How to record an electric guitar?

How to record an electric guitar?

Before trying to record a guitar, I encourage you to read the previous post, dotyczącym rejestrowania wokalu. We will be using the same program and similar techniques, so it would take too much space to describe everything again.

Good. In sequence. Our goal is to record an electric guitar for the demo purposes. We will either overdub until ready, original arrangement or to such, created from scratch by the entire live team. We will use the same techniques in both cases. I will say more: such a registered guitar can be suitable even for high-level production. Why?

Because we are actually able to get great quality. There are far fewer factors involved than with drums, a skompletowanie odpowiedniego sprzętu rejestrującego jest o much cheaper. We do not need a large hall with appropriate acoustics, masses of cables and specific microphones as well as interfaces and preamplifiers with a lot of inputs. In fact, we can record it even at home, provided, however, that our neighbors are immune to high levels of sound (When the tube amp is turned on it makes a really nice clatter).

Method no 1 - The line + VST

How to record a guitar using only a computer? In this case, we will need a DAW program with plug-ins to simulate the sound of a guitar. Z tych najpopularniejszych polecam IK Multimedia Amplitube oraz Native Instruments Guitar Rig.

Such a simulator is a real combo- has a huge number of different amplifiers built in, columns and effects. I use such plugins for practice or some trial recordings myself. However, I do, that the digital character cannot be completely "eradicated" from the VST sound. There is no dynamism, harmonics, such warmth- generally there is no such thing, what I appreciate in classic solutions. This is a moot point, many people appreciate digital sounds, and others do not tolerate them. You have to check for yourself and choose your favorite recording method.

What we will need?
- Some kind of DAW,
– Interface audio z high impedance entrance i z jak najniższą latencją- is a key factor. With row lag 10-15 ms can still be recorded. On my card, I was able to achieve a latency of approx. 4ms.
- VST plug,
- Electric guitar,
– Cable Jack-Jack,
- Headphones

As an interesting addition to e.g.. Amplituba, polecam załączyć wtyczkę keFIR. Its job is to simulate a guitar column by using the pulses of real packs. The effect is really great- the columns in the Apmplitub look pale next to the kefir.

Method no 2 – Reamping

Simply put, it is a guitar track recording without any simulations or effects, and then "play" it on some real amp, which will be registered with the microphone. Why so much fun? It's not better to record on one of them right away 100 watt Marshall? Well, not everyone has such a monster. What if we wanted to use Marshall once, another time Mesa, and yet another, e.g.. Peavey and all this with different 4 × 12 speakers? Where would we put it in our apartment ?

In this case, the logging itself will be almost the same, as in the previous way. We can also use VST plugins. The point is, that when mixing such a track, we turn off all simulations and rip a clean track to the disk.

There is also a second solution. Suppose, that we don't want to use VST when recording reamping tracks. Then we must have a stove, np. match 1×12. Since we decided to reamping, that means, that the sound of our amplifier is insufficient for production purposes. It's more about that, to better feel the instrument, and the recording session was more enjoyable. Do tego celu niezbędnym urządzeniem będzie DI box. We connect a guitar to it. We connect one of its outputs to our amplifier, a drugie do interface`u. Then the matter is simple: we normally hear a guitar on the stove, and our DAW records a clean signal.

We have to send the ripped track to any recording studio, which offers reamping. We provide guidelines for the amplifier model, column or microphone. You know, that we will have to pay something. However, it will be much less than if we wanted to sit in the studio for a few or a dozen hours. Thus, spokojnie w domu we can refine naszą partię bez żadnych zbędnych stresów. After some time, the studio sends us a track ready to be included in our mix.

Method no 3 – microphone

I consider, that is the best way. However, it requires a lot more equipment and work. It can take a long time to properly position the microphone to the loudspeaker, because in fact, every centimeter to the right / left / forward / backward or a minimal change in the angle of the microphone has an impact on the final sound. We will also spend some time setting up our amplifier, pedals or the guitar itself. Everything has to be thought out, because we will not change much in the finished track, at most some degree of EQ parameters.

First, I will write what you will need:
- DAW as standard
- Interface with one / two microphone inputs. If we use a condenser microphone, you will also need a + 48V power supply.
– microphone, tripod, XLR-XLR cable
- Combo or head + speaker guitar amplifier
- Headphones required (I guess, that we have two rooms and decent speakers- listening sessions)
- Electric guitar, cable Jack Jack

What microphone?
Tutaj nikogo nie zaskoczę. Shure SM57. Why? This is a bit like guitar speakers. I probably listened to everything possible and each time I missed something, sometimes literally subtle differences, until suddenly Celestion Vintage 30 i bach! Only with microphones: every time something and keep looking. One has too little of it, the other has too much of that and after hearing sm57 I find, that it will work for everything. Apart from it, it is always worth placing other microphones on the loudspeaker and then adding some decibels in the mix, but it is always the 57th who will be 'playing first fiddle'.

