The pedal steel guitar can perform in place of synths and is often the choice of many producers looking for unique bending textures. I thought I would show how those sounds in Modern Steel can be applied to a Pop/Country track.
In 2016, I recorded this Tim McDonald track using the delays and slight distortion sounds (shown in the “Modern Steel” Lesson clip below).
This next track is an example of the Modern Steel approach from one of Travis Tritt’s big hits….I used a harmonizer and delays to emulate a synth type string sound. Most steelers probably thought there was no steel on the record when actually almost all of the bending stuff is steel except the Wah Wah slide stuff which is Larry Byrom on a bottleneck guitar.
You can really hear the effected steel throughout. There are multiple tracks of steel, as I was essentially the string section replacement – but I did not take the old Boss Tone approach. I was often hired to be a one man section because of hits like this.
I believe the steel is so sonically versatile… I am always looking for new ways to color its sound. Here’s an excerpt from a 20-minute video on Modern Steel from The Paul Franklin method: