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> Getting Tone For Recording Purposes
SirJamsalot
post May 6 2010, 01:14 AM
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I know this question is entirely subjective so I'm not going to ask "what should I get" - instead I'll ask, how did you go about finding the tone that suited you best, for recording.

Some people swear by the tried and tested method of purchasing a tube amp and mic'ing it - I've read up alot on how that is done, the diff mic positions and keeping things in-phase.

Others have gone the full digital plugin route (modeling, etc.).

As far as the amp route is concerned, amps aren't exactly the kinds of things i can just try on easily. I can read reviews, or go to guitar center, but I don't feel comfortable plugging in and cranking it up so the tubes really heat up and shine (read that in another forum smile.gif. I can't exactly purchase 10 amps just to try them out either $$.

As far as the plugin route goes, playing directly into a DAW with VSTs in the sends, requires a round-trip that will have a little latency, and plus the headphones are going to color the sound - I do have some Senheiser pros which are supposed to be fairly flat, but still.

What is your personal preference for recording (not performing live), how long did it take you to find a decent recording tone, and how many tone changes have you gone thru!

haha. lots of questions I know, sorry about that, but I'm trying to find a path for getting a tone that suits my playing style and predicament - I'll likely never play live, but I intend to record from home. If I go the amp route, I won't need a full stack - probably just a combo sized amp with 2x12's for something like metal?

Christian A.


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OzRob
post May 6 2010, 01:42 AM
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For me, the Boss GT-10. An amp isn't an option due to a number of reasons, and I've tried different plugins. I keep coming back to the GT-10. I can output directly to PA or PC and know that the sound I'm getting at home through my speakers is pretty much the sound I get through the PA. Because the GT acts like a soundcard there is nearly zero latency as all the sound processing is done onboard, outputted digitally via USB and all the PC is doing is recording it.

If I had the spare funds, I would upgrade to an Axe-Fx and do the same.

Tone changes? Only a few.


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jafomatic
post May 6 2010, 02:44 AM
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latency free monitoring via my line-6 pod studio UX2. No need for laggy VST plugins and it sounds good.


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Jeff
post May 6 2010, 03:15 AM
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POD X3 Live via S/PDIF straight to Protools. Tone is a no brainer... Marcus Lavendell patch. wink.gif
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Staffy
post May 6 2010, 07:02 AM
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I'm definitely going the amp route, at least for my own songs - Im too lazy to set it all up for doin recordings on the fly, eg. for MTP and REC stuff here at the forum. In that case I use a Vox Tonelab, which I in fact won in the WIKI-competetion last year. smile.gif Since I mostly plays blues/rock and some jazz stuff I like the real warmth in a tube amp and when its cracks up naturally. This can be simulated quite well by a lot of simulators (check my articles "Computer Amp Simulators" in the WIKI), especially for heavily distorted sounds. But in my opinion nothing really beats the real thing, so for recording my own stuff I use a Deluxe clone custom-built in Denmark with some good mics or my Marshall.

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Adrian Figallo
post May 6 2010, 07:09 AM
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i use, guitar -> Y box:

one signal going into a tube pre amp -> audio interface -> DAW -> guitar rig 4 (muted in recording)
thew other one going into any amp i like to play that day, usually small combos (that amp mic'd going to DAW too)

so i have fun playing the real deal and at the end i got two signals, the dry line signal, and the mic signal.

90% of the time i end up using the line signal, cause 90% of the time i think in the mix, that the amp tone is not ideal, or i wanna change this or that smile.gif


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Artemus
post May 6 2010, 01:13 PM
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I haven't found latency to be much of an issue over the past few years, technology and computer processing power has improved any lag to negligible amounts. Even with my meager set up I rarely suffer from latency issues, only rearing its ugly head when I try playing 50+ different VSTs simultaneously.
Since I haven't had an amp for about 4/5 years, I've recorded (and also performed) everything with a GT-8 ME processor and/or VST modelling. Lately I've been using VSTs alone since the GT-8 can sound a little too processed at times. I've been quite impressed with Waves GTR 3 and the IK Multimedia Amplitude series


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Berglmir
post May 6 2010, 04:14 PM
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QUOTE (Artemus @ May 6 2010, 02:13 PM) *
I haven't found latency to be much of an issue over the past few years, technology and computer processing power has improved any lag to negligible amounts. Even with my meager set up I rarely suffer from latency issues, only rearing its ugly head when I try playing 50+ different VSTs simultaneously.
Since I haven't had an amp for about 4/5 years, I've recorded (and also performed) everything with a GT-8 ME processor and/or VST modelling. Lately I've been using VSTs alone since the GT-8 can sound a little too processed at times. I've been quite impressed with Waves GTR 3 and the IK Multimedia Amplitude series


+1

I´m using a good firewire soundinterface (removed the soundcard of my PC) i.e. Focusrite Saffire LE, Cubase and VST´s.
I deleted GR3 and GR4 from my HD because I´m so impressed and happy with the quality and diversity of sounds/tones I get out of Amplitube 3. BBE and Nomad Factory offer some great VST´s as well, which I´m checking out atm.

