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Home recording guitar (Newbie)

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Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby CSMusic » Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:56 pm

Hi folks

Hope everyone is keeping well and healthy amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

Just thought I'd post here as I'm actually quite new to the home recording lark and have a couple of questions. The most burning one is:

What's the best way to record an electric guitar straight into an audio interface - more specifically - is there a way to make it sound less... naff... than just plugging it in, pressing record and going...?

I'm aware that Logic Pro (my current DAW) has some amp simulation plugins but to be honest, I've found them pretty wanting! I'm aware that there are some 'preamps' that you can buy from the likes of Audio Kitchen and Two Torpedos that can essentially fatten up your sound, as well as various other software bundles/plugins by other companies too.

I know that the 'classic' way of recording is likely to be best (Amp/Guitar => Mic => DAW/Computer), however I live in a small flat and cranking up my amp isn't really an option tbh!

My apologies if this question is a little basic/all-encompassing, as I'm not particularly tech-savvy beyond doing fairly basic recording into Logic with either my guitar DI'ed or some simple MIDI keyboard stuff.

My current set-up as it stands is an Apogee One into a mid-2012 MacBook Pro into Logic Pro.

I look forward to your responses!

Thanks
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Re: Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:09 pm

I'm just navigating this particular path myself as I've just bought a Headrush Gigboard after years of guitar>pedals>valve combo (with a mic when recording).

It depends on the sound you what but it can be done in software. High gain and clean sounds seem to be generally pretty good but dynamic, touch sensitive, on the edge of breakup and light crunch sounds are harder to achieve (I'm a blues guitarist really though I play more acoustic/gypsy jazz these days).

I'd keep experimenting with plug-ins, there will be something that gets you near. Failing that the old Tech21/Sansamp kit was pretty highly respected for analogue sounding amp tones.
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Re: Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby Moroccomoose » Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:05 pm

Hi,

There are lots of options. It does of course matter how much you want to spend.

On ebay, £30 would get you a line 6 pod which models different amps. You simply put it in you chain between guitar and interface.

Amplitube and guitar rig, both vst plugins and both have green versions which have amps, cabs and fx which you could try.

You could try layering up the amp some you already have.

One thing I would say is to get the best sounds try to 'under do' gain. The likes of AC/DC had surprisingly clean tones that pack tones of punch.

Putting a bit of room or ambience reverb on your tracks can really lift the guitar 'out of the box'

If you have an amp, it may have a direct out, you may be able to record that.

Hope that gives you some food for thought anyway.

Stu.
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Re: Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby CS70 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:54 pm

CSMusic wrote:Hi folks
I'm aware that there are some 'preamps' that you can buy from the likes of Audio Kitchen and Two Torpedos that can essentially fatten up your sound, as well as various other software bundles/plugins by other companies too.

If you have to (or can) do that, it's far better to buy a hardware emulator, they are quite excellent these days, from Kemper, AxeFx, Atomic, Line6, Headrush etc.

A hardware box is much more straightforward than fiddling with a computer and dealing with boot times, latency etc. These boxes can be played with no computer attached, and if you want to record you simply have any of their digital outputs into your interface (or analog if you must).

If you want to go the software way, then you will have to deal with all that and can be a pretty uninspiring experience.

A couple of observations on why all these can sound a little "meh": for one, lots of these devices generate a pretty "produced" sound - much like you would normally achieve at mixdown. It often sounds gorgeous when playing the guitar by itself, but to me that's always been a little disconcerting - they sound like a real amplifier would sound thru a scene monitor on stage. The other is that you're gonna play thru monitor speakers, not a guitar cab - and even with all the best cabinet IR responses, you won't have the same "air moving" feel (and the air that moves, will move at your ears and not at your feet :)).

Nevertheless, for a home situation, these boxes are a blessing and allow you to play and demo things that otherwise you couldn't - especially in these "everybody at home" times.
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Re: Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby al_diablo » Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:42 pm

Using a hardware preamp into software cab and room emulation might be a nice 'best of both worlds'

Milkman and Victory are more optikns, and they play well with pedal boards too.

Another hardware choice would be the Strymon Iridium which sells itself as 3 amps, each with 3 cabs, in a nice room. Simple controls in a format most guitarists would like. I havent played through one but it is meant to sound very nice.
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Re: Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:32 pm

CS70 wrote:A couple of observations on why all these can sound a little "meh": for one, lots of these devices generate a pretty "produced" sound - much like you would normally achieve at mixdown. It often sounds gorgeous when playing the guitar by itself, but to me that's always been a little disconcerting - they sound like a real amplifier would sound thru a scene monitor on stage.

