As a guitarist, I’ve spend quite some time on achieving a perfect guitar sound. Over the years, I played with different set-ups, depending on the band I was in. When recording guitar in the studio, recreating this sound always seemed to be a challenge. When I started with my first recordings, I was introduced to amp sims and I was always blown away by the amount of choice you get with these plugins. I remember a session where I’ve spend weeks on tweaking a sound in Guitar Rig 5, with multiple virtual amps, speakers and microphones, microphones angles and tweaked the EQ’s and gain settings endlessly.
The oldest trick in the book
Then I was introduced to Jordan Valeriote of Hardcore Mixing. In his videos and podcasts he always talked about he keeps his guitar recording technique simple: he put a Shure SM-57 in front of a cabinet, like countless other recording engineers have done in the past. I tried this technique and voila: best guitar sound I ever had. It didn’t need much: almost no EQ and no compression. No more amp sims for me!
Enter the Slate ML-2
Slate Digital is a company that produces plugins, interfaces and microphones. They are known for recreating famous analog hardware in the digital domain. There are things I like about Slate Digital, and things I don’t like. Let start with the likes: their plugins sounds amazing. I don’t really care if their FG-S sounds exactly like a SSL EQ but I do know it adds a very nice touch to my mixes, as all their other plugins do as well. Here’s what I don’t like about Slate Digital: they announce their products with a lot of hype and then they keep pushing back the release date of that product. So when they introduced their ML-2 microphone I was really intrigued but it actually took 15 months before I had that microphone in my hands. This microphone is able to emulate 13 microphones ranging from Shures, AKGs’, Sennheiser and much more.
Kick, snare, guitar cab
So far I used this ML-2 on quite a few sources and it works really, really well. This tiny microphone is a beast on a kickdrum or a snare, sounds beautiful on overheads and rocks on guitar cabinets. When double tracking guitar, the mic gives me a variety of options. The mic can emulate two types of a Shure SM57: a vintage and a modern one. The vintage one gives a little more bite so I use that a lot. For the doubled take, I use the emulation of a Schoeps 222. This was a mic I never heard of before and so far I haven’t even found a online store that has it. Let me tell you: combining the vintage 57 with the 222 emulation gives a great guitar sound and the best thing is that I don’t have to change the microphone in front of the amp itself!
Needles to say: I highly recommend the ML-2. The only thing that sucks about it, is that it is virtually impossible to get more. They are always sold out!
Do you have songs just waiting to be recorded? Contact me now via firstname.lastname@example.org