#1
Hey guys. Like the post says, I'd like some tips/pointers on recording loud, fuzzy guitars (stoner/doom metal, Sleep, Electric Wizard, etc). I'm in audio production school and we're now allowed to book studio time, so I want to be as well prepared as possible.

What's the best way to make the guitar sound huge and thick (the guitar will be mic'd; no reamping)? I understand gain is cumulative so less is more in this situation, but tips in general would be great, in terms of what frequencies to focus on/cut, mic placement, etc.

I'm not asking for a "how is it done", but rather just a good starting point for me so I can experiment and branch out from there.

Thanks
#2
Quote by SMB13
Hey guys. Like the post says, I'd like some tips/pointers on recording loud, fuzzy guitars (stoner/doom metal, Sleep, Electric Wizard, etc). I'm in audio production school and we're now allowed to book studio time, so I want to be as well prepared as possible.

What's the best way to make the guitar sound huge and thick (the guitar will be mic'd; no reamping)? I understand gain is cumulative so less is more in this situation, but tips in general would be great, in terms of what frequencies to focus on/cut, mic placement, etc.

I'm not asking for a "how is it done", but rather just a good starting point for me so I can experiment and branch out from there.

Thanks


Make sure you layer the tracks and don't just copy and paste play your parts 2-4 or more times and then layer those suckers up. also use panning to your advantage. Some like hard left/right some like 70% left/right extra. Layering the guitars will give it that "wall of sound" feel

I'm still trying to find the right tone myself buuut i tend to do a low pass around 50-100db on the gutars, cut out some mids around 800ish and then do a high pass around 6-8k. Also having two tracks panned to the same side and doing a high pass around 2k on one and then a high pass around 6-8k on another will give it some bottom end.

I've always heard that recording at as high a volume as you can stand is the best way to go, ive never maxed out my amp recording however so keep that in mind, its a 120w bugera tryn to upgrade

In my experience i like putting the mic right on the center of the cone damn near on the grill with a sm57. or having it a little off axis of the cone is another popular way ive heard of doing. Another method is a sm57 on the cone and a decent condenser placed back away from the amp to sort of catch the resonance? i guess, idrk why i just know how to do it

AND then theres always the record dry and then reamp using vst plug in's, however i can't seem to get a stellar sound out of that method...curious to see what others have to say!
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#3
Quote by SMB13

What's the best way to make the guitar sound huge and thick

Bass guitar
#4
Sweet, thanks for the in depth tips. I was planning on using 57 actually, and another mic (condenser) a little bit away from the amp to help catch some ambiance/extra frequencies but that's more for experimentation to see what I can do. I also definitely planned on double/quad tracking
#5
Cut the guitar low end more than you think, that gives the bass some room which is super important for heavy tones. The guitar is just providing that nasty mid range fuzz. I find any more than double tracking is counterproductive with Electric Wizard/ Sleep type music. 2 well recorded takes panned will give a nice fat sound, any more and the fuzz seems to blend together too much and it all gets washed out.
For Frodo!
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
No because a world full of marbles silly man is just as real as a half empty glass of microwaved nesquik.
#6
Quote by robertito696
Cut the guitar low end more than you think, that gives the bass some room which is super important for heavy tones. The guitar is just providing that nasty mid range fuzz. I find any more than double tracking is counterproductive with Electric Wizard/ Sleep type music. 2 well recorded takes panned will give a nice fat sound, any more and the fuzz seems to blend together too much and it all gets washed out.


Cut low end on the amp or EQ it out with the DAW? Or a little of both until I find what works?
#8
Try putting a mic on the speaker cab and have someone sit by the mic and move it slowly just an inch or two at a time from the center to the edge of the speaker cone while the guitar is played and you listen in the booth. An inch can make a big difference. If you have the tracks to do it also place a mic a couple of feet from the cabinet and record both at the same time on separte tracks. Often a little bit of room mic really brings out some added tones and you can always dump the track later. Try to make the sound coming out of the amp as close to what you are looking for as possible. You'll never get a good sound in the mix if the sound wasn't good to begin with. The good thing about digital recording is you get exactly what you hear. The bad side of digital is that you get exactly what you hear. Don't try to fix the sound with EQ on the borad till you have nailed it on the amp to start with. Make that a last resort. You can always go back and add or delete frequencies on the track with EQ but you can't if they were not there to begin with because you used too much EQ on the track originally.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Feb 12, 2014,
#9
I find that the less I do post recording the better it sounds. Sometimes I have the guitars eq'd to hell and it sounds ok but I get frustrated and start fresh and with a simple hi-lo pass and simply cutting out some of the annoying frequencies, it sounds infinitely better.

I do 3 bass tracks for heavy stuff too. One is basically the clean bass tone, the other is just the sub 150 hz, and the 3rd is a distortion track, with the low end eased off, usually I reamp it straight into my fz-2. So one bass track take becomes 3 tracks, makes it much easier to let the bass midrange growl though without the low end drowning everything else out. On the other hand I can pump up the low end without tampering too much with the midrange and attack. Food for thought.

I record bass first and last too. Drums first actually, to a scratch guitar track, then bass, to set the groove. Next guitars. Then I go back and redo all or just some of the bass track to have it sit better with the new guitar tracks. I like having the bass groove when I record the guitars, it helps a ton with my timing, and going back and redoing parts lets me accent the guitars where sometimes the first take fights them for dominance. I jam out a lot of my stuff so 2 takes are never exactly the same, and doing bass first and last lets me lay down the groove initially, but not conflict with an improved solo or riff I wasn't initially planning on.
For Frodo!
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
No because a world full of marbles silly man is just as real as a half empty glass of microwaved nesquik.
#10
Awesome, thanks for all the great tips. I had planned on using a second mic for rooms sounds so I'm glad that's a good plan. One more question: the annoying frequencies you talk about.. I know what you mean (whompy low end, high end fizz, etc), but what are their particular frequency ranges?

