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Expert sugguestions on an advanced guitar recording setup

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Jp22, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. Jp22

    Jp22 Guest

    Hi, i'm looking for a few expert recording engineer sugguestions on how to possibly improve a guitar sound a bit. Firstly, i'll give a little background on my setup. I'm running three mics: One cardioid to isolate the sound, one condenser for a little bit of crispness and a tube in the room. I am happy with the initial sound i'm getting running two of these mics (one compressed) from a processor into two separate analog mixer channels and one mic directly(condenser) to a mixer channel. I then send all three of these mics out together bused (one line) as a stereo pair (L&R), compress again, then to an external converter and go optical into a single track into my multi-track software. My question is would I be better off running more than one stereo pair to my converters (separate for each mic) into my software, recording more than one track simultaniously? I'm wondering if i'll achieve a slight bit better edge on my sound somehow that way.. or perhaps I should also compress the other two mics and stick to running them all together as one line into a single track. Thx for any helpful sugguestions, opinions or info from any knowlegable engineers. ~Jp, "The Box", Minnesota, US
  2. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    Thats an awful lot of compression before you hit the recorder. Unless the performance is wildly out of control dynamically I would lose the compression before the conversion. In my opinion compression at that point does more harm than good to guitar sounds unless there is a performance related reason that demands it.

    Why don't you track each mic seperately?
  3. Jp22

    Jp22 Guest

    Well, first of all take into consideration the strength of the initial compression i'm using is minimal or sparing and then the fact that things sound worse when not also compressing before hitting the converters. As I said, overall i'm happy with that end of my sound anyways and I could easily give back any minimal dynamics lost compressing with a bit more eq on my mixer (if that were a problem). With that said, as for tracking each mic separately, firstly how many tracks/what method would you sugguest and second i'm still not sure expert opinion-wise if running all three mics together (as one line) is such a good idea when either A) Initially leaving a processor. B) Before they hit converters (bused together from mixer) or C) Within multi-track software. thx for the response.

    ~Jp, "The Box", Minnesota, US
  4. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    If the tracks are available each mic goes on its own track. If you only have two tracks I would blend the two close mics together on one and leave the distant mic on a seperate track to blend in the amount of room sound you need at mix time.
  5. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    My question is, what are you going for. If it's an open, clean sound, then the compression is more understandable, but if this is a heavy distorted sound, then you're already getting so much compression from the amp and speakers that any more to tape is almost pointless.

    Another thought is that when you say it sounds better compressed going in, is this solo or with the rest of the song. I find that what sounds good solo and what sounds good in the song are rarely the same with guitars, especially heavier guitars. Granted this is all song dependent, but something to take into consideration. Many times I've brought a solo guitar up in the monitors and had the guitarist say "wtf did you ruin the sound for" but when it's in the song, they understand.

    As for mics, definitely track to seperate tracks if possible. You may find you need more of the "edge" you're talking about later on and be able to get it by just adding a little more of one mic, rather than EQing. Always try to get the sound right with the mic before going to the EQ. This is one of my biggest pet peeves with the new wave of "fix it in the mix" so-called "engineers". Sometimes it's inevitable, but if you just take the time, you can get it right with the mic(s).
  6. Jp22

    Jp22 Guest

    Compress a clean sound? Uhh.... sorry to break it to you but for the most part you're almost completely defeating the purpose of using compression doing that. Second, if "getting compression from the amp and speakers" is truely how you think your achieving truely compressed results, then I think you need your head examined. Third.... ehhh Mr. McCheese.... if you've even bothered to read my initial posts i'm not dealing with "tape"!

    To be perfectly honest, I actually agree with these people who
    are asking you 'why did you ruin my sound'. Personally, I find
    your theory of 'ruining a sound because it sounds better in the
    mix' to be quite ludicris. You should seek professional help, soon.

    ~ Jp, "The Box", Minnesota, US
  7. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    WTF are you talking about?

    Lightly compressing a clean guitar to even out the peaks and tighten up the dynamics is pretty common. Ask around on this one. Maybe you need to reexamine the "purpose of compression".

    No, you need to have your head examined. If you look at a distortion guitar wave form it's pretty much a solid block. Distortion by nature has an amount of compression in it. It's a clipping tube (given it's a tube amp) therefore the tube has reached it's maximum output, and is clipping the waveform. Any further increase in input level to the overdrive tube will only increase the minumum volume, not the already clipped maximum. This would decrease the dynamic range of the sound, which is EXACTLY what a compressor does. Thank you, play again.

    And if you had been doing this for more than two days with your "My mom bought me a studio in a box!" shitty attitude you'd understand that "to tape" is an expression that is used quite commonly, even when tape isn't being used. See, some of us have been doing this long enough to understand why there are razor blades and rubbing alchohol in a studio, and they aren't used for drugs (not all the time anyways). I guess some of us say it in rememberance of the days when there weren't a bunch of "OMG I AM TEH ENGEENEER WITH MY 'PUTER" idiots out there.

