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rhythmic5
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#1
13th January 2009
Old 13th January 2009
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plugging guitar amp into computer

what sort of equipment do I need to plug a guitar amp (I'm using a mesa boogie stiletto trident head) into an audio interface, like an mbox? when I plug my amp directly in through the speaker outputs, or through any output on the back of it, it just makes this crazy buzzing noise, and no matter what I do to the volume knob on the front, it never changes.

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13th January 2009
Old 13th January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmic5 View Post
what sort of equipment do I need to plug a guitar amp (I'm using a mesa boogie stiletto trident head) into an audio interface, like an mbox? when I plug my amp directly in through the speaker outputs, or through any output on the back of it, it just makes this crazy buzzing noise, and no matter what I do to the volume knob on the front, it never changes.

you'll blow up your amp/computer doing that.

an amp NEEDS a speaker cab plugged in to be on or it fries its insides.

it also outputs 100s-1000s of times more power than a soundcard should receive, so you can't plug it into a soundcard.

buy a cab/mic or a recording pre/di like mesa triaxis
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13th January 2009
Old 13th January 2009
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Wow.

Dude, you CAN NOT plug a guitar amp like a Trident directly into a computer.

The previous post is exactly right. You WILL do SERIOUS damage to your computer, and you WILL DESTROY your amp if it doesn't see a speaker load connected.

Here's a solution;

Get an amp modeler. Before you go, "Ahh, amp modelers don't sound real.", realize this ... the goal here is to capture your musical ideas onto a hard disk. The Amp Police will not come busting your door down and declare to society at large that you're "cheating by using an amp modeler." In fact, nobody cares what method you use to capture those ideas onto any medium whatsoever. The truth is, most people can't tell if you have a fire breathing Marshall on 10 blasting into a 4x12 cab on meltdown mic'd up with a condenser, or if you've done the same thing with a plug in or an amp modeler. Most people can't tell the difference when you're playing live, either.

A good mic will set you back about 100 bucks. A decent audio interface will set you back at least 100-200 bucks. Then you need a sound card. Then you need decent audio software. If all you're going to do is record guitar, then you're all set. Want some bass and drums to go with that? Well guess what? Another couple of hundred bucks.

Don't forget that you have to have that Trident cranked up to ear bleeding cops knocking on the door levels for it to sound good. Tridents are rated, very conservatively, at 150 watts. That's 50,000 seat stadium loud. You have WAY too much amp to do much good with home recording, dude. In fact, you have WAY too much amp to do much good with anything, except for that 50,000 seat stadium.

Amp manufacturers get on my nerves with this crap. They keep gushing out these 100 watt monsters knowing full well that they're gonna sound like crap, because they will never get turned up to the volume that they need to be in order to sound good. They know that the average cat who buys these things are either playing in clubs, or not at all, and will eventually want to record them in a home studio. What's even worse, the commission hungry sales sleaze who sells these things doesn't consult their customers correctly on what they really need. Somebody may THINK that they want a JVM, Engl Powerball, Diezel VH4 or what have you, when they're in an apartment in a 4th floor walkup, and what they REALLY need is a small class A 20 watt combo. Ok, I'm beginning to rant, but you get the picture.

Get an amp modeler. Your amp, your computer and your neighbors will thank you.
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22nd January 2009
Old 22nd January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qsblues View Post
Don't forget that you have to have that Trident cranked up to ear bleeding cops knocking on the door levels for it to sound good. Tridents are rated, very conservatively, at 150 watts. That's 50,000 seat stadium loud. You have WAY too much amp to do much good with home recording, dude. In fact, you have WAY too much amp to do much good with anything, except for that 50,000 seat stadium.
I bought the amp from Mesa, and the difference between the Ace and the Trident (the 50 and the 150w) was $50. I've cranked it up all the way and it doesn't seem THAT loud --

what about a power attenuator (like this: SameDayMusic.com: THD Hot Plate Attenuator )? my goal is to record the feed coming out of the amp... Guitar Rig works fine for modeling amps when I want that sound, but I want to try actually recording my real amp, and I don't have the skill or the environment to mic the cab properly.

