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Author Topic: Quick guitar tone  (Read 5364 times)

redelephant

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Quick guitar tone
« on: July 01, 2004, 06:04:49 pm »

Most of my studio projects are super rush. Just about 2 days to track and mix 3 or 4 songs at a time. I usually start with the drums so by the time I get to the guitars my ears are a bit fatigued. With any other instruments I can work like this, but with guitars I usually come in the next day and regret the tones I setup the night prior - but due to time I have to work this way. So do you guys have any do's and don'ts when it comes to mic'ing cabs for general rock music? Do you have steps and procedures that you usually go through before micing a cab? Do you DI and then reamp later if needed? Do you use a POD?

Also I usually find myself usually mic'ing JCM900s and Rectifiers, so any tips to with these certian makes?

I am well aware that every situation is different, but that isn't really my question. I am just curious as to what you normally do when recording rock guitars.
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Bivouac

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2004, 01:16:16 am »

Well, everything starts at the amp in my opinion...

High gain players must REALLY back off the gain if they want to sound like anything.  The saturated sound will come from overdubs so they have to be patient...

I also think loud amps sound pretty unnatural close-miked.  A 'fiddyseven on the speaker in combination with something else makes for a LOT of options.

I found slipperman's "Miking distorted guitar" (still unfinished...) thread highly entertaining and informative.  I believe they've moved it to the Guitar forum in the MARSH.
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j.hall

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2004, 09:51:19 am »

jcm900......rectifier....

man.....those amps are hard to get a decent sound out of at all, IMO

i agree that the sound starts at the amp

gain is a huge issue

lots of inexperienced players crank the gain knob then wonder when no one can tell what they are playing

the "gain" knob is all about clarity to me

if you have too much, you have no clarity, if you have too little, you have no distortion

as for mic'ing.....

i pick a mic.....any mic, and put it dead center of a speaker aimed right at the dome

change mics till happy, move mic till happy

often times it doesn't move and i just change a few mics till i hear what i want.
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carne_de_res

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2004, 10:30:52 am »

i wonder how _loud_ the amp should be,since
i typically have mushy results with close
micing super-loud amps...
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j.hall

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2004, 11:19:53 am »

only time i get mushy tones are when using condenser mics too close and with the amp too loud
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driskel

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2004, 12:00:48 pm »

I agree with what has been said, It comes down to amp, guitar, player combination first.

Guitar ands Amp matching is first and foremost.

Lately, for myself guitar recording has been getting easier and easier, the hard part is when working with others trying to get them to understand that a particular guitar choice is not the most appropriate for the song.   IE, I want to play my Les Paul, but you are looking for a country pop of the strings (light gauge telecaster).

As for a quick amp setup for Rock and Roll, A Marshall JCM800 or Fender Deluxe is quick for me.  As a guitar player I have been playing both of those amps for about 20 years now.  Also getting the speaker cabinet off the floor really seems to help.

Too much gain can get in the way of a good recorded guitar tone.  I always print DI as well as amp for safety, if has saved me countless times.   Also taming the low end content is very important at the amp.

As per Micing and Pre choices I tend to go with a B&O ribbon mic approx 12" -16" (depends on volume of amp) from the cabinet and twist the mic for eq into a Neve 1272.  I really favor ribbon mics on guitar amps.

5 minutes and away we go.

~driskel
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meverylame

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2004, 03:11:18 pm »

I think the guitar itself maybe the most important piece of gear. Followed closely by amp.
What really bothers me is when a guy comes in with a crappy guitar and won't use anything else.

I had one guy that brought in a couple of reference cds, mostly modern rock stuff (Thursday, Thrice, etc.). Day of recording he brings in danelectro, and will not let go of it, despite I had 7 other pretty decent sounding guitars laying about. And as to be expected he constantly bitched about his guitar didn't sound right. Rolling Eyes
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redelephant

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2004, 12:24:23 pm »

Thanks for responses everyone.

Has anyone tried any of the digital guitar solutions? For instance AmpFarm on a TDM rig or Amplitube or N.I's new GuitarRig on a native system? I have heard of major label albums being done solely in AmpFarm. Seems intriguing especially if  times gets tight and the clients guitar rig just wont sound good.
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j.hall

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2004, 07:16:49 pm »

the digi amps are awful

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spankenstein

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2004, 01:09:37 pm »

redelephant wrote on Sat, 03 July 2004 11:24

and the clients guitar rig just wont sound good.


That's why having some good souding instruments and amps around is crucial.

However the situation with the Danelectro... wow. Did he really think you could get a heavy sound of it? When I've run into someone wanting a sound different than what they brought I just try to explain to them the whys and hows and hope the come around. So far everyone I've worked with has understood that what comes out is only as good as what comes in.

