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Good Direct Guitar Sound Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 12th September 2007
  #1
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JES's Avatar
 

Good Direct Guitar Sound

So the guitar amp modeller thread got me thinking.

Forget about models for a moment. I'm a home recordist, not a pro, and I don't need to convince anyone with a "Marshall" or a "Fender" sound.

But I am interested in good quality direct guitar sound.

So, for both dirty and clean, what would you recommend for a good direct guitar sound?

Two rules for this thread:

1. No talk of Pods or other digital boxes, though software is okay.
2. No guitar amps (though pres are okay)

I'm particularly interested in pedal combinations.

Thanks.

--JES
Old 12th September 2007
  #2
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allencollins's Avatar
 

hughes and kettner makes a few cool things for good direct sounds
Old 12th September 2007
  #3
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

the emery sound mic pre has a 1/4" input that has real mojo for
both bass and guitar
Attached Thumbnails
Good Direct Guitar Sound-emery-pre-di.jpg  
Old 12th September 2007
  #4
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tritone's Avatar
 

solid clean direct

Try a Great River, GR-2NV (or 1NV), the DI input. Back off a little on the output gain, load up on the input gain a bit - for more "color". With a good guitar - clean, articulate, but meaty. Plus you have a *great *mic pre.
RC
Old 12th September 2007
  #5
Gear Head
 

For bass Universal Audio LA610. And actually a cheaper solution if you can come across it, the DBX 376 Tube Channel Strip. Not as much MOJO as the LA610 but definately usable, I got a great reaggae tone out of the cheap piece with my American Deluxe Jazz Bass.
Old 12th September 2007
  #6
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i like using my Radial JDI Duplex for the no BS, uncolored, ultra-clean and tight DI tone. then i can go to any Pre i want. works well for hardware synths/samplers too (hence Duplex = stereo).

i sometimes use DBX 163X's hi-Z input for a thicker sound, helps beef up a guitar amp plugin.
Old 12th September 2007
  #7
Deleted 86c3d96
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I ran into a used SansAmp Classic today for $99, and I am reasonably impressed with the sonic possibilities.
Old 12th September 2007
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themaidsroom View Post
the emery sound mic pre has a 1/4" input that has real mojo for
both bass and guitar
Wait . . . Emery Sound has a mic pre? I thought they just made low-wattage heads (?)

Thanks for all the replies. Please keep them coming.
Old 12th September 2007
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblotted View Post
i like using my Radial JDI Duplex for the no BS, uncolored, ultra-clean and tight DI tone. then i can go to any Pre i want. works well for hardware synths/samplers too (hence Duplex = stereo).

i sometimes use DBX 163X's hi-Z input for a thicker sound, helps beef up a guitar amp plugin.
The JDI has a jensen in it how can it be uncolored? It's passive but
with the tranny I dunno. Is it flat response somehow?
Old 12th September 2007
  #10
has anyone tried the germanium yet as a di for guitar? I'd think it would have enough "meat and mojo" to pull it off.
Old 12th September 2007
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
The JDI has a jensen in it how can it be uncolored? It's passive but
with the tranny I dunno. Is it flat response somehow?
to my ol' ears it's pretty clean. perhaps i haven't ran across a more transparent DI. do you recommend any (esp for them Tele's)?
Old 12th September 2007
  #12
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Pasta4lnch's Avatar
There are still some cool looking tube recording gtr pre's I'd like to try (or at least hear) like the voodoo labs one. i think dememter also makes a few, kotch as well. I have the mesa recto pre and it doesn;t blow my skirt up fo dirty sounds. WAY too bright.

FWIW I sucked it up and got some amps and an iso box and I'm REALLY happy. but I also got a tech 21 trademark for a practice/live amp and did a few tracks running direct just for kicks . . . it wasn;t that bad. not incredible, but not bad. . .
Old 12th September 2007
  #13
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JES View Post
But I am interested in good quality direct guitar sound.

So, for both dirty and clean, what would you recommend for a good direct guitar sound?

Two rules for this thread:

1. No talk of Pods or other digital boxes, though software is okay.
2. No guitar amps (though pres are okay)

I'm particularly interested in pedal combinations.
As far as dirty sounds are concerned, that's pretty difficult to achieve direct I think. For some sounds, especially Vox-ish tones I sometimes use the Sans Amp PSA-1 and you can really shape the midrange with it.

As far as pedals are concerned, I really like my AnalogMan Bi-Comprossor and I practically always use it when recording direct guitars. My fave pre for direct guitars is the Universal Audio 2108, it has a certain grittiness that I really like for DI signals.

Here's an example of a solo I recorded direct recorded with a Fender Japan Tele and the BiComprossor thru the UA 2108. There might have been another compressor in the chain as well, possibly a dbx 160X but I don't remember as it was done more than a year ago. Since that time I also bought a Z.Vex Super Hard-On pedal, a booster that works really well for direct sounds as well, I often use it along with the BiComprossor.
Attached Files

Till_it's_over.mp3 (976.8 KB, 1166 views)

