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Guitar Techniques: David Bendeth/ Dan Korneff
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ryangeller
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5th January 2011
Old 5th January 2011
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Guitar Techniques: David Bendeth/ Dan Korneff

I’ve messaged Dan and he indicated that he’d be happy to answer some questions when he has time, so I’d like to open this thread up to ask David and Dan about their guitar recording/mixing techniques and philosophy. Tracking all the way through mixing.

Every band and tune requires a different approach, so to be more explicit and isolate variables let’s discuss modern rock- the most recent Breaking Benjamin and Paramore’s Riot kind of sound. Can you please talk about your philosophies on guitar sounds- guitar/amp choice… how the guitar works with the bass… etc. Here are some questions to get you started, but please feel free to expand wherever you can. I think a lot of people really appreciate your work and would love to hear some insight to your techniques and approach.

Setup:
-Are you tuning the guitar based on the pick attack transient or sustained tone?
-How loud are the amps while tracking?
-Generally single or multimic cabs? Which are your current preferences for dist vs cleaner tones?

Tracking:
-Are doubles done w/ the same rig or do you switch guitars/ amps?
-Is preamp gain less than it seems?
-Direct to DAW or EQ/ compression on the way in?
-Micing technique?
-Effects pre or post “tape”?

Mixing:
-Do you use gates to make attack transients more pronounced?
-Ballpark highpass frequency during mix?
-Do you lowpass?
-What kind of editing is done? Is a DI track used as a guide?
-Are doubles time corrected? (like Dr. Luke and vocaligning the double to the first take)
-Compression philosophy and template?


Really looking forward to your responses.

--Ryan
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5th January 2011
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Awesome - thanks for getting this started and taking the time to post those starters. Love it! I'm tracking for an acoustic album now so I have some for that if they want:

Acoustic Guitar:
-How does how you track (mics/placement) change based on whether we're talking a solo, instrumental piece of strummed guitar vs. a solo, instrumental piece of light fingerpicking? Assuming same player/guitar, just different pieces for the same album.
-Do you high pass on a drop-tuned guitar (to C or D)?
-Have you ever tried/had luck with one of those under-the-string mics (rather than onboard/piezo pickup or mic'ing "traditionally")?
-Do you print EQ when tracking acoustic (other than HPF) or do it all after? I'm using Chandler LTD-1 and an Aurora GTQ2 which both have onboard EQ. I either have to print while tracking or use plugs (they are my only EQs).
-What do you think of convolution reverbs on acoustic guitars in both solo/instrumental and in a mix?
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6th January 2011
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happy new year
imo, metal stuf:

-Are you tuning the guitar based on the pick attack transient or sustained tone?
pick attack for fast stuff, i use the peterson tuner, it helps
if you got more than some cents between attack and release use thicker strings, for this tight stuff, or another plec
-How loud are the amps while tracking?
loud, till saturation kicks in... till it gets wooly/pumping, than back of...varies
-Generally single or multimic cabs? Which are your current preferences for dist vs cleaner tones?
single sm57 , multiple amps, smaller cabs = bigger sound

Tracking:
-Are doubles done w/ the same rig or do you switch guitars/ amps?
doubles are a waste of time for rhythm imo, melodies 3x + harmonies
switchning amps and doubles aren´t the same
amps: yes, doubling, sometimes, like said
-Is preamp gain less than it seems?
combination
-Direct to DAW or EQ/ compression on the way in?
direct, maybe filters
-Micing technique?
single sm57, no kidding, cleans with room ldc
-Effects pre or post “tape”?
guitar fx always in / mix fx later... but no rule, what´s great is great, suprise suprise

Mixing:
-Do you use gates to make attack transients more pronounced?
no, strings, plec, hand technique, preamp gain and so on
try transient designer by spl (get the HW, all the SW is good, but not that good)
-Ballpark highpass frequency during mix?
yes
-Do you lowpass?
yes
-What kind of editing is done? Is a DI track used as a guide?
cut all the "zereos" to silence, move to to BD, all this stuff
Di- yes, and best for cutting oriantation, also saves your ass for reamping
-Are doubles time corrected? (like Dr. Luke and vocaligning the double to the first take)
yes, ever, if done doubles, or you go crazy... and on the really fast stuff, even the best players go crazy imo
the best player got such a good articulation that is hard to dublicate imo, even by themslf and its not necesarry to get a "fat tone", its more "indirect", to get this feeling...maybe off axis your mic and move it smome inch back.... + reamp
-Compression philosophy and template?
compression isn´t necesary ...always...soemtimes, template? la3a 3+4 for crumch, la3a 17+18 for....e just kidding
peace
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6th January 2011
Old 6th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Whigham View Post
Awesome - thanks for getting this started and taking the time to post those starters. Love it! I'm tracking for an acoustic album now so I have some for that if they want:

