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  • I have several questions about recording metal guitars

    I'm about to record my first full album EVER and I want to get it right. So here are a bunch of questions I have. Some quite basic.

    1. I hear that instead of actually recording a guitar twice, you can record a single guitar part onto two tracks and you won't have to worry about synchronization as much. Then you give each track different sounds and pan them both to one side then do it again for the other side to get a full sound. Do you agree with this method?

    2. When recording, I'll be making most of my sound with my effects pedal (BOSS GT-8). So when I record, does the size of the amp really matter? Cause even a small amp is freaking loud at level 8 or so.

    3. Is a regular dynamic mic OK for recording guitar through an amp?

    4. If you have two guitar distortions, is it better to combine them on both sides of the mix, or pan one to the left and the other to the right?

    5. For rhythm guitars, you record several times and pan them to each side. For a lead guitar it usually is panned to the middle over the rhythm guitars. What if you have a two-guitar harmonized solo? Should I pan them both to the sides or the middle?

    I think that's all for now but there will be more. In the future. Thank you so much in advance for all of your help.

    Sincerely,
    Jahan
    Like Final Fantasy music? Like heavy metal?
    Like Final Fantasy music remixed in the style of heavy metal?

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  • #2
    See below...



    I think that's all for now but there will be more. In the future. Thank you so much in advance for all of your help.

    Sincerely,
    Jahan
    "Thank You, NASA!"

    Comment


    • #3
      My answers as a bedroom recordist using a POD HD500:


      5. For rhythm guitars, you record several times and pan them to each side. For a lead guitar it usually is panned to the middle over the rhythm guitars. What if you have a two-guitar harmonized solo? Should I pan them both to the sides or the middle?


      There are no rules here. My harmonized solos tend to be panned slightly left and right, but much less than the rhythm guitars usually are. Unless I'm going for effect.
      Marshall 2466 Vintage Modern.
      Cabs: Mesa/Boogie Vertical 2x12 (half-back)
      Guitars: Ibanez UV777PBK, Ibanez K7 (with BKP Painkillers), Shecter 006 Deluxe, Jackson Kelly Standard, Ibanez SRX705, Takamine Classical, Taylor Acoustic.

      Comment


      • #4
        I record two amps most of the time to two different tracks. I use a stereo echo pedal on the pedal
        board to add some stereo ambiance between the two amps. Each amp is different with different speakers and I use different mics.
        this allows me to pan them differently for different tonal effects. It doesnt make them true stereo, only emulated stereo. The source
        is mono and since the parts are coming from the same guitar, the playing will be the same.

        I could have just as easily copied a single track and added different effects to the two tracks for a simular sound.

        When I pan the tracks I'll usually add more reverb to one and have the levels lower. With two tracks panned hard left and right,
        the volume sliders will do the same thing as a single mono track using a pan control. You can have them panned at different
        percentages from center though and it makes it easire to gain stage the two parts around say a drum set. If one track is panned right 66%
        loud, and the other is panned 33% left with allot of reverb, it can add allot of center stage fill.

        You dont have to use allot of doubble tracking to get a big sound though, and all the variances in timing playing can make the sound
        sloppy and mushy. You've heard plenty of live recordings of bands that have great live sound and they didnt have 10 guitarists
        playing the same part. You can do it in a studio, but its not nessasary if you learn all the tricks.

        If you study for example Eddie Van Halens sound, He got most of that from a cranked marshall head and chorus pedal.
        He did things like mic the side of a marshall cab to capture bass thump. He used a hot plate to attenuate the marshall heads
        speaker output down to line level, then connected his Time based effects like reverb and echo there, then ran those to solid state
        power amps to drive the cabs. That trick has been used alot to get great recording. The Echo contains all the tube and power transformer
        saturation for that really big sound. Tape saturation played a huge role in getting those sounds too.

        Effect placement, Gain staging, Mice selection and placement, and mixing techniques are only two a few components for a big sound.
        They far out weigh how many times you play the same part, but even that can be part of the equasion. It can create a larger or wider transient
        if the performance has good snap on power chords. All of it has to be experimented with and perfected, and none of that comes overnight.

        If this is your first recording, and you excpect to get anything like pro results, have a studio record you.
        If you plan on trying to do it all yourself, you may get luckey with a shot in the dark.
        If you expect consistancy between songs on a CD, a more realistic time frame of 5 years learning and experimenting
        over hundreds of recording is a more realistic time frame for getting a passable high quality demo. If you expect something
        of commercial quality it may be more like 10 years of hard dedicated work, thousands of hours, thousands of recordings, and
        some major bucks invested in pro quality gear. Working with highly skilled pros rubbing elbows in the trenches recording
        the best bands out there being paid to do the work is anothyer shortcut few have acess too. learning all the tracks on your
        own and actually having a hit that makes money is like playing the lottery for the most part.

