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Recording/mixing heavy guitars - Looking for some general guidelines.

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by kostein, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. kostein

    kostein New Metal Member

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    I've been lurking here for a while now and this is my probably first post (I think) so I would like to say Hello from Cyprus. I have been recording my own stuff for years but I've never really bothered with getting a good sound because I didn't have any decent gear. Until recently.

    Right now my setup looks like this; Guitar > Axe FX Ultra > RME Fireface 800 > Cubase 5. No mics involved, just direct input for the AFX. For drums I use Toontrack Superior 2 with the TMF library. As for the bass, it's really cheap bass going in the AFX.

    I'm pretty sure this is probably asked a lot and answered already a million times but I'm gonna be as lazy as my cat and post it anyway.

    I've been trying to get a good tone on tape since I bought the Axe FX and even though I get somewhat satisfying results it always feels lacking. I've tried a few different things but I haven't been able to record something that will make me go "That is CRUSHINGLY HEAVY!" while doing this -> :headbang: Listening to some of the songs home recordists do here it feels like I'm way way behind. I'll post a clip or two later so you can hear where I'm at.

    I don't know where to start because this is such a broad subject that involves a lot of different opinions and a million parameters. I'm not looking for a magic recipe or a magic trick that will make my guitars sound heavy overnight, just general guidelines and tips so I can gradually learn and get better at shaping the tone of the guitar on tape to how it makes me feel warm inside.

    So I'll just start throwing questions as they come to mind. First thing's first though. I love the tone when I'm playing in the room, however, when I try to record that it doesn't sound the same. It sounds muddy and bassy but when I roll the bass off it sounds thin as paper. I've tried it with less gain but the 'chugs' suffer from that. How do you go on about gain and eq settings on the amp itself before hitting record?

    I usually record two tracks panning one hard left and one hard right. Recently I tried doing four tracks with two panned hard left and two hard right. Are there any advantages in doing this? I've read on this forum that people do three tracks with one at dead center. I haven't tried this yet but I will eventually.

    Are compressors a good thing to use for heavy guitars? How are they used?

    I understand that it's better to get a good tone going in instead of having to EQ it later. This is a big one but if you have to eq once on tape, what do you do?

    I'm totally clueless when it comes to the bass guitar. The only thing I do is add a compressor and some eq. Do you add distortion at some point? If so, when? How do you make it blend in with the guitar and get that heavy crushing sound?

    I think I'll leave it here for now because this is already a bit long. It also looks like a FAQ :lol: Looking forward to hearing some interesting tips.
     
  2. Skinny Viking

    Skinny Viking ¯\(°_o)/¯ How do Lydian?

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    I stopped reading after you said "I'm gonna be as lazy as my cat"

    So, to answer your questions I'll be just as lazy ...

    "I can uze serchz?"
     
  3. OneDaySky

    OneDaySky Clint

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    ^^^
    THIS
     
  4. rob w

    rob w Huh?

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    I usually get my clients to play standing up with a wide stance. The guitar also needs to be slung as low as possible, even if it impedes the player's ability. Apart from that I can't think of anything. You could use the search function on this forum or the entire internet to see if I've missed anything.
    I'm here to help.
     
  5. dfer

    dfer Member

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    Care to elaborate? Would one's posture resemble that of a crablike creature?
     
  6. rob w

    rob w Huh?

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    For good tone I would suggest the player's feet need to extend past the shoulders 33.3% of the player's shoulder to shoulder measurement. I hope that helps.
     
  7. schwinginbatman

    schwinginbatman It's shittay!

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. Skinny Viking

    Skinny Viking ¯\(°_o)/¯ How do Lydian?

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    maybe for the pussies YOU work with ...

    You better be prepared for the full 66.6% feet extension to shoulder ratio I demand :headbang:
     
  9. Lamsy

    Lamsy New Metal Member

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    hahahaha that gif made my day:puke:
     
  10. rob w

    rob w Huh?

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    Jesus! 66.6%, surely that would blow the speaker cones across the room coupled with lightning strikes outside.
    Don't forget that the guitar neck should be just in front of the kneecap to ensure razor sharp crunch!
     
  11. dfer

    dfer Member

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    I call BS! Humanly impossible


    I have my Line 6 Pod on the ground to maximise my thigh leg muscles potential burn when I need to turn up more Bass on my Strugis TACT Preset.
     
  12. Skinny Viking

    Skinny Viking ¯\(°_o)/¯ How do Lydian?

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    :lol:
    Naturally
     
  13. Skinny Viking

    Skinny Viking ¯\(°_o)/¯ How do Lydian?

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    In skinny jeans - yes

    In spandex - no ;)
     
  14. kostein

    kostein New Metal Member

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    I'll try to apply these techniques tomorrow when I have time and update you promptly with the results! :lol:
     
  15. KBMoser

    KBMoser Audiophile

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    Lol at this thread.

    I would say the you need to start with a good tone. Try getting a good tone before you track a whole song. Record one part with guitars panned 100 left/100 right. If it doesnt pretty good with the unprocessed drums than choose a different impulse or work your eq if you need minor adjustments. The mainly problem for me with guitars is low mids. Everything else is an easier fix. Try impulses of oversized v30 cabs, or try different amp heads. When trying to decide if i think the tones would work in a mix i mute the overheads and high hat mic. This leaves me with kick, snare and guitars. When i hear it back like that i try to find anything that sticks out and figure out if i should use a different impulse or eq. So try that out.
     
  16. Jarkko Mattheiszen

    Jarkko Mattheiszen The FU guy.

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    Personally, I prefer the 90-degree-knee stance combined with a tweed jacket that smells of whiskey fart and an electric organ that weighs more than my girlfriend:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Jarkko Mattheiszen

    Jarkko Mattheiszen The FU guy.

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    On a side note, I traded that keyboard for a (small) bottle of JD and regret it to this day. Kinda.
     
  18. rob w

    rob w Huh?

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    I still think it's more to do with the stance. And studded wristbands.
     
  19. Derykus

    Derykus Member

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    Try de-coupling your axe-fx for tighter bass response and reduction of standing waves. Also re-tube it with Tung-Sol 12ax7's.
     
  20. CubanDude

    CubanDude not really cuban

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    With all due respect, but you shouldnt forget to run in place during a heavy breakdown.
     

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