How to get a brutal deathcore guitar sound?

(Cubase artist 9.5)
I’ve found that almost all the songs I think sound way above the rest just so happen to be deathcore, probably not a coincidence as deathcore frankly takes heaviness to the next level, and for me the heavier the better. But, how can I achieve a similar sound myself and make this kind of music? Mostly thinking of the deep chugging rythm guitars and how to make an amp sim produce this kind of brutal massiveness.
Here’s examples of the general type of sound I’m looking for (absolute bangers):

Shape-Shifter - YouTube (not deathcore)
ROTTING CHRIST-Ze Nigmar - זה נגמר - YouTube (not deathcore)

I get that a lot of these are getting to the point where it’s almost more of a sound engineering art than a composing art, so it would be hard to say exactly how to do it, but I don’t really know where to even begin to achieve this sort of massive sound. I think I saw in a thread somewhere that someone claimed you turn bass and high up, and mid down, to achieve a deathcore sound, but obviously that alone won’t be enough, not to mention it might not be correct.
I lack experience with guitar amp plugins, and so I’m not familiar with how to produce different kinds of sounds, and it is one of the biggest bottlenecks in my motivation to make music, I never feel like my guitars sound “right”, so I can’t get the song I hear in my head out into my DAW. Plus, I don’t have any fancy expensive guitar plugins at the moment, as I have no idea what to choose. I’m afraid I’ll pick something and then find something much better for half the price. Was really hoping someone could help with some advice and pointers.

Hello Herk,

My general pointers towards getting this type of sound.

  1. Do you have a six string guitar? Consider getting heavier strings so you can detune a few steps. This should really be a guitar with humbuckers, not single coils.
  2. Consider buying a baritone guitar or a seven or eight string guitar. Prices vary wildly (I just bought a baritone in the UK for £149 to play about with but you could spend then times as much). These guitars will give you a lower register naturally, and with a bit of distortion will be close to the sound.
  3. If you have a six string, get an octave pedal. There are quite a few on the market; I’ve got SubnUp by TC Electronic (about £80) which is excellent because it creates an octave below your signal and an octave above - you can mix these to your taste.
  4. Consider a Diezel pedal or a Diezel amp plugin. These are more expensive (around £300) but from what I’ve heard they can give you a lovely scooped metal chug tone.


Hi Steve
Thanks for the response.
I have an 8-string saphire blue flat Ibanez guitar that I currently have tuned in D. I got it many years ago for about 5-700$ if I remember correctly. I wouldn’t be able to tell you the specs as I frankily have no idea, and don’t really know where to check.
Also, I have absolutely no idea what “humbuckers” and “single coils” are to be honest, something to do with the pickups or something?
I took a quick look for Diezel Amp Plugins and found one for 149$ and one for 74$.

I don’t know if I like the sound in the demos though to be honest, too soon to say. The demos also might not do them justice in the actual range of sounds they can achieve.
Would you have any idea on what type of amp settings / EQ / other things etc would be required to achieve that kind of deathcory sound? I also know IR is a thing, although I don’t fully understand it, but I think it’s just like a special kind of filter that removes / amplifies some frequencies, so it sounds like it’s coming from different types of speakers etc? I assume that might also be useful in shaping your sounds.


Yes, humbuckers and single coils are pickups. If you have an 8 string Ibanez I’d be confident you have a guitar with humbucking pickups.

Have you got an amplifier or are you playing through amp sims into your DAW? You’re right to think about Impulse Responses and other ways of emulating a guitar amp sound, but I think it’s always important to get close to the sound you want before you start talking about IRs. Most of the songs you gave as examples have probably got the guitars multi tracked and panned right and left and so on. Thee are plenty of teicks to improve a basic sound but you still need to get the basic sound first. Good luck!


Yeah I use amp sims in my DAW. I do have a pretty basic real amplifier but I never use it for recording, not sure if I even can and not really wanting to either. So everything involved would be computer, soundcard, headset, and guitar, running Cubase Artist 9.5. I think I got a pretty solid soundcard, Audient Sono, got it for half price due to a campaign, normally it would go for about 500$+. I got the default VST amp simulator as well as some free ones like Stevie T Djent God and Navi Emissary or something like that, I might have another one I forgot about too.
Also I generally record 2 tracks where I play the same, and pan each to 100% left and right.
I also heard about a trick to do the same but with 4 tracks, so L75, L25, R75, R25, something like that.

If you record two tracks and pan them, try adding a few milliseconds delay to one side to make the sound bigger.