        Beginners have little or no clue to the work thats involved and their imagination alone wont get them there.
        You do however need to keep that positive spirit alive through all that hard work. Noone wants to crush or discourage
        that positive attitude most musicians carry with them into recording. Its the #1 most crutial element in getting a great
        performance which is captured in a snapshot of time, but it does nothing to teach you the Art of recording. First you
        learn the basics, then you gain the experience by doing it, then you learn to apply techniques creatively.
        Its that last step that separates the men from the boys and theres no short cuts but there are resources you should
        study while youre actually doing it.

        Heres just a few sites you should know like the back of your hand.
        For beginners, they shoul read and comprehend everything at this site.
        This is simple stuf to an experienced engineer and has most of what you need to get going.
        If theres technical terms there you dont understand, google them and read everything you can.

        http://tweakheadz.com/guide.htm

        Next you want to find out what the competition does and what the pros use.
        Tape Op is a great source of this. They have a long section containing articles
        by pro engineers. You can also suscribe for a fee and get the letest poop happening

        http://www.tapeop.com/articles

        Then theres plenty of others. Craig Anderton http://www.craiganderton.com/ in Craigs Forum
        writes many articles for these magizines and the info contained is a gold mine of info.
        You cant possibly try everything others do because its collectively beyond one persons ability
        experience it all. Reading about them then selecting things that appeal to your own artform is what most do.

        http://www.soundonsound.com/
        http://www.emusician.com/index
        http://mixonline.com/site_index/
        http://www.recordingmag.com/
        http://www.musicradar.com/futuremusic
        http://www.ethanwiner.com/articles.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you very much for your advice. I'm going to leave mixing and mastering to another professional. I just want to give them the best possible starting point. We record the drums on May 13th. I'm all excited right now! Thanks.
          Like Final Fantasy music? Like heavy metal?
          Like Final Fantasy music remixed in the style of heavy metal?

          FaceBook | Twitter | SoundCloud | YouTube

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          • #6
            1. No, just no. It sounds much better to just play it again.
            2. Not totally no, although a lot of metal tone comes from cranked high gain amps it's possibly to pull it off with a small combo.
            3. Absolutely, in fact I'll go ahead and say it's standard in 90% of metal recorded guitars.
            4. This is up to taste. I personally like to pan them separate.
            5. Solos can be done however you like. When it's a harmony part, at least for me I like to pan those sections a bit (not all the way) so there is some separation. There is no reason you couldn't just leave both in the center though if you wanted.
            www.nerolstudio.com

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            • #7
              http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?luy7nclivw8rrh2

              May I ask you to give this a listen and offer your opinion about the guitar sound? It's 4 total performances panned 2 on each side. Recorded directly into the computer. No amps and mics. Thank you once again for all your help.
              Like Final Fantasy music? Like heavy metal?
              Like Final Fantasy music remixed in the style of heavy metal?

              FaceBook | Twitter | SoundCloud | YouTube

              Comment


              • #8
                Sounds like it went from "a box" into "another box": no tubiness, no real illusion of real gain or real space; just processed sound, and processed mixing, if ya know what I mean, doesn't sound like anything but Yani.
                Defintely not authentic metal, if that's what your after...metal has an edginess to it that has little to do with clarity: higher gain, real harmonics/SPL's and it's resultant higher frequencies are not readily duplicated in the digital domain.
                Decent composition, but it would benefit from real recording equipment/amps/technique/craft.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Been MIA for quite some time but figured id chime in.

                  For heavy guitars, I usually do I 57 head on with the cone, and a condenser about 10" off axis. For reference, I have a ported 2x12 genz-benz cab in a closest, soundproofed and insulated with my DIY blanket/pillow rumble killers. For the track I i have each mic going to a seperate channel which ill have panned slight R/L, for 1 rhythm, 1 lead, with the lead's position being determined later. Ill typically use the blend of the two mics before any sort of in the box tweaks.

                  General rule: Get the best sound from the source and focus on capturing it accurately. Use inboard eq's and effects only when you cant attain a sound any other way.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    1. I hear that instead of actually recording a guitar twice, you can record a single guitar part onto two tracks and you won't have to worry about synchronization...



                    That's where you would reduce the sonic quality of your guitar recordings already.


                    - You record each of the two rhythm guitars to two seperate tracks, quasi stereo.

                    - You use a slightly different sounding effect for each pass. Two 99% the same sounding rhythm guitars is something which you don't want.

                    - Between each pass you loosen the strings and tune the guitar once more. This prevents any phasing artifact between two similar tracks.

                    - You choose the guitar amplifier which has the best sound for the particuliar song. Maybe you use both amps, one for rhythm#1, the other for rhyrthm #2.



                    - There is never any track exactly on the center. Each stereo recording has a little more energy on one side. You place the tracks during mixing with power panning.

                    Lets say rhythm guitar #1 has a little more energy on the right channel, then power pan this guitar a little more to the right to your liking, and if rhythm guitar #2 has also more energy on the right channel, then swap the channels and power pan it to the left to your liking.

                    - Microphone model is crucial. It determines the sound you record.

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