Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

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naturligfunktion
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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by naturligfunktion » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:25 am

wuff_miggler wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:47 am

Many ways to skin a cat...my 2c.
That's why it's so fun!

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by naturligfunktion » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:14 am

Sooo when on the subject, what kind of mics do you guys recommend when it comes to record the amp?

Besides the all ever trusting SM 57 of course :)

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by sir stony » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:39 pm

Depends on the recording situation and the nature of the sound you're aiming for. The "right tool for the job" approach can make life a lot easier. There's a world beyond the classic "SM57 close mic" setup, too, particularly in a studio environment. But even on stage, where close mic'ing is mandatory, there are options.
Without defining and balancing these factors first, it'd be somewhat pointless to make suggestions.

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by Hermetech Mastering » Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:25 am

Yeah, try a load and see what works. I like SM57 or Senn 906 for dynamic up close, KM84 or any LDC a bit further back for room tone.

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by naturligfunktion » Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:59 am

That's great advice, but I was more fishing for microphone recommendations as I am currently only own one :)

But on the other hand, as you guys point out, maybe it's more about how the microphone is used than which one you are using :boat:

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by Hermetech Mastering » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:33 am

It's both, but if you have one mic, then use it, only way to get a good tone is to experiment. Put cans on and scan around the amp with the mic listening for where it sounds good. I run a DI electric guitar signal from DAW through Reamp to amp, makes it easier.

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by Soy Sos » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:14 am

Lame.
OP asks for advice, get a bunch of great knowledgeable and thoughtful replies, can't be bothered to check back in, answer any of the followup questions, provide examples or thank anyone.

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by naturligfunktion » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:21 am

Hermetech Mastering wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:33 am
It's both, but if you have one mic, then use it, only way to get a good tone is to experiment. Put cans on and scan around the amp with the mic listening for where it sounds good. I run a DI electric guitar signal from DAW through Reamp to amp, makes it easier.
It's a bit hard to scan as my amp is right next to my studio, but Im gonna try this afternoon either way :) I really like to DI from the amp because that. Just turn off the speaker on the amp and hear only through my monitors. Im thinking of building a isolation box for one of the amps tho. Really like when I take the time to crank it up and mic it. I just have to - somehow - explain to my better half that a giant box in the living room / studio space is a good idea and not at all ugly and inconvinient :roll:

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by plainofjars » Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:24 pm

Hermetech Mastering wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:25 am
Yeah, try a load and see what works. I like SM57 or Senn 906 for dynamic up close, KM84 or any LDC a bit further back for room tone.
FYI much prefer an SM7b to an SM57 because it doesn't have that SM57 spikiness which I think is nasty if you're recording digitally. Lots of ppl have both of these mics but don't try the SM7b on their amps, which is crazy. I'd rather have a 57 on my voice and SM7b on cab, but people typically do the reverse. EV 635a is such a great mic for all sorts of things—an omni dynamic. Everyone should have one. Great on guitar cab in addition to almost all acoustic instruments. And cheap! And I like really dull, wooly ribbons on guitar cab. Would reach for those any day over the much more modern sounding Royers that everyone uses.

But yes, the instrument is the most important thing. In the case of electric guitar, that means the guitar, pedals, AND the amp—that is the instrument. Unlike vocals or acoustic, if everything sounds good to your ears coming out of the amp, it should sound good to the mic. Getting it to sound really good to your ears usually means cranking it up. With electric guitar amps, louder really does equal better, almost all of the time. You want to drive the tubes and get some distortion from your speaker. Amps in the 5w to 15w territory tend to work best IMO.

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by Hermetech Mastering » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:35 pm

As I said "I like...", and you may well like something different (I actually prefer the KM84s on guitar amp most of the time, about a meter back, if I just want a mono track), and that's fine, but the only way to tell is to experiment with what you have, and what works for the track/mix. Mics and speakers are similar transducers (in reverse) and make the HUGEST difference to how things sound, and are a very subjective, personal taste thing most of the time. I love ATCs, you love Barefoots, and nothing wrong with that! My point is, if you only have one mic, experiment with that loads before you start thinking about buying another one. A few inches in placement can make all the difference, and you'll only learn about that by scanning around with a mic in front of the amp with a pair of cans on. You will learn WAY more in an hour of doing that than you will in reading this thread. :)

I had an SM7b, was the best for my radio show VOs but when I stopped doing those I sold it. Kinda regret it! Having said that, the SM57 is THE most used guitar amp mic for a reason, and that's the bite, it'll cut through anything. It might be just what you are looking for, or it might not, the SM7b might blow it away. But you won't know for sure until you try it for yourself.