I did record a Marshall MG amp. Awful. There wasn't a redeeming thing about that amp. But, they were happy so there you go.
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redelephant

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2004, 12:56:22 am »

j.hall wrote on Sun, 04 July 2004 00:16

the digi amps are awful




I am assuming you're talking about AmpFarm?
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Ross Hogarth

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2004, 02:19:22 am »

I never use the plastic if possible (amp farm) I have heard that MCDSP chrometone is cool but I like air on guitars.
I always use the Royers now. These mics have changed guitar recording for me.
Check out this link and see some of my setups for mic placement.

http://www.royerlabs.com/ross_hogarth.html
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Jonas as

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2004, 09:03:54 am »

If you couldn't get a danelectro to sound right....
Those guitars can sound incredebly cool, but they are very amp sensitive, you need an amp with lots of character.
IMHO Marshall is not the way to go.

I often make people play my Danelectro when things are starting to get filled up with conventional gibson or fender sounds.

I've also had good results with Danelectros as primary guitars.

just IMincrediblyHO
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Fibes

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2004, 09:48:56 am »

I've found on more than one occasion that the Dual rectos need help from another amp to sound huge. The blend of a Mesa with either the mids of a Vox AC-30 or the crunch of a Fender Deluxe into a closed back cab is balls out.

Tha said, i record each amp with a 57/121/(maybe 421, blue ball) combo up close, with (sometimes) a LD condenser picking up the room. For some reason having three sources to spread out in the digital realm hlps give the heavy without clogging up the middle.
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Fibes
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j.hall

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2004, 09:49:27 am »

i agree on the danelectro's are very cool
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weihfool

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2004, 03:59:02 pm »

Usually during drum tracking I setup my 2 Pod ProXT's for monitoring and take a dry DI and send it to a track.  We listen back to the effected signal and if the performance is cool, we then do a reamp.  If the feel isn't there, we'll just retrack the whole damn thing. However, especially in situations where a quick thing was needed, the reamp saved my tukus.

Rectum Fryers and JCM900's can give you fits.  One thing about the Mesa's is that if you use them in vintage mode and if you happen to have a set of EL34's laying around, you can usually get something usable out of the rhythm channel, especially if you use a small amount of gain and drive the power amp hard.

As for micing, I tend to put a Sennheiser E609 dead center with an SM57 on a roughly 45 degree angle, both mics the same distance from the grill.  This works pretty damn well with the amps and cabs I've had the pleasure of recording.  Best of luck and remember that if you don't think it sounds right, trust your ears and tweak till correct.

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chickenbop

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2004, 04:14:29 pm »

I had a mesa tremoverb which is a dual recto and it sounded like crap.Like a bunch of bees flying around your head.I can't believe I paid so much money for that thing.Mesa is one big hype.Maybe good for nu-metal but nu-metal sucks.
I've also had a jcm900 and I don't think they're as bad as everyone says.You have to match them with a smooth sounding cabinet loaded with something like celestion vintage 30's.The jcm900's get real harsh through the cabinets with the cheaper 75 watt celestions though.
I've never played through a normal jcm 800 but I have a slash head which is a reissue of the jubilee jcm800 and it's amazing.It really easy to get good tones out of.It's also very versatile.It's actually got a good clean tone,awesome keith richards tone if you turn the gain all the way up on the clean channel,and a great lead/semi-high gain for the 70's tone.
One thing I've noticed about getting a good tone out of modern tube amp is that you shouldn't crank it to 10(especially on the lead channel)unless you want to sound like Boston.It turns to mush.
I've found that cranking an amp usually only works for non-master volume amps like super leads or old fenders.
A modern amp sounds better at 3 or 4 vs. 9 or 10.
Everybody says "crank it" but it doesn't work.
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weihfool

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2004, 06:54:02 pm »

There are some Mesas that are really worth a try though.  If you check out some of the older Mark series amps, they can make your jaw drop.  Also, some lesser respected, why I don't know, but still great models to check out would be the DC-5, the Subway Rocket (through a 4x12, and cranked up this thing has a great rock tone, not metal), the DC-3, and supposedly the Blue Angels are nice, though I've never actually played one.  

Personally, I own a DC-3, a DC-5, and a MarkIII Simulclass that was modded to a MarkIIC+ preamp.  If you'd like to hear what the MarkIII sounds like through a pair of Vintage 30's, check out the CAPE song from Team Superhero.  The crunchy guitar chords are being played through that amp.  
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chickenbop

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2004, 09:49:01 pm »

Yeah-I was really saying that the dual rectifier family sounded like crap,not the fender-y boogie stuff.
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Fibes

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2004, 04:25:42 pm »

chickenbop wrote on Tue, 06 July 2004 21:49

Yeah-I was really saying that the dual rectifier family sounded like crap,not the fender-y boogie stuff.


