Tips on guitar pedal board setup, tone, mic placement, etc!

Low Tunings For Guitar and Bass:

Low C. C F Bb Eb G C
Low D. D G C F A D
It's a stupid thing to argue about, but I've had tech's of 40 years experience try to tell me it's all drop tuning. If DROP as in drop-D means only one string tuning is altered, then wrong! There's your reason so many are confused, along with the fact that most tuning pages also incorrectly state this.

Now that this is settled, on to reasons to Low-Tune:
  • 1. Great for beginners, as their fingers are not as strong and conditioned. Strings are much easier to bend, especially if the player wants 10's, 11's, 13's etc, for a thicker tone.
  • 2. Speaking of thick tone... low tuning does just that for you up to a point... gives the player a nice thick tone! However in my opinion, anything below low C no l
  • onger sounds "Musical". 5 string bass is fine with the low b string, guitar on the other hand just sounds dull and clunky past Low C, again - my opinion.

  • - Dave Williams

    Recording Guitar Amps With Ribbon Mic.

    Miking your amp with a ribbon mic is always the best way to go! No coloration of your tone, and easy to EQ when needed. Even a cheap ribbon mic will give very good results, especially in combination with a condenser mic. A good position for your ribbon mic on guitar cab is as shown: About 4 - 8" from center of speaker, and tilted 30 -45 degrees to keep mic safe from sound pressure. The figure 8 mic should be tilted up, or down for different room sounds. Miking the center of the cone will give brighter tones. As you move away from the cone the sound will warm up. (darken) Try aiming at different spots until you have what you're looking for. A wind-screen can be also used for super loud amps!

    Recording Guitar Amps With Ribbon Mic

    Side view of ribbon microphone in front of guitar cabinet. Run the mic into a good pre-amp and compressor before the recorder.

    Correct position of Ribbon Mic for amp recording

    In addition to the ribbon, a condenser mic is also good to use right next to the ribbon mike, for blending. I also like to add a good large diaphragm mic to use as room mic, set about 5-12 feet away from the amp. Try different locations to capture best sound then blend them all. Microphone can be tilted up or down, try both ways for different sounds.

    - Dave Williams

    Achieving Your Guitar Tone:

    I had a lot to say about this, then I found a great article that pretty much said what I wanted to, and better! I have told people for years to clean their guitars a bit, lower that distortion or even eliminate it! Distorted guitars reduce string clarity which hide mistakes! Lower gain settings "crunch" often sounds thicker and more powerful while keeping clarity in the tone. I especially agree with 'point one' in this article below, click the link and learn how to vastly improve on your guitar tone!

    25 Ways to Get The Guitar Tone Of Your Dreams!

    - Dave Williams

    Wall of Sound (or) The Head Banger's Factor:

    In addition to the article above, I was thinking a few nights ago how in the distant past I used distortion on all guitars, hard rock and metal music of course! One day listening to Jimmy Hendrix, AC/DC, even some Van Halen... my playing changed. Listening to these guys I suddenly (duh!) realize that they are not super distorted, if distorted at all. Yet the sound is thick and powerful, yet with both clarity and power!

    After many hours of tinkering with settings on the amps, low tunings, etc... my pea brain figured it out. That sentence pretty much sums it up, with a good amp and speakers, low tuned guitars, doubling the guitar tracks up, and hopefully good playing... this was my answer... a good crunch, and perhaps ever so often a very "light touch" of distortion was all I ever needed to get the sound I wanted. My tracks suddenly had clarity, and power! Try it, you'll like it!

    - Dave Williams