Recording Metal Guitars

ESPLTD200AlexiLaihoElectricGuitar 150x150 Recording Metal GuitarsThis is an article by FearComplexMusic


1. Only Quad Track (4 individual performances, 2 panned left, 2 right) if you’re tight. Anything other than tight as nails tracking can and will lead to a weird phasey hollow sound. Also, I find dual tracking (with more gain per track) works better for the super fast technical stuff, quad (with less gain per track) for the slower heavier chunky palm mute material.


2. Picking – It’s absolutely crucial that you pick like a man, that is, aggressively. Weak picking sounds just that, weak! You can EQ and compress all you like to compensate but it will still sound half assed. Keep your pick as *flat* as possible, it’s easier to double pick with a slight angle but you lose low end and so you’ll find yourself performing unnecessary EQ later, not to mention angling the pick sounds *scratchy*.. Just keep the damn pick flat! It’s worth it. Also, the closer to the neck you pick the more *choked* the sound and you will again lose low end, so pick closer to the bridge. Seriously concentrate on your picking hand, so many guitarists ignore it in favor of speeding up their fingers but speed is nothing if it’s not built on a solid foundation of tight picking.


3. EQ – Don’t drastically cut the mids at the source, you’ll be EQ’ng them back in later, guaranteed! If you’re using amp sims it’s almost a certainty that you’ll need to cut some harshness around 4khz. Regardless of how you record guitars you should use hi and lo pass filters on them to un-clutter the bottom and top end. I hi pass around 90hz and lo pass around 12khz. If my tracks sound hollow and lack depth I’ll try a boost around 500hz. You should be EQ’ng your tracks WHILE you’re listening to the entire mix, what sounds good in solo might not sound good in the mix. Doing your EQ work while listening to the mix helps you pick out any clashing frequencies, I pay particular attention to my distorted tracks’ relationship with cymbals, where things can get nasty quick.


Nothing’s set in stone when it comes to recording guitars and experimentation should be encouraged but I find these few basic tips apply pretty much across the board and while there’s a lot more to producing killer guitar tones are a good starting point.


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