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Recording Rock Guitars with Cameron Webb

Transcript
Cameron: Thank you very much!

Warren: Thank you! So apparently, Glenn Fricker is going to be filming this.

Cameron: Is he really? No way, where is he?

Warren: I don’t know. Hey!

Glenn: You guys are awful. How’s it going, everybody?

Cameron: He told us to clap earlier.

Warren: Well, because Eric, unfortunately, is unavailable. He’s sitting down somewhere with headphones on. But apparently, this is going to be the most in focus one we’ve ever had!

Cameron: Yes, we’re very focused. What I don’t know yet, but we’ll tell you. You know, actually, we’re focused on guitars.

Warren: Guitar.

Cameron: We’ve been working all day. We started at 8AM to get this guitar tone right now, and we’re going to teach you how. You know what time it is? It’s only midnight, so we’re doing pretty good this time. Because normally, records take that many hours to get a guitar tone.

Warren: Okay, well good, I’m… [laughs] So anyway! [laughs]

Cameron: Not really!

Warren: Look, I love this amp, and I love the tone you got. And I know, for you, it’s probably simple and quick and easy, but hey, let’s break it down. First of all, tell me about this amp.

Cameron: Okay, so what we have here, it’s a Bogner Uberschall, and it runs through the Uberschall cabinet that it came with, and the reason why this is so special is because they are paired very, very well. You can take this Bogner and run it through a Marshall or something like that, and it’s a totally different amp, so the key is using both together.

Now, it’s not that fancy. It’s a pretty simple thing, but once you pick it up and you plug it in, you’ll know right away how easy it is, and how big and full of a sound it is.

So basically, what Warren and I did today, we just took a 57 and a 421, and we jammed it on the cab. I’m not going to tell you where the cab is unless they show you pictures, and then you’re going to see where they are on the cab, but oh well. And then we just turn knobs until it sounds good, and that’s how you get — you’re working the amp, because the reality is, it’s good for what you’re doing at this moment. Should we play it a little bit and show them?

So we’re going to take it off standby, because that’s how it usually works.

[guitar]

Warren: I love how balanced that is. Even from like, you know… It’s just so smooth! Like, everywhere!

Cameron: So the great part about this amp is it carries bottom end really well. It doesn’t woof out like some amps that you know that kind of woof out. It’s a very tight, kind of focused, not compressed, just even. It’s great. The only EQ is the EQs we’re using here, and that’s how I like to do guitars best. I think it’s the smartest way to do it, and you get what the guitar player is searching for, and not what some nerd — I mean, someone like me is searching for here.

So that just — it’s very simple. We’re coming up right here. Twenty and twenty-one. You look here, and they’re even almost at the same level, and they could be equal, or different. The key with this, uh…

[guitar]

So this cabinet has a — it’s different speakers, there’s two sets of speakers in this cabinet, and you’ll have to look that up on your own to find out exactly what they are, but that’s why both of these mics alone, they’re not that great, but together?

[guitar]

Too bright, too shrill…

[guitar]

That doesn’t have the life. You combine the two…

Warren: That’s great.

Cameron: Yup. Yup. We’re almost equal with both mics, and the key is, I’m going through a really good mic pre. This is a Trident 80B, and it sounds great, so it’s going to get a real full, rich sound no matter what. So you’re going to capture what’s coming out of that amp.

Warren: For the purists, 80C.

Cameron: Oh, did I say 80B? No, it’s an 80C! I apologize.

Warren: Hopefully, I just avoided about 100 comments telling me…

Cameron: 80C, 80C, 80C, 80C. Sorry. And it’s a beautiful board, I love it. It’s awesome.

Another thing we were kind of talking about too is — I’m going to get on my soap box — I like to combine and buss my guitar mics together, because I think I get a better sound than when it’s combined in the box, and I honestly think it’s better, and you can test it out yourself, but that’s why we have a console.

Warren: To me, it’s like, as a guitar player, it’s just…

[guitar]

It just… It’s a great sounding amp, and I always get a little disappointed when I enjoy the amp tone in the room, and then I pull it up on a fader, and it just seems like it’s crapping out. Something’s not quite there.

Because the low end is so controlled, and I think that to me is what’s going on, the low end doesn’t have that woofy thing that most amps do where they go, bleh. What you love the feel of when you’re standing there, you love that low end smacking you, but it doesn’t translate. Exactly! Help!

No, this is so even. It’s crazy. It sounds like a record.

Cameron: It does. It sounds like it’s on the radio.

Warren: He put this up, I came in with the guitar, and I started playing it, and I honestly thought you had done a snizzle load of EQ, and you were compressing it through three compressors… No EQ, no compression.

[guitar]

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It’s like, it’s just the amp! And the mic. Let’s go look how we’re micing.

Cameron: Alright, let’s go out there.

Warren: So Cameron, tell us about the micing!

