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Recording guitars - Help with the basics
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acleitao
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#1
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Recording guitars - Help with the basics

Hi guys,

As more a try more confused I get so I need you to make something clear for me. Please help me with the doubts bellow (if I seem rude please ignore my english sucks)

1-Everybody knows that in big studios the mic an amp to record guitar. Ok, but is common sense to record dry and then apply fx on mixing so I ask you: I have to use an amp without any kind of pedal and apply Fx on the result track?

2- with the list of my gear (bellow) what you guys think is the best way to record 3 guitar parts (Distorted - powerchords, clean - arpeggios and lead)

Interface/MultiFX: UA-25ex, Line6 pod XT
Preamps - Alto Alpha Mic Tube & some bheringer tube preamp
Amp - Generic Transistored practice amp
Mic - SM57 and Samson VR88 ribbon mic
Plugins: Guitar Rig 4, PodFarm 2.5

Till now Im using the following signal chain:
Guitar -> Alto pream -> UA25ex -> Sonar X1-> PODFarm

Can you suggest the best way to get a good sound guitar with my gear? (without buying anything else)
And then give suggestions on what other gear that you think is a good purchase to get a better setup (I use to record Sax, Guitar and Bass theres no need for other instruments right now)

THX
#2
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Only you can really answer what sounds best for what part - as we don't know the exact tones and sounds you're looking for.

The general consensus would be to whack a 57 on the amp and record away - but that would only be applicable if you're happy with the sound you're capturing.


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21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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For me, I found a magical setup that involves an AEA R92 into a Burl Preamp and then into channel 1 of my buss compressor at 10:1 just lightly pinging the needle. I usually place the mic close to the center about 3-4 inches from the grill aimed at the crease between the dustcap and cone. For clean, heavy, crunchy, bluesy...they all work. I'd try to see if you can be happy with either the 57 or your ribbon setting it up like this.
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21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Here are the basics:

1. Put new strings on the guitar.
2. Get the sound you want coming out of the amp, effects and all.
3. Put a mic up there.
4. Before recording, listen to the mic while isolating the sound from the room. Maybe you have an isolated control room. Maybe you have isolation headphones in a less than ideal situation. Only listen while the rest of the song is playing so you can hear context. Tweak and move stuff. When it sounds right in that context, record it with effects and all.
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acleitao
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21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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But you guys use to record wet? or just the guitar and amp sound and the use plugins?
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21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acleitao View Post
But you guys use to record wet? or just the guitar and amp sound and the use plugins?
+1 to what the others have said.

When I am recording guitar amps, I record all the pedals in front of the amp but I don't record any FX that go after the preamp-stage of the amp (which are fx units connected to the send/returns of the amp or any reverb or other FX built into the amp). But if I want to break the rule, I do :-).
Putting a single SM57 right on the speaker grille pointing to the edge between the cap and the cone of a speaker is always a good starting point.

This only applies if you amp sounds good (referring to "practice amp"...). If the amp does not sound good, I'd record the guitar directly through a DI box (no real amp involved) and use one of your plugins. Do both and take the one you like most.
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22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
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One way to help keep all the parts from sounding like the same guitar is to change up the way you record them. For example, record the clean parts direct, and maybe apply the needed effects (if any) after the fact. Maybe record the "chunky" backing chord parts that way using amp simulations. Then you can set up and mic your real amp with stompboxes to record the lead part. Or switch everything around if it sounds better another way. The main thing is to keep it from sounding like one guy playing three parts on the same guitar.

I like to record lead parts with all the effects done live, but not everybody does it that way. I'm just more comfortable playing that way since I can hear how the instrument is interacting with the electronics in real time. Trying to apply a lot of creative effects to the lead part after the fact is usually a train wreck for me.
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#8
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
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Just go direct into guitar rig and call it a day. the gear list you've posted is minimal, and you'll have more control over the sound you get if you do everything in the box. I'm more of an Amplitube guy, bu I've fooled plenty of folks with ITB sounds.
#9
23rd December 2011
Old 23rd December 2011
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So you record a guitarist who has put a little reverb on the amp. You come to mix and you reach for the fader to back off the reverb a little because it is sitting too far back in the mix. Oops. You only do that once.
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23rd December 2011
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The exception is that if using a clean sound with delays that affect the performance, you could go for it, but even then you probably wanted stereo delays didn't you?
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23rd December 2011
Old 23rd December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djbrough View Post
Just go direct into guitar rig and call it a day. the gear list you've posted is minimal, and you'll have more control over the sound you get if you do everything in the box. I'm more of an Amplitube guy, bu I've fooled plenty of folks with ITB sounds.
Everyone has their methods, but I have to disagree with the only exception to using an amp sim is using a mic'ed guitar with it! (maybe) I'm not saying amp sims don't have their place (GREAT for scratch guitars) but there's just no beating a real amp, man. Sims can get kinda close, but theres just nothing like the real thing and it will show in your mix. The 'fix it in the mix' attitude is just not the way to go. Record it the way it's supposed to be. A guitar is supposed to PUSH AIR. Try SLIGHTLY overdriving the amp, then use a stomp box boost or crunch to throw it over the crunchy edge. Gilby Clarke taught me that trick, and all your doing is manipulating the gain stages. You have a ribbon mic, too, so this should be easy. Point at the edge of the cone 3 inches or so from the grill and slightly downward. This is a skill worth alot more than just throwing an amp sim on it.
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23rd December 2011
Old 23rd December 2011
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With the gear you have, Guitar Rig is easily the best choice.
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23rd December 2011
Old 23rd December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windmillsound View Post
So you record a guitarist who has put a little reverb on the amp. You come to mix and you reach for the fader to back off the reverb a little because it is sitting too far back in the mix. Oops. You only do that once.
So you go to mix and you discover you really needed the bridge pickup instead of the neck.

