#1
So everyone on youtube says nowadays you need to be using vsts to record guitar. I am never satisfied with my tone. It feels like I can completely eliminate any hiss but at the expense of a nice guitar tone. The vst way sounds too digital is how I would describe it. Doesn't matter what plugins I am using. Now the other problem is the inconvenience of moving the mic placement, mic stand, and adjusting them to use on my guitar amp. The sweet spots are locked in on my drum kit but it seems inevitable that I track my amp. What should I do to track my album? The only time vsts have given me results is when im playing metal a whole step down.. but im an e standard old school kinda guy. It feels more suited for the guitar amp, just a hassle to be moving around the mics. And yes, of course I would be using an Sm 57.
#2
Experimentation is always the key. Try both, see which sound best

FWIW, I usually mic my amp but my most recent recording was done solely using the amp sims in one of my effect pedals. Lots of the regulars almost always use software vsts.
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#3
I don't usually mic amps, but that's because the amps I have and the people I know have are predominantly cheap solid state amps, or digital modelling amps. No point running what is effectively the same as the VST's through a low end speaker just so I can mic it.

If I were dealing with good amps (nice tube amps or one of the few great SS amps out there) or I had the exact tone I wanted coming perfectly out of the amp I was using, then I'd be all for micing amps.
#4
I went from recording a mic’d amp (for many years) to using multi effects pedals with amp simulations to VST simulations and now I have gone back to a mic’d amp almost 100% of the time. Even if I am going for a totally clean sound I use an amp. There is something almost intangible about the extra punch and presence that an mic'd amp gives you. It really is a subjective issue and each person will be looking for a certain sound that only they can judge. My change back to mic’d amps came several years ago when I was playing a twenty year recording that I did on my old Roland VS 880. The guitars were big, bright and punchy. I realized that the difference wasn’t the recording format it was because I was recording a mic'd amp with no VSTs or amp simulations. I rediscovered my sound. For me all the VSTs and digital EQ fixes I was trying couldn’t do what just plugging into an amp and throwing a Shure SM 57 on the speaker does.
It depends on the sound you are looking for of course and your amp. I just saw a great Jimmy Page interview on YouTube and he says that that great sound from the first Zepplin' album was mostly all produced with his Telecaster (the one he used in the Yardirds) and a small Supro amp. No Marshal stacks or big cabs, just a small cranked Supro.
#5
Why not just split your guitar signal? You can feed one end to an amp and one to an audio in. That way you can mic up the amp to record that and record the dry guitar signal for using with VSTs at the same time and then you can decide for yourself which one you like better. And if you want, you can even include both in the recording and mix the two of them together.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#6
Honestly, if it's too much of a hassle to move one mic around for an hour until you find the sound you want from your amp, then just use VSTs.
#7
I prefer amp, at least my finished sounds are amps for the most part. I sometimes need to record on the quiet so I use vsts, then reamp. Sometimes you just can't get the performance right without a screaming amp in the room so you do that...whatever works for you.
#8
You can get great results doing either or both. Pick one and experiment until you "own" your guitar tone. Some skill is required.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#9
For most of us mortals, VST sims are fine enough for scratch demos and what-not, but on their own, are a little lacking. I find that if you can mix them in with some real guitar tracks, they can sound pretty amazing.

I do what theogonia777 does, which is go from my guitar to a DI box (a good one... cheap ones just don't do it quite right), and from the DI, send the XLR out clean to the recorder, and the 1/4" out to the amp. I mic the amp and record a clean signal. That way, if I don't like what I get from the miked amp, I have a few options:
- mic it again and see what happens
- use the dry track and use VST sims - kill the amp track altogether.
- use the clean track and send it to an output from your interface. Go to a re-amp box, and back to the amp. Futz with it until you get a sound from the amp that you're in love with (hell, even borrow another amp, or rent one if you want!), then mic it again and just record.

That said, Pete Lesperance from Harem Scarem recorded the guitars for the new album entirely using Axe-FXII, a Telecaster and a Les Paul Studio. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFlWfBfAfkM It sounds KILLER.

I'm not sure if this link will work for you, but here is a video here where he talks about it. It's #8.
http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/haremscarem/updates?ignore_id=44037

The chain was guitar > AxeFXII > Drawmer 1960 preamp > ProTools. No mic. No cab. All direct.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#10
Of course, the reason I say "us mortals" is the signal chain above, just the Axe-FX II and the Drawmer 1960 rings up on the cash register at a hair shy of $5G.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#11
Quote by axemanchris
Of course, the reason I say "us mortals" is the signal chain above, just the Axe-FX II and the Drawmer 1960 rings up on the cash register at a hair shy of $5G.

