Category: Guitar Tone Tips

Tips for great guitar tone, guitar pedal setup, amp recording, etc. Dave’s Guitar Gear

Recording Guitar Amps With Ribbon Mic.

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!

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

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.

Recording Drums With Ribbon Mic.

Coming soon!


handmade Boutique Guitar Pedals

Achieving Your Tone:

Achieving Great 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 Factor:

Wall of Sound (or) The Head Banger Factor:

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


Low Tuning For Guitar and Bass:

Low Tuning For Guitar and Bass:

I play everything in low tunings, mainly Low C or D, and constantly hear many people refer to this as “Drop Tuning”. Incorrect! Let’s take Low D as example:
D G C F A D. ALL strings are detuned one step down, it is still standard tuning however. With Drop-D on the other hand, you just tune your big E (6th) down to D, leaving all other strings standard. Not sure why so many are confused by this, but they are.

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. It’s not.

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, 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 longer 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