I´m doing this because of the following reasons:
-) I don´t have a studio or a place where I could properly set up amp mic´ing
-) I prefer tweaking with VST´s, DAW´s to recording a NEW take with different amp settings
-) Small Full state amps may sound quite good for practicing but you would need a complete re-setup when performing with a "stage-ready" amp"
-) Amps take up space and gather dust wink.gif

Just my 2 Cents
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MickeM
post May 6 2010, 04:24 PM
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I use a POD X3 Live at home. Digital thingys like this one sound so good these days I don't see a reason miking a roaring amp.

With the band I'm using an amp miked with one Shure SM57. Sounds a little bit more true to my ears but I think that's just an effect of knowing what's a tube amp and what's digital. If I didn't know what's what I could easily fool myself I'm sure.


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Todd Simpson
post May 6 2010, 05:11 PM
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Great question! The "Modeling vs Micing" debate is eternal and there isn't one true answer so what I've been doing is running my signal directly in to my DAW (Apple Logic) through my Tascam Fire One (clean no fx) and recording a mic'd amp (Gnx3 with condesor mic) on a separate channel.

That way, I get a clean tone that I can use plugins on for modeling (I use Amplitude Metal) and I get the baked in tone from the GNX3 and my amp (Actually a Bass amp with 15 inch driver, as I play a 7 string guitar). I sometimes mix and match them in the final mix. Allows for great flexibility!

But it also assumes you have a recording interface with 2 inputs and a DAW that records two tracks at once, and modeling plugins as well as hardware.

Todd


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SirJamsalot
post May 6 2010, 05:33 PM
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Thanks for the replies. You took me by surprise - I was expecting "mic'd tube amp all the way" cool.gif but I guess I'm dating myself here and need to just jump in and see what I can do with it.

I'm currently running my guitar into a BOSS ME-70 -> Presonus Firstudio Mobile -> Cubase 5sx.

I've tried going straight into the FSM and using this tutorial here http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showt...d.php?t=1131250, but I'm just never satisfied with the tones I'm getting for rythm. Perhaps I just haven't picked the right VSTs yet.

I'll post some samples of the tones I'm getting later. Are you guys double tracking (left & right channel -> recording riff 2x, once for each channel?) when tweaking your tone?

Cheers,
Chris


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Saoirse O'Shea
post May 6 2010, 05:48 PM
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To a great extent digital modeling for recording has improved drastically over the last few years to a point where it is possible to make good quality home and prosumer recordings with it. To some extent whether it works for you or not depends on what you need and want, what your expectations are and the quality of your recording and monitoring chain.

Most people with home studios have to rely on digital and 'itb' recording (in the box - doing everything in the computer) and for that purpose than modeling is almost certainly fine. However, if you have access to pro mixing and recording facilities using analogue preamps, high quality mics and high quality ADC etc then you may well start to hear definite differences between a modeled amp and a tube amp. I can certainly hear quite clear differences at the mastering stage using a high quality monitoring chain and for me a well recorded tube amp wins out. Whether or not you feel that the price justifies the end though is subjective.


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Daniel Realpe
post May 6 2010, 06:04 PM
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QUOTE (Adrian Figallo @ May 6 2010, 07:09 AM) *
i use, guitar -> Y box:

one signal going into a tube pre amp -> audio interface -> DAW -> guitar rig 4 (muted in recording)
thew other one going into any amp i like to play that day, usually small combos (that amp mic'd going to DAW too)

so i have fun playing the real deal and at the end i got two signals, the dry line signal, and the mic signal.

90% of the time i end up using the line signal, cause 90% of the time i think in the mix, that the amp tone is not ideal, or i wanna change this or that smile.gif

yeah, that's my perspective as well,

I used to record with an amp but you only get one tone, and that's it

with emulation you can tweak an re-tweak which is important to me


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Bogdan Radovic
post May 6 2010, 06:08 PM
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When recording in studio. I go with two signals.

1. My bass amp mic'ed with one or two microphones.
2. Bass guitar straight to DI Box straight to mixer console.

1. Signal gives me color of the sound.
2. Signal gives me definition and cuts through the mix well

Generally I know which bass sound I like so I try to dial in that tone on every amp I use live and in studio. Of course then I try to modify that tone so it sounds good through the recording console too.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 6 2010, 08:43 PM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ May 6 2010, 02:14 AM) *
What is your personal preference for recording (not performing live), how long did it take you to find a decent recording tone, and how many tone changes have you gone thru!


It's a constant process of experimenting and finding the right tone with right kind of gear. Every software has it's own tone, every hardware has it's own tone. Depending on the job you need to do you choose the appropriate hardware or software smile.gif
I've gone through countless tone changes, and have found the tone I like, it's now just a matter of polishing that tone, it takes a while wink.gif


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AdamB
post May 7 2010, 09:36 AM
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I use a seymour duncan tube preamp into a line6 UX2 with pod farm 2. It's great, the tube preamp gives all the dynamic response that makes playing 'feel' right, and then I can use the pod farm to get whatever amp/reverbs etc. I want for monitoring. Plus, I can just record the dry signal only, and then re-amp the signal with the pod farm plugin, so I can modify the sound after recording as much as I like (except for the tube preamp settings, those are analog and so just get recorded into the signal).

