Best recorded guitar sounds - then vs now

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by MikeVB, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. MikeVB

    MikeVB Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,645
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    Leesburg, GA
    A lot of the things you read these days about how to best record electric guitar sounds often say you should record direct and dry even if you monitor through an amp (wet or not). Then you can re-amp the tracks and hit them with controlled fx in the best possible ways to get the best possible final guitar tracks.

    Is this largely a recent development that's become more the norm since most all recording went digital? I know a few of the classics were recorded direct to a board.

    But didn't most come from mic'ing great amps and new-fangled (back then) pedals including lots of temporal fx without exact ways to set the time variations?

    Did the Edge really write a cool groove at home or wherever by adjusting all his pedals just so, and then in the studio they said, "Now we've just got to record you direct and dry and then recreate everything you'd already done through our outboard studio fx processors?"
     
  2. speedemon

    speedemon Member

    Messages:
    2,631
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Azusa, CA
    I am largely in agreement with you. While technological changes have created ease and precision that yesteryear would have traded limbs for, I find my favorite guitar tones are pre computer recording. Just something sterile and clinical about it, too pristine I suppose. Lately the audio engineering community has put a lot of attention on getting that "dirty" feel back into it. Frankly, IMO, the ultra precision is 90% of where the "feeling" went away, not losing the "distortion"
     
  3. jammybastard

    jammybastard "I'm losing my edge, but I was there..."

    Messages:
    5,184
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    In Transit
    This is nothing new.
    Producers have been recording direct and reamping/effecting tracks since Les Paul designed his first 4 track in the 50s.

    Some of it did come from mic'ing great amps. Some of it not.
    A good example?
    Keith Richards's distorted acoustic tone on "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Street Fighting Man" was achieved by playing his acoustic guitar into a basic cassette recorder, with the output of the cassette recorder sent to a mic'd speaker or direct into the board.

    So essentially Keef's acoustic was "amped" or even "re-amped" through a cassette player.

    As for the Edge....both apply.
    Edge is a compulsive demo maker. By all accounts he's very focused, hands on, and likes to know his gear.
    He demos and fiddles with effects all the time.

    Watch this segment from "Classic Albums: The Joshua Tree" where he shows how he demo'd "Where the Streets Have No Name" on his Fostex 4 track.
    (clip starts at 4:11)


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLoZ6cfegGg?t=4m11s

    Sure his producers, like Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois, made suggestions to him in the studio about what effects to use or how to get the sound he wants when he's stuck.
    The goal is always to get the sound you want, and that fits in the track.

    The point is:
    1. there are no rules.
    2. you do whatever it takes to find the sound you want.
    3. experimentation and using alternative methods is the key to making a memorable track.
     
  4. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

    Messages:
    7,601
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    Owasso, OK
    In the past though it seems like they had to creatively use what they had on hand to get unique sounds. Now its just a means to put everything under a microscope and control the minutiae.
     
  5. sahhas

    sahhas Member

    Messages:
    9,307
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    middle usa somewhere
    i think everyone is different....but honestly a lot of the "great sounds" we associate w/ are usually guitar to an amp of choice w/ a few effects.

    i was even listening to Adrian Belew's "big electric cat" today-he was known back in the early 80s for having a huge array of effects/pedals, etc...and i sort of realized that i think the sound on that song is mostly the EH graphic fuzz and flanger...but at the time i had this album in the 80s and started out on guitar...there was no way i could reproduce his sounds (well i still can't)...
    but when i started i had no effects nor could i afford them!

    i suppose you could say the edge around the time of "unforgettable fire" was maybe using 2 pedals or so w/ his set up...i think i've seen vid docs of him talking about his stage rig now is set up to created a career's worth of songs when they perform....

    i guess my pt is: a lot of the "classic sounds" we discuss are probably amp live in a studio being recorded....i'm not so sure what folks are doing today...i know some seem to like the direct recording route and you hear of it, but it seems like a lot of folks still like amp sounds in a room....
     
  6. slybird

    slybird Member

    Messages:
    5,352
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Sound and electrical engineers are not usually given enough credit. Yes, player made a sound, but the electrical signal has to get through an amp, out of a speaker, then recorded in a way that sounds pleasing to the ear after being redelivered through a speaker and amplifier of unknown quality.
     
  7. MikeVB

    MikeVB Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,645
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    Leesburg, GA
    I wasn't purposely diminishing the efforts of those guys at all. I was just pondering why so many tutorials on home recording push the direct and dry method for guitars these days.

    I tend to think it's because the relative ease of digital recording has really promoted a culture of over-striving for perfection.

    And I merely used the Edge as an example based on his proclivity towards using lots of effects.
     
  8. slybird

    slybird Member

    Messages:
    5,352
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Jimmy Page's quote, "I’ll always leave the mistakes in." Most people are not Page and make many mistakes in playing. People mostly use the tools that are easily available. A computer, DAW, and a cheap guitar or keyboard it is possible to make any sound you can dream up. Don't like a note placement, it easy to move it. Think the guitar line would be better as a bass line, no problem. Try don't like the flange, try something else.

    Amps and mics are no longer necessary to make a great demo in the home. The crisp recordings are merely a reflection of the technology available to the average consumer at a very affordable price. The demos just meet the demand. If people did use the stuff the demos would be fewer.
     
  9. mcrofutt

    mcrofutt Member

    Messages:
    165
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Location:
    Connecticut
    A game changer for me was an interview I read with Pete Anderson about 10 years ago. I always though his tones were hot and natural sounding. He said he hadn't recorded a miced amp in years. So I started recording direct and have had great results.
     
  10. MikeVB

    MikeVB Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,645
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    Leesburg, GA
    Do you remember what kind of set up he used?
     
  11. Dajbro

    Dajbro Member

    Messages:
    2,117
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005

Share This Page