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Getting that final album sound with guitars


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Take a distorted guitar, record through your audio interface, it's (probably) not going to sound as finalized / great as what you hear on a record.


How would you achieve that sound? I know it involves the mixing or mastering process, but are there any certain steps they take to get that sound? I'm curious cause I'm thinking maybe I can get something decent with software.


A few suggestions as to guitar tone on some songs: Sevendust: Denial, Waffle, Shine... Coal Chamber: El Cu Cuy... Korn: Here To Stay

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Originally posted by Dan South:

(2) Limiting or heavy compression

Compression on individual distorted guitars isn't always necessary as the nature of the tone is already compressed. Busing all the tracks and compressing the bus can add some "glue" to the blend, though.


(3) Reverb (possibly also some delay)
Yup! I usually like delays more than verb on guitars as it can increase the "size", without the diffusion associated with reverbs.


(4) A lot of experience with (1), (2), and (3)
Definitely!! I learn something every time I track a new player/instrument! :thu:
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assuming you have your player -> guitar -> amp -> mic chain in order, I think there are a couple of other things that can really seal the deal in terms of getting that sound.


1. use of an appropriate mic pre...API kicks ass for electric guitar, but a Neve flavor pre wouldnt hurt either.


2. use of 2" 16-track at 15ips. :D really, tape can help a lot in terms of getting that sound...but given the fact many people wont be recording to tape, but to DAW, use of something like an Empirical Labs FATSO jr. can work wonders.


of course, that is just advice to get a generalized vanilla guitar tone for rock, jazz, blues, etc...if you are the type to run the guitar signal into the waveshaper on a Waldorf MicroWave XT, then go for it! ;)

Go tell someone you love that you love them.
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You're looking to get that sound with software, and what's difficult about that is that guitar's kind of a 'different case'. Most plug-ins, the delays, eq's and compression are good for guitar, but the distortion isn't likely to give you a realistic amp-like distortion unless you use Amplitube or Amp Farm or something like that that's designed specifically for guitar. You've got to have amp simulation to get that sound in software. Guitar's a special case because its sound doesn't exist without that lo-fi amplifier, which filters out the harsh highs. That's why guitar's always miked, and almost never run direct into the board. At least, not without something like a Pod or a Rockman.
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