Tracking

 

Recording Rock Guitars

 

Lesson Info

Tracking

This happens all the time I'll go through an entire band uh I'll have the drummer track if if they play better than everybody else in the band and that's just the thing it's not against anyone it's just very critical when you're in the studio um if you are in a band, this is a message to everyone in a band if you are a record if you're the main guy, whatever put all that aside and if you go in the studio and you know someone's a better guitarist in you please just let them play and if you're not sure if they're better guitars have an open mind that you might not be picked, so when you go in the studio it makes it easier for me and everyone in the band to say, hey, I would rather have this person play versus this person I actually this isn't guitar related, but I had a stoop a band come in who I won't mention the name of whose I had to sing all the vocals because the vocalist was beyond beyond bad and I don't know if they're watching but they know that it happened self uh not not a very...

well known band, but I just thought that was very interesting and that even happens that's a very extreme situation, so while I'm tracking program the base as I go or have something that's perfectly tuned in there so I can know exactly when I'm coming out of tune sometimes you'll tune and then you'll go to play and it sounds perfect and then you tracked the bass and the bass is perfectly tuned and your guitar sounds bad that's because your guitar wasn't in tune in the first place so I always tracked the base even if it were not going to use it even if it's sounds doesn't sound good whatever as long as it's perfectly in tune you have a reference there um always going I always track with simms as I'm going and I mentioned this before a little bit but um since I ended as I go riff I riff to make sure everything is absolutely perfect um and if we were using an amp as we were tracking the the actual amp sound wouldn't wouldn't be edited also but when you have something like amplitude on there so which which has a really time distortion uh any edits you make well sound we'll already have the distortion on them so I try to get a tone that sounds really good that's why that's important? Even if you do huge bands that's why these sims? They're going to be important because the sound of the guitar and the vibe that you're getting while you're tracking is very important for the end result so I'm always going to track with a sim on and then send it out of the amp are sent out of the computer into the amp re amp it and we're going to go for revamping later um and get the tone during mixing and stuff like that so that's my method that and it makes complete sense to me and it saves a lot of trouble and it's worked for a long time so uh what do you do when you're tracking uh usually when I track guitars um I use a camper and I've I record process guitar and die at the same time yeah so it's actually I like that a lot better than using sims because a lot of times I hate the way simms sound and I can't get him to sound the way that I want him to write and you know, with the with the camper it's like that's my amp tone right that's that's basically the same thing as running through because it sounds same thing sounds excellent maybe you'll hear one of these sims that you hadn't heard of before or something and you know it joy I don't know right right and you know what the d I if I do any editing I can actually just route the d ay back through exactly another the other camper I have and use the same exact profile and right you know it cleans it up really nicely yeah, very cool and uh a lot of people don't have amps or campers or anything of that so uh it's a very important thing I think to track with us in and this does have to do is tracking so sometimes uh not everyone is a super awesome guitar player or maybe they have a great idea and they're not a guitar player at all but they want to put it down so you can hear what it sounds like in the song how do you do that? Well, this is how you do it so I'm not the greatest guitar player in the world I could play rhythm and make it sound good but I I'm not a lead guitar player so um I'm just going to play this little part these guitars are unedited which we're going to go through tomorrow so they're not the tightest um the drums are all programmed through uh metal machine very cool plugin by two track um anyway okay, so let's see the guitar part you have the guitar part memorized that you want to play let me just I went through and I played this one time uh this is one take really slow it's not very good, but let me just show you what it sounds like so just pretend I'm recording right now because this is not not edited or anything this is all real time so I would play this s so that's it the tempo is fifty beats for minute right there so um for those of you that do use pro tools this is really cool. Um it's um this is the elastic audio feature in pro tools it's very cool as long as you have if you can see over here this on ticks instead of versus samples this technique will work so we went to the end of the song which you haven't heard yet and up here you can see there's a temple change I put it down to fifty and I just recorded that so all you do is drag it over into the section where the tempo is one thirty five and here's that same exactly I just dragged it over and here's my unedited guitar part song if you're not a good guitarist and here's the track by itself theo what's cool about that method is if you are able to play the entire riff in one take and do it slow unclean uh if you're better guitar player than I am, then you'll be able to do better that easily but um if you do what want to do something wild, you can easily do it using that method and use this method all the time um because I don't like overly edited guitars and if someone's not doing it as clean as I would like, well, just slow it down a little bit for them so that they can nail it and uh it still has all the all the slides in the poll offs and the transitions between notes, which is very human and I really like that and that's something that you're not going to get with a guitar that sounds like it's been program and almost so anyway that's my cool little trick I used a lot especially in metal and things like that I know a lot of people do it, but it seems to be kind of a controversial way of recording two terrors I see a lot of people that you know, they kind of frown on that method, absolutely and ironically I'm one of them I don't do that like I kind of pride myself on if I'm going to record something I wanted to be is accurate in his true as possible, I don't even like punching in, you know, but I know a