Acoustic Guitar:
-How does how you track (mics/placement) change based on whether we're talking a solo, instrumental piece of strummed guitar vs. a solo, instrumental piece of light fingerpicking? Assuming same player/guitar, just different pieces for the same album.
-Do you high pass on a drop-tuned guitar (to C or D)?
-Have you ever tried/had luck with one of those under-the-string mics (rather than onboard/piezo pickup or mic'ing "traditionally")?
-Do you print EQ when tracking acoustic (other than HPF) or do it all after? I'm using Chandler LTD-1 and an Aurora GTQ2 which both have onboard EQ. I either have to print while tracking or use plugs (they are my only EQs).
-What do you think of convolution reverbs on acoustic guitars in both solo/instrumental and in a mix?
solo vs strummig: "chase the flame" get the tone where it is
highpas C/D tuning yes: lower root/lower HP
understirng pus: no luck
tracking eq: no, mix: hw
convolution reverbs: better than some others, but the bricasti reverb is a more than seroius tool for this...others are great too, of course
ryangeller
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6th January 2011
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Flying Dutchman- do you work with David and Dan?
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6th January 2011
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No but we are taking notes on everything, thanks Dutchman. Ahoy there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ryangeller View Post
Flying Dutchman- do you work with David and Dan?
ryangeller
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6th January 2011
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Flying Dutchman and others:

Respectfully, I'd like to keep this thread about David and Dan's techniques.



David- really looking forward to hearing your responses if you have a few minutes
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6th January 2011
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An average tracked modern rock song
- 2 rhythms a side which have been possibly tracked with each performance blending 2 amps and then chorus and bigger sections 3 a side - Am I right ? - Gtr solo's doubled if possible and if not reamped with D.I ?
No compression ? Just a 57 ? Low filter with high pass ?
Is the gtr sound on most tracks you ve done virtually identical to the mix (or a fan of e.q ?) and how much reverb do you like on gtrs ? - I know some are fans of little if any ?
Can you help with the above ?
Cheers
Kj
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7th January 2011
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bump
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7th January 2011
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ah ok, i did misread the original question
haha
have fun and good results!
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7th January 2011
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ryangeller
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9th January 2011
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Yep- read those, thanks
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11th January 2011
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Hey guys
Here's a quick reply...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryangeller View Post

Setup:
-Are you tuning the guitar based on the pick attack transient or sustained tone?
pick attack

-How loud are the amps while tracking?
moderate volume. You can stand in front of the cab without going deaf.

-Generally single or multimic cabs?
2 mics. 57 on the cone and a 122 on the edge

Which are your current preferences for dist vs cleaner tones?
? We have about 16 different amps in the studio, so we choose whatever fits best with the song. In general I dont like too much gain for the heavy guitars.

Tracking:
-Are doubles done w/ the same rig or do you switch guitars/ amps?
always different. sometimes its a different guitar, different amp, or both.

-Is preamp gain less than it seems?
for the guitar amp or mic? gain on the amp is moderate, and gain on the mic pre is as loud as I can get it without clipping.

-Direct to DAW or EQ/ compression on the way in?
I always compress/EQ on the way in. I get the guitars exactly how I want them to sound, and then record it that way.

-Micing technique?
57 in the center of the cone, R122 on the edge of the cone.

-Effects pre or post “tape”?
depends. I'd say about 80% of the sounds are printed with the FX we want, the other 20% is post.

Mixing:
-Do you use gates to make attack transients more pronounced?
I use gates on a bunch of channels when I mix. Although it does shape the transient a little different, I use it mainly for cutting out noise. When your working on a console, the noise of a bunch of vintage tube comps, multiple outboard FX, sansamp, etc really adds up.

-Ballpark highpass frequency during mix?
I high pass just about everything. the more unwanted frequencies you get rid of, the clearer your mix will be.
in general:
kick - 30hz
snare - 100
cymbals - 200-300
bass - 70
guitars - 150
od guitars - 150-300
vox - 80

-Do you lowpass?
yup. usually on guitars... probably up around 5-6K

-What kind of editing is done? Is a DI track used as a guide?
depends on the type of music. It can be anywhere from nudging a whole performance around, to slicing up every single note. Definitely use a di for referece. Its almost impossible to see a transient in a distorted guitar.

-Are doubles time corrected? (like Dr. Luke and vocaligning the double to the first take)
usually yes

-Compression philosophy and template?
I love compressors. probably 75% of the gear in my racks are comp/limiters. The more detail and impact you get from a track, the better the outcome. In general, I like to use specific sounding comps on certain instruments.
drums - snappy/punchy comps. aka ssl channel / adr / dbx160x / dynamite
bass - round comps. aka la-2 / 2264 / tsl-3
guitars - 1176 / ssl channel / la-3
vocal - "warm" comps SA-39 / 436c / la-2


Really looking forward to your responses.

--Ryan
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11th January 2011
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Brilliant stuff!

Thanks Dan.
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11th January 2011
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Hell yeah! Thanks Dan!thumbsup
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11th January 2011
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wow low pass on guitars.

everyone seems to be pumping the eq up on guitars in the 5-6k range.
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11th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbatrossAudio View Post
wow low pass on guitars.

everyone seems to be pumping the eq up on guitars in the 5-6k range.
The speaker response of the average celestion is about 55hz-5k. There will be some harmonics that get into the 8K range, so I pop on a 6dB per octave low pass which starts at 5k and drops off just after the 8k mark. that leaves the brightness of the guitar and cuts out the noise and annoying fizz in the 11k area.
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11th January 2011
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What Celestion speakers do you find yourself using most often?
Do you always use a boost in front of the amp?


