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Electric guitar-Recording direct via preamp?

Member for

12 years 11 months
Hello, this is my first post here. I decided to join to learn more about recording. I am an enthusiastic beginner, but limited in resources and experience, so I hope others will tolerate my questions which are apt to be basic. I just read Mastering Audio by Katz, and am almost finished Behind the Glass. Both were good reads, and I think I learned something from the simpler parts.

In any event, my question is this. Will professionals ever record electric guitar direct, say through a good guitar preamp and then into a DAW? Or, is micing the only way to go?

I recently tried direct via an ADA MP1 preamp, and I thought it sounded very good, but I remain curious whether the pros ever record electric guitar direct.


Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Mon, 10/13/2008 - 23:17
I regularly record the direct output from electric bass guitars. I also frequently record the direct outputs and/or from an effects peddled box, directly to track inputs. This gives you the ability to later playback those direct guitar tracks into a guitar amplifier. You can then turn the amplifier up and manipulate it for the tone you want. You stick a couple of microphones up, one on the amplifier, one somewhere else in the room and print those back to available tracks in your software. This is called re-amping. It's not a real-time process per se as much as it is a postproduction process. You can still use the direct sounds in your mix down along with your new amplifier combination microphone tracks. Abilities are endless. We do it all the time. WE DO IT ALL THE TIME. ALL THE TIME. THROUGHOUT TIME & TIME AGAIN AD INFINITUM.


Member for

15 years 5 months

BobRogers Tue, 10/14/2008 - 05:15
As Remy says, the pros do it all the time. Check out the equipment racks of the studio guitarists interviewed in the various guitar magazines. They all have some sort of direct modeling rig in their tool kit.

However, if you are a beginner, it is best not to get too wrapped up in what the pros do. It's worth knowing, but the real question is how you can make the best recordings possible with your experience. I think it's important for a beginner to spend a reasonable amount of time and money getting a good direct recorded guitar sound - even if it's obvious that an amp rig will ultimately give you the best sound. First, recording direct will give you the ability to more people tracking at the same time while still getting isolated sounds. Recording one track at a time is hard. It is easier for most people to give a good performance while playing in the same room and making eye contact. A good performance beats a good amp tone any day. Second, a direct box cuts down on the signal chain. You don't have to worry about the amp, the room, or the mic. The fewer variables the better when you are just starting out.