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Better Guitar Tones For Bedroom Recording
Old 4th January 2020
  #331
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sascha Franck View Post
You know, this is all fine and dandy (and using a kick drum case does add some "flavour"), but there's *no way* this is bedroom/latenite compatible, simply because there's not enough wall thickness to isolate any lower frequencies enough.
I know this because I've been through the process. It's all fine during daytime but in case you really want to be able to record at any time of the day, this will not work. And yes, that's a matter of physics, lower frequencies just need thick isolation. For this very reason, my own attempt went *way, way, way* larger than what I'd originally thought.
Yeah I didn't expect this would suit every person in every environment. The thinner your walls and the nastier one's neighbors the greater the risk, however he did post at the very end that it was roughly like "loud conversation" in the room.

If we assume even 75db, VERY loud conversation short of yelling, any 4 inch thick concrete or insulated sheet rock wall should mitigate that to substantially less than normal conversation levels. That's still not OK at 3AM but just slightly more complex isocabs on YT and in the above mentioned "Success" thread demonstrate quite cheap solutions where testing with wireless guitar and actually going to the neighbors reveal it inaudible.

So isocabs CAN be a valid, cheap solution depending just a wee bit on environment and budget. In the above linked video I thought the recorded tone was quite good for a "loud conversation" level in the room and the box itself was not even isolated at all.
Old 4th January 2020
  #332
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Let me get this straight: I am absolutely not opposed to iso cabs. I lusted after a Demeter/Randall one for quite a while, but wanted more flexibility (it was only 1x12 and getting in two mics would've been problematic already), so I built my own. Which was great but wouldn't have worked in my appartment at all due to the size, so I had to place it in my "music refuge" (that, fwiw the landlord unfortunately claimed back for personal usage around 1.5 years ago, but 2020 will be the year to find a new one), which was kind of a contradiction because volume was no issue there.

Anyhow, these days, if you really feel like having to record a real amp (which I could perfectly understand, I might even do that later this year myself, even if it was just because I can) at bedroom levels, I think a reactive load and IRs (or one of the boxes combining them, such as the Suhr one, the UAD Ox, the Boss Waza Tube amp Expander, the various Two Notes offerings, etc.) are the way to go. Without much options to fool around with multiple mics and positions, an iso cab IMO will quickly become a very limited solution - and even if you manage to finetune that one sound you can get out of it, I would almost take a bet that even some hard core purists would have a tough time to tell whether it's the real deal or an IR of the same cab/mic captured.
Old 4th January 2020
  #333
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sascha Franck View Post
Let me get this straight: I am absolutely not opposed to iso cabs. I lusted after a Demeter/Randall one for quite a while, but wanted more flexibility (it was only 1x12 and getting in two mics would've been problematic already), so I built my own. Which was great but wouldn't have worked in my appartment at all due to the size, so I had to place it in my "music refuge" (that, fwiw the landlord unfortunately claimed back for personal usage around 1.5 years ago, but 2020 will be the year to find a new one), which was kind of a contradiction because volume was no issue there.

Anyhow, these days, if you really feel like having to record a real amp (which I could perfectly understand, I might even do that later this year myself, even if it was just because I can) at bedroom levels, I think a reactive load and IRs (or one of the boxes combining them, such as the Suhr one, the UAD Ox, the Boss Waza Tube amp Expander, the various Two Notes offerings, etc.) are the way to go. Without much options to fool around with multiple mics and positions, an iso cab IMO will quickly become a very limited solution - and even if you manage to finetune that one sound you can get out of it, I would almost take a bet that even some hard core purists would have a tough time to tell whether it's the real deal or an IR of the same cab/mic captured.
I happen to agree that the solutions you mention are quite valid and very useful for some. There are players who don't wish to embrace yet another major learning curve and just want to be able to record what they already get. Joe Walsh once asked me why amp designers can't build an amp that sounds amazing and just has one Volume control to get louder. to suit the venue.

