Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?
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Old 21-10-2012, 09:38 AM   #1
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Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

So I just bought an audio interface: a Line 6 Pod Studio GX.
And I just wanted to see if anyone had any tips for when recording (and mixing).
Like layering guitars, stereoing e.t.c

I don't record with a microphone, the guitar is plugged directly into the interface.

The only tip I have to share is: If you record a solo or anything not using open strings or the first and second band, and you're having problem with strings ringing. You can take a piece of cloth, or a rubber band of some sort and put it over the first or second band on the guitar.
It will then mute the strings so they won't ring uncontrollably.

Maybe it's abit like cheating, but hey; you get to make the music you love!

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Old 21-10-2012, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

Hmmm...I think most people just use their strumming hand to mute strings tbh.

Recording the guitar clean/dry is handy for "re-amping" later.
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Old 21-10-2012, 09:56 AM   #3
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

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Originally Posted by lolirl View Post
Hmmm...I think most people just use their strumming hand to mute strings tbh.

Recording the guitar clean/dry is handy for "re-amping" later.
Yeah, of course. But it's a neat trick if you have problems keeping the strings from ringing.

Last edited by Shtuffe; 21-10-2012 at 10:00 AM..

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Old 21-10-2012, 11:03 AM   #4
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

Ill just list some random tips off the top of my head:

- For recording rhythm guitar, it sounds really good and more "full" to double track and L R pan them.

- Taking an already recorded guitar, copying it, and shifting it a few milliseconds early or late will create and effect known as the "Haas Effect." Phasing may occur, but panning the tracks L and R will help mask the intensity of the phasing.

- There are a couple ways of layering guitar sounds in the stereo field: Mono + Mono, L + Mono + R, L + R, 1/2L + 1/2R + L + R (pretty common). Always trust your ears with this panning business. If it sounds too spread, close them up. The L R's dont have to be completely panned. Its up to you.

- Mess around with the microphone position. Different angles will produce different tones, but generally, the more you point it towards the center of the cone, the more treble you will get. The further away you point it, the darker and more "hollow" the guitar will sound. The distance will also change the tone, so mess with that.

- Experiment with the gain and master volume knobs on your amp simulation models. Each one sounds different when pushed, and will heavily influence the overall tone and dynamic range of your guitar sound.

For tone/playing issues:

- Tune your guitar before you record, and tune it between every song.

- Change your strings every month (minimum), but depending on how much you play, you will want to change strings if you notice the brightness beginning to diminish or the feel of rust on your strings.

- Clean and polish your neck. It will help your playing tremendously.

- Warm up before you record. Obvious, yes, but necessary if you are going for a perfect take.

- Practice your picking technique, especially if you want to start playing more complex/fast licks. Look up lessons by John Petrucci, Allan Holdsworth, Paul Gilbert, Rusty Cooley, Shawn Lane and Frank Gambale to name a few.

That's good for now, I guess lol

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Old 21-10-2012, 12:02 PM   #5
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

What YoMaEx said.
The cut up sock/sweatband on the first fret can be very useful when doing mult-string tappings or arpeggios. Otherwise it's pretty standard with palm-muting.

- lowcut/highpass everything that is not needed (rumble, subs, etc), and thus avoid masking with other low frequent material (kicks, bass, toms, etc).

- Sometimes phasing isn't all that bad, even if most of us are trying to avoid it as much as we can. Occasionally it can create a sound (due to comb filtering) that will "stand out" in a crowded mix. Try mic'ing the speaker/cabinet with two mics and play around with angles, phase switch, latency (ms) and blend volume (amount of "effect") between the two.

- If you use compressor, try some slower attack and faster release. This way the transients comes through yet compresses the tail of the sound. Don't over-compress already distorted guitars, since they are already "compressed".

edit:
- One technique I use quite alot, is to also place a mic (mono) behind the cabinet (or somewhere in the room, pretty far from the amp/speaker) and roll off quite alot of lows and lower mids on this mic. I've always liked to get some room into the recordings (if the room itself sounds great, that is). Then I counter pan this channel to the close-mic(s) to make the sound bigger stereo-wise. You actually don't need much of this channel before you start getting a wider/bigger and more defined soundscape.
I use this along with dubbing (or trippling) the guitars and panning them out (not hard panned though).

Last edited by Evelon; 21-10-2012 at 12:51 PM..

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Old 21-10-2012, 12:31 PM   #6
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

Pretty much what YoMeEx said, but I have seen that recording each guitar twice, and panning the tracks hard left/hard right works well. Even if you try to play the same thing, each recording will sound slightly different which makes the guitar sound more interesting and less static.

If you have problems with string ringing, practice playing the guitar slow and steady It's worth it.
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Old 21-10-2012, 12:32 PM   #7
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

Know how to play the guitar.

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Old 21-10-2012, 01:34 PM   #8
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoMyEX View Post
- For recording rhythm guitar, it sounds really good and more "full" to double track and L R pan them.
Or even quadruple, Hard Left, Hard Right, Soft Left, Soft Right.

