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guitar signal splitter

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by guitarjazzman, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. guitarjazzman

    guitarjazzman Active Member

    I have been experimenting with recording jazz guitar (7 string archtop) for a while and was thinking a good approach would be to record the direct signal from the pickup along with mic'd up guitar/amp and to mix the various signals together. What is the best way to split the signal from my guitar into two outputs without losing any quality, adding noise, etc.? Is it as simple as wiring a lead or is there a DI box or some other piece of equipment that I would be best to use?

    I was also wondering about what to do with the recorded pickup signal. The obvious advantage is that I can change the recorded signal once it has been recorded - even re-amping if I come up with an inspired performance with not so clever recording! I have read about various guitar modeling plugins but was wondering if any other amp simulator type plugins would give a better result as the archtop requires a purer tone than most solid body electric guitar type sounds.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    When I have record most electric guitars I usually grab the first output of my DI direct and use the second output to feed an amp.

    I have also DI straight into the board and ran few amps of the direct out from the mixer. I did this to combine a Marshall JCM 900 with a Fender Twin and Roland JC 77.

    This allowed to mix in different amps as the song dictated while the guitarist can concentrate on their part and not their pedals.

    My DI consist of 2 Cinemag CM-DBX transformers which are each fed from the same input. The input is buffered by 2 balanced class A FET based buffers. The Way I have it wired I can have either 2 balanced outputs or one balanced out and one unblanced out. I will typically feed the amp with the unblanced output. The 2 transformer design is over kill, you could make a di with only one transformer.

    As far as products out their I have used the Avalon U5
    I found it to be pretty nice for the bass track I was doing at the time.

    Often I mix the direct guitar back into mix to give a distorted guitar a bit more definition.

    I hope this helps.
  3. GregP

    GregP Guest

    I wanted a passive solution, so I went with a Radial BigShot ABY. You can do whatever you want with the DI signal, but I tend to use some amp sim (I've recently grown enamoured of Revalver Mk II) even if it's really clean, rather than pure DI. Pure DI blended back in is a tried-and-true method, but I like the clarity of the clean amp sim instead.

    The "amp" side of the signal is no great shakes, though. I don't have a decent amp and more often than not, that'll be amp sim, too, except in the form of Line6 TonePort/Gearbox due to the near-zero latency.

    I can't lie and say I have any really great equipment, but splitting the signal has still proven useful to me.

  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    The only thing you have to take into consideration when wanting to split the output of your guitar pickups directly is input impedance. That is, the guitar pickups want to see a very high input impedance, when it is loaded into an input. In the order of 1-2 million ohms, generally. This is not generally possible with a transformer type direct box, since most transformers have input impedances of around 50,000 ohms.

    Active or "FET" (field effect transistor) DI inputs are of a high enough input impedance so as NOT to load down a guitar pick up. So the standard loop through, from the DI box, to your guitar amplifier should not present a problem. If you experience ground loop hum, most active and/or FET DI boxes of a respectful quality level will include a ground lift switch which should clear the offending hum.

    I'm waiting. I I'm humming. I'm grounded. I'm free!
    And easy
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  5. guitarjazzman

    guitarjazzman Active Member

    Thanks for all the responses - very helpful!

    I am now thinking that a DI box might be an essential piece of equipment. My interface into my Imac is a Presonus Firepod which has high impedance inputs on it. I was originally thinking that I could just split the signal and feed one of the two signals into the Firepod. Am I correct in thinking that a product such as the Avalon U5 would give me a far superior result? Any other alternative products to consider?

    Your replies have certainly got me thinking as I always thought that it would be a good idea to mix the signal from the pickup with the mics. I was thinking about a plugin solution but am now thinking that an external something might be the best way to go.

    I have always had the problem that there is a ton of info out there on recording acoustic guitars and solid body electrics but an archtop is a sort of hybrid of the two. There's an acoustic sound to consider but a lot of the tone still comes from the pickup. My amp is a Polytone Minibrute which is not like a normal guitar amp in that it is designed to give a clearer sound than normal guitar amps.

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