In this free video tutorial, we are back at Woodworm Studios in Oxfordshire, England, with Engineer, Producer and guitar sound expert Mike Exeter to learn about another really useful technique for recording electric guitars.
Full Range Guitar Sound
As you will see and hear in the video, a great deal of Mike’s recording techniques and philosophies are around the idea of capturing a full range guitar sound. Not just the mid range but a full, what we might call 20-20 signal.
This particular recording technique uses a matched pair of microphones, in this case the new Warm Audio WA-84 small diaphragm pencil condenser. One of the mics is pointing directly at the dust-cap but just slightly off centre. This mic is picking up the high frequency content of the guitar speaker. The second mic which is set coincident with the first but at an angle of about 45 degrees to pick up the mid and warm tones from the guitar speaker, the cone sound if you like. Combined, you get the full range guitar sound.
Commit Commit Commit
Another of Mike’s key philosophies is to get the guitar tone you like and commit it “to tape”. To this end the MXR Phase 90 effects pedal tone is being printed as part of the recording. The input from both mics is being mixed at the desk and routed to a single track in Pro Tools. The tracks are phase aligned, as Mike explains in the video and routed into the DAW for recording. Mike is also capturing a DI signal including the effect, just in case a re-amp is needed later on in the mix process.
In talking to, and working with Mike I have come to realise that there is no ‘magic bullet’ that he is using, rather it’s all about getting a full range signal that you like the sound of, and recording that to your track. Yes, he does believe in safety and recording a DI track but there is nothing wrong with covering your back, or having what I call a JIC (Just In Case).