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How do you get huge guitar sounds?

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  • How do you get huge guitar sounds?

    Just curious what you guys do to get hard-rock/ metal guitar sounds? Lots of people say back off the gain on your amp if you want to really get good sounds. I've used this method and layered lots of guitar tracks to get big guitars but it still seems to fall a little short. What are you guys doing?

    The main amp I'm experimenting with is the Peavey Triple XXX. Possibly a difficult amp to get good tones out of.

  • #2
    I might be wrong but I guess you'd get better tones using a POD or even a distortion pedal (I like the RAT for these tones) . I know Peavey amps and their distorted tones are not so great for my taste.
    Double your tracks with a little delay between them and a wide stereo. There's a free plug-in called JCM900 wich is terrific. I love it a lot. It'll help you to get that sound.


    • #3
      How do you get huge guitar sounds?

      Use a huge guitar.

      But seriously folks... erm, well what guitar/pickups/effects/tubes are you using at the moment? A XXX is pretty high gain and large. Also, is it a combo or a head, and if a head what sorta cab you got?

      Then there's mics, mic pre's and stuff to considder.

      The reason backing off the gain is suggested is cause when you're doing multiple tracks, the gain adds up quickly. So it gets very muddy and messy at higher gain settings. This applies to when you're doing the same sound twice. I've done a thing where I played the song thru on channel 2 of my amp (Mesa Nomad 45) which i set up way high gain, then another track on channel 3 setup high gain too. I panned them in the mix tho and it sounds pretty damn nifty.

      Other things to look out for; if it's an open back cab or a combo, try miking up the front of the amp as per usual, then also stick a 57 round behind the amp a little way back and reverse the phase on it. Pan the seperate tracks.

      Don't be afraid to use condenser mics. Try lifting the amp/cab up off the ground onto a chair or have it hanging or something. The idea is to de-couple it from the ground, cause a huuuuuuuuuge amount of low end gets transferred thru the ground and up the mic stand and into the mic, and it usually just ends up muddy.

      There's a whole big lot on this really, try a search.
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      • #4
        i got huge guitars last night. It was an SG into a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier half stack. I tried a few mics on it and guess what, i used the 57. then we doubled it. Huge guitars.
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        • #5
          Use different combinations of mics and cabinets.
          Do multiple passes.
          Use processing where needed.


          • #6
            Here is what I do.
            I use several amps, fender, small marshal or my favorite a peavey bandit 112 sheffield equiped. I then make sure the amp is mot on the ground (amp stand or chair). Then I use an sure sm57 near the speaker (placement varies) then a condenser mic around a foot or 2 away. This will help capture the sound of the room. Then I pan left 65% for one track, 65% right for another, thenIf I want if heavier I add one right down the friggin center. If done right you will get a huge guitar sound, if done wrong is sounds like your grandma taking a dump after having a laxitive.
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            • #7
              Most people have already given some good ideas. Here's a couple more.

              1. At least two baseline duplicate tracks using more or less the same setup (Amps and settings). Pan these mostly hard left and right. You can play with the pan a bit but if the playing is tight the hard left and right pan will be step one to a big sound.

              2. Start adding other Guitar tracks with a variety of tones i.e. different amps, different tone settings, different mics and maybe even slightly different guitar parts. Mix these parts in a little bit to fill in the sound. You shouldn't necessarily be looking to hear all these parts or make them stand out the goal is to blend the sounds together.

              3. If you are using more than one mic on a single guitar track be very careful of phase as two mics out of phase will very quickly give you a thin sound.


              • #8
                I don't know that I necessarily get big guitar sounds, but I have had luck arranging the rhythm guitars where I have 2 or 3 tracks of chords or power chords, 1 or 2 tracks of playing single notes on the root of the chord. 1 track of bass playing the root.
                That arrangement, when using some decent tones, gives a pretty good rock rhythm sound.

                of course you gotta get good tones first. I've been taking the lazy way out and using a pod. I'm working on getting a good amp setup though.
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                • #9
                  Have you recorded a bass track yet? I have found when soloing out the guitars they sound kind of thin, but when you add the bass track it adds the punch to the guitar tracks.
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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the feedback guys. Heres been my method of tracking guitar lately. I record about four to six tracks directly into protools using the Amplitube plugin. I play the same part in a few different positions/ chord voicings. Next I take Amlitube off of the tracks so that I am just left with a totally clean guitar signal of the distorted performance and I individualy re-record/ reamp these signals through the Peavey Tripple XXX/Mesa 4x12. I set up the amps tone differently for each track ( its cool cause you can just listen to the signal coming through the amp and not half to worry about playing the guitar). I used a 57 and a blue ball up close and an mxl990 further back in the room. I then comp/blend the three of these mics on to one mono track and do this for all of the reamped guitar tracks.

                    The guitars come out sounding pretty big but maybe will sound even better When I add the bass.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by spinman
                      of course you gotta get good tones first. I've been taking the lazy way out and using a pod. I'm working on getting a good amp setup though.

                      I've been wondering about the POD. Have you been happy with it or was it one of those one of those pieces that sounded too good to be true and then in fact was? I'm no guitarist, but I was thinking of picking one up to have on hand for the dudes that come in to record with a real pig amp. I also like being shockingly familiar with everything in the room and I thought using the POD for my walk-ins would make my life simpler... any thoughts?


                      • #12


                        • #13
                          In my audio engineering class the teacher played a CD which was the producer who did Nirvana demoing various Royer mics... he compared using a dynamic on a guitar to his preferred method- a ribbon mic on a guitar amp. Sounded waaay better than a 57... sounded like Nirvan sorta, but that actually is a good thing even though Nirvana isn't that great... good agressive sound.
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                          • #14
                            Sweet Jeebus!
                            What is that beautiful little amp?


                            • #15
                              Last week I plugged my lespaul with P90's straight to a cranked up Pignose. I close miked it with a chinese LD condencer (T-bone SC450) and put a Behringer ECM8000 (omni sd condencer) about 4 feet away.

                              I played the guitar in between the mics the guitar quite near the Behringer. Behringer not only picked up the ambience, it also picked up the acoustic sound of the electric guitar strings which added a nice touch to the sound. Tracks were panned to extreme right and left.

                              It sounds quite big, quite suitable for a lead guitar to
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