Dilemma - Tracking and Mixing Guitars

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by kiddo, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. kiddo

    kiddo Guest

    hi. im the most noobie here.

    my problem is, when i track overdrive guitar(s) it always sound fine. but the problem lies when mixing them. it always ends up sounding too bright, not full enough like proper guitar sound. the hi-mids always annoy me.

    say that if i turn down the 'presence' button, i'd not get the sound. even if its at 12 o clock, the end result isnt good. so anybody can help here?

    im using a tele, straight plug to marshall avt150 head with marshall 4x10 speaker.

    thank you.
     
  2. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to RO. This question probably would have been better posted in the newbie forum instead of pro recording you might get a bigger response there and maybe a moderator will move it.
    Just to clarify
    "my problem is, when i track overdrive guitar(s) it always sound fine." In other words it sounds good to you in the room.

    "but the problem lies when mixing them. it always ends up sounding too bright, not full enough like proper guitar sound. the hi-mids always annoy me." The recording playback is thin and fizzy (high mids)

    This is a rather frequent question popping up every several months, it usually comes with a what should I upgrade question lol. You don't give any info on the way you are recording. So let me assume you are using a mic like a Shure SM57, Audix D5 and some type of interface. First thing I would suggest is to turn down, the second is to back off the amount of distortion you think you need, the third is to put on headphones and adjust the amp while listening to what you are hearing in the recording rather than what you think you are hearing in the room. Getting a good studio sound from your guitar and amp is different than getting a good live sound.

    You should also read these threads

    How can I get that massive upfront metal guitar sound?
    Electric Guitar Recording
    How To Get A Good Metal Guitar Sound
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug07/articles/guitaramprecording.htm
     
  3. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    FWIW, when I like the tone I hear in the room (or closet) but it's a little too brittle in the mix I'll roll off the highs above 10kHz and start attenuating the mids little by little to see if that makes a difference.

    Typically though I like to address this issue when doing overdubs and address it head on by backing off the tone settings on whatever distortion box I'm using, the guitar's pickups, and the amps own EQ section. Boost the amps Bass control, roll back the Mids or Presence knobs a bit, and roll back the Treble on the amp. All of those things together usually get a nice tone that mixes easier in the end.

    Hopefully this helps.

    As a side note, I don't ever ever ever roll back on the level of Distortion or Drive or Gain just to make it fit in a mix. Important harmonics get lost that way and the statement the guitarist is trying to make suffers from it. If you like the way it sounds in the room then THAT's the sound you want to track. You can do all of those things above typically and still keep the harmonics you're digging.
     
  4. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    i find recording dist. guitar, you often need more than just one track.
    try this:
    record 3 takes, one the way your recording, one with the tone on the tele turned quite bassy and one with the mic backed off the cab some to pick up the four speakers and some of the room.(try different similar combinations and mic placement)
    then blend the 3 together.it's more work but that will give you more control over tone and thickness.
    then you can play with e.q. and comp if needed.
     
  5. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    If you want to know what I really think, it is this. Most great guitarists all I have to do is stick a 57 in front of their amp and everything they do sounds great on tape but then I really like their tone in the room. However there are many marginal guitarists who have good skills and interesting ideas or runs that simply IMO don't have great tone. The sound they think sounds good in the room IMO does not. I like distortion but I like good tone more so if you can get good tone and high distortion great, if not try backing off the distortion, or the volume or both. Also using a 4 x 10 0r 4x12 cab in small room is usually a reflection problem unless the space has at least some sort of treatment of course there are exceptions. These aren't rules but things to try, along with mics, mic placements, moving the amp around the room, etc, etc. All stuff that is mentioned in the threads I linked.
     
  6. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sounds great in the room, your ears are in one place, your mic is in another. And a mic is more discerning. The trick is, not to assume its the mic's fault and that another mic would fix it.

    A Tele is a difficult guitar to record. If its a Mexican Tele, I've found the pickups in them to be extremely horrible; to the extent I feel its a conspiracy, they are deliberately wound to give that Fender honk, but when subjected to extremes (read: volume, precision micing, recording situation) they are severely lacking. An upgrade to the SCN cobalts is $99 and infinitely worth it.

    The AVT150 is your second problem. You're worried about mids, guitar 'tone' is completely about mids, especially in a mix. The mids need to be reproduced well, and that comes from pickups, pedals, tape compression, amp distortion, speaker colour, and especially power tube distortion. Power tube distortion is a little confusing to the ears at first - it doesn't have the 'hiss' or 'fizz' that guitarists traditionally associate with a 'distorted' sound. Trouble is, what sounds good in isolation, doesn't work in a mix.

