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Good guitar sound w/o amps
Old 28th August 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
willythekid's Avatar
 

Good guitar sound w/o amps

I record lots of music at home, using my old M-Audio Duo and a not very impressive ART tube preamp. Now I need to record a decent demo for a competition, and I need to get a better guitar sound. I want a "genuine" sixties type of sound. What would be preferable, getting a nice preamp/DI like API 512C and add inbuilt effects of Logic. Or go with a Line 6 Pod or something equivalent. I'm especially looking for good "clean" sounds w/o distortion.

Best –
WTK
Old 28th August 2007
  #2
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FossilTooth's Avatar
 

I don't understand why a small, decent amp is not an option, but...

If you absolutely must record DI guitar, I will (begrudgingly) be forced to recommend a PODXT rather than a straight DI signal through a nice pre.
Old 28th August 2007
  #3
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willythekid's Avatar
 

Sensitive neighbours and lack of rehearsal space is the main reason for why i have no amp. Do you know any small amps that sound good even on low output, maybe that would be a good solution. I find that guitar processors often sound great for distorted, "big" sounds, but are not as impressive for softer styles.

-wtk
Old 28th August 2007
  #4
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Unclenny's Avatar
That 'genuine' 60's sound will take a bit of work.

Me....I'm still working on the genuine 00's sound.

That said, it sounds like you haven't worked with the live amp thing much yet....and that in itself takes a little time to get right.

I agree with Tooth....go with the Pod.
Old 28th August 2007
  #5
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miqer's Avatar
 

boss paddle

(get a small tube vox... sounds great, not too loud... i'm sure the people next door will forgive you if you tell them you are using a real tube amp! :O)

I tried the new boss (fender) bassman paddle, going straight into the preamp and then computer: and... it is ok... Better than I thought it would be...

m.
Old 28th August 2007
  #6
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by willythekid View Post
Sensitive neighbours and lack of rehearsal space is the main reason for why i have no amp. Do you know any small amps that sound good even on low output, maybe that would be a good solution. I find that guitar processors often sound great for distorted, "big" sounds, but are not as impressive for softer styles.

-wtk
For times like that I sometimes use my Blues Jr. with a Presonus Smart Comp (cheap) in front of it. I can crank the amp but tame the sound with the comp output set low.

It's kind of radical....but hey, whatever works, right?
Old 28th August 2007
  #7
Go onto eBay and see if you can find a cheap (used) POD ProXT. At least you'll get a digital signal directly into the computer and won't have to worry about the Line6 conversion, and then double converting back to digital with the M-Audio stuff. There are tons of usable demo sounds on that puppy.
Old 28th August 2007
  #8
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Energie's Avatar
 

If your using software recording program, look into Amplitube 2 and see if it will work with your host. you can try a free demo version of it. In my opinion, the better amp modeling software out there, does great vintage as well as modern sounds, and the distortion doesn't sound like angry bees

I have used numerous direct recording things, and use amplitube mostly now.
Old 29th August 2007
  #9
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Tibbon's Avatar
Forget digital emulation. Get a PSA-1. They are fun, tasty, and work on everything. It doesn't always sound like a real amp, but it always sounds pretty good.
Old 29th August 2007
  #10
i heard the epiphone valve junior was a good recording amp. It's $150 and you could put some old GE, RCA, Telefunken or Mullard tubes in it and it would probably sound awesome. Don't put too much faith in digital technology. Mic it with a LDC 1 or 2 feet back and place it carefully in your room so you like the natural reverb sound you get. Crazy right? heh

I bet you're thinking oh horrors no! Does it make you sick to imagine real amps, sounding real, with real room sound, and real tone? Yikes! No offense but the idea of making a great vintage guitar sound without doing anything moderately like they used to do is absurd to me. You don't have to crank the amp because you want it clean. Put it in your closet
Old 29th August 2007
  #11
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For what it's worth:

There are a few low cost, low-watt tube amp options available now. The Epiphone Valve Jr. 5-watt was mentioned already. Fender has a new Champion reissue for around the same dollar mark, give or take a little. Peavey has one out now too.

Any of these will give you a better recording sound at low volume than a POD, Tonelab, etc., I think. I've yet to hear an amp sim that didn't sound false and plastic-like. With these low-watters, you can get good, authentic tone without cranking the volume.

I have two 5-watt amps (other others) I use for recording: the Valve Jr. for dark/boxy bluesy stuff; and the Gibson GA-5 for almost everything else. The Gibson is really great, but costs more -- better tubes, hand-wired, specialty speaker -- kinda boutique.
Old 29th August 2007
  #12
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To everyone mentioning the 5 watt amps, that's great and all but it's still loud enough to piss neighbors off if your in an apartment. Something with a powe soak would probably work much better. Other than that a POD or some decent software would have to be the way to go. Again, 5 watts is NOT that quiet.
Old 29th August 2007
  #13
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chrispick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79 View Post
To everyone mentioning the 5 watt amps, that's great and all but it's still loud enough to piss neighbors off if your in an apartment. Something with a powe soak would probably work much better. Other than that a POD or some decent software would have to be the way to go. Again, 5 watts is NOT that quiet.
They're fine at quiet levels if you're doing clean sounds -- which is what the OP is seeking according to his initial post.

I realize the appeal of low-watters for a lot of people here is that you can get tube saturation at lower volumes than high-watt amps, but they also simply sound pretty good quiet and clean. At least mine do.
Old 29th August 2007
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Master Tang's Avatar
 

Why not go DI through a tube pre. like a Meek, using line level from the guitar, and then find a good tone using the aforemetioned Amplitube, or NI Guitar Rig?

