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Approach To Double Tracking, Re-amping, Recording?
Caelumamittendum
Oct 10 2020, 09:25 AM
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So while I've been recording my upcoming album I've suffered some setbacks, learned a thing or two and so on. I had 7 tracks out of 10 done more or less, but I now want to re-record some parts with new knowledge.

1. I've learned that it can be beneficial to be able to re-amp, but I wasn't recording a DI-signal, as I didn't have a DI-box. I've now bought a DI-box and had also bought a re-amp box (which I returned as it was noisy as hell, probably as it was a very cheap one). On the other hand some people say re-amping is actually not THAT ideal compared to just getting the sound right from the start. Some people say that the amp is an extension of the player and that you react differently to and thus play differently on different amps. I have been recording directly from a mic'ed up Laney IronHeart. What do you guys reckon?

2. I am of course double tracking guitars, but on the first iteration of the album, that is the 7 songs I had already recorded, I had double tracked using the exact same settings on my Laney IronHeart and only slightly tweaked EQ to get a different sound on each side. I'm wondering if it would be worth having more drastic differences on the amp before recording the second guitar track? I keep reading different suggestions.

In relation to the 2nd question above here's a track from the album:

https://soundcloud.com/benjamin-storm-linnebjerg/06-trapped-in-ice

Do you think it would benefit from having more distinct guitar sounds on either side? I think that might create a wider stereo sound/effect?

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Todd Simpson
Oct 10 2020, 10:22 AM
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I gotta say I think it's a great idea to reamp. For each track, having a clean DI is a thing of beauty. It provides tremendous flexibility in terms of guitar tone. it allows you to layer on an amp tone, over top of a plugin tone and get the best of both. one thing that is critical for this blend imho is keeping a careful eye on the E.Q. For example if you have a given rythm guitar track, let's call it LEFT GTR1. If you run it re amp to your Tube amp and run it through your fave plugin, you can end up with a LOT of low frequency information that can end up destroying the detail and definition of guitar. One handy trick is to pre treat the signal basically with a high pass filter. Trust your ears on this and try to find the sweet spot with a shelving EQ. Put a chunk of the track on a loop, and make sure the bass and drums are playing along with it as you look for the sweet spot. A common mistake some folks make is to try to e.q. in isolation. Tracks all live as parts of a whole. While it's important to solo a track to make sure it's not doing something insane, in terms of it's tone, it's crucial to find the sweet spot for the guitar track e.q. shelf which will allow the parts of the signal you want, while eliminating all of the boomy/rumble which interferes with the signal you do want.

Good lord that sounds a little complex. It's not though. Hit play with the DI going through the reamp and find the spot where you will set the eq shelf to remove unwanted flubby bass. This has to happen before the amp and on LEFT GTR2 (the plugin version of the same track). Basically find that sweet spot on the shelf to act as a high pass filter for the guitars. it will get rid of any sonic masking and re introduce clarity that can be lost when gain bunches up a the bass end of the spectrum.

The more I read this back, it still sounds complicated. Bottom line use a eq shelf to create a high pass filter for the guitar tracks before you add any distortion in the chain. That's much simpler smile.gif

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Gabriel Leopardi
Oct 10 2020, 04:29 PM
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Hi Cael! We've been talking a bit about this at the mentoring program but here are some thoughts on these specific questions.

1. It's true that we play differently if the amp settings are modified, so it's always better to have the right settings. But sometimes this is not possible and we don't find the right tone, or maybe we record over a raw mix and then, once you listen to the processed bass and drums, you notice that you would like to use different amp settings. Re-amp gives you the possibility of fixing this.. you need to think on it as a back up. It's always smoother to record with the final tone, but it's not always possible, and recording a direct line can prevent you of having to record the whole thing again.

2. If you are recording "twin" guitars, I would use different settings, just a bit of EQ difference, and nothing else. Even if you record with the exact settings, you can then do this tweak in the mix.



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Caelumamittendum
Oct 10 2020, 04:41 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Oct 10 2020, 05:29 PM) *
Hi Cael! We've been talking a bit about this at the mentoring program but here are some thoughts on these specific questions.

