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Senses Fail: Still Searching - Guitar micing techniques.

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by KellyxEclipse, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. KellyxEclipse

    KellyxEclipse Active Member

    Feb 4, 2009
    I've been listening to different recordings to listen for guitar sounds, and I am really in love with the guitar sounds on Senses Fail's Still Searching. Does anyone know what type of mics, a/d, daw, or anything used in the recording of these guitars?
    Thank you.
  2. jordy

    jordy Active Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Reedsville, PA
    Home Page:
    hola...i used to really be into these guys back a couple years back....i think i've moved on lol... but still searching, i think, is their best album. the addition of Heath from Midtown brought them to a totally new level.

    anyways, i did watch a dvd of them in the making of this album. i believe they recorded at Salad Day Studios....so you might want to check out the studio's site and see if you can get any info from there....

    But, i do have to tell ya- most people use very similar techniques- dynamic close micing and maybe a room mic etc...and almost ALWAYS - double tracking for sure.- that will get you a nice thick sound right there. in order to get anywhere close to the guitar sound SF got on that album, along with the technique, you're goin to have to have good/decent equipment- you def. will need tubes as far a guitar amps go...and not to mention, skill and playing technique.
    i wouldn't worry so much about the a/d converters and the DAW (which was protools btw). -that wont help at all with capturing fat tone. seriously.
    as long as you have an interface that will record "cd quality" (16bit/ 44.1hkz) or better (most are 24bit/48-96khz), you have endless abilities to capture great tone on the computer end of things.

    hope this helped
    take it easy sleazy!
  3. KellyxEclipse

    KellyxEclipse Active Member

    Feb 4, 2009
    Okay thank you, Well at the moment I have a Marshall JCM 2000, Fender Frontman 212R, and two Marshall solid-state amps. I've been close micing with and md421 on one cone and a sm 57 on another ( for comparative reasons only, I usually go with the 421) I've been doubling up, and for the most part in dead on with the click, but Im just not getting the clarity in the guitars that they are getting.
    Thank you so much, I will check out that website right now.
  4. DocRoc

    DocRoc Guest

    The mic pre can add a lot to the color. The difference between a 421 tube guitar going through a macky pre and a nice API pre or Neve is like apples and oranges. 15+ years of experience like brian mcternan probably helps too!

  5. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    A lack of clarity usually means one of two things: you're getting the EQ wrong, or you have an ill-suited link in your signal chain. I took a listen to that CD, and I have to say that the guitars are just your typical emo guitars: nasal flubbiness... Shouldn't be too hard to achieve. 8) So, when it comes to EQ, you basically need a high pass on your guitar signal. Better to get it with an active EQ in an effects loop, but using a software compressor to high pass certainly works well enough. You can try a midrange boost, particularly around 1 KHz, or maybe try clearing out some lows and low mids.

    As far as ill-suited links go, you basically want to avoid alnico humbuckers and smooth speakers. I don't particuarly care for either, as both tend to yield smooth, fat distorted tones that don't cut very well. But I think EQ is more important, after all, there are plenty of crappy emo bands who use crappy gear who get "good" sounds on their records. It's all about the signal processing.
  6. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    Wow- remember when it was all about the music?
    Personally I would rather take the time and move the mic, or change the guitar or amp to get the sound I am going for, rather than reaching for the EQ0

    I hear what your saying NCdan, and most recordings these days are all about the processing. Its gotten to the point where I don’t want to listen to the radio.

    Then Robert Plant and Krauss sweep the grammy’s- what a polarized world we work in?

    Yes their album was cool, but I think it just show that lack of quality being produced these days. When an album of cover tunes can sweep the grammy’s….

    I think its up to us to put the music back into the recording.

    Rant over….


    Compress the guitar most likely with a LA2,, roll of the lows at 150hz and record the guitar twice, pan as your like.
  7. gameofsk8

    gameofsk8 Guest

    straight answer:

    you DEF need to use tubes to get that sound

    plus their mids are significantly high

    and yes their rhythms are completely dubbed so you'll need to record two tracks to get the "in your face" feel

    close dynamic mic with a good amount of crunch coming from the amp
  8. bighigg42

    bighigg42 Guest

    I work with an engineer in Baltimore who has worked with Senses Fail, in fact their album was mixed/mastered in his studio! For that type of guitar tone, its going to depend a LOT on the amp, not just mic techniques. Good places to start would be a Marshall JCM which you have! I know he used Pro Tools HD to mix and outboard gear (compressors, reverb, etc..) but theres good plugins for PT so no worries!

    Make sure you dont have too much gain on the amp as that can cause muddiness in the tracks. Also refrain from scooping the mids too much as thats where the tone of the guitar really comes through.

    As for mic techniques, keep with the sm57, its a snappy punchy mic, I have a JCM tsl, and really like how a 57 sounds right up on the grill, an inch off center, angled toward the center slightly, but play with it so you get a snappy tight tone even before mixing.

    Definently Double Track, unless a piece is insanely complex, Ill record one take switch guitars (les paul and SG) and record another take. Trick is to be verry precise so you keep a clear sound.

    As for mixing, compression will get rid of the raw guitar feel and smooth out the track. Try a short attack, and a moderate decay, around a 3:1 ratio, and set the threshold and gain boost the same. Avoid reverb on heavier guitar parts, ads to muddiness, try a tad of delay instead for a more spacey sound.

    I can ask my friend a bit more about how it was mixed next time im in the studio! Probably a week or two from now.
  9. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    There should be more threads like this. Kudos, great info.

    Two cents. In.
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