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Recording Tips for Guitarists

Tips for Recording Guitar
Recording Tips for Guitarists
Shure recently discussed how guitarists can achieve great results when recording at home or in a small project studio on their blog.


Get the basics right first. Change your strings, check your intonation and guitar's set-up and you're ready to go. Ensuring your guitar is set up well will give you the best tone and stable tuning. Get yourself a good guitar tuner to make sure you stay sounding your best throughout the session.

Practice before recording is also key. The more prepared you and your gear are, the better the recording process will be.

The Right Tools

When it comes to mics it's best to experiment and find something that suits your style. It's a personal choice and you should select one you enjoy the sound of - the three main choices for recording guitar would usually be Dynamic mics, Condenser mics or Ribbon mics.

For a reliable guitar mic, Shure suggest the SM57 due to its well positioned presence peak and high SPL handling. There's a wide selection of studio mics ideal for recording guitar in our studio mics section. Whatever you're budget, do your research, experiment and find one that you love.

Size Isn't Everything

Downsizing your guitar amp for studio recording can really pay off. Whilst we all love a huge 100 watt stack on stage, these amps can sound thin at low volume when the valves don't have chance to get fully heated. A small combo of about 15 watts can get nice and hot and makes things easier when it comes to mic positioning.

Proper Positioning

If you get the position of the mic right your mix is already halfway there so it's worth spending a bit of time on this.

As a rule, if you're only using one mic position it somewhere between the dust cover and the speaker cone, an inch or so from the cone. The closer you move the mic to the centre of the speaker, the brighter the tone. In most cases somewhere in-between the edge of the cone and the centre will give you the most balanced tone but experiment to find what works for you.

The proximity effect is something that happens with directional pickup patterns - as the mic is moved closer to the sound source the bass frequencies are emphasised. Experiment with this effect to control the bass on your guitar.

Less Is More

Generally speaking less is more when crafting your guitar tone. Remember that what sounds good in isolation might not always sound good on the rest of your track. If you're unsure consider using a DI box so you can use the clean DI signal as back up if you get it wrong.

Many guitarists make the mistake of turning the gain right up when recording but this rarely sounds good when combined with the rest of a track and can sound harsh and thin. Instead, use less distortion and more tracks (double tracking is a technique commonly used by guitarists for a bigger sound).

Capture The Room

Use a room mic to capture the natural ambience of your recording space. Many unconventional recording spaces give really interesting sounding recordings. A ribbon mic is ideal for this application.

Master The Mix

Mixing should be the icing on the cake - the odd tweak here and there. If you're finding that you need to do too much at this stage go back and work on capturing a good performance outright. You don't want to lose all the naturalness in your recordings or create phase problems with extreme EQ.

To read the full article visit the Shure blog.

Play for LA

Shure are currently searching across Europe, for the very best amateur guitar players. In exchange for your guitar prowess, Play for LA is your chance to win an unforgettable trip to LA California, tickets to NAMM show 2016, a (GLX-D16) Shure Beta Digital Wireless Guitar Pedal System, and more guitar gear! Find out more here.

Follow Gear4music on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with the latest news, offers and competitions.

By Victoria Brown

Posted on 25 Jun 2014 14:15 to category : Tips and advice

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