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Recording Electric Guitar with the Focusrite Scarlett

Hi, it’s Warren Huart here. I hope you’re doing marvelously well today.

So we’re going to work on this Alexx Calise track that I’ve co-written and am producing for, and the other day, Greg D’Angelo played some drums on it. So I want to add some guitars to it. So I thought it would be a great opportunity to show you how I record guitars, and how you can record guitars very easily.

So we have — here we have a lovely Gibson BFG. Let me get the other end of this here cable. I’ll find it somewhere. Okay, and we’re going to plug it in to input number one here on our Focusrite Scarlett. I love the way they do this. It has the quarter inch input here, and then around the outside is the mic input. So it’s very compact, and it works really, really well. So let’s plug it in here.

We don’t need phantom, which is what the 48 volt here is for. Phantom would be for a condenser microphone, which we won’t obviously need that, or if we were plugging into a DI box that needed phantom to run. But we don’t need a DI, because we’re plugging straight in.

Okay, so we’re plugged in. Let’s go and create a new track. Now, obviously, we can do it under Track, and we can hit New.

If you want, you can also go Shift+Command+N, and see look. One new track. Just need a mono audio track, ready to go. Just hit enter. Return. And we’ve created a new track.

Now, let’s call this “New Electric.” I’ve done some scratch stuff already. It’s really important to name your track, otherwise you’ll start recording, and you’ll have hundreds of tracks called audio, which is not a good idea.

It’s going to record.

[DI Guitar]

We’re getting a pretty hot level there.

Let me put on my headphones here, because we’re working exclusively in headphones.

[DI Guitar]

And there’s our DI sound. Now if we go to our plugin selection and go to Harmonic, we have Eleven, which comes with Pro Tools.


[DI Guitar with distortion]

That’s the verse guitar part that we’re going to be tracking, and I’m going to do an octave above a part I’ve already recorded using Eleven.

[DI Guitar with Eleven emulation]

Pretty straight forward. Now, believe it or not, that’s actually a pretty darn good tone straight off the one that opens up. It’s like a modern rock tone with a 4×12. It says Classic 30. That’s actually the speakers that come in the 4x12s, 25s or 30s.

Let’s pull the level down so that it blends in a little bit more in the mix. We’ll select record.

[mix, recording guitar]

Cool! That was it!

Straight forward little part, which I’ll probably have pretty low in the mix, and that’s there just to give me a little variation before hitting that prechorus.

So that’s basically how I record a lot of guitars. It’s like a blend between amps and also onboard plugins like Eleven. I think the sounds are fantastic, and if you blend the real with the digital, you can get some incredible sounds. You can get guitars to sound really, really huge.

So don’t be put off by using onboard stuff that comes with it, because you know, it can sound amazing, and obviously very inexpensive. You don’t have to buy additional stuff. You know, this setup here is just the Scarlett, a laptop, and standard Pro Tools. It’s a very inexpensive setup, and you see I’m using headphones, and you can make great music like this.

Anyway, please leave me any comments or questions below. I will endeavor to do my best to answer them all, and subscribe to my e-mail list. You can go to, and then sign up there. I’m going to give away the drum files here so you can edit the drums as well. Please feel free to look at the drum editing video, and you can edit the same ones that I edit as well.

Also, there’s a free drum tutorial there on recording. So sign up and we’ll send you as much free stuff as we possibly can do.

Thank you ever so much for watching, and I appreciate your time. I look forward to seeing you again.


Warren Huart

Warren Huart

Warren Huart is an English record producer/musician/composer and recording engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Learn more at

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