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Category Archives for "Guitar & Bass"

Forrester Savell On Setting Up And Tuning Guitars

Daily Blog - July 26th 2021

I don't have much time these days, as I'm mixing record after record while working on new things to help you make better records. So I decided to let others speak on the blog for a couple of days. After the community Q&A posts that I just published, I want to share some quotes from amazing engineers and producers that hopefully inspire, educate and/or entertain you!

Forrester Savell On Setting Up And Tuning Guitars
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Joe Barresi On Recording Bass For Tool’s “Fear Inoculum”

Daily Blog - July 23rd 2021

I don't have much time these days, as I'm mixing record after record while working on new things to help you make better records. So I decided to let others speak on the blog for a couple of days. After the community Q&A posts that I just published, I want to share some quotes from amazing engineers and producers that hopefully inspire, educate and/or entertain you!

Joe Barresi On Recording Bass For Tool’s “Fear Inoculum”
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74: Interview Episode With Grammy Nominated Producer And Mix Engineer Jacob Hansen

Jacob Hansen
Jacob Hansen

Jacob Hansen Is Joining Us For This Episode!

Jacob has worked with some of the biggest names in metal and alternative music. He's produced and or mixed records for bands like Volbeat, Amaranthe, The Black Dahlia Murder, Heaven Shall Burn, Evergrey, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Primal Fear and many many more. 

We're getting to pick Jacob's brain and talk about

  • DIY recording
  • getting amazing guitar tones
  • mixing records remotely
  • reamping
  • the most common home studio pitfalls
  • guitar tuning
  • workflow and efficiency
  • communication
  • collaboration best practices
  • the future of (home) recording
  • evertune bridges
  • amp sims and Kempers

among many other things.

Enjoy!

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I Also Love Bass Amps On Guitar

Daily Blog - July 12th 2021

I said that I like guitar amps on bass. The thing is... some bass amps are actually incredible on guitar! 🙂 There's one that I particularly love.

I Also Love Bass Amps On Guitar
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I Love Guitar Amps On Bass

guitar amps on bass
Daily Blog - July 9th 2021

Using guitar amps on bass can give you the clarity, grit and attack to make your bass cut through the mix and at the same time blend really well. with your guitars. Here's how I use them in my mixes.

I Love Guitar Amps On Bass
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Why Reamping Doesn’t Work With Small Interfaces

Daily Blog - July 1st 2021

This is one of the most common questions we get. People wonder how to reamp with the gear they have. And many of them have one of the popular bus powered portable interfaces. So you want to try reamping with a hardware amp or pedals but all you have is a small 2-channel interface? Read this first!

Why Reamping Doesn’t Work With Small Interfaces
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Real-Time Reamping

Daily Blog - June 24th 2021

To me, what I call "real-time reamping" is by far the most efficient and fun way to record guitars with ultimate flexibility and the mix in mind. And because this week's podcast episode is all about reamping, I thought I'd explain one of the concepts from that episode again for you here.

Real-Time Reamping

Here's a step-by-step instruction:

  1. Plug your guitar (or bass) straight into a DI box or Hi-Z input using the shortest possible cable. No pedals in between, the DI is the first and only thing in the chain.
  2. Record that pure DI to a mono track in your DAW and set the output of that track to a physical output on your interface (not your main output! 2-ch Interfaces won't work for this or for reamping in general). So you're not going to hear the clean DI, because the recorded DI leaves the computer immediately through an extra output.
  3. Connect that output to a reamp box 
  4. Connect the reamp box to your amp (and/or pedals), using the shortest possible cable.
  5. Record the cab with a mic / record the amp with a loadbox / record the line out or DI out of your amp. Whatever setup you have.
  6. So this amp signal goes back into the computer to another channel in your DAW and this is what you'll be listening to. Just send the output of the amp channel to your monitor out/main out or your subgroups in the DAW, as usual.
  7. Make sure the buffer size is as low as possible, because latency can be a problem with setup like this. Remember, you're going in -> out -> in again -> and out again to your monitoring. That's four conversions. It's totally possible with most modern interfaces and a solid computer, but maybe not with every setup. You'll have to try and find out.

The advantages of "real time reamping":

  • You're hearing how the amp reacts to the reamping chain right away, as it's always connected to the reamp box, not the guitar directly. So you don't have to adjust and match the signal later, if you're reamping certain parts.
  • You can use your computer as a giant pedal board! Your computer is always in the chain before your amp, so you can use plugins to manipulate the signal you're sending to the amp. Infinite possibilities to correct or creatively shape your tone!
  • You're always recording the highest quality direct signal from your guitar. So you have that safety net in case you don't like the amp tone.
  • You can change and adjust sounds for each part quickly, using reverbs, delays, overdrives etc. in your computer. Just like you would with pedals. You can be quick and intuitive here because, again, you always have that DI as a backup.
  • If you need to change something, it's super easy, quick and fun! So if you recorded a perfect take, but the tone was not quite right for the part, you just hit play, listen, change the settings and reamp immediately without having to perform that part again. The reamp setup is always in front of you ready to go and the tones will be exactly the same, as you're always listening to the reamp chain while playing.

Yes, I know. This is another concept that probably sounds a little confusing at first, but when you make it work and get to try it, you'll love it! It's so much fun!

-Benedikt

PS: If you're looking for an amazing community to get feedback from and provide your own expertise for, check out The Self-Recording Band Community. It's 100% free and can be the growth accelerator you've been missing all the time.

