Slipperman's Recording Distorted Guitars From Hell - Page 2
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Thread: Slipperman's Recording Distorted Guitars From Hell

  1. #9


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    See, I think it's fucking awesome stuff, and I love the writing style. It's like reading Hunter S. Thompson, if he was a production engineer.

    I guess when I said "even if you don't agree with everything he says," really I had two things in mind - his default close-micing position (I've tried it a few times, and it doesn't really work for me - that said, I should probably keep experiementing with variations), and his stance on EQ'ing before tape:

    Schools of thought.

    School 1: Capture it ALL.
    School 2: Capture it ALL but capture LESS of what yer pretty sure yer not going to use much of later.
    School 3: Capture MOSTLY what you want with a TINY nod to the wacky shit.
    School 4: Fuck everyone. Capture ONLY what you like. HAMMER the fuck out of everything else.
    School 5: Shit pants in terror. Return to recording rap with SP1200.
    He's a proponent of school 4, whereas I'm somewhere between 1 and 2, with a low-pass on the pre and "EQ'ing" with mic position being about all I'll do. It's just a philisophical difference, and considering he's tracking to tape (where slamming it with just what you want can give you some seriously nice compression) and I'm going digital (where I don't have that option) I totally see where he's coming from, given the tools at his disposal.

    Either way, it's a fucking awesome resource (really a ton on the "why's" of engineering and mixing, especially in the audio), and fucking hilarious reading, to boot.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

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  3. #10


    Join Date: Jun 2006
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    Here's my take on it.

    Go with school 1 or 2 if you don't really know what the hell you're doing or what you want.

    Pros: you have everything there, and you have a million options to sort through at mixdown. You can find anything you want tone wise, it just takes time.
    Cons: see pros.

    Go with school 3 or 4 if you are comfortable with your recording gear and have a clear vision of how you want the final product to sound.

    Pros: making tone decisions at the recording stage means that when you get to mixing, most of your decisions have been made for you so it's a quicker mix.
    Cons: see pros.

    I typically go with school #1, since I'm using outboard pres (Neve and API) that don't have any EQ built in. I also rarely have a sound in my head for the final product at the recording stage.

    For the last Division album, there was a clear goal with the guitar sound, and I went with School 4. It was high passed, low passed, and EQ'd on an 8 band EQ before it got to disc. It came out exactly as planned, and I needed almost zero EQ in mixing. For my next disc, I'll probably go back to School 4... we'll see though

  4. #11


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    By the way, on this:

    Let's imagine a specific scenario that could happen to ANYBODY(Like probably 25 poor miserable AE bastards all over the world last week alone....).

    Let's imagine 'Banjo-Boy' plays in an Screamo-Metal 'crossover'(doesn't the word 'crossover' seem to be losing some of it's effectiveness lately?) band that uses a lot of suspended chord voicings, displaced roots, and odd time signatures interspersed with faster chugging passages and plenty of clean guitar breakdowns....

    BUT THE PROBLEM IS.......

    He's REALLY INTO THE 'Morbid Angel' guitar sound.

    Don't laugh, kids are fucking crazy.

    A lot of young musicians are much better at hearing what works for SOMEBODY ELSE, IN SOME OTHER SITUATION, than they are at figuring out what works for themselves/their music/their songs.

    SO ARE A LOT OF AE'S

    That's where the shit can and often DOES hit the fan.

    OK. His 'chugging' sound strikes a pretty decent balance between 'swing' and 'tight' and he's a good palm-muter who can, and does control the duration and depth of the 'chugging' shit pretty well. Hoo-ray. ALL IS NOT LOST.

    Not yet.

    Problem is....

    His Drop-C tuned PRS sounds like COCK AND BALLS when he plays his pretty little suspended chords. You can't hear much difference between a C#5 barre-chord and a C#9. The ninth is getting HAMMERED by the amount to saturation he's dialed on the amp head... Or is it? Will a change in guitar be more effective than a change in 'twist' on the amp-face? What else does he got with him...? Maybe his old "It's cool but I never use it" - 1972 SG standard. Plug it in. Those fuckers can CHIME like a bitch and just might make the difference between disaster and salvation.

    OK... So you try it....

    IT'S AWFUL.

    It's too fucking OLD.

    It chimes alright... Sounds like a fucking busted church-bell being hydro-phoned by a crackhead to a submarine salvage vehicle thru a Korean-War era walkie-talkie.

    Great. Strike 1.

    Kid thinks you're a fucking retard.

