I have a focusrite 18i10 and i feel the guitars can get easily to clip but i keep the tracks to low they seem weak... i know i should not worry because the extra 5+ db can be added in mastering phase, but i'm basically wondering if cutting low and highs, analogically with hardware BEFORE could benefit while recording?

my guitars goes either straight to focusrite sometimes from a DI box or mics (shure57)... i don't have a separate mic preamp because i was told focusrite preamp are good, but it doesn't have an EQ section

  • No. You should always record with enough headroom to prevent any and all possible clipping, and then add gain, eq, compression, and other effects afterwords during mixing.
    – Linuxios
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 16:18

3 Answers 3


No it will not benefit. I don't understand why you would think the guitars sound "weak" if they are not clipping, but that is what mixing is for.

Do they sound weak on the live monitor? Then turn up the live monitor. Do they sound weak once recorded in the mix?...well then MIX them. EQ, compress, and control the levels during the mixing process.

Trying to get more "loudness" by eqing or compress right at the initial recording is simply wrong.

Record at proper levels with out clipping without Eqing. Then EQ during the mixing process. This is the proper way.


As with all recording processes live by the rule "if it sounds good it is". I personally prefer to use gentle EQ and compression on the way in as a choice for the overall sonic quality of the track. Though if it sounds weak...I'd crank up whatever your listening to it on. If you're going straight into digital then the preamp doesn't have the colour of analoge equipment and so tracking at lower volumes to maximise head room is the way to go (barely hitting the yellows)


I don't think that EQing before recording is bad, it does beat the purpose of the digital recording flexibility but even changing a microphone is -in a way- EQing.

If you have an EQ and an EQ setting that does justice to the guitar sound i don't find anything weird or bad about EQing before the recording stage!

The thing i would address though is the actual sound and the way it's recorded that makes you think is "thin"

Most people nowadays think , record and mix later i believe that the sound/signal recorded in to any medium (DAW for instance) must be very healthy and promissing otherwise you'll just end up circling around the same bad initial sound.

So one or two things that can make a guitar sound thin

1.If you are using double mic setup always care about phase! 2.Try going towards the ring of the amp speaker to get more body 3.Use microphones with larger diaphragms dynamic or condenser.

Mixing and recording is a series of decisions afterall , so i don't find anything bad about EQing before you go in your DAW but i feel that your problem lies elsewhere.

You might want to go deeper in guitar recording techniques and different microphone setups , also ribbon mics tend to capture the tight bottom end of the guitar amp.

Good luck.

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