Getting a true heavy guitar sound for metal (PLEASE HELP)

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Conjurer of Emotion
Member Since: Jan 14, 2006

Ok, I play heavy guitar of the like you would find in black or death metal. My live sound is perfect. My sound going through all of my equipment until it reaches the studio monitors sounds great. BUT, I cant get it to stop clipping no matter what. You need to turn the half stack up in order to get the true sound (as is stated even on this website) and yet I find myself turning down all of the levels in order to get it recorded with no clipping. This however results in a very quiet lifeless sound that is impossible to salvage. I have the sound I want...I just need it to be recorded!!

I have a half stack with 2 sm57's and a groove tubes condenser miked up to it. These are wired to a seperate room where they go into a Behringer Eurorack UB2222FX-Pro mixer. From there, all mic signals travel through a DBX 266XL Compressor/Gate and a DBX 1215 Graphic Equalizer. These signals go into my M-audio Mobile-pre which then goes into my computer.

...this problem has been plauging me for a year now.....PLEASE HELP!

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Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 15, 2006 01:28 am

Well you need to follow the chain and do some gain staging.

First off, leave your amp were it sounds the best. IF that is turned up loud then that is were it needs to be. This follows the rule of the first thing in the stage being the loudest, or gain as high as needed. Next you have your mic's going into the Behringer. You dont want to add any gain here at all. Simply set the pre at an acceptable level for getting sginal into the mixer. Next set you faders such that you are not getting your meters on the mixer past the 0dB mark. Your compressor should again, not be adding any gain. Set your input levels again just to what is needed to get a good reading of signal and no more. The output of the compressor should again, not be adding any gain, set the level to just what is needed to get a 0dB signal output. I dont know why you have a graphic EQ in the chain as that is almost an uneeded piece of gear if your amp is set to sound like you want it. You really should not need to EQ before going into the computer. But again if it must be in the chain do not set it to add any gain to the signal chain.

Now set your mobile pre to stay below the 0dB mark for your input levels. Next in your recording software, again check you signal to make sure it is not going into the red at all, or above 0dB on the recorded signal, if it does that is what is going to give you the bad sound. Digital distortion is the worst thing that can happen.

Anyway, now that you ahve a track recorded, even if it is lower then you though, now in the software youcan maximize your signal or normalize it to get a better level on playback.

Member
Since: Jan 07, 2003


Jan 15, 2006 07:57 am

question : how do u maximize the sound ?? cause i read somewhere, behringer is selling this ultramizer, it says .. double the volume of the recording w/o clips ??

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jan 15, 2006 08:03 am

Should find some maximisers in here.... www.kvraudio.com/get.php?...t=1&rpp=100


Prince CZAR-ming
Member
Since: Apr 08, 2004


Jan 16, 2006 11:59 am

I'd think that maybe your two mics are cancelling each other out. The phase can kill a good sound. Maybe only use one, and then go from there.

In regards to maximizing volume, I was playing with some live recordings that were half what they should be. I put a khaerjus classic compressor on the channel, and increased the output gain, then put a khaerjus classic limiter on the main channel, so it would limit any peaks. It cranked up a very small signal to something very usable.

This may not be the remedy for your (or anyone else's) dilemma, but it may get you going in the right direction.

Thecalmlittlecenteroftheuniverse
Member
Since: Dec 04, 2005


Jan 16, 2006 12:08 pm

does your amp have a line out?
maybe you're overdriving your mics. i always use the line outs ov my amp. least circuits right?

just a suggestion

Conjurer of Emotion
Member
Since: Jan 14, 2006


Jan 16, 2006 08:10 pm

Thank you all for your input. I did what you said Noize and it has definatly helped. Now I'm just having trouble getting my sound back to where it was. Since I always have to take down my mics and everything after every session, my sound is different every time. I do have a preamp out on my amp Bangbang but anything direct like that sounds incredibly thin and has a chincy distortion sound. If you have any input on how to add power to that and give it that room sound then of coarse I would use direct over micing. Way less hassle..but even my PODxt does not impress me as far as metal sounds go. Its ok for some hendrix sounding muffled distortion or of coarse clean stuff though.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 16, 2006 10:46 pm

goldenmean, on the POD Xt, have you installed Line 6 Edit on your PC and gotten into its guts to edit any presets? I dont use a live amp anymore simply because the POD XT is good enough to replace them for me, that includes any metal sounds I need. I even have purest guitarist buddies who now swear by their POD XT's. And most of them are metal or shredder's.

