesizer.
Using the HOG I was able to produce a major chord while playing just a single note on the guitar. Buy using the foot pedal in the octave bend setting, I lowered the pitch of the HOG down one full octave. I then used the setting below to produce the 1-3-5 triad chord all from just one fuzz note played on the guitar.
The attack was set slow to allow the bright attack of the first organ track to stand out.
Below is a screen grab of the Pro Tools session. The session was done in 13 tracks.
This track was recorded direct to the board with out a guitar amp.
If you using an amp with the settings above set the amp for a clean, flat nuetral sound.
Thanks for listening,