Its most important features are: frequency characteristics pasująca idealnie do instrumentów perkusyjnych i wzmacniaczy gitarowych, armored structure(see the tests, how they were throwing them from a few stories up and still working), cardioid characteristic(muffles sounds from the environment) i durable membrane(its increased thickness makes it resistant to greater sound intensity). You can use, for example, a second microphone. capacitive MD 421 or cheaper, AT 2035.

Here is a small curiosity how important the quality of the recording is the quality of the microphone. I did this simple test a few years ago. Of this, as I remember, I used a 2 × 12 pack and a Mayones guitar with a humbucker pickup under the bridge. First, I put some terribly weak mic on the loudspeaker(I don't even remember the model), a następnie wokalowy Sennheiser s845s.

What microphone arrangement?
I don't think there is a ready-made recipe for it. And that's the worst part. To może zająć sporo czasu. Various settings have to be tested i sprawdzać jak gitara będzie się zgrywać z resztą instrumentów. First of all, I do not recommend pointing the microphone in the middle of the loudspeaker and at a short distance- the sound will be much too sharp. Secondly, I do not recommend pointing the microphone centrally in the diaphragm suspension- the sound will be too muffled. Everything in between will be our field of action. Therefore, a certain dependence can be found:

The closer to the center, the more treble and shrill midrange- brighter tone overall. The farther, the more bottom, less mountain, less harsh measure- overall more dull.
If we change the angle, then the microphone starts picking up the sound, being the resultant between the point where it aims, and sound, which comes to him from the side. There is probably no formula for that- you have to experiment ?
Distance between the microphone and the column też ma spory wpływ na nagrany dźwięk. The further the sound is no longer so "punctual", more frequencies come to the fore, there will be more bass for sure, the signal will be weaker.

What column?
When I say a column, I mean the size and number of speakers. It can be either a 1x12 combo or a 1x12 closed column. Generally, I would not recommend anything smaller than at least one 12-inch loudspeaker for recordings. The most commonly used solutions are closed boxes 2 × 12 and 4 × 12 with Celestion or Eminenece speakers.

The first of them breaks through a little better in the mix due to the slightly more exposed midrange. Some say, that it lacks some 'air' and the sound is not that full. W przypadku 4×12 otrzymujemy tzw. A 'wall of sound' with a slightly muffled center, stronger bottom and top. The large area of ​​the membranes makes, that the sound is very pleasant, and the enormous efficiency of the speakers guarantees overwhelming volume, even with low power.

Personally, I have for testing 3 different designs based on different Celestion loudspeakers. From then on, all the samples made available here(48kHz 24bit) will be recorded using the same transistor amplifier and with the same EQ. Everything recorded with the sm57 microphone, which I tried to arrange the same for each speaker (ok. 4 cm from the dome and 5 cm from the column, perpendicular to the package). Probably everyone knows the song, this is the rock standard at weddings.

Recording technique

I described the use of Nuendo / Cubase in the previous article, so here i will only cover general rules for guitar registration.

First, recording with a microphone. We connect the microphone, we are looking for a suitable location for him. This selected point on the column is glued e.g.. paper tape yes, so that in the event of an unintentional shift of the microphone to be able to return to the previous "configuration". Then we unscrew our amplifier(as they say, about the hour 11) and if we record something stronger, to gałkę GAIN we twist a little(we will avoid slimy distortion, the sound will be at least a bit selective). Turning the volume up has a purpose too. Ci, what they played on the tubes, they know what's going on ? Oczywiście trzeba jeszcze ustawić odpowiedni microphone gain level, so that the signal does not overload.

We tune our oar, we are uploading the pilot(underlay) do DAWa i REC. Teraz baardzo ważna rzecz- we record the same thing again, at the same setting. On the mixer, one track wanders 100% on the right, and another 100% on the left. Why such a procedure? If we played it exactly, I recommend that you rewind the recording and listen to why.

The stereo issue is just as important when it comes to line recording. As for the VST, we do not have to "fight" with the rigid setting of virtual amplifier or microphone parameters, since such effects are not blended into the track. Najważniejsze jest tylko jak most accurate recording swoich partii. We can sit on the rest later, by turning virtual potentiometers.

It's worth adding a noise gate in the final mix, to mute portions, where we don't play. The last thing is the so-called. band pass- that is, cutting the lowest and highest frequencies on the parametric equalizer. Generally if the need arises, then we can boost the EQ in several places, but let's always try, so that the base performance is as good as possible(this is an advice mainly for people recording with a microphone).

Alphard guitar speakers?

Jeżeli ktoś chce dowiedzieć się jaki głośnik powinien siedzieć w jego kolumnie to polecam lekturę artykułu bardzo doświadczonego kolegi Tremollo. Tutaj link It describes all parameters of these transmitters and recommends or advises against specific models / companies.

By browsing through the pages of Allegro searches, It is impossible not to come across the great bargain offers from Alphard (now they are also hiding under the Fonics "brand"). They look like normal speakers, the producer writes, that they have a lot of power and are perfect for the guitar ... Unfortunately, they are not suitable. Gitara w ogóle na nich nie brzmi, there are terribly quiet (I bet, that the SPL is 5db lower than the manufacturer's guarantee), when they get a little more power, they either wheeze or burn.