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My huge slide guitar is too huge!

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by JohnTodd, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Hi! Thanks for dropping by this thread.

    I have a problem in recording my slide guitar. It sounds huge - so huge, in fact, that it dominates the entire mix. Either that or I have to turn it down too low to be heard.

    So, I've tried FX and no FX, compression, a condenser, a dynamic, and a ribbon, a limiter, and EQ. None have worked, although they did change the sound.

    Is there a trick to this?

    The guitar is an Epiphone PR-7. I cannot just get another guitar.

    Thanks so much for your insights!
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    Maybe you just don't like it and it is appearing to be to forward. Sounds like nothing reverb and an eq or HPF can resolve.
  3. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    As an artist, I'm usually dissatisfied with my performances and tone...but nothing like this has ever happened.

    Are you suggesting I use some reverb to put it in the back of the room?
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    yup, add reverb and take the tail off . That usually gives you distance. But, may make it sound cheap too. Hard to say.

    Maybe you are too close to the hole and picking up boom? You obviously aren't using Pro Tools lol. PT doesn't give you boom! http://recording.org/digital-audio.21/47555-getting-a-big-boom-pro-tools.html

    Hey... I'm guessing different ribbon mics than what you are using and its a dobro but check it out. I love this clip Royer Labs - Randy Kohrs
  5. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    OK, thanks. I'll try it. Take the tail off with a gate? Off the dry instrument or gate the reverb?

    LOL at Big Boom in PT. I just went to that thread and watched it. The guy is passionate but incoherent.
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Also bear in mind that there are recording instruments and live show instruments. Sometimes they can be the same but often they are not.

    And Tad needs to go to rehab!
  7. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Is your slide guitar really that big or are you just over compensating? :tongue: Maybe, you should just back the mic off a bit. *shrug* Just taking stabs in the dark here.
  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member


    I started to go there and some...how...stop-ped.......

  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I know you record by yourself. At what point in the process is the slide going on? ie: what are you listening to to add the part to? Sometimes when I work alone, I will mute out a lot of the backing parts to add something like this into the song and when I play it back with the parts unmuted its just not right....either too much, too little, wrong emphasis in the wrong spot etc etc...

    You seem to have a handle on your arrangements but is this maybe the problem here? With the track I've heard from you I cant imagine how you could be having a problem with this.
  10. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    What is competing with the slide guitar in the same frequency range in your mix? Often times if you are having difficulty getting an instrument to "sit well" in a mix it's because there is competition from other instruments in the same frequency range. When this happens the first inclination is to push the fader up, but that results in the instrument "sitting on top" of the mix instead of "sitting in" the mix.
    If there is competition in the same frequency range, first try panning the competitive instrument(s) to one side and the slide guitar to the other. Alternatively, use EQ to "notch out" a space for the slide guitar i.e. cut the frequencies in the rest of your mix which compete with the slide guitar. This will help it to be heard without appearing too loud.
    Just a few thoughts, hope it helps,
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    yes, I'm sorry guys, I'm just tossing some humor into the mix with that Tad dude lol... so we keep balance in our lives and laugh a bit.

    I'm with Dave and Jack. We just had a conversation on live verses studio instruments that makes good sense.

    Why don't you play the damn thing so we can here it. As Hueseph say's, we're all in the dark here.

    It may not belong in the song. That's what I'm thinking. Your creative ear is searching for a sound that may not be where you are headed with this song. It happens all the time. To real around an electronic mix. Could be you need more acoustic drum sound in the mix. You may be hearing virtual and real on the extreme ends. Put raw sounding drums in the mix and it will balance it.
  12. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Sorry...major computer crash while recording slide! It's so huge it broke my computer!

    Be back tomorrow with tunes.

    THanks for all the help and sorry about the delay!
  13. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    View attachment 5190

    OK, there's a sample. It's a little better now. I put reverb and a quick delay on it. Tweaked the EQ and compressed the foo-foo out of it.

    Still not what I want or even close.

    I assert all copyrights.
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    There ya go, that magic of reverb, and to think that some people use it heavy on lead vocals. That's what I was talking about. Granted, I'm only listening to it on my laptop right not but it definitely does not sound out of place. I might even like more of it.

    Good for you.
  15. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I concur. You could have a bunch more of that noise on there. I dont know if you've done a lot of slide guitar recording before, but by its very nature it will stick out in a way nothing else will simply by its sonic nature as well as its harmonic structure being somewhat different than a lot of other instruments.

    Theres nothing wrong with that track other than you could use a little more slide.....less compression.
  16. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys!

    I also backed the mic off a bit. I'll try less compression, too.

    The only thing missing now is that raspy sound. I can't find it in the EQ w/out boosting unwanted stuff. So I tried my steel slide that Henry Juszkiewicz gave me, but it wasn't raspy enough. The track you heard was recorded with a "Blackburn's Red Plum Jelly" jar, circa 2010. :tongue:

    I'm gonna try using the compressor to take out just the peaks tomorrow and leave the rest of it.

    (PS - sorry about the shameless namedropping.)
  17. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Is this a resonator guitar? The biscuit is the rasp. Oh, and slide technique. Add a bit of rasp with a fired clay kinda slide. Slick and really smooth slides dont rasp as much as something with a little 'pull' in the material.

    No, really.
  18. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'll join the chorus. You are already in the ballpark with this sound. The reverb gives it a nice sense of space and distance. You can easily bring the volume up. Use this as an opportunity to experiment with your reverb. And yes, there is an infinite amount of experimentation with slide materials, damping and other techniques. But you're off to a good start.
  19. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member


    No, it isn't a resonator, just an acoustic played on my lap. I'll look into a different slide. Will have to improvise.

    THanks for helping me solve this problem!

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