Like that old TV show, live and studio are a “Different World” (I never saw the show, it’s just an assumption). There are dangerous demons to both but they are very, VERY, VERY different animals!
Why am I talking about this? Well, if you are not already aware,I’ve been recording Kings and Liars’ first full length album. Throughout the process I ran into ALL the issues, I stress ALL the issues. Weather screwed up tuning on one guitar, cold solder joint on another, bad intonation from some string action issues.In the studio these problems are MUCH different than live on the stage.
Live your problems are attacked IMMEDIATELY or they’re avoided and you resort to “Ill figure that out later”. On stage when a guitar has something weird with intonation there’s clear choices – 1. Am I the only one who can hear this or can everyone? Maybe I’ll just go with it or 2. Swap your guitar for a backup and figure that issue out tomorrow at a truck stop.
In the studio EVERYONE can hear that slight intonation and the guitar is likely being played because it’s the BEST sounding one you’ve got. It must be fixed and it must be fixed NOW!
Typically on stage you use what’s most comfortable and what will be the best all-around for your gig. Meanwhile, in the studio that power ballad might need a hollow body instead of a BC Rich Warlock, maybe you want some overdubs with a Tele or you only play whammy bar stuff live but the guitar you solo the best on is a les Paul. It is all different and everything is allowed! I mean you can do all that live too but let’s be honest, unless you’re Joe Perry or Soundgarden touring with 26 guitars is a gigantic dick move, especially when you’re playing the local BBQ joint or the VFW.
In the studio you need to cater to the best sound. Personally I use a Marshall JVM and an Axe FX Depending on the venue, I use one or the other live or I might run them both. In the studio I‘ll go with whatever sounds best! If a Vox AC30 sounds most suited to the song that’s what I’ll use,if my Floyd rose spring reverberates through my amp I put tissues in there to mute them so I don’t have to kill my tone with a gate. I’m not going to stomp around pouting or throwing a tantrum about these changes because “this isn’t MY sound rah rah rah!!”.
I’ve got news for ya, unless you’re Eddie Van Halen or James Hetfield you don’t HAVE a “sound”,You just have “equipment you own”! The only people that bitch about that stuff are in fact, bitches, and probably insanely difficult to work with. Don’t be one of them, they’re the worst! I’m certain I did that when I was running my JCM 900 into a metal zone on my first studio adventure. Then I realized that my sound is MY HANDS and WHATEVER equipment I use it will always sound like me.