1. It's true that we play differently if the amp settings are modified, so it's always better to have the right settings. But sometimes this is not possible and we don't find the right tone, or maybe we record over a raw mix and then, once you listen to the processed bass and drums, you notice that you would like to use different amp settings. Re-amp gives you the possibility of fixing this.. you need to think on it as a back up. It's always smoother to record with the final tone, but it's not always possible, and recording a direct line can prevent you of having to record the whole thing again.

2. If you are recording "twin" guitars, I would use different settings, just a bit of EQ difference, and nothing else. Even if you record with the exact settings, you can then do this tweak in the mix.



Thanks, Gabriel! I will check out the video soon too, and I appreciate your reply and advice smile.gif

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 10 2020, 11:22 AM) *
I gotta say I think it's a great idea to reamp. For each track, having a clean DI is a thing of beauty. It provides tremendous flexibility in terms of guitar tone. it allows you to layer on an amp tone, over top of a plugin tone and get the best of both. one thing that is critical for this blend imho is keeping a careful eye on the E.Q. For example if you have a given rythm guitar track, let's call it LEFT GTR1. If you run it re amp to your Tube amp and run it through your fave plugin, you can end up with a LOT of low frequency information that can end up destroying the detail and definition of guitar. One handy trick is to pre treat the signal basically with a high pass filter. Trust your ears on this and try to find the sweet spot with a shelving EQ. Put a chunk of the track on a loop, and make sure the bass and drums are playing along with it as you look for the sweet spot. A common mistake some folks make is to try to e.q. in isolation. Tracks all live as parts of a whole. While it's important to solo a track to make sure it's not doing something insane, in terms of it's tone, it's crucial to find the sweet spot for the guitar track e.q. shelf which will allow the parts of the signal you want, while eliminating all of the boomy/rumble which interferes with the signal you do want.

Good lord that sounds a little complex. It's not though. Hit play with the DI going through the reamp and find the spot where you will set the eq shelf to remove unwanted flubby bass. This has to happen before the amp and on LEFT GTR2 (the plugin version of the same track). Basically find that sweet spot on the shelf to act as a high pass filter for the guitars. it will get rid of any sonic masking and re introduce clarity that can be lost when gain bunches up a the bass end of the spectrum.

The more I read this back, it still sounds complicated. Bottom line use a eq shelf to create a high pass filter for the guitar tracks before you add any distortion in the chain. That's much simpler smile.gif


Thanks, Todd! I appreciate you taking the time to reply!

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klasaine
Oct 10 2020, 05:08 PM
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Re-amping is a pretty normal technique at this point in recording history.

With double tracking, I personally think that the best way to make it 'bigger' is to use a different guitar for the double. Ideally a humbucker guitar and single coil guitar. Even with the same amp and EQ settings, two different guitars will fill up the spectrum more than the same guitar even with EQ tweaks.

Your track sounds good but listening with headphones, so much of the sonic information is hard left and right. I personally would like to hear more stuff in the center.

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Caelumamittendum
Oct 10 2020, 05:15 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Oct 10 2020, 06:08 PM) *
Re-amping is a pretty normal technique at this point in recording history.

With double tracking, I personally think that the best way to make it 'bigger' is to use a different guitar for the double. Ideally a humbucker guitar and single coil guitar. Even with the same amp and EQ settings, two different guitars will fill up the spectrum more than the same guitar even with EQ tweaks.

Your track sounds good but listening with headphones, so much of the sonic information is hard left and right. I personally would like to hear more stuff in the center.


Thanks, Ken! I might try with different guitars, though I only have 2 guitars these days, and both Prestiges, though with different pick ups.

And thanks for listening!

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klasaine
Oct 10 2020, 06:08 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Oct 10 2020, 09:15 AM) *
Thanks, Ken! I might try with different guitars, though I only have 2 guitars these days, and both Prestiges, though with different pick ups.

And thanks for listening!


Different pickups, even if they're both humbuckers will still probably work better for your purposes.
Do you have any overdrive/distortion pedals? Another good trick is to double with the amp set clean (or cleaner) and use the OD pedal for a different kind of distortion. Like if your main track is scooped, set the pedal for a more mid-range type of tone.

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Caelumamittendum
Oct 10 2020, 06:26 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Oct 10 2020, 07:08 PM) *
Different pickups, even if they're both humbuckers will still probably work better for your purposes.
Do you have any overdrive/distortion pedals? Another good trick is to double with the amp set clean (or cleaner) and use the OD pedal for a different kind of distortion. Like if your main track is scooped, set the pedal for a more mid-range type of tone.


