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Recording Guitars / Best way?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Nick_Chatzigeorgiadis, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. Greetings to all of you, i just found out about this site and i am very VERY HAPPY...

    Well to the poi now, I 've read in books that the best way to record a guitar is to use a dynamic mic in front of an amp and record it (in simple words).
    But i recently found a different connection for a home studio (which i have) with a sound card that is better to plug the quitar into a DI box - then to a console (6-channel i use) and then from the console to the sound card with a line cord.
    I ask you whats better to use and have the better results???? (I am using Cubase SX2,and Amplitude for further edit of the guitar sound).
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Welcome to R.O.!

    Best is what is best for you. Which ever way sounds better to you is the way you should do it. In most cases I prefer the sound of an amp and then use a mic to capture that sound. You might even want to do both, doing one at a time so you can combine them for a layerd sound.
  3. tollbooth

    tollbooth Guest

    me dear ripper

    i'd agree w monsieur gaff on this - i'm a guitarist myself and have a few albums worth of headaches behind me, and it really comes down to the track and the sound you want to get EACH time. never close your mind or creativity to any sound that could work in the mix.

    unless you are a serious 'genre' band then a range of approaches works really well. my favourite for the last few years has been the POD, just because when i'm tracking myself it makes life so easy, and i've never been disappointed; and yet for some really clean sounds i have from time to time stuffed my guitar merely into a chorus pedal, then a compressor pedal then into a focusrite trakmaster then to my MOTU2408 - for that track it was spot on.

    i always have a range of little gadgets and toys to play with too - the AdrenaLinn2 is really nice, and actually SOME of the amp models on there maybe even have an edge on some of the POD sounds.

    yet - the favourite solo i ever played on an album was my old peavey heritage 2x12 running china syndrome hot in the live room, while i played from the cotrol room, my drummer wandering round the live room with pillows strapped to his ears to get mic placement just right - soundwas utterly fantastic with an SM57 off axis straight into the desk pre's.

    have fun experimenting and like m. gaff implies, just keep an open mind and have fun creating sounds. the strangest combinations can work and give amazing results.

    don't get stressed out - chill and have fun!

    best regs

    paul d
    doncaster, uk
  4. thank u both for the advice, and i think i get your point about "personality" of sound...
  5. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Feb 16, 2001
    Home Page:
    Try every way you can think of. Try different D.I. boxes, different amps, different guitars, etc.

    Then when you've decided what you like best, not only will you have a better recording, you'll also have become a better recordist who improved his ears and learned to choose methods based on his own experiences.

    Enjoy the ride!
  6. noground

    noground Guest

    I have recorded a lot of guitar through a direct box (not using an amp) and I find that I prefer it most of the time when I'm recording non-distorted guitar. But a lot of that has to do with my style of music (complicated, dry sound). In order to get this to sound good you need to cut out a LOT of low frequencies (starting at 500 hz and down). This helps make up for the lack of contouring that would normally come from your standard guitar amp to sm57 recording chain. You could also try a condensor mic on the amp, or as Audiogaff said: combine them both, direct and amp... process them both differently. You can get a really unique sound that way. good luck!
  7. Blisshead

    Blisshead Guest

    I use a Tech21 Sans AMP TRI-AC, sounds pretty damn good. I don't have the money (or inclination really) to buy the Mesa Tripe rectifier I'd rather mic. The Tech21 gt-2 also works well.
  8. mfedderman

    mfedderman Guest

    Like everyone here has said, it depends on what you are going for. When recording an electric guitar, I usually use a Shure SM57 on the front of the speaker and an AKG D112 on the back of the speaker/cabinet (and I reverse the phase). If its a clean tone I use a Shure KSM32 on front instead of a SM57.

    Try different mics and more importantly, different placements. Using the right mic with the right placement is 70% of the job!

    -Matt Feddermann
    Phase Recording Studios
  9. Barkingdogstudios

    Barkingdogstudios Active Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    When I do mic a guitar cabinet, I do exactly what mfedderman does. In fact, I use a 57 on the front but a Sennheiser 421 on the back. I also really like the KSM32 for single-mic approach.

