Generally whilst recording guitars we have the amp in the control room and the cab in the live room. With combos we put the amp in the live room and use a really long lead. This means the guitarist can stay in the control room, which makes communication easier between the producer, engineer and guitarist. It also means that the guitarist does not have to wear headphones, which can be a little intimidating and claustrophobic.
As with drums, timing adjustments can be made later, so don’t worry – a single late chord needn’t wreck an otherwise great take. We can also chop out noises in gaps and stops and do fade outs in the computer, so please refrain from continually turning down the volume on guitar like you would in a gig. There are several reasons for this – guitar volume pots don’t tend to scale very well (they are often practically either on or off), your pots could be dirty and crackle, and guitarists frequently forget to turn them back up again then wonder why their guitar isn’t making any noise when they start the next take.
Initially it is always a good idea to start with your own set up as you are familiar with its sound. However, please note that here at the studio we do have a few amplifiers, cabs and pedals available (see our equipment list) and you are welcome to use them if required. Generally speaking valve amplifiers are preferable to solid state.
Be aware of strings ringing that you didn’t intend to play. These overtones rarely matter live, but can be extremely problematic in the studio. Bass players try and make sure you are muting strings when moving from one to another. Guitarists be aware of your picking – don’t go hitting all 6 strings when you’re only fretting the first 3 or 4. We can artificially dampen unnecessary strings in some circumstances – but it’s better if we don’t have to!
Check your tuning frequently – i.e. in between takes, after a toilet break, whenever you’ve put your instrument down and picked it back up again. We will provide a tuner which you are connected to constantly so you won’t have to tap-dance.