In fact, if we changed the name ofthe mag to “Guitar Recording,” we’dhave enough material to fill up at leasta year’s worth of issues. But for now,we’ve squeezed as much as we caninto this month’s roundup.
In addition to reviews of five hotnew products, we’ve also solicited the brainiacs at my Sound, Studio,and Stage forum to reveal their secrets on guitar recording—andthey came through with some pretty amazing info (once you try MikeShelton’s Mid/Side recording technique,you may never record guitarsthe same way again). So tune up yourguitar—or if you have a Gibson RobotGuitar, have it tune itself—plug insome cables, grab your pick ofchoice, and enjoy the latest scoop onthe art of recording guitars. (Note: Allprices are suggested list prices.)
TIP: Instead of doing my perspective of how the recording should be done, I ask the musician to get his sound. Then I startsetting up the mics—Shure SM57 next to the amp, off-axis, for the “bite” of the sound then 20 inches away, a largecondenser mic (M-Audio Solaris and Groove Tubes GT 67) for the added body. Love that Groove Tubes! I may add a thirdmic as well, and I record all of them. Then, I send a straight DI to the computer and try some plug-ins to beef up the sound—SansAmp (Pro Tools) as a preamp, iZotope Trash for fine EQ/Compression settings and some distortion, then Eleven (Pro Tools).
On bass, it’s pretty much only a DI and plug-ins, with a compressor between the bass and the audio interface tocontrol the peaks if that’s part of the sound. —Gus Lozada
IK Multimedia got an early start with amp sims, and now hasa very complete product line for guitarists with multiple“powered by AmpliTube” stand-alone/plug-in software programs,as well as hardware (like the outstanding I/O Stompfoot controller). StealthPedal, a Mac/Windows USB interfacebuilt into an extremely sturdy, all-metal expression pedal, isthe latest addition to the roster.
Two hi-Z/line audio inputs accommodate stereo instrumentslike Chapman Stick, or a guitar and (mono) drum machineoutput. However, stereo isn’t preserved through AmpliTube’smono signal chain, so this feature is most relevant with host software, or for switching between two instrumentsonstage. There’s a 1/4" input jack for an additional expressionpedal, and another jack for connecting up to twofootswitches. Although StealthPedal is designed to controlthe bundled software from IK, there’s a useful general purpose MIDI controller application that can assign the pedal/footswitch and remote switches/additional expressionpedal to different MIDI channels, controllers, ranges, etc.This takes StealthPedal beyond being an “IK-only” product.
Audio outs consist of stereo balanced/unbalanced outsand headphone output (all audio connections are 1/4" jacks,except the 1/8" headphone jack). There’s also a USB connection,and three status LEDs (status and with AmpliTube,Level, and Tuner). Resolution is 24-b...