    You will not get any power tube distortion from an AVT150.

    Listen to this. YouTube - Oasis - Live Forever (only guitar)

    It claims to be the actual recorded track from Definitely Maybe. I'm not sure its genuine. But having been a guitar player for almost 30 years, I'd say its a great reference as to what to aim for in a single track.

    The distortion should be extremely underpowering, with a concentration on tone over gain wherever you can. Read for tone; thickness in the lower mids, pick attack, fullness and swell, and that nice compressed 'sag'. Staging gain through a few different units is ideal.

    My perfect recording chain for guitar: a Fender Strat or Tele, US built with 'vintage style' pickups - custom shop or lindy fralins. Or a Les Paul. Classic sounds, but that is what you are aiming for. PRS etc can work but for solo stuff, not for the bulk of a track. Seth Lovers, Jeff Becks, PAF pickups etc - again - classic sounds. Through a tubescreamer for a little colour, ideally the Keely mod one - or a tube driver, modded blues driver - you get the idea - driver, tube, something to push your amp - but this will only work with a tube amp - you can't 'push' transistors. Then a compressor pedal, a high-quality one, set to very minimal but JUST smoothing things. Then perhaps an EQ just colouring your mids again a slight scoop, a slight push, again with a gain stage. Then into the amp, a 15-watter, Dr Z, Cornford, Orange Tiny Terror, but TUBE pre and power stage. This should be running at full pelt. If you have a 100w tube amp, run it through a power soak (a good one, I use THD, and many will disagree with me here). Then a good mic: your choice: sm57, or a PR40, or a royer or coles ribbon, or a sennheiser flat, these are colouration choices. Into a small tube combo, split via an A/B box to two if you have em - one clean, one dirty. Vintage 30 speakers. Goood preamp - tube again - Sebatron is what I use, recommended here and soundly approved. I usually fire the output direct to tape and then fire a second output back through another pre for more colour going on to A/D. I'll pull the tape track back in later. Usually I fire these two through linked mono compressors, again at very very minimal smoothing settings. Tube EQ is a plus, I use a MP.

    The overall goal is to get a sound that picks out the individual notes, while retaining an overall 'wall of sound' tone. The youtube example is great, it shows just how clean you actually go, and just how much reverb you could actually use when you need that to be the overall concept.

    The goal with the dirty amp is to get a sound which will be clean if you pick it softly (enough to make your tuner respond instantly with a pitch read). When you belt it, it gets dirty. If you later resort to double-tracking, doubling, panning copies, or adding retakes, all of this distortion will compound itself - and guess where it ends up bottlenecking? Yup, these problem high-mids. They aren't that high imho.

    Listen to JG. Boxcar and Coyote are telling you to track multiple times to make it sound better. As JG says, one take from a great guitarist using a small combo, is ample. Did you know Jimmy page recorded most of his stuff with a 12" combo? 4x12s are not your friend in the studio, its 4 sets of reflections, and even if you treated your room right, they will **** up your mic. The only exception to this imho is metal sounds, with dropped tunings. Then you need specialist cabs. With a Tele, I doubt this is your aim.

    If you are going to use multiple tracks, everything adds up, you need to make sure the additions are positive and not disgusting. This means backing the distortion off. It means losing the AVT and checking that Tele to ensure its giving you fidelity. It means getting very very familiar with the problem area of 'mids' and 'presence' that you mention - these mean different things to every amplifier manufacturer. Without meaning to cause offence, they mean nothing to an AVT150.

    More than anything else, recorded guitar needs to reek of authenticity and competence, but again, more than anything else, many of these things are gear-related - assuming all things are equal and your guitarist can play properly.

    Things you should look at:

    Tele - make sure its a proper one. SCN pickup replacement if not.

    Pedals - Robert Keeley is your friend. He will mod a DS-1, TS9 or TS808, BD1 for very little money.

    The BK Butler Tube Driver. Expensive and very colourful. Run the bias low, and all dials at 2 or less, with output gain to suit. A massive tool.

    Amplifier. Ditch the AVT150. a Cornford Harlequin or Orange Tiny Terror will get you an all-tube stage for $400 or less. Dr Z or Rivera if you are feeling gallus. Really you want a Twin running realtime doubling. Or another clean, warm tube amp. Wise wise investment.