    OK. Twist the gain down a little.... That's a LOT BETTER BUT.... Now he's got that look on his face like somebody farted.....

    His BLANKIE. Yer KILLING HIS BLANKIE, YOU ASSHOLE.

    OK. Try twisting up the mids to get a little clarity back, as you do this you may be able to drop the gain a little, as the preamp starts to saturate more in the 'hurt zone'.

    This is helping but, of course, the first thing the kid starts to do is CHUG again....."Dude, the chugs are sounding 'bleackey' he sputters". And ya know what? He's RIGHT, the chugs are coming apart. Very 'bleacky'(A technical term they teach at GIT).

    Houston. We got a problem.

    How you gonna get around this?

    I can think of about 3 ways RIGHT OFF the top of me noggin...

    Can you guys?

    Kick it around if you'd like...

    I'll be back soon.


    SM.
    He never actually comes back and addresses the three ways he's thinking of. You guys who are actually fairly good at this shit (I'm thinking Matt, mostly ), what are your thoughts? My first instinct would be to double the fundamental tracks with a way cleaner take mixed quite a bit back...

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  6. #12


    Join Date: Jun 2006
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    A few ideas using one amp and one guitar:

    1. Don't give up on using a different guitar than the PRS, the SG didn't work, but maybe something else will.

    2. Try a different amp. Maybe something with that is a little dryer and a little more articulate.

    3. Try different strings on the guitar. Heavy strings can be great for intonation and bashing on lower tunings, but they can saturate an amp too quickly.

    4. Try adding an EQ to the equation. Keep his "scoop" by dropping some in the 200 range, but then boost in the 400 or 800 range to get some clarity. This should preserve the chunk of the sound as well as giving some definition.

    If you can use multiple guitars and amps, it's a lot easier

    Record two amps of the same performance, one with the death metal scoop for the chugga-chugga, one with more mids for the happy chords. Mix and match as necessary.

  7. #13


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Thank you kindly, Matt.

    Reading this shit REALLY makes me want to finish up the fucking demoing and get to work recording in earnest.

  8. #14


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Crooks View Post
    Record two amps of the same performance, one with the death metal scoop for the chugga-chugga, one with more mids for the happy chords. Mix and match as necessary.
    Reamping with both tones would have been my answer, since the real option of "teach kid how to play chugga with mids" isn't really viable.

  9. #15


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    Well, he's going for the Morbid Angel uber-scooped chugga sound, and adding mids kinda defeats that But I do get what you're saying.

    I think what SM was getting at here is that trying to make your songs sound like someone else when you are not the exact same style is a recipe for disaster. Kinda like a drummer wanting a Jazz fusion kick sound on a power metal album.

  10. #16


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Crooks View Post
    Well, he's going for the Morbid Angel uber-scooped chugga sound, and adding mids kinda defeats that But I do get what you're saying.

    I think what SM was getting at here is that trying to make your songs sound like someone else when you are not the exact same style is a recipe for disaster. Kinda like a drummer wanting a Jazz fusion kick sound on a power metal album.
    ...and he actually gets at kind of an interesting problem for guitarists. Most of us have "our" sound, that we spend ages crafting alone in our bedrooms, and is manifest in our choice of guitars, choice of amps, and choice of effects.

    Most of us then go off and start a band, with a bunch of other guys who all have "their" sound on their respective instruments, that were also developed in isolation. More likely than not, for each band member they're playing something a little outside the circle of influences that helped shape "their" sound.

    This is kind of a potential recipe for disaster. In every band I've played in, I've made a point (less based on this concrete observation than on intuition) of trying to spend some time getting the band to shape "their" sound to work as a group. This usually doesn't go very well - in particular I remember playing with this one bassist who had this rather nice Fender and some sort of a Haarke rig with built in compression. He'd play along with the song, and then go to play a bass fill and REALLY dig in on the strings, and suddenly what'd have previously been a balanced mix was all bass. I tried to get him to use his amp's compression, but he refused because it wasn't "vintage." Keep in mind that we were playing your typical high school cover band mix of classic and modern rock, and that I was playing a seven string into a Mesa combo.

    But, it's always worth trying.

    ...also, an observation that came to me as I was writing this, typically, when tracking, I'll loop out a drum track, record rhythm guitars, record bass, and then record melody and solo guitars. And, probably 3 times out of 4, I'll then go back and re-record the bass guitars or the rhythm guitars or both, but more often than not rhythm. I should probably start off with the bass track, and then dial in a rhythm tone to fit THAT, rather than the other way around...

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