Recording massively high gain guitars

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by LJ25, May 15, 2009.

  1. LJ25

    LJ25 Active Member

    May 15, 2009
    Hi, was hoping someone could help me with my sound.

    I am trying to record 2 guitars both with massive gain levels to achieve the sound we are after. (Basically its a groove-metal rock band with most bias being on metal).

    I am using this gear in this order:
    Yamaha HS50 monitors with matched subwoofer.
    Motu pre-8 & Cubase as my interface and preamp.
    ART V3 valve preamp (only 1 mic goes into this)
    Sure sm58 mics x 2
    Marshall TSL 100 amp & Line 6 HD147 amp with a Blackstar HT-Boost valve dynamic pedal

    I record each mic onto separate tracks and each guitar separately. (meaning we dont both play at the same time while recording)

    I have gone through the basics of finding my ideal tone by putting a close mic to the speaker & the other about 6 inches away and panning hard to one side with the cose mic and about 40% the other with the far mic. I do this for both guitars left and right respectively.

    With my tone I always find my ideal live tone then knock back the gain to take out any excess fizz from the sound.

    Generally it has good results but I always find my guitar tones sound very "spaced" for want of a better word.

    I am looking for that MASSIVE sound you get a'la Caliban, God Forbid, BMTH, Johnny Truant, Emmure etc etc....

    If anyone has any ideas it would be massively appreciated. I tend to be happy with my tone when its on its own and try get my mic placements so that I have replicated my live sound through my monitors as closely as possible.

    If you need an example of sound ask and I will pm my bands link to you.

  2. LJ25

    LJ25 Active Member

    May 15, 2009
    Just read the JP22 thread!

    I AM NOT HIM! I dont want to argue! haha. Just pulled a stomach muscle reading some of that!
  3. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    Jp23 alert!
    *snigger* This'll nail the bludger.

    Tell me, how do you control your dynamics?

    Some info about the room and treatment (if any) might help - a dead room and very close micing will help you get upfront tone. A room with lots of reflections will push the guitar back a little in the mix.
  4. LJ25

    LJ25 Active Member

    May 15, 2009
    I'm using a rectangular room full of curtains, sofa, matress against each wall so as to minimise reflections.

    I try not to track at gig volume as I find this makes the sound too messy, even if my signal to noise level is set right.

    Am I doing the right things here?
  5. peanutjar

    peanutjar Guest

    Try using a really small speaker (4"?), isolated and close-micd. Maybe in another room or something. I used to run an aux through my gorilla practice amp (with a little bit of its on-board crunch dialed in) and you get a tremendous sound from it. Not loud, but tonally amazing. Also you'll have no volume issues while tracking.
  6. LJ25

    LJ25 Active Member

    May 15, 2009
    I'm up for giving that a crack. Do you mean mic it up seperately in a different room along with my usual rig?
  7. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    Nuremberg, Germany
    Home Page:
    you say you like your sound, so i won't give you any advice regarding the signal itself.

    what i understand is, you want that "wall" of guitars and you can achieve this by layering multiple guitar tracks.
    here's what i do:

    i record the riff twice for left and right.

    then i record the riff a third time, sometimes with slight alterations (octave higher/lower, alternate chords) and pan it in the center. i turn that track lower in parts with vocals and bring it up when there's an instrumental part to fill the space where the vocals would sit.

    after that i decide if the 2 or 3 tracks are enough for what i want to achieve (usually in the verse) or if i want the guitars in a certain part of the song to be fuller/fatter (usually the chorus or instrumental part)
    if i want it to be fuller i will record additional guitar tracks left and right.

    for example, in the chorus i'll double the left and right guitars (that makes 4 tracks left and right) and add 2 more tracks with alternative chords (octave higher/lower, single notes...)

    that should leave you with 7 tracks - 3 left, 3 right and 1 in the center. you could go further and record even more tracks but 7 tracks are usually enough.
    blend them to your liking and you should have a wall of guitars. but be careful, you have to play them very tight or you will lose definition and it'll get muddy.

    send the tracks to a bus and apply eq if necessary (usually some high cut for the fizz and lo cut to leave space for the bass guitar)

    layering guitars is very common in metal music. just listen to metallicas black album or any new metal group and you will see what i mean.
  8. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    Turn the gain down. No, really. Too much gain only produces fuzzy, muddy guitar sounds. The high-gain sound you hear on records is not a ton of gain: it's EMG's interacting with a botique, high gain amp like a Diezel or Splawn. Oh, and what ouzo77 said.
  9. xMannequiNx

    xMannequiNx Guest

    the hugeness in all those albums comes from quadtracking the guitars, with the fredman mic technique. You can use as much gain as you could imagine but the more you add the more eqing your probably going to be doing. Like codemonkey said the room has a lot to do with the "closeness" of the guitar, so an iso-booth would be ideal for metal guitars (and vocals for that matter).

    Tracking at live volume isn't neccessary, but with tube amps your not going to get the tubes to color the sound unless you turn up the volume. If you really can't have it that loud you can use a power attenuator.

    The fizziness is mostly in the 12k+ range so when you mix you can lowpass at 12k and that takes care of a big chunk of that annoying fizz. Also 2, 4, and 6k has some of that high frequency fizz but you just have to play around untill you get the tone to your liking.
  10. LJ25

    LJ25 Active Member

    May 15, 2009
    Hi guys!

    Tried the small amp technique. Worked well but not for me! Just couldnt get the sound I am after!

    Knocking the gain back is a must so defo agree with you there!

    However. Came across the way im going to stick with. If anyone asks I will send you the music showing the results.

    Basically....I close mic'd one of the speakers from the Line 6 HD147 amp twice. One central about an inch from the cloth of the cab & one towards the rim of the speaker....then (this is where it got very interesting), I took my effects loop line out into the input of the Marshall TSL amp and put a single central mic close to the speaker of the TSL. The idea was to have the same recognisable tone but to give it a different flavor. I panned the close central mic of my line 6 far left, my offset mic about 20% left, then the alternative amp was panned about 50% right.

    From there I did exactly the same thing with the Marshall TSL amp but took the effects line out into the line 6 amp. Just mirrored it!

  11. LJ25

    LJ25 Active Member

    May 15, 2009

    That was massively helpfull while tweaking my mix last night! Loved that it made my sound much more clear but still retained the origional tone!

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