Out-of-Phase Pickup Tone Emulation with EQ

You don’t need to rewire your guitar to emulate out-of-phase pickup tone

Maybe you’ve listened to the bright, glassy sound of out-of-phase pickup sounds and wish you could get that sound, too. Yeah, I know…rewiring guitars can be a hassle, and besides, you don’t want to void your warranty or nuke the resale value. But if your guitar doesn’t have an out-of-phase switch, or you’re a keyboard player and want to get this sound out of a sampled guitar, you can come close with a studio-type EQ that offers a high and low shelving response along with a parametric stage.

1. Select both pickups on the guitar.
2. For the EQ, dial in a notch filter around 1,200Hz with a fairly broad Q (0.6 or so) and severe cut—around -15 to -18dB.
3. Use a high shelf to boost about 8dB starting at 2kHz, and a low shelf to cut by -18dB starting at 140Hz. If you have a choice for the rolloff slope, 12 dB/octave seems like a good choice .
4. Tweak as needed for your particular guitar and pickups.
5. Boost the level—like a real out-of-phase switch, this thins out the sound.

The above screen shot shows these settings translated to Studio One’s ProEQ and Cakewalk’s Sonitus EQ, but the principle is the same for other EQs in other DAWs. And you don’t even need a soldering iron!