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Guitar Recording Software and Recording Guitar Tips

Guitar recording software comes in different shapes and sizes.  Let's look at some of the best software on the market for recording guitar.

I have also included some tips on recording acoustic guitar, electric guitar and bass guitar.

Cakewalk has excellent recording software for PC.  Take a look at Guitar Tracks Pro.  It has a virtual amp and also the option of a virtual backing band.  Easy to use mixing console and a ton of affects. 

Garageband is excellent for tinkering and practicing your guitar recording techniques.  It also comes installed on most Macs when you buy them. 

The next step up however, is Logic Pro X.  Logic is professional guitar recording software for the Mac.  It's similar to Garageband, so there isn't a whole new learning curve.


recording acoustic guitar

1.  I have the most success recording my acoustic guitar when I place the mic near the neck of my guitar.  This way I avoid the boominess of the sound hole and capture the essence of how the guitar sounds live.  Experiment with various placements and distances around the neck.

recording acoustic guitar tips

2.  I always double track my guitar takes and pan them in stereo.  This always creates a richness when mixing. 

3.  Check your tuning before every take.  It's easy for a string to go slightly flat.  If you don't have an intellitouch tuner or the like to clip to the guitar, visit my tuning page.

4.  I use a Focusrite Trakmaster which is a channel strip combining a preamp, an optical compressor and a 3-band EQ.

For micing an acoustic guitar I use the following settings:


    COMPRESSION st about 9 o'clock
    TIGHT switch engaged
    PUNCH switch engaged
    RELEASE at about 3 o'clock
    TUBE SOUND as desired
    MAKEUP at the 10 position


I leave the EQ and GAIN at zero, but I add a tiny bit of presence to add a little crispness. 

If you have a nice sounding acoustic, a decent mic and good mic placement, you shouldn't have to add a lot of EQ.

In addition, most guitar recording software has appropriate EQ presets for each instrument.


recording electric guitar

1.  You can record electric guitar direct or you can mic an amp as in the photo (above).

It really depends on what your going for.  Sometimes you want the balls of an amp yet other times you need a more processed sound for production purposes.  I'll describe both below.

recording guitar

a.  When I record direct I run my guitar first through a POD (above) which has all kinds of excellent simulated amp sounds.  From there I run it through the Focusrite Trakmaster (above) channel strip with the following settings:


    COMPRESSION st about 12 o'clock
    TIGHT switch engaged
    PUNCH switch engaged
    RELEASE at about 3 o'clock
    TUBE SOUND as desired
    MAKEUP at the 10 position


IF MUDDY I use the bass control to reduce some of the lower frequencies.

If FLAT I increase the presence control

If HARSH I reduce the presence and/or treble control. I might add a little bass.

Also, try using EQ presets on your guitar recording software or hard drive.

recording electric guitar tips

b.  When I record with an amp I use an SM57 mic and I find the sweet spot on the woofer.  Experiment with mic placement until you're getting the tone you're looking for.  From there I run the mic into the Focusrite Trakmaster and I use the same settings as above.

2.  Always tune before every track.

3.  Always double track to create a stereo effect.  In addition, you can add a third track to create a "lo-fi" guitar sound by cutting the bass and treble and boosting the presence control.  Very cool stuff!  You'll be happy you have it when mixing!

4.  On your recording device try using EQ presets for electric guitar.


recording bass guitar

For a home studio, I would recommend always recording bass guitar direct.  Again, I go into my Focusrite Trakmaster with these settings:


    COMPRESSION st about 12 o'clock
    TIGHT switch engaged
    PUNCH switch engaged
    RELEASE at about 3 o'clock
    TUBE SOUND as desired
    MAKEUP at the 10 position   

A nice clean bass sound should avoid having to use a lot of EQ from the channel strip.  On your recording device however, try using EQ presets for bass to begin with.

*If you use my recommended guitar recording software and experiment with these recording tips, you will create professional sounding productions.

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