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Electric Guitar Recording Techniques

Jun 14, 2008
A guitar is a type of musical instrument with ancient roots that is used in a wide variety of musical styles. It usually has six strings, but four, seven, eight, ten and twelve string guitars also exist. An electric guitar is the kind of guitar that uses pickups to convert the vibration of its steel cored string into electrical current, which is then amplified.

There are various ways to record an electric guitar. The traditional method is to connect to a really good amplifier. The latest option is to plug the guitar directly into the computer and use a software plug-in to handle the amp and the speaker modeling.

When recording an electric guitar, the amp is the important factor as far as the mic is concerned, and thus its position is important. The dynamic mic produces a solid sound with a smooth high end. However its position has just as much bearing on the tone as the mic itself.

One way to capture the sound of a large stack is to set up the stack in a large room, play it loud and put the microphone several feet away so that the combination of all the speakers can be recorded. Using this method, the mic captures the guitar sound as much as the audience would.

One of the microphones can be inverted though that does not produce the best result. Here using a capacitor microphone as the distant one often produces a sense of space, but the ultimate bottom line is that anything that sounds good goes with the guitar.

The biggest problem that many amateur guitarists face is poor tone. In order to solve this problem the recorder should check the amp and guitar combination on microphone level and then should decide where they would be placed. Tone should be adjusted but one thing should be kept in mind. The low end will increase if the microphone is placed close to the source. This is known as proximity effect.

The mic that is used for electric guitar recording is preferably a dynamic microphone because of its capability to endure high volumes. These are the technical things that one should keep in mind. But there are some simple points that will help while recording.

As a first and very basic rule, one should make sure that the guitar is in very good condition, that is, its strings are properly fitted. Tuning must be checked before every take as it is inclined to flow in warm studio.

Equipments containing transformers will tend to cause hum interference on electric guitar especially those of single coil pickups. Computer monitors in particular also cause serious interference problems with guitar pickups, so it is advisable to keep them as far away as possible.

While using different electric guitar types or sounds for recording, two or more overdrive guitar parts should be kept to keep the sounds separate in the mix. For example, using a single coil setting for one part and a humbucker for another.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for music gear, speakers, and microphones. You can find the best marketplace for music gear, speakers, and microphones at these 3 sites: music gear, amplifier, speakers , and microphones,dynamic microphone.
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