June 25, 2013

Recording Electric Guitar

While on the subject of electric guitars, we should probably discuss how the sound is translated from something organic into something electric.  The technology that allows this to happen is analogous to the technology that allows a record to be heard through the use of a small needle.  It is also similar to the way a CD drive’s laser reads a CD, or how a tape recorder can read magnetic signals.  There is a form of communication that happens between two devices – and during that transition, the sound needs to be transmitted without the noise and interference of outside sources.

A guitar with a single pickup will be much noisier than a guitar with two pickups.  That sound is picked up from the fingers when they slide across the frets of a guitar.  A bad needle will perform in a similar manner.  It will pick up the pops and hisses of a record and will have a hard time staying in its groove when bumped around by the hand.  In the case of the guitar – it pays to use multiple frets to eliminate some of this noise, and even a change of pickup type can help get rid of the unwanted artifacts in any guitar recording.