Fortin Amps

Steven Ward’s journey in guitar content creation

In the vast landscape of online content creation, few realms are as dynamic and captivating as the world of guitar content. From tutorials to performances, reviews, to behind-the-scenes glimpses, guitar enthusiasts flock to platforms like YouTube for their daily dose of musical inspiration. In this engaging podcast episode, Mel Torres sits down with Steven Ward, a prolific guitar content creator, to uncover the secrets of his success and glean invaluable insights into the art of digital storytelling in the realm of music.

Mel and Steven met in URM Summit in 2018, setting the stage for a friendship grounded in a shared passion for music and digital media. Steven reflects on this serendipitous meeting, acknowledging the pivotal role it played in shaping his journey. "It's funny how life can lead you to unexpected places," he muses, encapsulating the essence of their chance encounter.

At the heart of Steven's content philosophy lies authenticity – a guiding principle that infuses every aspect of his creative process. "Authenticity is key," he asserts, emphasizing the importance of genuine connections and real stories. In a digital landscape often saturated with polished facades, Steven's commitment to authenticity sets him apart, fostering a deep sense of connection with his audience.

Delving into the intricacies of content creation, Steven offers a glimpse into his creative process, rooted in a keen observation of everyday moments. "I find inspiration in everyday moments," he shares. "It's about capturing those sparks and turning them into something meaningful." This disciplined approach ensures a steady stream of engaging content that resonates with his audience.

Yet, Steven's journey has not been without its challenges. Embracing imperfection, he views setbacks as opportunities for growth and innovation. "Mistakes are just opportunities in disguise," he reflects. "They push us to evolve and innovate." This resilience in the face of adversity underscores Steven's unwavering commitment to his craft.

Central to Steven's success is his unwavering dedication to staying true to his vision. In a world of fleeting trends and external pressures, he advocates for artistic integrity and staying true to oneself. "Your authenticity is your greatest asset," he affirms, urging creators to remain steadfast in their artistic vision.

Beyond individual creativity, Steven acknowledges the power of community in fostering growth and collaboration. "Community is everything," he declares. "Together, we inspire, encourage, and uplift each other." Through collaborative projects and an inclusive online environment, Steven cultivates a vibrant community of like-minded individuals united by their passion for music.

Steven's journey reminds us of the enduring power of authenticity, resilience, and community in our creative endeavors.

Mastering Clean Tones with Amp Sims: A Step-by-Step Guide

Clean tones from amp sims (such as the Fortin NTS, Nameless and Cali Suites) can transform your sound, but it takes more than just dialing back the gain knob. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced musician, achieving pristine clean tones with an amp sim requires a nuanced approach. Here are five essential steps to get the best out of your Amp sim for those crystal-clear tones.

1. Source Signal: Fine-tune for Variety
The foundation of a clean tone lies in your guitar's signal. Consider the strings, pickup quality, and type – be it single coil, humbuckers, or P90s. Each position and pickup type offers distinct tonal characteristics. Experiment with different setups to understand how each influences your sound.

2. Optimize Gain Staging: Ensure Signal Integrity
Correct gain staging into your interface is pivotal. Avoid signal clipping, as a distorted signal before hitting the plugin impedes achieving a lush clean tone. Properly set your guitar's signal into the interface to maintain a clean, unclipped input.

3. Plugin Headroom: Manage Clipping for Control
Clipping contributes to around 90% of distortion, but controlling it is key for clean tones. Understanding where and how clipping occurs in your plugin is crucial. Utilize various controls like input gain, amp gain, volume, and plugin output in plugins to manage saturation levels.

4. Utilize Amp Sim Features: Exploit the Options
Quality amp sims like Neural DSP's Nameless incorporate diverse gain stages. Experiment with these stages – from input gain to amp and power amp sections – to harness different saturation levels. Understanding how these stages influence your tone is crucial, even if the amp sim is designed for high-gain sounds.

5. Fine-tuning and Demonstration: Find Your Perfect Clean Tone
Fine-tune your settings by adjusting gain and volume. Lowering gain and increasing amp volume can enhance headroom, reducing unwanted saturation. Ensure your guitar signal isn't clipping before hitting the plugin, allowing full control over the amount of distortion introduced.

Mastering clean tones with Fortin's amp sims isn’t just about turning down the gain. It’s a meticulous process of understanding signal flow, managing clipping, and utilizing the plugin's features to craft pristine tones that seamlessly blend into your music.

By following these steps and experimenting with different settings, you can achieve clean tones that elevate your sound in any mix. Unlock the full potential of your amp sim and explore a world of clean, captivating tones for your music.

- Mel Torres


- Mel Torres

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