I actually don't own any pedals at all anymore. That's why I figured it might have been better to record with a certain setting on the amp, then change the setting and record the second take. But using the 7 string and my 6 string accordingly will be worth trying - one has PAF7's the other has Tone Zone and Air Norton.

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klasaine
Oct 10 2020, 07:53 PM
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It may be wise to invest in one of the cheap Tube Screamer variants specifically for this purpose.
Instant EQ shift.

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Caelumamittendum
Oct 10 2020, 07:59 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Oct 10 2020, 08:53 PM) *
It may be wise to invest in one of the cheap Tube Screamer variants specifically for this purpose.
Instant EQ shift.


Do you have any suggestions? smile.gif

EDIT: There's a guy close to me selling a Mooer Pure Boost, but I don't know if that's considered a tube screamer. I'm honestly a bit strapped for cash at the moment, but I'll look around a bit.

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klasaine
Oct 10 2020, 08:27 PM
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The Mooer "Green Mile" is their TS pedal. And I think it's a good clone.
*Pure boost is really just a 'boost'.

Any of the clones will be fine.
Digitech "Bad Monkey"
Biyang "ODX8"
Musiwewe "Light Green Overdrive" (possibly the cheapest on your side of the Atlantic).
Joyo "JF01 Vintage OD"

In lieu of the pedal, switch guitars, bump up the mids on your amp and pull down the bass and treble.

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Todd Simpson
Oct 12 2020, 08:39 PM
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The tube screamers do a "high pass" filter type thing. It's what I was suggesting in my post, that you try using plugin EQ in software before it hits the amp/plugin. But, you can just as easily do it in hardware with a tube screamer. It's the same idea, just done with a pedal.' I may have been too confusing in my post. Reading back through it, it's way to verbose. But yeah, either way will work. If you can't buy a screamer, just use a eq plugin. to highpass the signal during reamp/before guitar plugin.

Just about any overdrive similar to the screamer would do the trick. Do you still have that TC multi pedal? It's got a overdrive built in I think? Even that would do the trick.

QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Oct 10 2020, 02:59 PM) *
Do you have any suggestions? smile.gif

EDIT: There's a guy close to me selling a Mooer Pure Boost, but I don't know if that's considered a tube screamer. I'm honestly a bit strapped for cash at the moment, but I'll look around a bit.

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Caelumamittendum
Oct 12 2020, 08:44 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 12 2020, 09:39 PM) *
The tube screamers do a "high pass" filter type thing. It's what I was suggesting in my post, that you try using an EQ in software before it hits the amp/plugin. But, you can just as easily do it in hardware with a tube screamer. It's the same idea, just done with a pedal.'

Just about any overdrive similar to the screamer would do the trick. Do you still have that TC multi pedal? It's got a overdrive built in I think? Even that would do the trick.


Unfortunately I don't have that anymore. Money was tight back in april, so that had to go.

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Todd Simpson
Oct 12 2020, 09:47 PM
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sounds like the plugin eq is still your best bet. It's sorta why I suggested it to begin with. It doesn't require a purchase. smile.gif If you are not comfy with a plugin eq you could always use a plugin version of a tube screamer. Same thing, just doesn't require an expenditure and easier to use than a parametric eq since all the eq shelving is done ahead of time in screamer plugin. Just for reference, it's typically cutting off below around 100 hz.

QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Oct 12 2020, 03:44 PM) *
Unfortunately I don't have that anymore. Money was tight back in april, so that had to go.

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Caelumamittendum
Oct 12 2020, 10:01 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 12 2020, 10:47 PM) *
sounds like the plugin eq is still your best bet. It's sorta why I suggested it to begin with. It doesn't require a purchase. smile.gif If you are not comfy with a plugin eq you could always use a plugin version of a tube screamer. Same thing, just doesn't require an expenditure and easier to use than a parametric eq since all the eq shelving is done ahead of time in screamer plugin. Just for reference, it's typically cutting off below around 100 hz.


But is it okay to use that on an already recorded rhythm track with distortion? I'm recording my amp with an SM57 mic (as well as a DI track using a DI box) I would think you would originally use the tube screamer in front of the amp, right?

