Recoring guitar

Guitar Tricks Forum > Recording > Recoring guitar

New Member

Joined: 10/30/00

Posts: 26

I've tried everything and have failed to achieve a killer metal/hardcore rock guitar sound when recording. I'm using the right mics (Shure), I have the right amp (Hiwatt Custom 100) and the right Guitar (PRS Custom 22). I have a crap load of songs to record but don't wanna waste my time if I don't have the right sound. I use a boss metal zone or Blues driver for overdrive and it sounds great live . . . really great but when I go to record it either direct into the Roland VS 2480 or mic it it sounds horrible. It sounds like it's being played out of an am radio just fuzz and no grind. Now I know you may be secretive when talking about your set up but help a brother out. Could someone explain step by step how to record directly into a recording unit and achieve a respectable sound. Anything will help.

Thanks

#1

I've tried everything and have failed to achieve a killer metal/hardcore rock guitar sound when recording. I'm using the right mics (Shure), I have the right amp (Hiwatt Custom 100) and the right Guitar (PRS Custom 22). I have a crap load of songs to record but don't wanna waste my time if I don't have the right sound. I use a boss metal zone or Blues driver for overdrive and it sounds great live . . . really great but when I go to record it either direct into the Roland VS 2480 or mic it it sounds horrible. It sounds like it's being played out of an am radio just fuzz and no grind. Now I know you may be secretive when talking about your set up but help a brother out. Could someone explain step by step how to record directly into a recording unit and achieve a respectable sound. Anything will help.

Thanks

Registered User

Joined: 08/08/03

Posts: 492

I'm not very good at giving detailed advice about how to achieve a good sound, but I will give you something to think about:
"A guitar sound that works well in live situations usually is not what works in the studio."
In other words, experiment with amp settings, effects(if any) settings, mic placements and mic pre-amp settings,... Do all of this while focusing on your RECORDED, not the sound actually coming out of the cabinet which is probably what you are most used to as a guitarist. If you're doing this on your own, without having your amp in a seperate soundproof booth, this can be a time-consuming but very educational thing to do.

Experimentation is the key word here.

Another useful thing you can do is really analyze some of your favorite recorded guitar sounds. This takes a very good ear though, most people tend to misinterpret what they hear on CDs because of all the different things going on in those recordings. I'm talking about more than just mentally seperating the different instruments and their musical parts, but also their frequency range and harmonic structure/content. Once you 'get it', though, you'll be able to understand what kind of guitar sound works for the sort of recording you're aiming for, and you'll have a much easier time shaping your own sound with those analyzed sounds as an example.

I hope that makes some sense.

PS: Recording direct through just a distortion stomp box usually will give you a very shrill sound. Why? Because you're skipping the part of the speaker cabinet, which works as some sort of low pass filter.(the actual EQ'ing a speaker cabinet does is, of course, a bit more complicated than just cutting off high frequencies) The shrill sound is basically being caused by the high frequency distorted sound that's not being cut off. By going direct like that, you'll have to make up for the fact that you're not using a cabinet, either by doing some EQ'ing yourself after recording through plug-ins, or by using some sort of cabinet simulator. If you're really set on recording directly, you might want to consider a unit that is specifically designed for direct recording such as the Line6 POD.

[Edited by SPL on 09-10-2003 at 07:59 PM]

#2

I'm not very good at giving detailed advice about how to achieve a good sound, but I will give you something to think about:
"A guitar sound that works well in live situations usually is not what works in the studio."
In other words, experiment with amp settings, effects(if any) settings, mic placements and mic pre-amp settings,... Do all of this while focusing on your RECORDED, not the sound actually coming out of the cabinet which is probably what you are most used to as a guitarist. If you're doing this on your own, without having your amp in a seperate soundproof booth, this can be a time-consuming but very educational thing to do.

Experimentation is the key word here.

