Tone Time!

It’s bimg_20150106_234217een busy busy busy around here as of late, I have had some extra work to do lately but more about that in a later post.  Right now it’s all about the TONE!  Tonight I was able to get started on the last step of the recording process – adding the solo guitar.  This is typically where I get the most ‘picky,’ about the sound.  It’s a good thing I am my own recording engineer because I’d probably drive a sane person nuts, not to mention I’d need a fat bank account to pay for all the time I’d want to spend getting the sound dialed in just right at a studio.  So I thought I’d share a little about my process tonight.  First off, I fired up the Marshall JCM 800 to get those tubes nice and warm, I’m running some groove tubes in there currently and am pretty happy with them.  Next it was time to fire up the LA610 pre-amp, I bought this pre-amp years ago originally to record vocalists when I was in a band, not to say it’s the best pre-amp for electric guitars (I actually haven’t gotten to try too many others) but it does a good job so I keep it around.  Next up is placing mics for recording, my go to mics are the trusty sm57 and the royer 121.  I started out with just the sm57 for a few years but I always felt my tone was a little tinny and lacking something.  Well, turned out that something was I needed a royer in my life.  The R-121 mic is incredible for electric guitar in my opinion.  Not gonna lie, it put me in the poorhouse for  awhile, they don’t come cheap, but when I decided I was going to go the route of recording instrumental guitar music I knew I had to take the leap and invest in my tone and do it to the best of my abilities.  I have never regretted that decision.  It is my FAVORITE microphone!!  Now I was all set up and ready to go on my 4 hour tone journey.. yes it is a journey, there are ups, downs, frustrations, high energy, low energy and pacing lots of pacing and listening, going back to the mixer little tweak here, little tweak there, back to the pre-amp adding more compression then taking away some compression.  Every tiny adjustment having great significance, then finally, about 4 hours later I sprang up with the kind of excitement that makes you feel like there are springs attached to the bottom of your feet.  Yes there, that’s it, I found it, my old familiar friend, that TONE is back!  Maybe its my wacky detail-oriented personality or maybe as musicians we are all just crazy!  But it felt well worth the painstaking process to get it right where I wanted it and now I can rest..  I look forward to next session when I get to start recording the lead guitar. Woohoo!