Levels, EQ, Compression & Adjusting the Amp
Let's, talk about tweaking the amplifier. Let me get a let me get a town going here and pro tools in the open a pro tools. Let me just make sure that we got cool running this fifty seven, actually, because it's the fifty seven um ok, so we got a copper going. We've got our campfire going. I'm gonna get my guitar. I'm gonna plug my guitar into this guitar and here the guitar amp is plugged into our guitar. A cabinet, the cabinet. How the speaker speaker is making noise. That noise is being picked up by the assam fifty seven it's coming in on a pre empt it's coming into pro tools, it might get loud. Okay, let me listen. I would put my headphones here. Just listen to that fifty seven to make sure we're okay. All right? So the next thing I really want to talk about is input levels. It's one of most important things about this entire thing. If you don't have proper input levels, you will ruin you're recording, and you'll also not get a good profile because you're not supplying the profile w...
ith the type of signal that it wants to see. So my general rule of thumb, as I like my guitars in my tracks and pro tools to come in at negative ten that way we have ten decibels of head room before we clip at zero that gives us enough room so that we can basically use any plug ins we can increase like hugh six decibels about clipping we have enough had room to work with this, so I want to play this guitar and we're going toe adjust the pre empt until its output is reading around negative ten you'll see this trim plug and then I had pulled up here we got a negative twelve year we had a negative six I want to just be in between there cool, so we've got a microphone on a cab going into pro tools we've got telling happening cool. Are we ready? Tio record. Now we now need to tweak these the amplifier settings and we need to try to test this in the mix and we need to see how this sounds with everything. So let me go ahead and mess with the champ if I want I want to throw this headphones, I'm gonna listen to it for a second. I'm going to just see what we need to do. They have to make it sound a little better. All right, that sounds pretty big. It sounds even it's got a lot of nice top articulation, it's not too bright it's not too dark, I'm pretty happy with that so now I'm ready to test this in the mix as we said so what I'm going to do now is I'm going to pull my pro tools session here and let's let's sigh holding is hers can all right um basically I'm gonna play a song from this band called sabretooth sammy they're an awesome than we got some amazing towns I'm basically just going to check this guitar time just kind of play along to the drum tracks I'm not playing any riffs from the song or anything I'm just supplying noise and a part of my guitar playing I'm a noise of rock it's our players so let's just see how this sounds without drugs here no listen and headphones here and see what we got here so we've jammed we've got in a town I'm pretty happy with that with tweets around a little bit it sounds a little uh sounds continental school because I guess it sounds good so basically now let's go to our next aspect here let's talk about q compression let's do the overview on that entire aspect um we basically can run into any sort of cure compressor that we want I want to bring a one of my favorite go teo plug ins it's just necessary channel strip like it because it has all the little basic options that you need it's got a e q it's got a compressor it's got everything you really need so let me just, uh, record a quick breath here all right? Now let's go ahead and just listen to that and let's talk about some q and compression a six year, some basic type of movements and things that we need to be aware of our we're usually looking from or bottom and my bottom I mean low and and are a little bit more top being being high and so I generally just kind of stay within the top and on an sl and the low band I really don't touch the mids because you can really destroy things and get wrong, so you need to be really conscious about those if you're going to go into carving out some meds to use a rule and that rules the three decibel will don't boost any more than three decibels don't cut any more than three decibels we're really not trying to change the telling too much. We're really tryingto change the tone of the source, and if we if we're having issues with the telling, the knicks, we need to make sure that we've done everything possible in our signal chain to get it to work, so just some basic things that I like to do with them a guitar if and when I'm using the cuban compression, I'll show you and by just looking like to increase like to increase a lot of well in so I'm just gonna go and I'm gonna put this at nine and let's set this at one hundred hertz see how that sounds great there it also happens to be at eight point three, which is a reverse thirty eight happens to be my favorite member, so just worth mentioning is that let's see if we need a little bit of higher on there it does it already has a lot of top of anything we just need two more bottom, which is why we want to blend in again just a reference I said the three d b roll thie only reason I'm