Amp volume when recording metal guitar

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Molotov256, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Molotov256

    Molotov256 Active Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    Hi all... looking for some input regarding volume level when recording heavily distorted guitar in a hard rock or metal context. I'm not recording direct as I haven't found any satisfactory amp modeling software in Ubuntu yet, so I'm micing the amp into an audio interface.

    Barring more trial and error (a process from which I learn a lot at a very slow pace), do better educated folks usually keep the amp volume low and turn up the mic input level, or do you keep mic inputs lower and crank the amp? I've tried both ways and really don't like the results of either too much, so I'm kinda trying to take this back to step 1 and work my way through from there.
  2. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Unfortunately it starts further back with the player, gtr, then amp, mic etc.
    It player, gtr and amp are all working well together, it's difficult to screw it up.
    That being said, the common wisdom is:
    - lower wattage is better than higher wattage
    - Amp volume is only as loud as it needs to be to get the tubes, and cones to their desired fuzzyness. (more than that and the sound starts to collapse in on itself, less than that and the guitarist will cease to function properly)
    - At least one mic should be close up to the grill.
    - When tweeking the amp in the room, it's better to listen to the sound down at the height that the mics are.
    - Watch for and eliminate reflections off the floor

    I'm sure others will be along shortly to add to, clarify better, or debate the llst.
    stay tuned.
  3. song4gabriel

    song4gabriel Active Member

    Mar 27, 2007
    NY, USA
    Home Page:
    go to this post. this guy is like an encylopedia on recording distorted guitars. you will probably want to put on a coffee as it is a long read, but well worth it.

    Slipperman's Recording Distorted Guitars From Hell
  4. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2010
    Standing right behind you!
    Back off the distortion for rhythm guitars - say 75% instead of 100%. It'll really open up the sound and they will actually sound bigger that way, and clearer, too. You must experiment, but once you figure a few things out they'll stick with you.
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    In addition to the above, I'll throw out that studio recording speakers/amps are usually pretty small. You get the distortion at a much more managable volume. Big amps still for live shows. In either case it's a matter of finding just the right saturation/voltage for the valves.

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