Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

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42low
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Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby 42low » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:39 pm

My core favorite style is to record amped guitar with microphone. Now i have a dilemma on how to get effects on it.
I've got regular amp effects (reverb, echo, flangers, chorus) , and off course daw plugins for the same effect. And that's what my dilemma is about.
What do you think (or better, experienced) best?

Set those effects on amp, and record that? With mic.
Pro is that you get the spatial effect over those effects too. Probably more natural effects?
Con is that the effect is worst editable later on.

Or should i leave those effects, to later implement them in DAW?
Pro is the possibility of editing later on.
Con is (probably??) that you won't grab the spatial effect over the effect.

Love to get your feedback on this one.
What's your favorite? How do you like to do it?
And most: What's your experience with it??

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Re: Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby Jack Winter » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:05 am

There is also the aspect that if you record with fx then it's done, no need to mess with the fx later on :)
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Re: Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby omer666 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:10 am

I think it mostly comes down to what sounds better. Most of the time, pedals are inferior to dedicated studio hardware or plugins, but they may have a sound that your like and that you may want to capture.

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Re: Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby jiff41 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:14 am

Jack Winter wrote:There is also the aspect that if you record with fx then it's done, no need to mess with the fx later on :)


It frees you up to think of other things?, think how many great records have been made with the FX on the Amp or ? but committed @ the recording stage & if it's not enough add more or re-record something different?.
A lot of time is wasted now with shall I do this or that? ( Dither ye NOT!) :roll:
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Re: Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby Jack Winter » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:46 pm

jiff41 wrote:It frees you up to think of other things?, think how many great records have been made with the FX on the Amp or ? but committed @ the recording stage & if it's not enough add more or re-record something different?.
A lot of time is wasted now with shall I do this or that? ( Dither ye NOT!) :roll:


Yes exactly, it's done and dusted, no need for any navel gazing regarding what fx and amp sim the guitars get. Plenty of other opportunities to do that with the rest of the recorded tracks anyways, which really is somewhat of a time killer.

I'd argue that it also forces you as a recording engineer / producer to make decisions and then to live with them, which furthers your craft and your thinking about what you are doing. Probably most of us could also go back and rerecord the track if it really is inappropriate for the song / arrangement.
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Re: Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby CrocoDuck » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:32 pm

In the past I enjoyed doing both of them at the very same time.

Guitar output -> split the signal in 2 with a buffer -> here we now have identical 2 signals: 1 and 2.

Connect 1 to the analog chain which terminates with the amp, mic the amp, connect the mic to one input of the soundcard.
Connect 2 to another input of the soundcard, without any additional processing.

Then, record the two channels on two different tracks simultaneously.

I think this gives the best of both worlds. You keep your cool analog sound recorded by mic, but you also have the raw unprocessed DI version of it to play with. You can then mix and cross-fade the two, process them differently in the DAW to get any sort of cool thing.

In some mixes I left a bit of unprocessed guitar with some delay on. It increased a ton the "presence" of the sound.

I do something very similar for acoustic guitars. I record simultaneously all their electric outputs (if any) and then also by microphone, and mix them all together,

I also got used to do the same with my Gibson ES125. Record simultaneously the guitar pickup out and a microphone in the front.

The more the better: it is easier to discard something you don't need than try to work around something missing.

I would recommend this approach.
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Re: Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby omer666 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:42 pm

CrocoDuck wrote:In the past I enjoyed doing both of them at the very same time.

Guitar output -> split the signal in 2 with a buffer -> here we now have identical 2 signals: 1 and 2.

Connect 1 to the analog chain which terminates with the amp, mic the amp, connect the mic to one input of the soundcard.
Connect 2 to another input of the soundcard, without any additional processing.

Very clever! In fact this technique has been in use for quite some time for re-amping purposes, but in this case it means you can almost use your track as an FX buss. Quite inspiring!

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Re: Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby 42low » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:40 pm

Several interesting arguments to consider. Thanks for the replies.
Jack's "make decisions and live with them" widened my eyes slightly too. It's so true, although sometimes one needs other oppinions to choose.

But CrocoDuck's approach is very interesting too. :lol:
Now i wonder. Could the Send at the back of the amp be used to plug in, while mic-ing the front speakers? The Send gives a clear out signal, isn't it? And doesn't turn off the front speakers.