I'd definantly recommend the UX2 with pod farm for starting out. It fits into something like repear really easily. Though I have to say without the tube preamp I am not keen on using it for monitoring, it kinda feels plasticy without it somehow. The sound is right, just it doesn't seem to respond to picking the same way that an amp does and so it messes with my ability to judge how hard/soft to hit the strings and such, which makes getting a good recording difficult for me. But you can pick up a decent tube preamp for ~100 of our Great British pounds, so it's not overly expensive.

I think it would sound better with a real amp, but to be honest it gets reasonably good and I couldn't record with an amp anyhow because of the noise it would cause for my neighbours. I've only done one little track with it so far which I put in the members uploads section if you want to check out the sound. All guitars were done in the way I just described.

I think I've only scraped the surface of what you can do with pod farm too, so there's plenty of other sounds out there for this gear combo I think.

-Adam
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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 10 2010, 03:13 AM
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QUOTE (AdamB @ May 7 2010, 10:36 AM) *
I use a seymour duncan tube preamp into a line6 UX2 with pod farm 2. It's great, the tube preamp gives all the dynamic response that makes playing 'feel' right, and then I can use the pod farm to get whatever amp/reverbs etc. I want for monitoring. Plus, I can just record the dry signal only, and then re-amp the signal with the pod farm plugin, so I can modify the sound after recording as much as I like (except for the tube preamp settings, those are analog and so just get recorded into the signal).

I'd definantly recommend the UX2 with pod farm for starting out. It fits into something like repear really easily. Though I have to say without the tube preamp I am not keen on using it for monitoring, it kinda feels plasticy without it somehow. The sound is right, just it doesn't seem to respond to picking the same way that an amp does and so it messes with my ability to judge how hard/soft to hit the strings and such, which makes getting a good recording difficult for me. But you can pick up a decent tube preamp for ~100 of our Great British pounds, so it's not overly expensive.

I think it would sound better with a real amp, but to be honest it gets reasonably good and I couldn't record with an amp anyhow because of the noise it would cause for my neighbours. I've only done one little track with it so far which I put in the members uploads section if you want to check out the sound. All guitars were done in the way I just described.

I think I've only scraped the surface of what you can do with pod farm too, so there's plenty of other sounds out there for this gear combo I think.

-Adam


I second that - I used UX1 for quite some time for GMC lessons and always managed to find a nice tone. For the budget - it's the best, no doubt about it. Tweed + tubescreamer will create very decent dynamics on the crunchy settings.


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SirJamsalot
post May 10 2010, 06:37 AM
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Well on retrospect, I should have invested in a POD farm and UX1 I guess, but because I thought I would at some point need to hook up to a modest combo amp and wanted to have some "take with me effects, etc", I opted for the ME-70. I'm using the Presonus Firestudio Mobile Firewire interface which seems to to do good job.

I've been playing with Guitar Rig 4 a little, which is kind of fun to goof around with - also using some free plugins to experiment with. I'm finding that the sound I get from these plugins isn't altogether different from what I can from my ME-70. I'm finding that I can't really determine what a good tone is without first double tracking then panning each track left and right in Cubase. At that point, the sound is full and the distortion I'm looking for really comes out only after I've tracked them this way. Makes getting tone a challenge since it requires tracking it first.

I'll see about POD Farm. Not sure what I'll be investing in next - either Guitar Rig 4 or maybe POD Farm, but my interface is already set-up - FSM.

Thanks,
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AdamB
post May 10 2010, 10:12 AM
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Yea that's true, I would like something I can use live. I have a 2 tier pedal board which is mostly empty, and I have hte foot controller for pod farm, so I did think about how feasable it'd be to buy a laptop and use that for podfarm live. Then I could have my entire rig (including a power amp possibly) on my pedalboard.

Thing is, not sure how a laptop would survive in that kinda situation. I guess if it had an SSD then it'd be OK with the vibration, but perhaps a bit expensive. Not sure if it'd overheat concealed under the top tier of the pedal board either, I think it'd be OK but I can't be sure.

Plus it might get nicked :/
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thefireball
post May 27 2010, 02:58 PM
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QUOTE (OzRob @ May 5 2010, 07:42 PM) *
For me, the Boss GT-10. An amp isn't an option due to a number of reasons, and I've tried different plugins. I keep coming back to the GT-10. I can output directly to PA or PC and know that the sound I'm getting at home through my speakers is pretty much the sound I get through the PA. Because the GT acts like a soundcard there is nearly zero latency as all the sound processing is done onboard, outputted digitally via USB and all the PC is doing is recording it.

If I had the spare funds, I would upgrade to an Axe-Fx and do the same.

Tone changes? Only a few.


So I don't need an interface? I can just hook up to the computer's mic jack straight from the GT-10?


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