It's easy for us guitarists to be intimidated by the world of home recording, and compared to the simple process of plugging your guitar into an amplifier, it can seem like a steep learning curve. Happily, help is at hand.
Here, we present a step-by-step guide to the three most common approaches to DIY electric guitar recording, and the pros and cons of each. First up is the time-honoured traditional route...
- Great tone if you get it right
- Great player feedback
- Noise can be disruptive
- You have to live with the sound forever
- Requires lots of space
- Good amps and mics are expensive
Plug in to your amp and get a sound you like. Use pedals by all means if you want.
Position your mic midway between the centre of the speaker and the edge of its cone, around an inch or so from the grille cloth. Moving further or closer to the centre will vary the sound dramatically. Experiment.
Connect your mic to a relevant input on your audio interface.
Route the incoming signal to an audio track in your recording software. For example: choose input two (where your mic’s plugged in) in audio channel two (the track you’re recording to).
Arm the track to record. This is usually done by clicking an ‘R’ somewhere!
Balance the output level on the audio interface and the input level in the software to set your input gain.
Hit record and play!