Recording and Producing for Guitarists

May 18, 2005

“The thought on this course was to have it be a combination of certain technical issues, and then also performance issues,” says Roos. “This is a course for a guitarist who is interested in, not only doing their own recording, but also being a better recording artist, being better prepared for doing sessions with other people, or handling their own sessions involving other people, and thinking about the whole musical side of recording.”

Students are provided with AmpliTube software at no charge, which allows them to record a variety of guitar sounds directly into their computer. These plug-in effects emulate the stomp box, delay, reverb, and the parametric equalizer.

While the primary focus of this course is to help guitarists create different sounds within the recording and production processes, Roos also finds the course appropriate for producers who may not be proficient on guitar but have a skilled guitarist with whom they could collaborate. “We have to think from the view point of a producer, someone who is not just trying to get good instrumental performances recorded, but to combine aspects of sound and concept, and even to think in terms of frequency spectrum, and all of the things that go together to make a good recorded composition,” says Roos. “It’s a combination of contrasting and complimentary sounds. I really want to extend student’s sound palate, and get them to think about using different recording techniques to produce a wide variety of different sounds.”

In order to help students think outside the box and create new guitar sounds, Roos encourages experimentation of all kinds. Once students have completed their assignments, Roos gives them feedback about what is working especially well and what could be developed further. The course is all about helping students to take risks and to expand their music in new directions. “So many guitarists think, ‘I want a great tone,’” says Roos. “I want a great solo sound or something like that. And they go for this one sound, whereas really, when we start to think in terms of production, we need lots of different sounds. And one of the things that a guitar can do is to produce a huge variety of sounds. And guitarists, through this course, are encouraged to do that, to use sounds that they’d never think of using, but that might serve a really useful purpose in the mix.”

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