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by Michael O. » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:56 pm

Mics I generally prefer to sm57 as electric guitar amp close mic: md409, 545, re10, re15, u87

Imo the mic/s is/are slightly less important with electric guitar than with most other sources. The gestalt of the guitar, pedals or lack thereof, amp, and not to mention the playing itself, generally has more substantial impact on the sound that will likely shine through regardless of mic choice. Additionally, changing mic position (distance, angle, area of speaker at which mic is directed, etc.) can have more of an impact than say changing from one cardioid dynamic mic to another.

And plainofjars is right on the money- in my experience low-wattage, single-speaker combo amps tend to record better in almost any studio application than overpowered multi-speaker stacks. Sounds larger, richer, and presents less of an opportunity for phase trouble.

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by plainofjars » Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:29 pm

naturligfunktion wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:21 am
Hermetech Mastering wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:33 am
It's both, but if you have one mic, then use it, only way to get a good tone is to experiment. Put cans on and scan around the amp with the mic listening for where it sounds good. I run a DI electric guitar signal from DAW through Reamp to amp, makes it easier.
It's a bit hard to scan as my amp is right next to my studio, but Im gonna try this afternoon either way :) I really like to DI from the amp because that. Just turn off the speaker on the amp and hear only through my monitors. Im thinking of building a isolation box for one of the amps tho. Really like when I take the time to crank it up and mic it. I just have to - somehow - explain to my better half that a giant box in the living room / studio space is a good idea and not at all ugly and inconvinient :roll:
Before you make or buy and iso box, check out the creative sound lab/ryan earnhart's video using a (very nice) iso box to make sure that's something you want. He confirmed pretty decisively for me that it was something i *don't* want...

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by naturligfunktion » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:01 am

Michael O. wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:56 pm
Mics I generally prefer to sm57 as electric guitar amp close mic: md409, 545, re10, re15, u87

Imo the mic/s is/are slightly less important with electric guitar than with most other sources. The gestalt of the guitar, pedals or lack thereof, amp, and not to mention the playing itself, generally has more substantial impact on the sound that will likely shine through regardless of mic choice. Additionally, changing mic position (distance, angle, area of speaker at which mic is directed, etc.) can have more of an impact than say changing from one cardioid dynamic mic to another.

And plainofjars is right on the money- in my experience low-wattage, single-speaker combo amps tend to record better in almost any studio application than overpowered multi-speaker stacks. Sounds larger, richer, and presents less of an opportunity for phase trouble.
I agree, especially to the point I highlighted in bold. Im gonna buy myself a small amp today, hopefully if no one else has got it first, and I really look forward to be able to overdrive it without disturbing everybody else around me.

Also, thanks for the other tips both to you and Hermetech :)

@plainofjars Interesting, Im going to watch that video right away. Thanks for the tip!

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Re:

Post by muleskinner » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:40 am

Kent wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:33 am
Take it easy on yourself. Buy a used Fractal Audio AX8 or Axe-FX XL. The prices have been dropping lately.
I use an AxeFX II. It's awesome, really awesome. I've had it since it was released and it's probably my favourite piece of gear (it can fight it out with the Tempest). Most people here have told you to use a real amp/mic etc. Personally, I wouldn't bother. If you are predominantly home-recording get a modeller. The good ones sound great and it makes life sooo much easier.

I use a few pedals as well, mainly fuzzes as that's one thing I don't find it does very well. The amp models in it are fantastic.

I used to have a Fender Twin. It sounded great but recording it was an absolute bitch as it had to get so loud to get going. If you do get a real amp get a low wattage one for home recording.

