What’s The Secret to Recording Studio Quality Guitar?

Y. Grimm asks – What is the secret to getting studio quality guitar? Do I cut around 600 hertz to get rid of the hiss and hum tone? Is adding reverb a good idea? How about a high pass filter? Any advice from engineers or recording artists would be appreciated.

Abbie’s Reply – I hate to not directly answer the question; however, it depends on the song. Often I will double tracks on rhythm. You will need to play two tracks identical to each other, pan one left and one right. The guitars will never be identical; this thickens the track and allows for a more stereo effect. Additionally, you can change the effect on each track (be careful not to get a phasing effect – Cancellation of frequencies between the tracks).

If you are getting a hiss and hum on your guitar rig, you should take a look at your rig and guitar. Yes, you can notch out the hiss and hum frequencies, but not without affecting the song. You may be removing frequencies which affect how the guitar sets in the mix.

I favor a ribbon mic when recording guitar amps. They are very sensitive and should be handled with care. However, they are very good at reproducing guitars. You definitely want to roll off the bottom end of the guitars so as not to step on the bass guitar and bass drum. You should add effects to the guitar according to the song it is setting in. Some songs will require a very dry sound with little reverb, others use lots of effects with a very “wet” sound. Study the use of setting a delay to the beat of a song. Always set your delay to the tempo of the songs regardless of how long or short your delay… additionally, learn about setting the pre-delay of the reverb. This is also set mathematically.

There is a very inexpensive website you can use to learn how to “Professionally” record your music. It is called Lynda.com. I have used it myself for some time. Very good lessons with video for only about $25.00 a month, cancel anytime… Good Luck!