Is this you? Do you feel like amp sims are great for writing, but you'd always choose a "real" amp for your actual record? If only you had access to a couple of great guitar amps, cabs and mics... If only recording these real amps was as quick and convenient as recording a DI into plugin... If only amp sims would sound as good as the real thing...
Good news: They do! Not the same, but just as good.
As always, it's not about the gear you use, it's about the sound in your head, your vision, your creativity. And there are always multiple different ways and different tools to get there.
When it comes to guitar tone, modern amp sims (virtual guitar amp plugins or Kemper profiles) can definitely get you there. That being said, we can see why you are feeling like they're lacking. There are reasons many people seem to love analog gear (and specifically analog guitar amps) more than their digital counterparts. But luckily, there are ways to make them work just as well as the classic amps we all love.
The sad truth is:
When the tuning is off, even if it's subtle, the song won't connect as well and the mix won't sound as good as it could have if the intonation was spot on!
Especially in modern productions where there are multiple layers of guitars, bass, keys, vocals, etc., even the slightest tuning issues can cause the whole thing to sound weird and unprofessional. And it will definitely distract the listeners and take them out of the song.
Listen as we walk you through three main concepts and lots of simple, specific tricks and tactics that you can use to identify problems, get the guitar tuning spot on and nail the intonation every single time you record.
1. Your Guitar:
3. Production Strategy:
The instrument, the strings, the performance, the room, the microphones and placement, noise issues and finally the question:
How do I get this to work in the context of my song?
Most of the time the acoustic guitar serves a specific purpose. Either on its own, or in a dense, full rock band arrangement.
In this episode we'll walk you through the process of recording an acoustic guitar and cover all the details, as well as different methods and approaches, so that you can start your next session with confidence.
There are plenty of very good reasons for recording a DI track - and just no reason not to.
In this episode we talk about the many ways your next record will possibly benefit from having DI tracks and sending those to mixing along with your amp tones:
"What does this knob on my recording gear actually do and how does this all work? When do I need to push which button? What are "pad" and "48V" actually?"
Find out why, when and how to use all the controls on your interfaces and microphones!
The bass has to cut through the mix and we need a bass tone that makes it audible on small speakers, as well. Also, we perceive low end differently depending on the midrange information, for example. We can even "hear" low end information when it's not really there at all. Sounds weird? Well, it's definitely fascinating!
It's also worth thinking about the role the bass guitar and the bass tone play in an arrangement. The interaction between the bass and everything else.
So, in order to capture a great bass tone that serves the song well and works in the final mix, it's absolutely crucial to know and understand all of these things. In this episode we're talking about how this all works and what to do if you want to dial in and record a great bass tone.
Getting the low end right is one of the most important and most difficult things in music production. Not because it’s technically hard to do, but because it requires a musical and tasteful approach, as well as the ability and experience to hear problems, find problem areas and attack them in a systematic way.
Many people record a band in this order:
1. Drums -> 2. Bass -> 3. Guitars -> 4. Everything else -> 5. Vocals
I used to do the exact same thing for years. Because it makes sense, right? First you record the groove, which is usually drums and bass, then the rhythm guitars on top of it, then other rhythm elements and then all the lead parts and vocals can play and sing to that rhythm.
While it’s a good idea to think of the arrangement like this, it’s NOT a good idea to do it strictly in this order every time you record. In fact, I would highly recommend to stop recording bass before rhythm guitar(s).