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noob can't get a good guitar tone

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by xgritzx, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. xgritzx

    xgritzx Tele-Meister

    Age:
    39
    112
    May 20, 2016
    northern VA
    im using the whatever the current garageband is, and I know its not the best, but I can't get a guitar tone im happy with. everything sounds fine when I pick a rig (just using stock amps) but after a few minutes I feel like everything sounds thin and scooped. I have tried playing with the channel EQ and leaving it alone, or not even using it. same result. every (internal) rig, and multiple guitars. same this mid scooped sound. is that just the nature of stock GB stuff? I can nail bass tones no problem and the drums sound excellent. any tips for a foolproof good base tone for a recording noob?
     
  2. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Holic

    555
    May 20, 2018
    Arcata
    Are you asking why you can't record a good tone or why you can't get tone from your guitar?
     
    nojazzhere and xgritzx like this.
  3. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

    Jan 10, 2013
    CT
    Getting good tone with sims is tricky.
    Try cranking the mids on the amp sim and/or using the channel eq to boost mids if it sounds too scooped to you. A high mid boost at 6.5 to 7k is something I like for clarity, and I sometimes use both a high pass and low pass at 80-100hz for the high pass and at 12k a low pass to trim any harsh highs. I adjust those while listening to decide exactly where.
     
    xgritzx likes this.
  4. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    59
    Apr 15, 2017
    Harvest, Alabama
    Explain 'garage band'.

    I'm not tracking on that.
    :(
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  5. xgritzx

    xgritzx Tele-Meister

    Age:
    39
    112
    May 20, 2016
    northern VA
    how to record a good tone. my guitar is just running straight in, which I think may be part of the issue. I've got sound im just not stoked on it.
     
  6. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Holic

    555
    May 20, 2018
    Arcata
    I'm picturing a mish mash of pawn shop deals (and possibly ohms)
     
  7. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

    Age:
    72
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    Amp sims need heavy tweaking, just like you'd tweak a hardware amp, except it's a whole different world. It takes a little practice, but it's possible to get great recorded tone. The presets sound good on the surface, soloed, but what's important is how it's gonna sound IN THE MIX. When I solo my guitar tracks, they sound pretty hinky, but they slide right into the mix. Don't try for rich lows or fizzy highs — work on getting the midrange sweet, that's the guitar's function in the studio setting.

    To me, most of the GB amp presets are too overdriven, mushy and bassy. I usually spend 20 minutes or so dialing in a sim, with at least the bass and drums playing. Then, as the tracks mount up, I'll tweak it some more to fine-tune the tone with the other instruments in mind. The Apple amps (Garageband and Logic) are pretty decent. You didn't mention what kind of music you're recording ... are you looking for sparkling cleans? Dirty grind? Through-the-roof distortion?

    As far as channel EQ: are you familiar with the EQ sweep technique?

    Sparky, Garageband is an Apple DAW that's great for entry-level recording — and much more, but it's geared to give the beginner a fighting chance of catching on quickly. Then they're hoping you'll buy Logic Pro! :D
     
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  8. xgritzx

    xgritzx Tele-Meister

    Age:
    39
    112
    May 20, 2016
    northern VA
    I am not familiar with the sweep technique! but I think I might like to be.

    as far as style im trying to get a just past off clean growl if possible and also a sparkling clean. trying to do an alt country track.

    question #2: I get pretty gnarly chorusing when I record in my second guitar track. is there a simple way around that?
     
  9. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    Apple's recording software, included with all Macs and available for iPads and iPhones. It's Logic's little brother.
     
  10. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    59
    Apr 15, 2017
    Harvest, Alabama
    Ah, okay.
    Thank you for that.

    I understand now.

    I do have an iMac, but I can't see anything resembling garage band in my bottom bar of wonderfulness, nor in the folder with the anarchist 'A' on it.

    It must've fallen out when I transitioned from Snow Leopard to Snow Mongoose, or whatever the current IOS is.