    Speakers. A 1 x 12 cabinet loaded with a Vintage 30.

    To touch on what Coyote said, increasing the bass and rolling off the mids is only an option with an amp with good tone in the beginning. The AVT is a bedroom amp (did I mention I don't approve of it?). These tweaks are not a solution unless your tone controls add prdouctive colour. Coyote also mentions harmonics. These come from player attack and picking technique. Don't be fooled by a guitarist who tells you they need the distortion - it usually covers up an inability to play fast. Playing fast impresses nobody except the guitarist himself, and possibly his fat girlfriend. When you meet a guitar player good enough to dictate tone to you, you'll be so blown away, you'll do what he tells you.

    With respect to what Boxcar said, no, no, no. The theory is sound. The trouble is that if you are making 3 takes of a bad initial setup, you are just multiplying your problems 3-fold. Good harmonics become grating and I suspect this is what you are facing. You don't need a guitarist to hack out the same thing 3 times. You need him to nail it once.

    As I've gone this far, here is my exact chain:

    Fender EJ Strat or Patrick Eggle Berlins. On the Fenders, Both tone controls (slightly disingenuous as they are wired different to most strats) set to half. Pickup selector dictates tone. On the PE's, Seth Lovers, or Beck bridge, 59 special or norton air on the neck.

    Keeley Compressor. Most dials set to 2, output gain a slight increase

    Keeley modded TS808 Ibanez Tubescreamer. Most dials set to 2, output gain a slight increase

    BK Butler Tube Driver. Most dials set to 2, output gain a slight increase

    Keely modded Blues driver. 3 distortion pedals. All quality, all add colour. I use anything from 0-3 of them. With a good guitars pickup selector, any tone is possible. Again this excludes metal (EMGs and Mesas for that).

    Gruvin relay splitter.

    Fender Twin Reverb, Cornford Harlequin. Fender set 4,6,8 bass/mid/treb, cornford set 6/6/6/output. Sometimes I use a Rivera M100 via a THD16ohm soak, to a vintage 4x12 marshall v30x4. another thread perhaps. All cabs celestion vintage 30s, always, always.

    Twin Reverb mic'd with an i5 (prefer this to a 57, and its old, its the best mic for it). Cornford with a PR40.

    Both to a Sebatron VMP4000e. Two channels used, straight to Otari tape, split to 2nd 2 channels, bright/air etc adjusted, to DAW via Buzz SOC1.1.

    I end up with 4 channels, 2 tape compressed, 2 Buzz compressed. From one take.

    I generally set this up in advance, let the guitarist show me his kit, then show him this setup. He usually prefers mine, perhaps because I really push it....

    Delay, verb etc is after tracking and another thread also.

    I'm really not trying to dictate, this is a passion of mine and I hope its useful.
     
  7. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    1) Another mic may fix it, a 57 sounds totally different than a 421 or a Fathead or a SM7, etc.
    2) No it's not.
    3) Not always true, where do you get this stuff?
    4) Yeah, tell that to Zakk Wylde or Billy Corgan
    5) I never said to track multiples times to make it sound better. Layering and doubling parts are excellent techniques though and used quite often in the studio, so...
    6) NEVER tell a guitarist to ditch their amp, holy crap.
    7) It does help, I usually rock my '73 Vibro Champ or Vox Cambridge. But we all really work with what we have.
    8) Jesus, stop baggin' on the guys amp already? That's of no help to him at all.
    9) Some songs call for distortion, some call for clean tone...as the songwriter and guitarist that would be his/her decision, not yours.
    10) Why would the OP care about your exact chain when he's trying to get help with what He's got?
    11) Yes, you do push it, that seems true. Why would a guitarist even be remotely interested in your rig?
    12) Coulda fooled me man

    With the advice he's already gotten I'm sure he'll figure it out, it just takes time and application and working through it.
     
  8. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    awsome reference page.im always looking to improve my chain and there's certainly alot of equipment and technical info in here.
    i have been using an sm-7 among others on my deluxe reverb(n.o.s.50's rca's) but i have a pr-40 in my bass drum. never though of trying it on guitar. anyway, thanks .i hope the o.p. gets a good idea here.
     
  9. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Coyote I'm sorry if you took offence to what I said. However I'm going to respond to your points as the guy came asking for help, not for somebody to tell him that everything is fine.

    1) Another mic may fix it, a 57 sounds totally different than a 421 or a Fathead or a SM7, etc.