lot of my friends close friends and bigger bands do this and, uh, you know, it's it's a cool technique and it helps and it really depends on what you're going for two if you want to really modern and clean sound that's a really good way to do absolutely, yes that's a good point, this is a very modern technique if you want a more raw, lively sand rock n roll in there, then you don't do that, you don't do that but also if everyone in the room cannot play this riff it's kind of like what you have to do you do what you have to do is get it done and and make it sound exactly another another place where they could be valuable is if you're writing something that maybe you don't intend to play like if I was writing something for you, I can't play guitar like you just can't do it, so, you know, I might use tricks like this too, you know, teo to write the demo and then you could play it the right way, yeah, a lot of people will, you know, they'll write things a little bit beyond their means, you know, and they'll record this way, and then you know, till they learn how to play it up to speed and things like that yeah, I think it's a cool technique for sure, yeah, I like a lot and sometimes, um a band will be in the studio and they will write something that is within their means, but we don't have time for them to learn it exactly perfectly and you know, if you play a riff over and over again, you start to play it different, your fingering is different, you're you're pull us might be different, you add a slide somewhere you didn't have before and sometimes I'll hear those and I'll have those ideas and I'll be telling the guitars hey, you should add this here or whatever and sometimes they don't have the time to just learn it and play it perfect, you know we're on muscle may be down and it's too hard to rethink, right? There's a lot of spontaneity in the studio, so sometimes we don't have the privilege of people learning it right away, but if they can play it a little bit slower now this is very extreme. I just wanted to show the difference is like super extreme like this is slowed down by a lot. Now have you found instances where this actually sounds worse, though? Because I know that a lot of cases if you record something slower and you speed it up things like vibrato and slides like you said, sometimes it can start to sound really unnatural. It's a good yeah it's good that you bring that up because I sometimes there are certain situations like that where vibrato, for instance, if it's like the last note, sometimes the play understand like, you know, really fast the bumble one night going you want a nice slow vibrato? Um sometimes we'll just punch in certain notes to bring back that characteristic if we have to do that and, uh I personally I prefer in the best situation that someone doesn't do it the way you're talking about but but it's not it's not always an option on fortunately I wish it was you do what you have to do to get it done and make it sound right yeah and then if there's a problem like with vibrato and I think the main people who have an issue with this our musicians you know the ones who were like well if you can't play it then what are you doing writing it and recording it yeah, you know music is music is music doesn't really matter so you know, using different techniques in the studio deliver the product is I think it's perfectly acceptable but is a player and I'm like, well you've got this wicked fast guitar solo are you know, super tight shops and stuff like that it's like if you didn't actually do that right you know you're kind of fooling people into thinking you're amazing right? But so there's a line there I think you know yeah, you don't want to go check the guitarist if I'm like look you're never going to play this part you're never going to be able to play this part and we both know that uh then we'll try to change it so it's like you will be able to learn this I've seen you but right now you don't have time to learn this for instance so so you think that's more of a situational technique than kind of ah go to method of oh yes yeah this is this is something that happens after I see the difficulty of the trouble that they're having to play uh this is not to go to in my opinion I I don't I really like because what happens for instance those little things with the pics when you have when you're playing something that pick sound is a certainly it might just be a few milliseconds but when he speeded up you're shortening that and the attack of your pic is disappearing it kind of messes with the tone a little too it does so I have that in mind also I try to keep all these things that might what how much time do we have left how good of a guitarist ru how much are we do you will you be able to play this live and these are all questions that I have to juggle in my head whenever I'm recording a band and sometimes sometimes you have to make compromises so speaking of questions uh nikolai two five two would like to know do you record scratch base first and then drums and then guitar um well it's not always the same method but if the band knows their stuff when they come in which is more rare because I do a lot of writing and arranging and stuff so their songs will change a good bit, but we might put down sometimes bands will come in with demos and we'll rearrange those, uh, sometimes we'll just play through a scratch guitar, and then I'll program uh, are then we'll record the drums and then program the base and then record guitar. But it's it's a situation it's ah uh depends on the situation first, since a day to remember was a lot different. We recorded guitars first, uh, when we were writing and then I programmed all the drums and the bass, and then we had the drummer kind of go over it and make his changes, and then we would kind of make it our changes. And then the last thing we did was track guitars. I'm sorry was tracked drums, which was backwards from what I ever did, but it was really cool because we could rearrange the song as many times as we wanted to. And then the drums were last, so drum transitions could be perfect. I'm not taking a chorus that leads into a different part with a weird transition that doesn't actually match, so it was cool to do it that way where the drums were last like you're programmed the drums first just to get the basic phibes and then do it lasted, it was cool, I may do it again but I was the first time he did it and I thought it was a really good technique especially when you're arranging songs so much awesome. Okay, I also question from pete see who wants to know if there's anything you could do about dead friends uh dead fritz I mean, get a new guitar or uh yeah um and no that's it that's the answer I yeah, I've