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Old 11-05-2012, 12:17 AM   #1
Malice26
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How to record a guitar PROFESSIONALLY?

Professionally is a bit of a strong word to use for this but it'll do. If I am posting this in the wrong section I apologize. Kinda rushing through this post.

Basically I just want to record right from my amp into some kind of software where I can edit in an MP3 as a backing track at a low volume. As you can assume yes it's just for cover videos.

I've got a couple hundred bucks for some good tools to help me get a nice sound but I'd like it to be as cheap as possible, and something a computer illiterate guy could use with ease (lol).

Apologies if I'm being a bit blunt. Thanks for the help in advance though.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:21 AM   #2
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90% of it is in the mics. A truly professional recording will usually use at least two mikes; a decent dynamic like an SM57 up close and something stupidly expensive like a Neuman U87 back a foot or three. Good mikes are essential because, "shit in, shit out."
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:23 AM   #3
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To record it properly, get a USB mixer/interface and a microphone and stick it on the cab. Most interfaces these days come with some kind of recording software (Cubase LE, Reaper, etc) and some instructions on how to hook everything up and start recording. Check out the Peavey PV6USB, M-Audio Fast Track and the Focusrite Scarlett 8. Microphones have a look at Shure SM57/58, Sennheiser E606 or an AKG D5. All are affordable and sound good. Pick up an XLR/XLR lead and a desk boom mic stand for the cabinet.

To record it professionally, you need to have experience with doing it and the best way to get that experience is just through pure experimentation. You don't need to have a degree in audio engineering to get good sounds in a recording.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
90% of it is in the mics. A truly professional recording will usually use at least two mikes; a decent dynamic like an SM57 up close and something stupidly expensive like a Neuman U87 back a foot or three. Good mikes are essential because, "shit in, shit out."

Is it not possible to get similar results with an SM57 and multiple recordings in different positions?
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malice26
Professionally is a bit of a strong word to use for this but it'll do. If I am posting this in the wrong section I apologize. Kinda rushing through this post.

Basically I just want to record right from my amp into some kind of software where I can edit in an MP3 as a backing track at a low volume. As you can assume yes it's just for cover videos.

I've got a couple hundred bucks for some good tools to help me get a nice sound but I'd like it to be as cheap as possible, and something a computer illiterate guy could use with ease (lol).

Apologies if I'm being a bit blunt. Thanks for the help in advance though.


you might be better off in the recording section, and this may get moved there (many do).

there is actually a few ways of going about this. it'd be helpful to know what computer you will use and what amp you have.

first you'll need software. a DAW (digital audio workstation) will allow you to record multiple individual tracks and it'll also allow you to import backing tracks into the software, that way you can mix what you record with the cover song. this also allows you to record you guitar in a manner that lets you sync up with the backing track.

depending on you computer you can get (or already have) a variety of DAW's available. i have used garageband for Mac (it comes with the OS). if you don't have a mac or just wanna try different DAW's then just google 'free DAW' and start searching.

you can technically also download free amp sims, or get free versions (revalver, amplitube, etc) and use a simple line in for guitar tracks.

if you want to use your amp and get a more professional sound then i'd invest in a USB or firewire interface, i use presonus stuff but there are plenty of other good companies like focusrite, mackie, etc.

i'd also get a fairly good microphone like a sm57 (that is what i mainly use), but you can spend a little more and get something like a AT2035 if you want.

if you are only going to record a single track at a time, then you can save some cash on buying an interface and a standard microphone and just buy a USB microphone like one of these http://www.sweetwater.com/c981--USB_Microphones

as far as placing the mic, place it an inch or so from the grille near the center of the speaker. try experimenting with positions if you wanna be picky.

if you are going to play amp with a mic you'd be best served by using headphones so you can cleanly hear what is going on and so your playback won't bleed into the recording mic.

hope that helps
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:33 AM   #6
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The first time you use something like a U87 you will slap yourself across the head and say, "so that's what has been missing all these years."
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
The first time you use something like a U87 you will slap yourself across the head and say, "so that's what has been missing all these years."

