amping a pre-recorded guitar track

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by diatomano44, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. diatomano44

    diatomano44 Guest

    Hello everyone, I'm sort of young and relatively new to recording, and I'm going to be recording for a friend's band soon and am in need of a way to track all members except vocals (drums, bass, 2 guitars) simultaneously. Until now i have just been recording each instrument separately, since i am unable to isolate the amps from each other and from the drums, but it is too hard for them to get a good vibe and timing without playing all together. I also have a limited number of mics and decent preamps (although i do have tons of simultaneous tracks and mackie pres available). I have read hear that no substitute (such as a POD) can compare to a real miked speaker and that it is possible to record a dry guitar signal and then send it through a miked amp later. This seems to be the best alternative for me, and my question is What is the best (cheapest with decent result) way to record this dry signal. I am recding with a hard drive 24 track (Mackie SDR24) and the guitar sounds are heavy metal type distortion (i think they use boss metal zone pedals).

    Also, Please let me know if it would just be better to buy a few more mics and mic everyone live with very limited isolation, but keep in mind that my room is small and not yet treated for bass problems and that I would then be using lower quality pre and mic setups.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    I would say buy more mics and work on your recording/tracking skills and worry about things like re-amping latter down the road. Getting to know and gain experience in all of the basic tracking and microphone useage skills is the very first thing you need to achieve that will give you the most return on your time and effort now, and in the future.
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    As AG has said, sharpen your skills and worry about individual techniques later.As for achieving a quality 'everybody plays at once' sound,you have to consider what it takes to achieve isolation in a sound recording.Do not consider 'bleed' to be a bad thing.Most classic recordings from the 40's,50's,60's and 70's all had some form of bleed associated with the sound.I have no idea what your room is like that you are going to be recording in and this is the biggest factor in attaining a quality separation of instruments.Perhaps a little insight into this factor more so than your current equipment list would enable those that 'know' to be able to shine a little brighter light on your process.
  4. diatomano44

    diatomano44 Guest

    well as of now i have :
    2 sm57
    1 studio projects c1
    2 oktava mc012
    1 beta52
    2 sm58
    and i will hopefully soon have a 421

    i have used 1 57 for snare, 52 for kick, and mc012s for overheads and that would not leave me with much now to mic two guitars and bass. (would it be wise to buy a bass sansamp or similar to record bass direct?) When tracking separately, I have blended two 57's on different parts of the cone or one off axis and used the beta 52 along with a direct signal from the amp.

    studio projects vtb-1
    mackie sr24 vlz pro
    hopefully, since i am really lacking here if I want to record a bunch of channels at once, I want to buy a sebatron 4-channel pre. (would this be a wise next step?)

    I have 2 small rooms available for use in my garage attic, each about 18x18 feet one with 8ft. ceiling (slanted from 5ft up) and the other with a 14ft. vaulted ceiling. hardwood floors and 1" thick poplar walls and ceilings. also a small (2x4ft. closet)
    No real treatment now except some blankets and carpets on the walls and rugs on the floor.
    I plan to make some bass traps someday and also put up some rigid fiberglass for high frequencies.

    Thanks for you replies!
  5. diatomano44

    diatomano44 Guest

    * sorry i meant to say that I use the beta 52 and direct signal for BASS
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    The 18x18 room with the high ceilings and the wood floor is the one you want.Does a Mackie VLZ have direct outs? This is what you're going to need.And then you need to plan out your sessions.You are going to want to rent packing blankets and a few mics.You will need to have the guitarists play with closed back cabs and you're going to need a DI for the bass.Get a Countryman 80.It will last the rest of your life and sounds great.Theres lots of other much much more expensive DI's but for this project its not necessary.You'll want to find things you can drape the packing blankets over to create goboes around your amps and the drums.The only other mics you will need at this point are SM57's or MD421's.Arrange the amps so none are pointing at anothers mic or goboed space.Angle the drums off axis from all other mics. Use the Studio Projects as an overhead.Use the 57's and the beta for closemicing the drums.Adjust to taste Use phones after you get a sound and continually move mics till the bleed from the other instruments is at a minimum.It will take a while.Dont feel the need to capture something right off the bat.Test take until you're satisfied.With a little effort and a lot of experimenting, you'll be surprised just how good a sound you can get with a modest equipment set-up.
  7. nizl

    nizl Guest

    Just to reinforce this, FWIW...

    I had always recorded individual instruments because "that's the way it's done in modern recordings" until about a week ago. However, necessity required that I record my band with a couple mics in the practice room.

    So, we got everything so it sounded good in the room, playing as a band. Everything balanced/etc. Used 7 mics:

    2 - Oktava 012's as overheads on drums, setup using RecorderMan's recommendations
    1 - SM57 on snare
    1 - Beta 52 on kick
    1 - SM57 close on guitar
    1 - SM57 close on bass
    1 - Rode NT1000 as a room mic

    Then, went back and put the vox over the top, again using the NT1000.

    The sound was way better and more cohesive than my previous recordings. And the whole thing was done in an hour, including vox harmonies. No reverb needed since the room mic gave a very natural sound.

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