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The best practice amp for recording and why miking amp is best for tone?

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Re: The best practice amp for recording and why miking amp is best for tone?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:40 pm

I'd say it's a fair bet that those J-Pop records had the guitars recorded using plug-ins.
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Re: The best practice amp for recording and why miking amp is best for tone?

Postby Kinh » Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:00 am

CS70 wrote:
Kinh wrote:
CS70 wrote:
Still, the OP has the eleven rack which even if older, still blows most of plugins and middle-level emulations out of the water, due to the physical input impedance change for different amps.. I doubt that the pathfinder or anything short of a Kemper or an Atomic or Axe FX etc could be "better". But all these (including the THR) are absolutely workable to take a sound on tape.

I know of many a well known record of the period where the guitars were made with the POD 2.0...
The eleven rack I have sounds great through a headphone and speakers but record and play back, for some reason it loses some of it's bite.

Level! That’s the only difference. When you record, you hear the sound via direct monitoring and the rig output level etc determines the gain in (actually attenuation but it’s irrelevant). When you playback, it’s your master fader which does (assuming you haven’t changed anything else). Most likely your system is not calibrated so that the 11r max rig level matches your playback 0dbFS (or whatever relationship you like and you can consistently reproduce). Jack the guitar track volume up and the bite will be back.

If you use the digital ins, the PCM stream is what it is and any other effect is psychological (it’s not uncommon to love a tone when you play but have to work on it in a mix).

An alternative, if you’re using the analogue ins of your interface, it might be that the additional AD conversion step (with respect to the direct monitoring) robs the signal of something... but with anything past 1995 it really shouldn’t, unless your gain is totally whacked off. You _never_ go anywhere the yellow/red on the meters when recording, right?

My equipment is SG + strat with 69 pick ups. I do mostly Jpop style music so the guitar in most cases isn't driving the track, it's more in the background but sometimes I need the guitars to sound like a band so I struggle with that natural acoustics type sound which emulators can't seem to reproduce. This is the reason I've been looking into amping as it would give me more options in terms of mic placement which eleven and GR dont.
But I'm gathering by these replies the the actual tone of the mic will be pretty much the same, if not worse than what I already have?

Good modelers generate sound based on top notch amps in good state, miked with great mics in great rooms by people of good experience.. to replicate that sound you probably need all of these, so it’s hard to do. Doable for sure, but if you use a cheap mic in a bad room, it’s unlikely you will get anything better (but certainly something different).

What modelers may struggle to do is to mimic the interaction with the specific guitar and the response to player actions, rather than the sound itself. That’s because most modelers see in input a data stream generated by the same input electronics + converters, regardless of the guitar; and the details of modeling may not be as complete as to replicate the exact behaviour of the real amp. So it’s the playing feel that occasionally suffer, with you doing something on the guitar and expecting a certain response and that not happening.

If it’s simply a matter of sound, a good modern emulator will sound pretty much as it should.
The Eleven rack's volume is set to 5, the interface gains are a bit lower than 5, my SG gain is about 7. This is done so it doesn't peak on the meters beyond 7, otherwise it does. Also the SG is max output pickups, sometimes I even have it at 5, otherwise it just border on white noise.
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Re: The best practice amp for recording and why miking amp is best for tone?

Postby CS70 » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:27 am

Kinh wrote:The Eleven rack's volume is set to 5, the interface gains are a bit lower than 5, my SG gain is about 7. This is done so it doesn't peak on the meters beyond 7, otherwise it does. Also the SG is max output pickups, sometimes I even have it at 5, otherwise it just border on white noise.

A couple tips.

The guitar volume can be whatever you like to get the tone you want, and so the amp outputs; but you need to turn down the rig volume so that the guitar level ends up around -18dBFS on the DAW. If the guitar is distorted/saturated it will be quite compressed so you won't have big peaks, but if it's not then peaks shouldn't go over -12dBFS or whereabouts.

That sets the right gain for the guitar signal coming in. It will likely sound low volume. So you need to turn up your playback volume so that it sounds as loud as you like.

Don't mind if the waveform appears very small, it's perfectly correct (you can zoom in if you want). If the rest of the tracks are overcooked and sound too loud, you will need to gain them down or re-record them with similar average level. No individual tracks should average more than -18dbFS.

How much turn up? Now what you want to do is to turn it up so that, leaving all the faders including the master at zero ("unity gain"), the playback volume is (more or less) the same as you hear when you record (i.e. the direct monitoring). Play something on the guitar, stop, play your line and adjust the volume knob on the interface so that they have about the same level.

That will prevent you from being tricked by differences in level which make you think things are less "bitey" when you play back. Anything lower volume has always less bite.
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