    :(
     
    voskarp likes this.
  11. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    It's free, you can add it back if you want.
     
  12. GuitarPix

    GuitarPix Tele-Meister

    157
    Oct 1, 2015
    Calgary, AB
    I rarely find a good amp tone that I like with the plugins (same ones are in Logic Pro which is my DAW of choice. )

    But - use your eq to kill all highs above about 8000 so it’s not fizzy, kill lows below about 120 and take a few dB out of about 400 - that usually helps.

    I have found a few free amp sims online that are okay - particularly when using a cabinet Impulse Response.

     
  13. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

    Age:
    72
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    Did you check your Applications folder?
     
  14. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

    Age:
    72
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    Here's a pretty good tut:
    Also: the first thing to do when EQing any guitar track is to use your high-pass (low-cut) band to eliminate low frequencies that only add mud, rumble and din to the guitar. Reserve that space for your bass and kick. It will look something like this on your EQ:

    Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.36.08 AM.png

    Sweep it back and forth *while listening to it in the mix* to find the point where the guitar track starts getting too thin. You'll find that those rich lows you love in the practice room are immaterial and even destructive in the recording process.


    My beef for years has been that amp sim makers are highly biased toward more distorted tones. Amplitube is an exception, but it's pricey. I found this one that gets nice cleans for only $39 (it'll grunt and grind too, but the cleans are exceptional for this price point).

    https://www.kuassa.com/products/amplifikation-vermilion/

    Extremely versatile, lots of features, affordable!

    .
     
  15. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jun 26, 2008
    Albuquerque
    Call me old school....
    Deluxe and Ribbon mic 1.jpg


    Sort of on topic...It doesn't matter what the guitar sounds like by itself. It's how it sounds in the mix.
     
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  16. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charlotte NC
    For me, part of the issue with DAW's is the overwhelming flexibility of stuff where it may take gobs of time trying to find the SOUND we already know we want. Hopefully we already know in our brain what we want it to sound like. Then we start searching and maybe never come up with what it is we are searching for.

    SOOOoooo, Plug your guitar into your stomp pedal, the one you use on gigs, send it into your preamp/ interface, hopefully you now have your tone...maybe some EQ here and there.


    and I say..so what ! Its' the tone I'm looking for.

    I track near 100% of the time , Tele thru a Sparkle drive > preamp > DAW > red button. For decades musicians and engineers alike recorded the sound from the studio room to tape. What came out of the amp was now on tape.

    There are no rules . If you don't like what the DAW is offering , modify. Get your sound AHEAD of the DAW. record it. If you don't like it, record it again !

    SEEK YOUR OWN LEVEL, develop your own process.
     
    xgritzx likes this.
  17. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    59
    Apr 15, 2017
    Harvest, Alabama
    It's okay.
    Truth be told, I'm not interested.

    My recording process is a bit dated, but it works for me.
    Microphones and guitars into a multi-track recorder, with a CD output.

    This iMac computer is for my personal research, pleasure, and the news.
    (I don't watch television, so this is sort of my window to the world.)

    When I want to make music, I go to the music room.
    No computers allowed.
    ;)
     
  18. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

    Age:
    72
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    You're a trip, Sparky! We're a lot alike on the TV thing and being Mac guys, but when it comes to recording, I assuredly drank the digital Kool-Aid. :cool:
     
  19. xgritzx

    xgritzx Tele-Meister

    Age:
    39
    112
    May 20, 2016
    northern VA
    Honestly I would like to do it this way. im just not there yet. gear wise.

    I was considering this method too. i like your thoughts on the issue.
     
    Martin R likes this.
  20. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    59
    Apr 15, 2017
    Harvest, Alabama
    My multi-track recorder is so old-school, it's got a pull-start and a Cox engine.
    :(
     
    voskarp, GuitarPix, xgritzx and 2 others like this.
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