So you go to mix and you discover you needed to use barre chords instead of open chords.

So you go to mix and you discover the Strat doesn't fit but the Tele would.

Oops.



Make recording decisions. Listen to what you're recording so you don't record the wrong thing. You have real control to shape things up front. Use it.
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23rd December 2011
Old 23rd December 2011
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+1 Cheebs, when I get the sound right up front, that is what I want to print. If it ain't right up front, well, I blew it. Either make a $#!+ sandwich or go back and re-record it. There is only one way to really get it right, and that's to make the right decisions beforehand, not try to "fix it in the mix". Sometimes you get one of those rare happy accidents, but mostly you get less than stellar results. That isn't to say you can't get a good sound "in the box", but you still have to have a plan, a reason for everything you do, and make the right decisions before you hit "record" or it's going to be a long grim haul. If I do my part at the front end, I find the mix is a joy to work with.
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24th December 2011
Old 24th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Nigel Go View Post
+1 Cheebs, when I get the sound right up front, that is what I want to print. If it ain't right up front, well, I blew it. Either make a $#!+ sandwich or go back and re-record it. There is only one way to really get it right, and that's to make the right decisions beforehand, not try to "fix it in the mix". Sometimes you get one of those rare happy accidents, but mostly you get less than stellar results. That isn't to say you can't get a good sound "in the box", but you still have to have a plan, a reason for everything you do, and make the right decisions before you hit "record" or it's going to be a long grim haul. If I do my part at the front end, I find the mix is a joy to work with.
Yea. Best to have a vision before you start, instead of trying to turn a Strat into a les Paul in the middle of a mix..
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1st February 2013
Old 1st February 2013
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Hi, i have a question about guitar rig, im using maschine to get most of my stuff done.
i have no foot pedal for guitar rig, but ive been trying to record samples with guitar rig´s effx while inputting sound. the issue i have is, guitar rig only seems to be functional to record with its effx, if you have the footswitch. otherwise it seems like i am not able to get the rough signal in there. the other way would be recording the dry sample. having the sample recorded, the signal goes right into guitar rig, where i can process it. but seriously, it kinda sucks having to record without hearing delay or distortion, it takes me a lot of imagination... anyone knows how to step over this and get the signal in there without having to buy the footswitch ?
#17
1st February 2013
Old 1st February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acleitao View Post
But you guys use to record wet? or just the guitar and amp sound and the use plugins?
Well guitarists almost always have their own tone, their own sound, effects pedals included. If that's what the guitarist wants from his amp, then just record it. There's no way that guitarist will be happy with anything you attempt to simulate with software, and if the sound is there, why bother?

On the other hand maybe everyone is clueless at the time and there is no producer that knows what is required, so a reason to use amp sims and record a DI guitar is when nobody has any bloody idea what they want. Everyone can postpone an actual commitment until somebody has the cojones to actually say what sound they want .
#18
2nd February 2013
Old 2nd February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acleitao View Post
But you guys use to record wet? or just the guitar and amp sound and the use plugins?
There's nothing wrong with recording wet. There's nothing wrong with just using the guitar and amp sound. It depends entirely on what you're trying to accomplish with the guitar tracks on a particular song.

When I'm playing guitar on a session, I always use effects going into the amp. There are occasions where a producer will have a different vision and then I turn things off or change it up, but usually I've always got something (compression and echo/delay specifically) on in front of the amp.

When I'm engineering tracks, it's about getting the best capture. I control what things sound like on the way in and, if it doesn't sound the way I want it to on the way in, I fix it on the way in. Occasionally, I'll track something wet and hate it later, but at that point, you can either re-track it or live with it.

Bottom line: there's no hard and fast rule of whether you should track with effects or not and there's nothing wrong with doing it either way.
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