boosting so much bottom right now is because I'm going tio show a different microphone in conjunction with that, so if I was based in this much bottom on the bottom before actually tracking, I would consider throwing another mike to capture more loan or moving my microphone of them unhappy with how much lower in there so just the thing worth mentioning theme the next thing is I really like I like having really ssl channel strip dynamic section on guitar it's really cool compressor I like to set the attack or the release the fastest slow attack he's maybe I'll use a three to one ratio and or a two to one or four to one nothing really higher than that and I'm looking to maybe just shave up the first light down here I got a three d b roll, maybe just a three d b of compression. Really? No more. So there we got let's. Look this way. If we're gonna get into talking about mayhew, the most common thing that people like to do is they like him not shout a little bit of harsh top there. It's kind of kind of its nasal, any kind of sounds like got this weird kind of war going on. So I'm I'm gonna I'm gonna boost this quite a bit here and speeds that fifteen deviants, freeland and let's just kind of sweep around until we find the part that sounds disgusting and we'll get that let's cut that three b studio. So, um what that means, said that's, really? Only I don't really touch the low mid too much. I tried to leave the bottom pretty normal if I really do touch the low mid it's going to get into the three hundred hertz area and we'll do more or less kind of the same thing, maybe maybe a kind of normal bill size and you can hear kind of the power of the decibel. A lot of people don't really respect a decibel level just boost things like six or not anderson like that, but just little little decibel changes, little things really? Do you make a huge difference? So, that's, why I like to stress the three d b roll when you're tracking, if you could make just little three d be adjustments along the way, then you're going to get you're gonna get much further with the results, so the last thing I'm going to do here is I'm gonna add one more microphone into this situation and we're gonna talk about phase and try to make it being phase here. So one word new track let's call this ribbon. All right, great. Sonu put this input on copper to another thing is I would like to change all my I o and puts to just tell me what I'm doing because I like to just go and do things in have fun so cool I got this guitar am going. I got a guitar sound going. Let me plug in this last mike, and we'll plug it into our forty eight volts ribbon connector here so we could make sure we're cool and let's do this thanks to these cables candle. Lifesaver word. So what are we doing? What are we doing right now? Right now, we're just gonna plug in this s e microphone and we're going to blend in this second microphone with our fifty seven. We're going to try to restore some of that bottom that we're not getting on this. Ah, this town cool. Any questions so far? How am I doing? You're doing awesome. Great. I'm having fun. I'm trying to blow through this first part as fast as we can. You're doing graham in fear and faith wants to know. Is it a must to run into a d I box on board from for this? It doesn't seem like it would be it's well, yes, it's it's a must tio record. Yeah must have run into a d I box for two reasons. One when you when you recorded an album, you want to use the dye in case you ever need to ramp the performance. The other reason I highly suggest, according to d eyes because you get all this really cool, transient information and it makes your editing life much easier, and I'll explain this these guitars in this session here, I'll just play this session real quick and just kind of talk about that the way that I recorded it is everything is a die and then it has an amplifier with it, so we'll start over the base. This is the base d I just normal this then here's the sands and blended with the eye something then guitars. Basically, I have to die here than I have the actual amp. So if you look the way forms of the amp, you can't tell anything, but if you're looking away form the guitar, you could sell every time that he strums and hits it so and that's where he turned on his distortion pedal obviously s o I like to run idea for the ability to have the flexibility to ramp along the line and also for easy editing, but we're now actual information. Is that, like, you can see exactly and again, I need to stress that when you recorded die, that signal needs to be native ten on pro tools that way, when it leans and goes into a rehab, your amplifiers seen the proper signaled level. So negative. Ten it's her best friend. Okay, what that being said, uh, I'll just play a clip of this band seventies down there. Sounds with just a little preview. The stars are really cool because they're really? They got a lot of there were town so we use like ribbons on these and got a really interesting sound. So profile is gonna be really cool, marshall a ten with a ribbon on it and then this's the other type player jae y this a fifty one fifty. So cool. Anyways, let's, bring in this river like, phone here, make sure I got it plugged in