Recording Metal Guitars

Guitars are the focus and foundation of almost all heavy music, and getting them right is no easy task. Before we dig in to deep to the specifics of metal, I recommend you check out my previous blog post 5 TIPS TO A HUGE GUITAR TONE!

New Strings!

  • A new set for each song while recording is a good rule of thumb, but use your ears! If the players hands sweat a lot you may need to change them mid song.

  • If you’re down tuning, you need to use a heavier string gauge. If the gauge is too light all of the notes will go sharp as the string flops around on each strum

Microphones and Placement

Im going to assume that you’re in love with the sound of the guitar coming out of the amplifier and jump into capturing that sound.

If it doesn’t sound good through a single microphone, adding more wont help.

Start by placing the microphone right flush against the grill aimed directly at the edge of the dustcap. Record a sample to listen to, make some notes and adjust. Its important to listen to the recording being played back, and not while it is being played unless you have complete sound isolation from the amplifier.

If the sound is to bright, experiment by angling the microphone inward. A little bit goes a long way and you’ll want to go no further than 45 degrees, so adjust the position, record a new sample and listen to the results until you’ve got a nice balanced sound that captures what you hear in the room.

Tip: Add additional microphones only when you’re happy with the sound of the single, foundation mic. You can then add another mic to supplement some more character, or capture the ambience of the room, but you always have the single mic you started with to fall back on incase you’re blend doesn’t work as well in the mix.

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