You can also record these through different amps for extra variation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoMyEX View Post
- Change your strings every month (minimum), but depending on how much you play, you will want to change strings if you notice the brightness beginning to diminish or the feel of rust on your strings.
Unless you want a less bright tone for something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evelon
- lowcut/highpass everything that is not needed (rumble, subs, etc), and thus avoid masking with other low frequent material (kicks, bass, toms, etc).
Don't be too rough in this. I personally dislike the guitar tone where all the lows are removed, and the sound lacks oomph. Don't be afraid of the size of the instrument. This is great advice, just don't overdo it.

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Old 21-10-2012, 01:56 PM   #9
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

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Originally Posted by Blingley View Post
Don't be too rough in this. I personally dislike the guitar tone where all the lows are removed, and the sound lacks oomph. Don't be afraid of the size of the instrument. This is great advice, just don't overdo it.
Exactly. Just don't overdo it. But with the right balance (before even going into further EQing) you get the most out of both instruments (bassguitar and guitar).

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Old 21-10-2012, 02:25 PM   #10
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

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Originally Posted by EatTheFood View Post
Know how to play the guitar.
I know how to play guitar, I've played for a couple of years now...
I just though it would be a good tip if someone would have problems with keeping string from ringing.

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Old 21-10-2012, 05:37 PM   #11
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

The only thing I can add to the previous posts is that when layering guitars, it helps to try using a little less distortion than you normally would. The increased overtones from extra gain/distortion all add up in a way and can make things too unclear in the mix. That is assuming you're recording some heavily distorted guitar.

Another trick I like to use is to record one track with the neck pickup and another with the bridge pickup panned opposite each other. Helps to remove some phasing as well as making the individual tracks stand out from one another as well as offering a blend of darker and brighter tones.
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Old 21-10-2012, 05:41 PM   #12
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

record what your left hand is playing! set up a microphone so you capture the sound of your fingers moving across the fretboard. can really add a lot of flavour to your acoustic guitar track

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Old 22-10-2012, 10:52 AM   #13
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evelon View Post
- Sometimes phasing isn't all that bad, even if most of us are trying to avoid it as much as we can. Occasionally it can create a sound (due to comb filtering) that will "stand out" in a crowded mix. Try mic'ing the speaker/cabinet with two mics and play around with angles, phase switch, latency (ms) and blend volume (amount of "effect") between the two.
You can also use phasing to reduce amp noise.

Also, by swinging one of the mics back and forth or in circles while recording, you get a natural phaser effect.

But as with anything, there are no rules for recording guitars. The guitar starting at 3:13 in the song in my sig is a shitty acoustic with an sm57 thrown in front of it + overdrive from Reason's Scream.

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Old 22-10-2012, 02:30 PM   #14
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

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Originally Posted by xNOISEx View Post
This is fucking fantastic advice - I want to try this with electric for even weirder acoustics (considering interfacing strips every last shred of acoustics)

Oh, and for the artsy-fartsy-postmetal // post rockers - feedback is your friend, so lay it on there. Especially with some verb + delay for that 'professional' backdrop sound. Turn it down to that desirably just-barely-audible level for some really artsy fartsy shit. You want to sound like a band, so think like a band and assume your roles wisely
Yeah of c. it works with electric guitars as well. think about recording the sound of the pick as well if you want to be real anal about it. I've found this to be a great supplement to a really muffled/fuzz'ed bass lines.

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Old 22-10-2012, 02:42 PM   #15
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

I record it direct and I have a condenser microphone to pick up shimmer and string noise. I record quite a few over dubs too.

After that I feed the direct signal through amps. I have a dynamic mic set at a nice sounding spot close to the cone. I also have a send signal coming out of the amp head.

I blend the shimmer/noise, amp send, amp mic signals... zoom in on shit like crazy to remove phasing to the best of my ability, shelf out some frequencies from the different sources, and spread overdubs through the stereo field.

This is fucking tedious. But its fun as shit, and one of the few times I feel like 'a recording artist'...

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Old 22-10-2012, 11:30 PM   #16
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shtuffe View Post
So I just bought an audio interface: a Line 6 Pod Studio GX.
And I just wanted to see if anyone had any tips for when recording (and mixing).
Like layering guitars, stereoing e.t.c

I don't record with a microphone, the guitar is plugged directly into the interface.

The only tip I have to share is: If you record a solo or anything not using open strings or the first and second band, and you're having problem with strings ringing. You can take a piece of cloth, or a rubber band of some sort and put it over the first or second band on the guitar.
It will then mute the strings so they won't ring uncontrollably.

Maybe it's abit like cheating, but hey; you get to make the music you love!
Cheating? I tape off the top three strings with blue painters tape when I play some rhythms in addition to having a piece of foam under the strings on the headstock. It's common practice to do that when recording.

WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC IS IT?

In any case PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't copy and paste to make it stereo. That's lame even when you move one side a few milliseconds. Double track it at least.
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Old 23-10-2012, 09:44 AM   #17
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

Double tracking is an easy way to get a muddy mess. Each take you add takes away some definition, even if you play well. Make sure that's what you want/need.

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Old 23-10-2012, 04:56 PM   #18
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

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Originally Posted by numerical View Post
what type of music is it?
METAL!
God damn I love metal!

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Old 23-10-2012, 09:03 PM   #19
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

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METAL!
God damn I love metal!
Well you're in Sweden so you're in the metal mecca as it were and that doesn't surprise me in the least.
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Old 23-10-2012, 09:18 PM   #20
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Re: Would anyone happen to have any tips when recording guitars?

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