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BASS (47) COMPRESSION (32) DRUMS (41) EFFECTS (47) EQUALIZATION (27) GUITAR (100) HOME RECORDING (81) IMPULSES (21) INTERVIEWS (19) KARAOKE (1) LIVE (10) MASTERING (56) MIDI (18) MIXING (163) REVIEWS (131) SAMPLES (56) SONGWRITING (18) VOCALS (29)

Saturday, April 6, 2019

How to record a song part 4/6: guitars!



Now that we have some solid drum track and a nice bass line it's time to tackle one of the elements that in many genres is considered one of the most important elements of our mix: the guitar.

The guitar recording phase has many points in common with the bass one: before recording we need to take care of our instrument by making sure it's in the best status possible;
we need to clean the fretboard if it's dirty and sticky, change the strings and set the correct intonation for the tuning, tune it perfectly (and re-tune it every few takes) and check whether the pickups are at the perfect height.

Once we have chosen the right pick and have written down clearly the order of our effects it's finally time to lay down our action plan:

- Are we recording an acoustic guitar? Click here for a dedicated article.

- Are we writing a Midi track with a virtual guitar? Click here for a dedicated article.

- Are we recording an electric guitar? Here the choices are the following:

1) by recording the D.I. track directly into the audio interface: this way we will be able to choose our sound afterwards, by using a Vst guitar amp simulator (click here for a dedicated article) or by reamping our track in a real amp.

2) by using an hardware preamp with speaker simulation (like a Pod) directly in the audio interface.

3) by microphoning an amp (click here for a dedicated article). Microphoning an amp is an art that takes long time (and a lot of trial and error) to be mastered, and there are many factors to be kept in consideration: how the mic position affects the transient, the fact that we can use multiple microphones to blend the resulting tone together, and the fact that the interaction between those microphones can generate phase issues.
Finally, when microphoning an amp, is very important to consider the cabinet we are using, and inside the cabinet, the speaker.


How many guitar layers should we record?
It depends on the genre: sometimes one track is enough when the guitar is just a background element (for example in some pop song), usually in rock there are two tracks that gets panned left and right, but there are also genres in which a thicker wall of sound is required, so we can also abund and quad track our guitars.



CLICK HERE FOR PART 1/6: PREPARATION!

CLICK HERE FOR PART 2/6: DRUMS!

CLICK HERE FOR PART 3/6: BASS!

CLICK HERE FOR PART 5/6: VOCALS!

CLICK HERE FOR PART 6/6: KEYBOARDS AND EXTRA ARRANGEMENTS!


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