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22nd January 2009
Old 22nd January 2009
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First of all, these guys are all dead right... DO NOT TRY AND PLUG ANY OF THE SPEAKER OUTS INTO ANY SOUNDCARD/INTERFACE INPUT... it will do some SERIOUS DAMAGE to your equipment!

Now a quick read of the manual for this head (easily found at Mesa's website) notes that this unit does not have any sort of typical direct out (ie; balanced XLR out). It does have a "Slave Out" though, with a level control... this is what I would suggest you try using for plugging into the line-level input of a pre/interface, which then can be plugged into your computer. Of course there are no guarantees that it will sound at all like your amp plugged into a speaker etc.

Another product you might want to look into is the Radial JDX amplifier DI. this specialised DI box is plugged in between your head and speaker, and outputs a balanced mic/line level signal that you then send to your pre/interface. The one drawback is that you do have to use your speaker with it... so it is not a SILENT tracking solution. It just basically eliminates having to mic the amp.

Good luck... and please BE CAREFULL amigo
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22nd January 2009
Old 22nd January 2009
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reminds me of a story.

when i was 14, i got my my first DAW for christmas, Cakewalk Professional. 8 tracks blah blah blah. Only had a soundblaster card on my Compaq. I was working on a record, using my alesis quadrasynth, but the level was too low going into the computer to get a decent sound.

so i plugged my synth into my fostex/4-track/mixer, and then into a 130watt peavy power amp, you know, to 'boost' the signal, from the 'speaker outs' i routed them into the soundblaster. Started recording, it sounded terrible. (being a musician first and foremost, i knew very little about gain staging and levels obviously). a minute later a big spark...bam, my soundcard was dead. after a few hours of frantic backing up the compaq gave in.

this was a family computer...and it was off to the shop for 2 months. my siblings and parents were pissed!

don't learn the hard way like i did!
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22nd January 2009
Old 22nd January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmic5 View Post
what sort of equipment do I need to plug a guitar amp (I'm using a mesa boogie stiletto trident head) into an audio interface, like an mbox? when I plug my amp directly in through the speaker outputs, or through any output on the back of it, it just makes this crazy buzzing noise, and no matter what I do to the volume knob on the front, it never changes.

Palmer PDI-03
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22nd January 2009
Old 22nd January 2009
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theres always the marshall powerbrake
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22nd January 2009
Old 22nd January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
Palmer PDI-03
Hmmm.... this looks like exactly what you need. Not entirely inexpensive though.
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22nd January 2009
Old 22nd January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuchurocka View Post
theres always the marshall powerbrake
These are cool... but you still need a speaker load with them, and they have no line-out.
#11
23rd January 2009
Old 23rd January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmic5 View Post
what sort of equipment do I need to plug a guitar amp (I'm using a mesa boogie stiletto trident head) into an audio interface, like an mbox? when I plug my amp directly in through the speaker outputs, or through any output on the back of it, it just makes this crazy buzzing noise, and no matter what I do to the volume knob on the front, it never changes.

Haha. Are you kidding???

Some people are just not meant to be around gear. I'm surprised you haven't blown up the card, computer and amp by now.

You need to either just mic up the cab or get something like a POD that has a normal line output, and plug into that. Sure the sound quality won't be that great, but for ideas, it's all you need.
#12
23rd January 2009
Old 23rd January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmic5 View Post
I bought the amp from Mesa, and the difference between the Ace and the Trident (the 50 and the 150w) was $50. I've cranked it up all the way and it doesn't seem THAT loud --

what about a power attenuator (like this: SameDayMusic.com: THD Hot Plate Attenuator )? my goal is to record the feed coming out of the amp... Guitar Rig works fine for modeling amps when I want that sound, but I want to try actually recording my real amp, and I don't have the skill or the environment to mic the cab properly.

im gonna save you some time and money here.
even if you could line that head into an interface somehow, it would sound like crap. it's the speaker and cab that gives you the sound your looking for. it's that head/speaker/cab interaction that creates the sound. i've recorded amps with heads that had line outs and it sounds nothing like the amp. it's better on a bass amp but guitar, forget it.
you need to get a cab and an sm57( put it one inch from the grill and 3 inches down from the the top of the speaker rim) start there or use a modeler. the lucky thing is your computer is still alive.
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24th January 2009
Old 24th January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavern View Post
im gonna save you some time and money here.
even if you could line that head into an interface somehow, it would sound like crap. it's the speaker and cab that gives you the sound your looking for. it's that head/speaker/cab interaction that creates the sound. i've recorded amps with heads that had line outs and it sounds nothing like the amp. it's better on a bass amp but guitar, forget it.
I know, lol. my idea was to get the tone from the amp, and simulate the cab with a variety of plug ins to see what worked best .

