Help me with my recorded guitar tone!

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by ibanez4life SZ!, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. ibanez4life SZ!

    ibanez4life SZ! Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    Hey guys!

    Ever since day one, I have ALWAYS had a bunch of trouble getting a good recorded tone on my rig.

    My rig is's finally my tone....but I can never get that sound on tape. Everything I record comes out harsh, stiff, and fluidity or nice agressive gain that I hear from my speakers. I am working with a hard rock distortion.

    I have a Presonus firebox, Shure SM57, Audix i5, Rode NT-1A Condensor, a pair of KRK Rokits to monitor....and no matter what I do, I can't get a single overdriven sound I like.

    Where is the weak link in my setup? I've tinkered with every mic placement known to man...still can't do it. Is it the fault of the presonus? Poor preamps? Or is it all somehow user error?

    Thanks alot!
  2. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Member

    Feb 22, 2005
    Surrounded by Idiots
    Have you tried going direct with something like a Palmer?

    You might think about turning the gain down a bit. I always find that metal guy's tone usually sounds better less distorted when recorded.

    You also might think about layering several tracks together and mixing to taste until you get a huge sound. I normally like to do 5 takes with different settings (more gain, less gain, more bass, more treble, clean, etc). Then I pan, mix, adjust phase, whatever until I get the sound I'm looking for. You might be surprised at how high that clean take ends up sitting in the mix.
  3. Unburst

    Unburst Member

    Jan 19, 2004
    Portland, OR
    Hate to say it but it's you.

    Getting a good recorded sound is a combination of mic placement and dialling the amp to compensate for what the mic is doing to your signal.

    What you are hearing in the room is not what the mic is hearing, they are seeing a lot more high end and fizz, especially if it's a 57 (not the best mic for high gain)

    Instead of setting your tone and trying to capture it tweak the amp to make the recorded sound match the room sound.
  4. ibanez4life SZ!

    ibanez4life SZ! Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    That's what I was expecting, and I appreciate it. Just wanted to make sure there wasn't anything in my chain that was holding me back.

    Looks like I'll just have to work at it more. :AOK

    Any other help would be appreciated!
  5. SBRocket

    SBRocket Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    New York, NY
    Here's a good way to start, really experiment with mic placement. I always find that it takes a good close mic mixed with one 8-10 feet away.

    My close mic is a Sennheiser MD421 and my far mic is usually a Royer 121 But I've gotten good results from a lot of less expensive mics too.

    For the close mic experiment with distance 3-12 inches, axis 0-60 degrees and placement centered on the cone or off center.

    For the far mic, just don't put it right on the line with the speaker.

    Finally, I think that this is next to impossible to do alone. Get a friend to play while you move mics and tweak the amp while listening on phones in the booth. That will get you close. Then sit in the control room playing and monitoring through the speakers and have the friend make any small adjustments to the placement of the mics.

    Try "bracketing" the recordings. Dd one the way you like it, then do one brighter, then on darker. It will give you choices later.

    Finally, for distorted sounds I usually aim to print hot but not too hot, up to -6 or so (digital) but if that is pushing too hard then just try to print close to where you want it in the mix.

    Take your time, have fun and Good Luck,

  6. TYY

    TYY Member

    Jul 13, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    You list the "rig", but leave out the most important part- the amp. Anyway, there is nothing in your recording setup that should be keeping you from getting a serviceable recorded guitar tone. Why not post a sample of what you're getting and maybe we can help more efficiently than the old online guessing game.
  7. bchamorro

    bchamorro Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    I don't recommend the MD421 for high gain Mark IV, Recto tone.

    Go with the e609 or 57.
  8. nbarts

    nbarts Member

    Apr 19, 2007
    Chicagoland, IL
    The uncomfortable truth is that your mic placement & recording setup has very little to do with the tone suckage.

    What you need to do is face the speaker you are planning to be miking. Get the volume down, face the speaker & dial the tone. What you hear now will be very close to what you'll hear coming out of your recording setup. Now when you have this set the way you want move away & boost your power amp. From this point you will need to listen through your monitors & tweak accordingly.
  9. rdobson

    rdobson Member

    Mar 22, 2008
    I just posted something along these lines in another thread with almost the same exact name....its just my method it may not work for you but it may help.

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