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Old 14th July 2008 , 08:33 PM
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Default Recording Electric Guitar using a DI box?

Hey,

Im pretty sure this is a dumb question but im curious.

is it possible to plug a guitar amp head straight into a Di box and then into a DAW. Im having issues with noise in my home studio and need to look at ways to record without making so much noise, ive tried amp modelling but im not convinced by it.

Any help is greatly apreciated.

Thanks
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Old 14th July 2008 , 09:01 PM
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The cheapest and easier way to record guitar into a DAW is to buy an audio interface. A DI is typically used in combination with a guitar for playing into a mixing console, but I'm not exactly sure how this affects computer recording.
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Old 15th July 2008 , 04:47 PM
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Thanks for your reply krykos!!.

I have a digidesign 003 rack so what i was hoping to do was to go from the amp head via the line out into a Di box and then from there into the line in on my 003 rack. Because as i understand it aint safe to go straight from my amp head to the rack.

Thanks again!!
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Old 16th July 2008 , 01:25 AM
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Right well theres several problems with this depending on what amp your using, first problem is usually the amp. i have both a randall rh100 and a engl e530preamp/marshall el34 100/100 and have tried using direct outs on both. the main problem with this is in the case of the randall the preamp sounds crap as its solid state and the same goes for the engl, this is pretty much due to the fact that what you hear is a combination of the preamp poweramp and whatever speakers your using. The only amp ive ever felt was any good from its direct out is a mesa mark IV (theres no surprise there considering how much one of those will set you back).

So the question you need to answer really is how do you get "your sound" are you using a valve amp or soild state. If your using solid state then technically no matter how hard you drive the amp the characteristics should stay the same and so recording a low volumes shouldnt be too much of a problem your just going to have to try and isolate the amp off and crank your pres to compensate.
If your using a valve amp then most of your sound is going to be there due to the fact your driving those power valves. The only real solution to this is either:

a) get something like guitar rig and take a straight DI and run that through guitar rig so you have a close sound in order to record and then use something like the radial reamping kit and reamp your recordings when and if you can.

b) buy a power attenuator, marshall do the power brake which is pretty good but theyre cheap and cheerful and can cause problems (plus they only work on marshall stuff) or you can get the THD hotplates which do the same job as the powerbrake but they give you a few more options. the first is that your attenuating the volume whilst cranking the valves so you still get all that warmth and balls but at a lower volume and by doing this you still add the speaker characteristics to the sound. second unlike the marshall the amp sees the hotplate as a cabinet so you can use this as a direct out for silent recording much like the system built into mesas so your still getting that poweramp valve sound but recording effectively silently. The THDs are about 300 or so tho.

Radial reamping kit can be found on Digital village site as can guitar rig, not sure if these guys stock THD tho.

Edit: by direct outs i dont mean speaker outputs i mean dedicated outputs for recording. just so you dont go blowing your head
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Old 16th July 2008 , 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krykos View Post
The cheapest and easier way to record guitar into a DAW is to buy an audio interface. A DI is typically used in combination with a guitar for playing into a mixing console, but I'm not exactly sure how this affects computer recording.

All the DI does is match the impedance of the guitar with the line in on the mix console and would work the same on an interface. loads of intefaces now have universal jacks (ie ones with XLR and balanced jack inputs) and at least one of these inputs will have some sort of switch labelled Hi-Z or Hi Impedance, with this switched in you can just plug your guitar or bass direct into the jack input. With things like EMGs you dont necessarily need to use this as they are active pickups and generally impedance matching isnt required.
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Old 16th July 2008 , 08:00 PM
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Thank you for your help JAYDMF!!! much apreciated!!!

I will for sure look into the THD hotplates you mention, at the moment i have a Marshall mg100hdfx which is a solid state, and a peavey valve king which is a valve. i was looking at the speaker simulators like the...

Behringer ULTRA-G GI100 Active DI Box with Guitar at DV247.COM

or the...

Hughes and Kettner Red Box Classic Guitar Cabinet at DV247.COM

What do you think of these?

Thanks
Jamie
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Old 16th July 2008 , 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damnation View Post
Thank you for your help JAYDMF!!! much apreciated!!!

I will for sure look into the THD hotplates you mention, at the moment i have a Marshall mg100hdfx which is a solid state, and a peavey valve king which is a valve. i was looking at the speaker simulators like the...

Behringer ULTRA-G GI100 Active DI Box with Guitar at DV247.COM

or the...

Hughes and Kettner Red Box Classic Guitar Cabinet at DV247.COM

What do you think of these?

Thanks
Jamie
Well i cant say ive tried them to be perfectly honest. Im not the biggest fan of amp modelling, the only product i reckon is any good is guitar rig but even then its the sort of thing i would personally use as either a tool for laying stuff down or just for adding layers to a track which already has a real amp as the main sound.

Speaker emulators i dont reckon work. Most of them give you no option as to what sort of speaker or cabinet your modelling and the speaker and cabinet can make a huge difference. Just as an example i have a marshall 1960a with the stock gt12-75 speakers and it sounds crap with my valve head. hook the same head to a EV black shadow and youd think it was a different amp altogether. i fail to see how a box can emulate a cabinet in that it can emulate the effect of the speaker (as it can shape the signal in the same way) but not the cabinet itself and i personally dont see the point in using such a device if it gives you no choice of what your modelling.

Still thats my opinion and i think you should try these products out and decide for yourself, guitar tone is a very personal thing and im sure most guitarists would agree its a bit like the search for the holy grail, one of those products may give you "that" sound so its worth trying them. all i can say is just be careful especially with the marshall i know people who have had bad experiences with power attenuators/simulators on such heads.