They are of a type that is hard to control, don't think clean, think grind. It takes the right guitar but when you get the right combo and dial in another amp as spice it can be sick as a cruiseliner. Just watch that fizz around 6k.
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Fibes
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redelephant

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2004, 05:50:06 pm »

So what should I do? Get a Royer and a Fender Twin with a bunch of stomp pedals on hand since the usual Recto's and JCM's suck? I have a Plexi and a 900. I do not plan on buying a Mesa and I wish I could afford a Bogner, so does this seem like a good fall back? Oh and I usually use my GR-M1NV on guitar cabs and my room is decent when isolated correctly.
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chickenbop

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2004, 06:09:07 pm »

Red-I think having a plexi and a jcm900 can get you a bunch of cool sounds.Way more than a dual recto.A marshall power brake is cool to have around for the plexi so you don't have to go completely deaf.I had a super lead and  I found that a rat(with the treble on all the way)pedal could sound good through the bass channel of the amp for an additional sound past just cranking the amp.
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Jonas as

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2004, 07:17:04 pm »

redelephant wrote on Wed, 07 July 2004 23:50

So what should I do? Get a Royer and a Fender Twin with a bunch of stomp pedals on hand since the usual Recto's and JCM's suck?  


YES, but maybe not a bunch.
You need more than one colour though,
that goes for amp, boxes, guitars, and PLAYERS.
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redelephant

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2004, 10:06:44 pm »

chickenbop wrote on Wed, 07 July 2004 23:09

Red-I think having a plexi and a jcm900 can get you a bunch of cool sounds.Way more than a dual recto.A marshall power brake is cool to have around for the plexi so you don't have to go completely deaf.I had a super lead and  I found that a rat(with the treble on all the way)pedal could sound good through the bass channel of the amp for an additional sound past just cranking the amp.


I have a THD Hotplate that works brilliantly. I also use my Rat on channel 2 quite a lot.
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redfro

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2004, 10:46:44 pm »

redelephant wrote on Thu, 08 July 2004 03:06

chickenbop wrote on Wed, 07 July 2004 23:09

A marshall power brake is cool to have around for the plexi so you don't have to go completely deaf.


I have a THD Hotplate that works brilliantly. I also use my Rat on channel 2 quite a lot.


NEVER use a Marshall power brake. It'll destroy your amp quick, trust me on this one! THD is the ONLY way to go, and they also make one of the coolest studio amps IMHO.
http://www.thdelectronics.com/products/univalve.htm

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chickenbop

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2004, 12:29:09 pm »

You must have had a bad one.I've used mine for 7 years.
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eaeolian

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2004, 03:30:59 pm »

chickenbop wrote on Tue, 06 July 2004 21:49

Yeah-I was really saying that the dual rectifier family sounded like crap,not the fender-y boogie stuff.


Rectos are curious beasts. I've got some really good tones out of them, but you have to know what you're doing.

Step #1: TURN DOWN THE GAIN.
Step #2: See Step #1.

Gain at a reasonable level? Good.

That's usually the crucial step. Half of the people I've seen that use Rectos have them sound like crap live, much less for recording, because they go in and dime everything out. That's the best way I can think of to make one sound like poo.

If you're recording a Recto - and going for really heavy tones - keep a Tubescreamer around, with the drive set low. Check out Andy Sneap's stuff for how that works out.

It's also better if they use the Mesa cabs - I've had little luck getting them sound good through a Marshall.

Hope this helps. I know nothing about 900s, other than that I can't stand them.  Very Happy

Mike
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j.hall

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #27 on: July 09, 2004, 11:09:13 am »

most players don't realize how gain effects their recorded tone

they crank the gain to get the thick saturated sound they want to hear 10' back from the amp with a single signal

it's just mush when you mic that

back off the gain, do an overdub and you got what they want.
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Signal

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Re: Quick guitar tone
« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2004, 04:34:23 pm »

ok well we're now not into quick anymore i guess..


but some great advice, i think it was posted to the homerecording bbs - i forget who- but basically ...
BEWARE OF PHASE DIFF if USING TWO MICS!!!

the best way to deal with it is setup one mic, setup your second mic and flip the phase, and then let a very very small signal into the first one while you move the second one.  listen to headphones to what is going on, and when you hear hum or whatver start to disappear, THAT is where you want the second mic.  

Then, just go back and flip the phase- then you dont have phase issues.  Having phase issues doesnt make your tone BAD exactly, but if you want to know how to control everything, phase is another part of audio that effects sound =)

hope that helps.

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