I'm buying a Palmer though since a ton of live bands use them and they sound pretty close to a good clean mic setup.

also, I'm still lost on how I would fry my computer if I was stupidly plugging the amp load into my mbox? (my mbox, computer, and mesa head are all still working like new even after the hour episode of me trying to figure it out on my own thumbsup)
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24th January 2009
Old 24th January 2009
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24th January 2009
Old 24th January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmic5 View Post
I know, lol. my idea was to get the tone from the amp, and simulate the cab with a variety of plug ins to see what worked best
also, I'm still lost on how I would fry my computer if I was stupidly plugging the amp load into my mbox? (my mbox, computer, and mesa head are all still working like new even after the hour episode of me trying to figure it out on my own thumbsup)
the problem with that is the head has no tone.
the tone comes from the head/speaker/cab interaction.that's why when you change speakers or tubes or cabinet size and material, it changes the tone.that's where you get sustain,distortion,feedback,overdrive,ect.
true that different heads deliver signal to the speaker out jacks in different way as in tube vs. solid state,sending reverb,overdriving one stage into another but if your going to simulate the cabs anyway, you may as well simulate the signal too.
as to why a connection from your speaker out jacks will fry your interface.
the head outputs signal in ohms to the speaker outputs, 2,4,8,16 ect.
that's to hot,unmatched and not intended for a preamp or an insert.
it may take an hour or a week but something is gonna give eventually.

also if you don't have a speaker or some kind of tube cube(attenuator) hooked up to the output of that tube head so it can see a speaker load, it will also die a horrible death, garanteed.
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24th January 2009
Old 24th January 2009
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i cheked out that head and there is a safe way if you really want to record it.

buy one of these and plug it into the speaker output of the head. you don't have to plug speakers into it but this will allow the head to see a speaker load. theres a switch on it to select the proper ohms impedence load for your head. i have a dual output one that i use to run 2 unmatched cabs, they work well. you need this or the head will fail.

Tube Cube official site - Home

then,
the trident head has an effects loop. you can run a ts inst. cable from effects out into your interface, preferrably as a post pre insert but direct to a pre will be safe. good luck.
#17
25th January 2009
Old 25th January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmic5 View Post
I know, lol. my idea was to get the tone from the amp, and simulate the cab with a variety of plug ins to see what worked best .

I'm buying a Palmer though since a ton of live bands use them and they sound pretty close to a good clean mic setup.
thumbsup
Smart move. I just bought a PDI-03 yesterday and it SMOKES!
Best 400 bucks I've ever spent (well maybe not EVER, but recently)

I also have the Behringer GI100. Not bad for 50 beans and being a Behringer product. But I dont think you can plug your amp into it. Even if you did youd still need to connect a speaker or youll fry you Mesa.

Good luck with the Palmer, you definitely won't be disappointed!!
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25th January 2009
Old 25th January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavern View Post
the trident head has an effects loop. you can run a ts inst. cable from effects out into your interface, preferrably as a post pre insert but direct to a pre will be safe. good luck.
word, thanks brudda!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Space Nugget View Post
Smart move. I just bought a PDI-03 yesterday and it SMOKES!
Best 400 bucks I've ever spent (well maybe not EVER, but recently)
absolutely! I actually really didn't think it'd sound this good, but damn!!
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25th January 2009
Old 25th January 2009
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Even cheap Behringer Ultra DI 100, permits connection of up to 3 000W power direct to the Mic In.
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#20
25th January 2009
Old 25th January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurt View Post
Even cheap Behringer Ultra DI 100, permits connection of up to 3 000W power direct to the Mic In.
True...but its not a load box so youd still need to connect the ultra DI to the amp's speaker to prevent power being reflected back into the amp head.