Cameron: Well Warren, this is so interesting. This is the most interesting thing I’ve done all day long. But no, seriously, we just took some mics, you blindly just toss them that way.

No, no, no. We put some care into this. Yeah, I put them up right on the grill. I love the way they sound right on the grill. I don’t know why people pull them back, personally, but it’s your choice. I take a flashlight usually, and I look at the speaker, and I try to figure out, like we look here, if I wanted to be brighter, I’m going to go towards the middle. If I want it to be darker, I’m going to go towards the side. So yeah, I can choose with either mic, whatever you want to do, it’s kind of your choice.

Like I said, these are your different speakers, so this is probably the same as that one, and that one is that one. They’re crossed, usually.

Warren: And what are — so, where have you gone then. You’ve got them straight on the cone, you’ve got them slightly off?

Cameron: Um, to be honest, I don’t know. When I did it this morning, I would usually probably put this guy a little off the cone to maybe get a little warmth, and then this one, a little brighter, right on the cone, so it just depends on the situation.

Warren: Let’s check this out. You’ve got the 421, you’ve got the 57.

Cameron: Yes.

Warren: These are two different speakers, that’s correct?

Cameron: Correct.

Warren: So different types of speakers.

Glenn: And you don’t know what speakers they are?

Cameron: No I don’t know, but you got to research that. Glenn is going to research that.

Glenn: Okay, I can probably pull that up.

Warren: Okay, we’re going to research it.

Glenn: What’s the model of that cab?

Cameron: Whatever comes with the Uberschall head. It’s the matching cabinet. They’re also heavy. They’re the heaviest cabinet around. That thing weighs like, 6,000 pounds probably. No joke. It’s heavy. And right here, this is — what really makes the sound is this is actually blood from onstage from a guy named Roger Camera from a band called No Motive, but this used to be his head and cabinet that I ended up buying off of, because he loaned it to me for ten years, so I eventually had to buy it from him.

Warren: It’s a great sounding head. So first thing I noticed is that it’s slammed right up against the grill. It’s about as close as you can get without actually going through the grill.

Cameron: Well, if I could go through I would, but now… No, it’s just — I don’t know, I just always liked that sound, so it’s just what I always do. And you always know where it is when it’s right up on there. And if you’ve got a metal grill, you’ve got to be careful, you don’t want it vibrating. But this, it doesn’t really vibrate.

Warren: Totally. That’s fantastic. And when you were choosing this, you were saying earlier, that the 421, you might’ve put it a little bit closer to the cone, just because it’s a little brighter.

Cameron: Yeah, in general I’ll do that, and today, when we were choosing, I just put this here, put this there, and we went and listened, and we liked the way it sounded. If I said, “Hey, maybe we could make it better,” I maybe would’ve switched to the different speaker to see if it added better, but it just depends on the day really.

Warren: What surprises me, and defies logic, is they’re different speakers, and yet the phase is so good. I mean, you saw that when we were playing with phase. There’s no cancellation, it just completely supported it. So whatever they’ve done, and we’re not being sponsored by Bogner, before we get 100 comments saying we are, the reason why we’re talking about is because —

Cameron: I bought this. I had to buy this.

Warren: And we love this guitar sound, and sometimes, it’s just nice to know that it’s just that simple. You just get a good amp.

Cameron: If you have a good amp and a good cabinet, it really is that simple. And a great player, obviously. The three together.

Warren: We couldn’t find that, but we have me.

Cameron: You’re pretty damn good.

Warren: Okay, well how much do I owe you? [laughs] Marvelous. Yeah, this is a phenomenal setup.

Cameron: I think that’s good though. Wouldn’t want to bore the audience. Thanks for watching, we appreciate it! Cameron Webb, Warren Huart.

Warren: Have a marvelous — and look! Glenn Fricker behind us!

Cameron: Yeah, Glenn!

Glenn: Hey guys.

Warren: So leave a bunch of comments and questions below. I’ll try and twist Cameron’s arm to answer any, but I think it is as simple as that. It’s definitely start off with a good source. I think the 57 has definitely got that 3-5kHz lift that we kind of like. That presence lift, so you don’t — like you’re saying, this one, you’re making brighter, but this one, you don’t have to do anything at all on a 57, it’s already as bright as it needs to be.

Cameron: Correct.

Warren: And how many times in your life have you just gone with a 57 and thought, “That sounds great.”

Cameron: All the time. And a lot of times, if I only have one microphone, I’ll just grab a 57.

Glenn: Looks like while the Uber cab is GT-75s, er, excuse me, Vintage 30s and Greenbacks. That might explain it.

Cameron: Okay. Never knew that. That explains it.

Warren: Alright, have a marvelous time recording and mixing, leave a bunch of comments and questions below, and we’ll see you again soon!

Cameron: Cheers!

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Warren Huart

Warren Huart

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

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