I love the sound of guitars, especially the dirty electric sort. It's what drove me into this business in the first place, and to this day I consider finely recorded electric guitars to be pretty-well the pinnacle of recording excellence. Granted that the singer in a "with vocal" production is just about always the most important single element of the finished result - but c'mon - you stick a singer in front of a mic and record it right? It works or it doesn't. I'll bet that for every "how do I record a singer?" thread out there, there are ten or (many) more "how do I record a distorted electric guitar?". Here are some answers - simple ones.
Fresh from nailing the guitar pedal board back together (without a buffer as it happens) I found myself looking at enough guitar leads to crochet a small suspension bridge. I've got old ones, new ones, cheap ones, free ones and some rather expensive ones. Here's a quick test - no fancy nulling and phase alignment to be done- just simple, old fashioned noise.
Each lead was plugged into a Fulltone OCD set as I use it on stage and then DId with 18dB of gain added (you can check the mains hum on the unterminated leads for reference). The test involves simply shaking and scrunching the coil of lead and recording the handling noise. Take a listen and see if you can guess which is which - not that it really matters; the point is that the racket they make is such that any discussion about niceties of buffer and noise gate design is pretty mute (pun quite intentional)! in the face of t his fry-up.
The leads tested are
I've edited the audio into a single file for simplicity, you can hear the spike of each lead being unplugged between noise samples.
Audio sample 1 - Lead handling noise +18dB
This blog is a bit of a departure for The Dustbowl because it's about guitar gear, but read-on because the thinking behind it applies to an awful lot of those "which ..... is best" or "do I need....." questions that litter the WWW.
I recently strapped-on the trusty 6-string and went-out to make some noise. I have a modest pedalboard with all true-bypass pedals (that means that when they are switched-off there is nothing but a switch and a bit of wire in the signal path - no electronics at all). Now TB pedals are held by many tone-facists to be the best way to preserve the thoroughbred sound of our beloved guitars, and for my sins I'm one of them. If it isn't true bypass it gets modified or it doesn't go on the board, and that is my position. Absolutely and without doubt! Except that...
All original content copyright The Dustbowl Audio 2016
Other material copyright acknowledged