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Mesa's Rectifier Recording Preamp

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by xian, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. xian

    xian Guest

    Has anyone here used this? Or does anyone know of where I can listen to an example of it being used.

    My dilema resides in the fact that I live in an apratment building and that using a half-stack or combo amp is pretty much out of the question. I find that great recto sound usually comes out when the amp is turned up pretty loud, and hey, I don't really want to be evicted.

    So I'm stuck looking for an amp modeler so I can wail away in my project studio in stealth-mode. I love the sounds you can get from Dual and Triple Rectos but I am wary that much of that sound relies on the cabinet.

    I'm looking to get sounds similar to that of Tool on their 'Lateralus' album (check out the title track for a prime example). I know I won't be able to capture that exact sound with just one piece of equipment, but that is the direction I want to head in.

    Again, if anyone has any experience with this sucker, please let me know what you used it for, and the results/sounds you got from it. Any audio clips would be outstanding. Or, if anyone has any suggestions of other pre-amps/effects processors that might be worth checkin into (hopefully under the $1200 mark) then that would be great too.

    Take care all,
  2. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    You're talking about the V-Twin pedals right?

    IMO you can't loose buying anything from Mesa Boogie, if dual or triple rectifier sound is what you're looking for. Cascading rectifiers is simply what they have specialized in and they are masters of that cascaded drive sound. So pop the coin if you have it, you won't be disappointed.

    The only other outboard device I've heard that comes close to providing that kind of raw power in a pre-amp box for direct recording is the Marshall JMP-1 which is a classic gem all on it's own. The JMP-1 produces very god-like tones. LOL.

    Line 6 emulates the dual rectifier relatively well but IMO you can't capture the essence of "boutique" without mic'ing real paper cones. Emulation just falls short when going direct and shooting for that type of sound...


    ... you're starting out with really hot pickups and you're pushing the gain even further with a tube driven or truly analog line amp between your emulator and the DAW and possibly a little tube compression to excite your dynamics a little.

    Just my 2 cents.
  3. What? So the emulators are worth popping the coin, but you can't capture the essence of (newly classifed as "boutique") Mesa's without mic'ing a speaker

  4. xian

    xian Guest

    No, actually I was talking about the Recto Recording Preamp, it's a rackmount unit. Although, now that you mentioned it, the V-Twin Pedal is something I'm gonna directly compare to the Recto Recording Pre before I make a purchase.

    I'm a little wary of those Line 6 Pods, I've heard a lot of people talk about them but I toyed around with one for a bit and I wasn't really impressed. The sound seemed to be really lacking in depth. I've never been a fan of the Marshall sound (in comparison with the Recto, that is), but I'm gonna have to check out that JPM-1 based on what you said.

    Thanks for the info Coyote.

    I think what he's saying is that you can't capture the full, true sound of a mic'd cabinet by using only emulation BUT in my case where I CANNOT MIC A CAB, then I will be happy if I spend my money on something made by Mesa Boogie, that is emulating the Mesa Boogie Dual/Triple Recto sound (keep in mind that a Mesa Dual Half Stack is considerable more expensive - and noisy for my neighbors)

  5. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Yeah, you know - compression? Exciting the levels of dynamics like pick attack, hand muting, all the cool guitar "techniques" you employ in your "style" that sometimes get lost in an effects processor or chain.

  6. The compression I'm familiar with reduces dynamics rather than excites them. And it can sure kill "pick attack" if you want it to.

  7. GregP

    GregP Guest

    Compression isn't usually my go-to technique for emphasizing pick attack, palm-muting, etc. EQ sweeps usually do a good job of finding the right frequencies to boost, mind you.

    Depending on how purist you want to be, once you find the pre-amp you're happy with, you could always send it through a cab impulse in a convolution reverb like Pristine Space or whatever you happen to have (the free SIR).

    What many people miss when demo-ing emulators is that they're often listening to the emulation on monitor speakers or through headphones, and soloed. When they demo an amp, they have a real amp cranked up.

    It's not just the character of the amp and cabs coming through (though of course, that MUST and IS part of it!) but the effect of sheer power and volume. Take that same amp, mic and record it, and then listen through the same monitors or headphones as the emulator. I can guarantee that it's going to lack the immediacy and "woo-hah!" factor of the real amp pre-recording.

    So just make sure that you're always comparing apples to apples, and not to oranges, when testing these things out.

  8. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Light compression from a decent ELOP unit can actually enhance (bring Up in volume) those techniques you work so hard to define, like pick attack, muting, harmonics, etc. if you've disengaged the compressor in your effects chain and have worked with the various gain stages in the the chain itself to make sure you're keeping the signal as hot as possible so it's not "dead" by the time you're patching out of your processor and into your outboard compressor.

    I'm talking about killing the compression in the processor and only using outboard compression to tame the peaks a bit and actually bring Up the qualities of your guitar (p/up's, strings, f/b) and your fingering and pick techniques.

    You can further enhance that signal exponentially by plugging a tube driven or analog Line Amplifier into your signal path. And the neighbors will still never know you're driving hardcore molten metal in your living room.