PPS: Downloading one of our free guides and joining our email list is also a great way to connect with your peers, as we will invite you to events and keep you in the loop about what's going on in our community. We just had an amazing video meetup last weekend and together we helped 5 people improve their recordings, arrangements and mixes by listening and giving collective feedback live on the call. Join us now!

learn how to transform your DIY recordings from basement demos to Releases That Connect And Resonate With Your Audience

Get the free Ultimate 10-Step guide To Successful DIY-Recording

A DI Signal, A Mic, One Stereo Track

Daily Blog - June 23nd 2021

You're probably recording each of your inputs to a mono track, right? Try this trick next time you're recording a DI signal with a mic.

A DI Signal, A Mic, One Stereo Track

Record The DI And The Mic To One Stereo Track

So you'll end up having the DI on one side and the mic on the other side. That seems weird, right? Hear me out, please.

If you now insert a plugin that let's you solo one side, or ideally blend (pan) between the two and then switch the plugin's output to mono, you'll be able to hear the DI, or the amp or a blend of the two, depending on how you set the plugin. 

It will all be mono, as usual, coming out of the middle, so you can use the channel pan knob, as always, to place it in the stereo field of your mix.

And in many DAWs it can all be done with stock plugins.

Why all of that?

Because you don't have to group tracks any longer to prevent editing mistakes, everything will stay perfectly in phase and you can easily switch back and forth or blend tracks that belong together in a much more manageable session. Less faders, less pan knobs, smaller chance for errors. 

Trust me, try to wrap your head around it and you'll love it.

-Benedikt

PS: If you're looking for an amazing community to get feedback from and provide your own expertise for, check out The Self-Recording Band Community. It's 100% free and can be the growth accelerator you've been missing all the time.

PPS: Downloading one of our free guides and joining our email list is also a great way to connect with your peers, as we will invite you to events and keep you in the loop about what's going on in our community. We just had an amazing video meetup last weekend and together we helped 5 people improve their recordings, arrangements and mixes by listening and giving collective feedback live on the call. Join us now!

learn how to transform your DIY recordings from basement demos to Releases That Connect And Resonate With Your Audience

Get the free Ultimate 10-Step guide To Successful DIY-Recording

The Essence Of A Great Guitar Tone

Daily Blog - June 18th 2021

What's a great guitar tone and how do I achieve it? How do I know it's good? There's only one thing that really matters and that you should learn to listen for.

Dynamic Vocal Mic Or Condenser?

What's The Emotion, How Is The Song Supposed To Feel? And Which Roles Do The Guitars Play In That?

These are really the only two questions you need to answer. 

When it comes time to engineer a guitar tone for a song, most people start with thinking about amps, microphones, EQ settings, etc. But all of these things are useless and all of your decisions are pointless until you're able to answer the questions above. You need to know where you want to go.

So where do you want to go?

We tend to answer this with things like "I want lots of distortion" or "I want a clean, shimmery and wide sound", or a more detailed answer like "I want a full, but tight low end, plenty of attack in the upper midrange and not too much gain to preserve definition and clarity".

Unfortunately, none of these really answer the question above. At least not completely.

Instead we could answer "where do you want go?" with:

"I want this song to feel aggressive and angry, so the guitars can't be too pleasing sounding. They need to be unruly and loud. They'll have to fight the vocal a bit. They need to be clear, bright and upfront and have a nasty type of distortion."

Or:

"This is a sad song, but there's also some hope in it. The lyrics are super important. So the guitars need to be mellow and smooth. They also need to be dreamy, wide and not step on the vocals. Clarity is not super important here, it's the desperate atmosphere and deep sonic landscape we need to create."

Now these are great answers that help us make good decisions! And if you've spent enough time with your gear, you'll immediately know what to choose and how to set it up to create those emotions. You know what it can and can't do.

It's all about broad strokes at this point. You can always refine later. The tone you're getting quickly and intuitively should work and make you feel a certain way without a ton of filtering, EQ moves, or detailed tweaking. If you nail it, you're 90% there, if you fail to convey the emotion of the song, no amount of processing will give you the right tone.

Don't create guitar tones in a vacuum

It doesn't matter how the guitars sound on their own, so you need to make all decisions in the context of the whole song and arrangement. You need to make sure the song feels a certain way, not just the guitars. They serve the song, so you ned to define their role and find a tone that works for that.

Guitars are midrange instruments

They are clear and loud in the frequency ranges we are most sensitive to. This means they impact our perception of the overall sound a lot. This part of the spectrum is audible on every playback system and it's what we react to first. It's also where the vocals live. This is why guitar tones matter so much when it comes to how a song feels. 

To say it one more time:

It's not as important to get every technical detail "right", whatever that means. It's also not important how they sound on their own. It's how they work within the song and how they make us feel.

Here's what to do Step-By-Step:

  1. Figure out what it is in a guitar tone that makes you feel a certain way. Try to put it in words.
  2. Learn every detail about your gear and experiment as much as possible to find out what it can and can't do. That includes not only amps, pedals, cabs and guitars, but also strings and picks.
  3. Learn everything about playing techniques and how your fingers affect the tone.
  4. Define the emotion you want to convey through your song.
  5. Define the role of the guitars in conveying that emotion.
  6. Use the knowledge from step 1-3 and create tones that serve the song.


That's your starting point and the most important thing to get right. Only then it is time to get technical and refine even further. Nothing else will matter if you get this part wrong.


-Benedikt

PS: I often post videos to these daily blog posts in my Instagram Stories: @benedikthain

learn how to transform your DIY recordings from basement demos to Releases That Connect And Resonate With Your Audience

Get the free Ultimate 10-Step guide To Successful DIY-Recording

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