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Too much gain in metal guitars - how do you soften it?

marQs

Shareholder
Hello to all of you!

I tracked a session recently, all musicians playing live together. Spent a lot of time in setting up and get rewarded with great sound on drums, bass and vox.

Though me trying to trim guitar sounds (2 x distorted heavy guitar) pre recording, there's too much gain in them. I asked the guitarists for reducing it and they did - but now sitting here and trying to get it all together I realize, I should have asked for even more gain reduction.

Due to a lack of ins, I didn't track the pure and clean guitar signals, as I do usually, just to be sure to have a chance of re-amping, if something should go wrong. Each guitar was recorded on two channels, close miked with SM57 + SM58, no phase problems here. That's not at all the first time to handle problems like this, often I mix recordings tracked by others (musicians themselves) including the complete variety of mistakes one can imagine.
--- I re-designed guitars successfully by adding extra tracks, each with different postprocessing.
--- It has been helpful to me in the past to pitch the tracks -12 semitones, lowcut them and adding resulting (more pleasant) harmonics to the original sound.
--- Sometimes multiband compression can give improvements.

So I wonder, how do you handle stuff like this? Surely I'm not the first one struggling around with hi-gain-terror (intented to sound \"mighty\" but squeaking like toy amps...).

List of solutions:
#1 re-record guitars
#2
#3
... any more ideas?

greetz,
Q
 

Plec

Venerated Member
If it's possible I'd say.. re-record guitars.

If I do a mix I always request line-signals. If there are none and the guitars sound like crap, then I make the best of it.

It's up to the producer to see to it that this situation never happens.
 

marQs

Shareholder
Plec said:
It's up to the producer to see to it that this situation never happens.
I know, I know.... and I agree!
Re-recording isn't possible in this case. My fault...
 

marQs

Shareholder
Ok, to keep the thread alive and in hope of some more voices to join in the \"restaurating poorly recorded hi-gain guitars\" I wanna let you know which simple thing got me closer to a solution this time...

...opening the git-tracks in Wavelab 6's spectrum editor and just hardcut all the noise above 3,8 - 4,7 kHz. Gives a very much smoother feel...

regards,

marQs
 

marQs

Shareholder
Hi Plec, here it is:

http://rapidshare.com/files/4438179/hea ... _.mp3.html

the sm57-track one of the guitars in mp3/192 format. Thanks for joining in!

btw, don't get me wrong, I'm not at all sittin' here close to desparation, I just wonder how others manage problems like this.

marQs
 

imdrecordings

Venerated Member
marQs said:
Hi Plec, here it is:

http://rapidshare.com/files/4438179/hea ... _.mp3.html

the sm57-track one of the guitars in mp3/192 format. Thanks for joining in!

btw, don't get me wrong, I'm not at all sittin' here close to desparation, I just wonder how others manage problems like this.

marQs
Hey marQs..

Here's a trick I like to use...
Re-amp to a clean amp... but when you go to mic the cab, use a Ribbon... It will "Air OUt" your guitars... 57 smiffdy 7... I'm sick of a SM57 on Heavy guitars.. Super Saturated guitars sit in the mix a bit better when I use Ribbons to record them... just try it. It might be the softning you're looking for.


Do you have a Ribbon.. If not.. find your Dullest sounding mic and don't mike to close. Say 1-3 feet.. Further away with the ribbons.

EQ wize... Try pulling 2-5k out (to taste) but ribbons seem to wrok best. SM57 and Digital recording+ High Gain Guitars= pooh!
:roll:


hope that helps some..
Scott
 

marQs

Shareholder
Thanks for your advice! Unfortunately there's no ribbon mic in my arsenal.
I could give it a try with good old nigel's cab simultation... the most advantageous part of the plug maybe. Re-amping to a clean amp is something I spend no thought about yet :D



SM57 and Digital recording+ High Gain Guitars= pooh!
Guess it's strongly dependent on lots of factors.
Listen to this:
http://rapidshare.com/files/4479796/hea ... t.mp3.html (pure git-track)

http://www.frogstar-battle-machine.de/m ... _Flies.mp3 (finished song)

