Questions - Metal Recordings, Studio One 2, Guitar and Such

HADrummer

Registered
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Location
New England
Hey Hybrid Recording Community, I have a few questions/problems. My band is trying to record our debut EP.
I've been dabbling with recording for about a year in a half to two years, so I'm by no means a master, but I learned through mostly trial and error. For my parts we use Superior Drummer, and I use the Waves Platinum bundle for the majority of our mixing. I don't THINK my drum parts are the problem, if anything according to my bandmates they sound like the best thing in the whole mix. Guitars are a giant problem for me, being a drummer. Unless my guitarists are there, I can't really test guitar. So far what we do is connect our Line 6 Pod to the Power Amp and mic the cab. We use very little distortion compared to our live tone. (Pod emulates a distortion pedal with low distortion levels and tube skreamer to boost the signal) and the virtual Amp distortion levels are very minimal. Our two major problems are that I am using a stereo system as monitors currently, and the mic we use to record guitar is a radioshack mic that I assume cost about 20 dollars. Though I know these are problems we still try. What I'm wondering is will our guitar recording quality vastly improve with the SM57? We have light distortion on the guitars for recording, however what is the recommended guitar layering? Should the guitar be recorded mono 4 times and panned accordingly or just twice? If they are recorded this way should they be recorded with the same amp? If anyone has a Pod, do you record direct, or mic a cab like we are doing? The bass though the few times we recorded it was too loud, it still was a giant improvement on the guitar. I also thought about moving my sample rate in Studio one from 44.1 to 48khz. And should the Master bus have anything on it while I'm mixing or should I just master it on a different track? (All these questions being in your personal opinion of course.) I've including short mp3s of the drums and guitar.
Guitar Test: https://soundcloud.com/dominicronchetti/guitar-test/s-iFpDX
Drum Test: https://soundcloud.com/dominicronchetti/drum-test-2/s-lhYUm

Our Gear:
Recording Gear:
M-Audio Fast track Pro
Studio One 2 Producer
Line 6 Pod HD Pro

Guitarist:
Schecter Damien Riot-6
Line 6 Pod HD Pro
QSC GX3 Power Amp
VOX Model V412BK 4 x 12 Cab

Bassist:
(Unsure of bass model at the moment)
Carvin B2000 Bass Amplifier
Sansamp Bass Driver
SWR "Henry the 8x8" Bass Cab
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Location
Kingsport, TN
In my opinion since you have a radio shack mic, buy an good DI and use a amp modeler plug, then u can dial up whatever sound you want. I've always use a shure 57, sennheiser 421 and a royer 121. Just my 2 cents. I record metal, hard rock , punk bands on a daily basis.
Good luck.

SubhumanAudioProduction


Recording 2 inches @ a Time(plus PT)
 

HADrummer

Registered
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Location
New England
I have a few amp modelers, but I've never had any luck with them to be honest. Not sure if it is because of my 44.1 sample rate or what. There are certain things I'm completely oblivious to like a DI box. I've always just done guitar direct into the audio interface. Is a DI box that much better for direct in guitars?
 

DonnyThompson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Location
Akron/Cleveland, OH
I'm not even going to attempt to address your monitoring rig at this point... there are far too many variables at play - your room acoustics, the power you are using to drive the speakers, etc...

As far as microphones....The 57 is an industry standard, along with its brother the SM58. But there are other good dynamics as well... The EV RE20 The Shure SM7, Sennheiser 421's...

Most of your "sound" is going to come from your rig. The mics will only pick up the sound as it is at the source. Yes, you can alter tone by experimenting with EQ, placement and distance, but if you have a bad sounding rig, then, regardless of what you use, for the most part, you'll end up getting a good recording of a bad sounding rig.

I'd have to look it up, but that Radio Shack mic probably won't handle the SPL that a good dynamic like a 57 or 58 will. It's also very possible that the frequency bandwidth is limited as well, along with the general all round cheap construction of the mic in terms of the diaphragm, wiring, etc.

The good news is that the SM57/58's are both around $99 brand new. Not like you're gonna need a bank loan or second mortgage.

There are more than a few who use Line 6, Pods, and even Vst's like Amplitube and Guitar Rig for emulation of certain amp sounds. These can be convenient... you can track at any time day or night without pissing off your neighbors, but tone wise, I prefer to mic up a real amp (tube is preferable) with a good dynamic like a 58. Actually, there are times when I'll use two mics for the job... using one mic on the speaker(s), and a second mic back out into the room to grab ambiance. Bus these two mics to their own discreet tracks and mix to taste... EQ, Levels, Panning...

Stereo (Master) Bus processing is an art in itself, in terms of adding compression, EQ, Limiting, etc.

Until you really understand these tools - and I strongly urge you to research them - use them sparingly, if at all. These can do more harm than good when used by those who don't truly understand their function and form.

And I would NOT attempt to master your project yourself. Hire a pro. It will make all the difference in the world. Two years of learning the basics of recording doesn't qualify you to Master recordings, even if they are your own.

Allow plenty of headroom so that the Mastering Engineer has room to work. Set your master levels out to peak at around -8 to -6 db. Don't go limiting it to the point of anything approaching 0 db.
In fact, don't limit it at all. Let the M.E. do that for you.

If you were just a hobbyist having fun, I'd tell you to use what you have and be happy. However, this is your debut release, and I really think you need to put your best foot forward on this. People will only take you as seriously as you take yourself. If you try to do things on the cheap, with your limited knowledge, it's going to sound cheap. And there are more than plenty of those types of recordings out there already from independant do-it-yourself artists. Spend a few bucks, raise the bar and seek out professional help. Trust me, it'll be worth the investment.

Good luck.
 
Top