You would have the ability to reamp at low levels, and find the tone that fit the song.

Just a thought.
Old 29th August 2007
  #15
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Tibbon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispick View Post
They're fine at quiet levels if you're doing clean sounds -- which is what the OP is seeking according to his initial post.

I realize the appeal of low-watters for a lot of people here is that you can get tube saturation at lower volumes than high-watt amps, but they also simply sound pretty good quiet and clean. At least mine do.
Agreed and agreed. My ~18-25 watt class A amp (single 12" Red Fang) can piss off the neighbors hard, on the 3rd floor of my building... and I live in the basement, if it's cranked. It i'm using it for clean, no one notices it anymore than the girl playing violin across the hall. Unfortunately the 'good' tone doesn't start grooving on it until it's just a little louder than everyone in the building likes, otherwise it's a little bit dark as an amp goes.
Old 29th August 2007
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispick View Post
They're fine at quiet levels if you're doing clean sounds -- which is what the OP is seeking according to his initial post.

I realize the appeal of low-watters for a lot of people here is that you can get tube saturation at lower volumes than high-watt amps, but they also simply sound pretty good quiet and clean. At least mine do.

Sorry, didn't realize 60's sound meant clean. In that case a pod would work just fine. But 5 watts is still decently loud. I work with everything from 5 watts to 150 and most of the kids I record are pretty impressed at how loud a VJ can get.
Old 29th August 2007
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

did you try going into the 1/4 input on a good preamp such as the API 512 ?
its not going to do distorted sounds but sounds great to me for clean guitars and bass.
You can EQ the sound to get it even better and then thow on a touch of reverb
AJ
Old 29th August 2007
  #18
mwd
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That genuine 60's sound has more to do with your source (style and guitar) than your target (amp) but you might consider a Marshall JMP-1 or on the lower end a Peavey Rockmaster for a direct-to-board approach.

The reverb you choose will also help authenticate your tone.
Old 29th August 2007
  #19
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While I do love a good amp, I totaly think you will enjoy a direct recording system such as Amplitube. its so quick and easy, and sounds great, it really does, and you can work at bedroom levels without having to mic up something. Alot of people think just because its a digital emulation that its not gonna be good, but I would take amplitube 2 over a small tube amp anyday, because it is so verstatile, and you can get many many usable tones rather then having to buy a bunch of pedals to get different sounds.. Amplitube 2 does sound great, download the trial, its free.

i use it professionally for music writing all the time, and I have/had quite a few nice tube amps, its just quicker and easier for me. just my 2 cents again.
Old 29th August 2007
  #20
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rjacobsen's Avatar
 

You might give this a look. You could use it with a decent cabinet.
ZVEX AMPS
Old 29th August 2007
  #21
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dropblacksky's Avatar
 

It's true that a small tube amp is going to give you a vibe that amplitube won't....but you need to have a decent mic and pre to really make it shine. If not, then something like Amplitube is going to be good enough for 99.9% of people who listen to the song and you get way more versatility. It's just a matter of whether you prefer having a hundred 75% options or one 95% option. If your music requires 1 or 2 great tones, get a little tube amp.
Old 29th August 2007
  #22
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I have had good success recording using my 5 Watt Mini Cat but it was an expensive little beast. I have heard Fenders new little tube 5 watt amp and it ain't bad. I am not opposed to using direct guitar or guitar digital emulation boxes which I own. BUT, no matter how hard I try I can't get good stand alone, full bodied guitar tone out of the boxes. I can with the small watt amps.

If playing a 5 watt tube amp at the level that sounds good bothers your neighbors I can't understand how one exists with such restraint.
Old 29th August 2007
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
willythekid's Avatar
 

thanks for all good tips and ideas, love on ya all gearslutz!
Old 29th August 2007
  #24
if you're looking @ pod's & di's give the Vox Tonelab a shot. i get good tones out of mine & the guitarists i have over seem to like it.
Old 29th August 2007
  #26
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Get Amplitube 2.

Then download Voxengo Boogex (Free).

Download free speaker cabinet IRs.

Pick your tone in Amplitube and disengage it's speaker cabinets. Load up and use the ones in Boogex instead.


Guitar > Pedals > Pre> Amplitube > Boogex = Very good ITB guitar tone.
Old 29th August 2007
  #27
Carr Amplifiers

If price is not an issue then check out the mercury recording amp from Carr, it can go down to 1/2 watt. There's plenty of audio clips on the page but you really have to play it live to appreciate the beauty.

If price is an issue then the fender blues jr isn't terrible.
Old 29th August 2007
  #28
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TheRealRoach's Avatar
Native Instruments "Guitar Rig" all the way. I use it all the time for writing sessions and I can go in an instant from raging metal guitar sounds, so quirky, echo-y pyschadelic sounds. Extremely easy to use. It's a stereo processor as well so you mimic miking multiple amps at one and pan them wide etc... Check out the website:

NATIVE INSTRUMENTS : Products : Guitar Line
Old 29th August 2007
  #29
I've had good results with my Summit Audio TD-100 direct box combined with Guitar Rig 2. Don't use any pedals and dial in the loading to match your pickups.
Old 2nd September 2007
  #30
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miqer's Avatar
 

You could also buy a second hand old tube Radio... a telefunken... one that has a phono input, put the guitar in that one... Here in Holland they sell them dead cheap... I have 1... Very quiet (not loud)... and made in the 60ies...

m.
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