Click on One of the following links to see the different parts of the recording process.
I decided to record the guitar in the same room I recorded drums in, as I thought it would be quite dead, not picking up as much echo in the room, allowing my guitars to sound crisper.
I recorded my guitar through a vox vt50 amp on the UK Modern setting which is based of something like a messa boogie style amp. This gave me the crunchy distorted punk like tone which fit the genre I was recording in really well. I took out a lot of the bass frequencies on my amp, as this gives the bass some more room in the mix. Ive grown accustomed to listening to my guitar tone without the bass in the eq, as a lot of guitarists have a lot of bass in their tone, which they do out do habit because they don’t have a bassist around to take up the lower end of the spectrum. As a result, I’ve had to eq a guitarist’s tone to get rid of the muddy area where the bass and guitar overlap.
I used a three mic-ing technique on the amp, which I put up on a stand and faced toward the middle of the room, meaning I would Limit my proximity effect, as well as have a less bass heavy tone. My channel list is bellow.
- Cad M179
The cad is a very versatile condenser microphone as it has multiple different pick up patterns to switch between, including cardioid, figure of eight, and omni directional, as well as a dB boost and a low cut. I placed the cad on axis to the speaker cone, a couple of inches away from the middle,
as this would pick up the higher frequencies which are exaggerated by the microphones boost between 5-7Khz.
- RODE NT2a
Like the cad, the NT2a also has the option of cycling through different pick up patterns as well as also featuring a low cut and a dB boost/Reduction. I placed the large diaphragm condenser off axis to the amp pointing it 45 degrees. I also moved the microphone back from the amp in accordance with the 3:1 ratio to avoid phasing issues. While the cad was picking up the higher frequencies, the rode would be picking up the
mid and lower frequencies so in mixing I could blend it together.
- Shure Sm57
The 57 was sort of an experiment, as I used it to mic up the back of the amp, to get the sound of the speaker cone and get some reflections of the sound, giving it almost a natural low pass filter. However I found out that the speaker cone on the vox amp could only be accessed from the front. So to see if I could still emulate the effect I placed the microphone so it was looking over the amps controls, as I hoped this would give a similar effect, as its cardioid pick up pattern would pick up the most of the sound coming out from the top of the speaker.
I also then did some more overdubs in a smaller room using a Sm57 on axis to the speaker cone, a couple of inches back, playing some more pop punkish elements like octave chords and some little arpeggios to complement the main guitar progression.
I choose to route guitar so I had the amp in the room, mic-ed up, while I had the guitarist in the control room, this meant that I didn’t need to set up a form of talk back. I achieved this by plugging in my guitar using the balanced cable into the headphone 1 slot on the Pro Fire interface, as when this cable is unplugged it becomes unbalanced and it comes out of the jack level input in the live room, so it essentially becomes a long unbalanced 1/4 inch jack to jack connection.
I did two takes through the song, and recorded them into a playlist, after which I separated the takes so overall I had 6 guitar tracks. Due to the nature of my composition, where the amp gain was set very high resulted in some strings resonating more than they should of, I corrected this by setting up a Pro Tools group (see this article for setting up a Pro Tools Group) so I could edit them all together rather than individually, cutting these sections in-between riffs to make it sound more polished. I then set them up going into an auxiliary input, so I could adjust the tracks individually but the aux input would let me control their overall level in the mix.
Bass was tracked after I did the guitars, going in on a Direct Input, since this gave me the cleanest signal which I could then choose to re-amp if need be, or keep the way it was. Since a trademark of Mutt-Lange’s recording was to have a synth bass also put into the mix, I thought I would keep this bass simple, so I could then experiment with something more like an. analogue moog-like synth bass.
I Tracked the bass last, where I ultimately decided to follow the main rhythm of the song, will throwing in a couple of variations, such as the build towards the start of the first chorus and the end where I just play each note up the scale so the song resolves itself on the last bar. As far as the synth bass was concerned, I thought that once I started hearing my mix come together a complex synth bass would be overpowering, So I opted for a simple arpeggio on a sine wave sampler to add some atmospherics.
Click on this article to find out how I recorded vocals for my mix here.