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tbonesullivan

"Simple" guitar amplifier recording setup.

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So, I've got a bunch of amps and guitars, and I have an urge to make sound clips and possibly upload them to youtube, etc, mainly because I find that so many "amp review" or "demos" are pretty crappy.

I currently own no microphones, and my only recording device is an ancient zoom h2. It's great for ambient recording, but I don't think it would be ideal for recording a guitar amplifier.

I've seen a lot of recommendations for either the Shure SM57, or the Sennheise E609, which was made specifically for micing guitar amplifiers.  I was planning on getting a simple USB audio interface to use to record to a laptop.

Any suggestions for an audio interface? Only really needs to have one channel.

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Posted (edited)

Fair warning this can be a really big expensive rabbit hole. The better the preamp the better the recording. 

For a good quality starter the Presonus 2 channel preamps are really easy to operate, interface easily, and actually sound pretty good on a guitar track. I think they’re hiZ inputs to so you can plug an active pickup guitar straight in. Electric or acoustic.

I’d step up to a e906 tho. I compared the 609 to the 906 and the results for me was 906 wins!!

good luck and don’t fall in the rabbit hole!!

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Studio24--presonus-studio-24-usb-audio-interface?mrkgcl=28&mrkgadid=3311243394&rkg_id=0&product_id=Studio24&campaigntype=shopping&campaign=aaShopping - Core - Studio %26 Recording - QF&adgroup=Studio %26 Recording - Audio Interfaces&placement=google&adpos=1o1&creative=299188033324&device=m&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8JPohuH74QIVGx6tBh3YaQfBEAQYASABEgL7efD_BwE

Edited by Dutchman
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I like the Blue Yeti USB...goes right into the computer for recording in garageband.

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The H2 is better than you might expect. Ideally connect it USB to the computer.

On the other hand, use a DI directly out of the amp. EQ the signal in the DAW to achieve the sound you like. Very simple.

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2 hours ago, gorch said:

The H2 is better than you might expect. Ideally connect it USB to the computer.

On the other hand, use a DI directly out of the amp. EQ the signal in the DAW to achieve the sound you like. Very simple.

Well, one of the main reasons I want to start recording things is so that I can compare different speakers with the same amplifier. I don't trust my ears when standing 6 feet from an amplifier.

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3 hours ago, tbonesullivan said:

Well, one of the main reasons I want to start recording things is so that I can compare different speakers with the same amplifier. I don't trust my ears when standing 6 feet from an amplifier.

My experience with recording is that it is really difficult track variations in sound if it not really differs. Comparison had to be on the dry signals. That alone is quite a challenge.

However, give it a try.

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Check the Audix i5 against the 57....lots of good quality interfaces out there. I prefer Roland. Presonus is very well-regarded and affordable.

+1 on the Senn 906. Great mic. I prefer Cascade Fathead ribbons for recording guitar......I am leading you down the rabbit hole......a good preamp really helps with the sound....either hardware or via plugin....it is obvious I live in said rabbit hole......

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Yeah, I am trying to avoid the rabbit hole. I'm already in the amplifier, tube, and speaker rabbit hole, albeit only slightly. I just took delivery of my first "boutique" guitar speaker, a Scumback J75-LD 65 Watt. I'd wanted to make some passable recordings of the changes I get when changing it for the stock Vintage 30 in one of my amplifiers.

Everything is so subjective, but with this at least I could really get some comparison recordings from various speaker cabinets.

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I use Zoom GM200. Good tone  quality, Very easy and fast to connect !

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Get at least a 2 channel USB interface!  One is not enough.  Look for phantom power.  Not all interface units have it.

I've been very happy with the M-Track interface.  It is a couple of years old, so there may be better units out there now, idk.  Presonus and Focusrite get good reviews in the same price range.  Avoid the really cheap stuff.

For mics, that is kind of like asking which brand of beer to buy.  I like Rode mics.  Basically, avoid the cheap stuff!  In the $100-$200 range there are a lot of quite good mics out there.  Consider buying a matched pair of mics, as it will greatly simplify things later if you are dual micing something.

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On 5/1/2019 at 11:23 PM, BubbaVO said:

I like the Blue Yeti USB...goes right into the computer for recording in garageband.

Walmart has those on clearance for $54 (in black only) if you can find one.

