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Author Topic: how to tame harsh guitar recordings  (Read 8926 times)

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El Chiguete

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how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« on: Time Format »

Ok so what are your tips and secrets?
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rabidgerry

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Re: how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« Reply #1 on: Time Format »

Ok first of all tell me, are you having an issue?

Every bit of gear is different but I have found eqing anywhere from 2khz 3khz 4khz 5khz can work.  Which exact region usually depends on the rest of the mix and what element needs to use which frequency.

Recently I have not had to tame much on my guitar because if I pick the right speaker impulse which is may be a mic off centre and a little distance away then I can generally just nail it and have no harshness.  Some eqing is generally going to be needed somewhere along the lines on the basis that you will need to fit it into you mixes with drums bass and vocals.

Harshness though for me can exist in the 2khz - 6khz range.  For me anyways.  I'm sure someone will come along soon and say I'm wrong.

El something strange that I learnt also mixing is that sometimes I had to add some harshness back into the guitar sound in order to get it to sit right in the mix.  And weirdly I found anywhere between 4-8khz range had what I was after.

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El Chiguete

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Re: how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« Reply #2 on: Time Format »

In my case Im recording the old fashion way (miking a speaker in a cab) so in my case its different than yours because maibe in the IR you are using they allready made EQ changes to take that out.
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rabidgerry

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Re: how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« Reply #3 on: Time Format »

no not really, apply the same logic that created the speaker impulses to you micing technique.  My impulses are mic and speaker only no extra EQ.  So purely the speaker and the mic combined with the position.

But also mic live and I don't have an issue with harsh guitar. 

I EQ out anything I consider harsh on my equipment.

The info I gave you in relation to frequencies and harsh zones is still relevant so it's not different to your case unless you recording using some kind of space age technique?

What exactly is the issue you are having?  To fizzy?

Here is a tip, record some guitar that you think is harsh, then bring it into your DAW, then on a parametric EQ pick a frequency, use a Q of about one, increase the gain on this frequency by say 5-6 dbs or whatever you want without deafening yourself, and then move it about different areas until you find sounds that when boosted are increasing the harsh range.  When you find one, or may be 2-3 areas you know where to make the cuts.  These cuts can then be made on your live gear.  You have a fancy EQ so you can make the cuts or boosts on that.

It's called EQ fishing, google this unless you are already familiar

Another method can be using two mics and phase cancelation to get rid of shitty brittle frequencies.

see this link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh_2m31dPlE

this all depends on what the "harshness" is that you are experiencing.

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Guitars:1986 Westone Dimension IV, 1989 Korean Squier Fat Strat Silver Series, 1998 Korean Squier Fat Strat, MIM Fender Fat Strat - FR, Squier Stagemaster Deluxe - Thru Neck x 2, Squier Stagemaster 22 Fret - 1st Gen, 1999 Squier Showmaster - Anniversary Edition, Squier Showmaster, Tokai FV40 Flying V

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Peter H. Boer

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Re: how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« Reply #4 on: Time Format »

Also depending on what the other instruments in the mix are doing.
If you have drumms with a lot of highs (above say 8 kHz) taking up that sport in the frequency
and the bass is filling everything from 50 Hz to 500 Hz then that harshness of the guitar on it's own might become just what you need for the total picture.

Harshness is usualy peaking somewhere from 2 to 6 kHz, so if it's still to harsh, try filtering that out (always within the context of the mix)

 :thumb-up:
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El Chiguete

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Re: how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« Reply #5 on: Time Format »

Ok so I had the most awesome testing night! I remembered that earlier today I saw a video that said that when you duplicate a track you need to put a couple of ms delay on it (just duplicating it will sound bad) because it will simulate the small imperfection on playing that happends when you double track BUT also will do some phase cancelations... so I used the defaul delay pluggin on my DAW to do that and at first it helped but I wasn't 100% satisfied and THEN I noticed that it had a wet/dry mix, I then turned the dry off and BUM the harshness was GONE!!! So there you go, a simple trick that worked!!!

I have a question though, would you do this too live? or it doesn't matter live?

PS:
After all that great time something BAD had to happend... it turns out that my Audio Interface or audio drivers for the Audio Interface went to shit! It made a small clic thru and then didnt function correctly (no audio comming out) and to make things worst because I was abble to hear "some" audio (not cristal clear) when I changed back the preferances to the normal Windows drivers instead of the ASIO drivers in the DAW options!!! So kind of working in reverse??? WTF???

Don't know if this has something to do that the drivers for this Audio Interface havent beed updated yet by the company.
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rabidgerry

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Re: how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« Reply #6 on: Time Format »

What about your issue with harsh guitar?  have you just changed the subject?

Also double tracking, then adding a delay on one side?  That's such a basic thing, almost a standard if you cannot be bothered to play a track again.  Some people like it and some people don't.  I used to a lot but now I use two actual takes and then this plugin (see below) on each as well.  Not everytime but when I need it.

You can get plugins that do it for you.  read this El  :wave:

read this article and also grab the free plugin

http://www.vescofx.com/vfxFreeHaas

Can you do it live

YES

I do it every show, and every time and every practice.  It's called the HAAS  effect.  Good in one guitar bands.
« Last Edit: Time Format by rabidgerry »
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Guitars:1986 Westone Dimension IV, 1989 Korean Squier Fat Strat Silver Series, 1998 Korean Squier Fat Strat, MIM Fender Fat Strat - FR, Squier Stagemaster Deluxe - Thru Neck x 2, Squier Stagemaster 22 Fret - 1st Gen, 1999 Squier Showmaster - Anniversary Edition, Squier Showmaster, Tokai FV40 Flying V

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MarshallJMP

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Re: how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« Reply #7 on: Time Format »

Ok so I had the most awesome testing night! I remembered that earlier today I saw a video that said that when you duplicate a track you need to put a couple of ms delay on it (just duplicating it will sound bad) because it will simulate the small imperfection on playing that happends when you double track BUT also will do some phase cancelations... so I used the defaul delay pluggin on my DAW to do that and at first it helped but I wasn't 100% satisfied and THEN I noticed that it had a wet/dry mix, I then turned the dry off and BUM the harshness was GONE!!! So there you go, a simple trick that worked!!!


