How To Record Guitar At Home
today I’m going to talk about how to record your guitar at home to synchronize videos or record on a jam track!
This topic was born in the facebook group of my GUITARlab Modern Blues Guitar School educational portal and I decided to write an article to explain my approach to record my guitars.
The first advice I give you is to buy a good sound card! This step is often underestimated, thinking that one is as good as another. In reality, it is not so: although all the cards now work very well at 96khz 24bit if we have a card with good converters our sound will thank us!
I decided to buy a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 with the “studio bundle”, a complete package with which you have over the sound card, a condenser microphone, a pair of headphones and a cannon cable to connect it all. Also, what should not be underestimated, with the purchase of the package you have access to a very interesting series of plug-in originals to download for free that help us a lot in the mix!
Next step? Getting the right sound!
A good recording takes away a lot of problems in the mix! The first thing I do is put the microphone at the speaker and rehearse until what I hear from the speakers is more or less the sound I have from the amplifier. If I realize that the sound I get is not optimal I try to move the microphone around until I get a satisfactory result. As long as you do not get a good sound it is useless to go to the recording with the alibi of “I can fix this in the mix”! Experiment until you get the right sound 🙂
This, more or less, is the position of the microphone on the amp. I prefer the right speaker to the left one. It sounds better to me 🙂
Third step? Tracking! Which program to use to record?
Here a lot depends on the system you use (PC / Mac). I have been using Mac for years and therefore I use Logic Pro X. If you are on Mac you could also use Garage Band; it has the same Logic audio engine with fewer options. On Pc, Cubase is fine! You can also find free Lite versions.
To have a good sound performance I suggest you to have two tracks: on the first, you put the jam track and on the second record the guitar.
Make sure the input volume is not distorted and try recording a trial take! A good sound check as I told you above solves a lot of problems already before we start!
Mix, how to do it!
Usually, on the guitar track, I do not exaggerate with plug-ins in the mix. The chain that I use in general is EQ – Compressor – Reverb – Delay (sometimes).
On the EQ, in general, I’m going to remove all the useless bass to the mix, adding just 1db on 75 Hz and removing a bit on 465 Hz. Add a hair on the 3600 Hz and 7600 Hz to have a little definition when necessary. Obviously, these are rough indications that also change with the sound I chose to record and the song itself!
As a compressor, I use the one supplied with Focusrite, very transparent and without too many frills! 🙂
Even here, I try not to overdo it, my motto is always “less is more”. I use the compressor only to have some support on my sound. As you see the input is just above the zero, Threshold between -10 and -20 and a little ‘gain without “crush” the sound too much. You will never see a compresonr in my pedal board instead! :))
The reverberation must always be put after recording and deactivated in the pedalboard, so as to freely decide in the mix phase what ambient to get in relation also to the music on which we play!
My favorite plug is the Eventide Reverb. So beautiful!
With these indications, you should already have a good starting point to get a great guitar sound in recording !!
Once the audio part is produced, you can synchronize audio and video with a normal video editing program. Again, being on Mac I use iMovie, but it is also fine Windows Movie Maker or even better Adobe Premiere!
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