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Just Started, Guitar Tone with no amp

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Millsy, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Millsy

    Millsy Active Member

    Hi all,

    I've just got myself a mac, some studio monitors and an apogee duet 2. I'm just getting started and so many, many things currently confuse the hell out of me (hopefully all will be clear with time though!).

    Anyways, I plan to record some demos for my band using this set up. We're a kind of progressive Thrash metal band. Guitars will be plugged straight in and distortion etc added using the VST's available in logic. I know this isn't optimal but I'm hoping it will be fit for demoing purposes.

    Anyways, has anyone got any tips on how to get a clear, punchy, heavy assed guitar sound with this setup?

    Thanks,
    Jamie
     
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Are you talking about recording one part at a time? Is this just guitars and vocals, or is there a drum kit too?

    I know you mentioned applying VSTs, but guitars will sound terrible "plugged straight in" with no re-amping in post processing. Maybe that's what Thrash Metal is all about.
     
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Do you mean to tell me that you spent beaucoup Dinero on a Macintosh laptop. On an Apogee duet. Guitars, amplifiers, drums and you think you're going to record a thrash metal band with 2 inputs on your Apogee? Are you really serious? Do you think that's how Metallica does it, 2 inputs? You're going to plug the guitars directly into what? What are you plugging the drum microphones into? Do you have any microphones? You know back in the day, a demo generally meant a lackluster sounding piece of crap done on a cassette recorder not costing more than $30. This ain't your grandma's 21st century you know? So, can you play thrash metal on your guitar with only 2 strings on the guitar? I mean you really don't need those other four do you? You're only playing one note aren't you? That should be easy. It's really okay, you can record thrash metal with just a single microphone and nobody will know the difference. So problem solved. So some things confuse the hell out of you? Then maybe you should read the instruction manual or perhaps pick up a magazine at your local music store, how about a book? You spent a lot of money on that Macintosh and that Apogee, education is priceless.

    Let me know when you make your first $1 million?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  4. Millsy

    Millsy Active Member

    Wow, Tough Crowd! lol

    Clearly I don't think that is how Metallica done it. I've been playing music since I was 14 years old and have spent time in multiple professional recording studios.

    These are demos being recorded to give to a sound engineer to make the recording process quicker when we are in there spending our hard earned cash. They don't have to sound absolutely amazing, but we would like to use them to critique our own songs, so want to make them sound as best as I can.

    Drums will be recorded using the MIDI out of our drummers electric kit, I'll use EZDrummer and hopefully the kit from hell add on if I can get the money together to buy it on time to get a semi-decent drum sound.

    I'm not a complete idiot, I didn't buy an Apoge Duet with two inputs and think I could record the entire ****ing drum kit. All the guitars and vocals will be recorded seperately.

    Mic wise, I've only got an SM58 which I plan to use for vocals, looking to get hold of a couple of SM57's. Once I do I'll record guitars via an amp. But I've just moved house and need to save up a few pennies before I can buy them.

    I hope this clarifies, I assumed that on a recording forum you guys would assume that I at least had the first ****ing clue (even though I am new) and would know that I can't record a full kit with 2 inputs or a demo that would rival the black album in terms of production. But clearly not.
     
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    We welcome all sorts of newbies to these forums. They come here with a range of experience (often starting at zero), but some are better than others at expressing what experience they have. All we had to go on was your first post. Re-read it yourself. It said you wanted to record a thrash metal band band using a 2-input interface, and also "I'm just getting started and so many, many things currently confuse the hell out of me".

    If you have a Shure SM58, you can already use it to record a guitar amp. Unscrew the filter ball on the top and you have a mic that resembles the SM57 in sonics and ability to position up close to the cabinet grille. Sure, you have to be careful not to drop it or blow straight into it, but it will be fine on a cabinet.

    Presumably you have headphones for foldback monitoring during tracking with live mics, as you can't use your speakers for this.
     