Well the delay might work well but for me playing and recording the tune a second time gives better results.You will get the same result because you won't be able to play 100% the same thus giving also a small delay but here it will be more random ( a bit to slow or to fast) and it will sound more natural then a fixed delay.Usually i play it 4 times 2 + 2 with a different amp,cab or settings.The more tracks the bigger the sound will be.And it's more fun  ;D

@Peter,what panning do you usually use for guitar? Hard L & R or more more moderate?
« Last Edit: Time Format by MarshallJMP »
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rabidgerry

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Re: how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« Reply #8 on: Time Format »

As I said I double track, but I also at times use the haas effect.

More tracks makes a bigger sound to a point.  After about 4-5 it gets muddy. 10 tracks of the same thing being played does not sound good.  I've experimented with this a lot.  Sometimes one track sounds good.  All depends really.

On my bands latest record I only did 2 tracks.  Sounded big to me. 3 tracks sounded poor. But I used the Haas effect on each, sounded pretty thick.

I actually double tracked the solo which was a total nightmare because its a crazy fast solo and the imperfections that make double tracking sound so good, do not sound so good for solos.  However I managed to get it close enough and then I did something else to it which made it sound almost flanged at times in a very subtle way.  Turned out cool, but one of those things I couldn't replicate again probably.
« Last Edit: Time Format by rabidgerry »
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Guitars:1986 Westone Dimension IV, 1989 Korean Squier Fat Strat Silver Series, 1998 Korean Squier Fat Strat, MIM Fender Fat Strat - FR, Squier Stagemaster Deluxe - Thru Neck x 2, Squier Stagemaster 22 Fret - 1st Gen, 1999 Squier Showmaster - Anniversary Edition, Squier Showmaster, Tokai FV40 Flying V

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El Chiguete

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Re: how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« Reply #9 on: Time Format »

read this El  :wave:

read this article and also grab the free plugin
What article? where you going to post a link?

Can you do it live

YES

I do it every show, and every time and every practice.  It's called the HAAS  effect.  Good in one guitar bands.
How o you do it live?
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rabidgerry

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Re: how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« Reply #10 on: Time Format »

El how stupid of me to not include the link to the article!

http://www.benvesco.com/blog/mixing/2009/mix-recipes-heavy-guitar-haas-and-eq/

How I do it live, two ways, both similar but not quite the same.

The way which is exactly the HAAS effect is using a separate external delay.  I play in stereo so on one side I will send this through the separate rack delay and have it delayed by about 7-14ms  anywhere in that range.  The other side of  my signal goes untouched.  This creates the widening effect.  You need to play about with the rang occasionally depending on the room size or venue.

The other way is using a stereo chorus, it's a pre-set on my MFX unit, not actually sure how it creates a similar effect.  Obviously delay is a factor in the settings of this stereo chorus.  I'll check it out later.
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Guitars:1986 Westone Dimension IV, 1989 Korean Squier Fat Strat Silver Series, 1998 Korean Squier Fat Strat, MIM Fender Fat Strat - FR, Squier Stagemaster Deluxe - Thru Neck x 2, Squier Stagemaster 22 Fret - 1st Gen, 1999 Squier Showmaster - Anniversary Edition, Squier Showmaster, Tokai FV40 Flying V

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Systematic Chaos

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Re: how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« Reply #11 on: Time Format »

John Petrucci does the same with 7ms Dly live....he explains it in this video,skip to 06:30
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El Chiguete

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Re: how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« Reply #12 on: Time Format »

Also double tracking, then adding a delay on one side?  That's such a basic thing, almost a standard...

Sorry I'm new to this  :dunno:
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Peter H. Boer

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Re: how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« Reply #13 on: Time Format »

@Peter,what panning do you usually use for guitar? Hard L & R or more more moderate?

As a rule of thumb 60-80% L/R on intro's and bridges. As soon as vocals or a solo hits they go hard left and right.
But it really varies.
I might also do quadruple takes (like you do) and use 1 amp (setting) for hard L+R, and 1 amp (setting) for 60% L+R

 8)
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rabidgerry

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Re: how to tame harsh guitar recordings
« Reply #14 on: Time Format »

Also double tracking, then adding a delay on one side?  That's such a basic thing, almost a standard...

Sorry I'm new to this  :dunno:

you don't need to apologise, we all start somewhere, it is useful to use.  You will start to go crazy now with experimentation  :thumb-up:  I really like the effect it create.

Here is another free plug in El  :o  Let me know what you think of these when you start playing with them.  I have both, but sometimes I just manually move one track by hand to what ever amount of delay I want.

http://www.voxengo.com/product/stereotouch/
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"whadda ya want? we want Heavy Metal"

Guitars:1986 Westone Dimension IV, 1989 Korean Squier Fat Strat Silver Series, 1998 Korean Squier Fat Strat, MIM Fender Fat Strat - FR, Squier Stagemaster Deluxe - Thru Neck x 2, Squier Stagemaster 22 Fret - 1st Gen, 1999 Squier Showmaster - Anniversary Edition, Squier Showmaster, Tokai FV40 Flying V

Effects:  Ada Mp1, Peavey Rockmaster, Boss GX700 Boss SX700 * Amps:   Rocktron Velocity 300 - Harley Benton GPA400
Cabs: 4 x Bugera 2 x 12"
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