Metal Mike: The Jedi Trick of Using a Camera or iPhone in the Studio

I want to share a quick tip with guitar players that will make things easier in your search for the perfect guitar sound when recording.

Most of you will probably agree that you often start with an amp setting, tweak as you go through a few other options and then tell yourself that some of the initial settings sounded the best. However, you realize you have a hard time pinpointing exact previous locations of the control knobs. You can get it close, but not exact. Once you start adding pedals and studio gear, things can run away from you pretty quickly.

Here’s what you do.

You use a small digital camera or an iPhone to take pics and document your favorite settings or useful sounds on amps, pre-amps or whatever you choose to recall in the studio. Taking a look at a pic of your prior settings makes recalling things super easy.

I keep a small camera handy and scroll through it if I'm looking for a particular sound I might've gotten in the past or if I want a solid starting point to build on. You can focus in on your pics and get the exact location of your previous moves.

This becomes especially helpful if I try to recall settings I've used to record different instruments such as bass, guitars or vocals through a single-channel pre-amp that I love to use. Instead of starting from scratch to set up a sound, I can quickly get into the ballpark and build from that point.

Of course, this doesn't have to stop at the recording studio. Live amp settings, pedal board setup all the way to a correct way to pack an equipment trailer can be easily be recalled with a digital camera.

So, there you go! It’s a simple solution to a big problem.

I must give credit to Judas Priest producer and my Halford bandmate Roy Z, from whom I picked up this idea,

  • Horns and talk soon,
  • Metal Mike

Polish-born Metal Mike Chlasciak has recorded or performed with heavy metal greats Rob Halford, Sebastian Bach, Bruce Dickinson and Axl Rose. Mike is the long-time guitarist for Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford's solo endeavor, Halford. Mike's new album, The Metalworker, is due in spring. For more info, check out his official website and visit him on Twitter.

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