This is one of the two new videos I have been working on silently during these days (when you don’t hear from me, I’m either away, or working too hard on business or studying new content for SoloDallas.net!).
I have been trying to capture studio tone and the usual performance feeling.
Also, I think I am understanding better and better micing (i.e., the positioning of the microphones), equalizing, recording and mixing in general. It’s. Lot of work, but it is neessary. I am leaning towards thinking that amplifier settings, guitar settings, micing, equalizing and mixing all work together almost seamlessly to get you the tone you have in mind. Naturally, the playing is always the most important component, but the tone… is not in the hands (or not only in the hands). I mean at least, for that whole part that we consider as those tonal characteristics that are contained in the guitar type, amplifier and cabinet types, microphone type and its posotioning, equalization, mixing etc.
There is a lot of components, as you can see and hopefully, hear.
I intend to debunk all of them – I am, actually – because what w hear on our favourite albums, it’s also a byproduct of all of this.
Especially in studio albums, the work to be done is tantamount. I had no idea it would be so difficult but yet, so rewarding. I am really into microphone positioning now (laughs). I spend a lot of time changing – even just slightly – one or both the microphone position, inclination, grill cloth distance, levels, etc. I am actually positioning the microphones first, then I am working the settings on the amp and guitar. I am beginning to have certain types of tones in mind, almost clearly, and I am chasing them by means of all this.
Getting the sound right from the source is what all sound engineers and producers have been suggesting for decades, and I hadn’t given it the importance I am now. It’s really, really amazing how things change.
I’ll even stretch to the point of saying that one can even play better once the sound is a good one. Live is a different thing, But in the studio, where you are working with headphones and the sound is extremely controllable, a lot of different results can be achieved. One doesn’t need to have super expensive stuff, though I like good quality in general. I really think that superb results can be obtained with one microphone – I like condensers, but dynamics are also very good and cheaper – and even no mic preamp (I don’t have one yet in fact: working with a firewire digital interface!). Imagine the difference that great outboard such as Neve can make (and it does). Still, for emulation purposes – we’re not making records are we – it’s superb and any and all of us can do it.
I strongly encourage each one of you to indulge into microphone positioning and equalization (after the take) or – if working with modeling software – the equivalent (cabinet choice, on or off axis, distance etc.). Guitar Rig for example offers a lot of options and it’s totally worth it to experiment. I made my first steps into understanding how these things worked just with Guitar Rig in fact.
This one was played with a 1970 Gibson SG Standard and a Marshall 2204 (both rhythm and solo).
The settings for the rhythm may be more interesting: I set the guitar bridge pickup volume at 5, and the head volume at 8 like the pre-amp. For the solo, I brought up the guitar volume to 8.
Microphones were both facing the same cabinet speaker here. One was on the edge of the speaker border facing towards the speaker center; the other one was on the opposite border also angled towards the centre.