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Electric Guitar Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Electric Guitar

I am new to recording guitar, and I really want to get a professional sounding tone. Like that full rich tone that is on all the best old records up through the 80s etc.
I didn't realize how difficult that is!
I would like to ask experienced people.
What is the easiest, hassle free way to do this and get a rich professional quality sound?
I am mainly trying to do a 70s-80s inspired sound with clean, distorted and in between.
Old 6 days ago
  #2
Gear Addict
 
FreshProduce's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcoyot View Post
I am new to recording guitar, and I really want to get a professional sounding tone. Like that full rich tone that is on all the best old records up through the 80s etc.
I didn't realize how difficult that is!
I would like to ask experienced people.
What is the easiest, hassle free way to do this and get a rich professional quality sound?
I am mainly trying to do a 70s-80s inspired sound with clean, distorted and in between.
There is no way hassle free way, homie. Everything from recording space (which can be a book in an of itself)- to the craftsmanship of your guitar- mic- mic placement- musicians skill level, experience and ability- hardware- software- emotion- mix- EQ- effects- warmth/color- engineers ability- and more- all play their part in the quality of a finished recording.

Creating truly spectaular recordings is Def not for the faint of heart.

Good luck!
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Its good youi are realizing the difficulty. Its should make you appreciate sites like this where people share tips, tricks and experience.

As you do get more involved you find your skills as a musician while involved in making music only goes so far when it comes to recording. What I usually tell people if you put in 5 years and thousands of hours learning to play to get to a certain skill level, you don't start out recording at that same skill level. You have to put in 5 years and thousands or hours just to match your playing skill levels where you are today which means if you work on both, the recording skills will always be playing catchup, at least till things level off on a professional level.

I see many beginners here asking questions like, This is my first recording and why doesn't it sound professional? What I'd like to say is "its because got no mileage man". Its like, "What do you think you're going to walk into a new job, totally untrained, and make a million bucks on your first day" Common man, get with it. Not only does that disrespect every great engineer whose dedicated his entire lifetime trying to squeak out just one hit album, it also makes you look like you're living in a fantasy world where no pro is going to give you a hand.

Of course I'm Just goofing around here by saying that but it does in fact put things in perspective. It would be nice is people could simply plug their brains into the internet and pass first hand experience over to someone else like they did in the Matrix or Brainstorm movie but we aren't quite there yet. The best you can achieve is the wax on wax off approach the karate kid had taught to him by his mentor. When you see someone recognizes the bigger picture and realizes its much bigger then they thought it was, it makes it allot easier pointing them in the right direction.


Anyway, If you use an amp to record then you have many issues, including getting a good mic, dialing up a good tone for that mic to capture good tones, room acoustics, having the right amp and the right speaker, and a whole list of things that need to be ideal to even begin to capture great tone.

Even after you track you usually have to do allot to get things to blend well.

I suggest you learn that process well because you'll need to know how to do it. Many guitarists put way too much faith into using only one method. Recording is just the opposite, You try every trick in the book and log the results away for future reference and pull them out of your too box if and when you need them, and even times you don't.

The best engineers are the ones that pack the biggest too boxes and know who to pull out the best tools at the right times. If he hasn't got a tool for the job he'll invent one on the sot right out of thing air. Using a mic well is one of those essential tools you need to know like a carpenter needs to know what he can do with a hammer. He didn't learn how to pound nails dorking around on the internet looking for short cuts, he was out on some roof laying shingles or framing a house. Once you learn to use a regular hammer then you can go ahead and use a nail gun. by then you know how they need to be set and its simple a matter of speed.

Recording through mics are great but they require allot of work to get consistent results. They can drive the neighbors nuts if you are an apartment dweller too so good isolation may be needed.

You can do wondrous things recording direct through a box designed for that purpose which contains both amp modeling and effects. Compared to what I used only 20 years ago using various rack unit preamps and effects, the prices have gone down to nothing and the quality is better then it's ever been. I have some units that I paid $40 for that can outdo units I paid thousands for, and those units were one trick pony's that had maybe one or 2 good tones in them, not hundreds like the new boxes.


For recording direct, you need cab modeling. Without it the instrument sounds sterile and getting it to sound like its played through am amp speaker using common plugins is like pulling teeth. It can be done but its real tricky.

Get this, the cost of getting a decent DI modeler is even cheaper then buying a SM57 which is the preferred mic for a guitar amp. I been suggesting one of these little baby's since I got one myself. The tones you can get are incredible and the toughest thing you'll need to deal with is building your own patches to get your own unique tones.

These can be used recording direct or in front of an amp and you can dial up 103 different amp cab combinations and they have the full gambit of effects which blend really well. The units stereo too so you can use a TRS to dual 1/4" and have really big tones coming from it. Vox StompLab IG Modeling Effects Pedal | Sweetwater

They also make a bass model too (which I also own) Doesn't do you much good getting big fat sounding guitars if your bass has punk tones happening. If you only had the Guitar version you could get part way there but the bass unit is voiced for bass and thinsg like EQ and compression, amp models are all tuned an octave lower.

The tracks wind up sounding so good, mixing simply consists of setting your volume level when mixing. You already have an ideal tone so no additional plugins are needed.

If you're interested you can hear a sample I did last week. This is a totally raw mix. All I've done is tracked the parts, adjusted the playback levels and panned them a bit. No plugins on the instrument tracks yet, just a limiter used on the entire recording. I only have a scratch vocal on there so far and I have a compressor, Chorus and reverb running on that track. I also write the parts as I play them with no edits so you may hear an occasional flub, but big woop.