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@tbonesullivan, I say try the Zoom you have first.  Worst scenario is it doesn't work.  If you do get stuff, a 57 is a decent choice.  Lots of nice not too expensive condenser mics that will be more useful if you do slide down the rabbit hole.  

Most interfaces are pretty decent too.  Presonus, MOTU, Focusrite, Steinberg etc.  Blue also makes a small interface with an XLR connector and USB: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Icicle--blue-microphones-icicle

Also, don't forget good headphones or speakers to listen to what you're recording. Sony's MDR-7506 are a good, as are some by Sennheiser and Shure.  

On 5/2/2019 at 10:22 AM, Jakeboy said:

I prefer Roland

@Jakeboy Which Roland interface are you using?  I've been curious about their stuff.  It looks really good, but I never knew anyone who had them.  

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Posted (edited)
On 5/1/2019 at 9:08 AM, tbonesullivan said:

So, I've got a bunch of amps and guitars, and I have an urge to make sound clips and possibly upload them to youtube, etc, mainly because I find that so many "amp review" or "demos" are pretty crappy.

I currently own no microphones, and my only recording device is an ancient zoom h2. It's great for ambient recording, but I don't think it would be ideal for recording a guitar amplifier.

I've seen a lot of recommendations for either the Shure SM57, or the Sennheise E609, which was made specifically for micing guitar amplifiers.  I was planning on getting a simple USB audio interface to use to record to a laptop.

Any suggestions for an audio interface? Only really needs to have one channel.

The UA Apollo has the best converters IMO, which seem to make the biggest difference in sound quality, after that the mic pre. The SM57 and Sennheiser E609 kick ass for guitar mic. I've been experimenting with a new ribbon mic (sE Electronics Voodoo VR1 Passive Ribbon Microphone) which are supposed to react more to the preamp. I like it but the volume is way down for these things, you've got to crank the pre and make adjustments,,, still experimenting with it.

Edited by LordsoftheJungle

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I am using an 8 channel Roland Octa-Capture. Easy to use and it does what I need it to.

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1 hour ago, Jakeboy said:

I am using an 8 channel Roland Octa-Capture. Easy to use and it does what I need it to.

Thanks, those look cool and small.  I still have a MOTU 896HD I got in 2003, but it's firewire and I feel like I'll need to start looking around for something newer.  Any issues with it being USB 2.0 only?  I feel like they need to upgrade that one and the big brother to it.  

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On 5/2/2019 at 8:41 AM, tbonesullivan said:

Yeah, I am trying to avoid the rabbit hole. I'm already in the amplifier, tube, and speaker rabbit hole, albeit only slightly. I just took delivery of my first "boutique" guitar speaker, a Scumback J75-LD 65 Watt. I'd wanted to make some passable recordings of the changes I get when changing it for the stock Vintage 30 in one of my amplifiers.

Everything is so subjective, but with this at least I could really get some comparison recordings from various speaker cabinets.

Just be careful with comparison recordings to get the mic EXACTLY at the same spot relative to the cab.  An inch difference of placement of the microphone (even less, really) can result in an entirely different sound.  It is actually pretty surprising the tonal change just by moving the mic around.

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On 5/8/2019 at 11:19 PM, fractal said:

Just be careful with comparison recordings to get the mic EXACTLY at the same spot relative to the cab.  An inch difference of placement of the microphone (even less, really) can result in an entirely different sound.  It is actually pretty surprising the tonal change just by moving the mic around.

Yeah, that's always my worry. Getting good sounds out of guitar speakers for recording purposes really is a PITA. Even 10 feet away, moving yourself changes things significantly.

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On 5/2/2019 at 9:24 AM, tbonesullivan said:

Well, one of the main reasons I want to start recording things is so that I can compare different speakers with the same amplifier. I don't trust my ears when standing 6 feet from an amplifier.

On 5/9/2019 at 5:19 AM, fractal said:

Just be careful with comparison recordings to get the mic EXACTLY at the same spot relative to the cab.  An inch difference of placement of the microphone (even less, really) can result in an entirely different sound.  It is actually pretty surprising the tonal change just by moving the mic around.

Now, that makes your quest quite a lottery.

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Yeah... the more I look down the rabbit hole, the deeper it gets.

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