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slightly ot: guitar recording techniques


CHOUTMUSIC

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(i dont ever venture outta the fx forum so I wanted to ask my homies here bout this)

 

Having no sort of isolation booth or pro studio setup, i lost all faith in recording electric guitars with a mic...

 

I just plug my guitars and pedals into my preamp (studio projects vtb-1) directly to my recorder (fostex vf160ex digi 16 track)...I love the sound.

 

Almost always I just double the main guitars and hard pan them.

 

 

I wanna know all y'allz techniques/habits/tricks that you use to record guitars. Including mics and placement, preamps, guitar panning in a mix, doubling etc...anything...I wanna learn more!

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In the studio (the bed tracks were all done live off the floor with guitar, drums and bass) we recorded the guitar direct and with a mike on the amp simultaneously and blended the two together.
:thu:


That's an idea i have tried, but not much. I really wanna take notes to try different things.

Do you recall the positioning of the guitars in the mix?

As far as distorted guitars, I don't like one guitar in the center,,,just seems to take up a lot of the sound.

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That's an idea i have tried, but not much. I really wanna take notes to try different things.


Do you recall the positioning of the guitars in the mix?


As far as distorted guitars, I don't like one guitar in the center,,,just seems to take up a lot of the sound.

 

 

 

I'm pretty sure they were all in the centre. I used an acoustic guitar sparingly throughout the album and I know it was panned.

 

 

When I wasn't so lazy and used to record a lot at home I used to always double track the rhythm and pan one to left and one to the right.

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when recording I think its aways better if you can microphone the amp. this way you can find lots of tone options and settings.

if you do it direct then it kinda kills the tone of the guitar sometimes.

anyway. I think that recording is time to make some inventions and experiments... who knows what makes things sound better?

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as far as panning goes, i mix everything in mono first to get a good balance (and find out if i have any phase problems), then i figure out where everything sounds best in the stereo spectrum. if i have trouble getting a balanced mix in mono, i know i did a {censored}ty job while tracking.
i usually mic with a condenser about a foot away from the cab. if i do multiple mics, i'll do one dynamic right on the grill & a condenser about three feet away.

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mic.png

i had a complicated explanation of this, but a picture really is worth a thousand words. i angle the 57 towards the center of the speaker while it sits at the edge of the speaker right against the amp

 

^ mueller recording map, 1354.

 

Mueller recording map, 1426:

 

mic2tk8.png

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mic.png

i had a complicated explanation of this, but a picture really is worth a thousand words. i angle the 57 towards the center of the speaker while it sits at the edge of the speaker right against the amp




Pretty similar, but i just use a crappy comp mike into just my comp. beat that!

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As far as isolation booths go here's an amateur approach that I've used with good success in the past (maybe you've already tried this). If you've got one within reach of your recording area try using a closet (with the door shut). That allows you to crank up the sound quite a bit to get that good amp tone without overwhelming the area where you're actually recording.

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I put my amp in front of 4'' bass traps. Slap a mic on it so that the mic and grill cloth make a 90 degree angle right on the left corner of my speaker in a little bit, then I make sure the mic is right on the grill cloth giving al ittle room for cloth vibration, not much at all. Then I crank my amp and record. Always sounds great.

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mic.png

i had a complicated explanation of this, but a picture really is worth a thousand words. i angle the 57 towards the center of the speaker while it sits at the edge of the speaker right against the amp



This is the exact way I find often gets me the best guitar sound. I still mess around with postitions though, cause sometimes different parts call for a different sound.

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mic.png

i had a complicated explanation of this, but a picture really is worth a thousand words. i angle the 57 towards the center of the speaker while it sits at the edge of the speaker right against the amp


I used this method and it sounded good...I need to experiment more with mic placement.:thu:

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another mixing tip: listen to your mixes at a wide range of volumes. the mix will sound different on 1, than on 10 (the idea is to minimize that difference) . i learned this tip from a very famous engineer.



A couple of similar tips that I also learned from a very famous engineer (George Massenburg): Listen to the mix at nearly inaudible levels; if you can hear every instrument and vocal, your balances are probably good. Likewise, walk out of the control room and down the hall or outside and listen to it through the open door(s)... this is another good way to check balances - especially on the bottom (bass) end.

