How to Record Electric Guitars Home Studio Recording Tips

Okay, assuming that you read article one, and you have your mic setup, the next thing is to get your amp sound together. As I stated in the last article having a lower wattage amp really serves best in a home recording situation, which is great because lower wattage amps tend to be less expensive than high watt amps, and since we are trying to do this with the least expense that is perfect. (At the bottom I will explain about double tracking techniques).

                      The Amp Must Be Turned Up

That stated, the amp must be turned up quite a bit in order to get that really beautiful warm sound whether you are using a clean or overdriven sound. If you are using an overdrive sound then the next thing is to follow this rule – even though I know you don’t want to.  You must turn the overdrive WAY down.  This rule goes whether you are using a foot stomp box or the overdrive on the amp itself.  And when I say way down the overdrive should be around 1 or 2.  For some reason what sounds good live – cranking overdrive turned up to 11, does not transfer well to recording. However the overall volume must remain high.

Once you have adjusted all of the tone controls and placed the mic where you get the tone you want, and remember start out with the tone you want, don’t think that you will magically get the tone you want while mixing and using various eq’s in your daw, it is just best to start off with something as close to perfect as you can get. Now it is time to record. If you are doing solo work always play to a click track, meter being one of the most important elements in music. If you have bad time and meter your song will sound sloppy. If you are recoding a band situation always record the drum tracks first and play to them to a click.

                           Double Tracking The Guitar – A Must

Once you have recorded the guitar track the fun begins. You must now go back and record anothertrack with the exact same part, but slightly different sound. This can be achieved by using a different guitar or adjust the mic a little closer or further away from the amp.  Once you record the double you can start mixing the two together in order to get a nice thick sound. One of the guitars should be  mixedpretty far in the background so that the two soundpretty much like one.  One thing I always do after recording an overdriven sound is record the part again with a clean sound. Once that is done I generally put a split on the clean, sometimes a dramatic on up to 19 ms, then mix that sound very quiet and to the way outside of the stereo spectrum while the two overdriven track goes pretty much down the middle with a reverb that gives it a good stereo sound.  This will give you a good loud overdriven, yet very clear sound, but you must play the parts perfectly or it will sound muddy.

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