Bass won't go in til last, unfortunately. Its just me and a buddy for session drumming (and the studio doesn't have any basses in C standard) so I'm gonna get as much as I can do until I can find a bass to borrow lol.
#11
It varies, gotta just use your ear to find those annoying frequencies. There's usually a lot of fizz in the 7 - 9khz range, and there's usually a weird whistle ~1600hz. Just sweep an eq with the gain maxed and a very narrow bandwidth, they're pretty easy to find.
For Frodo!
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
No because a world full of marbles silly man is just as real as a half empty glass of microwaved nesquik.
#14
Awesome, once again thank you all for the help. I think I'm gonna have a good start for when I get to recording.
#15
i just line in into a PC. Plenty of free vst. I have different cabinet emulators.
Basically Im doing the samething, Messing around with cabinets,cabinets combinations, speakers, mic room position, shape of the room, the material in the room...ect.
I also learn that through live micing.

I generally run a noize gate as the first FX or right after the guitar to keep the noise hizzing
down or elimnate it.

I try to get a clean distortion sound. I can alway add, not remove.
The samething with reverb...ect.
Then i export it as the heaviest WAV. file, 64bit.
This way I'll have a master track just for that instrument.
It's a slighty longer process to do that. And it's use more memory storage space.
But a 1 trig external harddrive is only $50 now.

If i feel i need to add more or mess around with the tone more.
Sometimes I'll just use a chorus or run it through the Torture Chamber for some
wickage heavy sounds.
Last edited by smc818 at Feb 12, 2014,
#16
I used to record with a condenser mic (a few feet back) as well as a sm57 (up close), but stopped because I never used the condenser in the final mixes
If you go to use the condenser, make sure you don't have phase issues

It's not a bad ploy to have it though, especially if you are recording in a decent sounding room, which was half my problem.

Remember that a good room sound doesn't always mean you've got a good sound coming out of the sm57 (or whatever you are close mic'ing with). Generally I go for somewhere around the edge of the speaker cap and as close as I can get to the speaker, but it's important to experiment. Closer to the centre of the speaker will give a more trebly sound, the edge will be more bassy. The closer the mic is to the sound source the more bass you'll get. Sometimes having the mic at the edge of the dust cap but pointed at the centre of it will work well.

The important thing is to experiment.

Get the sound as good as can be without post processing, it's impossible to make a great sound from a shit recording.

Sweeping an eq like robertito too find problem areas is good practice too.

Give the bass and kick room in the mix (cut the lows out of the guitars). You can probably cut the majority of the low mids out of the bass, that's guitar territory. But give the bass some high frequencies (so it can be heard on speakers that don't have much bass).

Make sure your playing is tight or it'll sound shit.

The less you have to do post processing the better.
RIP Gooze

cats
#17
Okay, very simply:
Turn the volume up. You need some power tube distortion to get a tone like that.

run it through 15" speakers too, since they have more low end. Mic these with something like an MD421 in addition to the 57.

Distorted bass is gonna help your guitar and bass blend better and get a really big tone.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#18
Quote by smc818
i just line in into a PC. Plenty of free vst. I have different cabinet emulators.
Basically Im doing the samething, Messing around with cabinets,cabinets combinations, speakers, mic room position, shape of the room, the material in the room...ect.
I also learn that through live micing.

I generally run a noize gate as the first FX or right after the guitar to keep the noise hizzing
down or elimnate it.

I try to get a clean distortion sound. I can alway add, not remove.
The samething with reverb...ect.
Then i export it as the heaviest WAV. file, 64bit.
This way I'll have a master track just for that instrument.
It's a slighty longer process to do that. And it's use more memory storage space.
But a 1 trig external harddrive is only $50 now.

If i feel i need to add more or mess around with the tone more.
Sometimes I'll just use a chorus or run it through the Torture Chamber for some
wickage heavy sounds.

Please be trolling.
#19
Oh, two other facters I forgot to mention. I was going to go into the isolation room to record the guitar; what are going to be the tonal differences between the live room and isolation room?

Secondly, I'm using a peavey ultra plus tube amp along with an ehx big muff. How much fuzz/distortion is too much, and is it better to have more amp gain than fuzz, vice versa, or a good balance of both? I'll be having the amp turned up pretty loud so power tube saturation won't be a problem. But I'm not 100% sure what's a good wah to use them in conjecture with each other? I know what sounds good to my ear, but what the ears hear and the mic picks up aren't typically the same in sound
#20
Usually with my big muff, I like running it into a clean amp. But I use it for more gilmour/frusciante tones rather than sludgy fuzz. When I do use o/d with it, I like having the over drive push the fuzz, rather than the fuzz into an overdriven amp.

But you should be able to tell which you prefer just by playing with it. Just put your head in the direct line of the speaker and that'll give you a good idea of what the mic'ed up sound will be.

With close mic'ing there won't be a huge difference between the isolated room sound and the live room. The difference will become much more apparent with room mic's, as it's the reverb that is going to be the main difference.


As for how much gain is too much. Go for as little as possible whilst still retaining the power/feel/response that you need. Less gain usually = more clarity.

As for amp volume, you want to get the tubes pumping, but you probably don't want a whole lot of power amp volume. There should be a point where the amp really opens up, the high end becomes less brittle and everything just sounds better

Usually big muffs like big, high headroom, loud amps imo.

As always, experiment
RIP Gooze

cats
Last edited by mulefish at Feb 14, 2014,
#21
Awesome, thank you! Any input on the live room/isolation room question?