Spent hours tracking and nailing the guitar...and the tone was AWFUL!


Just venting...I've spent the majority of the day tracking and now listening back. It felt great playing and hearing it come out of the amp but the tone recorded was just really God awful, not even salvageable.


Very frustrating...but a lesson learned.

We moved the mics around for a fifth time and now finally getting a good recorded tone, but I didn't have it in me to keep playing the same two songs six hours later (way too many clams and flubs and subsequent takes).

Oh well...tomorrow is another day!

I hope I'm not alone with this (and I'm sure there are some horror stories out there...feel free to share)!


Recording is FRUSTRATING experience.

Once in a great while, it clicks perfectly on the first pass for me- but not often.


Silver Supporting Member
Sounds like you had some good mojo with the playing and the amp sounded good in the room so you must be "missing" something with your mic'ing technique or maybe you need some deep eq/compression to have it sit right in the mix.

Try running a DI onto a separate track when you're recording -- if you have a great feeling take but the 'sound' isn't there you can always re-amp or use a software sim to get the tone you need for the track. No need to lose the actual track because of bad tone these days.


Senior Member
Hey - quit nailing the guitar.

Seriously....do you think you might have used too much gain on the amp? I had hell getting usable tracks till I discovered this.


Silver Supporting Member
Been there plenty of times...in the process of it recently. It can be very frustrating. Recording is a love/hate process for me. It rarely gets done the first take. Lots of trial and error.


The Fool
Gold Supporting Member
A (somewhat) contrary position that's meant, not as a criticism, but as food for thought:

Around 2000, I started getting really obsessed with recording. Five years later, and much poorer, I realized that, while I could no doubt learn the skills, and had passable ears & aesthetic, I'm not an engineer, I'm a musician. I know there are guys who do both, and are quite good at it, but I'd rather focus my time (and money!) on my true passion, which is making music.

Since then, I've grown tremendously as a musician and finally started getting out & playing regularly. Last year, I started thinking about recording again, and found myself about to fall down the rabbit hole of mics, pres, and all manner of digital doodads. Thankfully, I stopped before I really started.

I still record -- quite a lot, actually -- but I keep it stupid simple: A Mac running Garageband, an Apogee Duet, and a Senn e906. I set my levels, get a "good enough" sound with a few test recordings, and then I just play; if set-up takes more than ten - fifteen minutes, I just leave it as it is & deal with it. I've usually got an amp mic'd up at any given time, so I can actually just plug & play, unless I want to use a different amp.

Are my recordings beautiful? It seems to me that depends more on the performance. A great performance with a so so sound is still a great performance. A crap performance with fantastic sound is still a crap performance.

Slowly, I'm writing, arranging, and planning a CD. When I have a solid group of tracks, and some sturdy demos, I'll go to a real studio and let someone who loves engineering as much as I love making music do what they do best.

Good luck on whatever you do. Do it for love, not perfection. The first is right there waiting, the second you'll never achieve.
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See!!! This is why I've been procrastinating about putting together a recording studio! I know that it'll be a long series of frustrating experiences. Whatever happened to tape recorders? Rmemeber how you just had to make sure you pressed the red record button when you depressed the play button. Sure it sounded like garbage but soooooooooo much less complicated. Sigh.


Always record a separate simultaneous unnamped track so that if you nail it, but don't like the tone from the amp you've got that take to re-amp. Radial Reamp kit for the win.

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