Guitar players - any recording tips?

looking to see what others do

Ok - just starting getting back into the home recording thing with n-track. I just bought a POD 2.0 so I could get a better sound when using my guitar for recording…and so far I really like what the POD does. Anyhow, just wondering what others typically do when recording guitar.

Typically, I know it’s best to record guitar through the line-in input on my soundcard into a mono track. This is what I do. However I also usually clone the mono track and create the “fake” stereo sound by panning hard left/hard right and sometimes I’ll offset the cloned track slightly. When is it better to create the stereo sound for guitar tracks as opposed to just leaving it mono? Or do you always turn your recorded mono tracks into stereo for all guitar parts? Is it ever benefical to leave a guitar part in mono and just pan it to create the feeling of space with the mix? What’s the best way to create “space” between all guitar parts in a song so you can distinguish them?

Just looking for some basic high-level suggestions to get the best guitar mix I can w/o getting to crazy into the technical details.

I am pretty sure that your POD outputs “stereo”. You should be able to connect the right and left outs to your mixer or soundcard. You may need to get some different cables to make the connections. Depending on your set-up.

lots of people actually play the same part several times, then you have depth and texture between the two tracks. you can play each part with different settings, or EQ them differently in mix.

Some will have 4 git tracks, one hard left, one 50%left, one 50%right and one hard right. It can be tricky, but can get great results too.

If you are recording clean guitar then plug it into the line-in, if you have a l and r input on you soundcard then purchase a y-cable with 1 female 1/4 and two male 1/4 plugs to atually record in stereo.
If you are using analog effects on your guitar, like overdrive, chorus, etc. it is best to mike it, if you have the equipment. You can also create a natural reverb by placing the mic at different distances from the amp, depending on the sound you wanna achieve.
I’d also suggest you use a tube amp, or pre amp if you have it, it adds a nice touch to almost any guitar part.

I use an amp with a microphone. :)

I used a POD 2.0 to record my last CD, and am using it again on my current (and neverending) project.

Some of the POD’s effects are (I think) in stereo - chorus, reverb, flnger, etc… Most of the time I just record one side on the POD as a mono track for one side of the stereo spread, and then play the part again for the other side… or not… lately I’m trying to be a bit more minimalistic, and am trying one electric guitar track, and one acoustic track. Altough, I huge wall of sound is nice as well… It all depends on how you want to treat the song.



I’m using Guitar Rig as real time plugin for recording.

For Blues- or Slow Downed Rock Songs I record one mono guitar track and pan it for example to the right, than I use a delay with 10-12ms delaytime and pan the delay signal to the left. So it sounds like one guitar but it sounds over the whole song background.

For Rock or Hard/Heavy Rock I record two mono guitar tracks. Sounds much better than copy only one.

For real heavy songs I record sometimes up to 4 tracks, two on the left side and the others on the right side plus swapping the tracks with smal 10ms delay left and right, so it sounds really heavy.


I’ll do a dry dirty miced amp track, and then one with whatever effects the band want. At the same time doing the dry dirty track, I’ll DI either from the speaker outputs (using speaker emulation) or before the amp (not using emulation) and get a clean track that I can use any amp sims on. Sometimes I’ll do both, mixing and matching as I see fit.

I don’t go for the “has to sound like a real amp” so much as “Far out, that song sounds awesome” (of course, sometimes a real amp will do that too).


Thanks for all the feedback…I’ve got some real good tips from everyone to work with. Back to the drawing board to try out some of these recording methods/suggestions.

Thanks again!

I konw you just went and invested in your pod and all, but one good piece of advice I picked up was to record dry. No effects. A preamp would be good for some tone, but no distotion, reverb, etc. Then get some good plugins.

The reasoning behind this is once you’ve recorded your way, with the fx already there, there’s no changing it. But with plugins, you’ve got endless options to see how the take sounds with many fx w/o having to do another take.

of course, for every rule, there’s times to break the rule. If you love the distortion and reverb on a certain song just the way you’re amp puts it out, and you know this is it, by all means go for it!

Quote (soul&folk @ Feb. 03 2006,03:17)
I konw you just went and invested in your pod and all, but one good piece of advice I picked up was to record dry. No effects. A preamp would be good for some tone, but no distotion, reverb, etc. Then get some good plugins.

I've thought about this, but it seems that the tone that you hear when you play has a great affect on how you play... maybe spiltting the signal and recording both a dry and wet feed while monitoring the wet feed to get the performance straight would work... Then you can go back and play with the effects on the dry feed if you like.

exactly. I’ve been down this road before and that’s what I do sometimes.