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Todd Simpson
Oct 12 2020, 10:20 PM
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once you have distortion on the track, it's sorta pointless to run it through another tube screamer. That wont help. Also too late to high pass it, it's already been through the distortion. All you can do is try to use an E.Q. to make it sound better overall.

I'm talking about taking a DI track and running it to a plugin EQ or plugin screamer, then sending it out for RE AMPING to your amp and taking another clean DI and putting it through a plugin EQ or plugin screamer and sending it to your fave processing plugin. Twice for left, twice for right.

As for using a track that already has the distortion on it, it's too late to use this technique. This technique is about "tightening up" the low end by trimming off the flub before it hits the distortion. Make sense?

"re amping" a track that already has distortion on it doesn't make a much sense imho. The whole point of running it through the amp is to get the tone from the amp. If it's already been distorted, it's already undergone the main thing that is meant to happen during the reamp process. You can get some "cone tone" from micing an actual speaker with a real mic, but it's not the same thing.

QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Oct 12 2020, 05:01 PM) *
But is it okay to use that on an already recorded rhythm track with distortion? I'm recording my amp with an SM57 mic (as well as a DI track using a DI box) I would think you would originally use the tube screamer in front of the amp, right?

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Caelumamittendum
Oct 12 2020, 10:25 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 12 2020, 11:20 PM) *
Sadly no. once you have distortion on the track, it's sorta pointless to run it through another tube screamer. That wont help. Also too late to high pass it, it's already been through the distortion. All you can do is try to use an E.Q. to make it sound better overall.

I'm talking about taking a DI track and running it to a plugin EQ or plugin screamer, then sending it out for RE AMPING to your amp and taking another clean DI and putting it through a plugin EQ or plugin screamer and sending it to your fave processing plugin. Twice for left, twice for right.

As for using a track that already has the distortion on it, it's too late to use this technique. This technique is about "tightening up" the low end by trimming off the flub before it hits the distortion. Make sense?

"re amping" a track that already has distortion on it doesn't make a much sense imho. The whole point of running it through the amp is to get the tone from the amp. If it's already been distorted, it's already undergone the main thing that is meant to happen during the reamp process. You can get some "cone tone" from micing an actual speaker with a real mic, but it's not the same thing.


Arh, I see, we were just talking past each other or I misunderstood what topic we were on.

Yes, for reamping it totally makes sense, I agree. I didn't understand it the other way around with a distorted track, which is why I questioned it.

Unfortunately for the moment I sent back my re-amp box to Thomann, as it was faulty. It made a lot of noise, but the noise disappeared when holding a hand on the box and on the cables connected to it. Probably a grounding issue. I asked for the money back so I can buy a better one eventually. For now though I will just record my tracks with the DI box and a mic'ed up amp. Then I can re-amp later when I get a re-amp box again.

I thought Ken was talking about the initial recording phase and using a tube screamer there.

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Todd Simpson
Oct 12 2020, 10:35 PM
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I think we are on the same page now smile.gif You don't have to do both tracks at the same time. As a matter of fact, it's best if you don't. You should re record the rythm track. Otherwise, "doubling" isn't really doubling. If it's the same performance, the "doubling" trick won't work.

Record one rhythm track using one guitar as a DI directly to your interface/daw. You can then manipulate it at will, at any time.

next, grab your second guitar (using the two guitar method per ken) and record your actual amp. If you don't have any pedals and no reamp box, just try to get a good tone. It's that simple.

The EQ/Screamer technique can still be applied to the dry track you recorded directly to the daw. Using a plugin screamer, as the first thing in your fx chain Then put bias as the second thing. That way it's being high passed before it ever hits bias. This will tighten up the bass. It's what the screamer does in a typical signal chain..

Now then. You have two rythm tracks. One amped, one done in software. You can now blend these together in your mix. Given the gear at hand, this seems like a practical option smile.gif

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Caelumamittendum
Oct 12 2020, 10:44 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 12 2020, 11:35 PM) *
I think we are on the same page now smile.gif You don't have to do both tracks at the same time. As a matter of fact, it's best if you don't. You should re record the rythm track. Otherwise, "doubling" isn't really doubling. If it's the same performance, the "doubling" trick won't work.

Record one rhythm track using one guitar as a DI directly to your interface/daw. You can then manipulate it at will, at any time.

next, grab your second guitar (using the two guitar method per ken) and record your actual amp. If you don't have any pedals and no reamp box, just try to get a good tone. It's that simple.