Hope this helps
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Old 18th July 2008 , 03:05 PM
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thanks again JAYDMF!!!!

i totally 100% agree with you, i think im just going to have to face trying to isolate my cabinet, i have been looking at the randall isolation boxes they seem like a really good practical idea, do you know if anyone else out there makes them?

Thanks
Jamie
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Old 21st July 2008 , 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damnation View Post
thanks again JAYDMF!!!!

i totally 100% agree with you, i think im just going to have to face trying to isolate my cabinet, i have been looking at the randall isolation boxes they seem like a really good practical idea, do you know if anyone else out there makes them?

Thanks
Jamie

Not that i know of sorry dude but you could always make one yoruself. Theres plenty of cab builders on ebay too that you might be able to get to knock you up a iso cab if youve got the cash. If your gonna go DIY get a EV black shadow, once youve heard one of those speakers you'll never go back to anything else.
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Old 22nd July 2008 , 05:31 PM
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another solution could be buy guitar rig..you get a audio interface/vst controller so basically you plug your guitar into the usb stomp board then record your guitar directlly into your daw the signal you get coming out into your daw is excellent also guitar rig has some of the best guitar/amp effects available for any daw..
theres also the new cheaper guitar rig sessions which is the samething except you get a audio interface only and no stomp pedals..heres links too both..

Native Instruments Guitar Rig Session USB Audio In at DV247.COM
Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3 Kontrol Edition at DV247.COM
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS : Products : Guitar Line : GUITAR RIG 3 Kontrol Edition
(get demo version too try out at above website)
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Old 22nd July 2008 , 05:58 PM
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Which DAW are you using?

One of my most-used guitar plug-ins (and I have a lot of them) is the good ol'-fashioned Sansamp PSA-1, but it's Pro Tools only.

In my experience I've found that a real amp and a trusty SM57 will sound better than a guitar plug-in 100% of the time. However, I don't deny that these guitar packages can be used to generate ideas, temp mixes etc and can also solve the noise problem if you're trying to record in a flat. Sometimes too they provide esoteric effects that you may or may not have access to in reality which can be handy - before I got my Roger Mayer Voodoo Vibe I was using the Univibe clone in the IK Jimi Hendrix plug-in instead because I couldn't otherwise get that sound.

This is the nice thing about digital recording and DAWs though - you can always keep your DI'd guitar track clean and re-amp later if you want. This is an excellent idea and a service worth looking at if you want to 'get serious.'

It's different for bass - I think IK's Ampeg SVX is absolutely amazing and when mixed with a well-recorded DI signal absolutely defeats the need for a bass amp in the studio.
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Old 22nd July 2008 , 08:17 PM
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Hey,

Thanks for your responses guys!

I am using pro tools le, i have tried a few guitar plug ins but i just cant seem to get the 'tone' although i havent tried the Sansamp PSA-1 you have suggested.

But i have to agree with you that theres nothing like micing up a cab, so i think im going to try the randall isolation boxes see if that gives me what i want.

Thanks again!!
Jamie
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Old 22nd July 2008 , 10:07 PM
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Should have listed this before but hey ho. Mics that ive found work particularly well:

Audio Technica AE3000
Shure SM57 (goes without saying)
Sennheiser 609
" " 906 (same as above just higher end, bit flatter response)
Audio Technica AT450 ( i think thats the number, supposedly a drum mic)
Audio Technica AT4033 & 4050 (nice as ambient, works close too but not too close)
Shure SM57 with transformer removed (sounds dark)
AKG C414
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Old 23rd July 2008 , 06:48 AM
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Another option is to try a IK Stealthplug IK Multimedia Stealth Plug Guitar Cable USB Audio at DV247.COM surely the easiest way to connect a guitar to a computer (guitar to usb slot)
I got one recently and I'm pretty impressed, the asio divers give low latency, and the bundled software, Amplitube Live 2 (standalone and vst) Tracktion 2 sequencer (both may be upgradable to the latest versions) and TRacks1 EQ make it a great buy at the price > around 60.

Ampsims are a matter of taste, the best I've heard is Revalver Alien Connections - Home of ReValver Mk II and the PS 2005 Sound Editor but the latest incarnation, Revalver mk111, in conjunction with Peavey Peavey.com : Products : ReValver is too cpu heavy for my now humble pc, at least the demo is.

A good alternative is Studio Devil Studio Devil Guitar Amp Plugin for VST, Audio Units, and ProTools RTAS! A good price and it sounds great imo, tho' it doesn't have the fx of the big boys. There's a free basic version to give you a taster.

I also use a M-Audio Audiobuddy DI box M-Audio Audio Buddy Dual Mic Preamp and Direct Box at DV247.COM a great little workhorse that's not just for guitars as there are two dedicated mic inputs. Like the Stealthplug, it's around the 60 mark.

Like JAYDMF, I'm disappointed with the direct out on my amp, a VOX AD15VT, but using a mic is a very different story.
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Old 23rd July 2008 , 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAYDMF View Post
Should have listed this before but hey ho. Mics that ive found work particularly well:

Audio Technica AE3000
Shure SM57 (goes without saying)
Sennheiser 609
" " 906 (same as above just higher end, bit flatter response)
Audio Technica AT450 ( i think thats the number, supposedly a drum mic)
Audio Technica AT4033 & 4050 (nice as ambient, works close too but not too close)
Shure SM57 with transformer removed (sounds dark)
AKG C414
I'd also add the MD421 to that list.

Don't forget about ribbon mics - some classic guitar tones have come from them. Clearly the Royer R121 is the king of the heap, but low-budget alternatives from Cascade, CAD and others can give you a really dark, warm sound that works really well with electric guitar.
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