One of the processes that I enjoy the most is recording guitars. When I started the process of producing, learning how to record a guitar was one of the things that surprised me the most because it’s much more complex then it would seem.
There are so many sounds associated with the guitar, being one of the most complete instruments you can find, it’s percussive but at the same time it makes notes, this opens a world of possibilities, there are so many things you can do with the guitar so theirs a variety of different ways to approach sound for example: if you’re recording with an acoustic guitar that has nylon cords versus an acoustic guitar that has metal cords you’re going to have a completely different type of sound for your song.
In many cases professional studios like to record acoustic guitars with the simple microphone in front of the guitar sound hole and obviously in a studio controlled room but even if the guitar has a line to connect it to the preamp what I prefer in most cases is to place the microphone directly in front of the sound hole of the guitar, there are several microphones that capture great sound with a very simple set up for example the TLM 103
is a great example of microphone to capture standard acoustic guitar sounds for demo or pro recording not to mention the many other great uses for this mic.
in the moment that you record for example a nylon guitar you really want to know what type of sounds you want your song to have because of the microphones placement be it closer to soundhole the sound is going to have a little more low-end versus when you put it closer to the to the bridge it’s going to have a dry sound or towards the neck it will be a little more sweeter so you really want to know what type of sound you’re looking for
When you record an acoustic guitar with metal chords there’s many different types of sounds for example, The different brands of guitars, because of the way they are made give different type of sounds also, an acoustic guitar with metal chords from Gibson is going to sound different than a Taylor which is going to sound different than a Martin, etc each guitar has its own body and you really want to have the best guitar possible when you’re recording your song because the better the guitar the more frequencies and the richer the sound is going to be, a good example is the Martin D28 very known and used for pro recordings
Every time I go to to record a song with the pro guitarist they have selections of various guitars in order to satisfy what the producers looking for so they’ll have a selection of an acoustic Taylor acoustic Martin acoustic Gibson and depending on the sound that you want the recording will be done accordingly this is in reference to acoustic guitar recording.
Electric guitar recording can be a little more complex, electric guitars just as acoustics have so many different types of sounds that the world of possibilities towards what you can accomplish is a never ending story because you could record with a Fender or you can record with a Gibson or you could record with a Telecaster, it all depends again what type of sound are you looking for so to be familiar with the with the different types of sounds that each guitar is able to deliver is a very important process as a producer to know what you want with your song because based on this you’ll be able to tell the guitarist what type of sound and the guitarist in most cases will know how to reproduce that sound that’s why there an expert in their field
One thing that I can recommend that I’ve seen it work several times recording pro songs is a configuration of a good preamp like an Avalon with a good Komet distortion on a Tyler guitar. This has one of the best guitar sounds that I’ve come across when recording and yes this is set up can cost close to 10K but it’s completely worth it because when you hear and listen to the final product in the recording obviously played by an expert guitarist, the sound will amaze you.