weak sounding distorted guitar. home recording

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by tristan, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. tristan

    tristan Member

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    hey all

    so if you read my other post im doing my first recording session on thursday..excited!! and im confident that i can get a cranking guitar tone (jcm800), but my home recording are weak.

    jcm800 50w combo,to rode nt1a mic, to beringer mixer, to creative audigy 2zs platnum, to sonar 4.

    my guitar sounds very thin, when i mic it both up close and distant. perhaps its my technique but i can never get a nice fat sound. i have tried doubling but that doesnt help.

    can someone help? tah

    tristan
    p.s. do you think a rode nt1a will sound nice when used to record an alto sax?
     
  2. melondaoust

    melondaoust Member

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  3. Jan Folkson

    Jan Folkson Member

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    While the Rode isn't my favorite mic for any application (don't even get me started on Behringer gear), you should still get some useful guitar tones with it.

    You might have a hardware problem with either the mic, the preamp or a cable.

    How does the same chain sound on other sources?

    And introducing a second mic with a novice engineer is just asking for phase problems.
     
  4. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    Sennheiser 421 and e609 are my favorites when double mic'n a guitar cabinet.
     
  5. tristan

    tristan Member

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    thanks guys

    i know all about phase when double miking, so i might give that a try. The thing is i am limited with acess to equipment.

    cheers for the article link melon ill give it a shot.

    When i go into the studio im going to use a 421 and beta 57 to double mic my amp, should turn out great.

    i guess my gear just needs an upgrade :(

    cheers and beers
     
  6. Monkeyboy23

    Monkeyboy23 Member

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    I can give you some things that work for me. I don't know what kind of guitar or amp you have, so this will be kinda general. There are an almost endless list of ingredients to Tone... strings, string height, nut, bridge, where you pick along the string, what kind of pick, how you strike the string, your pickups, the tone and volume controls on the guitar, the cable...you get the idea.

    First, you might want to get a decent preamp. That REALLY helps. Something to think about.

    Here's what I do. I read this in a book, I'm not smart or anything. :)

    Hook up your mic. I really hope you have some headphones...

    Put on the headphones. If some one is around, have them strum a clean sounding chord on the guitar while you sweep the mic around in front of the cabinet. If no one else is around, unplug the cable from the guitar and touch the tip of it to get that nice hum. It does not need to be loud! Just make sure that the volume in your headphones is louder. Sweep around until you find a nice spot. Now, sweep up and down and forward and back. Listen for the bass..find the roundest tone you can. Check out the mids and highs. You're looking for the right piece of air. It might be an inch wide. Sweep slowly and really listen. Once you find it, position the mic on the stand.

    This next part is weird, but I find it does work.

    Aim the diaphram of the mic at a 45 degree angle AWAY from the amp. The diaphram should not have a direct line of sight to the amp. This has the effect of attenuating the treble. A lot.

    Once it's in Sonar, put an EQ plug on the track. Boost 10k 10db. You may have to slightly tweek both values depending on your setup. This restores the treble to the guitar but also raises the level of the harmonic overtones. So it adds a nice bit of airiness that I find makes it sound fuller than when I point the mic at the amp.

    Finding the right piece of air is the key, though.

    Also, you may have to adjust the tone controls on your setup (guitar/amp) to compensate for the mics frequency response. If you're lacking bass or mids or whatever, turn it up on the amp... it may not sound right to you in the room, but it might help how it sounds recorded. And since you're recording, that's what's important. Make sure you're getting a good level when you record!

    I hope this helps! Good Luck.

    Jon
     
  7. Jan Folkson

    Jan Folkson Member

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    You had me on the first part but really lost me on the second. I record guitars all the time for a living and while I'm always interested in learning new techniques and experimenting, the method your describing doesn't really make a lot of sense. There's no reason that you should need to rely on eq like that.

    First you need to dial in the sound you want to record using your guitar and amp tone controls. Next you need to find which speaker you like best (if it's a 2x or 4x cabinet). You should be able to get a really useful sound using only one speaker and one mic. Next you need to use your ears and listen to where the speaker sounds best then put a mic there. It really helps to have an assistant so that you can be listening while somebody else dials in the mic but it can be done by yourself. Depending on the tone you may want to put the mic on axis (mic pointing at the cone directly) or off axis (pointing at the surround) or somewhere between the two. 45 degrees off axis seems like an awful lot.