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Re: Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby CrocoDuck » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:49 pm

42low wrote:Several interesting arguments to consider. Thanks for the replies.
Jack's "make decisions and live with them" widened my eyes slightly too. It's so true, although sometimes one needs other oppinions to choose.

But CrocoDuck's approach is very interesting too. :lol:
Now i wonder. Could the Send at the back of the amp be used to plug in, while mic-ing the front speakers? The Send gives a clear out signal, isn't it? And doesn't turn off the front speakers.


Yes, that's another way. If your amp has a line out you can use that too. In fact, I did exactly that for a long time early in my music days. Make sure the output of the amplifier is indeed a line output, and not some speaker output or some kind of high power output (that might fry your interface).

You could arrange for even a more interesting chain, where you split in 3: at the guitar and then at the amp. If you can do it, I would do that. Collecting simultaneous different recordings of the same thing is a good way to enhance the richness and spaciousness of a recording when you mix them together. In fact, for example, there are recording engineers that record instruments or singers with many mics in the same room, and then apply gates, filters and mix them all.
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Re: Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby 42low » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:59 pm

CrocoDuck wrote:Yes, that's another way. If your amp has a line out you can use that too.

Recording plugged in is something i did long time, and sometimes still do because it's a good way too. Why i've asked this. I still sometimes like to record almost fx-less while plugged in, to edit with plugins with total control in daw. Still a nice approach.
Nowaday's i do prefer the "warmer and deeper sound" and "ambiance" mic recording gives. Especially now i've again grown in amps quality and options. This approach has a serious win too which i wouldn't miss in my recordings. Ambiance-plugins (although good performances!) IMHO don't offer what you can grab in real time. Also part of my question.

In my case on all my amps the line out is the headphone out, which shut's off the front speakers. I can't "split up" by using this (headphone) line out. :(
That's why i specifically asked for the Send out at the back. I don't know if this one can be used for that and if it's fitted for that (without blowing it up, to expensive to simply try).
Last edited by 42low on Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby CrocoDuck » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:05 pm

Probably you can check the manual of your amp. Most amps I should have the send out and return before the final stage, so right after the pre-amp. It should be OK, but you might need to be careful with gain to avoid clipping in the soundcard. What model is your amp?
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Re: Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby 42low » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:08 pm

CrocoDuck wrote:Probably you can check the manual of your amp. Most amps I should have the send out and return before the final stage, so right after the pre-amp. It should be OK, but you might need to be careful with gain to avoid clipping in the soundcard. What model is your amp?

I have a 100w 212 combo which has send (and some others which don't).

My "soundcard" will not give a problem. I plug in on my mixer board which can handle signals from mic up to amplifiers. Works great.

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Re: Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby CrocoDuck » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:20 pm

I think that for amplifiers headphone out, line out and send are all safe outputs to connect external gear to. In fact, they are designed for that. The problem with the send output, if that is the output you have, is that the electronics are designed to put an effect chain in that, that then gets back into the return socket. As you plug a jack into the send, the internal signal chain in the amp will be interrupted until you get the signal back to the return in some way.
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Re: Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby 42low » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:47 pm

CrocoDuck wrote:I think that for amplifiers headphone out, line out and send are all safe outputs to connect external gear to. In fact, they are designed for that. The problem with the send output, if that is the output you have, is that the electronics are designed to put an effect chain in that, that then gets back into the return socket. As you plug a jack into the send, the internal signal chain in the amp will be interrupted until you get the signal back to the return in some way.


Sounds very reasonable.

Fun part is, i have a send and return on my mixer board too :mrgreen: , so perhaps i can do something with those? (although probably for effects, so not)
Have other "out's" on my mixerboard too which perhaps can help to feed the Return?
Going to dig into this for the possibilities i have.

And i still would like too hear what other ones would choose if choosing one of both options is the only option.

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Re: Elec Guitar recording, how 2 effects??

Postby tavasti » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:37 am

CrocoDuck wrote:Guitar output -> split the signal in 2 with a buffer -> here we now have identical 2 signals: 1 and 2.

Connect 1 to the analog chain which terminates with the amp, mic the amp, connect the mic to one input of the soundcard.
Connect 2 to another input of the soundcard, without any additional processing.

I'd like to record this way. Any suggestions for low-budget signal splitters? I don't even know what such device would be called.

I have my guitar connected to Digitech multieffect, sometimes some additional effects in front of it. I don't even have real guitar amp.
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