Another useful thing you can do is really analyze some of your favorite recorded guitar sounds. This takes a very good ear though, most people tend to misinterpret what they hear on CDs because of all the different things going on in those recordings. I'm talking about more than just mentally seperating the different instruments and their musical parts, but also their frequency range and harmonic structure/content. Once you 'get it', though, you'll be able to understand what kind of guitar sound works for the sort of recording you're aiming for, and you'll have a much easier time shaping your own sound with those analyzed sounds as an example.

I hope that makes some sense.

PS: Recording direct through just a distortion stomp box usually will give you a very shrill sound. Why? Because you're skipping the part of the speaker cabinet, which works as some sort of low pass filter.(the actual EQ'ing a speaker cabinet does is, of course, a bit more complicated than just cutting off high frequencies) The shrill sound is basically being caused by the high frequency distorted sound that's not being cut off. By going direct like that, you'll have to make up for the fact that you're not using a cabinet, either by doing some EQ'ing yourself after recording through plug-ins, or by using some sort of cabinet simulator. If you're really set on recording directly, you might want to consider a unit that is specifically designed for direct recording such as the Line6 POD.

[Edited by SPL on 09-10-2003 at 07:59 PM]

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 07/06/02

Posts: 5021

Hey Superfly,

Recording guitar using a mic is a difficult thing to do well as there are many variables to be considered that will hugely influence the way the recording sounds. These include:

Type of Mic
Position of mic
Type of preamp
Position of cab in room,
Shape of room,
Size or room
Volume you can record at
Volume required to get the sound you want
Volume (SPL) the mic can handle
Cables used
Method of recording (analogue or digital)
Etc.
Etc

The list goes on.

I find the best way to record guitar is with a recording thingy like a POD or a J-Station. Anything that has cab emulation (making it sound like you have some air in your recording), will usually sound better than shooting directly into a recording device with a couple of effect pedals.

Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with EQ as you may be further effecting your tone by rolling off a little top / bottom to make your guitar track stand out in the mix !

I use a PRS CE24 through a PodPro regularly and really like the way it sounds. I also shoot direct using a GNX2 and have even had some nice results using just an Ibanez Tube screamer.
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

#3

Hey Superfly,

Recording guitar using a mic is a difficult thing to do well as there are many variables to be considered that will hugely influence the way the recording sounds. These include:

Type of Mic
Position of mic
Type of preamp
Position of cab in room,
Shape of room,
Size or room
Volume you can record at
Volume required to get the sound you want
Volume (SPL) the mic can handle
Cables used
Method of recording (analogue or digital)
Etc.
Etc

The list goes on.

I find the best way to record guitar is with a recording thingy like a POD or a J-Station. Anything that has cab emulation (making it sound like you have some air in your recording), will usually sound better than shooting directly into a recording device with a couple of effect pedals.

Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with EQ as you may be further effecting your tone by rolling off a little top / bottom to make your guitar track stand out in the mix !

I use a PRS CE24 through a PodPro regularly and really like the way it sounds. I also shoot direct using a GNX2 and have even had some nice results using just an Ibanez Tube screamer.
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

Registered User

Joined: 01/04/02

Posts: 118

Can anyone give me a thick sounding clean tone setting to store on my POD? I can't find a deep enough one. All mine sound a bit thin, hehe.

#4

Can anyone give me a thick sounding clean tone setting to store on my POD? I can't find a deep enough one. All mine sound a bit thin, hehe.

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 07/06/02

Posts: 5021

You could try double tracking to thicken things up a bit. I really liked patch 9D however it is also important to remember that the tone produced is not just from the POD but also from the guitar. If you want a thicker sound and you are using a guitar with single coils, you could try swapping of an axe with Humbuckers. Also you could try different combinations of pickups.
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

#5

You could try double tracking to thicken things up a bit. I really liked patch 9D however it is also important to remember that the tone produced is not just from the POD but also from the guitar. If you want a thicker sound and you are using a guitar with single coils, you could try swapping of an axe with Humbuckers. Also you could try different combinations of pickups.
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS