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can't get a good guitar tone in protools

Discussion in 'Pro Tools' started by pfactionbrett, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. I need some help getting a decent tone in protools. I had one I really liked a week or so ago and I can't seem to find it again. I've been tweaking and tweaking and I just cant seem to get anything that impresses me yet. I'm looking for a modern hard rock tone....this is what i'm using.

    mesa boogie triple rectifier, marshall 1960A cabinet, shure sm57.....

    any suggestions for Eq'ing? I know recording requires much less gain than live but what else should be much different..I know follow my ears etc. but i'm having trouble finding anything I really like. help would be great.
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I'm seriously not trying to be a butt-head to people on the board, so please don't take it that way. But, this topic and the question contained within makes me roll my eyes and die a little inside.

    I'm going to make a statement in bold and caps. It's not that I'm yelling or pissed, I just want to emphasize one SERIOUSLY important point. Here goes:


    Again - very sorry if it seems like I'm yelling - I'm not.

    Do you like the sound you're getting in the room? In other words, while you're playing and listening (and I mean REALLY listening) do you actually hear the EXACT sound you want? If no, get it there. If yes, move on to the next step.

    Now - place your microphone(s).

    Now, listen through your cans or your monitors.

    Are you hearing the desired result?

    If yes, you are done, if no, move on to the next step.


    Find the spot where the microphone sounds good and then stop. You're done.

    If you cannot get the sound you desire with a MB/Marshall and SM57, you're doing something VERY wrong.

    Again, not meaning to be harsh - this is just the reality of it.

  3. mwacoustic

    mwacoustic Guest

    This is difficult to answer, because "good" tone can mean many different things... even "modern hard rock" is pretty vague.

    Also, I assume you are micing an actual amp, not using software emulation? If so, I think you should turn to protools (eq, etc) only after you have the best possible tone from your guitar, amp, and mic placement. Can you describe your setup/settings in more detail?

    [edit] Jeremy beat me to it by a minute, and with more emphasis. :)
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Emphasis? Where did I put emphasis??
    :shock: :wink:

    Hey look - we actually had the same answer...that means we're right, right??
  5. mwacoustic

    mwacoustic Guest

    Well, it was a subtle kind of emphasis. I was reading between the lines.... ;)

    And even if we were both wrong, 2 wrongs=1 right!
  6. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    This may be a dumb question but do you have that one from last week saved with all your settings? If so, copy them. If not and the tone you liked a week ago was a result of your internal tweakings (eq, compression, efx, whatever) then it would be tough for me to know what you need. I don't know what your sound at the source is so I can't really recommend EQ settings.

    +1 on Cucco's comments

    I'd like to add, when moving the mic, make sure to try different speakers, position, distance and angle. They all can make a huge difference.
  7. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    I'd like to add more emphasis.

    What Jeremy said holds true for everything you put in front of a microphone.

    There are countless threads on this site which pertain to mic placement, room, tone, gain structure, etc...

    It all boils down to his post right here!
  8. I don't mean it by getting the tone inside the software, I mean listening to my tone while it's miced in my software. Sounds quite different than in the live room itself. I've moved the mic a million times and I just can't find what I want. I guess I need to be specific maybe a tone like Chevelle, or 10 years, not the ebst but the sound I want for the song.

    I have it sounding good in the room, but miced up it sounds different no matter where the mic is not to mention double tracking it is going to sound different as well. I want to get it as close I can without using Eq plugins, only using those to fine tune.
  9. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member


    How did you have it set up last week?
  10. Costy

    Costy Guest

    I'm afraid that he plays and records in the same room.
    If this is the case, I doubt he can monitor with any decent
    quality even in cans - too much leaks in from playing.
  11. well I can't get it how I had it due to mic placement, or slight changes in the EQ I guess, but also that's one tone I can't find any others I like. I don't want the same sound in every song.

    yes in the same room but It's decently isolated, in a big closet type room, with a lot of padding and stuff stopping sound, I'm really not getting leaking much at all
  12. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    So you are hearing a huge difference between the sound you hear directly from the amp and the sound that an SM57 picks up and you hear played back through your monitors? Sounds like it could be problems with the acoustics in your room. How does it sound when you sing into the 57? Usually close micing the amp reduces the problems of room acoustics, but they can still be a problem during playback.

    Did you get Amplitude or some other amp simulator with PT? Have you tried recording direct?
  13. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Hard lesson learned then. Always keep documentation. I used to have sheets printed out of console strips with the knobs and faders blanked out. Somebody, usually the second engineer or tape op, would go and mark all the settings. Even though it won't be exactly the same when you come in next time, you at least get in the ballpark.

    I don't know if they still do this but at some studios they would charge for every knob and fader that wasn't zeroed when you left. So, maybe that doesn't apply in your own studio but documentation can save a lot of time if you can't leave things exactly as you left them.
  14. I think it has to be the mic placement that's off. there's so many ways, off axis, center, edge of center, edge of cone, center cone etc.
  15. TheBear

    TheBear Guest

    is the guitar not full enough? or what is the tone lacking that you want regained?
  16. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    You can document that too. Measuring tape and stick drawings work.
  17. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I still find this hard to figure. That's a good amp and cabinet. Stick a 57 anywhere close to the speaker and you should get an OK sound. Nothing to write home about maybe, but nothing to make you move the mic a million time and describe the situation like he does. Either the room or maybe the mic?? Has someone been hammering nails with your 57?

    What kinds of things have you recorded where you got a sound that you really liked?
  18. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I have to agree with Bob -

    Good instrument, good sound, good microphone...it's a recipe for a good recording. You should be able to place the 57 and within 30 seconds get the sound in the recording.

    This tells me that the sound that you're hearing in the room is not the actual sound that's in the room. Rose-colored glasses for the ears??
  19. Well the sound is full, but it sounds kind of dull. It doesn't have that rumble and definition that I want.

    the sm57 is brand new

    things I recorded that I had a tone I liked were open and bar chords in drop d.

    I guess basically it may be that my EQ is lacking something but I can't seem to figure out what.

    Maybe i'll post a clip of the guitar tone later today and you all can give me some input.
  20. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Dude...did you read my first post??

    Your EQ is not lacking.

    Don't touch the EQ.

    Get the sound using the mic and the cab. If you can't, you will only screw up the sound more by using an EQ. It's a matter of taking a bad (or "off") sound and screwing the with phase (which is what EQ does). Your sound will never get there with EQ.

    You may think it does, but when you listen to it over and over, you'll start to say..."gosh, my guitar still has that wierd something to it..." that "wierd something" is the EQ.

    Do you have any more/other mics?

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