Yes, you should listen at a variety of levels at various times, but you have to be careful. Our ears quickly get used to increased volume levels, and we can tend to keep creeping things upwards until we hit levels that are unsafe to listen to for extended periods of time. Get a cheap Radio Shack SPL meter, and mix at 85 dB SPL. According to Fletcher / Munson, that is the level where the frequency response of our ears is most linear and "true" At lower levels, our hearing at the extreme ends of the frequency spectrum is less accute, so it's harder to hear extreme lows and highs when listening at very low levels. The other thing that makes "85 dB SPL" the magic number is that it represents the maximum level that OSHA says you can safely listen to over an 8 hour day.

As far as guitar amp mic techniques, I could probably fill a book with different suggestions. :o As a matter of fact, I'll probably be doing an instructional video for www.howaudio.com on that topic in the not too distant future. :)

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(i dont ever venture outta the fx forum so I wanted to ask my homies here bout this)


Having no sort of isolation booth or pro studio setup, i lost all faith in recording electric guitars with a mic...


I just plug my guitars and pedals into my preamp (studio projects vtb-1) directly to my recorder (fostex vf160ex digi 16 track)...I love the sound.


Almost always I just double the main guitars and hard pan them.



I wanna know all y'allz techniques/habits/tricks that you use to record guitars. Including mics and placement, preamps, guitar panning in a mix, doubling etc...anything...I wanna learn more!

 

 

I could never go direct in again after recording tube amps.

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As far as isolation booths go here's an amateur approach that I've used with good success in the past (maybe you've already tried this). If you've got one within reach of your recording area try using a closet (with the door shut). That allows you to crank up the sound quite a bit to get that good amp tone without overwhelming the area where you're actually recording.

 

Yup, a large walk in closet can serve very well as a iso booth.

 

Don't have a walk in closet handy? Get a few high backed chairs and a few heavy moving blankets and build a wall / tent "fort" around the amp to help isolate it a bit. It won't keep you from getting the cops called on you if you try to use it with a Marshall JCM800 / 1960a, but with a Blues Jr or similar small amp, and reasonable volume levels, it will help a bit in terms of keeping extraneous sounds out of the mic.

 

Experiment with the mic placement! A few inches here or there can make a WORLD of difference. Aim it on-axis, directly at the center of the coil (dust cap at the center of the speaker), then at the very edge of the speaker cone, also on axis. Hear the difference? One will be brighter and one much mellower sounding - I'm not going to say which is which, because if you don't already KNOW which is which, you need to go try it for yourself so you'll never forget that moving the mic closer to the center gives you a ___ sound and closer to the edge gives you a ___ sound. :p;):)

 

Distance from the grille is also a factor. Don't forget to try a second mic a bit further away for a touch more room ambience and a more "open" sound. If you have a noisy environment, this is going to be harder, but a nice condenser mic a few feet back, or a ribbon mic a foot or so back (with or without the "up close" dynamic mic) can add a lot to the sound. You can nudge the tracks into time / phase alignment later if you want, or flip the phase on one mixer channel if needed. If you print the mikes to two separate tracks, you can save the blending until later / at the mixdown.

 

Short answer - there is no "right or wrong" way to do it... just whatever works with your room / rig / tastes. :)

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If you want to control a good amount of frequencies in your recording room or area surroundsin your amp, pick up a few slabs of oc703 rigid fiberglass and make some 4'' think 4' x 2' panels. They help a ton. a little pricey, but it is the best you can do for trapping a good amount of frequencies.

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so i have an sm57 that goes into a Boss GE7 that i use to boost the signal and then into an M-audio mobile pre. Recording clean is just fine...i'm having trouble recording a big/full sounding distortion sound. it almost sounds like kazoos when i record any kind of heavier dirt. i usually place the mic straight on the outer-edge of the speaker. any tips for a big/full sounding distortion?

 

 

move it a little closer to the center of the speaker (not much) make sure it is close to the speaker too, back down the gain a little bit and double track it?

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