right on time. Always double check. Great. And I just moved my fifty seven consign weirdo. All right, cool. All right, so we've got the microphone two fingers away from the cab two fingers away as close to r s and fifty seven is possible that way they're occupying the same space and they have ideally the same phase interaction. Cool. Now I'm gonna supply fan of power to this box because it needs it in order to work properly, and I'm gonna put my headphones so I can get a good guitar going with that cool, because the other really cool thing to mention is that when I'm adjusting these preempts, what I'm really trying to dio is the way that needs, uh, like, ten, seventy three transformers workers, they have this really cool break up, you got a really cool saturation point, so I want to try this microphone into the saturation as hard as I can for the point where it breaks up, it sounds terrible, it's distorting we're back off a little bit, and then I'm also going to make sure that I have my trim plug and pulled up so I can make sure that our signal is coming in at negative ten because negative ten is your best friend. That sounds great. So now let's enable our fifty seven and let's hear both of those mikes together. I'm gonna make things both unity, and I'm going to control the blend with the output knobs here hit the phase button so weaken put that microphone out of phase and we can hear how it sounds out of face essentially almost disappears, right? It's almost gone let's look out and see what happens weii formed just jumps so much more. So we've got this, mike really in phase, ideally what you when you're making when you're trying to get a microphone of phase, you wanted tio completely canceled out that's the idea phase, but realistically that's not possible because these two microphones are picking up two different things and they they oh yeah, I think they're picking up two different things and they have two different inherent sounds, so therefore it's impossible because they're into two different spaces it's impossible for them to one hundred percent cancel out unless it was the exact it's a microphone in the exact same position so we're doing the best we can we've got it pretty good phase we could go over there and play with it more but I think that's pretty cool so let me just go out and play along with the song here and make sure that I got a good guitar tone a good level going like that blend that sounds pretty good um let's try one more thing before we take a break because we get about five more minutes so I could fit the sin basically what we want to do now is I want to show you how the lawyer sounds and let's just see how it sounds on this other speaker here so I'm just going toe disengage phantom and I'm going to plug it in our lawyer instead let's listen to that now I'm gonna engage phantom again it sounds so weird to say engaging santa monica ribbon but it's because we're using an active ribbon booster so we can protect the microphone from fan of power cool I'm going to the exact same thing I did want to just sold this microphone I'm gonna put on my headphones I'm just gonna jam for a second great sounds awesome on also it's got a little bit more lohan and the top isn't nearly as hard well let's blend that with her fifty seven and let's hear how it sounds with the phase I wouldn't put it out terrible it's so out of phase because it is that a face now let's put it in face and it was great we gotta get rto so now that we've got a great guitar tone going and we've got signal we're ready to move on to our next step we're ready tio make profiles of this empire ideally the next step in and the situation is that and my my recording workflow I would record the band now I would utilize our guitar town I would run through the songs and we would play all the songs then either before and or after that at some point I would make a profile of that change so that's what we're going to do is we're gonna show the profile process next s o that basically complete segment line and we could move on tio acumen and touch upon anything I talked about I know I blew through so much information and it gets hard town look like the easiest thing because I do it all the time so it's really easy for me but I hope that the basics are really there for you and I'm happy to answer any questions tio clear up anything for you guys so totally greg wants to know about the hair ball stuff he wants to know how do you like the copper pre versus the gold in bronze that it's a two part question and how with the copper compared tio vin tech like five seventy three great question I own a cool few like needs style prints I really going it's from this company called undertone audio it's actually eric found time my favorite producer is a company so he made his own tramp and thank you from his counsel and it basically has ten, seventy three style transformer is and very nice clean print it's basically a new take on cleaning up the ten, seventy three with that being said mike on hair ball kind of have the same philosophy as well they're not really cloning things they're taking the same type of parts that are used in those old designs and they're putting it together and a new form so five hundred brac isn't a