Good Equipment Bad Sound

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Member Since: Oct 12, 2004

I know some people will bash for this, but here it goes. I got a Mesa Triple Rec, a Mesa 4x12, a Fender American HH Strat, and a brand new ART MPA preamp, I'm running it through a delta 1010 into pro tools M-powered.
OK, my problem is I've been getting horrible guitar sound, and I've tried a whole bunch of miking positions, amp settings, preamp settings, and nothing seems to give it that amazing tone I'm looking for. Is it possible that something in the chain (excluding the MPA) is making it sound bad or is something busted, is the triple rec a bit of an overkill? (tubes are new)

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Hold 'Em Czar
Since: Dec 30, 2004

Nov 24, 2006 07:15 am

i'm gonna guess, it's your gain staging and microphone...ya didn't mention what kinda mic you're usin...

turn your volume all the way up on the guitar....keep the preamp at a sweetspot where all up on your guitar is 'crunchy' but not saturated, and about 50% volume on your guitar is clean....

here's where you're in trubble...i think the triple rec is 100 watts, if so this is gonna gotta use the master volume to combine a different distortion with your preamp's breakup...if you have earplugs, and forgiving neighbors, go ahead and turn that thing up to 75% and play your favorite should be pretty close to the tone of satan himself.

granted your situation might not be able to do just that, you can turn the master down some and the preamp gain up some to compensate...the trick here is NOT to "get more distortion by cranking the preamp gain" that'll turn your wall of sound into square waves the sonic equivilant of looking at 8 bit graphics for your eyes...boaring.

now ya gotta find the right mic placement (which should be somewhere really close to the speaker), then it's off to the preamp.....i'm not too fimiliar with your mic preamp but again, try to get your signal to stay somewhere around -10dbf or so...after that you should most definately have a usable tone...

also don't forget to doubble track!



p.s. here's how we do it nashville style!

Since: Oct 12, 2004

Nov 24, 2006 12:24 pm

I never tried turning it up that loud, haha good thing I dont have any neighbors on that side of my house, I'm going to try it.
thanks for the detailed reply

Eat Spam before it eats YOU!!!
Since: May 11, 2002

Nov 24, 2006 01:18 pm

and post a clip so we can hear how bad it sounds! :)

Since: Oct 12, 2004

Nov 24, 2006 03:19 pm

sure sure, just give me some time

Since: Oct 12, 2004

Nov 24, 2006 04:18 pm Only the first 10 seconds has guitar. It sounds about 10x better just from increasing the volume, I guess you'll see what kind of tone I'm going for now. I just want the guitar to sound like its part of the mix

Since: Oct 12, 2004

Nov 24, 2006 04:50 pm

I forgot to say, yes i do use an sm57

Hold 'Em Czar
Since: Dec 30, 2004

Nov 25, 2006 07:40 am

yeah, have someone play 'power chunks' while you SLOWLY move the mic from dead center to off axis, and play with the direction the mic is pointing...try different angles..and listen back to what you's pretty much all the eq variation's you'll need.

Since: Oct 12, 2004

Nov 26, 2006 06:35 pm

thanks for all your guys help, I've got a new problem now, whenever I turn my amp up to the %75 volume range, it starts picking up radio frequencies, sometimes more than one. I'm thinkin it could be the patch cord, but I've also tried the gold plated kind and it still does that. Anybody experience this before??

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Nov 26, 2006 06:52 pm

It could be anything from the outlet you are plugged into to the patch or guitar cable's you are using.

One rule of thumb to remember is, the shorter the better. So if your power cord is plugged in with an extension cord, find a way to avoid that. Or try another outlet as well. as for the cables, it could be any of the cables at all, even the speaker cable from the amp to the cab if you have that set up. As a general rule I never go more then 15' with a guitar cable. Mine are all built using more expensive ends from SwitchCraft and using some higher temp solder to ensure a good solid connection.

Also on the speaker cable to the cab, you need to make sure that is a speaker cable not a guitar cable as that will result in weird happenings as well.

jimmie neutron
Since: Feb 14, 2005

Nov 27, 2006 03:53 pm

Stay away from any electrical devices (especially your computer monitor and flourescent lights) with your guitar. Your git-box's pickups are single-coil, which are basically radio antennaes... Be sure you have a good, quality guitar cable, and keep all signal cable runs as far away from electrical cable runs as is possible... and double ditto Noize's...

Master of the Obvious?
Since: Jun 29, 2004

Jan 14, 2007 12:11 pm

What kind of tone are you going for? You've got a heck of a lot of things determining what the final sound will be:

guitar's pickups
amp settings
preamp settings
playback speakers/headphones

I use a mesa triple rec half stack and the main thing I learned is to turn the gain down further than you think you should for rhythm guitar work. For leads, put it up there in the sweet spot, but with layered guitars, having 2-8 guitar tracks all with 80-90% gain, it begins to sound like mush!

The other thing I do is put an sm57 at the center of the speaker like anybody else, then throw another one 3-5 feet back pointing at the cab. It gives the tone some needed air if you're going for a "BIG" sound. For my recent project, I actually threw a third mic (a bass drum mic actually!) right at the speaker towards the edge pointing at the center. It gave me a great scooped gritty sound and made the guitars just sound huge!

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