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How to get a really polished heavy guitar tone ? Tips, tricks ?
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SC1991
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#1
3rd January 2014
Old 3rd January 2014
  #1
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How to get a really polished heavy guitar tone ? Tips, tricks ?

Ok so im trying to get a really polished heavy metal guitar tone and im having some difficulty doing so. Im using an sm57 in front of my cab toward the edge of the speaker cone. Im also using a tube screamer in front of the amp to tighten everything up it doesn't have any overdrive or tone running through it only the level.

Also i'm recording 4 tracks ! panned hard L and 1 hard R then 2 more with a different guitar brought in a bit.

Mix wise i'm struggling as to where to boost the EQ for that tight metal tone ? Any suggestions ? Ive cut out any unwanted frequencies low and high. It still sounds a bit fizzy though. Am i just being to picky as i am comparing it to songs that have obviously been recorded in a pro studio and mastered to a high standard whereas my track has had no master plugins and i'm recording at home (although I've heard some amazing recordings made by people at home using pretty standard gear)

Any tips on getting that super tight polished metal sound would be greatly appreciated, guitars seem to be the instrument that i struggle with most ?
#2
3rd January 2014
Old 3rd January 2014
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BigTee is offline
Try lower the levels and dial down the distortion and really experiment with your tone right out of the amp rather then trying to fix the tone with eqs.

Get the sound you want recorded right off bat raher then trying to fix it later.
#3
3rd January 2014
Old 3rd January 2014
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manosar is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTee View Post
Get the sound you want recorded right off bat raher then trying to fix it later.
THIS
#4
3rd January 2014
Old 3rd January 2014
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JonMiller is offline
[QUOTE=BigTee;9724531]Try lower the levels and dial down the distortion and really experiment with your tone right out of the amp rather then trying to fix the tone with eqs.

and this...

Think of the mic as a way to accentuate the sound coming out of the amp, not to make the sound. If the amp doesn't sound "Polished and tight" then the mic won't make the amp polished and tight.
#5
3rd January 2014
Old 3rd January 2014
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You've got the right idea about layering guitars - make sure each take is TIGHT. If you can't get them tight while playing, do some editing.

If you're getting a fuzzy sound, keep playing with mic positioning and amp settings until you find something that needs the least amount of corrective EQing. You might want to try using a condenser in place of or in addition to your SM57.

Try EQing L/R guitars slightly differently. As far as panning goes, try panning all guitars hard L/R - in a lot of rock, punk, and metal, the bass does most of the work making the song heavy. By panning the guitars hard, you're leaving space in the middle for the bass to do it's job.

Lastly, don't be afraid to use DI guitars - a lot of top-notch heavy albums were recorded with DI takes. You can use these exclusively or blend them in with your real amp sounds. Some amp simulators worth checking out:

LePou Plugins (free)
Catharsis IRs (free)
Brainworx Rockrack
Overloud TH2
Line6 POD Farm

The added benefit of recording DI is that you can edit the dry takes and get the time alignment near perfect, and you can also opt to re-amp the edited take through your amp so that you can spend time tweaking the amp's settings.
#6
3rd January 2014
Old 3rd January 2014
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BigTee is offline
Id also like to add I don't like hard panned guitars in metal, guotars in metal generally have a lot of low end that's best centered to get that low end power even across both speakers, try a more gentle panning that doesn't take up to much low end but still has that balance of power.

I also prefure Amplitube for amp sims and its semi free so check that out. I find Lepou sims need a better impulse then what they come with but.you can get impulses for free as well.
#7
3rd January 2014
Old 3rd January 2014
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rzzz is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by SC1991 View Post
Ok so im trying to get a really polished heavy metal guitar tone and im having some difficulty doing so. Im using an sm57 in front of my cab toward the edge of the speaker cone. Im also using a tube screamer in front of the amp to tighten everything up it doesn't have any overdrive or tone running through it only the level.

Also i'm recording 4 tracks ! panned hard L and 1 hard R then 2 more with a different guitar brought in a bit.

Mix wise i'm struggling as to where to boost the EQ for that tight metal tone ? Any suggestions ? Ive cut out any unwanted frequencies low and high. It still sounds a bit fizzy though. Am i just being to picky as i am comparing it to songs that have obviously been recorded in a pro studio and mastered to a high standard whereas my track has had no master plugins and i'm recording at home (although I've heard some amazing recordings made by people at home using pretty standard gear)

Any tips on getting that super tight polished metal sound would be greatly appreciated, guitars seem to be the instrument that i struggle with most ?
Learn to play better...........
#8
4th January 2014
Old 4th January 2014
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phatbeatstudio is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by SC1991 View Post
Ok so im trying to get a really polished heavy metal guitar tone and im having some difficulty doing so. Im using an sm57 in front of my cab toward the edge of the speaker cone. Im also using a tube screamer in front of the amp to tighten everything up it doesn't have any overdrive or tone running through it only the level.

Also i'm recording 4 tracks ! panned hard L and 1 hard R then 2 more with a different guitar brought in a bit.
i realize for metal you want guitars wide as possible but i try to keep the guitars off the overheads as much as possible.
try some automation with panning to create depth, example
pan the about 85 on each side on verses then when you want them upfront pan them about 95.
limiting is a huge thing on heavy metal guitars on a lot of recordings


Quote:
Originally Posted by SC1991 View Post
Mix wise i'm struggling as to where to boost the EQ for that tight metal tone ? Any suggestions ? Ive cut out any unwanted frequencies low and high. It still sounds a bit fizzy though. Am i just being to picky as i am comparing it to songs that have obviously been recorded in a pro studio and mastered to a high standard whereas my track has had no master plugins and i'm recording at home (although I've heard some amazing recordings made by people at home using pretty standard gear)
i dont know how newbie you actually are but remember to think of eq as it is and not an amplifier,
there really is no lowend on any guitars even though it says low on the amp , the low end on guitars is really in the low mids , i always filter out anything below what i consider useful , imho it helps keeps things tight and gets rid of the mush and adds to clarity and definition. To much gain is the best way to loss definition on heavy guitars, listen to your favourite albums and tweak away on your amp. i bet you find out there isn't as much gain as you think
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