    I have gone direct too. But there's a huge difference between direct boxes/preamps. I did a demo with a guy who used a Line6 Pod and I didn't like it much. Too "dark", unclear, muddy. The guy who plays guitar in my band uses a $1500 Mesa-Boogie preamp and it sounds amazing. Given the choice, I like to go direct because it's just easier and it means no bleed if I'm (the drummer) playing along with him and the bass player.

    I also agree that mic placement is key. Closer to the center of the cone gives you more brightness and punch, further out gives you more tone, less punch.
  10. maintiger

    maintiger Distinguished Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Home Page:
    Try every mic you have on the amp see which one you like best- also as Gaff says, record direct and with a mic at the same time- you may like the mixed sound- heck, record with a close mic, a farther away mic and direct at the same time- you may like the mixed sound... in other words, experiment and use your ears until you find a sound you like... and yes, welcome to RO!
  11. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Lots of great ideas here!

    Experimentation is the mother of invention....errr...somethin ...

    POD's are great..............for doorstops.........no really!

    I couldnt resist...sorry

    For a clean sound in an environment where theres a noise issue the POD and similarly associated electronic gizmos can produce some very satisfying guitar sounds........almost.

    Theres something about them that just doesnt sound natural...whether its the decay of the note or what, I cant put my finger on it.I've tried several...all the 'Majors'...it just doesnt do it for me though I do use the box I have for sketching out parts when I'm engineer/producer/talent...it makes things easier.

    Great amp....great room...great playa.....what more is there?

    I like those 15 watt amps...sometimes less.....sometimes really open in a room and sometimes closed off in a box.A few mics scattered hither and yon.....mostly hither....Even with a bunch up, I find the SM57 at the cone in various angles of attack is the primary use track EVERY time...I am liking my ADK A51(frankenstein model)LDC up close and personal on a small amp.I like an older set of speakers in an older cabinet....the Really Old English stuff is great.I use a Dallas-Arbitter 4-12.....the speakers even come with a guass rating on em.....

    As was said...experiment....have a good time experimenting.....

    Back in the day......at one of the old studios I was with, we had a laudry room off the side of the control booth....A home setup but pro quality....I put a jack plate and a couple of mic sends in there...we called it the Heavy Metal room...Its amazing what a 50 watt Marshall on 11 surrounded by a washer/dryer sounds like....I always liked the RE20 in there.....

    peace to all you podboys
  12. Labs

    Labs Guest

    Sinde theres already a thread for this I will ask here.

    I usually just record guitars with a mic on the cabinet, but Ive tried getting another mic in (condenser a bit away) to have something to work with when mixing.

    I have a lot of problems avoiding phase problems/comb filtering when using two mics....any tips ?

    I dunno how the 3:1 trick would apply, since i usually have the dynamic smack on the cabinet,,,,,,whats 3 times zero?

    Well..I hope you can help, or at least understand my question.

  13. Labs

    Labs Guest

    oh, and i will try the 2nd mic behind the cabinet..maybe try my re20 for it.

  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    The best sound I ever heard a POD make was when someone threw one into a dumpster .... :D

    Use a mic and throw all that other crap away..

    All the modelers on the market sound like sh*t when compared to the real tones that can be pulled from the real amps.. I have compared different "models" to what they were attempting to emulate and I have yet to hear on that even comes close ... sure they offer a palette of different sounds to the financially challenged but for the most part these sounds are sub par and can be bested by someone who actually is willing to use their ears instead of simply dialing up a "tweed" tone and going with it ..

    For clean guitars sounds, going direct can be nice and I have been known to use a stomp box on the way in sometimes... a box like the Mesa Boogie V Twin or a TC Electronics chorus / flanger beats the crud out of any modeling amp I have ever heard..

    I also like to mic the front of an open backed cab with a pair of 421's and the place a U87 behind the cab sideways in figure 8, flipping the phase.. This puts some depth into the signal giving it a front to back as well as a left to right aspect ...

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