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can't get a good guitar tone in protools

Member for

21 years
I need some help getting a decent tone in protools. I had one I really liked a week or so ago and I can't seem to find it again. I've been tweaking and tweaking and I just cant seem to get anything that impresses me yet. I'm looking for a modern hard rock tone....this is what i'm using.

mesa boogie triple rectifier, marshall 1960A cabinet, shure sm57.....

any suggestions for Eq'ing? I know recording requires much less gain than live but what else should be much different..I know follow my ears etc. but i'm having trouble finding anything I really like. help would be great.


Member for

19 years 9 months

Davedog Fri, 01/18/2008 - 17:02
I have been quietly watching this....

Now I'm gonna go ape frickin shite!!!!! :evil:

Nevermind...I'm okay now.

Dude. Ya got such good advice...OVER AND OVER.

Ben got it real close in his last post.

IF...and I say this with a hopeful tone.....IF theres a spot in the room that you absolutely LOVE the sound of the amp, mark that spot. Get ANY frickin microphone...even the pretty and useless one....put it on a stand at the heighth of YOUR EAR....the one you LOVE the sound through......mix this second mic in with the first not so cool sound.

Its really easy. AND it'll either work or it wont.

The next thing you should do is document all the attempts you've made, assess if any of these are doing what you want, and if not, move on to something and come back to this one later.

After a while of frustration, ours minds start to play tricks on us.

Member for

21 years

Member Sat, 01/19/2008 - 08:30
Well last night I found a nice sweet spot with the sm57 on one of the speakers. I marked the face of the cabinet with tape so I don't lose the position.

I then also took the Nady and put it about a foot away from one of the speakers and I recorded those two mics as two tracks. I liked the tone, so I doubled all the parts so I have 4 tracks and I have to say the parts of the song with chug chug palm muting sound absoultely wonderful. The nady sounds brighter, but it doesn't have the edge and dirtyness of the 57 so I lowered it quite a bit more compared to the 57 in the mix, panned the 57 to the left, nady to the right on the one track, then opposite on the doubled track.

I think if I just found a good EQ on my amp for the next tone I'd do, my mic settings would work perfect. What ballpark of settings (EQ) would work for decent metal tones like killswitch engage or something. I have a friend wanting to lay down a metal song but I dont play metal and wouldn't know where to start EQ'ing a metal tone.

thanks for all the help so far it's lead me in the irght direciton.

Member for

13 years 8 months

Cacacas Sat, 01/19/2008 - 23:16
Maybe you could put the amp somewhere else in the room. Oh, you may not be able to achieve that first sound. Your memory might have glorified what you actually heard. Instead, maybe try and get a brand new tone that you really like. Or add another mic and keep trying.

Member for

17 years 6 months

Cucco Thu, 01/17/2008 - 11:16
I'm seriously not trying to be a butt-head to people on the board, so please don't take it that way. But, this topic and the question contained within makes me roll my eyes and die a little inside.

I'm going to make a statement in bold and caps. It's not that I'm yelling or pissed, I just want to emphasize one SERIOUSLY important point. Here goes:


Again - very sorry if it seems like I'm yelling - I'm not.

Do you like the sound you're getting in the room? In other words, while you're playing and listening (and I mean REALLY listening) do you actually hear the EXACT sound you want? If no, get it there. If yes, move on to the next step.

Now - place your microphone(s).

Now, listen through your cans or your monitors.

Are you hearing the desired result?

If yes, you are done, if no, move on to the next step.


Find the spot where the microphone sounds good and then stop. You're done.

If you cannot get the sound you desire with a MB/Marshall and SM57, you're doing something VERY wrong.

Again, not meaning to be harsh - this is just the reality of it.


Member for

21 years

Member Thu, 01/17/2008 - 11:17
This is difficult to answer, because "good" tone can mean many different things... even "modern hard rock" is pretty vague.

Also, I assume you are micing an actual amp, not using software emulation? If so, I think you should turn to protools (eq, etc) only after you have the best possible tone from your guitar, amp, and mic placement. Can you describe your setup/settings in more detail?

[edit] Jeremy beat me to it by a minute, and with more emphasis. :)

Member for

16 years 7 months

pr0gr4m Thu, 01/17/2008 - 11:54
pfactionbrett wrote: I had one I really liked a week or so ago...
This may be a dumb question but do you have that one from last week saved with all your settings? If so, copy them. If not and the tone you liked a week ago was a result of your internal tweakings (eq, compression, efx, whatever) then it would be tough for me to know what you need. I don't know what your sound at the source is so I can't really recommend EQ settings.

+1 on Cucco's comments

I'd like to add, when moving the mic, make sure to try different speakers, position, distance and angle. They all can make a huge difference.

Member for

13 years 10 months

bent Thu, 01/17/2008 - 12:05
I'd like to add more emphasis.

What Jeremy said holds true for everything you put in front of a microphone.

There are countless threads on this site which pertain to mic placement, room, tone, gain structure, etc...

It all boils down to his post right here!

Member for

21 years

Member Thu, 01/17/2008 - 12:33
I don't mean it by getting the tone inside the software, I mean listening to my tone while it's miced in my software. Sounds quite different than in the live room itself. I've moved the mic a million times and I just can't find what I want. I guess I need to be specific maybe a tone like Chevelle, or 10 years, not the ebst but the sound I want for the song.

I have it sounding good in the room, but miced up it sounds different no matter where the mic is not to mention double tracking it is going to sound different as well. I want to get it as close I can without using Eq plugins, only using those to fine tune.

Member for

21 years

Member Thu, 01/17/2008 - 12:43
well I can't get it how I had it due to mic placement, or slight changes in the EQ I guess, but also that's one tone I can't find any others I like. I don't want the same sound in every song.

yes in the same room but It's decently isolated, in a big closet type room, with a lot of padding and stuff stopping sound, I'm really not getting leaking much at all

Member for

15 years 5 months

BobRogers Thu, 01/17/2008 - 12:55
So you are hearing a huge difference between the sound you hear directly from the amp and the sound that an SM57 picks up and you hear played back through your monitors? Sounds like it could be problems with the acoustics in your room. How does it sound when you sing into the 57? Usually close micing the amp reduces the problems of room acoustics, but they can still be a problem during playback.

Did you get Amplitude or some other amp simulator with PT? Have you tried recording direct?

Member for

15 years 10 months

hueseph Thu, 01/17/2008 - 13:01
Hard lesson learned then. Always keep documentation. I used to have sheets printed out of console strips with the knobs and faders blanked out. Somebody, usually the second engineer or tape op, would go and mark all the settings. Even though it won't be exactly the same when you come in next time, you at least get in the ballpark.

I don't know if they still do this but at some studios they would charge for every knob and fader that wasn't zeroed when you left. So, maybe that doesn't apply in your own studio but documentation can save a lot of time if you can't leave things exactly as you left them.

Member for

15 years 5 months

BobRogers Thu, 01/17/2008 - 17:33
I still find this hard to figure. That's a good amp and cabinet. Stick a 57 anywhere close to the speaker and you should get an OK sound. Nothing to write home about maybe, but nothing to make you move the mic a million time and describe the situation like he does. Either the room or maybe the mic?? Has someone been hammering nails with your 57?

What kinds of things have you recorded where you got a sound that you really liked?

Member for

17 years 6 months

Cucco Fri, 01/18/2008 - 07:00
I have to agree with Bob -

Good instrument, good sound, good's a recipe for a good recording. You should be able to place the 57 and within 30 seconds get the sound in the recording.

This tells me that the sound that you're hearing in the room is not the actual sound that's in the room. Rose-colored glasses for the ears??