I've recently been messing around with some home recording and I'm actually pretty chuffed with how not absolutely terrible it sounds. Just using a basic mic, a Roland BR8 digital 8 track recording thing and adobe audition on my PC.
Does anyone have any advice on recording guitars? The type of music I'd be recording would be generally pretty heavy and distorted. I think I've found the best positioning of everything I can get (mic, duvets + pillows acting as dampeners) but I'm wondering what amp settings to use. I usually play riffy stuff like early Killswitch Engage and the likes and I love my amp (Marshall AVT 150) sound when I'm just playing it, but when I record from it the recording sounds nothing like what I hear with my ear coming out of my amp. I've messed around with changing the gain/treble/bass and all that jazz and I'm still figuring stuff out.
Does anyone have any tips on how, if possible, to get a decent heavy guitar sound, keeping in mind that I only have a bog standard vocal mic.
Drums are obviously much tougher with one mic. What I've got isn't too bad and I imagine getting any sort of good sound is near impossible with what I have at my disposable. But any tips would be greatly appreciated!
Getting a good guitar sound is next to impossible with a standard vocal mic. They're just not built for the purpose. For home guitar recording you'll either need a decent condenser mic or two, or one condenser and something like an SM57. For my money I'd just use Guitar Rig or a similiar VST. If you really like your amp you can turn off amp modelling on the VST and DI from your amp to the computer, then use some of the built in micing simulation and stuff on Guitar Rig.
With a bit of tweaking you can really get some great sounds from Guitar Rig in particular.
As regards drums just don't even bother unless you have a high-quality set of drum mics and a nice dead space to record in. Get a hold of EZdrummer or BFD2, and program the drums.
That's how I work anyway, in terms of writing. It'll never be as good as a studio recording but if you spend the time you can get damn close.
you can get a perfectly good guitar sound with an SM57 or 58
I also use Thomann`s SM57 rip offs , the t-bone MB75 to mic cabs.
Play with mic postioning - start at the centre of the speaker and gradually move out towards the edge, recording the same riff each time and noting which postion the mic is in.
Position the likes of the SM57 about 2 inches from the speaker grill.
A condensor will give a brighter sound and wont tolerate such high sound pressures so either turn the amp down or move the mic back.
Experiment with mic position until happy.
When close micing , pillows etc make bugger all difference.
oh, and amps always sound better recorded if given their head, even a solid state amp like the AVT.
This of course is an issue if you are reording in a bedroom, so DI and using re-amping is probably a better idea if you cant annoy the neighbours.
About the biggest mistake made when recording your type of stuff is far too much distortion. Use a lot less distortion than you would usually play with,you would be surprised at how little is used to get even really heavy sounding guitars on cd's.
Oh and keep your bass settings lower than usual as well.
cheers for the input so far guys. i might invest in one of these SM57s
setzer, yeah i've actually come to notice that. my gain and bass are way down lower than normal and i've listened more carefully to some heavy stuff and it really isn't jsut as massively distorted as I'd always thought.
I'm learning anyway!
low gain, but power stage on song to give a little roar.
Works best with a valve amp, but the AVT range arent that bad and sound ok when cranked [not to the point of nasty solid state clipping mind you]
oh, and urn your treble down to about 1 oclock and mid at about the same.
Young rock/metal guitarists make the mistake of cranking everything.
PS, the OD2 setting on the AVT sounds crap to my ears and doesnt record well
used OD 1 with gain at around 50-70%
[quote:e7f1067349]you can get a perfectly good guitar sound with an SM57[/quote:e7f1067349]
If you're stuck and only have a 58, take the top off and it's quite similar to a 57. As said above, definitely play with mic placement. The middle of the cone tends to be very bassy whereas the edges tend to be very trebly, so finding a good position is important.
The Sennheiser e609s (I think that's what they're called) are a decent enough alternative to 57s, sometimes preferable.
Try double tracking it - it's an old trick, but it really helps to thicken up a guitar track.
Just record the exact same part twice, maybe with a very slightly different sound and pan them hard left and right. Be sure to record it twice, don't just record it once and then copy it - that won't work. You can experiment with the panning, have one louder than the other, put some reverb on one etc etc etc. You can also afford to roll back the distortion a little more when you do this, allowing the notes to come through more clearly, without losing any of the weight of the sound.
Listen to Rage Against the Machine's version of Maggie's Farm in headphones - the high intro guitar is a single track, but as soon as the main riff kicks in you can hear it's two guitars panned hard left and right, and it sounds huge, despite neither being excessively distorted.
Ye, 57 and 58 are the exact same bar the top, afaik
Lots of good tips there. How are you micing the cab at the moment? Experiment with mic positioning near the cone - brighter towards the centre, not as much top towards the outside of the cone. You probably want to keep it near or on the grille/cloth of the cab.
What mic are you using? If it's cheap and made from plastic, upgrade! :) The Shure SM57 is a useful tool to have, if you're even half serious about recording, just get one - around £50 second hand - they're pretty much indestructible and you can probably sell it for what you paid for it. Beware cheap buy-it-now ebay auctions of cheap fake imports - expect to pay £40-60 from a uk seller.
Add eq and compression to taste after recording. I find lopping off the bottom end with a hpf helps things sit nicely in a mix and lets the bass have a bit more room.
If you need to record drums too with a single mic, I'd probably go for a condenser mic pointed towards the kit, a few metres away from the front of it. Experiment with the height and location to find a nicely balanced spot. A dynamic probably won't cut it, but if that's all you've got, experiment! Maybe as a single overhead, pointed at the snare. Then add kick samples to reinforce if it's lacking...
Post some audio samples up if you're still stuck with the cab micing problem...
I agree with setzer, I had and avt 50 and thought it sounded class till I recorded with it, then it sounded like a horrible thin mess. If i were you i would get a small watt all valve amp like the blackheart 5 watt head, and crank it up or if you can't afford that try switching to the clean channel of the amp and cranking it up until it starts to break up.
this is all great stuff guys thanks. quite a lot to try and take in though! some of the terminology is way over my head.
i'm not massively serious about recording, it's more of a newly acquired hobby i'm looking to get quite good at. me and my mate have been doing some wee recordings and I might start slowly buying new gear and see where we can go from it.
another question. my roland br8 digital recording thing has one input to it. say i was to buy a handful of mics for placing around a drum kit is there any kindof cheapish desk or like a "4-1" mic adapter (if such a thing exists) so that 4 mics would go into one input? And i realize this would mean i could not change any levels after recording.
thanks again for all the help so far
yes, you can do it like that - get a small cheap mixer and mic the kit.
I would use as few mics as possible [kick, snare and two overhead or kit mics]
You need to be happy with the mix as it stands before it goes into the BR
this was recorded about 3 years ago using a boss br900 , with drums mixed on a small desk and guitars overdubbed
Look into the "Recorderman" technique for drums, only two mics needed but a fairly decent sound. Otherwise, splash out and get Superior Drummer 2.
For guitars, look into the Tech 21 Sansamp stuff, analogue pedals with cabinet simulators, next to no latency and a far warmer sound. You can just add any other effects later on in your DAW, though the one advantage of the likes of Guitar Rig is that you can modify the level of distortion after recording, as it's sourced from the plugin and not your physical input.
Also make sure you look into soundproofing, as the room you're in will affect the sound quite a lot, especially if you're at an amateur level.
And I couldn't recommend the Slippermans Guide enough, which is famous among forums as a great guide for recording distorted guitars. Source out the recordings to accompany it if you can, Google will soon bring them up http://www.scribd.com/doc/2067256/Slippermans-Guide