    A mic won't fix a bad sound.

    2) No it's not.

    OK, I should clarify. A Tele is a very shrill guitar, to give it a bad adjective. A good Tele has a great sonic signature. A cheap Tele is a very difficult guitar to record. Its going to have shrill unpleasant mids/hi-mids. Exactly what OP complains about.

    3) Not always true, where do you get this stuff?

    Again, I should clarify. What sounds good to a guitarist as his 'sound' is probably too distorted and too designed to sound right to his ears solo. Again, we are talking a less experienced guitarist.

    Where do I get this stuff? Take the converse point, which you seem to be arguing:

    Everything will just as good in a mix as it does in isolation?!

    So there's no need ever to EQ anything in a mix, or compress it? Close the forums! Where do I get this stuff? Common bloody sense....

    4) 4) Yeah, tell that to Zakk Wylde or Billy Corgan

    Eh? Yeah cos Zakk Wylde uses a transistor amp. He uses a Les Paul (one of my suggestions) through his modded JCM800s cranked to full, and pushed with a pedal gain stage in front (creating power tube distortion, and exactly what I was saying?) - also I specifically said that for hi-gain metal this would be the case. And Billy Corgan - a revered and renowned experimentalist and visionary songwriter? Yeah, I'm sure he values gain over tone every time.

    5) I never said to track multiples times to make it sound better. Layering and doubling parts are excellent techniques though and used quite often in the studio, so...

    Here is the crux and why I think we are arguing where we shouldn't. Yes, they are excellent techniques. Perhaps what I should have said is 'unless you read carefully, it would appear Coyote and Boxcar are implying that the fix for your poor sound is to layer your tracks. But if B = bad sound, 3 x B does not = G'.

    6) NEVER tell a guitarist to ditch their amp, holy crap.

    Got to disagree with you here. If a guitarist turns up with a Korean Ibanez and a transistor Marshall expecting to sound like Steve Vai, or with an Epiphone Les Paul and a Crate expecting to sound like Zakk Wylde, I'll certainly correct him. When the amp in question is a Marshall AVT150 'valvestate', of course its contributing to tizzy midrange. Its just good advice.

    7) It does help, I usually rock my '73 Vibro Champ or Vox Cambridge. But we all really work with what we have.

    Day-to-day course we work with what we have. But we are here on these forums to learn. I for one will be looking at a Vox Cambridge (and a Fathead) and have therefore learnt something from you.

    8) Jesus, stop baggin' on the guys amp already? That's of no help to him at all.

    See (6) I disagree. It sounds like the weak link and the problem should be addressed at source.

    9) Some songs call for distortion, some call for clean tone...as the songwriter and guitarist that would be his/her decision, not yours.

    Again perhaps I wasn't clear. I'd hope it could be inferred but to spell it out 'IF the problem is a guitarist with way too much nasty transistor preamp gain, telling you that its THEIR sound and they need it to perform, something is wrong' - as an engineer you should be aware of this. If my post really did sound agressive (I hope it didn't) then I'm sorry. If those harmonics really are important then you don't need to roll the gain off. But if those harmonics are nasty then less is more. I'd contend that the amount of distortion you hear on a record is misleading in most cases, and the recorded sound has less actual distortion that you might initially think.

    I never suggested, or I hope I didn't, that the answer is clean tone. I suggested that a good distorted sound takes less distortion than most people think. Of course some songs need clean, some need distortion. Thats very black and white and not what I was suggesting at all.

    10) Why would the OP care about your exact chain when he's trying to get help with what He's got?

    Because he is trying to improve things? Thats like saying why would a builder care about foundations when he's already made the house and nailed it to the ground. At some point things fall down.

    11) Yes, you do push it, that seems true. Why would a guitarist even be remotely interested in your rig?

    Because most guitarists who turn up to record are doing exactly what the OP is doing and trying to achieve the impossible. They are not sound engineers they are guitarists. Generally I find most people to be very receptive to alternatives, especially if its presented to them as an easy option to A/B and the results are convincing.

    If they turn up with an RG and a tranny marshall, they are pretty open to using a Jem and a JCM9000. If they turn up with an Epiphone Les Paul and a tranny Fender, they are pretty receptive to using a Nik Huber and a Twin. If they turn up with a cheap acoustic they are pretty open to swopping to a Babicz. If they turn up with a 4x12 and their own JCM800 and a guitar that sounds good, I'm equally open to capturing their good sound. I'm just forceful when it comes to pointing out the fact you can't polish a turd.

