Benefits to recording guitar with an amp?

rubycasey

New member
Me and a few friends have had some ideas and we want to get around to recording them and making something cool out of them soon, so I've been researching recording techniques and all that. I know a lot of bigger studios will mic guitar amps to get a nice cabinet sound, but for now we're recording in my garage so we want to have as little noise in the room as possible to make vocal recording less of a pain (plus we only have 2 good mics). I'm not too familiar with how guitar amps work, I wanted to know if there is noticeable a difference between recording the signal from the guitar or pedals straight into the computer, and recording the amp's signal into the computer. I imagine since it's analog (I think) there would be a difference, but I'm not sure if it'd be enough to go through setting it all up.
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
Me and a few friends have had some ideas and we want to get around to recording them and making something cool out of them soon, so I've been researching recording techniques and all that. I know a lot of bigger studios will mic guitar amps to get a nice cabinet sound, but for now we're recording in my garage so we want to have as little noise in the room as possible to make vocal recording less of a pain (plus we only have 2 good mics). I'm not too familiar with how guitar amps work, I wanted to know if there is noticeable a difference between recording the signal from the guitar or pedals straight into the computer, and recording the amp's signal into the computer. I imagine since it's analog (I think) there would be a difference, but I'm not sure if it'd be enough to go through setting it all up.

There’s a huge difference. Whether that difference good or bad is up to you, your equipment, and your technique. With recording into the computer you have more control over the sound. With micing the cabs you have a more niche sound that can be pleasing from the get go.
 

rubycasey

New member
There’s a huge difference. Whether that difference good or bad is up to you, your equipment, and your technique. With recording into the computer you have more control over the sound. With micing the cabs you have a more niche sound that can be pleasing from the get go.

Would there be a difference if I don't mic the cab though? We don't enough an extra microphone for it, I'm talking about taking the signal directly from the amp's line out into the computer.
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
Would there be a difference if I don't mic the cab though? We don't enough an extra microphone for it, I'm talking about taking the signal directly from the amp's line out into the computer.

Ah, I had a video that showed the difference. I deleted it, unfortunately. Yes, there will still be a difference because the signal is still running through the amp. It won’t sound as natural as a micd cab, but the amp will still impart some of its characteristics into the sound. Try it out and see what you prefer!
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
With recording, it’s very personal, so you learn most by doing things then picking which sounds best. Plenty of people record in odd places with problems but they try things and while most don’t work some do, for you. As in put a mic in close to get rid of unwanted noise, and the noise goes, but the tone gets bassy, so you use eq and make it work. Others spend money on treatment to enable your mic to be further away. What you also learn is the tiny difference some things make and the huge different others do.
 

ecc83

Well-known member
Guitar Amp Recording

Possibly the best article about amp recording extant. ^

If your mic locker is spares get the Behringer XM 8500. For 15 quid it is an absolute steal. MORE than good enough to stick in front of a gitcab!

Regarding excess noise? Even with a dynamic you don't need the amp very loud. With the mic touching the speaker fret you can play at almost 'tune up' levels, the idea that the speaker needs to "move a lot of air" is largely bollocks. In any case a 24 bit recording can be at -20 dB fs , even lower and be boosted post tracking.

Dave.
 

ashcat_lt

Well-known member
The speaker itself is like a low pass filter with a cutoff frequency somewhere in the upper midrange/lower treble region. You never get actual high frequencies out of it. On some amps, the direct output will have an electronic filter for “speaker emulation”, but many don’t, so you’d have to add something like that once it’s in the computer. You can actually get quite a ways with fairly basic EQ, but I guess most folks would use a dedicated speaker sim plugin or IR loader.

Then you have the thing where the sound coming out of the speaker vibrates the guitar and creates resonance, sustain, and/or feedback. Getting that from a direct sound is kind of tough, though how much it actually matters depends on what you’re actually doing.

Have you thought about how you’re going to monitor these direct guitars while you’re playing? Have you thought about doing some overdubs?
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
Would there be a difference if I don't mic the cab though? I'm talking about taking the signal directly from the amp's line out
It's a matter of preference but the sounds are quite different. It takes a while to notice though.
For me, DI guitars are kind of horrible although used in conjunction with other guitar sounds can be great because it's not standing out on its own. I much prefer a miked amp, even if it's not a good quality amp.
But that's just me.
It's funny how that's not true for bass guitar. I usually mic the bass amp but the line out sound on its own is a great sound, depending, as ever, on the song and the way the bass is played.
 
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