How to Sound Like Muse: Amp Settings Guide


If you want to get the perfect tone to sound like Muse, then you’ll need to get the amp settings right. This can be a little complicated because all amps are different, and unless you’re using Muse’s amps, there isn’t a one size fits all guide.

But in this article, I’ll take you through all the things you need to think about to dial in Muse’s tone on your setup. Plus I’ll give you a starting point for the amp settings of some of their most famous songs. So let’s get started.

The Quick Answer

Muse’s amp settings generally focus on mids and treble, with a moderate amount of gain/distortion, and low bass. Start with the mids and treble on 5-7, and the bass on 3-4 and work from there. You’ll also benefit from using a fuzz pedal with most songs.

The Basics

Let’s start with some of the basic amp controls and go through a good place to start. Muse’s tone has changed throughout their career, however, one thing has remained constant, and that’s how unique it sounds.

There are a few things that characterise Muse’s tone though.

  • High level of sustain
  • Lots of compression
  • Distortion and fuzz
  • High mids and treble, low bass

So how can this be achieved? You can dial in your amp settings, and use a combination of pedal effects to achieve this tone. Here’s a quick guide to where to start with your amp controls.

  • Bass: the bass tone from the guitar is fairly low in most songs, so start with it on around 3-4.
  • Treble: the treble should be moderately high to keep the clarity through the distortion and fuzz. Have the treble on around 5-7.
  • Mids: the guitar tone has a lot of mids, so aim to have this on around 6 or higher.
  • Gain: if you’re not using a pedal effect, then you’ll need the gain to be on around midway usually to give you enough distortion.

If your amp doesn’t have these exact controls, then take a look at this amp settings guide to translate some of the common controls.

Pedal Effects

It probably goes without saying, but a lot of Muse’s tone comes from effects pedals. If you don’t own any pedals, then keep playing about with the controls above to get the tone as close as possible.

But if you want the tone to sound really like Muse, then you’ll need the help of some effects pedals. Here are some of the main pedals that will come in handy.

  • Fuzz pedal
  • Wah pedal
  • Overdrive pedal
  • Noise-gate pedal (to control the feedback)
  • Synth pedal
  • Compression pedal

Now we’ve been through the basics in terms of the settings, plus some useful pedal effects, let’s talk about some individual songs and how you can achieve the right tone.

Amp Settings for Uprising

Uprising was from the band’s fifth album, the Resistance and was released in 2009. The has has quite a unique tone that can be difficult to achieve without pedal effects. In particular, you’ll need a synth pedal to get the opening riff right.

However, for the rest of the song, start with the following settings.

  • Treble: 8
  • Bass: 3
  • Mids: 8
  • Gain/ distortion: 4

Amp Settings for Hysteria

Hysteria comes from Muse’s third album, absolution. The tone isn’t quite as “synthy” as in Uprising, however, there is still plenty of fuzz, so a dedicated fuzz pedal will definitely help. Here’s a good starting point for the amp controls.

  • Treble: 7
  • Bass: 4
  • Mids: 8
  • Gain/ distortion: 6

Amp Settings for Supermassive Black Hole

The riff in this song is one of the most iconic guitar riffs the band has produced, despite being super simple. The song comes from the 2006 album Black Holes and Revelations. It has a thicker, bassy, and distorted tone in comparison to the previous songs, however there is still plenty of treble to keep the tone crisp.

  • Treble: 8
  • Bass: 6
  • Mids: 7
  • Gain/ distortion: 7

Amp Settings for Plug in Baby

Plug in Baby also has a super iconic riff at the beginning, but this one sounds super fuzzy in comparison. The song comes from the band’s second album, Origin of Symmetry and really characterises that classic early Muse sound.

You’ll definitely benefit from a fuzz pedal if you’re trying to get the tone right with this one. However, here’s a good starting point for the amp settings.

  • Treble: 6
  • Bass: 3
  • Mids: 5
  • Gain/ distortion: 6

Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve found this article helpful. Take a look at the rest of the website to learn more guitar amp settings.

Heather

Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

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