My line 6 spider IV via direct out is the only way I've ever recorded....UNTIL NOW. Did a lot of research and made some major upgrades. Bought myself the H&K Tubemeister, a 2x12 cab, ibanez TS9dx, BOSS NS2 noise gate and a shure SM57. Also, I'm using a TASCAM US-1200 for my interface. I recorded a couple tracks messing around with audacity and the immediate improvement when I compared to some of my old recordings was amazing. However, it was still a far cry from some of the covers and amp demo's and stuff I hear on youtube and the like. From the guitar to the amp isn't that drastically different from most of the stuff I've seen so they must be doing something on the other end to get it to sound so good.

Admittedly, I know almost nothing about recording. I put the mic about an inch from the speaker. I put the amp at about 8 oclock (pretty freaking loud but not breaking the windows). Then I turn up the mic input and palm mute the 12th fret until the clipping light shows on my interface and then I back it off just a hair. After I'm done recording I copy the track a couple times put one track all the way left, one all the way right, and one in the center.

Any tips or tricks on how to improve my recordings would be highly appreciated! Also, I play primarily metal
Instead of copying, you need to actually physically record a second take. By copying it, all you're doing is just making it seem louder. The reason people double track guitars is because the little inconsistencies are what make the two tracks wider and thicker. I would record the rhythm twice and hard pan one right and the other left. You dont need that center one.
Another thing about double tracking is even though they will have minor inconsistencies, they still have to be recorded tightly. So make sure you're recording to a click and/or editing the riffs so they're not too off time with each other.
Lastly, while micing an amp is good you might want to have the room treated acoustically to get a better representation of your tone. Or you can go DI and use amp sims. People might tell you otherwise but I happen to like recording DI because you can use amp sims AND you can later reamp the DI with your amp.

Anything else is primarily about getting mic placement right and maybe doing a little EQ on the track to cut out problem/unwanted frequencies in the guitar tone.
You might want to get rid of audacity as it is a pretty weak "daw" with almost no features. Try Reaper for instance.
Audacity is more of an audio editor and less of a DAW, so yes, try something a bit better. Reaper, Mixcraft, Studio One, Tracktion (version 4 is free), etc...

Watch some videos on mic placement, plenty of free articles on Soundonsound.com, maybe a book could help as well. I like this one:
Quote by diabolical
Have you heard of search engines?

You're a search engine.
DAW - Digital Audio Workstation

Basically anything into which you can record and manipulate audio.

Long and the short of it... your'e on the right track (so to speak). Now all you need to do is learn as much as you can from many sources and experiment A LOT. There are no really quick fixes on this one. Professionals are called recording engineers for a reason... there's a lot to learn if you want to get good at it.

Keep that in mind and keep plugging away. I usually recommend getting as good as you can with the tools that you have first. Then, when you feel you've hit a wall, upgrade something. It will take some time, possibly years depending on your motivation, but you'll be able to get some killer recordings.

Good Luck!
Last edited by koshaughnesssy at Apr 21, 2016,
Thanks for the advice guys. I downloaded the trial for Reaper (and will probably buy it if I'm happy with it). So far I can't even figure out how to get the dang thing to record haha. But I only sat down with it for a couple minutes, I'll look up some tutorials and see how it goes.
Reaper is excellent, best 60 bucks I've spent in a long time. Also you can buy a copy of Pro Tools 9 for about 90 bucks and an iLok for 25 and have the industry standard software.
1987 Charvel Model II
2010 Carvin ST300C
1990 Charvette 100
1991 Ibanez RG560M
2006 Fender Mexi Strat
Jackson/Charvel Star W/ Custom Graphics.
Ovation CP 247 Acoustic
Line 6 POD HD Pro X
Pro Tools 9

Tutorial: Studio Quality Programmed Drum Sounds