Recording guitars to an album, is it right time for a change, part 2

In this post I will go through recording guitars for STUD's third album. I already discussed recording guitars for our two previous albums in my post "Recording guitars to an album, is it right time for a change, part 1", which you might also want to check out. However, on the third album I took a complete different route, and therefore the question: "is it right time for a change?".

Some of you have read my post "Make the best out of your band's demo, part 1", where I told that I used Scuffham S-Gear plugin for guitar, when making the demos for our new album. By the time it was time to start recording backing tracks for the album, I asked myself a question: could I make the record using S-Gear instead of real amps. At first, I thought that it's not a real deal if I didn't have my amps blasting through microphones, but little by little I started to really like the idea.

Already, while making the demos I noticed that the guitar sound I was getting from S-Gear was excellent, either as good or better than what I got using amps on our previous albums. I also found out that Def Lepard was using plugins on their latest album (those guys sound always great). So, it was easy to see where things are going in future.

Here's some benefits using S-Gear for recording:
  • The sound in consistent day after day.
  • S-Gear feels like playing through real amp. The response to playing dynamics is very good.
  • The amp models and cabinet emulation (IRs) are excellent, and the presets in S-Gear are great starting points for your own sounds.
  • The sounds in S-Gear are built so that they fit in the mix easily. This is something I've had difficulties with my amps, since you have to cut out the frequencies that are working against the other instruments.
  • The latency is not a problem, if you have decent amount of power in your computer or laptop. You can always bounce tracks to audio if you need more power.
  • S-Gear works well with other plugins and even your analog overdrive pedals before the sound is coming to your DAW.
  • S-Gear works very well with Pro Tools and other DAWs (e.g. Logic, Reaper).
  • This one is a real bonus: Once you've recorded your track, you can always go back and change your sound afterwards. You can change the amp or the amp settings, change your cabinet emulation, add effects, and so on. This way you have a total control of your guitar sound up until you've doing the final mixes of your album.
These benefits, and the fact that I could do my guitar parts at home whenever I wanted to, ultimately made me decide that I'd go with S-Gear. If I didn't feel that I was getting great sounds using S-Gear, I would never had done it. Now when the album is ready, I'm certain that it actually was the right time for a change.

In my next post I will still dig deeper with recording the guitars. So, until next time, keep rockin'!

-Mika

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