had my friend had two identical guitars and one of them had a dead it was dead at the nut and the other one just didn't and it didn't matter what we did like it was like it was just a problem that I think you just have to get a new guitar yeah, and a lot of times I mean, if you're recording in the studio in the guitar as a dead fred you know whatever note that dead fred is on I mean, you could play it in a different position on a different string if you need teo but I mean the best thing to do would just be to find a guitar that's functional and they have issues like that. Yes another question from leonardo boost from brazil. Why have banned stopped using the mesa boogie dual rectifier, especially in live concerts moving to the fifty one fifty does seem like fifty one, fifty or sixty five oh five have become more popular than the masons to have ah tell them that well I mean I personally I'm not a fan of the mason but uh so to me it's clear because I think it sounds bad uh I I really think the p v sixty follow five fifty one fifty the uh think fender has a version it's all the same style of tone and it's very I think it sounds very modern uh want some very strong opinions about the original block letter fifty one fifty or whatever being better than the sixty five oh five yeah, there you go. Um you seem you seem to be cool to sixty five oh five do you have any thoughts on that? Yeah, well, I there I'm not sure what, uh what european is but the things that I looked for whenever I was comparing this fifty one fifteen by the sixty five five was for whatever reason, the ones that I was comparing the fifty five five was a lot noisier. Um and this the fifty one fifty one fifty was noisier and the sixty five five was pretty clean and it had morgaine toe work with I don't know if maybe something was weird with the fifty one fifty, but uh I did react with both of them and I was able to dial in the identical tone on both so they are very similar yeah, they're technically the same thing I mean, the circuitry and everything on the inside is the same I think the only difference is the tubes that they ship with or different than the original fifty one fifty but the overall town and all the component tree and everything on the inside is supposedly the same so yeah, they really one shouldn't really be better than the other I think just a lot of people have like the nostalgia for the original one and I'm one of those people I have a moderate fifty one fifty that just sounds amazing and you know, I I think if you were to put that side by side with sixty five oh five it would probably you know to me at least it would be more ideal but especially I mean they're so close it's almost not in a not even worth comparing you know right now all right, not a question actually see, like, thoroughly answer the last question I think it's just like you're saying they're totally two different tones. He said, why are people not using the rectifier live as much? It doesn't cut through there's not as much mid range, so I don't know I guess that we are specifically answered the question yeah, I don't have a lot of experience with the mason because I heard it and I just turned it off so all right, well there's a question that came in from snickers bar fifty who said we were we recorded an album by recording and editing the guitars to the grid afterwards we track drums and slip edited them to the grid too do you think editing all parts to the grid is an essential process in making modern sounding heavy records? Um modern? Uh yes, but what kind of yes and no, um I always add it to the grid. I'm like really I'm a very meticulous really like, uh I like things to sound absolutely perfect but you can go overboard easily and I tried not to cross that line, which you're going to be covering extensively in the next segment about editing, right? Yes, if you over at a guitar, it can sound really strange and unnatural and some people like that, um and I'll demonstrate how to do that. Uh, but I personally kind of like it sounding I like to have rock and roll in metal uh and over editing takes away the rock and roll and I don't know well sneakers went on to say just to clarify in all parts I mean, all parts of the band of course you can let them let the instruments run loose on a certain part for feel reasons, okay, I okay what I like to do is I always have the drums edited perfectly to the grid always like absolutely perfect and then everything else I let kind of be in front or behind like as it goes, but in a pleasing way because you can have everything, you're gonna have a certain thing be like, really late and you're like, it's just sounds bad, but I like to have everything be off by a certain amount that I think is ok and went, yeah, when everything is out a little bit, it sounds really cool, but the drums are perfect and that's like the only thing that I'll have be absolutely oh, I also like vocals being perfectly on be huge about vocals, absolutely that this is the reason this is probably the main reason you're watching this class because you got the amp settings from somewhere all this other stuff is missing from your from your tone pie and, uh, the slice that you're eating tastes terrible, so I think the whole thing is it makes the tone, the entire thing makes a tone, and as we go through maura, I'm actually going to show the difference. I have some mixes prepared and I'm going to take out certain pieces of this pie and show you that you don't like it with these pieces missing, and you will be surprised

Class Description

A great guitar sound is the centerpiece of modern rock, metal, pop-punk, and metalcore. Join producer Andrew Wade (A Day to Remember, The Ghost Inside, The Word Alive, etc) for an intensive look into the rock guitar techniques every producer and engineer needs to know. In this two-day course, Andrew will teach you everything you need to know about creating huge, thick guitar tones. You’ll learn how to prep and setup, and develop best practices for tracking guitars. He'll cover both real amp and amp sims, mixing in your DAW, and more. Whether you’re recording tracks at home or in a professional studio, this course will give you concrete, easy-to-apply techniques for taking your guitar sounds to the next level.

Reviews

Chris Dimich
 

This class was extremely helpful! I learned soooo much. Andrew is a pro and it is absolutely worth the money. Specifically the tuning section of the class. Did not think to put this much effort into tuning, but it makes perfect sense! You can have the tightest band, with the best musicians, the most expensive gear, with amazing tones, but if they are even slightly out of tune its literally a bottleneck for the whole sound of the song. Thanks Andrew!