Probably not a big deal to most people but if i had my speaker hooked up my neighbors would be pretty upset with me!

The palmer is also a dummy load which allows for silent recording while still using an amp.. And its GREAT!
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25th January 2009
Old 25th January 2009
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absolutely! I actually really didn't think it'd sound this good, but damn!!
You said it man!
The PDI-03 is for REAL!! I dont get any amp hum either until I kick on a distortion pedal or what not.

It exceeded my expectations as well!
#22
25th January 2009
Old 25th January 2009
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This reply might not help you exactly, but since this is one of the first google results, maybe others will benefit.

Buy a pair of RCA cables from Radioshack (they're like 6 bucks). You need the CD/LINE IN jacks on your amp, too.

Located next to the headphone jack on mine, for instance.

Then you can just plug the RCA cables into your amp and the output into the Microphone jack on your computer and start recording. I use Audacity, and when using a normal microphone, since my room is small, the sound is pretty wet and saturated. It's nice and thick with this method.
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25th January 2009
Old 25th January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobrevolution View Post
This reply might not help you exactly, but since this is one of the first google results, maybe others will benefit.

Buy a pair of RCA cables from Radioshack (they're like 6 bucks). You need the CD/LINE IN jacks on your amp, too.

Located next to the headphone jack on mine, for instance.

Then you can just plug the RCA cables into your amp and the output into the Microphone jack on your computer and start recording. I use Audacity, and when using a normal microphone, since my room is small, the sound is pretty wet and saturated. It's nice and thick with this method.


Some amps do have a separate output for direct out. I know my Mesa head does but it sounds like shit. The one on the Roland Microcube is OK.

These should not be mistaken for speaker outputs on an amp head though. Sending a speaker output signal from an amp head directly into your computer or an interface could potentially damage (or destroy) one or the other or both.

The purpose of the Palmer PDI-03 which we have been discussing, is to take the speaker output signal from an amp (up to 100 watts RMS) and drop it down to line level making it suitable for input to a preamp/audio interface. It also simulates a 4x12 or 2x12 cabinet, and extremely well at that.

Its also a load box meaning you dont need to connect it to a speaker (although you can) in order to avoid power being reflected back into the amp (which will damage or destroy it)

The beauty of this is that you can record your amp silently. Even if I had my own house, cranking up the gain to get that nice overdriven tube sound would be loud as hell and the cops would be knocking at my door. lol
#24
27th May 2010
Old 27th May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Space Nugget View Post
The purpose of the Palmer PDI-03 which we have been discussing, is to take the speaker output signal from an amp (up to 100 watts RMS) and drop it down to line level making it suitable for input to a preamp/audio interface. It also simulates a 4x12 or 2x12 cabinet, and extremely well at that.

Its also a load box meaning you dont need to connect it to a speaker (although you can) in order to avoid power being reflected back into the amp (which will damage or destroy it)
I have a question concerning your last paragraph, when you mention reflected power. I am using my Palmer PDI-03 with a Marshall superlead 100 watt amp. I have blown the power transformer in it twice. I am using it according to how Palmer specifies.

I am curious if others have experienced or heard of amps being damaged by these or know of any solutions in my case.

Thanks,
Tim
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1st February 2013
Old 1st February 2013
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So I was recording my guitar amp today from the 'line out' jack socket into a focusrite 2i2 interface. Is this wrong?, it was connected to my interface for a good hour almost and I had no problems.

The amp is a peavey heritage 130 watt.
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1st February 2013
Old 1st February 2013
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Originally Posted by samsm View Post
So I was recording my guitar amp today from the 'line out' jack socket into a focusrite 2i2 interface. Is this wrong?, it was connected to my interface for a good hour almost and I had no problems.

The amp is a peavey heritage 130 watt.
Well, I guess this method Is alright then.

edit: I was reading the thread a bit wrong. So this guy instead used the speaker outs not the line out. Which is of course going to have different impedance levels.
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