Tone Report Weekly Issue 114 - Page 30

Straight to the source There are many ways that things can go wrong when recording electric guitar, and many ways that a powerful, complex live sound can end up flat and unspectacular on tape. The primary pitfall of the inexperienced recording guitarist is failing to make an honest and objective evaluation of what their tone really sounds like up close. Excess volume and enthusiasm can dull judgement and preconceptions about the sound you want or expect to hear can warp reality, leading you to believe that your tone is perhaps a bit more glorious than it really is. Putting a mic in front of the cabinet has a way of revealing these flaws and misconceptions in striking detail.  No amount of EQ, compression, or other audio gilding will make a tone turd golden, so before you even mic up the cabinet, get down in front of the speaker (you know, where the microphone is going) and do some critical listening. Try to make an honest evaluation of the sound; is it a little muddy, dull, or harsh sounding? If you’re not sure what you’re hearing, or if you lack experience in this sort of evaluation, ask a friend, bandmate, or your recording engineer for an unvarnished second opinion on the quality of the sound. Getting the tone right at the source makes the rest of the process easy, so it is well worth the time and effort. And while you’re at it, make sure your guitar is in tune.  30 TONE TALK // Get it on Tape: Tips for Nailing your Sound When Recording