#1
So, I'll get right to it.

My band and I are recording a demo to pass around. However, since this will be our first time recording anything (and since we have no money), we decided to just get an interface, some software, a few mics, and try to do it ourselves. We're using a local church who has a well-mic'ed drum set to record, you guessed it, drums, while the studio will be used to record everything else. The home rig currently sits as:

Presonus Audiobox USB interface
Shure sm57 (for mic'ing guitar amp)
Studio One (Software bundled in with the interface)
MXL 3000 condenser mic.

And unfortunately we have only a moderately noisy basement to record in.
The guitar sound we're looking for is a moderately fuzzed/distorted sound that occasionally cleans up with delay. Bass, vocals, and drums will be clean.

What we're really looking for is any advice or warnings you, the lovely reader of this post, could offer us, along with, if you know of a solution, any idea how to get an un-muffled guitar recording (sounds fine pre-record).

Thanks soooo much in advance
Last edited by GuitaRocker4567 at Aug 21, 2011,
#2
I don't know if you want any mixing advice but one thing I like to do is pan one guitar slight left(maybe -.20) and another to the right(+.20) It gives a cool effect for harmonies and lead playing. (you can do it for guitar/bass/drums whatever you like)

For the guitar you should mic the amp at right about 5 o clock on the speaker cone if that makes sense to you. Use some trial and error to figure out the distance. We usually keep it about 2 inches from the speaker but it varies depending on how loud the volume is. Trial and error is your friend.

I hope this is useful to you and if not then I'm sorry.
#3
Actually Dopelope, that's very helpful! Mixing is very foreign to me, so any insight is great! I'm I'm totally digging the pan idea. Thanks!
#4
Why don't you record the other stuff in the church too? Probably has better acoustics. Mixing/mastering is mostly a lot of practice. Expect it to sound like shit at first, but keep working on it. Also, be sure to tune the drums before recording them, and I would suggest a click track for your drummer, especially if this is his first time being recorded.

As for your guitar, a lot of it will be EQ applied in your DAW post-recording. You should be able to cut the low and high end to open up some head room for vocals and drums and get a more crisp sound. Also, you should at least double track any rhythm guitars, meaning, record them twice and pan them left and right accordingly. Some people quad track guitars. Just remember that distortion stacks, so you might want to turn it down a bit when recording.

You'll also want to familiarize yourself with compression and automation, as you'll likely use these to some extent to level out the volume spikes in vocals and drums. Just don't use too much compression on your drums, or you'll fall victim to a likely trap for those new to recording - "pumping". When pumping occurs, the cymbals will sound more quiet whenever the snare or kick comes in, leading to a poor sounding recording.

There is obviously a LOT more information that I could go into, but these are just a few of the things that come to mind. You also might want to look into amp sims, as they allow easier control over your guitar/bass tones, and they will also often sound better than most low to mid-range amps.

Hope this helps. Hopefully, DisarmGoliath or someone will come in and fill you in a bit more.
#5
Does your DAW have any plugins for amp simulators? I would suggest doing a direct-in for guitars and bass especially if you don't have a good room to record in. I highly doubt you'll get the quality your looking for micing up an amp in a noisy bad room.

For vocals set up a mattress and set the mic in front.


Good luck!
Last edited by scguitarking927 at Aug 23, 2011,
#6
We've actually been having a moderately ok time with it! There are no amp sims PER SAY, but there are enough built-in effects that I guess that would be a good idea. We've been recording Guitar in a box-esque kind of thing that's surrounded by mattresses and covered on the top by a thick shag carpet, so I think the outside sound is ok.

And the double-tracking guitar parts might be a good idea, since I've been having the hardest time getting the guitar to sound very un-wimpy. Is this a problem you guys run into?
#7
Quote by GuitaRocker4567
We've actually been having a moderately ok time with it! There are no amp sims PER SAY, but there are enough built-in effects that I guess that would be a good idea. We've been recording Guitar in a box-esque kind of thing that's surrounded by mattresses and covered on the top by a thick shag carpet, so I think the outside sound is ok.

And the double-tracking guitar parts might be a good idea, since I've been having the hardest time getting the guitar to sound very un-wimpy. Is this a problem you guys run into?


Just make sure you don't dead'n the sound too much. You just need to make sure you aren't getting any echo or weird hums/buzzes/what ever if your in an untreated room.

Double tracking can give you a fuller sound, in the sense of filling out the recording. I generally record 2 separate mono guitar tracks. Instead of recording in stereo or copying a single mono track. Just personal preference, each time you record it will be slightly different and can better fill out the sound. Then pan to taste, and at that time if it's still lacking i'll copy a track switch what side it's on and then pull it closer to the center.

Some other things to try would be using a different mic to record the same guitar part, you'll capture slightly different frequencies and can add to the fullness of the overall mix. Try a different amp as well, as you'll get a slightly different sound that can fill out the mix as well.

Just read up on some things online to try, there's a 1000 and 1 ways to record and mix guitar tracks.



I always think of recording and mixing as cube (have that printed out and hanging on my work desk). Just as a reminder that you are basically working within a cube, and everything needs to be there for it to be a perfect cube. Weird...I know!


Good Luck!
#8
I don't know if you want any mixing advice but one thing I like to do is pan one guitar slight left(maybe -.20) and another to the right(+.20) It gives a cool effect for harmonies and lead playing. (you can do it for guitar/bass/drums whatever you like)

For the standard rhythm parts, I've been experimenting with this but taking it further - I record the rhythm part twice on two tracks using two different guitars (or the same guitar with different pickup) and pan one all the way left and one all the way right.

It sounds really good when played back, unfortunately I don't have any finished recordings done this way yet so I can't direct you to a song to demonstrate on my profile but I got the idea because I noticed a few pro bands had done the same thing on their CDs.

Play with it when recording & mixing & see what you think.
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