    I'm interested in your rig, Zakk Wylde's rig, Billy Corgan's rig and what every other guitarist in the world is using to achieve good recorded sound? Are you not?

    To split hairs further in the spirit of things, 'remotely'? A guitarist might be reluctant but only an extremely closed-minded individual wouldn't be even 'remotely' interested in what anybody else is doing, and so self-absorbed and focused on themselves that they are immune to any suggestion. I would suggest this precludes any learning whatsoever.

    12) You coulda fooled me.

    OK, you caught me. I was trying to be polite but as it hasn't worked, here's the TL;DR.

    If you are using a cheap Tele and a Marshall AVT, yes, I DICTATE that unless you get a better guitar and/or amp you won't be satisfied. Perhaps you can't do it now but unless you take some basic steps, even starting with upgrading the pickups to a basic standard, your sound will suck.

    There are basic standards in everything - a sound-treated room, a decent guitar and amp, a basic playing ability, a good gain-stage setup, a decent mic, a decent preamp, decent A/Ds.

    In distorted electric guitar the distortion itself creates so many magnifications, that every part of these is important. With any kind of problem-solving, you examine the weakest link first. IF the OP's guitar is a great-sounding Tele, then fine, its not the weakest link, the AVT almost certainly is.

    I'm not saying take the screw out the back of your Fuzz Face and ensure your shims are brass, but I also believe that even these wacky mods make a small percentage difference to the sound. However its likely to be in the order of 0.1%. A decent amplifier is probably contributing 20% or more to your problems.

    I know its not what you meant, but triple-layering a distortion sound generated by a bad amplifier isn't the solution here. The amp is.

    Kiddo, I'm really sorry for whaling on your amp. However I do think you'd get better results with another amp. I listed all the stuff I use as food for thought and ideas, I don't mean that if you don't have it all you can't get a good sound. Just that good recorded sound is an amalgamation of factors and to give you some ideas of what to consider as you progress, I thought I'd list some talking points.

    JG said it much more succintly than I can as I'm clearly soapboxing to a destructive extent. If you take one thing from this thread, take this, and please ignore mine & Coyote's bickering. We're on the same page really, I hope:

    The sound they think sounds good in the room IMO does not. I like distortion but I like good tone more so if you can get good tone and high distortion great, if not try backing off the distortion, or the volume or both.
     
  10. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Quotes are from Jeemy's post above.
    "Perhaps what I should have said is 'unless you read carefully, it would appear Coyote and Boxcar are implying that the fix for your poor sound is to layer your tracks. But if B = bad sound, 3 x B does not = G'."
    G' meaning a great sound I assume. I could not agree more, while double or triple tracking can make a fuller sound and just to clarify for a beginner this is the process of recording two or three seperate "takes" of the same passage can bring about a fuller sound it will not correct poor tonality. Garbage in = Garbage out, every time.
    "Got to disagree with you here. If a guitarist turns up with a Korean Ibanez and a transistor Marshall expecting to sound like Steve Vai, or with an Epiphone Les Paul and a Crate expecting to sound like Zakk Wylde, I'll certainly correct him. When the amp in question is a Marshall AVT150 'valvestate', of course its contributing to tizzy midrange. Its just good advice."
    This is a tough statement because while I agreee with the idea that it is extremely difficult to sound like Steve Vai with the listed equipment it is possible for a very talented guitarist to get a great souind from practicall any rig. To my amazement I have seen it, a japanese strat copy and a piece of s*** sears amp that Frank Lake got to sound very, very good. Granted you could only get one sound of it but it was a Zen moment. The better the guitarist the more likely the ability that they can dial something in, because they KNOW great tone when they hear it. That being said I for one have never liked the sound of any of the Marshall hybrid "valvestate" amps. They are well known for the "fizzie" sound the OP is complaining about. This may be mitigated by less distortion or less volume and good EQ of the amp as well as CoyoteTrax thoughts on post EQ.


    The idea of using two amp sounds one highly overdriven and one cleaner is something I do frequently. Often I DI a track with the guitarist playing his overdriven sound then reamp later with a much cleaner sound and blend the two tracks to get a better sound with the artist's approval during mixing. Some are open to this others are not. I have just found that this technique can help bring the sound more to the "front" in a mix and can be used gently in passages where you are looking for exactly that effect.

