How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?
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marqueemoon
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How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by marqueemoon » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:52 pm

Still micing cabs?
Load boxes n' hardware IR loaders?
Hardware amp sims?
Software amp sims?
Go direct and reamp later?

Some combination of the above?

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Re: How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by soggy mittens » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:43 pm

mic'd cabs for proper, analog amp sims for demos. :)
If OSG has tort me anything...

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Re: How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by marqueemoon » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:13 pm

soggy mittens wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:43 pm
mic'd cabs for proper, analog amp sims for demos. :)
Same, but micing amps at home is not ideal right now because everyone is home all the damn time.

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Re: How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by soggy mittens » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:32 pm

Might be a good time to look into doing an iso box?
If OSG has tort me anything...

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Re: How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by molul » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:12 pm

I recently started using simulation from Helix LT and Helix Native and I miss nothing so far. It just sounds great.

Recording DI and then processing through Helix Native is pretty convenient. Once I've found the right sound, I only need to export it to my Helix LT.

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Re: How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by mackerelmint » Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:35 am

Hardware amp sims and DI boxes. I've yet to really even bother with IRs.

It doesn't matter to me that the sounds I make and record sound the same as some other known quantity. Can I make and record sounds that I like going direct? Yes!

DI recording has been around forever and people have made it sound good for just as long. Good enough for Nile Rodgers and Motown studios? Good enough for me at home, that's for sure.
This is an excellent rectangle

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Re: How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by marqueemoon » Tue Jul 28, 2020 5:45 am

mackerelmint wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:35 am
Hardware amp sims and DI boxes. I've yet to really even bother with IRs.

It doesn't matter to me that the sounds I make and record sound the same as some other known quantity. Can I make and record sounds that I like going direct? Yes!

DI recording has been around forever and people have made it sound good for just as long. Good enough for Nile Rodgers and Motown studios? Good enough for me at home, that's for sure.
I hear ya. I just like open back cabs and roomier guitar sounds, which has me thinking about IRs or possibly reamping, so I can record performances direct and capture them with an amp when it’s more convenient.

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Re: How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by Jan Deal » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:04 am

I've been using a Bluguitar Amp1 in combination with a Bluguitar BLUBOX (speaker emulator) for recording at home. I think it sounds really good, as I can get a nice variety of tones (shameless plug: all guitars on this album are from this setup https://cherbourgharpsassembly.bandcamp.com/releases )

However, I am hoping to get recording with my band soon, so I am going to experiment with using microphones and the BLUBOX with our amplifiers. We have a rehearsal space that is in a commercial area of town, so there won't be any issue with cranking up the amps.
Seas, Starry : Instrumental / fuzz / psych. Find us on Spotify, Bandcamp, itunes...

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Re: How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by øøøøøøø » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:37 am

still mic'ing cabs.

sometimes I go direct, but never with the intention of reamping later. Only when I specifically want the sound of direct guitar.

reamping is a thing I only do when I'm out of options and trying to salvage something that was poorly recorded or otherwise fucked up

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Re: How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by marqueemoon » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:18 am

øøøøøøø wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:37 am
still mic'ing cabs.

sometimes I go direct, but never with the intention of reamping later. Only when I specifically want the sound of direct guitar.

reamping is a thing I only do when I'm out of options and trying to salvage something that was poorly recorded or otherwise fucked up
What is it about reamping you don’t like?

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Re: How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by øøøøøøø » Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:47 pm

marqueemoon wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:18 am
øøøøøøø wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:37 am
still mic'ing cabs.

sometimes I go direct, but never with the intention of reamping later. Only when I specifically want the sound of direct guitar.

reamping is a thing I only do when I'm out of options and trying to salvage something that was poorly recorded or otherwise fucked up
What is it about reamping you don’t like?
It interrupts the feedback control loop between the player and the amp (not feedback in the "audio" sense, rather in the "error correction mechanism" sense).

The entire time I'm playing, I'm reacting to the sound I'm hearing. Whether I realize it or not, what I'm getting back from the amplifier is subtly informing the way I play, compelling me to adjust my touch by instinct until the sound coming out of the amp aligns with the sound I'm trying to make. This is happening continuously.

If someone later changes the amp, all of those little playing dynamics no longer make sense. The billions of little in-the-moment adjustments that happened during the performance lose all context. They may not be making things better anymore... they may now be making them worse, or just different.

That's not to say it can never work. But for an extreme analog...

Have you ever had a recording of MIDI data that was conceived with a piano sound, and you change the patch to an organ sound? It almost always sounds horrible, because the sorts of things you'd play on a piano (and the sort of touch you'd use) are radically different than the sorts of things you'd play (and the touch you'd have) on an organ.

By the same token, another extreme scenario: if a part was conceived with a Fender Deluxe sound, or a DI sound, or whatever, and you re-amp it through an overdriven Marshall, it is very likely not to work well. Sometimes it might be okay. But most often it will not.

But it doesn't need to be that extreme. Even changing from one amp to another of the similar type or at a different volume will fuck things up for me more often than not.

BUT as I said before... if something is poorly-recorded or otherwise fucked, sometimes you have to do what you have to do. You wrangle it until it sounds as good as possible to you through whatever means necessary.