    Guitar>Processor>Direct Box>Line Amplifier>Compressor>DAW
  9. What you're talking about is picking out the lower-amplitude characteristics of a signal by boosting that signal and using compression to keep it within usable levels. It's not that compression "excites the dynamics", that's just a silly thing to say. First of all pick attack isn't a "dynamic" it's a characteristic. Dynamics is the relative "loudness" or "softness" of a passage, not some characteristic of that passage. What I was pointing out was that you were just slinging words together like you made them up.

    Outboard compression is most likely going to be superior to plugin, or digi-effect compression, unless of course all you have outboard is a 3630 or something. So really, it's a crapshoot unless you're mentioning specific gear.

    So why the hell would you come out of the "Processor" and go into a direct box, which puts your signal through another xformer and drop it to mic level. Unless you've got the "Line Amplifier" 50 feet away in another room, there's no reason to do this. Unless, of course, you just happen to like the "sound" of your DI. Did you learn this trick from a guy named Eric Vincent? And what's the purpose of the "Line Amplifier" in this case? You're most likely at line level out of the processor, so are you using the "LA" as a part of the "sound"? If so, use the friggin LINE IN. If you "LA" doesn't have a line/DI in then, well, buy one that does for crissakes.

    Anyhooters, the point of the whole thing is...sure, track through a compressor if you want. No biggie. But remember, you can always compress later if you decide you want it there, but you can't ever take it back off if you've tracked with it and hate it later. Plenty of people track through compressors, especially on midrangey sources like vox or guitar, but caveat recorder...whatever you track is there forever.
  10. xian

    xian Guest

    Can you put a Line Amp in the chain using an insert? I want to put the compression and the line amp into my chain using inserts, right now it would look like this: Guitar>Processor>Firewire I/O (DI Box built in)>DAW

    The Firewire interface has 4 available inserts, so I'm hoping my chain can look like this: Guitar>Processor>I/O>Insert 1 (Line Amp)>(compressor)>I/O>DAW.

    So I guess my remaining question would be if I can run the Line Amp and Compressor in a chain? - outs from the amp into the comp and back to the I/O to be fed to DAW.
  11. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Shotgun, you're thinking too shallow. There's this whole thing about impedence matching when considering using a Line Amp and patching a high impedence, line level signal into a tube driven device that's looking for a low impedence input.

    You haven't done this before, I can tell.

    And I'm not talking about levelling the dynamics of a passage, but rather exciting (or bringing Up) dynamics of notes and techniques that are otherwise lost in the digital world of signal processing.

    Nevermind. It's not that important.
  12. xian

    xian Guest

    Well, I understood what he was talking about. The term dynamic is defined as: "Of or relating to variation of intensity, as in musical sound". So if the intensity of the pick sounds, for instance, was very minimal, and you succeeded in making those sounds more audible, would you not have made your sound more dynamic?

    I appologize Shotty, but I don't see how your last post was the least bit helpful. I mean to say, the information you presented may have been useful if you hadn't come across sounding like such an asshole.

    Just chill out man.
  13. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    What? Is Jp22 back? Compression compresses doesn't it? There by reducing dynamics?

    Anyway there's a company out there making a sort of Cab-in-a-Box. I don't know how they sound but essentially it's a 10 or 12" speaker built into an enclosed box with a mic inside it. Can't remember who makes it but I'm sure a google search could bring up results.
  14. I give up, you both get "Vincent Awards".

    Xian: if you succeed in plugging a "line amp" through an insert, please oh PLEASE post us a sound clip of it.

  15. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    You got it Christian. That's all I care about. It's your thread.

  16. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Don't worry Coyote, I know what you are saying. Depending on a few many things, I also sometimes like to use compression to bring out some pick attack and chunk on guitars/bass. Slowish attack with a fastish release lets the initial attack come through but clamps down a little on the following signal. Nothing new really, just trying to clarify.
  17. xian

    xian Guest

    Good idea, I'll check it out, thanks :)

    Hey man, that's why I asked the question, becuase I don't know. Man, you musta got f***ed in the ass as a child or something, you seem mad at the world. Wanna talk about it?

    Thank you for everyone who has been HELPFUL, I appreciate it. I think ShotGun here will figure it out eventually.

    Those are the words I was looking for. :)

  18. I grew up next door to Kenny Gioia what do you expect? Yeah, maybe one day I'll get it. Maybe one day I'll learn how to use compressors and amplifiers. If I'm good, and eat all my vegetables.

  19. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    What a killer product. Looks like a nice list of "heavies" using it on the road too.

    Nice link. Thanks Hueseph and Christian.
  20. GregP

    GregP Guest

    Just a quick slightly unrelated interjection-- I wouldn't think that a compressor on a piece of outboard gear necessarily sounds better than a plug-in, just because it's 'real world' rather than on a computer.

    Sure, great analog compressors are still sought-after for a reason. But most of my software compressors (even the freeware ones) still sound hella better than any stomp-box compressor you could send my way.


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