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Guitar recording tips. Taming excessive room reverb and delay.

August 13th, 2009 | 35 Comments   « Previous  |  Episode 07  |  Next »

Pure coincidence, but now feels like a nod to the great Les Paul (inventor of the solid body electric guitar) In this episode we answer some user questions with very simple tips to solve a common problem in guitar recording.

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To watch on your ipod download the M4v here

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35 Comments ~ Speak your mind »
  1. Anton

    I love the packing blanket solution! Great show as usual. keep ‘em coming Ronin.

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  2. Chris

    Ronin,

    Thanks for the the great info. I have the unpleasant room sound with some vocals so now I an imagine building a tent of blankets over my head and singing inside a cocoon.

    If my next vocal recording sounds like I am singing inside a ball of cotton you will know why!

    Chris

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  3. Dirtyragamuffin

    Another great vid, Ronan!

    We keep a pile of comforters and moving blankets around for just such a reason…well, actually, they work great for everything from sound control to catching catnaps on the studio couches ;-P On occasions where I’m stuck recording loud guitar cabs in our (very) live room, I’ve gone so far as to construct “cabinet huts” made up of couch cushions and blankets. Looks crude but works great! Of course, they’ve been our friends around drum kits and vocals too. IMHO, heavy blankets are another one of those handy studio utility items like gaffer’s tape or extension cords.

    Keep up the good work– I’m liking the vids!

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  4. Darrin

    Hi…Id also like to add that with the packing blankets you can use 1″ schedule 40 PVC to make a cave to put your mics into…they are also great for putting a KSM44 or KSM32 in front of a guitar amp…or a bass drum.

    I learned this by reading some stuff Eddie Kramer wrote about mic placement…he is also a fan of the Shure KSM32…I have to agree with both of you on it…plus you can steal them off of ebay if you are lucky.

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  5. Anthony Rochester

    I’ve got a few old mattresses around that I use for this kind of thing

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  6. Darrin

    I was thinking of producing webshows as a side thing…what cameras/editing software is your choice.

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  7. Jeff

    Hey Ronan
    More great ideas. I use foam rubber pillows and I’ll have to agree with dirtyragamuffin—they’re great for naps.
    Let’s all lift a glass to Les Paul. What a treasure. [By the way, he didn't invent the electric guitar---he invented the first consumer ready and available electric guitar. He DID invent multi-tracking which has certainly kept you busy in your spare time].
    Thanks again for the info.

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  8. Jeff

    PS—how do I cast the vote?

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  9. Luke

    Great show! Good to know. Keep it up!

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  10. carlos

    Good stuff!!!

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  11. jean Paul

    very helpful show.

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  12. David Engelhardt

    Great show Ronan! I’m gonna try it this weekend!

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  13. matt

    I just found your site and I wanted to say a big thanks. Really useful information! Cheers

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  14. Adam Ellis

    Hey man

    Great video. I’ve done this same stuff for years. Still, I think the next time I record guitars, I will proceed to build a “fort” around the amp and mic, complete with a “no girls allowed” sign.

    fun times
    Adam

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  15. Josh R.

    Heck yeah for packing blankets!

    Great show, thanks Ronan!

    - J

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  16. Jonny

    Good tips!

    I highly recommend these tips since i have a very bright, reflective mid-sized room myself. I am currently building my own gobo-broadbands but until then i have frequently used blankets. As Ronan i fold em’ so i have a double layer of approx. 4-5 cm with a little air gap in between and hang it over the microphone stand. This works incredibly well!

    Even in an untreated 2×2,5m and 2m high cube type of space they managed to suck out all the reflexions and helped to get the vocals sand dry.

    another really great tip of Ronan’s is the air gap thing when considering acoustical treatment…

    Love your show

    my 2 cents

    Jonny

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  17. Ian

    great episode.

    I think you should come out with some sort of schedule for when you release shows, so that way I don’t have to come back and check all the time and be let down that there’s no update.

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  18. Ronan

    Ian,
    Thanks for watching the show and your input. In the upper left hand corner of the web site there are two ways to subscribe to get updates. You can either join the mailing list (which we use for nothing other than updates about the show) or get an RSS feed so that updates show up on your google or yahoo home page, etc. We have about 5000 people currently subscribed to the show and no complaints so far, so it seems to be working pretty well.

    I would love to be able to do something with a more regular schedule but I am usually booked 6 or 7 days a week making records in the studio and I have to struggle to squeeze in time for the shows, which can be unpredictable.

