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Old 03-07-2012, 08:37 PM
Anders Mouridsen Anders Mouridsen is offline
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Recording Guitar!

Since more and more people have basic recording setups at home, it's very likely that any player on almost any level will be asked to record some guitars for someone at some point. When it's pro we call it session work, but regardless of what level it's at here is some good advice.

Recording is a challenge because it exposes all strengths and weaknesses in your playing. For that reason recording can be a brutal experience, but when you play something you're proud of you get to keep it forever! So it can be a very rewarding experience and it really hones your chops.

Write out a chart!

... doesn't matter how simple. Just the chords or the form- anything to look at while you play. It really helps you relax, even if you know the song!

Keep it simple!

Recording really makes you aware of how little you often need to play! So don't be scared of playing something super simple. Open chords as whole notes, strumming, single notes etc.

Get your headphone mix right

I'll talk more about this later, but the more professional the situation is the less I try to talk. But the one thing that I make sure to get right, even if I have to adjust multiple times is my headphone mix. It will make all the difference in how comfortable you feel. Is one particular instrument too loud?! Can you hear yourself enough? Or too much so it's freaking you out? Or do you need some reverb on your guitar to get inspired. Get it right!!

Take chances!

The cool thing about recording is that you can just delete whatever you don't like and keep the good stuff. Therefore you can really take some chances and be bold! If it's bad they'll just delete it

Multi-track!!!

You can layer as many guitar parts as you want, so don't think you have to do it all in one part. Lay down a take of whole notes, one of arpeggiating chords, etc.

Just Play the Chords!

This piece of advice I actually got from drummer Kenny Aronoff, and it applies to pros as well as hobby players. If you've grown up playing in bands you're used to playing "parts" and when you learn a new song you'll be searching for "the part". This is ultimately cooler than just playing chords, but it takes much longer to find a part and often times people don't even need it. They just need the chords, the sound of your instrument, a certain feel, etc. This had made a huge difference in the quality of my session work!

Bring a sweater and a snack!

This might be self explanatory in other parts of the world, but in L.A. you often just leave the house in a T-shirt, and then you get to the airconditioned studio. Sometimes they'll have you set up in front of the vent, and you never wanna be the guy with a million requests. It's much easier to just bring a shirt!

- Also... Bring some energy bars! Studio sessions often start at noon and you often go until at least 7pm, before anyone even thinks about eating. And being hungry is terrible for your concentration!!

Talk Less


My friend Reggie said it the best: The only way you're gonna seem like an amateur is by talking too much! Don't analyze everything out loud, just listen and play! Obviously this is different with your friends, but this makes such a huge difference in your appearance to other artists/musicians/producers/engineers.

----

Obviously you can also do so much in your practicing to help prepare you for recording. Even if you don't have a recording setup you can practice as much as possible with a metronome. 10-20 bucks or you can find a free one online. Even if you don't play with a click when recording it will help your groove/rhythm/timing and make you sound so much better recorded!

Also, make sure your instruments' intonation is adjusted. Otherwise you'll tune yourself to madness and never get it right

Other than that the best advice I ever got was from GT's own Mike Olekshy who always told me "JUST GO HAVE FUN MAN!". I would always think it didn't apply to whatever audition, tryout or exam I was nervous about, but in reality there's no musical situation that doesn't get better from you having fun. You can be hard on yourself at home, but once you're on the gig you JUST HAVE FUN!

Hope this helps. Please post any comments/questions in my forum so we can be sure I see them

All the best,
Anders
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:29 AM
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RickBlacker RickBlacker is offline
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Hey Anders.

Have you ever considered doing a series on recording? Taking something like the Reaper software and show how to record single, multitracks?

This actually leads me another thought/comment/request that's been on my mind for a long time but have never posted. Which, I think I'll go post now.
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:55 AM
waylar waylar is offline
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Thank you

I wish I would of saw this before yesterday, Some friends wrote a song yrs ago and need me to record lead in the song.
One of them got so impatient and frustrated cause he thought I could just learn the song/never heard it before, on the spot and brighten it up with guitar parts and a solo. Coming up with a create parts related to the chords, plus. Kind of a country toon I'm not used to the style but I improvised with some bends licks and stuff.
I felt real uncomfortable with his constant impatience so the mistakes got worse and lost concentration, finally I had to say something. And this was a home recording so we weren't paying.
A bit selfish of him, he just wanted to have it perfected so he could travel to see his girlfriend this weekend.
We didn't get all of my part recorded but we came along way in 5 hours.
I need to check my intonation cause I'll toon but play a certain chord and it will be out, my frets are wearing from constant practice to.
Thanks for all the knowledge, I can use all of it.
waylar
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:00 PM
Jahan Honma Jahan Honma is offline
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I hear that a good way to do double tracks of guitars is to connect your guitar to your effects pedal and then directly to computer, while simultaneously connecting to an amplifier that is mic'ed. Then you play just once and you have two separate layers of guitar that are perfectly in synch.

I've never done this but it sounds like something I need to do quite soon actually. Do you need some special splitting cable to do this?
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:07 AM
Slipin Lizard Slipin Lizard is offline
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Originally Posted by Jahan Honma
Then you play just once and you have two separate layers of guitar that are perfectly in synch.


But if you're recording on your computer, why bother? If you're looking for a "perfect" sync, just record one track on your computer, then copy & paste it into a new track.

If you're really looking for a "doubling" guitar sound like bands such as Boston used, record the parts separately on separate tracks. That fact that you're human and will therefore make little discrepancies between each performance is what will give the track that "doubled up" sound. If they are in fact perfect, exact copies of each other, it won't sound "doubled"; it may just sound louder.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:43 PM
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Douglas Showalter Douglas Showalter is offline
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Originally Posted by Slipin Lizard
But if you're recording on your computer, why bother? If you're looking for a "perfect" sync, just record one track on your computer, then copy & paste it into a new track.

If you're really looking for a "doubling" guitar sound like bands such as Boston used, record the parts separately on separate tracks. That fact that you're human and will therefore make little discrepancies between each performance is what will give the track that "doubled up" sound. If they are in fact perfect, exact copies of each other, it won't sound "doubled"; it may just sound louder.


When doubling parts, the best approach is to use two different guitars if you can. Playing perfectly in sync isn't always the best thing. If you use the same guitar with the same tone, you can have phasing issues and it can sound really dull. A great producer encouraged me to use different guitars when doubling, and I could not agree more. Avoid copying and pasting as that will cause phasing problems as well and even if you move it slightly, it still doesn't come across natural. Don't be lazy.

Try using multiple guitars, and if they aren't available experiment with different EQ's, pedals, settings, etc. Recording is a wide open world that is a ton of fun with an open mind and lots of patience.

Now, go record something and post it so we can hear it
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