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Should I Set Flat Amp Settings and EQ the Guitar after for tone?
Old 5th February 2009
  #1
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🎧 15 years
Should I Set Flat Amp Settings and EQ the Guitar after for tone?

Or should I let the guitarist set their tone and eq afterward?
Old 5th February 2009
  #2
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🎧 15 years
Get the sound as early as humanly possible.

You'll never be able to "EQ in" the cabinet resonating to loads of bass or the high end breaking up just right or all that other good stuff.
It may be you have to make some small adjustments to the amp tone for a close mic's sake, but not all that much.

I'd be surprised if you found a guitar player who would even entertain the idea.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Not to mention the inspiration factor. If it sounds like crap, the guitarist isn't going to be terribly inspired.

Also, any good guitarist is going to adjust picking position, attack angle, packing force and so forth, sometimes microscopically so, to create the sound that he wants. There's no way he can do that if he's not hearing the actual sound that's being recorded.

For that reason, often they don't even want to hear the amp directly at all, and just sit in the control room so that they are reacting purely to the sound being recorded, and make those adjustments in response to that.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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theelusivegypsy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The ideal situation is to set the amp (sans speaker) in the control room and let the talent adjust their settings so it fits the track. In my experience, you need a lot less gain that in a live situation (+ different eq'ing) when recording. I would encourage the talent to set their dials using their ears rather than their eyes (i.e., the settings they would normally use). I know, I know...a totally novel idea! heh

As far as tracking, I would set their effects in an aux track so they can monitor "wet". I would record: a DI'ed track (in case you need to re-amp it later), the dry signal (however many tracks of this) and the wet signal.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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ScumBum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Set the amp up so it sounds PERFECT before you hit record . Theres no tone shaping after , only EQing so it fits with the other instrumnets .
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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Setting the EQ after recording will sound completely different than setting the EQ on the amp, at least from my experience. With the EQ on the amp your are controlling the pre-amp which has a different effect on the tone.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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fhames's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Get great sound. Hit record.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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Fu Schnickens's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
As a guitarist I would politely tell you, "Hell no. Go suck an egg." As a practitioner of Gearslutism and an active forumist I would tell you that most musicians are pretty particular about "their sound". Telling them to record with a very different tone would go over like a lead zeppelin. Besides, you usually want to get the best sound you can from the start, so that there's less fixing in the mixing. The tone, as such, comes from the player, guitar, and amp; not the EQ.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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conquest's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The eq and gain is there for a reason. To make the amp sound how you want it. +1 for getting a killer tone up front. That goes for anything getting correct tone up front helps the mix come together so much easier. By the time your done tracking just do some sweeting editing etc and your done.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I'll second the others for getting the right sound from the amp.
It's like with vocals-if you have great vocalist,your job as an engineer is just to capture it as good as possible.And if your singer sucks...

Another thing: When adjusting the amp tone,try listening to it with your ears at mic position.That is the sound which the mic will catch.Because when a guitar player tweaks his amp,it's usually his d**k at mic position,not his ears.It makes difference.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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rockstar_josh's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yes, another vote for getting the amp to sound right first.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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keiffer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
how do you set an amp Flat?
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonixx ➑️
how do you set an amp Flat?
By setting all tone knobs to the same setting, usually the middle.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquest ➑️
The eq and gain is there for a reason. To make the amp sound how you want it.
This is true, but most amps are going to be just played live and never recorded. I asked this question because recording an amp is an exception to the average.

But, overwhelmingly, the answer is to get the correct tone first, then EQ using mic placement, and use EQ after that to get it to fit better in the mix, if necessary.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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cavern's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
for me personally. i spent alot of time and money i.e tubes,pedals ect. to get my amp to sound a certain way.
when i record it and play it back through the big speakers, i expect it to sound the same way as when im standing in front of it playing.
so no for me..the tone is in the fingers and the amp.
all it should need is a little e.q. to get it out of the way of the bass, drums and vocals.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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keiffer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho ➑️
By setting all tone knobs to the same setting, usually the middle.
that doesn't mean flat. flat means unity gain.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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AntillesSound's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonixx ➑️
how do you set an amp Flat?
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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keiffer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
that'll work... heh
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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drummerboy1533's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Use a couple of EQ Pedals in your chain BEFOR it hits the amp.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavern ➑️
for me personally. i spent alot of time and money i.e tubes,pedals ect. to get my amp to sound a certain way.
when i record it and play it back through the big speakers, i expect it to sound the same way as when im standing in front of it playing.
so no for me..the tone is in the fingers and the amp.
all it should need is a little e.q. to get it out of the way of the bass, drums and vocals.

Ok right, but Amp EQ is EQ, DAW EQ is EQ... I am not a guitarist, so I was thinking logically- With the amp settings I can EQ before recording, or I can EQ after recording. So, why not use EQ afterwards so that its not permanent. It's a given that different EQ's sound different but I didn't realize that there are other reasons to get the tone right first (such as having the amp rattle or the highs break up just right, in a way that maybe a non-amp EQ might not do properly.

So, I just needed the clarification. Thanks all.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonixx ➑️
that doesn't mean flat. flat means unity gain.
"adj., flat: Of or relating to a horizontal line that displays no ups or downs."