I told him that's possible to some degree but for the ultimate source and ultimate destination, that different players define "amazing" differently and different guitars/pups (not to mention speakers) are part of the equation. Basically I'd almost have to build an amp for each guitar. However his question was the motivation for my Silvertone that just has two Volume controls though and it does sound quite great with many guitars, just not all of them.

I bet Joe would love it but I haven't spoken with him in over a decade and really I wouldn't want to approach him with just a prototype and I kinda suck at cosmetics. I'm a nuts and bolts kinda guy.
Old 5th January 2020
  #334
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Not to mention every room and every ensemble requires a different frequency response! Joe's idea is interesting and creative but like a lot of cool ideas, not practical.

For some reason small amps like Champs work just fine with one knob. Bigger amps I don't think would work.
Old 5th January 2020
  #335
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Not to mention every room and every ensemble requires a different frequency response! Joe's idea is interesting and creative but like a lot of cool ideas, not practical.

For some reason small amps like Champs work just fine with one knob. Bigger amps I don't think would work.
What I learned from Joe's question and the follow-up work I did with Volume control only amp design, is that if you voice the amp in a fixed manner to please your ear and your common choices in guitars as well as music genre (or "your sound") size doesn't matter other than 1) How much headroom you need for a given size venue, and the reverse, 2) at what point is the onset of overdrive.

This means one of two things. Either one needs the same essential preamp, including effects pedals, with a variety of power sections, or 2) just one amp that is mic'd up for both FOH and monitor mix.

Most musicians I know use extremely close to the same settings pretty much all the time, at the very least with a given guitar. The only control that changes much is Volume. Some guys, usually the more instinctive, less tech savvy, get so locked into some set of numbers, they will start with those numbers on any amp they plug into.

Ultimately IMHO electric guitar implies an amplifier. The guitar is incomplete as an instrument until an amp is included. If it is voiced in a way that complements the guitar in a manner that pleases you, you really don't need much to adapt to a venue or even a particular song. Plus, the more complex the signal chain, the less important each component is and the more muffled and generic the results are. Having a simple, known good, with just a little room for effects "spice" is of huge benefit to most players.
Old 5th January 2020
  #336
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Fwiw, re: ISO boxes
Old 5th January 2020
  #337
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
What I learned from Joe's question and the follow-up work I did with Volume control only amp design, is that if you voice the amp in a fixed manner to please your ear and your common choices in guitars as well as music genre (or "your sound") size doesn't matter other than 1) How much headroom you need for a given size venue, and the reverse, 2) at what point is the onset of overdrive.

This means one of two things. Either one needs the same essential preamp, including effects pedals, with a variety of power sections, or 2) just one amp that is mic'd up for both FOH and monitor mix.

Most musicians I know use extremely close to the same settings pretty much all the time, at the very least with a given guitar. The only control that changes much is Volume. Some guys, usually the more instinctive, less tech savvy, get so locked into some set of numbers, they will start with those numbers on any amp they plug into.

Ultimately IMHO electric guitar implies an amplifier. The guitar is incomplete as an instrument until an amp is included. If it is voiced in a way that complements the guitar in a manner that pleases you, you really don't need much to adapt to a venue or even a particular song. Plus, the more complex the signal chain, the less important each component is and the more muffled and generic the results are. Having a simple, known good, with just a little room for effects "spice" is of huge benefit to most players.
I wonder if you could use a removable panel, with small set controls behind it, to pre-set the amp to your desired tone, then cover it up and only use the one volume knob, make it look stealth.

Since every player has different settings. Just an idea I think could work.

I forgot to mention that speaker cabinets need different EQ, as well as different guitars, think you mentioned that already. If you have both of those things decided on I don't see why you couldn't stick with the same EQ settings for a long time, like you said.
Old 5th January 2020
  #338
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I wonder if you could use a removable panel, with small set controls behind it, to pre-set the amp to your desired tone, then cover it up and only use the one volume knob, make it look stealth.