really a clone of a naive you know but it's using the same signal process and it's paying close attention to the parts and most importantly the sound and making sure that it's trying to be there so we're that being said I really like the copper print I find the copper perhaps to be the best in between of the gold and the bronze but it's not for assets bronze but basically the gold is extremely clean it's the cleanest most high five pre op that you could have any it's it's basically like let's say like a true perhaps or a millennia or something that just almost has no character it's just the the most highest modality of signal. However, the jensen transformers that they use in there, it does have a little bit of character, and it has a lot of nice and low. And so that tramp sounds great on like, acoustic overheads, vocals, it's awesome! My assistant actually really likes that preempts guitar to you like we shot him singing star clips was like, that was my pharaoh won that I need a gold. So, um, I just used the bronze one the other day for the first time and it's very it's, very colored it's really cool I've had some experience with perhaps, like tg chandler jordanians and chandler tgs, and those prints have this like chunky thing that happens like when you crank that is that is really cool step pots so like each time you step it, it gets more chunky and more like distorted in a really cool way, and those prints got to do the same thing. What I also really like, too, is that the wallop ramp that we don't have here is when I've done my like preempt comparisons and tests. It sounds most identical to the ut abraham and I like to say that the lola is the best it's all three of the elements syria inside of the law it's the cleanest pre amp you could own it's also just like the neave ten seventy three style transformers because it has it in there so it has basically it's driving the cleanest signal into a little bit of color just the right type of color that you want the cool transformer color so the other cool thing is that it has a nice character and that character is very much so like the bronze where the bronzes chunky and I like those chandler's that's very chunky and it has a really cool machine bottom that gets really distort its beautiful sounded preempt so it's basically clean colored, most colored that's the hallows brands kind of work so awesome and they're more affordable than buying some of the absolutely their cherished under three hundred fifty dollars for a kid that is the cheapest that is the best deal best deal I have four of those coppers they're used our guitar they sit right next to my right hand because oh is have for guitar mike's flood and I sometimes use two cabs tio simultaneously run them all and it's my favorite guitar might cramp I used to use some chandler stuff I had ah some other needs style of cramps and when mike brought these over for me to test I was like get me for those I need those now those in my new favorite one so I'd really like using those on guitar awsome have a question about black art mixing wants to know what d I boxed is and I want you to talk about it because I love radio gear yeah, so I will so I do like using the radio step this's react box actually that we'll be using to ramp but at home I do like using the radio it's what the j forty anderson like that is let's go I really like that doesn't pass of one that was the act of one actually a blue one yeah, the blue and it's a really good bring thea other print that I have are the other d I don't have that I really like using it's from a company called creation audio basically what it is is it's a hole die and rehabbing system in one box it was made and or the concept came about by the student michael wagner who is a big producer worked on like metallica and like bunch of hair metal bands back in the day so he basically he's a huge he's been kemper fan to actually so that's kind of cool air mentioning but he basically has so many and so many cabinets has mikes on of all time and just like is getting some of the coolest tones and uh yeah basically, uh I really knew I was going with it but he uh the d I a box that he made is basically it's got a guitar and it's got no transforming it so it's basically your guitar, it seemed guitar it's not saying anything else and what is really cool about that box is it has a balanced out so mostly eyes you need to run a dye into a preemptive. So ah, preempt is adding some color and also it's adding some gains, so you've got to kind of gain stage it correctly. So you're pro tools is seeing the guitar is the guitar signal, and when he leaves it's the exact same level, we don't want the volume differences, so I'm that box hasn't really cool feature because it's kind of unity gain out and it's ah bounced out, so I just go guitar in, balanced out right into pro tools out of pro tools into that rehab and that's my react box, but today we're using the radio reappear, and with that being said, I really like radio gear. I have a bunch of their stuff and they're great company it's awesome! So while we're on the topic of ramping for somebody who's working alone, michael has a question from the chat room about how you do that because you can't play in turn on.