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FX processing pedal, Small watt guitar amps, both?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by jfavela, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. jfavela

    jfavela Guest

    I want to add powerful guitar tools to my studio.
    Considering a processing pedal Boss's GT-8 or Vox's AC30 series combo amps. Or both.
    The guitar guy at my local Guitar Center said it should be either or. I told him many of you prefer micing cabs. He said you don't know what your talking about, and that everyone goes direct nowadays. He went on to say that processors send out the emulated sounds/signal would sound , "so not organic, " after it went through the gain stages of the amp and the amp itself.
    I am not a guitarist, I just want to add excellent gear with lots of flexibility to get the sounds I want.
    Can the two work together? My plan was to run the GT-8 into the Vox and mic it. Don't get me wrong I know each one standing alone is great stuff, but the two combined would provide lots and lots more possibilities, right?
    I want modern rock sounds ie: Nickelback, System of a Down, Alice in Chains...
    And flexibility for clean/ambient sounds ie: Cold Play, Gavin DeGraw, John Mayer......
    Yes, in a nutshell, I want it all. LOL.

    Your replies are aniticipated and appreciated.

  2. MilesAway

    MilesAway Guest

    Well - there's some truth to what the guy at GC told you. Preamps like the GT-8, Line 6 POD and other "Direct" boxes already attempt to emulate the compression and EQ characteristics of the amps & speakers they're modeling. As you may or may not be aware, guitar-speakers are actually *designed* to roll off much of the HF and provide a strong boost in the mids/high-mids.

    For example, the Celestion "Blue" speakers found in an AC-30:

    Amp modelers try to simulate this effect via corrective EQing (among other things) and running this signal into a *real* amp can cause some muddyness/uglyness that isn't really useful for anything other than "effect" - esp. if you're planning on running it into an amp with a *very* distinct character like the AC30.

    Now - what your GC salesman DIDN'T tell you is that units like the Boss GT-series stomps and various other boxes like it *CAN* have different sections of thier programs bypassed. For example, you can use the 'stomp-box' modeling and the effects, yet bypass the speaker emulation if you choose to run this as a front-end to a real amp. I strongly suggest checking out the manual for the GT-8 to see how flexable the unit is in this capacity.

    As a final point to note: While the AC-30 is an incredible amp and a true studio classic, it's *not* a main-stay of modern-rock distorted sounds. For a comparable price-tag, you should check out the Mesa/Boogie Rectifier series or the Marshall JCM2000 DSL line. Both are the current standards in high-gain rock tones.
  3. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Miles has some great points and super advice. And if you have the space where you can mic those type of amp situations without your neighbors calling the cops on you then that's even better.

    I would also add that plenty of pro's track big tones using small watt amps like the Champ, Pro Junior, AC30, or maybe a JMP-1 pre and sometimes doubling the guitar parts direct through a processor like the GT-8 or POD XT. Some even route their processor to a JMP-1 or amp head or combo and use the line out into the console or mic the combo. So, again, the more options you have by owning a nice muti-processor AND an amp, the more creative you can be and the more tonal variety you have access to when tracking different styles of music, different tones, different parts (i.e., leads, rythm, ambient background and pure effects). For some ambient work sometimes direct in through a Line 6 or Boss unit is all you'll need.

    But to only have one option, to track guitars direct through a multi-effects processor is the worst advice I've ever heard.

    I can tell you from experience the guys at GC here in Albuquerque don't even know what a shielding kit is. Nor do they know the difference between a 250K-ohm volume pot and a 500K-ohm pot.

    Only having a multi-effects processor to record with only leads to great disappointment.
  4. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    True, how could a directly connected modeler possibly reproduce the edgy sound and sustain of an un-potted guitar pickup?

    Simply can't be done.

    A direct connection between a modeler and a recorder effectively removes one of the most important relationships between the guitarist and expressive organic tone- which is the sonic coupling of the magnetic pickup, strings and amp/speakers.
    Air is the only practical means of transmitting the waves between the speakers and vibrating guitar bits .
    There isn't a modeler on the market that has addressed this shortcomming.

    Re-amping also puts its own twist on this, with the result being a disconnection from the guitarists performance controlled voicings/timbre.

