Getting the Animal Collective Tone (On a Budget)

Welcome to the Jungle

Ever since I heard Animal Collective’s “Strawberry Jam” I wanted to sound like them. It’s a great album that sounded very good and unique to my ears. But sounding like Animal Collective is easier said than done. But with the right gear, you can transform from Zero to Hero, in terms of sounding like Animal Collective.

Guitars, guitars, GUITARS

Even though Animal Collective makes different kinds of music than other ones make, they are still a rock band so having a good rock guitar is important. Fender Stratocasters are a standard but can be very very pricey, especially for a model made in America or Japan. The Mexican Strats are more affordable, but still cost around $599 new. Why not go for a Squier Strat? It looks and sounds exactly the same but costs only $199. So why pay more for the exact same thing?



While it’s not clear what Amps the Animal COllective such as Panda Bear and Deakin use it is clear that there are many great amps available on the market today to buy. What about this Boss Katana Amp which is a big loud amp. It can be used to amplify the guitar sound to achieve rock tones, or other instruments such as a keyboard, which Animal Collective use alot, could be plugged in to there to amplify them as well.


Animal Collective is the type of band that would definitely use a lot of pedals on stage and in the studio to record their songs. A quick look at Avey’s pedalboard reveals that he uses many, many pedals:

It would not be affordable to buy all the pedals there, as some of them are very expensive and it would be hard to find all of them in one store at one time such as at Guitar Center or Sam Ash. Also many of the pedals are very big so you’d need to be strong to carry them around. Instead, in order to sound like Animal Collective I recommend a good multieffect such as the Electro-Harmonix Tone Tattoo which does Fuzz, Chorus and Delay all in one box there! So you don’t need to get another box! According to EHX the Fuzz part of the pedal “gives you huge metal-flavored distortion that will rock any gig.” and the delay part is good too because they said “Stomp onto the Memory Toy section and you have access to up to 550ms of delay time – plenty for thickening up your solos. ” This pedal is affordable too, it sells for like $210. That’s only abour $70 per pedal effect, which is a very cheap amount for these effects.

This is obviously a good choice of pedal for someone who wants to play rock music, such as Animal Collective.


Playing music that sounds like Animal Collective isn’t easy, but with these gear selections your life just got a whole lot easier without breaking the bank.


A Gear House Is Not A Gear Home

Making a gear house into a gear home should be on the top of the to do list for any aspiring musician. In order to do this, we’ll need to create a safe and friendly space for our gear to live. With guitars, you’ll need to put them in a protective bag or case to bring them around when you want to show your friends or take them down the road to play a piece of music. People always ask, how do I make a transportable home for my guitar? Well, there are a few options. For those starting out the best option is a gig bag. Usually a gig bag has straps so you can wear it over your back like a backpack. This is a ideal for short trips to the coffee shop, deli, or other restaurant. You put it over your back and go without any muss or fuss about having to use your hands to carry it. On the other hand, these cases are soft and don’t protect well from the outside world. If you want to do this you’ll need a hard shell case. A hard shell case is best for those rugged tour worn musicians who move distances longer than to the coffee shop, deli, or other restaurant. You can throw a hard case around a tour van or when loading into a large rock venue and the guitar is safe inside because of the foam on the interior and a hard plastic material on the outside. The hard plastic can absorb shock and makes a guitar last a lot longer because it isn’t exposed directly to the elements like heat, light, or water. These pieces of gear are the unsung heroes of any rock concept because the musician would never have had the chance to play a cool rock riff if the guitar wasn’t able to travel with the musician. Imagine if you have to carry your guitar out in the open at all times – heavens no that would not be ideal – someone could spill a Diet Coke on it or even worse it could be thefted. So cheers to you gig bag and hardshell case for being another unsung hero in the gear family.