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Recording distorted electric guitars
Old 7th July 2009
Gear Nut

Recording distorted electric guitars

You've worked with some bands that have some really exceptional electric guitar tones (Muse and Radiohead in particular - "The Bends" is one of the thickest tracks they've ever done in my opinion). Is there a particular approach you take to get that thickness and punch that these bands are so known for? Do you double things through different amps/effects, or leave most of that to the choice guitarists? Do you ever use EQ or compression on distorted guitars? How so?
Old 9th July 2009
Gear Nut
johnleckie's Avatar

Recording Distorted Guitars

Do anything you can to get a good tone but I find its best to use good guitar (often vintage is best), good amp for size of space you're in and good player. Good to have amp with drive on input and start with clean sound and get that good. Keep leads short and mic with Neuman U67 (pad in) and SM58 or 57. I get in real close sometimes touching grill and position around cone depending on what tone is. If its real bright you need to come away from centre. Check phase and play with fader levels to preference. I always try mix to mono bus so recording on one track. If you put mics on multiple tracks to decide on balance later and then start double tracking you end up with trillions of tracks. Sometimes record ambience if sound is choppy or a solo and experiment with panning. Dont usually record DI except maybe output DI output from FX pedal. Less tracks and options left on mix better for me. Try keep it flat and uncompressed.
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