Well that's the case with most expensive items. I'd love to ditch my Vypyr for and Axe FX 2 right now, but that just isn't possible
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathbard
The first time you use something like a U87 you will slap yourself across the head and say, "so that's what has been missing all these years."

You gotta take out a loan to buy it first though.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eppicurt
You gotta take out a loan to buy it first though.

Indeed. The only time I've ever had the privilege of using one it was one the other guitarist borrowed from the studio he worked at. The difference between that and a dynamic mike (good ones too) is like night and day.
We'd spent a fortune on processors and gadgets trying to sort out the vocals to no avail. Plugged the U87 into the desk and instantly all the issues we were having simply vanished. It was a real eye opener.


Yes, warpig, truly professional equipment costs a lot of money. It's a shit but that's how it is.
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Last edited by Cathbard : 11-05-2012 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:52 AM   #10
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Meh. The U87 is a good mic, but its only as good as the sum of the parts (ie: mic preamp, converters, and most importantly, the user's experience in micing and mixing techniques). You don't need $2000 mics to get great results, there are hundreds upon thousands of professional studios who are putting out records recorded with just an SM57 on guitars.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:54 AM   #11
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Example of what a 57 can do.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:56 AM   #12
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What sort of mickey mouse pro studio doesn't have a U87 (or similar) or three?
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:47 AM   #13
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don't you need a good recording environment or something to go the mic route? i thought he was asking for amps with emulated out, or amp sims, stuff like that.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:53 AM   #14
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Oh yeah, for sure. You gotta get the acoustics of the room right. That's an art in itself.

If you are only close miking you can get away with crappier acoustics but if using near and far mikes it matters heaps. If the room has bad acoustics your good condenser "far" mic is going to be picking that up too.
I've seen studios with movable sound baffles for fine tuning the liveliness of the room for different instruments. It's amazing what small changes can have on the room. It's real "gotta see it to believe it" stuff.
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Last edited by Cathbard : 11-05-2012 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:02 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Cathbard
Oh yeah, for sure. You gotta get the acoustics of the room right. That's an art in itself.

If you are only close miking you can get away with crappier acoustics but if using near and far mikes it matters heaps. If the room has bad acoustics your good condenser "far" mic is going to be picking that up too.
I've seen studios with movable sound baffles for fine tuning the liveliness of the room for different instruments. It's amazing what small changes can have on the room. It's real "gotta see it to believe it" stuff.


ah...so with a budget of a couple hundred dollars, isn't emulation a better option? i'm always baffled when people recommend mics and stuff right off the bat before establishing that there is indeed a decent place to record it with.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:09 AM   #16
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Well yeah, that's pretty much what I was saying. To do it professionally with mikes on cabs is pretty involved and costly. I was sorta trying to scare him off going down that path. I mean, who the hell can afford a U87 apart from pro studios?
Kemper, AxeFX, maybe a Pod HD. Maybe Derek will chime in about his Kemper. Good software and a nice interface would be the practical and cheap way to get close enough to professional to keep you happy.
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Last edited by Cathbard : 11-05-2012 at 03:11 AM.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:59 AM   #17
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I think you guys are over-thinking this too much. He just wants to do some Youtube cover songs and only has a couple hundred to spend. He's not looking to produce a professional EP or an album.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:14 AM   #18
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If it's clean or simple tone, just use GR or something with an interface/DAW. Will sound fine if you set the tone and levels well.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:38 AM   #19
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ITT: Someone who thinks you need a U87 to do YouTube covers...

Okay kids, lulz aside, SAffire 6 or Scarlett 2i4 and a SM57 or free amp sims and you're set.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:40 AM   #20
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I'd be going Guitar --> Interface --> Amp Simulator if you just want a good sound for youtube covers. Check out both the interfaces, and the amp sims sticky for help with those.
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