Since every player has different settings. Just an idea I think could work.
Bingo! and the prize goes to monkeyxxc! Yeah you hit the nail on the head. The need for a lot of features is all about different players with different guitars and what convinces people to suspend fear of buyer's remorse on the salesroom floor. Back in the 80s Engl made a Tube amp with servo controlled controls (actually VCF and VCO circuits but tube amplifcation) so a musician could setup several patches of a nearly infinite combination of settings and almost everyone loved the idea 'cuz you just sensed you could fit any situation but the truth was, besides being noisy af, unless you were in a wide ranging cover band, it really wasn't very useful. Add to that it seems like we get one of two choices, either something that does a lot of stuff pretty OK or stuff that does one thing really great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I forgot to mention that speaker cabinets need different EQ, as well as different guitars, think you mentioned that already. If you have both of those things decided on I don't see why you couldn't stick with the same EQ settings for a long time, like you said.
While EQ can't possibly make one speaker sound like another it is certainly true that different EQ is needed for different speakers and by different players.

Your idea of a hidden panel would certainly work and I've seen some electronics that just use pots with recessed screwdriver-slotted shafts (no knobs) so you can't accidentally alter a setting. You have to really want to alter one or any. The way I designed the Silvertone amp of mine was sorta like that. I used variable resistors and variable caps in the signal path and tuned each stage for voicing bearing in mind that it seems best to emphasize highs early in gain staging and progressively get bassier further "up the line".

Little by little each stage got locked in voice-wise and all it needed was to control gain and recover at the FX Loop Return which also acted something like a Master Volume even though it , too was actually a gain stage. Since then I've thought of inserting a negative feedback control to affect damping factor and headroom but I just can't bear to give up how open it sounds with none. If I need more headroom, I just use a more powerful amp.
Old 5th January 2020
  #339
Lives for gear
 
enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I wonder if you could use a removable panel, with small set controls behind it, to pre-set the amp to your desired tone, then cover it up and only use the one volume knob, make it look stealth.

Since every player has different settings. Just an idea I think could work.
Bingo! and the prize goes to monkeyxxc! Yeah you hit the nail on the head. The need for a lot of features is all about different players with different guitars and what convinces people to suspend fear of buyer's remorse on the salesroom floor. Back in the 80s Engl made a Tube amp with servo controlled controls (actually VCF and VCO circuits but tube amplifcation) so a musician could setup several patches of a nearly infinite combination of settings and almost everyone loved the idea 'cuz you just sensed you could fit any situation but the truth was, besides being noisy af, unless you were in a wide ranging cover band, it really wasn't very useful. Add to that it seems like we get one of two choices, either something that does a lot of stuff pretty OK or stuff that does one thing really great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I forgot to mention that speaker cabinets need different EQ, as well as different guitars, think you mentioned that already. If you have both of those things decided on I don't see why you couldn't stick with the same EQ settings for a long time, like you said.
While EQ can't possibly make one speaker sound like another it is certainly true that different EQ is needed for different speakers and by different players.

Your idea of a hidden panel would certainly work and I've seen some electronics that just use pots with recessed screwdriver-slotted shafts (no knobs) so you can't accidentally alter a setting. You have to really want to alter one or any. The way I designed the Silvertone amp of mine was sorta like that. I used variable resistors and variable caps in the signal path and tuned each stage for voicing bearing in mind that it seems best to emphasize highs early in gain staging and progressively get bassier further "up the line".

Little by little each stage got locked in voice-wise and all it needed was to control gain and recover at the FX Loop Return which also acted something like a Master Volume even though it , too was actually a gain stage. Since then I've thought of inserting a negative feedback control to affect damping factor and headroom but I just can't bear to give up how open it sounds with none. If I need more headroom, I just use a more powerful amp.
Old 5th January 2020
  #340
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sascha Franck View Post
Fwiw, re: ISO boxes
I mean, if you're going to use a condenser to also get the room sound obviously you will get different results when you take the room away. He has the 57 back a few inches as well. If he'd done a 1:1 comparison of just a close-mic it would have been much more similar. But no one should expect to get the sound of the room inside an iso box. That's absolutely a trade-off of... uh not being in the room.
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