Let's not get into a battle over semantics. For our purposes, 'Flat' is a loose term used to describe something that is relatively balanced in the frequency range, not peaking or nulling significantly in any one spot.

Hence, all amp knobs are set to their neutral position, or at least all knobs are boosted or cut the same amount.

I can't think of a situation in which flat would refer to unity gain..
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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projectMalamute's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho ➑️
"adj., flat: Of or relating to a horizontal line that displays no ups or downs."

Let's not get into a battle over semantics. For our purposes, 'Flat' is a loose term used to describe something that is relatively balanced in the frequency range, not peaking or nulling significantly in any one spot.

Hence, all amp knobs are set to their neutral position, or at least all knobs are boosted or cut the same amount.

I can't think of a situation in which flat would refer to unity gain..
Guitar amps don't work like the EQ on a console. The closest you can get to 'flat' in this sense on the old Fender tone stack is with the midrange knob dimed and the bass and treble rolled all the way down. This is before you even start thinking about what the speaker system is doing to the frequency response.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho ➑️
"adj., flat: Of or relating to a horizontal line that displays no ups or downs."

Let's not get into a battle over semantics. For our purposes, 'Flat' is a loose term used to describe something that is relatively balanced in the frequency range, not peaking or nulling significantly in any one spot.

Hence, all amp knobs are set to their neutral position, or at least all knobs are boosted or cut the same amount.

I can't think of a situation in which flat would refer to unity gain..
Me either. You're terminology was quite correct and it's not as if anyone really thought you meant Unity Gain either.

Flat means Flat. No EQ or additional processing. i.e. Flat Master or EQ'd Master.
Does a Flat mix mean you set all faders to zero? No it doesn't, it means it has not been subsequently EQ'd.

Where "flat" lies on a 1-10 (or 11 heh) tone control knob is a whole other question.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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keiffer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho ➑️
"adj., flat: Of or relating to a horizontal line that displays no ups or downs."

Let's not get into a battle over semantics. For our purposes, 'Flat' is a loose term used to describe something that is relatively balanced in the frequency range, not peaking or nulling significantly in any one spot.
ha, stating out with a definition and then stating let's not battle over semantics.

my M90 and my 5150 are totally different FLAT. it matters.

Quote:
I can't think of a situation in which flat would refer to unity gain..
Flat with an EQ implies no gains anywhere.

actually an amps with passive EQ, flat may be dimed. it depends on the EQ design
Old 7th February 2009
  #25
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Quint's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
You should get the sound as close as possible to the final sound at every single stage of the game. Why wait? Besides, I don't know many guitarists who would be cool with such a scenario. Let them set their tone up and then go from there.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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Quint's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by theelusivegypsy ➑️
The ideal situation is to set the amp (sans speaker) in the control room and let the talent adjust their settings so it fits the track. In my experience, you need a lot less gain that in a live situation (+ different eq'ing) when recording. I would encourage the talent to set their dials using their ears rather than their eyes (i.e., the settings they would normally use). I know, I know...a totally novel idea! heh

As far as tracking, I would set their effects in an aux track so they can monitor "wet". I would record: a DI'ed track (in case you need to re-amp it later), the dry signal (however many tracks of this) and the wet signal.
First of all, I hate it when people refer to bands or singers or artists or whatever as "the talent". Secondly, as a guitar player myself, I'm fully aware of the interactions that take place between the player, guitar, and amp when they are all in the same location. Any seperation reduces these interactions and causes the player to play differently and usually worse. Tracking dry and in the control room is a bunch of pansy ass hack bull****. Let the players do their job instead of trying to paint them into a corner just to make your job easier. Capturing emotion is as much a part of the job as capturing tone. When you can't feel the amp cranked up five feet away from you and get cool overtones, vibrations, feedback, you play with less emotion. Period.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Guru
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Tracking dry and in the control room is a bunch of pansy ass hack bull****. Let the players do their job instead of trying to paint them into a corner just to make your job easier.
The problem though is that the guitarist is responding to a sound that probably has limited relationship to the sound being recorded. So any adjustments me makes can be completely counter productive.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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GearHunter's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
When recording electric guitar, my speciality for 25 years, I get all the guitar sound before I even put the mic up. Whatever the song calls for or the guitarist is used to doing -- the guitar itself, pedals, reverb, delay, overdrive, you name it.

If the guitarist puts the tone in my hands, I will often pick the guitar and amp, etc. Or at the very least I'll twist the knobs on the amp. But again, it's all there, NOT in the control-room.

Then I let the player sit in the CR with me and we'll make any changes needed -- on the amp -- when we hear the sound in context.
Old 7th February 2009
  #29
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theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho ➑️
Or should I let the guitarist set their tone and eq afterward?
It depends on the project and purpose.

If you're recording a band, generally speaking the guitarist will want to get his or her own tone. That said, he may look to you (or the producer if there is one) for guidance as to what tone is required -- or help achieving that tone, particularly if he hasn't recorded before.

That said, there may be times when you'll want to track them DI and do everything later via some form of reamping (real or virtual), possibly in order to defer decisions until other elements are in place.


And, of course, it goes without saying that the golden rule of recording applies...

The man or woman shelling out the gold, makes the rules.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #30
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awakened's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
the only time i really need any EQ after recording guitars is to add a little brightness. get the tone the way you want it going in. YMMV
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