Ok, different style, player and band. It was a clean recording, re-amped with a Diezel/Herbert guitartop and more steeped in regards of intented result. But all digital and recorded with a single 57. I feel the sound to fit very well in the mix :wink:
 

imdrecordings

Venerated Member
marQs said:
Thanks for your advice! Unfortunately there's no ribbon mic in my arsenal.
I could give it a try with good old nigel's cab simultation... the most advantageous part of the plug maybe. Re-amping to a clean amp is something I spend no thought about yet :D



SM57 and Digital recording+ High Gain Guitars= pooh!
Guess it's strongly dependent on lots of factors.
Listen to this:
http://rapidshare.com/files/4479796/hea ... t.mp3.html (pure git-track)

http://www.frogstar-battle-machine.de/m ... _Flies.mp3 (finished song)

Ok, different style, player and band. It was a clean recording, re-amped with a Diezel/Herbert guitartop and more steeped in regards of intented result. But all digital and recorded with a single 57. I feel the sound to fit very well in the mix :wink:
I just read something in the latest EQ Magazine...and thought of you.

They mention people using "Noise Reduction SOftware" to soften overly distorted guitars by applying it to the individual track.... You know, Plugs that can take Hiss, Clicks, Snaps or Pops out of the mix.... Makes sense to me..... :D

Scott
 

marQs

Shareholder
Oh yeah, great idea :idea: Virtos Denoiser is the plug of my choice here - works very well whit pre-EQed noise prints (to save the range wanted to be unaffected). If often use it in this way - my eyes were shut in respect of crrrrccckkk-guitars, thank you for opening them up!

I got pretty good results today by using cambridge hicut (eliptic) around 4,9k on git tracks + pultec pro and precision mb on the guitar's bus.

Did you listen to the diezel-amped thing?

marQs
 

imdrecordings

Venerated Member
marQs said:
Oh yeah, great idea :idea: Virtos Denoiser is the plug of my choice here - works very well whit pre-EQed noise prints (to save the range wanted to be unaffected). If often use it in this way - my eyes were shut in respect of crrrrccckkk-guitars, thank you for opening them up!

I got pretty good results today by using cambridge hicut (eliptic) around 4,9k on git tracks + pultec pro and precision mb on the guitar's bus.

Did you listen to the diezel-amped thing?

marQs
Sorry M, I haven't checked that out. My Net PCs don't have speakers... yet. :oops:

I've been wanting to check out Akis's Tape IR sessions... but.. uh ya.. :oops:
How do I download the music with out downloading that companies software?? Am I missing something?
S
 

Akis

Sadly, left this world before his time.
Moderator
imdrecordings said:
How do I download the music with out downloading that companies software?? Am I missing something?
S
What software?
 

imdrecordings

Venerated Member
Akis said:
imdrecordings said:
How do I download the music with out downloading that companies software?? Am I missing something?
S
What software?
Following marQs LINK, brings me to a place asking to download their software. Not the sound files... I downloaded your Tape examples and I think my work computer doesn't have WinRAR or UNZIP.. the filw showed up as a WordPad file.. hmmm.

My work PC has Speakers and a sound card, but I don't have the rights (I'm not the ADMIN) to install software and they wouldn't if I asked... Corporate :evil:


S
 

Akis

Sadly, left this world before his time.
Moderator
I could download his files without having to download any software. Maybe have a more thorough look on the download page.

Re: my .rar file, just copy it to another computer and un-rar it?
 

imdrecordings

Venerated Member
ok.. got it! :)

Sounds great.. When I heard the guitar be itself, I thought it might cloud the drums, but you did a fine fine job. I noticed the guitar pop out of the Left speaker 1/4 of the way into the song... God job bud! :D

Of course I'm using the PC speakers at my works computer.. I have no idea what it would sound like on my Nearfields... anyway.. Great job M.

Was that the reamp... or just a SM57 example? Sounded like a 57.. What was the chain... from tracking - MIX?

S
 

imdrecordings

Venerated Member
Akis said:
I could download his files without having to download any software. Maybe have a more thorough look on the download page.

Re: my .rar file, just copy it to another computer and un-rar it?
Killer.. doing it

I'll report back on your thread...

