Recording High Gain Amps on Cubase

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by tradarama, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. tradarama

    tradarama www.PRIMEGUITARS.com Silver Supporting Member

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    Using an Aardvark preamp. I just can't record a good high gain tone. I hear postings done by home recording setups and they rock...My mic is an SM57 or MD421, I have Marshall '68 cab w/ original greenbacks, PRS guitar, Diezel or Splawn head....just sounds like MUSH. HELP!
     
  2. OneMileWish

    OneMileWish Guest

    If it's sounding like mush, try turning your gain down. Seriously.

    One thing I learned about recording high gain guitars is that you've got to turn the gain down. When you do that, you get more tone in there, and for recording that equals a thicker, fatter sound. Especially when you layer tracks.
     
  3. Boogs

    Boogs Member

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    if you are getting mush, i wonder if you are in "no man's land", between close and distant micing techniques? (where you might be getting sound from some of the speakers out of phase) if so...

    if you are not already, try putting the SM57 2" from any one of the speakers, 1" offset from the center of the cone (1" moving away from the other speakers as well as the center), and record what you've got. then try the next speaker using exactly the same technique , and so on and so forth.

    hopefully, one of the speakers will emerge as more recordable and you can try various positions and angles with this one - again, not placing it near and/or angling it towards the others). there is pretty much no way you should get mush recording this way unless you are overloading the mic and/or preamp.

    alternatively, try micing a good 2 or more feet from the cab (from a spot equalliy distant from the speakers if you're closer). at 2 feet, positioning will make more of a difference in terms of phasing (if you are 2 feet from two of the cones, and 2 1/2 from the others, you might get weirdness especially with deep notes or chords)... farther away will be more forgiving. if it sounds really wacked out the second you mic distant and you're being careful about positioning, check to make sure no one wired one of the Greenbacks phase-inverted, i.e. negative lead into positive terminal etc.

    well, maybe nothing useful in this post, but that's what leaps to mind reading your question. good luck!
     
  4. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Guest

    If I had a nickle for every player I saw using WAY to much gain period let alone in the studio I would be a rich man.

    Too much gain introduces too much compression which removes pick attack and dynamics resulting in mush both live and studio. The difference is that in the studio you get to hear back EXACTLY what things sounded like where as live you really don't.
     
  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    >>I have Marshall '68 cab w/ original greenbacks<<

    I honestly find greenbacks mushy sounding speakers on high gain amps, new or old. They're great with classic Marshalls, however.

    Just as an experiment, try a Vintage 30 with your high gain amp, and see what happens.

    Everyone else's suggestions are good, too.
     
  6. tradarama

    tradarama www.PRIMEGUITARS.com Silver Supporting Member

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    Still "mushy"...I agree it's looking like the speakers. Question: Will old 30w celestions sound mushy? This is so funny because it sounds great 10 feet away and to the side....yeah, I know....that's what makes this so hard.
     
  7. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Ta-daaaaa!! :)

    Try also putting a large diaphragm condenser right there. Blend the two. I don't know if this will completely solve your problem, but you say it sounds great there, so why not try it? Trust your ears.

    It's hard to answer questions like these without being in the room... so many factors.
     
  8. Orren

    Orren Member

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    One technique to try is to use the line out (or "slave out") of your amplifier directly into your Aardvark, and record the direct output from the power amp. Then you'll need to use a speaker simulator from Guitar Rig (Native Instruments) or Amplitube to emulate the sound of a speaker cabinet. This is the same process as many guitarists have used with the Palmer speaker simulator that is a hardware box.

    Be sure to have your amp connected to a load box like a THD Hot Plate or Weber VST attenuator/load box so your amp still gets the load it expects. Or you can play your amp through the speakers for room monitoring, and just not bother mic'ing the amp, and just record the direct output.

    It's definitely worth playing with. :)

    Hope that helps,
    Orren
     
  9. cybership

    cybership Guest

    Post a clip of the mush and give some detail about your signal chain.
     
  10. tradarama

    tradarama www.PRIMEGUITARS.com Silver Supporting Member

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    SUCCESS! I'm 90% of the way there thanks to all of you! THANK YOU VERY MUCH! My day was just made! Here's what made the difference:

    1. SPEAKERS: Using Pre-Rola 25w was the major problem. I happened to have a Diezel 2-12 w/ Vintage 30s and that solved most of the problem. Now I'll mess with other speakers to fine tune.

    2. Gain setting: YOU'RE RIGHT...too much = MUSH. Turned it down a bit and it made a HUGE difference...just a little helped exponentially.

    3. Pickup height. Mine were not right under the strings...however, turning down by less than 1/8" really cleared up the chords.

    4. Mic placement. Absolutely helped. Just 1/2" movements really mattered.

    5. Not EQing. Once I got this far I noticed that I didn't even need to mess w/ the EQ...probably just a few further tweeks in the things above (maybe some tubes).

    Thanks! I can finally have some fun with my recording gear! I must have 300 samples of MUSH!...but finally 1 sample of good old crunch.

    I appreciate all of your help! Jim
     
  11. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    :dude :dude

    Sooooooooooo good!
     
  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    Yay!

    It's really good when we appear to know what we're talking about around here. ;)
     
  13. Boogs

    Boogs Member

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    glad the problem is sorted out, man!
     
  14. tradarama

    tradarama www.PRIMEGUITARS.com Silver Supporting Member

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    Yup...I think I'm 90% there. Now I guess I have to stop procrastonating on learing Cubase....huh....
     

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