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Link: Excellent article about adding Sonic Varnish to your recordings:

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Comment by Doug Lauber on March 7, 2012 at 4:24pm

Yes- it always does come down to that. I'm still learning to hear all of the subtleties. It's a slow process. It's funny, I was surfing through a website that features the work of various new recording artists. I listened to an instrumental piece that was prog rock. Well, the tone of the lead guitar sounded creamy/distorted and overly compressed with hardly any dynamics, like a swarm of angry bees. This guitar tone killed the entire recording. Couldn't the guitarist hear his own guitar? I'm sure it sounded this bad during the performance. So 'hearing' the audio is half the battle. If the guitar tone sucks, try a different amp setting, stomp box setting, etc., until it sounds like you want it to sound for posterity. That reminds me- I've read many articles where the engineer stressed the idea that the drums actually SOUNDED GOOD even before recording them. At this point, I'm beginning to hear exactly how various compressor settings sound with my outboard compressor- parameters like threshold, ratio, attack and release. It's fun to loop a track and play it back, out through my compressor and back into my DAW and watch the waveform change as I twiddle knobs and record a test track. I'm able to see how the attack settings affect the beginning of each note, etc.

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