I luv stuff like this..
-S-
 

Plec

Venerated Member
Hey,

I listened to it and IMHO I didn't think it sounded that bad. It could've been played better.. but that's another story. I just feel I'm lacking the mids,, quite a bit! 1-4K feels to me could need a 3-4db boost so you can hear the rhythm better and make it more aggressive, now it just sounds fizzy. But as far as distorsion goes.. I think it's just right for the thing you're doing there.
 

marQs

Shareholder
imdrecordings said:
ok.. got it! :)

Sounds great.. When I heard the guitar be itself, I thought it might cloud the drums, but you did a fine fine job. I noticed the guitar pop out of the Left speaker 1/4 of the way into the song... God job bud! :D

Of course I'm using the PC speakers at my works computer.. I have no idea what it would sound like on my Nearfields... anyway.. Great job M.

Was that the reamp... or just a SM57 example? Sounded like a 57.. What was the chain... from tracking - MIX?

S
Hi imdrecordings, yes it's a 57. The complete chain was...

recording:
* damned great guitarist
> Teuffel Tesla (german custom 8string git)
> Mindprint Envoice Preamp (clean signal + pod for monitoring)
> ADA8000
> RME Digi 9636
reamping:
> same computer rig...
> Radial X-Amp
> Diezel (u know that amps? played by korn & a lot more successful musicians - built by Mr. Diezel himself 20 miles from where I live. Didn't know that for a long time actually....)
> 4 x 10 Marshall cab
> SM 57 (single one)
> RME Digi9636
mixing:
individual track - EX1 eq (5.6 db|566Hz|Q=1.00) routed to
group track - PultecPro (peak 300/5|dip 5/1.8|peak 1.5/6|boost 100/4|boost 4k/5,8 bw=full broad)

done in Cubase SX3

Nice that you like it, just transfer it to your nearfields. I'm curious if you'd continue with... :wink:


Plec said:
Hey,

I listened to it and IMHO I didn't think it sounded that bad. It could've been played better.. but that's another story. I just feel I'm lacking the mids,, quite a bit! 1-4K feels to me could need a 3-4db boost so you can hear the rhythm better and make it more aggressive, now it just sounds fizzy. But as far as distorsion goes.. I think it's just right for the thing you're doing there.
Yeah Plec, better playing [-o< ___ a we-need-a-quick-demo-please-next-weekend?-production with little time. Whilst recording the sound itself never felt bad - you're right, there's a lack of mids. Current state (not perfect but not so bad) is: Cambridge hicut (eliptic) @ 4,69 + PultecPro mid boost and the good old SX-multiband just to limit the ouch! :-& ranges.

It's a really interesting thread for me, thanx for listening and conquering the download obstacles.[/i]
 

Akis

Sadly, left this world before his time.
Moderator
Very interesting thread for me, too. :)

Let me add Matthew Bellamy of Muse to the Diezel amps' user list, too. Although I'm a Marshall fan myself, I must admit that Diezel amps are serious beasts!

Nice job with the mix you posted, btw. :)

And a question from me: do you feel that something's lost when re-amping as compared to recording with the guitar plugged straight to the amp? I'm not talking about the performance, I'm talking purely about the sonics. How big a difference have you noticed when using different DI's?
 

Plec

Venerated Member
Akis said:
And a question from me: do you feel that something's lost when re-amping as compared to recording with the guitar plugged straight to the amp? I'm not talking about the performance, I'm talking purely about the sonics. How big a difference have you noticed when using different DI's?
IMO you don't loose that much. It depends on the sound you're going to re-amp also of course and how picky you really are about it. I find that a great performance always outwheighs a great sound though, with that said...

I use the Little-Labs RedEye when re-amping. I do it a lot.. since it's the ultimate timesaver when doing things on a budget for me. If doing a quadra-dub of guitars at my place for a typical metal production it could eat up 1/3 of the total budget. It makes the band look better, it makes me look better, it makes everything look better if the performance there is as good as it can get, which instantly translates into better sound overall.. and so I educate the band on how to record a good line-signal for re-amping at home or whatever.. where they can take their time and get a stellar performance for 2 weeks instead of 4 days in the studio.. just eating up valueable time that could be much better spent on mixing for instance.

I find that gaining that xtra performance from the players outshine the increase in quality you get by plugging in straight into an amp vs. reamping. If there IS a budget for doing it all out though.. I'm all for it of course.
 
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