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Thread: Electric Guitar Recording techniques

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFR View Post
    One thing comes to mind immediately.
    Doubling tracks using the same amp.

    That ain't gonna give you bigness.
    You should change it up as much as possible.

    'Big' guitars involve different amps, different guitars and different parts being played.
    Then panned hard left and right. You want what is in the orher channel to be different, not the same.
    Like anything, this really depends.

    I'll start with a disclaimer, I mostly record my own instrumental rock music, so for me getting the hugest possible rhythm sound ever isn't really ideal, since I want a full-sounding rhythm track, but I also want to make sure there's space in the mix for my lead guitar sound. If size were the only consideration and I dind't have to worry about fitting in a melody guitar, then I might get more aggressive here, maybe not changing amps but using multiple tracks of more contrasting tones, say a bright and cleaner sound layered against a darker gainier one, etc.

    But, I think you CAN get awfully "big" sounding guitars by double-tracking through the same amp, even with similar/the same tones on L and R.

    1) Dial in your amp sound to sound good when listening to it right in front of the cab, where the mic will be positioned, rather than "in the room," listening from playing position with your ear ~6 feet off the floor and 10 feet back.
    2) Remember that the guitar is a midrange-heavy instrument, and distortion is a form of compression. The bass on 10, mids at 0, treble at 10, gain at 10 knob settings is a great way to ensure your guitars will become white noise in a mix. Let the bass guitar cover the low end (I often high pass pretty aggressively), and try at least keeping your midrange setting neutral. Try also using less gain than you think, as my experience has been double-tracked guitars often sound "gainier" than single takes.
    3) Keep your performances TIGHT. The "size" of double tracking comes from the slight inconsistencies between the two takes, but if they are big enough to become truly audible, you go from "big" to "sloppy" in a hurry. You do need two sepperate takes, though, copying and pasting one take and panning them L and R doesn't give you the size or stereo spread. Ditto with making sure your bass and guitars are really locked in together.

    Those are kind of the basics... Beyond that... Quad tracking and mixing a pretty clean guitar back a bit against a more distorted one can give you some size - I actually really like singlecoils for this, because they're basically all attack, so overdubbing a really shitty, bright, broken up sound with a really thrashy top end against a big, thick, chunky rhythm guitar can actually sound surprisingly awesome. Changing guitars between your L and R take but playing through the same amp can be interesting too, but be careful with intonation here, as this can sound sour with a poorly intonated guitar. I'm a Devin Townsend fan so I'll sometimes add a little bit of light delay to rhythm tracks on slower groovier stuff, for some extra space and ambience. Reverb can help here too, but go easy on either. Also, simply making sure your cab is really mic'd ideally for what you're doing can go a long way - spending some time eperimenting with different mic positions can go a long way here.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a little dicier." - David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFR View Post
    Edit: your interface has nothing to do with it.
    Well, I don't disagree that of all the things that could be the culprit, OP's interface is probably way down the list. But, because I just encountered this scenario at a session last month, it's perhaps worth mentioning:

    I was assisting on a remote session doing guitar overdubs at the guitarist's rehearsal studio. Ordinarily when I'm the engineer for these remote gigs I bring all my own gear, but since the guitarist was the artist and producer and engineer I just showed up with a few mics and stands. His laptop, his interface.

    He was getting a great sound in the room (EVH guitar into a silverface Fender Twin). Using tried & true mic'ing techniques that I've gotten stellar results from numerous times in the past, the recorded results were...crap. Thin, anemic, no depth, no body. I changed out the mic cable. I changed out the mic. I monitored through headphones, in case there was a problem w/ the powered speakers we were listening through. We tried recording with lower levels. Nothing fixed it.

    So I changed out his interface/laptop (Presonus something-or-other into a Macbook running Logic) for mine (Tascam US-1641 into a PC running Cubase). Problem solved.

    No idea what the problem was, but at least we were able to resume and complete the session.

  4. #13
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    I would move the mic around. Every speaker has a sweet spot. Both distance and placement between center and edge. A lot of the big sound I think your are refering to comes from the air pushed by the speaker cone, hitting the mic diaphram. Low Bedroom volume will work for making a recordable sound, but volume pushes the air.

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    not a fan of Orange amps myself... however i am thinking you could do yourself a favor and use a tube amp... i would suggest for overdrive try an Ibanez tube screamer in front of a decent tube amp such as a Fender deluxe reverb...or if you can get hands on or have a pal that owns a mesa boogie...you can do wonders with a the warmth of a tube amp... also try utilizing the sm57 and about 2 -3 feet slightly above even with a large diaphram condensor ... run 2 tracks but you don't need to pan them...sometimes you can fatten up by 2 seperate identical tracks by ever so slightly time delay 1 of the tracks to a milisecond or 2 just a "microscopic nudge" ... don't go too far or it will sound like a delay...this is a trick that Queen used in sessions...even tho i am mainly country and southern rock to blues... i can play all genres including alternative and metal ( been playing over 50 years ) yes you read that correct...i am older but not out of touch... go to kevhenderson.com and listen to some of the stuff there...you will have to skip around to find the more "rock stuff" Falling out of fear is a good example or Cherokee Rose, 2 Lovers,1 Blue ridge Spring , and satin Spyder have over driven guitar utilizing Boss compressor sustainer and tube Screamer through a Mesa Boogie rectoverb 50... sm57 mid cone at slight angle and believe it or a not a CAD GXL2200 mosfet large Diamphran condensor into A Mackie 24x8 console into Alesis ADAT HD24 Lightpiped into MOTU 828 mkII to get it into the computer using Windows 7 Pro and Sonar 8.5 producer...
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    My first thought was, "where's your mic?" If it's up against grill and off center slightly, that's textbook placement. But you might try more than one mic. 2, 3, or more spaced farther away from speaker and even try some gimmicy stuff like putting one in a box. Or behind a chair, play with it to kind of duplicate where audience ears are in the club. And if you can, turn it up to club/venue volumes.

  7. #16
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    Not hearing a problem with the guitars on the track I listened to. Louder and fuller guitars don't necessarily sound more powerful. Sometimes the opposite is true.

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    I came up in the mid-70's, and it wasn't that different from now. Esoteric preamps weren't part of the discussion. I'd say amps were on average a bit bigger -- a Fender Twin then would be a Deluxe now. I never saw anyone use a ribbon on a guitar amp -- tape and most ribbon mics were a pretty muffled combo, and if a studio didn't do a lot of brass recording it probably didn't even have any.





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