Author Topic: Home guitar recording question  (Read 343 times)

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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Home guitar recording question
« on: January 27, 2021, 02:27:25 PM »
Curious what any of our recording enthusiasts may have to say on this.  Iím relatively new to home recording, but HAVE done a few things so far that have come out pretty decent.  They could be better and Iíve been reading and learning a LOT lately, so that I can get better, but I have a specific question.  I learned about gain staging Ė i.e. ensuring that the input/gain level of the waveform is fairly level from track to track, using a VU meter plugin.

Iíve kinda been conditioned, from the suggestions of others, to only record my dry signal, then import the Line6 Pod Farm software Iím using as a plugin to get my amp and fx tone, rather than recording the wet signal from the software.  Problem is that my pick response and resulting gain levels are much more uneven dry than they come across wet, which makes gain staging the dry signal difficult, because itís a pretty low level, and as I up the gain, to get it in the ballpark, parts of it go WAY over in the VU meter.

So I feel like I totally COULD just record the wet signal instead and likely have a more even signal to gain stage.  Either that or be WAY more conscientious about making sure that I pick everything as evenly as possible.  But to me, that kinda takes some of the ďhuman-nessĒ out of it.

Iím probably over-thinking all this, as Iím trying to incorporate all the new things Iím learning.  Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

Offline Architeuthis

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Re: Home guitar recording question
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2021, 10:23:52 AM »
Good subject.  Recording rhythm tracks can get tricky especially for distorted guitar.  I'm more old school,  lately I've been using this little cheap Crate 25 watt amp and mic it out with a SM57. I put the gain levels just above medium and do two separate tracks to beef it up and pan one track left and the other right. I also set the bass/mids/treble setting to my preference before recording.  I send the the guitar signal through a noise suppressing pedal which cleans things up nicely.
 Believe it or not, I'm getting better sounding rhythm tracks this way with an eight inch speaker than I did using a high end 4◊12 cab before.  I bought that little crate amp at Goodwill for $15.00 and it works great for recording since I don't have to crank it loud to get a good sound.
As far as lead tracks, I like to record with the desired effects going into it. I seem to execute better than I would playing dry. Many engineers will say to record everything dry, but I disagree to some extent.
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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: Home guitar recording question
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2021, 12:10:52 PM »
Well, the good thing in my case, is that since I'm not miking an amp, I'm going direct through my interface, and I can HEAR the full signal chain while I'm recording, but have the modeling software only send the dry signal to the DAW. Then I import the modeling software as a vst on a guitar bus.

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: Home guitar recording question
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2021, 01:09:46 PM »
Rule of thumb for me on recording guitars is I do everything 100% completely dry.  No reverb, no delays, nada.  If it's distorted guitar like a guitar solo or some chugging rhythms I play it with absolutely no effects because if I can get it to sound completely even and correct when it's dry, then you know it's only going to get better in the mixing stage.


I used to mic my Carvin 100 Watt combo and that is, in fact, how I recorded guitars for "Back From Being Gone" but I've gone completely digital now, there is just so much more control over the signal chain and how things end up sounding.  Plus the Positive Grid Amp sims are incredible.  I have 12 tube amps to choose from and 15 solid state, plus over 30 effects.



Online Stadler

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Re: Home guitar recording question
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2021, 02:51:08 PM »
Rule of thumb for me on recording guitars is I do everything 100% completely dry.  No reverb, no delays, nada.  If it's distorted guitar like a guitar solo or some chugging rhythms I play it with absolutely no effects because if I can get it to sound completely even and correct when it's dry, then you know it's only going to get better in the mixing stage.

But it DOES have the distortion, no, or is it completely clean? 

Sorry if that's a dumb question, but I am a noob with a capital NOOB when it comes to this and am just starting to immerse myself.

Offline Elite

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Re: Home guitar recording question
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2021, 04:32:00 AM »
I think he means dry in this case being without any effects whatsoever. Distortion technically isn't an 'effect' like a chorus, phaser, reverb etc. is. Those can be added later digitally, to make it sound exactly the way you want it. You can add effects digitally, but not remove them once you have recorded them.

That said; a lot of people will record guitars completely dry as well, so that they can later re-amp them; which is the process of running the recorded (dry) guitar sound through an amp. This is helpful in case you want to tweak the distortion, or layer multiple kinds of distortions on top of each other.
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Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: Home guitar recording question
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2021, 02:25:49 PM »
Yeah, that's what I meant.  Basically keep any modulating effects turned off when recording and add those later.  So like Hyperplex said, Reverb, Chorus, Delay, Flanger, Phaser, stuff like you add in after recording your dry, overdriven or distorted guitar tracks.  The thing with effects is you can always add them later but it's impossible to get rid of them if they're part of your original recorded audio.   

Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: Home guitar recording question
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2021, 11:00:04 AM »
I like it. I'll give this route a shot. Thanks for the input Kirk.

10 years ago, my old band recorded a demo of a few cover songs and an original my guitar player wrote.  When we were finished, I asked the guy who did the recording (a friend of ours) if he could give me a disc with ALL the separate tracks on it, which he did.  I found it last month and decided to try my hand at remixing that original.  I re-recorded my guitar parts, since my tone on the demo was shit.  Every other part is the same track from the original.  Im still learning, but see what you guys think of the difference.

Here's the original demo version we recorded:  https://soundcloud.com/cozmo-hagar/change-original-demo-version

Here's the remix of it that I did:  https://soundcloud.com/cozmo-hagar/change-remastered
« Last Edit: April 14, 2021, 12:49:15 PM by Sir GuitarCozmo »

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: Home guitar recording question
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2021, 12:42:29 PM »
Neither link works  ???

Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: Home guitar recording question
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2021, 12:49:36 PM »
My memory of using url tags sucks. Fixed now.