I know you can edit pretty deep fromthe outside of the POD, but trust me, you can edit even deeper from the PC with the Line 6 Edit software. As well the Line 6 Monkey software will download and install the latest updates and firmware as well.

It sound to me like you have older firmware and software in your POD XT. AFter I ran the first update I noticed a huge differance in the tone of the thing.

IF needed, I can give you a little brief on how to check you firmware and software versions.

Anyway, glad you got the amp thing sorted. And yes I agree on the setting up and tearing down. It does seem as though the tone is never the same, even though it really should be if you set the mics up pretty close to where they were.

Conjurer of Emotion
Member
Since: Jan 14, 2006


Jan 17, 2006 08:50 pm

hmm, yes I am all ears about any info you have on checking versions and editing software Noize. So please do tell me anything important.

My big beef with the PODxt is the excessive fuzz on every distortion preset. I go into CAB/A.I.R. and have tried everything but its always waaay too fuzzy sounding. I can hear tone and power burried under it, but i cant get the facial fuzz to go away. Now I think the software may aid in that but the fuzz is in my experience, a direct recording side-effect. I have some great tone coming out of my preamp-out on my amp head too, but there is still enough fuzz to render the sound unusable in my opinion.

Any tips on eliminating fuzz? As far as EQ goes, I know its in the higher frequencies but you cant very well cut those or it immediatly sounds too bassy.

looking forward to your reply. These forums are great :)

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 19, 2006 10:20 pm

Goldmean, sorry I didnt get back to you yesterday, got pretty busy around here.

Andyway, to check you software/firmware version simply hit the tuner button, then turn the select knob to the right untill the last screne. This will show you the the POD Xt version number. The current version is 2.14 as well it will show the version of the FBV or shortboard control if you have one hooked up. And lastly the USB driver version and the serial number of your unit.

As for the constant fuzz, do you have the stomp on? If you turn that off or down that will help a great deal. The cab/air has nothing to do with a distorted sound at all. It is simply the way the POD gives a more live feel. I do suggest experimenting with it though to find the desired amount of room you wish to add. As well try differant cab combinations with differant heads. I love putting the small twead cab on the Treadplate, it can really give an intense tone When tweaked proper.

I have found that a lot of the presets are really set up for simgle coil. For my high gain humbuckers I tend to cut the presance down to taste then as well bring the mids down untill I get a better tone. I rarely have had to cut the high end on any of the presets.


I strongly recomend going to the Line 6 website and then go to Support/Software downloads And getting the Line 6 Monkey set up first, then let it do its thing and update your POD XT. It can be done either via the midi or the USB so its no big deal either way. then let it set up Line 6 Edit as well. Make sure you update everything it recomends as this will greatly improve the tone you get from the POD.

IF you have any questions by all means ask and I'll try and guide you through it.

Conjurer of Emotion
Member
Since: Jan 14, 2006


Jan 23, 2006 08:00 pm

Well I am certainly going to update my PODxt especially since I just upgraded to DSL from 56k like 2 days ago (finally!). The stomp was never on, it is just always too fuzzy. Plus there is some facial fuzz tweaking options in the unit but I honestly hear no difference on any of its settings.

But in any case, I am seriously considering using my amp head instead. I like the power coming out of it and I got the tone right, but my only problem now is just that the distortion eats away at the signal too soon and so I essentially have no sustain. I will play a chord and right away it will sound pretty good but hold it for more than 2 seconds and it will be eaten away. I have tried messing with a few things and some things help while creating new problems. Is there any technique or unit that will help with this?

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jan 23, 2006 08:06 pm

Dude, for the grunt sound in metal etc. its suprising how much the bass fills in the low end of the guitar tone. I'm not sure if anyone has said that yet, because I can't be bothered reading the whole thread.

edit0r
Member
Since: Aug 17, 2004


Jan 23, 2006 08:07 pm

Oh, ok, misread the question.

