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> Recording/mixing Lead Guitars
steve25
post Dec 23 2008, 09:46 PM
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I've been looking at a lot of youtube videos from my favourite guitarists and also been using a lot of other people's lead patches and i've noticed their tone all seems to sound nothing like what's on record. Of course on record i udnerstand that the sound is a bit more "in" the mix but what do you actually have to do to record and mix good lead guitar sounds? Their tones just seems to sound different and surely they wouldn't change their sound just for a video?
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jer
post Dec 23 2008, 10:15 PM
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do you have an example of something you are mixing that isnt sounding like you want?

Keep in mind most youtube videos sound like crap.



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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 23 2008, 10:37 PM
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Well, there's a couple of misconceptions there mate. First of all, people use various gear for various purposes. Sound on the record depends on many factors, and gear that is used in the studio may well pretty much differ from gear used in some YT clip. By gear I mean the whole chain of things involved in the recording process, mics, mixer, room acoustics, production, post production and many other factors will determine how something would sound. If you have some examples, perhaps we can go through them and analyze a bit if you want.


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berko
post Dec 23 2008, 10:39 PM
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Yep, YT vids are far from the original in sounding.

I'm not sure though what you mean about patches. Like line6 stuff (Gearbox)? Or Guitarrig patches?
Well it does sound different when mixed. Also, tones sometimes don't even resemble each other because speakers, pickups etc. can differ really much.

If you could give some examples, it would help a lot. smile.gif


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jer
post Dec 23 2008, 10:50 PM
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QUOTE
I'm not sure though what you mean about patches. Like line6 stuff (Gearbox)? Or Guitarrig patches?


QUOTE
been using a lot of other people's lead patches and i've noticed their tone all seems to sound nothing like what's on record.


I think he means using presets of particular artists and comparing them to the record.


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steve25
post Jan 30 2009, 04:46 PM
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Hey sorry i completely forgot i made this thread lol. Errm no nothing i'm working on at the moment but i just wondered what was involved because i sort of know how rhythm guitars are done but not lead guitar. I wondered how much they actually put onto the guitar sound before recording and what they did to it afterwards. Guitar tones differ a lot and some of the professional guitarists tones i hear on YT don't sound anything like what they appear to be in a recording. On their own they don't sound too great either
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Toni Suominen
post Jan 30 2009, 08:03 PM
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Well, when I record lead guitars, I like to add some mids to the sound with an equalizer. This way the tone will be fatter and punch through the mix a little better. And I know that a lot of mixers/producers like to do this aswell.

This post has been edited by Toni Suominen: Jan 30 2009, 08:04 PM


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Nemanja Filipovi...
post Feb 8 2009, 12:48 PM
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Well some times when you take one instrumen out of a finished mix you will wonder how it could sound so good in the mix.That is definition of the word "mix".For examplle you could have amazing stand alone drum snare,but it sounds bad in the mix.I know that some metal productions record rhythm guitars very big,lot of bass in them,but later in the mix you have bass guitar you have drums and all the other instruments that are filling the EQ spectrum.They then cut off frequencies in rhythm gitars.


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Emir Hot
post Feb 8 2009, 12:57 PM
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Guitarists use real amps in the proper studio. I don't think that multieffects like POD and similar things are that much in use for the real recording. I used to like Michael Romeo's (Symphony X) sound a lot. It had so much bass and power so when he plays riffs it really sounds like a hurricane smile.gif Later I found out that his sound is actually much more in treble frequencies, there is no bass at all. That means that many instruments togehter and the richness of the arrangement is making that powerful impression. When the riff, bass guitar and the kick drum hit something all together then you hear it like a bomb but the guitar itself doesn't really sound like that on its own. Sound engineer has a lot to do with that as well.


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Nemanja Filipovi...
post Feb 8 2009, 01:05 PM
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QUOTE (Emir Hot @ Feb 8 2009, 12:57 PM) *
Guitarists use real amps in the proper studio. I don't think that multieffects like POD and similar things are that much in use for the real recording. I used to like Michael Romeo's (Symphony X) sound a lot. It had so much bass and power so when he plays riffs it really sounds like a hurricane smile.gif Later I found out that his sound is actually much more in treble frequencies, there is no bass at all. That means that many instruments togehter and the richness of the arrangement is making that powerful impression. When the riff, bass guitar and the kick drum hit something all together then you hear it like a bomb but the guitar itself doesn't really sound like that on its own. Sound engineer has a lot to do with that as well.

Exactlly!!!
Pantera is the similar example in this case.


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Muris Varajic
post Feb 8 2009, 01:05 PM
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There are some "rules' on how to record lead guitar
and it varies a lot from one style to another.
One very important fact is sounding of rest of the bend
and what you wanna get in final mix,
sometime you need to go for lead with bunch of midds,
sometime it's cutting midds as much as possible etc.
Your ear should be your guide for sure but the more you
know about sound engineering and EQ tricks
the faster you'll get what you're looking for. smile.gif


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David Wallimann
post Feb 8 2009, 01:56 PM
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An alternative to getting the same tone on records are soft guitar modeling amps.
I know they don't sound exactly like the amps, but they are very close.
I've been working with Guitar Rig lately and find it quite effective to reproduce real album sounding guitars.

When I want to reproduce a sound I like, I load in the song into my sequencer, record the same guitar part heard on a separate track using a dry guitar with no effects at all.
Then Add Guitar rig as a plugin. That way you can focus on tweaking your sound to blend it with the record.
It's really effective!


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Feb 8 2009, 02:04 PM
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QUOTE (Nemanja Filipovic @ Feb 8 2009, 12:48 PM) *
Well some times when you take one instrumen out of a finished mix you will wonder how it could sound so good in the mix.That is definition of the word "mix".For examplle you could have amazing stand alone drum snare,but it sounds bad in the mix.I know that some metal productions record rhythm guitars very big,lot of bass in them,but later in the mix you have bass guitar you have drums and all the other instruments that are filling the EQ spectrum.They then cut off frequencies in rhythm gitars.



