Megadeth Guitarist Finds a New Crunch With Eleven
Heavy metal rocker Dave Mustaine knows a thing or two about guitar sound—now he’s using the Digidesign Eleven guitar amp plug-in to dial in killer tones.
Dave Mustaine knows a thing or two about guitar sound. As one of the founding fathers of thrash metal, Mustaine’s years of crunching power chords with his band Megadeth have placed his signature licks front and center on some of the genre’s most memorable and oft-covered recordings. Beginning with the band’s 1984 debut, Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good, Megadeth has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and received seven Grammy® nominations, with six of their eleven studio albums charting gold or platinum in the U.S. and Canada.
Like most artists, Mustaine’s Pro Tools®-based project studio in Southern California is his creative nexus; the place where he and the newly regrouped Megadeth nurtured the seeds of the band’s latest release, United Abominations, and where Mustaine experiments with pushing the boundaries of the genre he helped create. Lately, he’s been plugging in to more than just a stack of amps to find those new sounds, and is spending lots of time with Digidesign’s acclaimed new guitar amp emulation plug-in, Eleven™.
Digidesign…going up to Eleven
“When I fired Eleven up for the first time, I sat down on the couch in the studio and just closed my eyes, and I really felt like I had an amp rig in front of me,” Mustaine says. “It’s not just the sound, because a lot of amp emulation programs can create a good distortion or overdrive or whatever. But Eleven goes even farther — it’s the only emulation program I’ve tried that can actually get the sound of a speaker cone breakup, for example, and that does a lot for the whole realism factor.”
No stranger to technology, Mustaine has tried almost every amp emulation hardware and software product available. “Some emulation programs do a few sounds really well,” he says. “But Eleven is the first app I’ve used that sounds and reacts so realistically across such a wide range of sounds. It actually interacts with my guitar and with my playing style in the same way a real amp and cabinet does. That’s something I’ve never experienced with any other program before.”