If you’re a regular reader of Guitar Noize you may have seen Brian Tarquin’s guest posts on guitar recording techniques, if not check out the Brian Tarquin category here – http://www.guitarnoize.com/category/brian-tarquin/. Here is a quick overview of why Brian is such a great source of recording knowledge:
Brian Tarquin is a Multi Emmy Award winning composer/guitarist and owner of Jungle Room Studios. Some of his accomplishments include, writing the theme music for MTV’s Road Rules, as well as producing music for many other TV shows such as CSI, ABC’s Making The Band, Extra, Alias and the Keanu Reeves film, The Watcher. In 2006, Tarquin opened his own boutique record label called BHP MUSIC, specializing in instrumental guitar music. Brian is also a featured music writer and has been published in magazines such as EQ, Guitar Player, Premier Guitar & Recording.
Recording Techniques of the Guitar Masters is a cool book that is divided up into 5 chapters, the first ‘Guitar Recording Then and Now‘ is a series of interviews with some legendary producers and engineers from the 60′s recordings by Shel Talmy to Barry Conley who has recorded the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Zakk Wylde. These interviews cover every detail from the amps and speakers to the microphones and mic preamps were used to which consoles were used.
Chapter 2 is called ‘From the Horse’s Mouth: Gunslinger‘ and contains interviews with guitarists such as Joe Satriani who talks about the recording of ‘Engines of Creation’, his electronica inspired album, which effects pedals were used etc. Brian also interviewed Steve Vai about the track ‘Freak Show Excess’ from the album ‘Real Illusions: Reflections’ and Steve talks about the guitar, amp, mics and outboard gear used. Other interviews include legendary guitar players Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Morse, Robin Trower, Andy Timmons and Larry Carlton. One of the interviews that struck a chord if you pardon the pun was with Aussie guitarist James Ryan as I recently saw him play with Greg Koch at the Fender Road Show in Sydney and was impressed with his playing and tones.
Chapter 3 is called ‘Recording Gear‘ where Brian Tarquin draws on his extensive recording experience to discuss Compressors, Microphone Preamps and his favourite recording amps. Also covered is how to build a guitar recording room which goes into great detail covering topics that you might not consider such as how to get clean electricity to eliminate noise, how to treat the walls and doors and how to build a ceiling baffle.
Chapter 4 is called ‘In the Mix with Great Dynamics, Mic Pres, and Effects Processors‘ and the title says it all, Brian talks about all of his favourite rack effects, stomp boxes, EQ units and even pickups. The chapter concludes with some tips and tricks from the pros.
The final Chapter ‘Microphones for Tones‘ covers the microphones that have been famously used throughout recording history on guitar cabs all over the world, from the humble Shure SM57 to the Royer R-101 Brian discusses particular Dynamic, Condenser and Ribbon Mics and how they can be used and will affect your tone.
At the back of the book are a number of appendixes which list performance rights organisations, recommended bookswebsites for and even a top 10 guitar websites list which I was honoured to find Guitar Noize sitting at number 3, Thank you Brian!
Recording Techniques of the Guitar Masters is a great book because rather than being a straight tutorial book it takes techniques and gear recommendations from professionals who often have totally different opinions which just goes to show there is no set in stone way to record guitars and they have all achieved success with various combinations of mics and mic pres etc. One word of warning though you may have a sudden urge to spend large sums of money on some of the cool gear discussed in this book in the quest for the perfect recorded tone!