The first LP I recorded most of the guitar was done straight into my audio interface with the tone shaped using EQ and saturation plug-ins (mainly the stock distortion plug-ins in Logic and Vintage Warmer). No, I didn't win any Grammys, but it got good reviews on the whole and no-one criticised the guitar tones! The vocals, maybe :lol:
Noise, Noodles and Doodles: http://bit.ly/mrjonesthebutcher


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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by Soy Sos » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:57 pm

Holeee Shit, I just skipped thru it, but that thread is a long and painful winding road!
That guy "flmason" is sooooo annoying...

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by Hermetech Mastering » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:46 pm

Yeah, I just skipped through some pages too, but also quite a lot of good info from the OP.

I hate to sound like a grouchy old man, but I really think the problem is people just do not want to put their 10,000 hours in any more (on an instrument, or mixing, or mastering, or whatever), and expect all the answers to be handed to them on a plate on an online forum/social media. Of course we can share great info in those virtual spaces, but at the end of the day if you have a guitar, an amp, and a mic, spend some time on a regimented practise routine (especially work on timing), and spend some time experimenting with mic positions. That's really all there is to it, experience. If your playing is great but you still can't get a good recorded sound from any mic position, then try another mic perhaps, and do it all over again, rinse and repeat. Nothing beats the work you put in.

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by naturligfunktion » Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:34 am

Hermetech Mastering wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:46 pm
I hate to sound like a grouchy old man, but I really think the problem is people just do not want to put their 10,000 hours in any more (on an instrument, or mixing, or mastering, or whatever)
.
[snipped]
.
Nothing beats the work you put in.
Even if you sound like a grouchy old man, I think your point is spot on :)

I have struggled to record acoustic guitars (it is very difficult still) but the biggest improvment, hands down, without a doubt, to get better recordings is to practice the part. If I play it better, it obviously sound better. Quite happy to realize that, as I was close to buy preamps, new microphones and what not. Instead I practiced, practiced and practiced and what do you know, the recording turned out OK.

You can listen to it in my signature hehe

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by Hermetech Mastering » Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:03 am

Nice one, it sounds great!

Same here, I practised these parts every day for about six months before I started recording:



It's hard if you have no assistant because you have to play and try and listen at the same time to different mic positions etc., not to mention every room and playing position also sounds different. I am still experimenting with trying to get better acoustic guitar sounds, I think it never ends. :)

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by naturligfunktion » Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:00 am

I agree 100 %! It is very difficult to hear in the headphones how the tone is when you are strumming. I consider to convince my friend to learn guitar, so I can record him :hihi:

I like your music btw! Sounds great :) The vocals sit very, very well in the mix, and her voice is quite fantastic!

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Re: Why can't I record a guitar tone for shit?

Post by Hermetech Mastering » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:14 am

naturligfunktion wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:00 am
I agree 100 %! It is very difficult to hear in the headphones how the tone is when you are strumming. I consider to convince my friend to learn guitar, so I can record him :hihi:
Yeah, at least with electric you can record a DI track, reamp it through the amp, and have the cans on/waving the mic about experience without also having the guitar round your neck... With acoustic it is harder, best way I have found is wearing Etymotic in ear monitors with about 40dB of attenuation, then putting ear protectors on top of those for more attenuation, then sitting on a wheely office chair with the mic in a fixed location, then trying to play and move around the mic to get the best sound, but it's a nightmare trying to do all those things with all those wires trailing around too, and really hard for me to play my best when I can't hear the guitar acoustically. When my dad came to visit us in Paris I had him play the acoustic so I could find the best spot, but then we moved to Milan and the rooms are totally different, so I am having to start again, haha.
naturligfunktion wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:00 am
I like your music btw! Sounds great :) The vocals sit very, very well in the mix, and her voice is quite fantastic!
Thanks for the kind words, glad people like it, it's a cover of one of our fave tracks. Layla is the singer, also in the band Hawthonn with her partner Phil Legard. I put her vocals through the mastering chain, haha. I mixed it in Reaper, only third time I had used it, so was still getting to know it (still am!) Not so happy with the scratchiness of the guitar in places, but that was just due to using strings that were too new I think. I prefer a deader sound generally. But overall very happy with how it came out.

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