Help on guitar tone: Live recording of my telecaster

Discussion in 'Twanger Central' started by rooboo, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. rooboo

    rooboo Tele-Meister

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    Well I'm glad you like the guitar tone. I don't think it's awful just not what I had in mind (ie what my guitar usually sounds like).
    The guy who mixed the guitar thought this was the best way to mix it – and I agree overall the sound is to my satisfaction and the sepraration of the instrumenst are quite good - that's a though nut to crack while mixing live recordings.

    As far as the guitar it not so much room mic as you'd guess. The room mics are set fairly low because they pick up every instrument plus the audience. And that was really the deal breaker there. Our egos wanted the room mics way up high so you can hear the audiences responses (on solo and such) loud and clear. But Mr Mixer said "no". :) if we turned the audience up high then you'd hear guys screming stuff like "Get me a beer too Joe!" and such. Since you comminicate with your friende while at a concert. So the room is set much lower than our egoes wanted :) we wanted full on "Kiss Alive!" vibe … but no. Haha!

    There's still a fair amont of room mic in the mix. But maybe 75% direct and 25% room. The lead vocals got a bit dry with that amount of direct line, so we added a bit of reverb to compensate for the lost "room". The other instruments got a wee bit of reverb too – but not as much as the vocals.

    The guitar was recorded with a Sennheiser MD421 a little off center from the cone. The room was captured with a couple of stereo mics (dont know the brand) hanging down from the ceiling. Two left/right in the front. Two left/right by the mixer booth. The hight in the room was pretty high maybe 10 meters (33 something feet).
    The amp (Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue) was set to: Vol 6, Treb quarter to, Bass 12 o'clock, Mid quarter past.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
  2. rooboo

    rooboo Tele-Meister

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    Yes! Your final line is something I realized in the process. We did that at first and set every instrument at "best posible" individual sound. And then turned the room and audience back on, but it sounded like a bootleg recording, more than a live album. Luckily enough for us, we eventually found a mix guy who knew how to do this right. You have to mix it as a live recording from scratch – you can't seperate and then add the room back on, the vibe goes away.
    Or as you put it: Mess too much and it will lose the live vibe.
     
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  3. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I don't have Spotify. Sorry.
     
  4. rooboo

    rooboo Tele-Meister

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    Thank you! Must try this setting on my SD1, ASAP!
    Cool thing you also play a JD. Love that pickup!
     
  5. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I listened to it. I suspect your base tone is OK. I would increase the percentage of direct mike track and decrease the amount of ambient.
    I would also possibly reduce the amount of reverb and maybe jigger the EQ a bit, perhaps pumping up the mids a bit. I suspect you could
    get substantial improvement just with a little engineering given the recording is already in the can. You could also adjust the levels a bit here
    and there. In some parts of the song the guitar needs to be a bit more forward in the mix, while in other parts it could be backed off to avoid
    stepping on other parts, particularly the vocals. So a bit more dynamics with the mixing volume.

    To my ear the chords sound a little too dirty, but the lead is OK. Perhaps when you turned up the volume on the amp you got more natural
    break up and you should have backed off the gain on the SD1 to compensate. Alternatively, you could have just played straight through the amp when playing
    rhythm and kick on the pedal when playing lead.

    But now that it's already recorded your best bet is to do some mix adjustments like I suggested.
    Unfortunately, it's not really feasible to reduce the dirt you have in the recording so it is what it is for the chords. If your recording had been too clean it's
    easy enough to add dirt later in post but I don't know how you would remove dirt. For this reason, and also because listening live sounds different than listening
    to a recording, I would always err towards being cleaner when recording.


    Another thing that might help is adjusting the panning a bit to give your guitar part a better slice of the sonic space.
     
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  6. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Afflicted

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    For what it is worth, I thought your tone was fine but the overall mix is too hot, Every instrument is trying to be out front and when everything comes together it is really noticeable. I think it starts with the bass and the kick, the bass is overpowering. It probably all sounded great live, obviously the band and singer are really good. I added the video below, a live recording from Tedeschi Trucks band that has a similar sound and similar instrumentation that I think has better production, the instruments are more "in the pocket". Just one guy's opinion.



    Your sound is your sound though and only you know if it is "good" or not. Very nice job and thanks for sharing!
     
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  7. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Holic

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    That's cool man, but fair enough on the room vs direct mic. I guess what I was hearing was a somewhat 'diffused' guitar sound.

    The best way I can describe it is using an iphone to record yourself playing guitar, versus mic-ing up the amp.

    From the point of view of the recorded tone versus your actual live tone; there are a number of variables.

    I think your amp settings are just fine if you already like the tone as-is in person.

    Maybe the mic is not the best at capturing what 'your sound' is like. Have you always used the MD421?

    I am hazarding a guess that with the overall mix, some phasing issues are happening, and that could be the cause of why the guitar doesn't come across as 'rich' as it could be.
     
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  8. rooboo

    rooboo Tele-Meister

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    Wow! Thank for all your input! I think you are right on most parts, if not all. This was mine (and our) first live recording we've learned a ton in the process and hopfully we'll be lucky enough so we'll get to do one more in the future. Then all my lesson learned from mistakes on this recording will be remembered – as well as some of the ideas you and other guys here have brought to my attention. It's been more than helpful!

    I just ordered a new overdrive – to fool around with and see how it differs – it supposedly a lot middier than my old trustworthy SD1. Maybe that'll get me in the right direction – or at least in the ball park. Maybe the new (Way Huge OS) for rhythm and then I'll hit the SD1 for leads – time will tell.
    Once again thank you for taking your time to listen and analyze.
     
  9. rooboo

    rooboo Tele-Meister

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    Maybe a mic issue for sure. I uesd to record (and mic live) with SM57:s that's the go to guitar mic, right. But I thought it was too thin. Too trebly. So I talked a friend who own a recording studio and he said I should use a MD421. Kind of like the SM57 but fuller sounding and more meat to the bone. I tried them and liked them and have been using them ever since. But maybe there's a better mic out there? Got any suggestions?
     
  10. rooboo

    rooboo Tele-Meister

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    Whoa! Even to be mentioned in the same sentence as TTB is an honor for me. Saw them on this last tour – blew me away!
    I'd really like for us to have the ability to have the same equipment as they do. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. I mean they are bloody awesome singers/instumentalists and they have a real magician as a sound engineer. They tour about 100 gigs a year and are really acoustomed to the whole production part of this. Setting it up every night trying different venues and finding things out about sound and soundscape.

    So for shot: they freakin awesome players and singers, they've hired freakin awesome sound engineers and they tour extensively and get to do this a lot – of course they're good!

    We're nowhere near their musical abilities nor their knowledge in soundscaping an arena and music production. But we're having a heck of fun goofing around on our own little musical journey. :)

    Bottom line I'm thrilled you even thought about TTB when talking about us. They set a great bar for us to aim for.
     
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