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Need help to get cleaner guitar tone in rock music

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Need help to get cleaner guitar tone in rock music

Postby boydii » Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:18 pm

So I've been messing around with my tone for a long time and I find that I want less gain. I had an epiphany of when my bass player was tracking after I had all my parts done and he said, "I can't hear the chord". When I turned down the gain, he could hear it.

I am trying to get out of the thought that I have to crank the gain for it to have more punch and such.

A buddy sent me this band and I had this album on repeat for days.
https://youtu.be/GuRAA5zHn_o
https://youtu.be/rSiNHHMZFrA?t=781

I noticed that their distorted stuff is still clear on the chords they hit and on the second example, the guitars are really clear but they sound big and wide in the mix and I want to replicate this.

You guys got any pointers on how I can dial back the gain but not feel (in my own head at least) like I'm losing some beef in the mix?

Thank you guys. I'm new here and trying to get my first album done.
boydii
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Re: Need help to get cleaner guitar tone in rock music

Postby Wonks » Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:34 pm

For a start, it's almost certain that the chord work and the solo lines will have been done in different takes. So there's nothing to stop you taking that approach and having different settings for each section.

Is it all amp gain, or do you use pedals? Cascading drive pedals can give you a great lead sound, but turning off one will then clean things up for chord work.

A compressor can help give you more sustain without necessarily adding more gain, but it will depend on the sound you are aiming for.

There's always the option of using two amps. One cleaner and one more driven. You then have the ability if recording, to swap between the two sounds, even though you may want to play them all in one go.

There's also the option of taking a DI feed of the guitar straight into the DAW, whilst recording your normal dirty amp sound at the same time. You can then use the DO track to reamp the piece but with less gain on the amp. That way you get to play the part happily, but can then modify the sound for clarity (you can always play with the amp settings to get it to sit in the mix as you want).

Or you just get used to playing with less gain. Try backing off a small amount each day.

There are loads more options available, you just need to think about it and try a few things out to see what works for you.
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Re: Need help to get cleaner guitar tone in rock music

Postby boydii » Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:49 pm

Wonks wrote:For a start, it's almost certain that the chord work and the solo lines will have been done in different takes. So there's nothing to stop you taking that approach and having different settings for each section.

Is it all amp gain, or do you use pedals? Cascading drive pedals can give you a great lead sound, but turning off one will then clean things up for chord work.

A compressor can help give you more sustain without necessarily adding more gain, but it will depend on the sound you are aiming for.

There's always the option of using two amps. One cleaner and one more driven. You then have the ability if recording, to swap between the two sounds, even though you may want to play them all in one go.

There's also the option of taking a DI feed of the guitar straight into the DAW, whilst recording your normal dirty amp sound at the same time. You can then use the DO track to reamp the piece but with less gain on the amp. That way you get to play the part happily, but can then modify the sound for clarity (you can always play with the amp settings to get it to sit in the mix as you want).

Or you just get used to playing with less gain. Try backing off a small amount each day.

There are loads more options available, you just need to think about it and try a few things out to see what works for you.

Thank you for responding.

I'm reworking that mix now. I go DI into my DAW and run through Neural DSP Plini Archtype. I am copy/pasting the track and boosting gain on the chorus, bridge, and end. I like the tone so far.
boydii
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:10 pm
MacBook (mid 2012)

Interface: 
Scarlett 2i2

Guitars:
Ibanez Iron Label RGDIX6MPB w/ Fishman Fluence Modern Pickups
Godin 5th Avenue

DAW:
Reaper

Re: Need help to get cleaner guitar tone in rock music

Postby blinddrew » Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:51 pm

All that Wonks said, and I'd also suggest that when recording always back off the drive compared to any settings you use live. It's easy to add a bit of grit back in if you need it, but as a studio recording is often more complex you'll generally find it's not needed.
In my very limited experience at any rate.
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