During my time in LA I had the pleasure of visiting my friend and producer for Diane Warren, Peter Stengaard. Peter was nice to show me his methods when recording guitar himself and we also had long talks about his expectations when receiving tracks from an external guitar player such as myself. I also had the pleasure of meeting Diane Warren in person.
Visiting guitar-recording plant www.bay7studios.com was an undivided pleasure and inspiration. A studio, 100% dedicated to recording guitar, with a list of clients and a track record that will make your head turn. Recording engineer and producer, Mike Plotnikoff, and his wizard of a tech, Marc Van Gool, are generally booked in Bay7Studios, six months into the future - and for a reason. Check them out!
I also had the opportunity to meet up with guitar legend, Michael Thompson, in his home studio. If you know your LA pop-records from the 80's, 90's and up until now, introduction is needless. michaelthompson.cc
Michael was kind enough to spend a couple of hours with me (thanx for the introduction, Jes selaneguitar.com)
It is very hard to mention a pedal, an amp-type or a guitar recording gadget that isn't in Michael's studio, and it is obvious that his controlled, fantastic arsenal of sounds don't come from luck - but hard work, trial and error. Unlike Bay7 where nearly everything is based on recording amp cabinets (loud), Michael is also very successful with various direct recording methods.
So - I hoped there was only one way of getting a good guitar sound in a recording situation, - but unfortunately this is NOT the case ;-)
Vintage guitars are nice and can sound fantastic, but I have a passion for hand-built guitars, tailored for my specifications that not only sound good, but also just work perfectly on every single gig. That said - the next sentence simply MUST include the name "John Suhr". I already have one Suhr, guitar and in May 2011, the next is ready (can't wait). Having tried about 12-15 Suhr guitars over the past few years I have no doubt, that John goes the extra mile to ensure a super-high quality of every instrument that leaves the factory.
John was kind enough to let me visit his facilities and give me the grand tour, and I must say that though I have never questioned the quality of Suhr guitars, I was still overwhelmed by his dedication to every single detail. All of the work is done by specialists that appear to be doing just what they love to do. And this shows in the instruments.
Needless to say that I highly recommend John Suhr and his team's work.