The EQ/Screamer technique can still be applied to the dry track you recorded directly to the daw. Using a plugin screamer, as the first thing in your fx chain Then put bias as the second thing. That way it's being high passed before it ever hits bias. This will tighten up the bass. It's what the screamer does in a typical signal chain..

Now then. You have two rythm tracks. One amped, one done in software. You can now blend these together in your mix. Given the gear at hand, this seems like a practical option smile.gif


I was going to use my DI box (which sends the signal to my amp and also to my interface at the same time), to have a DI track as well as an Amp-track mic'ed up and send to my interface. Then do this for left and right. This gives me 2 DI-tracks (left, right) and 2 amp tracks (left, right), but with the same performance for each pair of DI+amp. If I record a DI track by itself for LEFT, then record the amp for LEFT, then do the same for the right side, I would essentially be quad tracking with 4 different performances. With the DI box I can double track, but keep the performance the same with the DI track as with the Amp track. That's what I have understood a DI box can used for according to those people I have talked to? (I.e. Step 1 and 2 here: https://www.musicradar.com/how-to/how-to-us...ecording-guitar Or here: https://www.practical-music-production.com/di-box/ )
That way I have a "safe" DI track with the original performance, which can be used to re-amp, but also have a track with initial amp settings I have chosen. I'm pretty sure it's gonna work. My DI box has a "through" output for sending to the amp, while also sending to the audio interface.

I understand the approach you are mentioning, but I would like to have an Amp track for both left and right, but perhaps with different EQ or settings on the amp. My amp just feels more "alive" than any plugins I have used, though plugins definitely have their benefits.

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Todd Simpson
Oct 12 2020, 10:57 PM
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Doubling guitars is a great trick to make things sound bigger. "Stacking" guitars I've found to be far less effective. However, your milage may vary. It certainly can't hurt to try it. You could always record two stacked guitar tracks and then decide during the mix if you want to use the stacked parts or just use the primary recordings from Guitar 1 and Guitar 2. Make sense?

I actually thought you were talking about quad tracking originally. Two left, two right and then blend them. Folks often do this and blend two harder left right, and then blend the two remaining a bit less hard left right. This can result is a very wide stereo field for guitars.

if you use the same performances layered on top of one another, it drastically minimizes the "doubling" effect. You can use it to stack a plugin track on top of an amped track, as you are mentioning, but as they are the same performance, it does very little to make the guitars sound "bigger" and can result in more phase cancellation as it's the exact same performance. So "stacking" identical performances is often less advantageous than just using two separtely recorded tracks and panning them a bit off center.

EDIT: I checked one of the links you mentioned and they do say that if you choose to combine( E.G. Stack) tracks recorded at the same time, you may need to nudge one out of time alignment. I agree with this. If you don't you can get serious cancellation issues. However, by nudging it out, you fundamentally change how the tracks sound. Give it a shot and you'll see what they are talking about.
If you choose to combine them, you may have to nudge the timing or phase invert the mic signal.

QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Oct 12 2020, 05:44 PM) *
I was going to use my DI box (which sends the signal to my amp and also to my interface at the same time), to have a DI track as well as an Amp-track mic'ed up and send to my interface. Then do this for left and right. This gives me 2 DI-tracks (left, right) and 2 amp tracks (left, right), but with the same performance for each pair of DI+amp. If I record a DI track by itself for LEFT, then record the amp for LEFT, then do the same for the right side, I would essentially be quad tracking with 4 different performances. With the DI box I can double track, but keep the performance the same with the DI track as with the Amp track. That's what I have understood a DI box can used for according to those people I have talked to? (I.e. Step 1 and 2 here: https://www.musicradar.com/how-to/how-to-us...ecording-guitar Or here: https://www.practical-music-production.com/di-box/ )
That way I have a "safe" DI track with the original performance, which can be used to re-amp, but also have a track with initial amp settings I have chosen. I'm pretty sure it's gonna work. My DI box has a "through" output for sending to the amp, while also sending to the audio interface.

I understand the approach you are mentioning, but I would like to have an Amp track for both left and right, but perhaps with different EQ or settings on the amp. My amp just feels more "alive" than any plugins I have used, though plugins definitely have their benefits.

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Oct 12 2020, 11:08 PM
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