CT


Pretty much anything sounds good when you run it through high quality outboard, so don't even know that the Axe is doing anything here

One band I recorded some rough demos for had an awful guitar sound, one of the smaller Digitech processor boards, the definition of what I'd call a "processed" sound on guitar, just plain awful. I tried to get the guy to move away from that stuff and use some of our studio mainstays, like our Plexi Marshall or even Pro Tools' Ampfarm since we didn't really have any high ticket outboard. A year later they recorded at another studio through high end outboard and the guy's godawful guitar sound was almost fixed (a lot of the nasty artifacts disappeared) after the engineer there put it through (I think) an Avalon outboard preamp. The guy used the same patches.
#12
Interesting. I'm a bit surprised that changing out the preamp made that much of a difference to the actual character of the sound.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#13
Well from what I could tell comparing the finished results with the guy's original cheesegrater sound, I could tell that the engineer applied compression, eq and some tube warmth/grit, squashed it quite a bit and it sounds pretty good compared to the original sound. I would still say not quite deserving of a cigar but you could almost fool someone that it isn't a processor

What I am saying that you can hide a lot of things with a good outboard if you know what you're doing.

I used to run a tube preamp to warm up the signal before hitting some session guys' processors, and it did make a difference, kinda like adding a cherry on a bland ice cream
#14
Quote by diabolical
Pretty much anything sounds good when you run it through high quality outboard, so don't even know that the Axe is doing anything here


lol
#15
I recorded two samples of the same song, one using a VST and the other one using an amp and pedals. I used the exact same model of pedals in the VST and also both recordings were done using the same guitar. I recorded using an SM57 and chose the SM57 in the VST.

After I recorded both, I sent the file to my band-mates and some family members. Anyone who used headphones liked the real amp as it sounds less digital and warmer. people using laptop speakers or cheap usb speakers liked the VST guitar sound as it was more dominant.
#16
If you have the money, then definitely get the amp, mic set up. Emulation is just a hair behind the actual thing but it's like video game graphics. It's amazing nowadays but it just can't beat the real thing. I use VST's since I just bought a house and have a family but if I won the lottery, I'd have amps and gear all over the damn place. Just go with what you can get. Find a tone you want and keep to it even if someone tells you it's not good. Everyone here can argue gear, styles, and whatever but when it comes down to what you want, they don't know a thing.
#17
Quote by Gab_Azz

After I recorded both, I sent the file to my band-mates and some family members. Anyone who used headphones liked the real amp as it sounds less digital and warmer. people using laptop speakers or cheap usb speakers liked the VST guitar sound as it was more dominant.



I think you are making an interesting observation here. It has to do with how people listen to music. Most of the time it is on subpar computer speakers or earbuds, so with that regard the games has changed somewhat.

I can pick out sounds better on my high end audio system or studio monitors but I don't always listen to music on these. I could say that probably I spend more time listening to my Bluetooth speakers on my back patio.

You'll have to look at listening fatique as well, I notice it is much less if you've recorded real instruments in an acoustic environment but some of it also has to do with engineering and mixing the sounds.
#18
Quote by Gab_Azz
I recorded two samples of the same song, one using a VST and the other one using an amp and pedals. I used the exact same model of pedals in the VST and also both recordings were done using the same guitar. I recorded using an SM57 and chose the SM57 in the VST.

After I recorded both, I sent the file to my band-mates and some family members. Anyone who used headphones liked the real amp as it sounds less digital and warmer. people using laptop speakers or cheap usb speakers liked the VST guitar sound as it was more dominant.


Another variable to consider is how WELL the miked amp was recorded. I don't know enough about you to suggest that the amp was miked and recorded poorly, so I'm not making any presumptions - just pointing out that it is a variable that exists.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#19
Quote by Schecter_6661
Emulation is just a hair behind the actual thing ...It's amazing nowadays but it just can't beat the real thing.


I think the future has arrived, albeit with a price tag. The guitars on that Harem Scarem record that I linked to above are fantastic sounding guitars - every bit as good as anything recorded with a mic and moving air.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#20
Quote by axemanchris
I think the future has arrived, albeit with a price tag. The guitars on that Harem Scarem record that I linked to above are fantastic sounding guitars - every bit as good as anything recorded with a mic and moving air.

CT

Could be...but the question is how many mixer and mastering engineers put a cherry on top of it? ...and by cherry I mean high end/boutique outboard, summing mixers, etc. Lets not forget that a finished professional project goes through several more stages before it makes it out.

I've heard what a good mastering job can do with a so-so mixed and recorded album.
#21
Quote by axemanchris
Another variable to consider is how WELL the miked amp was recorded. I don't know enough about you to suggest that the amp was miked and recorded poorly, so I'm not making any presumptions - just pointing out that it is a variable that exists.

CT


I did not spend a lot of time getting the right tone from the amp and mic. The pedals were already set to the sweet spot prior to recording but I did not spend too much time setting the microphone ETC... But even with a quick recording using an amp and mic sounded better when using good speakers.

Also, the guitar could be dominant when using the VST plugin and not the amp as the drums was not recorded live (I am not a drummer) so I used a MIDI studio instruments drums which have a digital sound thing to them. If I would have recorded the drums with a simple 3-4 mics I believe they would compliment the amp-mic setup better.