This ^

Start with a new, empty patch and add stuff, this is what I'm doing with the Headrush, the built in patches are all too heavily processed so taking stuff out is a mission in itself, starting from scratch means I can add only what I want. Currently trying to duplicate my physical pedalboard in the HR by just adding emulations of the pedals on it and playing them through the 18 Watt combo. I'll record with a mic on the combo and direct with an amp/cab emulation so I can compare the two...... This is going to take some time......
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Re: Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby shufflebeat » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:32 pm

I'm currently right in the middle of my honeymoon period with the Mooer Radar. I'm sure it has loads of drawbacks and weaknesses but I'm still seeing the possibilities.

I'm using this on acoustic instruments with my own IRs which knocks out some of the features but when used as intended (electric guitar / amp and cab sim) other folks think it's quite handy.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=t4oR13iZbFk
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Re: Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:37 pm

We must haver a chat as I'm working on getting I custom acoustic guitar IR's into the Headrush.
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Re: Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby MOF » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:01 am

If you want to go the software way, then you will have to deal with all that and can be a pretty uninspiring experience.

How about the UAD unison versions of guitar amps/cabs, I don’t think they are uninspiring?
This doesn’t help the OP of course unless the Apogee can be replaced with an Apollo.
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Re: Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby CS70 » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:58 am

MOF wrote:
If you want to go the software way, then you will have to deal with all that and can be a pretty uninspiring experience.

How about the UAD unison versions of guitar amps/cabs, I don’t think they are uninspiring?
This doesn’t help the OP of course unless the Apogee can be replaced with an Apollo.

What I find uninspiring of using a computer is not so much the sound (beyond what I wrote above), but the procedure. A piece of hardware, you flip a switch, plug the jack in and you're set to go.

A computer must boot, you need to put down the guitar and find the mouse, click, wait for the application to start, then click again to set up the specific configuration etc. . Even worse if your application is a plug in a DAW - you have to open the DAW, set up a track, insert the plugin etc etc.

By the time I'm done, I've usually forgotten what I wanted to play in the first place. :D

As sound goes, we've been way past what anyone could recognize as "artificial" sound for years now - and in the last years also most of the feel is there, there's only a few occasional moments when the guitar doesn't respond as you're used to (and you get used to it quickly anyways, after a while the lines get blurred unless you only play physical amps every day).
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Re: Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby Kwackman » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:08 am

CS70 wrote:A computer must boot, you need to put down the guitar and find the mouse, click, wait for the application to start, then click again to set up the specific configuration etc. . Even worse if your application is a plug in a DAW - you have to open the DAW, set up a track, insert the plugin etc etc.
By the time I'm done, I've usually forgotten what I wanted to play in the first place. :D

A computer booting from as SSD is pretty quick these days.
I got a 2012 mac mini a few weeks ago, it has SSD.
I can turn it on, log in, run cubase, load a default song and arm to record in 75 seconds.
It takes me longer to tune the guitar!!
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Re: Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby CS70 » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:27 am

Kwackman wrote:
CS70 wrote:A computer must boot, you need to put down the guitar and find the mouse, click, wait for the application to start, then click again to set up the specific configuration etc. . Even worse if your application is a plug in a DAW - you have to open the DAW, set up a track, insert the plugin etc etc.
By the time I'm done, I've usually forgotten what I wanted to play in the first place. :D

A computer booting from as SSD is pretty quick these days.
I got a 2012 mac mini a few weeks ago, it has SSD.
I can turn it on, log in, run cubase, load a default song and arm to record in 75 seconds.
It takes me longer to tune the guitar!!

Oh do you always use the same guitar tone?

However, no argument, ymmv and everybody has their preferences. I've had only SSDs for the last few years bout found that mouse clicking and guitar handling don't go together with me.

I can live with it if necessary, but it's not necessary :)

I always a have a guitar attached to one or another emulator on my desk, so for me playing is about picking up the guitar and turning up the volume knob. :D
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Re: Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby Kwackman » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:32 am

CS70 wrote:Oh do you always use the same guitar tone?
No, just always the same notes! :D

I sit with the guitar, so reaching to move a mouse is as easy as reaching out to a hardware box.
But, as you say, everyone has their own way of working.
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Re: Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby shufflebeat » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:56 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:We must haver a chat as I'm working on getting I custom acoustic guitar IR's into the Headrush.

Have a nosey at this (if you haven't already) and maybe we can start another thread to discuss the process:

http://acousticir.free.fr/spip.php?article136
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Re: Home recording guitar (Newbie)

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:03 pm

:thumbup:
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