Thin guitar sound when recording

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Dale Paterson, May 24, 2017.

  1. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Oh another thing... When recording a track, it's normal that it's sounds very far from the end products we hear on the radio.
    I'm always reassured when I work on raw pro tracks and I can listen to the before and after sound.
    I heard vocals recorded in million dollar studio with pristine equipement sound very dull and lifeless raw.
    On the other end, I also hear killer warm guitar sounds being chopped down to thin because they weren't working in the song.
    Kinda like a chess game you know, we need to place our energy at the right place and anticipate ! ;)
     
  2. JayTerrance

    JayTerrance Active Member

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    Apr 15, 2015
    Location:
    Minnesota
    As Tony Maserati once said,

    "I'll leave you with this. Work with compression in frequency groups... Study the effects of slamming a compressor on jus certain frequencies of an individual track, then with a group of tracks... You will come to your own conclusions and then you'll have your own bag of 'starting points'! Good luck."

    His key word being "Starting Points". Compression is just a starting point. Take that "certain frequency concept" to other tools besides just compression. Lots of trial and error and every mix is different.
     
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  3. Dale Paterson

    Dale Paterson Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2017
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Hello everyone.

    Thank you pcrecord for all the information. Really very much appreciated. I've been monitoring this thread daily but have just not had a chance to reply. And oddly enough: this past week I ran into the exact same issues as have been addressed here during the week i.e. it's all very well getting a great guitar (or solo intrument) sound but when it all gets mixed together well, then, that's a whole other ballgame!!! LOL!!! So I do appreciate all of the input here.

    Two reasons really: the first being that I had no intention of setting up a dedicated room to record and the second being that I spent all of this money of this wonderful software which I figured would sound every bit as good (but, alas, no such luck). This being said, however, I must say that there are a few people out there that have created some killer presets in Amplitube 4 (well: I've managed to find about four that are really good and although they sure don't sound like my Marshall amps. being micd. up they're certainly useable at least to lay down the tracks to begin with anyway).

    Agreed about the ampsims.

    One thing I realised though: the great sound that I got from the camera and the Marshall I think was also largely due to the fact that the camera has a surround sound mic. Dunno. Somehow: I just cannot get that "live realism" sound with Amplitube 4 (but as I say: there are some very few killer presets out there and, well, to be fair, I've not really spent that much time trying to tweak Amplitube but then again it's not really something that I want to do either i.e. I'm not prepared to spend a year going through each and every nuance of the software etc. when I know I can simply turn on one of my amps. and I've got the sound I'm looking for).

    Yeh. One thing I'm sure of is that my main issue was that "dead, mono, buzzing" sound. There's no doubt that this is / was the main problem when I started this thread. Only thing that confuses me: did anybody actually listen to 90% of the presets that come with Amplitube??? LOL!!! Not being ugly here but MAN: some of them are horrendous i.e. instant headache lemme tell ya.

    The panning thing: still not for me (cannot do it live). Two different rigs??? Nope. Not for me either. I'm trying to get this all to work as I REALLY sound and not something that's processed (albeit by me). I'll probably get in trouble for saying this but it's a pet gripe I've had for years i.e. to me it's the reason why some bands sound absolutely fantastic on studio recording but cannot get it right live (and those that manage to accomplish both are, well, the real stars I guess).

    I took a look at Altiverb. Looks fantastic but I ain't buying i.e. it's costs as much as I paid for IK's Total Studio Max. and I'm done with spending money on software (for now). Besides: I've indeed spent a lot of time this week going through IK's stuff and there are just so many compressors, reverbs, choruses, delays, racks (as noted previously I bought the whole bunch) and there must be something in all of that which sounds good (famous last words). There's even some stereo widening stuff (although not sure it's the quality of Sterioizer).

    But yeh: I think I'm doing alright with sound now. Worst case scenario: tidy up a room (got one or two nice rooms with great acoustics and natural reverb) and mic. the amps.

    So that's my sound issues.

    However:

    This mixing thing is something else.

