This week, I'd like to discuss some tricks I've learned to make a guitar really stand out in a track. As a producer, I have to make many decisions. One of the main decisions concerns the dominant feature of the song. Since we are all guitarists here, let's just assume the guitar is going to be the main focus (as opposed to a more "vocal" song). Next, we see what kind of song is it. For this blog post, let's use a rock track. By that I mean we want the guitar sound to be distorted, creamy, fat, juicy with some delay.
Hello! Since this is a "session" blog, I thought we'd better review a few mixing basics. We all do a certain amount of home recording, and this crucial step might just save your sound! By following some basic steps used by most professional mixdown engineers, your mixes will be improved exponentially. I guarantee it!
I ended up playing on an additional few songs and adding backing vocals to a few more. I also was asked my opinion on the mixes. Of course, by day three of sneaking in all this work (approximately 17 hours), I was pretty spent ... but happy. Saying no in this situation wasn't going to happen. I knew there were other guitarists available. Competition.
"Good enough." The death knell. Good enough. Two words I hate. "Just cut and paste the few chords and I'll sing over it and you can tune it for me. Or I'll take it home and do the vocals myself on my laptop. I got this USB mic that sounds awesome!" What kind of pre and compressor do you use at home? "What are those?" I deal with this daily.
I stress that because I couldn't do a live gig if you paid me. However, because of midi, combined with my knowledge of theory and studying the styles and sounds of great players, I can fool people into believing I'm keyboard player. I also can sing, play drums and program incredibly realistic-sounding drums that fool many drummers. Bass? No problem!
We, as musicians, are in the service industry. When most people think of the service industry, they think of waiters, housekeepers, etc. But we are all in the service industry! First and foremost, we must be of service to ourselves! You cannot give your best to others till you have given your best to yourself. Have you truly been honest with yourself?
The car looks fantastic. I chose a '41 Willys in the same color as the car I drive, metallic orange (I like Halloween). The car doesn't simply sit there and do nothing. To add to the cool factor, the engine lights up on either side when the pedal is engaged, along with the headlights.
I'm gonna get right to it today with two words: ergonomics and templates. Ergonomics is how my gear is setup around me in the studio — for minimum movement. Can I reach everything from my seated position in the sweet spot of the control room? Templates are how I set my gear for maximum usage and flexibility, where sound is concerned.
Every producer has his or her secrets. Some use gear, like a certain mic or pre or vintage amp to get a signature sound. Sometimes it's studio trickery. I just like to think of it as being in control of the studio space and the tools at hand. Sometimes the most obvious tracking methods are overlooked by the casual observer. Here are some of those tips. I guarantee a better sound by applying these simple methods.
My recording schedule has been all over the map for the past few months, so sorry for my absence here on GuitarWorld.com! I've been doing marathon sessions to try and complete all of my current and past obligations. I'm cutting back on my studio work to make time for my own musical projects. I still love session work, but it's good to re-evaluate priorities every once in a while.