I often do bare bones recordings like these then send them over to may band mates to work on so when we get together to record each others music we have a rough groove to jam to. This ones in that Motown Groove. I'll likely make my buddy sing it so I can do the backup leads as he sings.

This is the guitars used only that box only, I set my volume levels, then just played single tracks so you can hear the results.

Aint No Love In The Street [Master] by wrgkmc | Free Listening on SoundCloud

Here's another with cleaner guitars Dining On Ash by wrgkmc | Free Listening on SoundCloud

And one with harder guitars. Good News by wrgkmc | Free Listening on SoundCloud

As you can hear, that little box has a huge range of tones and I've barely scratched the surface using that one. There are many others like Digitec, Boss, etc. You want one with amp modeling and switchable line level out so you can connect directly to your interface

Last edited by wrgkmc; 6 days ago at 11:21 PM..
Old 5 days ago
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Thanks for the detailed response I will definitely check out that product. It seems like the compromise I may be looking for.
Musicianship is not the issue here fortunately. I have been playing and practicing guitar now for 15 years now, and the stuff I'm recording, tbh, a beginner could play proficiently. Very simple chord progressions for rhythm, and some very simple solos. Often its just strumming a single chord every few bars. Its the tone in the final product that's eluding me.
Old 5 days ago
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreshProduce View Post
There is no way hassle free way, homie. Everything from recording space (which can be a book in an of itself)- to the craftsmanship of your guitar- mic- mic placement- musicians skill level, experience and ability- hardware- software- emotion- mix- EQ- effects- warmth/color- engineers ability- and more- all play their part in the quality of a finished recording.

Creating truly spectaular recordings is Def not for the faint of heart.

Good luck!
For what I'm trying to do right now "truly spectacular" is going to be out of my reach. My goal is just to get a really nice sound. The guitar parts I have composed are very simple rock chord progressions that even a beginner could play well.
Old 5 days ago
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Get a Kemper
Old 5 days ago
  #7
Gear Addict
 
FreshProduce's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcoyot View Post
For what I'm trying to do right now "truly spectacular" is going to be out of my reach. My goal is just to get a really nice sound. The guitar parts I have composed are very simple rock chord progressions that even a beginner could play well.
I've always lived by the idea that if you shoot for 'truly spectacular', you'll at least end up with 'really nice' with enough practice.
Old 4 days ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
PdotDdot's Avatar
As many have said, there are multiple factors such as the room sound, mic placement and the list goes on.

What always has worked best for me is a Sure 57 placed about 1/2" from the speaker. I place the mic on about a 45 degree angle and at about the halfway point between the outer rim of the speaker and the center of the cone - the idea being the 45 degree angle points the mic at the exact center.

Sometimes a tiny relocation will make a difference so I may play with the distance, angle, location a small amount but overall this seems to be a pretty solid method for me.

I've record with the speaker on the floor in a kitchen (live room sound and untreated) and I've recorded in a dead room with the speaker on a chair.

Depending on what the end result is, I sometimes play the same part a couple of times and with different guitars. Maybe a Les Paul distorted followed by a Telecaster kept clean. Then everything gets blended together and panned at mix time.

Just play around until you start to get what you are wanting to hear. You'll get better at it the more you do it.
Old 3 days ago
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcoyot View Post
I am new to recording guitar, and I really want to get a professional sounding tone. Like that full rich tone that is on all the best old records up through the 80s etc.
I didn't realize how difficult that is!
I would like to ask experienced people.
What is the easiest, hassle free way to do this and get a rich professional quality sound?
I am mainly trying to do a 70s-80s inspired sound with clean, distorted and in between.
What is your current setup?
Old 6 hours ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
CJ Mastering's Avatar
These are my own suggestions that can yield you a huge fat guitar sound:

You first need to start with a decent sounding guitar tone. If the distortion sounds thin and buzzy, then you need to fix that first and foremost. Its much easier to get a big guitar sound form a sound source that sounds good to begin with. Crap in equals crap out. No matter what you do with it.

The use of short delays is good for widening up the guitar sound across the stereo fields. This technique is very effective.
Your tone needs to be very broad with extended high and low frequencies. This is a must for a huge sound.
Your depth is very important. Long delays and reverb can make the guitar sound like its being listened to in a large room. A slap back delay defines the size of the room that the guitar is placed in. For example, a delay of 500ms will create the illusion that the guitar is being listened to in a space that is 500 feet long. This is because sound travels at a speed of one foot per millisecond.

Compression is very important. I don't have a setting, because you need to use your ears for this. Each guitar/instrument/song will need different settings. But remember that compression helps keep the guitar consistent in the mix space. So use compression for this..
Try low tuning your guitar. Record one take with standard tuning and one take with low tuning and combine them both for one huge guitar sound.

Double, triple, quadruple track guitar takes. Pan them far left and far right. This is by far the best way to achieve a huge guitar sound.

You can also clone/copy the guitar track onto a new track and then transpose then entire track down an octave and combine both tracks for a huge sound.
This is my favorite miking technique to get that big, thick, and chunky guitar sound: (Note: You need 2 Mic's for this technique). This technique will put the "power" in your power chords.

Place one mic close to your amp's speaker and compress that signal with an 8:1 ratio settings, a fast attack, a semi fast release and a threshold of 6 to 20dB below the highest peak of the audio level. This high compression will cause your guitar sound to pump.

Place the 2nd mic and place it 5 to 9 feet away (room mic) from the amp's speaker. Compress this signal with a ratio of 5:1, a medium attack, a slow release, and the threshold is the same as the other one, between 6 to 20dB below the highest peak.

Combine both sounds together and using the room mic just enough to give it that thick and chunky sound.
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