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Thread: First Seven-String Recording

  1. #1
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    First Seven-String Recording

    Picked up an SE 7-string earlier this year and have spent the last couple months playing mostly that. New guitars usually inspire new recording projects, and this one was no exception.

    So, what to record? Well, it covers a lot of ground, but let's be honest - it just whispers "metal" in your ear. My wife likely got sick of hearing Black Sabbath riffs coming from the basement. And "I Can't Explain" sounds really cool played down an octave.

    So it's gotta be metal, right? Right?

    Tell 'em Steve Dave!



    I mean, tell 'em, themike!

    It's from these guys...



    So it must be...can only be...

    Love Theme From Kiss????



    Yes, I did.

    This song has kind of haunted me for years - it's a fairly straightforward instrumental but it's harmony guitars. I've had recording gear for somewhere around 20 years now - it never occurred to me to record it with harmony guitars. I've always tried to play it with one guitar.

    The 7-string gave me the ability to play that low E-G# double-stop, plus the low B was available for one of the sorta breakdown parts. That, plus listening to Mike Keneally play the two guitar parts from "And Your Bird Can Sing" can be credited (or blamed) for pressing forward.

    I may go back and record it with two guitar parts, but for now, I finally pulled this off.

    https://soundcloud.com/alantig/love-theme-from-kiss

    As usual - comments, criticisms, advice. Poor drumming aside!
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  2. #2
    You did a nice job playing, and the guitar sounds like it's farting on notes accenting the beginning of measures.

    I would have said "but the guitar sounds like it's farting," but I figured that might be the actual point you wanted to make musically, so it isn't a criticism. Just an observation.

    Lots of accents are made with contrabassoons in orchestral music to give a similar grunt.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  3. #3
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Thanks, Les. I wish I could say the farting sounds were intentional, but they weren't. I fought that quite a bit trying to get rid of as much as I could - you should have heard some of the practice sessions and early takes! I changed to a slightly lighter string gauge (at the low end - still 10s, but I think the low end was lighter than the factory, but I don't know what the factory set is). I changed the cab model to take away some of the woofiness. But I was concerned about getting too ice-picky on the high end. It took a lot of experimentation to get to that point, but it could get better.

    Any suggestions? Does it sound like it's clipping (to a trained ear)? I had some clipping indicators, but I didn't notice when. There are times just playing around where it feels like I'm hitting everything harder and louder but not getting that fart.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  4. #4
    I think that it's difficult to record a 7 string on certain passages, just as it sometimes gets difficult to record a 5 or 6 string bass as opposed to a 4 string. There can be a lot of low end woof to account for.

    It all depends on the song, how you hit the notes, how the amp's set, the cab, the mic, the mic placement, yada yada.

    Honestly there are times when a 7 string is the real deal on certain tunes, and on others, it's better to just use a 6. But in general, when recording a 7 string, you want to have the mic get a crisp sound, so you mic the cone straight up with a bright mic. I'd try a 57 of course, but you might even give a condenser a shot, a bit further back and on axis. Or blend them, but be careful for phase issues. I'd use a closed back cab to control the woof. And I'd use less gain than normal.

    I'd also consider using a high pass filter, and cut off anything below about 70-100 cycles (experiment).

    But in the end, it just might not be the right tune for that guitar. Was the original you're covering played on a 7 or layered 6 strings?
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  5. #5
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Original was two sixes. Thanks for the tips. The gain tip is especially interesting in that, so far, this guitar seems to have a range of gain that doesn't work all that well, but it's good on either side of that. Clean? Pretty good. Very high gain (think a metal pedal), very good. In the middle? Iffy.

    I will be experimenting...
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  6. #6
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    As usual, Les, a shove in a good direction. How well I executed is debatable. I ended up putting a highpass filter, rolled off somewhere in the 70s, before the amp model, and it took the fartiness away, or at least the most obnoxious parts of it. Your mileage may vary, but I think it improves it enough that I saved the EQ setting as a preset for when I use the guitar and get that sound again.

    https://soundcloud.com/alantig/love-theme-from-kiss-v2

    Thanks for the nudge!
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  7. #7
    Hey, no biggie. It's better now.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  8. #8
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  9. #9
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Hey, no biggie. It's better now.
    But it makes me better, and that's really cool. I think it was Recording that ran a column where people sent in tapes and got advice on mixes and such. This is better because it's more instantaneous, and I get multiple cracks at it.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

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