Improving my recorded guitar tone

Apologies for the lack of activity lately, things have been insane again but I have managed to squeeze in a bit of rock time here and there… I need it for my sanity!

Tracking of Drought Breaker is complete and I’ve been working on mixing it. I must say I’ve managed to create the best mix I’ve ever done. The mix stood up pretty well to reference tracks but then I took it into the car… the mix wasn’t right.

After that deflating moment I returned to ‘my studio’ and sure enough I could now hear the issue I heard in the car. Then the same scenario (but not as bad) with headphones. With some tweaking it was sounding pretty good on the different speakers.

But the more I listened the more the lead guitar tone bothered me. It just sounded a bit boxy and eq just wasn’t fixing it. I couldn’t consider this track complete without at least attempting to rectify the issue.

My studio is a small spare bedroom which I’ve applied acoustic treatment to. The room sounds pretty good I must say, light years ahead of the original bare room but listening to the lead tracks I can hear the room sound in the mics.

I have a couple spare acoustic panels so I thought I’d try and do an experiment. I set up the mics again re-amped and recorded a sample passage with and without acoustic panels standing in front of the speaker cabinet.

Acoustic panels in front of guitar amp

What was interesting was both takes sounded better than what I had before. When I originally recorded the leads I had the amp loud… too loud. This time I didn’t have the amp up any way near as loud, the volume was obviously too much for the small room to absorb so the lower volume helped!

The acoustic panels seemed to help as well, so with the two improvements combined I was getting a much better recorded guitar tone before I even reached for eq!

I’m excited to get a moment to work the new tracks into the mix… hopefully I’ll stop finding things that needĀ improving šŸ˜‰

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