Is it An Accepted Fact that Amp OD/Distortion beats Effects OD/Distortion?


Sorry for the confusion, there’s no bass here this is just a guitar track as an example of what a non-ice-pick guitar sound is to me. But generally, I just record the amp. I don’t apply eq anywhere, only because it’s not really necessary since I control the amp tone controls, speaker, and mic. But I’m not slamming the upper mids like a lot of stuff that gets on the radio, which is just too bright and overcompressed for me.

For rhythm tracks I use the Cornford cab with the V30 or the Marshall 1960A if I want more scoop. For leads over those tracks I switch to our pine cab with an H30. Same mic position.

That’s it. These are all impulses at this point but they are impulses of our own gear and sound identical to the real things.

Edit: Sorry I didn’t answer the question! I do the guitars first since they are the focus. Then I just fiddle around with our Tech 21 bass amp until I get a sound I like. I usually dial in something with a little more attack since I play with a pick. Then I’ll apply a limiter to make sure there are no huge level jumps from slamming the strings with the pick to get a “rock” sound. Honestly I think that mostly is what keeps the bass from overpowering. When you put up both faders, if they blend, you’re good.

I think the question is more what are other people doing to the guitars that makes them thin since it doesn’t really appear to be necessary.


Yeah, this was more what I was asking, and I suspect you are doing what I thought you might be.

I actually usually start with bass for exactly the same reasons - I’m a guitarist, I write instrumental guitar music, and at the same time I’m well aware that a “tight low end” in a mix is largely a product of the bass and the kick REALLY grooving with each other. If I track guitars first (which, to be fair, I generally do when I’m writing and demoing) I’m way more inclined to accept an “eh… good enough” bass performance, whereas if I track bass first I’m hearing it in isolation and I kind of HAVE to really focus on it.

Idunno. Mixing is a great way to drive yourself crazy, but also kind of fun. It’s like Tetris, in three dimensions. :+1:


I think there’s a big difference when you’re doing something with the guitars as a focus as opposed to a vocal lead - you can leave a lot more in the guitars when there’s no vocal to seat, but when there is a vocal it sort of has to take priority over everything else.


The “Epilogue - 1960A - Gtrs” soundcloud track sounds awesome! There’s something slightly “strange” about (edit: some of) the single note palm muted runs though…I assume it was double tracked? Are the two tracks not quite in sync? Or is it a single track but with a “double track app” applied or maybe it’s just me :wink:


Yes it’s double tracked and it’s not spot on. If that’s the “strange” you’re referring to, I accept full responsibility!


I would say this is really isn’t always true. For example, pretty much anything tracked through a Marshall cab with Celestion 75s is going to have a mid scoop by default. You can do almost nothing to those guitars and they will not step on vocals at all. There are lots of ways to have full-bodied guitar and still hear other elements in your mix - it’s not always about surgical EQ’ing of things if the sounds are chosen wisely to begin with.


Yes that explains the “strange” effect I was hearing. Sorry to pick on your playing like that but I was just wondering if it was some artefact of the recording process.


Nice tone @Troy. Any chance of seeing what the eq curve looks like in Logic via MATCHEQ?


I use MatchEQ all the time. It really works best when comparing two signals and observing the difference curve, otherwise you’re just looking at a hump that looks pretty similar for most guitars. We do a bunch of that in the Zexcoil video and while it’s not the same guitar, it’s mostly the same amp settings. You can see the humps and the difference curve - which is negligible in this case:

The Soundcloud clip is the Les Paul Classic which has a much hotter pickup, the Gibson 500T. It’s got radically more gain so honestly it’s a different beast. I haven’t A/B’d that guitar with anything, so your Match-er-izing is as good as mine.

The original blog post this came from also has some more MatchEQ for speaker cabinets, and those are somewhat more legible. When comparing visually to the frequency plot Celestion (for example) includes with the speaker, you can see how much randomness is added by the box you install it in:


Thanks Troy, very interesting seeing the EQ curves for everything. I’m still trying to work most of this EQ stuff out when it comes to guitars and getting a tight low end without it sounding thin.


What you’re seeing is technically the frequency response but not EQ. EQ is what you do to something, if you need to! And those are likely to be much more simple and smooth moves, a small dip or boost here or there - if at all.

Honestly, I like the analysis stuff but a lot of it overcomplicates what is really a simple process. When you put a mic on a cabinet, dead center on the cone’s dust cap will be the brightest spot. As you move to the left or right it will be less bright until you get about 2 inches away at which point I think it’s too dark and I don’t go any farther than that.

For high gain sounds with distortion, I usually stick it about 1.5"-1.75" inches left or right, and then just turn the amp knobs until the tone matches with whatever drum track/loop or bass line you’ve recorded. There are only three instruments in a rock mix and only so many ways you can go wrong. For a vanilla guitar / bass / drums mix, if you are miking your own amp, you probably don’t “need” to reach for EQ. “Need” being a subjective term, I realize!


Yeah, the number of professional albums released with absolutely zero EQ on the guitars would be a very, very, very small number. That said, you should be able to get 90-95% of the way there via mic placement (and selection) and amp/cab choice and settings… But, I’ve never heard a raw guitar track that couldn’t be made to sound a little better in the mix with some careful EQ.

Of course, the flip side of this is, if your guitar sound is kind of meh right off the back, the odds of you being able to somehow “fix it in the mix” with an EQ plugin is ALSO a very, very, very small number. :rofl:

IMO, a “tight low end without sounding thin” in a mix is much more about the bass guitar than it is about the guitar tone, and I’d even say more than tone about just being really in sync with the kick.