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Re: How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by burpgun » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:23 pm

Had a lot of luck with a Line 6 Pod years ago, moved on to native stuff and got the IK Multimedia Fender collection because to the extent I play through an amp it's a Deluxe Reverb. It was always a battle to dial in a good clean tone, so I took a crack at the Line 6 Helix line with an HX Stom last year. Millions of options, too many of them disappointing. Always seemed "small" sounding. Rolled the dice recently on a Tech21 Blonde and that finally did the trick. What's more, I'd had such a hard time getting a good sound out of my new Fender XII using any of the computer sims, I blamed the guitar and nearly sold it. But with the Blonde it was just there. Got it used for $125 and it was totally worth it and now I thinking about selling the HX Stomp. It's also made me rethink transistors relative to tubes, the Blonde is that good to me.

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Re: How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by jorri » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:39 pm

a number of ways, mylself:

mostly micced speakers. At home, recording studio, or rehearsal studio/hall i can book out if don't wish to annoy neighbors.

some demos are just DI of course, that is easier if no one is going to hear it. Whilst some sounds have so many effects they may as well be a synth can actually just be good through a DI with the odd 'tape saturation' plugin or something applied.

DI and reamp later: recently i think this is the way for me to go. I am yet to try on anything very distorted but numerous advantages here:

-it allows me to specialise: i don't have to think about being an engineer WHILST playing.

-I actually can find headphones, maybe in stereo, more immersive...but this was ambient music as i say nothing truly loud yet. maybe its the 'worrying neighbours can hear' whilst playing. whilst simply miccing it won't affect some form of 'artistic confidence' i guess... I CAN feel i can push the amp louder i think too in a re-amp because its more control over gain-stage, and i can listen from outside the room..

-if i record at home, then this dissolves any potential string or movement noise, it allows me to focus on the right sounds. I'm quite an analogue person too but part of that is ROOM MICS, even in shitty rooms i like them, or at least even distance up to a whole foot, so string noise can be an issue (also playing quite hard, and sometimes that's through an ethereal reverb 'pad' that's quite noticable)

-stereo is super easy because you just send your two channels through the same amp twice!

-if i decide to book out something better then, that's good too, i could take it anywhere, it would be great if lockdown returns since i know a producer who can do this remotely, as he's been doing drums remotely.

-stuff changing i don't mind...other than my 'performers hat' perhaps is more an 'arrangement hat' and don't want to think too hard about the particualr amp sound...

-plus, of course there is some ideal to just do it very spontaneously and use that, or even do it in any location, but that rarely happens so much. Its best. One thing that is useful though is recently setting up hours of stuff and just letting it play whilst i'm in another room doing something else- at least i'd hear the neighbour knocking who dislikes the noise! I could probably do this because they were clean ambient sounds- whereas a distorted sound might require more variance and mic/amp changing.

I agree with feedback sounds, of course, even though i use pedals a bit for that.
I also am doing things a bit like Robin Guthrie, who DI'd in the first place, so stereo important. Lots of overdubs and complication important...effects guy not amp guy for sure.
Meanwhile if someone hooks up a DI box (or two, pre+post fx i have had done!) whilst playing live into an amp i am a bit suspicious it won't change the sound like a 'buffer' might- I think there's only been one instance that's really been useful anyway, because in that situation you just ensure you have the sound you want!
Even on bass doing it 'live' there's a jack out the back of my amp i'd prefer to use due to actual amps sounding better than anything. and shove through a tube EQ/pre i've got- that seems to work well but you couldn't easily use to reamp since it would mean running through a bass-amp preamp, and a mic-preamp twice (perhaps send to 'slave in' or 'effects return' never tried or needed to)..

*as mentioned briefly this INCLUDES BASS GUITAR. I can't stand just a DI really, or why some think is acceptable to use amp sim on bass but absolutely NOT on guitar. I like bass sounds-in the mids and highs and room too-and not fizzy piss fuzz- sorry! But i do use a 'support' DI with low-pass set very low for 'sub support' or 'dry'.
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I think as a general process, i mostly use at least two mics in a bright/dark arrangement by angle and mic choice. Primarily so i can change it later, but i do prefer the sound. Some aim is to not use 'mixing reverb' as some do. I don't mean an obvious effect, but some apply it just to 'glue' or 'make fit' into a mix, so i'd rather use a room mic which needn't be the most pristine thing, nor a big room, it can just add something if we are talking this type of mixing reverb we can't hear anyway. Luckily i do have access to a church functions hall for that which sounds great. Always delay beyond 30ms to prevent phasing (and increase apparent room size).
The other kindo f mic placement is behind for lots of sub, the port of a bass amp if its a closed back, or occasionally just an extremely 'accidental' mic placement off to the side that is just all off axis sound to warm things up, but not enough distance to be a 'room mic'.

*i also use a multitrack, not a PC, due to the amount of outputs and portability at the price. Of course, if am to be doing more DI i think i may change this as I build up tracks in a DAW like people seem to do now. Before i would use it like a tape machine (editing/mixing only when DONE) but i see the advantage of being able to see a whole song arrangement spelled out visually, editing/mixing whilst you go and not so scared of 'screen fatigue'.

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Re: How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by jorri » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:46 pm

But not saying its a right or wrong way.

Sometimes i play and get more attached to sound 'tones', and other times i don't. I'm the latter at the moment, because i'm doing big arrangements, and can only really be attached to an effect preset to be honest. different modes and different genres.

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Re: How are we recording electric guitars these days?

Post by marqueemoon » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:17 am

I love recording bass direct and using in the box amp sims for that. The right bass sound for a given song is very context-dependent, so having the ability to tweak after the part is put down is really helpful. I generally track with a touch of compression just so I can lean into it a bit.

For guitar I like to commit to a sound.

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