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  1. #1
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    Good morning,

    Complete newbie, practicing guitarist for 44 years but really behind with technicals! I'm 53 years old, semi retired, and want to start playing solo gigs (or duets), maybe even join a band again. I do classic rock, country, blues.

    I have two questions to get started....

    1. I like to practice / learn via youtube videos. I use a Behringer GDI 21 "amp modeler" and plug guitar into that, then from there into mic input into my computer, then from there I use wireless headphones so I can hear my guitar and youtube through the headphones. However, the Behringer is horrible, horrible, horrible. Is there a decently priced "sans amp" style box out there that can give me decent guitar sound, but not cost $400-$500?

    2. I have a little powered mixer for my PA system which can also act as a recording mixer (DAW?) via USB into my computer. I have NOT decided on software to use though. I'd like as SIMPLE as possible. With music, I don't like to think too much ... I know there's the old standby "Audacity" but is that the best choice? I don't mind spending some money on a good one that will get the job done.

    I have a PC by the way, if that helps.

    I think that's it for now, and thank you!

  2. #2
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    Hello Hotwired and welcome.

    First thing, make and model of the USB mixer. I am going to guess it is a fairly early model and these had there drawbacks for home recording. The main one is noise. The mixers are 16 bit only devices, this should not matter, CD is 16 bit and more than good enough but these early mixers had an inherent fault whereby they were even noisier than they should have been.

    However, there are some steps you can take to minimize the noise. The second possible problem is that if you want to build tracks...Record guitar chords say then add fills, maybe a bass line, vocals? All can be done in a PC with very basic equipment but USB mixers generally are operationally not suited. So, what you need is an Audio Interface.

    These start at about fifty quid but do not, I implore you go that cheap! £100 to £150 will get you vastly better faciities. The mixer however might be of some use in any case it should deliver vastly better quality than the PC's headphone jack!

    Software? Yes GET Audacity it is a handy app and "everyone" has it here and knows its basic MO. Not, however again well suited to song construction and Reaper is by far the best and cheapest option...Bit of work needed! But nothing you cannot grasp I am sure.

    So give us more info. I have quoted ££s for MY convenience (sterling is all over the shop atmo due to the goon in #10) but where are you?

    Dave.

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    I have a soundcraft notepad 8FX, very new, and seems to be very popular. I bought it at the same time as my QSC PA speaker with the intention of doing some solo gigging once I get my "balls up"!

    I'll check out Reaper ... but meanwhile get audacity for the "basics". I'll be constructing mostly solo gig demo stuff, and using it to listen to myself play and sing for critiquing at this point.

    I used to have a nice PreSONUS but sold it...just never had the discipline for the learning curve and there always seemed to be errors, problems getting it to work, etc. I'm very technically savvy but honestly when I sit down to do music, I want it to be "neck down" ... 2 knobs and an on off switch is almost too complicated!

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    Does the Behri sound horrible if you go into the mixer and listen through headphones there? I'm not a huge fan of Behri's business model (stealing other folks ideas and producing them more cheaply), but while their earlier stuff had reliability issues, they do actually seem to work anymore. For cheap, other than that, you're looking at something maybe like a Zoom G1(?), but while they can be Ok, they are incredibly fiddly, IMO/IME.

    Going into the PC mic input is not going to work well, given the mismatch between the pedal output and mic input. (Covered in another recent thread.)

    If you want a modeler pedal, a good one costs money, but there are likely some used ones about of earlier generation, like a POD HD or such that can be had cheaper. (These are still "fiddly" - used a HD400 for a few years live.)

    Many home recording folks use software sims for the amps/effects, which are essentially the same thing your digital modelers do (vs. analog, like SansAmp). You'd want to use the software sims inside a DAW like Reaper, Cubase, et al, and then plug the guitar in through a DI input on a USB audio interface. I use the ones in Logic Pro X sometimes (Mac only), and they're quite acceptable for the occasional electric guitar part if it's too late to plug into an amp.

    If you really want to get good recordings, I'm afraid there's not a shortcut to learning the ins/outs of a good DAW and how to get quality tracks recorded into it. The alternative is to get your amp and pedals set up, stick a mic in front of it and record that with a handheld digital recorder.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    I bought my son an 8fx last year! He is in France so I can't have a play with it and I only had an hour or so with it before I shipped it. There is a review of it in Sound on Sound, will track it down.

    The 8fx is 24 bits (why I bought one!) and I cannot think it is much of a trial to record guitar with one? It has the required high impedance inputs.

    I shall dig out the .pdf manual and LARN meself!

    Dave.

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    Not sure if this fits exactly what you're looking for - but you may want to take a look at the Boss Katana 50. It is a lightweight, very capable "backstage" type guitar amp with plenty of balls - and has "modeling", DI jack to run directly to an interface or board, and computer connectivity for detailed tone shaping and effects control. Oh and it has an "acoustic" channel as well for amplifying an acoustic guitar.

    I bought one the other day to have a lightweight, capable travel amp. It's quite a powerful tool for $229.00 (I got mine at Musicians Friend for $209.00).

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    Quote Originally Posted by PorterhouseMusic View Post
    Not sure if this fits exactly what you're looking for - but you may want to take a look at the Boss Katana 50. It is a lightweight, very capable "backstage" type guitar amp with plenty of balls - and has "modeling", DI jack to run directly to an interface or board, and computer connectivity for detailed tone shaping and effects control. Oh and it has an "acoustic" channel as well for amplifying an acoustic guitar.

    I bought one the other day to have a lightweight, capable travel amp. It's quite a powerful tool for $229.00 (I got mine at Musicians Friend for $209.00).
    ^^^ These are super popular with both gigging and recording guitarists right now(as opposed to an loud or expensive tube amp)
    Win 7 Ult Dell i7 4core 6700ghz 32 GB, 1,2x2, 4 Tb Barracuda HD's running Pro tools 2019 through Allen&Heath Qu-32

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