    Thanks!!
    Ronan

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  19. Kevin Granstrom

    Thank you so much for doing this show for us. I know that you do it in the 25th hour of the day and it is much appreciated. This episode about treating the room for guitar recording was great short and sweet. I am living and recording in a old converted Garage so this trick is really quite helpful. I new about baffels but dont have all the money in the world. Thanks for all the Info and for helping my recordings sound better and go smoother.

    Rock on
    Kevin

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  20. Colin

    Just had a thought:
    If you’re miking a quad-box, wouldn’t it be a good idea to bypass the 3 speaker cones that you don’t have a mic in front of? Each of these will be creating a lot more room sound that direct sound. Worst case scenario is 12dB more of unhelpful ambience.

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  21. Adam

    Hey Colin,

    If you do that, you will change the impedance of the load that the amp is “seeing,” and it could damage the amp. Also, the cabinet is probably designed to handle a certain amount of air pressure and changing that will affect the sound, more than likely for the worst. Finally, even if you did disable three speakers they would still act as passive radiators to a degree.

    I hope I’m not stepping on your toes Ronan

    Cheers
    Adam

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  22. Ronan

    Great input Adam. Thanks and I agree with everything you said here.

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  23. Barrett

    Just shared your show with all my buddies on the Homerecording forum. Hopefully you’ll get a few hundred more subscribers!

    Love the show man!

    -Barrett

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  24. Bruce

    I just stumbled upon your show. I watched this one and I’m anxious to watch the rest. I’m new to recording and would love to hear sound samples of the problem sound and the fixed sound when you do shows like this. I would also like to hear comments and examples of the benefits of miking an amp vs direct with a pod, etc.

    Thanks.

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  25. Fredde

    Hi Ronan. I love your show
    What does medigate (midigate?) mean?
    Sorry, i’m from sweden.
    Cheers

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  26. Ronan

    Hi Fredde, Thanks for watching the show. Lots of my fans are from other countries that do not speak English. I need to speak more clearly. I am guessing the word I used was “Mitigate”

    mit·i·gate

    –verb (used with object)
    1.
    to lessen in force or intensity, as wrath, grief, harshness, or pain; moderate.
    2.
    to make less severe: to mitigate a punishment.
    3.
    to make (a person, one’s state of mind, disposition, etc.) milder or more gentle; mollify; appease.
    –verb (used without object)
    4.
    to become milder; lessen in severity.

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  27. Charly&SaDrôleDeDame

    Great video ! :) It’s always enjoying to learn “Do it yourself” tips from sound professionals. Thanks !

    I didn’t do exactly the same thing but the video has reassured me in what I’ve done few weeks ago to upgrade my Home Studio.

    I hope you don’t mind Ronan, here’s a link which show how I’ve made my acoustic panels (One of the solution mentioned in the video): http://bit.ly/cmeBnW . It is written in french but you can see pictures of the construction. Maybe it could give ideas to others. ;)

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  28. Ronan

    Charly, This is great. Thanks so much for sharing this. The panels look great.

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  29. Drumslave

    Hey ronan,
    Thanks for the great tip. i’m going to try it. and thanks for a great show thats not to cool for the room. love it!

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  30. Dan

    Thanks so much for what you do! You are a great teacher!

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  31. Mikey

    Hi!

    GREAT SHOW!!!

    Just a wondering…

    How come I hear low car noices in this pro recording room, in this movie, around 06:15 and forward?

    And, again, thank you for a great show and good facts!

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  32. Ronan


    How come I hear low car noises in this pro recording room, in this movie, around 06:15 and forward?

    Hi Mikey, thanks for the kind words. You hear the low car noises because the building is about 10-15 meters from a main road in LA and the building is not completely sound proofed. Sound proofing the live room would cost at least $30-50,000. It is never a problem except on very quiet acoustic music, so I would rather spend that money on cool gear or being able to charge cool bands less money. – Ronan

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  33. Stephen Eric Berry

    Excellent acoustical sculpting ideas. Great show. Another idea: various localities (like Ann Arbor, MI) have scrap box stores that sell pieces of left over industrial foam and odds and ends that can be velcroed together into the kind of hut or partial hut Ronan is talking about.

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  34. Tony Koretz

    Nice little video Ronan. Yep packing blankets and duvets can certainly be handy for this sort of thing. Great for building little forts round kick drums using chairs or carpet pices as supports too.

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  35. Corey

    You have a great way of explaining things, thanks so much for making the video / show!

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