can I get a "full" heavy metal electric guitar sound by using Audacity?

If I record a virtual electric guitar solo or riff from or, is there any way I can put it on Audacity and get a “full” sound or a something even remotely Van Halen-like sound using Audacity? Thank you.

electric guitar solo or riff from or

Too many fuzzy references. Export a WAV, 10-second stereo sample (or twenty second mono) of the guitar sound you want to fatten.

Scroll down from a forum text window > Attachments > Add Files.


Processing at 3.5 seconds.

That’s Effect > Echo: 0.1, 0.2. > Effect > Distortion > Leveler at maximum > Leveler at maximum again. Effect > Equalizer: Loudness >OK.

The loudness step is optional. I just thought it sounded a little better and mellower with that on my speakers.

Those are the steps. You can add your own or mess with those settings.

We should remember Jimmy Hendricks played to large crowds and and that Star Spangled Banner thing had all kinds of distortion in it.

Also see: Effect > Limiter > Hard Clipping.


Oops. Wrong distorted guitar.


We will note that In Real Life you can tune the feedback by managing the position of the guitar and the additional tones during the sustain. That’s theater and is going to be missing unless you are playing the guitar. Only so much you can do with somebody else’s performance.


Does Echo: 0.1, 0.2. stand for the delay time and the decay factor?
Also, I don’t have the words “Loudness” or “OK” in my program.

Echo: 0.1, 0.2. stand for the delay time and the decay factor?

Yes. That’s the short form. Those are the panel settings generally top to bottom.

Effect > Equalization.

I think that’s one I made up. Hang on. I’ll send it to you. I have to prepare it for export…

I used “Loudness” to make the sound a little less harsh. If that robust distortion sound is what you’re after, “Loudness” may not be what you need. How does it sound so far? How about that last one? That’s full guitar amp overload.

The only thing we can’t do is vacuum tube overload which is why you can still buy tube guitar amps, or amps with a “Tube” setting. Tube amplifiers overloaded with a distinctive sound.

As we go.


Here’s the Loudness adjustment for Equalization. Just pull it down. I need to remember how to install it. It’s not fun. Are you sure you want it?

Loudness.XML (341 Bytes)

Open your guitar test, or if it’s already open, leave it there.

Effect > Equalization > Save/Manage Curves > Import > Loudness.XML > Open > OK. (If you’re on Windows, the file may or may not have the dot XML on the end.) They did that to make it less confusing.

Back out in the equalization panel, Select Curve… > Scroll down to Loudness > OK.
That should give you a screen that looks like this.


That’s it. Piece of cake, right? Can you hear the difference? It’s a little more mellow. You can call that effect up any time you want now that it’s installed.


Boogex is a free plugin for guitars which works in Audacity on Windows.
It has an equalizer, distortion, gate, cabinet simulation & “old skool” reverb, all in one.
(all the controls work in real-time)

Boogex-metal.xml (2.77 KB)

Thanks! I’ll check it out.

Lots of different types of distortion are possible with Audacity’s “Distortion” effect:
You can also add other effects as well as distortion, such as delay, reverb, chorus … anything really.

Thanks for the help.

But I don’t see “Import” any place.

Or are you saying to import Loudness?

If I stop after the second Leveler, it does sound much louder. But it sounds very clear, and I’m trying to get more fuzz, if that makes sense.

If I got a chorus of an electric guitar, is that going to be humans singing, or multiple copies of what the guitar is playing?

But I don’t see “Import” any place.

You should probably forget the Loudness effect. If you’re trying for more hard-driving fuzz, this isn’t going to help at all.

One of those samples up the thread was after Hard Clipping. That should have come closer. That’s more like what an amp does when you come down really hard on a chord.