QUOTE (Muris Varajic @ Feb 8 2009, 01:05 PM) *
There are some "rules' on how to record lead guitar
and it varies a lot from one style to another.
One very important fact is sounding of rest of the bend
and what you wanna get in final mix,
sometime you need to go for lead with bunch of midds,
sometime it's cutting midds as much as possible etc.
Your ear should be your guide for sure but the more you
know about sound engineering and EQ tricks
the faster you'll get what you're looking for. smile.gif


Absolutely agree - a key part of the job for the recording/mixing engineer is to attain appropriate balance across the frequency spectrum so that all the parts fit.

Back to the original question - one reason why Youtube videos often don't sound like the original is that the audio is compressed.

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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Feb 10 2009, 01:13 AM
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You definitely need to do some equalizer tweaking, I usually add gain to mids!


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steve25
post Mar 18 2009, 02:14 PM
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Sorry for the late reply, again i'm useless lol.

Anyway, i can udnerstand what you mean about the EQ type thing but it seems when i record a lead guitar the sound is just nothing like what i hear. The lead has a fair amount of mid but i think the rhythm tone does as well. Also, generally do you record just one lead track or do people double it up?

Would you recommend just recording all the parts at once and then doing mixing afterwards or do you start mixing each individual bit as it's recorded in? So for eample if you record 3 rhythm tracks (L, R, C) do you mix those, then add in bass mix that, then add in drums and mix that etc?
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Emir Hot
post Mar 18 2009, 02:29 PM
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Usually sound engineer starts with drums. First the kick drum, then the snare etc... Then he tries to fit the bass guitar within that picture but with some careful EQ and pan so he can leave some space for other instruments. Then the keyboards come in (if you have it) and after the rhythm guitar. Solo comes the last. Some people like to include vocals just after drums and bass and fit other instruments carefuly arround it. Pro mixing is a complex process and it takes time. Never mixdown anything together (like rhythm guitars in one stereo track). Always keep separate recorded tracks in a raw format and after apply effects. This way you can always go back if you don't like something. You can use groups for that. Put all your rhythm guitars in one group channel of your mixing desk (or a software mixer) and EQ them all togehter but you still need to have them separated in separate channels in your project. About the solo, some people double it some not. Depends what sound you want to have. Try both and see what you like. The most important is that you have a nice and healthy raw signal so you can color it later with effects and EQ. The rest is just about experimenting. It will never sound like you initially wanted but you might end up with something even more interesting. It all depends of the whole song arrangement and other instruments. If you make a solo guitar sound that fits in your arrangement and play with the same sound on some other type of track you can likely have impression that your guitar doesn't sound the same even though you know you're using the same settings. Many factors are important in the game but that's the beauty of mixing if you can deal with all those little components and make something nice for your ears out of all that.


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steve25
post Mar 20 2009, 01:10 PM
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That's a pretty good way of doing it. A little side question which popped into my head was how do you deal with tempo changes and time signature changes in your DAW? Because, take reaper as an example right you can set a tempo and time signature there but that's for the entire track not individual sections.

So Emir is that pretty much what you do? So you record a section say the percussion, then mix that then you do the rhythm guitars and so on? You say you shouldn't mixdown but what about when you start mastering?
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Emir Hot
post Mar 20 2009, 01:40 PM
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QUOTE (steve25 @ Mar 20 2009, 12:10 PM) *
That's a pretty good way of doing it. A little side question which popped into my head was how do you deal with tempo changes and time signature changes in your DAW? Because, take reaper as an example right you can set a tempo and time signature there but that's for the entire track not individual sections.

So Emir is that pretty much what you do? So you record a section say the percussion, then mix that then you do the rhythm guitars and so on? You say you shouldn't mixdown but what about when you start mastering?


About the tempo, I don't use Reaper but I think there must be an option how to insert new tempo starting from the bar you want. Every DAW has that. Your click (metronome) will also change when it comes to that new tempo. Check help file or search google how to do it in Reaper.

About your second question I think you didn't get it all because I probably didn't explain well. First you record everything. Now when you have all your material ready for mixing you start in steps like I explained before. About the mixdown I said you should always work with separate tracks and never mixdown together anything during mixing (like all backing vocals into one track or similar). When you have it all mixed and you're happy how your song sounds, then you mixdown the whole project into one stereo track. Now you take that track into Wavelab or Soundforge, etc... and do mastering. From there you export another new mastered stereo track and there you have it.


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steve25
post Mar 21 2009, 12:26 AM
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So record everything? What if like you have such a big mix that certain things you can't hear like lead guitars for example? Do you just put it in anyway and sort it when the mixing process happens? Maybe i should try recreating a simple song i know and trying to mix and master it and see how it goes?
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 22 2009, 03:53 PM
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The more the instruments, the harder it is to do the mix, and more experience is needed, but there is no such think like a "so big mix that guitars won't pop out". Good sound tech will always make everything come out. This takes knowledge and good equipment, but it no matter how many instruments you have, lead guitar must be in there somewhere. As always practice and hard work is everything, so learn some mixing tips, and experiment, and you will be able to hear everything nicely.

PS Nuendo/Cubase have tempo editor where you can program tempo changes very precisely in the piece. Reaper should have similar option, if it doesn't have, I recommend transferring to Cubase or Nuendo since they are one of industry standards for DAW. If you cannot buy one, possibly try getting one through some hardware, since lots of manufactures bundle Cubase 4 LE today with entry level recording gear. This is a great way to start with both recording, and get a cool software that is legal.


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