Another eureka moment by doing the opposite of what I felt was the right thing.
I was recording a demo of a tune using programmed drums with soft synth plugs as bass and synth parts with a bunch of guitar parts layered.
There’s a main chorus lead that I really like, but I couldn’t get the tone I wanted. I was using my Mesa Mark V.
All along I was pushing the gain and found that drastically cutting the gain was what I actually needed to do.
I decided to ditch the channel 3 Mark IV mode and went to channel 2 on the crunch setting (AC-30 esque) with a slightly mid-gain setting. I did add my Analog.man King of Tone pedal, but only added the boost side.
It was much clearer and was the tone I wanted.
I also found that recording the leads dry and adding effects later improved my timing.
That took me out of my comfort zone as I react to what I’m playing/feeling and without the effects, I feel like I’m missing half of the equation.
It went fine even though it is difficult to imagine the sounds I’ll be getting later. Dry tracking does afford you more control (and punch-ins are easier and more manageable *if needed).
When you’re not getting what you want; step back and consider doing the opposite of what you think is correct. It’s possibly you won’t get what you want, but it’s also possible that you’ll discover something new and different (if not exactly what you wanted to begin with).
Try another guitar, amp, mic, mic placement, turn the volume or tone knobs. <- all easy stuff.