    A directly recorded modeler for organic guitar tone is a misapplication. But IMHO a directly recorded modeler is a great tool for the things it does do well, which might include taming a highly microphonic pickup.
    And not waking neighbors. :wink:
  5. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    If you're looking to get "one amp" or a combo of an amp and modeler, check out the Roland JC-120. It's an incredibly clear amp, and a choice unit for running a modeler into. The AC30 is a wonderful amp, but is almost a "one trick pony" in that it has a very distinctive sound, and will probably not be what many clients are looking for.

    Personally I run my PODxt into my Fender Hot Rod DeVille 410. I like micing it ten times better than I like recording direct out of the POD. The POD sounds good, but a real amp (miced with a good old '57) sounds noticably better.

    I have been known to mix the two signals as well though.
  6. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    I agree with McCheese , two of the most awesome choices for combo modeler + amp. I'd give the edge to the 4X10 Deville because of the power amp input and dripping harmonic content of the 6L6's when they get pushed, but the JC120 is just so pure and clear with its own great distinct voice and huge headroom.
    The JC requires the treble turned down to 3 or 2, mids and bass at 5 or less, and use of the attenuated inputs. The Deville sounds great bypassing the pre's- and you still get the Fender spring reverb 'cause its in the chain after the amp insert.

    Hey, pass the fries.... 8)
  7. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Yeah, if flexibility was my main concern, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a JC 120.
  8. jfavela

    jfavela Guest

    GT-8 into the AC30...

    So it if I run the GT-8 into the AC30 the amp simulation (signal) the processor sends, when it goes through the gain stages and amplification of the amp itself, might conflict with what the amp wants to do with the signal (in its physical circuitry) yielding undesireable results? Also limiting its flexibility (as McCheese said, the AC30 is a one trick pony?)
    This is a concern because I really wanted to see what the GT-8's dual COSM feature could push out of the amp.

    Are you saying that this can be avoided, or my conditions would be maximized, by going with the Fender or the Roland amp?

  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I am not a big fan of modeling. Like Tommy, I dont believe they have perfected the type of decay and the physics of the coupling one gets with the guitar itself, and the inherent interaction between this and the physics of an amp. I do believe that modeling has its place. I use a processor direct from time to time, but only in an effect capacity. ANYTHING out front is going to be thru an amp. JC120 is Industry Standard clean amp as is the Twin. These two are heard on more recordings than is imaginable.

    As far as the AC30 being a 'one trick pony' I tend to differ on this. A player with contol of the instrument will be able to wring an incredible amount of tone-drenched noises outta one of these beasties quite easily.

    Also like Tommy, I love the different types of harmonic content provided by different tube sets. The 6L6 has its own flavor of break-up and having an old Bassman head around tkes care of that. Marshalls are Marshalls. Theres a one trick pony amp fer ya.

    I have the second Seymour Duncan Convertible 2000 built. Really the beginning of the 'boutique amplifier rage' as we now know it. The changeable pre tubes gives it an infinate variety of tone and feels on the input, and the four KT88's in the power section as well as the VARIABLE TRANSFORMER OUTPUT gets all you could ever ask for.

    If a person is to really have a variety for paying clients, you need a LOT of guitar stuff laying around. The biggest reason I can give for this, is my experience in sessions involving guitar players with semi-pro equipment can derail a session with one strike of the pick.A good studio with the guitar sounds dialled and easily attained can save a lot of wankers the embarassment of wasting an otherwise quality session.

    Dont be afraid to get a few different small wattage amps. These will serve you when all else fails. I've recorded a LOT of very very heavy guitar noises with a 4 watt amp. Put a quality chain in front of a little tonemonster and watch the guitar-wankers grin for hours.
  10. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    4 - 10 Watts (all tube) + 7 in. to 10 in. speakers...

    ...watch out! Set your a$$ on Fire!

    People can do some amazing things with a setup like that, yes sir.

    I'm with Dave on that one.
  11. jfavela

    jfavela Guest

    Fender Deluxe Question...

    It was mentioned that it is possible to bybass the pres on the Fender Hot Rod? Im leaning towards getting this amp and using it with a GT-8.
    So how do you bypass the pres? Is it a flick of the switch type deal or more complicated. Forgive me, I'm not a guitarist. Adding quality gear to my studio is what I'm after and I just simply want to avoid the, "re-amping," issues I've been reading so much about in using a guitar amp with a modeler.

  12. Boltino

    Boltino Guest

    The Hot Rod Deville has a "power amp in" jack. Anything run into this jack bypasses the Deville's preamp section.


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