    Note to Kiddo, don't give up, experiment, experiment, experiment to get your "sound." Getting a great studio sound though involves the guitarist, his equipment, his settings, his technique as much as some recording techniques, be prepared to alter any stage of the process to get a great sound.
     
  11. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Ya G = great sound.

    There's an amazing clip of Eric Johnson playing through some Fender digi-effects combo also. But for every posturer who says 'tone is in the fingers' there are only a few who actually have that wonderful phrasing that actually allows the statement to be true. And the whole point of tone being in the fingers is dynamics and phrasing, and the whole point of dynamics and phrasing is that your playing controls the amplifiers' response - oversaturation reduces this to the point of homogenizing it, and a responsive power stage really makes it sing.

    There's an interesting corollary to this which is that often artist-endorsed amps don't actually come close to their recorded or live tones - their signature style and the tone in their fingers allows them to sell a substandard amplifier which just doens't work for everybody - the Carvin Legacy doesn't really have that Vai sound and he'll often slip a Marshall in when you aren't looking. An exception to this is Satriani's signature amp which is just fantastic, although I believe some of the circuitry was pilfered from EVH's model.

    If Kiddo's guitar player is that great; then maybe there is a signal chain error - which if you post your exact signal chain, we could identify. All things being equal though, an average player will sound infinitely better through a good amp and guitar, than just using the cheapest option.
     
  12. kiddo

    kiddo Guest

    hi. thanks for all the responses. ill write more shortly. tq
     
  13. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Great thread and excellent points. Thanks guys. I will agree that this particular amp is WORLD FAMOUS for fizzy thin distortion. If you cannot rent or borrow another amp for your session, then look to your pedals to save the day. Get as clean or even slightly overdriven sound as you can with that amp and then dial things from there. Do not rely on it to obtain that heavy sound. Mics dont lie and they arent filters like our brains and ears are. If the mic says its thin and watery then its thin and watery.

    Now we go to the experienced guitarists and the hands. Zakk, Steve Vai, (insert consumate pro here), it really doesnt matter what they play on, they will sound like them. Will it be easier to get the great sounds they are associated with with their respective rigs?? Well, yeah.

    Double tracking a poor sound makes the mixing engineer a crazed manical loony. Dont do that.

    Guitars. Pickups are everything in an electric guitar. Since our ears and brain are such good filters, the bad harmonic content is usually masked in a live performance due to acoustics,volume, and background noise. We never really hear the collapse of good tone until we get in front of a mic in a controlled environment and are able to 'hear back' the performance.

    This phenomenom is known as ' objective listening' as opposed to the sound we hear while we are making the sound. This is known as 'subjective listening'. Its two entirely different parts of the brain. We want to believe the subjective side because its the interactive part, but sitting and listening will always be the real deal in assessing the true sound we are producing.

    Sometimes its hard to accept this. But this is where the experienced recording engineer/producer will be able to give the constructive nudge in the right direction towards tonal nirvana.

    It sounds to me like Jeemy has studied this and has the right points to make. Not to say all arent right.

    The Keeley stuff is gold. In my band, one of the guitarists has a full complement of the Keeley and Keeley modded Boss stuff. An OCD with a modded Blues Driver is a killer chain into most amps. Put a little Champ in front of this, set the amp on 5 or 6 on all knobs and enjoy the ginormous guitar noise it makes.

    I cant agree more about BIG TONE first before theres ever any thought of distortion. I hear a Carr Hammerhead and a Bogner Metropolitan every night,with high end pedals and the best guitars. Fenders, Gibsons, Gretsch, Kramer, PRS, it makes a big difference. While its true that my guys are serious tone sluts, it only makes sense that everything you put into something like getting quality tone only enhances your playing ability by a lot of percentage.

    Remember that distortion is a funny thing......what sounds one way to your ears is very likely something entirely different in reality. Our ears, in this instance, lie to us everytime.
     
  14. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    One thing I've noticed that makes a big difference to me when tracking electric guitars is the relationship between the mic pre you're using and the mic itself. It's so easy to hear the difference in this relationship when tracking acoustic instruments before you push record...not so much when tracking an amp. But when you listen to the playback you notice the difference in sonic imprint right away. Yesterday for instance, I was amping a 4041 through an EH 12AY7 and something just wasn't sitting well in the mix. Plugged the same mic into my ZED and blam, that's what I was looking for. Same sound in essence but different "footprint" on the sound canvass (tape/DAW) making it much easier to mix with.
     

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