    To be perfectly honest, you don't have a ^#$%ing clue. When you pull up a heavy rock mix and wonder why it's muddy as hell, just go ahead and leave those guitars just fine. I'm more than happy to suck the low end out of them to make room for the bass and kick. It's called mixing. Some songs require more work than others. The more elements in a song, the more you have to "make room" for each of them. "Ruining" the sound to make if better in the mix isn't "ruining" it, now is it. And for the record "Ludacris" is a no-talent, dime a dozen rap artist. The word you're looking for is Ludicrous. Learning to spell from rappers is like learning photography from the blind.
  8. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    You're going to do what with what?
  9. Jp22

    Jp22 Guest

    Compression doesn't "tighten up dynamics" imbecile, it clips the peaks, period. If anything it softens dynamics by shaving the peaks off and too much will destroy the dynamics, not "tighten" them. I agree with "lightly" but as for a distorted sound, i'm sorry but I don't care how right you think you are, your completely wrong, since the dynamics of an overdriven guitar (hence higher peaks) are at a lower threshold, naturally there needs to be more compression. People who say "don't compress distorted guitars" are idiotic. Thats completely false.

    A solid block?!? Good god man, what an awful sight! I don't know what kind of distortion your referring to but i'd say if your seeing a "solid block" your sound is already completely destroyed!

    This is also false, completely untrue and you don't know what your talking about. Distortion is distortion (fuzzy sounding, duh) and compression is compression (the clipping of peaking levels). Get a clue, they are two totally separate entities.

    Sure, i'll play again, heres another ^#$%ing quarter: Thanks
    for the mindless rhetorical rambling rundown of "what a
    compressor does" (I didn't ask you for it to begin with!).

    Used quite commonly by whom? People who say "tape" when they don't actually mean "tape"? Thats twisted. You need psychological help buddy. I created this post strictly laying out my details very well but what I got in return from you is a psycho version of "tape really isn't tape" and "distortion is really compression". Nutcase!

    Yeah right, you and whos army.... you use razor blades and alcohol for what? Shame.....

    I think we already know "sucking" is one of your best features, theres really no need for any more details about your aftificial fake processes.

    As far as i've ever known, again, i've never had to "suck" anything out of a mix to acheive results. "Ruining" another musician's sound to achieve YOUR results in YOUR ego'd out mix is nothing but a self-centered statement from an overpaid washed up 'engineer' who likes to twist phrases into his own confused meanings. You aren't fooling anyone but yourself, Mr. McCheese.
  10. Jp22

    Jp22 Guest

    I do what needs to be done, not what YOU *think*. Don't mistake it and get your ego all in a knot again, its not about what you want, its about what I want.
  11. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    I'm sure you had a great time learning to be an 'engineer' from the back of Guitar One magazine, but it's pretty apparent you don't even know what the words you use mean, let alone have a clue about how things work. Enjoy your time here, I'm done with you.
  12. Jp22

    Jp22 Guest

    Good riddance! Please don't come back to my topic, you are unwelcome here.
  13. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Trolls are hilarious! :cool:

    But seriously, you are pretty far out there JP.
  14. Jp22

    Jp22 Guest

    Actually, I don't find Mr. "McCheese's" trollish antics to be funny one bit. Whether or not he or whoever thinks hes correct or not is unknown but just to clarify, I don't follow false interpretations or opinions of people (groups or otherwise) who always think they're correct when in reality they're not. I came here looking for simple answers on tracking with a few mics, not a debate on the properties of compression! Trolls seem to be common in forums lately, theres always some idiot screwing it up. Remember, THIS IS MY TOPIC, NOT MR. McCHEESE'S. I AM NOT OPEN FOR DEBATE.
  15. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    HAHAHAHAHAHA. What a moron. That was the best one yet.

    And it's Sir McCheese.
  16. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    Now I understand why you are having problems. You are are wrong on virtually every point you have made.

    1)Compression used properly doesn't clip anything and is very commonly used on clean guitar parts.
    2)A distorted amp does in fact have a compression aspect to it.
    3)A lot of of people use the phrase "to tape" when referring to recording. They just don't record in your bedroom
    4)Razors and alcohol are used for splicing analog tape together.

    Now stop tarnishing the title of 'Engineer' by claiming to be one.
  17. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    The troll comment was directed at you genius :roll:
  18. Jp22

    Jp22 Guest

    Are you saying you actually believe the fake twisted crap these idiots are rolling out? Those are all fake rumors! How people "Compress only clean guitar but not distorted guitar". What a load of $*^t! I've seen this statement floating around for sometime and its a total crock. Its quite the contrary. Tell me you don't believe if a guitar sounds good and its clean that you need more compression. Completely false. A clean guitar would have lower peaks and need less, not more, just as a louder more distorted guitar would have higher peaks, hence needing more compression. Tell me i'm wrong! Nonsense! I WAS TOLD THIS BY ONE OF THE SYNTRILLIUM ENGINEERS (Adobe Audition, Cool Edit Pro). Now tell me i'm wrong!!
  19. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    If we are all so full of $*^t please quote any source to support this BS you are spewing. Surely someone must agree with you.......

    I'm done here. Why would a self proclaimed "expert" like yourself even need to have posted the question you did? If your so damn knowledgable you should have your answer already. You really need to shut it and listen. Whether you believe it or not you have no idea what you are talking about although I have no doubt you believe you do.
  20. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    I think it's not so much that you're wrong, but that you're wrong AND you're a complete idiot. You're throwing words like "Dynamics" around when you clearly don't understand what they mean.

    And for the record, I never said I would never apply compression to a distorted guitar, just that it seemed unneccesarry to track it to tape (I know that "to tape" going to confuse your little brain, but tough $*^t).

    And the SYNTRILLIUM ENGINEERS that are so friggin cool to you, are 1) software engineers, and 2) authors of the programs you mentioned, which coincidentally come with some of the shittiest dynamics plugins I've ever had the displeasure of using. Honestly they could sound great, but I couldn't get past the worlds worst interface.

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