    This may seem like a dumb question but when is prudent to add stuff like reverb, stereo effects, that type of thing i.e. as you lay down each track or to the mix as a whole (or both). The reason I ask (and we've touched on this already): great guitar sound on its own (with reverb, chorus, whatever). But (and this but one example): in Sample Tank the instruments have their own reverb etc. and they're in stereo of course. By adding this stuff to the final mix: are you not "reverbing reverb" (as an example)??? I guess what I'm asking is "what is the right way" to approach this (one could argue to do it until it sounds just right but this is very subjective as we know).

    I shall keep monitoring (actually working on something interesting this week i.e. MIDI to DMX to create synchronised lighting effects with the MIDI tracks in the DAW).

    Thanks again (everyone).

    Regards,

    Dale.

     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    context. if the rest of a recording is thin and anemic, a fat guitar tone doesn't fit. same for the flip side. check your sims settings and see if they are hp filtered. if so, try taking the filters out. 0 the eq. see what you get then.
     
  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
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    Well you could if you send a stereo output from an audio interface to the FOH.
    If you bring a computer to the stage, you need to cope with the risks of it failling and bugging etc.. That's why I always prefered a real amp or to compromise; a hardware ampsim (pod or others)
    But if you do, you can have a different sounds for each song with the right effects and delay speeds etc and make them exactly the same as in studio..
    Altought some who do this still have a pedal controler to switch amplitube effects on/off. You don't want to touch a mouse between playing 2 chords.. lol

    Unless it's a special spring reverb which is unique to the amp, I prefer adding reverb at mixing time.
    Stereo effects, if you meen an effect that takes a mono signal and make it stereo, I never use them. Using 2 mics at the same time and panning them, I do that all the time.
    If you meen stereo delays, choruses and similar, I do them at tracking time because they modify the way we play.


    Honestly, I'd be very curious to take one of your raw tracks and see what I can do in Amplitube to please you...
     
  6. Dale Paterson

    Dale Paterson Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2017
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Good morning.

    Once again pcrecord: I thank you so very much for your input on all. And all is noted. Thanks for the guidelines on when to add effects. Makes sense.

    I have to say that I'd promised myself that I'd stop mucking about with all of this stuff (software) and just get on with getting my playing up to speed again but, alas, I could not help myself!!! LOL!!! I downloaded two or three Amplitube 3 presets created by others, imported them, and, as I said earlier, one or two are "killer". Then I started going through the Amplitube 4 factory presets again and also tried to create my own (stereo obviously) rig but again started getting frustrated (to say the least) with the sound. I then made the big mistake of downloading the demo of Guitar Rig 5. All I can say is this: either Native Instruments spent a WHOLE lot more time creating presets or the software / samples are just WAY better (or both). Right off the bat there's at least five factory presets that are almost perfect (playable anyway) (no: nothing like the sound of my Marshalls but close I must say). I cannot think of even one factory preset in Amplitube 4 that pleases. Yes: I know I should be spending time setting up my own stuff in Amplitube 4 but I just get the feeling that I'm wasting my time (well: wasting a lot of time anyway). What I noticed in Guitar Rig 5: they're very "aware" of stereo vs. mono (there's even a checkbox that allows you to select your preference i.e. when loading presets must they be loaded in mono or stereo). Also: their blues presets are something to behold. So I dunno really. Oh: also downloaded and looked at Peavey Revalver 4. Not going to even bother to comment!!! But I"ll say this: were it not for Sample Tank and Miroslav Philharmonic from IK: I'd be demanding my money back for Amplitube 4 (and I may still do this given that they're all seperate modules)!!!

    Anyway: I'm going to go collect some mic. cords today (have two very nice Sony mics. but one of the cords has gone missing) and I'm then going to mic. up me Marshalls (the camera sound was deceivingly good because of the surround mic.). And if I get the same sound: then I'll just have to reorganise my house is all!!! And if this works: may very well be on the lookout for a real live drummer, bass player, and the rest (and forget this software lark). And I'm going to try your thing of using two mics. and panning (I've a feeling I'm going to get exactly what I'm looking for)!!!

    Thanks again.

    Regards,

    Dale.

    P.S. Raw track coming up!!! LOL!!! Tell you what: I'll simultaneously record my micd. Marshalls and a Mixcraft Pro Studio (fantastic software by the way i.e. not sorry for buying this let me tell you) / Amplitube 4 track (should be able to do that I think) and let's see (should be a good exercise if nothing else).
     
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