    Using the tone controls on the amp and choosing a mic/preamp combination should get you all the tone you need without having to rely on eq.

    Like I said in my earlier post you should be able to get a decent sound with the gear that you've got. While it may not be ideal it's certainly usable.

    You didn't metion how you were using the mixer in your earlier post. Does your board have a direct out or are you bussing the channel? If it's got a direct out you should try using that. The fewer things you've got in the chain the better.

    Hope that helps.
     
  8. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    I've found that speakers, mic placement, mic type, guitar and amp settings are the key. A cranked up 800 does not always sound that good with a mic slapped on it. By todays standards for high gain, alot of guys figure an 800 isn't a high gain amp. It can be very high gain when recording it. Try using less gain than you think you need, Gain = thin from my exprience. Which can kinda suck if your not used to playing at lower gain settings. Gotta play good! I've got 2 800's. Each are different. I also have different cabs and speakers so I can play around until I get what i'm after. I've found that just as you have to tweek amps to get what you want for the stage, applies to recording also. I actually track 3 rythym tracks, low gain, one panned 70% left, one 70% right and one in the middle. All played right in a row with the exact settings and mic placement . I'll pull the mic on the center track back sometimes for some air. Gotta play real tight but the result of the layering produces huge, fat guitars. And the gain ends up being thick, not buzzy. Gain is added by extra tracks. Just doubling tracks won't do what actually double tracking does. I record with all EQ's flat. If I can't tweek it just a bit for slight corrections with post Eq'ing, I re-record with different amp or guitar settings. I feel an EQ should only be used for minor corrections.I don't know if thats a standard thing but i'm diggin the results. This is my experience with a Yamaha DAW and one Shure SM 57. I have no opinion or knowledge of your recording gear. Just thought I should say that. Also, what model and year 800? I've owned a few and certain models are just not that fat. I have a 4104 (2204 head)combo version running a pair of greenbacks and I have a 4x12 cab too. The 2205 I still have can be kinda thin compared to the 4104. (grabs Marshall book),... Ok, if your amp is a 4210 or 4212, it's a combo version of a 2205. They can be kinda thin. Sorry if you know your Marshalls already. Just thought i'd point that out in case.
     
  9. tristan

    tristan Member

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    haha, thanks everyone.

    hey monkey boy, i know where that idea is from. its 'mixing with your mind' by stav isnt it?

    anyway ive just spent all day recording my guitar and i must admit i have had plesant results from taking suggestions (using beta 57 for example)

    rob- i have the 4212 i think. 2 channel. and i agree i think naturally the amp is thin, but i still think i can record a nicer tone, ill try triple tracking like you said.

    jan-i am only using the beringer mixer because i need phantom power for the mic, and im going from the main out, to my sound card line in.

    i have come to a conclusion though. i dont think there is too much more i can do without spending big bux on preamps and so on, my recording enviroment is small and sounds like poo. (my amp is in my wardrobe:eek: )

    well ya know what they say... 'ya cant polish a turd'

    cheers all ;)
     
  10. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    Try a Danelectro or Boss EQ in the loop of the amp. You can fatten it up and tame some of the schrill cheaply. Good luck, Rob
     
  11. Monkeyboy23

    Monkeyboy23 Member

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    That's the one. Fantastic book.

    Jon
     
  12. lowendgenerator

    lowendgenerator Member

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    I have the same soundcard as you, and I've had good results with all types of amp/mic combinations. My guess is it's the Behringer mixer. I use a TubePre (99USD) straight into my soundcard and it sounds great. It does phantom power, too! What kind of speakers are you using to hear the playback?

    Thanks for everyone who's offering tips in this thread, I'm learning much.
     
  13. tristan

    tristan Member

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    hey lowendgenerator

    im just using crappy dell speakers :( 2 speakers and a sub

    which preamp do you have? i might consider that, as i dont really need a mixer, just something to provide phantom
     

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