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Okay then, you've been all the more explanatory. Let me first apologize for my gruff reply. Yes, I actually do believe one can get a quality sound, with your Apogee of your drum kit with just 2 57/58's, especially for thrash metal. Let's face it, it is the enormity of the sound of the drum kit that can actually best be captured by just a pair of microphones. But you indicated MIDI drums. So we're not even really talking about recording any drums with any microphones. So a single 58 is in use. No problem recording each guitar individually. And it's really not necessary to unscrew the metal ball on the 58 to create a 57. The difference is only approximately 1/2 inch in proximity to the capsule. So a fully intact 58 is perfectly fine. In fact, you can not only record the amplifier of the guitar, you can also take that guitar direct into the Apogee, simultaneously, as a second track to be used for re-amping. So every pass of every guitar, will be 2 discrete mono tracks. And those direct guitar inputs don't have to be used for re-amping either but rather can be used on software Amplifier/cabinet emulators for greater texture. Of coarse the prerequisite time delays in your mixing well also be necessary especially on the guitars. On your MIDI drums, the sky's the limit in software. So was your question now reasonably answered and understandable? Is there more? We're here.

    Please leave your message at the sound of the good tone
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  7. Millsy

    Millsy Active Member

    Thanks guys,

    Having read over my initial post, yeh I probably didn't explain things as well as I could have, apology accepted remyRAD!

    You mentioned recording the guitar using my SM58 and simultaniously going straight into the Apogee. How would I go about doing this? In my very simplistic view I am thinking that the input from the guitar would have to go into the amp so taking a line out from the amp would maybe be the only other option, but to re-amp or to use the VST's in logic this signal would have to be clean, can I take a line out of a cranked amp that retains the clean signal? Or am I thinking about this completely the wrong way?

    Cheers,
    Jamie
     
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    It depends on what connectors your amp provides. You need the raw guitar signal, as you point out. If you have one of the type of amps that has daisy-chaining jacks on its input, you simply take another lead from the second jack into the "Hi-Z" instrument input of the Duet. If not, you would have to buy or make up a Y-cable to take the guitar output to both the amp and to the Duet. Since the Duet has a 2MOhm impedance at its instrument input, the tone should not be affected by having to feed both it and the amp, but keep the Y-cable as short as practicable to reduce the effect of cable capacitance on the signal.
     
  9. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    I have used the Logic amp models at times, not the same as a nice tube amp, mic combination.

    I may use a preset as a starting point, and tweak it till it sounds good to my ear.

    Depends how I feel at the moment, at times I'll also come direct from my amp or effects processor.
    Then add virtual effects during the mixing process.

    Also there are some 3rd party presets for the amp sims available, Google it.

    I'm also in the early stages of evaluating some IRs for the Space Designer reverb that are based on boutique amps and other effects processors. Just from the few that I've sampled they bring another dimension to signal processing.

    :cool:
     
  10. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I am offering free reamping at the moment, and I have a guitar rig which lends a tone very fitting to progressive thrash metal, I have worked with similar artists before. The caveat, I have a DI box policy, so buy a DI box, record your guitar parts through it and you can have my guitar tone for free. It will be more of a learning experience in the long run than using a software amp.
     
  11. Millsy

    Millsy Active Member

    Agreed, however, what about a crap solid state amp/mic combination (not that the amp we will use is is, I'm just curious). In a situation where all you have is a not very good amp, would you go with direct, or will an amp always sound better/more 'real'? Lets say the amp is not a complete waste of space and is good enough for live gigging, an entry level marshall or something like that.
     
  12. Millsy

    Millsy Active Member

    That sounds great, were at the very early stages at the moment, only have about 3 songs really down but once we are in the position to get recording I'll send you a PM re: the DI box etc.

    Cheers,
    Jamie
     
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    One thing to consider involving DI boxes... some are passive transformer inputs and others are active. For your application, I would recommend an active DI whose JFET inputs are extremely high in impedance. This way it will not load down the guitar nor affect its sound. An inexpensive transformer DI box will only present an input impedance of only 50,000 ohms which has a tendency to load down & damp the sound of your guitar. Conversely, the inexpensive amplifier you are speaking of can utilize a passive transformer DI on one of the amplifiers outputs, be it microphone, line level or even speaker output. Of course if you crunch the amplifier too much, you'll be recording that unnatural crunch. With a DI out of the guitar or the first stage preamp from crappy amplifier, it's doable if you haven't overblown the preamp in the amplifier. And that's why taking a direct, direct off of the guitar pickups via a Y cable into the Duet high impedance unbalanced instrument input is the way to go. And sure, you can stick that 58 on said crappy transistor amplifier and see what you get. You might be amazed? And you may be thoroughly delighted overall.

    High into technique
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     

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