# Guitar recording

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It seems this is a fairly common question, and doing a search yielded this thread, but I'm not sure if it answers my questions. Basically, I've got a Marshall AVT 150W head with a 400W cab. I've also got a Boss GT-5 and in my spare time, I've been writing some tracks that I'd like to use for any games I make. I've already got a couple in mind, and I'd like to get them onto the PC. Now, I'd rather record directly from the amp, as opposed to using the pedal, for direct distortion and clean sounds, but for certain effects such as chorus, I'd rather use the pedal (even though I have that on my amp as well). The chorus sounds more meaty from my amp, which is cool, but it's not quite as flexible as from the pedal. Thing is, how can I record from either the amp or the pedal, to the PC? I doubt I'd be able to plug them directly in as I'd blow up the motherboard (I can't even turn the volume up to 1 before it blows the house apart [grin]). Also, I'd need some software to be able to lay a bass line and drums underneath, but I'd want to actually create the bass line in a program, as opposed to borrowing my mate's bass/amp and recording from there. Any suggestions? You'd think I'd know how to do this (been in a studio several times), but obviously I wasn't paying too much attention. [smile] Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Doesn't line-out from the amp work? We use a mixer, but line-out should work, too.

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I've not tried it (or anything) as of yet. I just didn't want to wire anything up to my PC first, start playing only to realise I've damaged something. However, that might work. [smile]

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Get a microphone (not a cheap PC condenser one, a standard one for vocalists or karaoke) and position it 1 to 6 inches from the amp. You will have to experiment with the amp's volume and the distance. Anyway, that should preserve your amplifier's character and allow you to record into the microphone socket of your PC. The pedal will have to go into the line-in socket I expect, and will sound somewhat different in character. My Zoom pedal works fine that way but I don't get the crisp sound that I get from micing the amp.

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Sweet, thanks! Any idea how much those sorts of microphone would set me back? I mean I've seen very large variances on prices for that type of microphone. Some from £20 and some to well over £150.

Don't suppose you could recommend one (off the top of your head)?

Thanks again. [smile]

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Kylotan is right. Its a common practice to mic the amp. In addition to that, you should double up the guitar track (record a second, duplicate track of guitar) for a fatter sound.

I recommend a Studio Projects C1 for a mic ($200). It produces great recordings (almost on par with a Neumann U87 which is considered one of the best and costs$1200+) from my experience.

Also, you will need a mixer with a pre-amp to boost the mic signal. If you're going the cheap route, get a Tascam US-122. Its a USB Analog/Digital interface that you can hook mics or other instruments to. It produces a decent sound and is cheap. I think there are some other firewire based solutions that are similar from Digidesign and MOTU. You could get an EMU 1820m if you wanted to go the more expensive route. Its got superb A/D converters.

You can also record guitar by going right into your mixer. Make sure you get a pre-amp for the guitar though so you get enough signal. That's why plugging it right into the board makes it sound so weak.

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Quote:
 Original post by lunarssYou can also record guitar by going right into your mixer. Make sure you get a pre-amp for the guitar though so you get enough signal. That's why plugging it right into the board makes it sound so weak.

Wouldn't a DI-box be sufficient for that?

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Sweet, thanks for all of the help, folks!

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Quote:
 Original post by darookieWouldn't a DI-box be sufficient for that?

Yeah. A DI box would work. All a DI does is bring the sound to mic level and attenuate it. A pre-amp adds extra juice to the line on top of that plus allows for more "color" in the sound. Go with tube models on both things if you want your sound to be nice and warm. In honesty, its usually a good idea to have both a DI and a preamp. You will get the best sound with both even though one can exist without the other. My pick for a DI is the Groove Tubes DITTO box. Its relatively cheap and sounds great.

Intrument -> DI box -> Pre-amp -> Mixer

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This might be something you would be interested in. It may not give you pristine sound, but I think its the cheapest way to do what you want to do.

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Quote:
 Original post by darookieYeah. A DI box would work. All a DI does is bring the sound to mic level and attenuate it. A pre-amp adds extra juice to the line on top of that plus allows for more "color" in the sound. Go with tube models on both things if you want your sound to be nice and warm. In honesty, its usually a good idea to have both a DI and a preamp. You will get the best sound with both even though one can exist without the other. My pick for a DI is the Groove Tubes DITTO box. Its relatively cheap and sounds great. Intrument -> DI box -> Pre-amp -> Mixer

If you had a DI box and IK Multimedia's Amplitube plugin then it would work just fine.

I would go with Kylotan's idea of the mic setup. Check out www.sweetwater.com for mic prices.

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Quote:
 Original post by lunarssI recommend a Studio Projects C1 for a mic ($200). It produces great recordings (almost on par with a Neumann U87 which is considered one of the best and costs$1200+) from my experience.

For distorted electric guitar, the standard is the Shure SM-57 - cheap, reliable, and used on thousands of recordings (as well as live). The Studio Projects will require phantom power, which is another expense to add on top of it, requiring either a phantom power box, or a preamp/mixer that can supply it.

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Yep. The Shure SM 57 (or 58) is the standard mic for recording from a guitar amp, the reason being that it will provide compression, making the intense dynamics manageable. If you use a Noymans U87 or similarly sensetive condensor mic in this situation you would get unwanted distortion on loud bits (also, you might even damage the mic). Second hand an SM 57 would be £50-85 or \$50-85 (electronic equipment costs more in UK due to taxes). If you were some kind of virtuoso guitarist and wanted to preserve a large dynamic range the most sensetive mic I would feel comfortable putting in front of a guitar amp would be an AKG 440. These are great multi purpose mics... pretty good at pretty much everything. If you were to only own a single microphone and wanted to use it to record a variety of instruments this is the mic for you, but for standard rock guitar playing you want the SM 57. The SM 57 is also useful for miking up snare drums or recording shouty-type vocals common to heavy rock/metal/punk acts.

Forget D.I. boxes except for messing around learning mixing software etc. They don't sound anywhere near as good as a real amp. The reason you need a DI-box (or alternatively an audio interface and virtual amp) is that most electronic instruments output at "line" level which is about ten times as powerful as mic level. You could indeed burn your soundcard by plugging the line out of your amp into its mic in, so dont :).

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