Conjurer of Emotion
Member
Since: Jan 14, 2006


Jan 23, 2006 10:13 pm

Yeah, I have spanned a few topics within the thread but I am aware of the bass. As of now my only problem is fuzz control/sustain issues because I don't like to compromise my ideas just to compensate for these problems.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 24, 2006 06:53 pm

Goldenmean, when I get a little time I will maybe pop up a couple of my POD patches to give you an idea of where I am at with it. As for the sustain with distortion, I dont have to much trouble with that at all. But sustain is an issue with both the guitar/pickups and the amp or amp emulator. It can be one or the other, but sometimes it is a combination of all of the above. Sustain really starts with the strings and works its way through the body/pickups, processors and then the amp. So even with a great amp head, if the strings are crap or the guitar body just doesnt resonate, sustain will suffer no matter how the head is set.

Which live amp head are you using that is giving you problems? Is it the Peavey? Are you using any stomp boxes or other processors with it? One thing I used to do when using a questionable amp head was to put an MXR DynaComp in the chain and crank it up. That aided a great deal in getting better sustain out of the amp itself.

Conjurer of Emotion
Member
Since: Jan 14, 2006


Jan 25, 2006 09:47 pm

I am using the Peavy with no processors regarding pedals etc. in its effects loop. You are aware of the compressor and EQ in the chain Succeeding it though. I suppose I will just have to do some looking around and chat with my peeps at guitar center (I love that place).

If it isnt too much trouble, I would just like to hear a mix you have done with metal guitar or if you havent made any, then some of your patches would be fine. I would just like to see what your idea of an ideal metal guitar sound is and see if it matches mine or if you are catering to a much different personal preference. Because afterall, there are numerous bands with all different guitar sounds and none of them are bad, but they are certainly not ideal for every style.

My email is Goldenmean87@gmail.com

Thanks for your time and you must be so busy replying to everyone. It is a service to be appreciated.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 25, 2006 11:53 pm

I think I can bome up with a couple of samples for ya. I do as well find there are many differant tones that fit the genre. And it is kind of a personal thing as to what each person find a good fit for tone.

I must ask now that you mention the comp and EQ in the signal chain of the amp. Have you tried it without those processors in there to see if that is where the noise is coming from? I am thinking that the compressor might be adding to the gain in a bad way, as well the EQ will definately add major gain which is tuned by the EQ itself, and that could be cuasing the fuzz you speak of. I personally never run an EQ directly in an amps signal chain either post or pre. It just seems to amplify any odd tones the amp creates all on its own.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 26, 2006 09:04 pm

Goldenmean, I will be gone for the weekend, but I will try and get something up by the end of next week for you.

Noize

Conjurer of Emotion
Member
Since: Jan 14, 2006


Jan 26, 2006 09:09 pm

Alright that would be cool. I am looking forward to hearing what you have.

Member
Since: Jan 08, 2004


Jan 28, 2006 01:41 am

I know it's been said many times before but just try different things and experiment. One of the best recorded heavy metal guitars IMO are on Exodus's - Force of Habit. Solos and rhythm sounds are just rippin! Check it out!

Sound Gal - Michelle
Member
Since: Jul 11, 2005


Jan 29, 2006 07:30 pm

I've written some thoughts on getting a grunty guitar sound here in my blog:
www.homerecordingconnecti...205&id=2931

Hope that helps :-)

jimmie neutron
Member
Since: Feb 14, 2005


Jan 30, 2006 09:22 am

Thank you, dragonorchid for some insight of your "methodology"... Now, where do you find all this talent? That is a good song, great sound, great recording, great mix. And as pointed out in your "blog" (btw, more - more - more...), excellent guitar tone & spead in the mix... Again - give us more!!!

Sound Gal - Michelle
Member
Since: Jul 11, 2005


Jan 30, 2006 05:08 pm

hehe (blush) thanks j-mail... to tell you the truth, i just contact every band I like at gigs, or on myspace and offer them their first recording for next to nothing. lol.
I assume that if I do a good job they'll come back and actually pay me ;-)

Plus there is soo much talent here in NZ... I think its like a tiny fishbowl brimming with so much potential, and lots of little goldfish getting ready to jump out into the big wide ocean of the world and take it by storm . lol.

Death Metal Freak!!!
Member
Since: Feb 05, 2006


Feb 12, 2006 11:23 pm

For recording guitars (Heavy Metal/Death Metal), would you recormend micing the guitar amp or use the line out on the amp? Is there a big difference in the recorded sound doing one of the other? Thank you...

Death Metal Freak!!!
Member
Since: Feb 05, 2006


Feb 12, 2006 11:35 pm

What would be the difference in using the line out on my amp or using this Line 6 product? Thank you...

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