This is great info, thanks very much for posting!
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11th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Korneff View Post
The speaker response of the average celestion is about 55hz-5k. There will be some harmonics that get into the 8K range, so I pop on a 6dB per octave low pass which starts at 5k and drops off just after the 8k mark. that leaves the brightness of the guitar and cuts out the noise and annoying fizz in the 11k area.
proverbial bees in a honey jar. youve gone the opposite of the "big guy" who pumps 6db of 8k into guitars. the rockstar of aes.

you guys also modify the hell out of all your instruments? was using the riot! alleykat at rieblings. didnt know it was that guitar til later. beat the pants off his les paul.
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11th January 2011
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also your badcat lynx.....tube or ss recto?
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29th January 2011
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mostly Marshall vintage greenback slanted, but sometimes bad katt and smaller amps like vox, fender deluxe with stock speakers. Rarely a front boost on rhythm tracks, but sometimes on lead parts using tube screamer, zonk machine, big muff and some bigass 12ax7 tube pedal. All guitars are set up before a note is recorded and all guitars are modified ie tuning pegs, pickups, wiring, and strings.
The naylor amp in our room gets much love.




Quote:
Originally Posted by dfahb44 View Post
What Celestion speakers do you find yourself using most often?
Do you always use a boost in front of the amp?


This is great info, thanks very much for posting!
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29th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stereomixer View Post
mostly Marshall vintage greenback slanted, but sometimes bad katt and smaller amps like vox, fender deluxe with stock speakers. Rarely a front boost on rhythm tracks, but sometimes on lead parts using tube screamer, zonk machine, big muff and some bigass 12ax7 tube pedal. All guitars are set up before a note is recorded and all guitars are modified ie tuning pegs, pickups, wiring, and strings.
The naylor amp in our room gets much love.
Very cool to hear. I'm a big advocate of pretty much anything Joe Naylor creates. I can't tell you how many people have tried to buy my USA Reverend guitars off me after hearing what they can do
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18th June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Korneff View Post
Hey guys
Here's a quick reply...
Hey, I'm late to the party, sorry to revive this thread, just a quick question...
David and Dan, thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge and experience. I read in your previous post with your answer to all the OP's questions that you usually time-align doubles. I would like to ask: Inside which software do you work / which tool do you use for time-aligning guitars?
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22nd June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parlopower View Post
Inside which software do you work / which tool do you use for time-aligning guitars?
I'm running Nuendo in all the rooms over here. Just do a simple slice, quantize, crossfade method
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22nd June 2011
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Quote:
I use gates on a bunch of channels when I mix. Although it does shape the transient a little different, I use it mainly for cutting out noise. When your working on a console, the noise of a bunch of vintage tube comps, multiple outboard FX, sansamp, etc really adds up.
Dan - what gates did you guys use in mixing and did you use any while tracking?

Any insight into how the bass was recorded?
#26
22nd June 2011
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i would be very interested in hearing anything about how the bass was tracked for riot! for me, it makes the album..
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22nd June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photoresistor View Post
i would be very interested in hearing anything about how the bass was tracked for riot!
I'm interested as well. My *guess* is Fender Jazz into Ampeg SVT with some sort of DI love (SansAmp, Avalon etc). Really great job of gluing things together. Looking forward to finding out from David or Dan.
#28
22nd June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Korneff View Post
I'm running Nuendo in all the rooms over here. Just do a simple slice, quantize, crossfade method
Ok, thanks! I am on Cubase, and I was wondering on how to do audio quantizing of the guitar doubles the best way. I tried it with creating hitpoints and using elastic audio to move them to the grid (don't know if I'm using the right terminology here, German speaker actually), but it seems quite difficult. Have not tried slicing the audio files yet, but will do that now. Sounds like a lot of work, though...
By the way, "Dear Agony" is my favorite album of all times, regarding song writing and production. Thanks to BB and to David Ben and you for creating hours and hours of listening joy for me!
#29
22nd June 2011
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In a previous thread, David said this:

Quote:
Bass was Musicman Sterling Basses with 1970 SVT and 8X10 ampeg cab, mic was the 57 and rode classic. Sans amp RBI
I'm interested in mic techniques and any gear used in processing?
Phenomenal album btw
#30
22nd June 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr2000 View Post
In a previous thread, David said this:

Bass was Musicman Sterling Basses with 1970 SVT and 8X10 ampeg cab, mic was the 57 and rode classic. Sans amp RBI
Quote:
Originally Posted by photoresistor View Post
i would be very interested in hearing anything about how the bass was tracked for riot!
Negative. Photoresistor is asking about Paramore "Riot," not Breaking Benjamin "Dear Agony" (see above). AFAIK, bass on BB "Phobia" was a custom Fodera 5.

AFAIK, Brian Weaver (Riot) plays a Fender Jazz through SVT, but I'm not sure what gear they have at House of Loud.
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