Old 7th May 2009
  #14
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no such thing

sorry but the truth is there is no such thing as a good direct sound for guitar unless that guitar sound is a super clean non distorted sound.direct with some reverb is ok for certain things,funk rythmns haha. even the pod xt live which I do use (but not direct) blows direct. miking an amp even a tiny amp will always sound better,especially for distortion. Now having said that, I have heard that the gsp1101 digitech modeler is the best sounding direct moderler,not sure though, have heard only through an amp and its thick sounding!!I have recorded over 100 albums over 30 years and not one time was a direct distorted sound sufficent for an album quality recording, exception again was a super clean background rythmn guit,then again joe schmo satriani has a bunch of direct guit on surfin with the alien album go figure (he used that scholtz rockman stuff) and that guy who used a repliflex to record endless summer II hoey joey hoey or whatever ,he went direct live anyway into pa......maybe gsp1101 is the wholy grail of going direct with distorted guit, anyway, if guitar is a main focus of recording ,mike the amp.... my 2 cents...
Old 7th May 2009
  #15
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otobianki74's Avatar
 

I got killer DI guitar sounds through an avalon u5. great for reamping, guitar sims, or straight DI clean tone. nice on bass too.

oto
Old 7th May 2009
  #16
Vogon
Guest
Do you mean you want dirty and clean sounds that are "overtly" DI'd?

People did a lot of this in the past, and I'm not keen on the pinched, plasticky tone of a DI in most cases, though I think a few people did manage to make it work very nicely in-context. (Gilmour, Page, Trev Horn, TFF...).
If I have done it, I've used either a JDI or good X-Fo DI or BBS with a 610, or Chandler TG.

For dirty, there were the Rockmans, sansamps and some like the TS9.

It's often a really quick way to make a track sound dated or potentially cheesy though, IMHO, unless the production-style is a bit wacky or kitch or the part is buried/layered. I just generally prefer a speaker/mic thing.
(I.E. Though I admire satch's playing - The sound/s of that record mostly makes my toes curl).
Old 7th May 2009
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliengtr View Post
sorry but the truth is there is no such thing as a good direct sound for guitar unless that guitar sound is a super clean non distorted sound.
I disagree. I've heard the Avalon U5 and really liked it, haven't tried it on non-cleanish tones. My friend has this Mesa Boogie Rectifier Preamp... it's not called exactly that I can't remember the model name. I'll try to ask him. But I used that direct into some Apogee stuff into Logic and MAN what a beefy distorted tone - sounded honestly fantastic and uncompromising. Sounded just like one of their amps screaming... well, ok, not JUST like, but pretty f-ing close - way better than many amps I've heard. It's a full-on amp, tubes and all, I think it just steps down what would be the speaker output to line-level?

You might try one of those Keely (sp?) mod compressor pedals, the silver ones, for some more beef and shape control, or a variety of other pedals... Fulldrive Fulltone or something like that I always liked. I'm sure others can give better pedal advice...
Old 7th May 2009
  #18
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Try the Ramsa WRS-16 channel mixer. Can be found on e-bay from time to time. The preamps and e.q on these things will give you some serious mojo, and you get 16 channels of it!! Really, for the price you pay for one of these things, you can afford to buy a hardware compressor and even some rack gear to work with it. I have the 24 channel version of it, with an Art pro Vla II on aux. 3 and 4. I keep keyboards, bass guitar, and a couple other things plugged into it, then run them out through either buss into whatever you are using to record, hit it with the compressor, get to use an analog e.q., it's a very awesome channel strip for a direct sound. This combo for bass works better than my La-610 for my taste believe it or not. And if you use keyboards, they'll thank you for the Ramsa sound and compressor. Specialty boxes for direct in stuff in silly, and over hyped.
All you need is a nice descent preamp and something behind it to give it juice if necesarry.You'll get 16 channels with this suggestion, I've been recording direct guitars as a preferance for a awhile, I always get complements on my guitar and bass sound. Don't believe the Direct box hype my friend, check it out. Fleetwood Mac did it all the time.
Steely
Old 7th May 2009
  #19
Vogon
Guest
Direct box HYPE?
First time I've heard that word sequence.

It's a question of impedance matching, Line-in's can work, but they'll normally end up just sounding different... Also, DI's are a good way to balance an unbalanced signal, rather than simply droping the negative signal, as most balanced line in's do.

Not to criticise, your suggestion is totally valid.
Old 7th May 2009
  #20
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[QUOTE=aliengtr;4162872]sorry but the truth is there is no such thing as a good direct sound for guitar unless that guitar sound is a super clean non distorted sound.

I too disagree with that. I love the sounds of amps for sure, but all audio equipment has some type of sound to it, good or bad. And running a guitar through and interesting guitar pedal thorugh some vibey circuitry into whatever you use you use to record can sound brilliant, with or without an amp. It's also a great way to layer guitar parts if most of your track already contains alot of mic'd up amps, and can prevent muddyness and to much of one preamp/mic/amp redundancy.thumbsup
Old 7th May 2009
  #21
Clean is easy if a couple of rules are followed. First is input impedance. It must be 1 meg ohms or better to prevent loading of the pickups. For best results, remove/bypass the guitars tone and volume controls and use very short low capacitance cables.

Any line amp design with the high input impedance will do. Some are not high enough like the hi Z inputs of the dbx 163X at 470k. AC powered designs are best avoiding the radical gain staging from a typical DI into a high gain mic preamp and current restrictions of the 10 ma 48 volt phantom standard.

One session I remember was Frank Zappa back in the late 70's. He would send the guitar sound to a Pignose amp and split the signal to a high impedance DI to tape. The Pignose would create the sustain and feedback to give an almost Ebow like response while the guitar sound was squeaky clean. That was a very cool guitar sound rarely ever used today.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 7th May 2009
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
I too disagree with that.
So does Rammstein, whom I hardly think of as wimpy-sounding. Just depends on what sound you're going for.
Old 7th May 2009
  #23
Old 7th May 2009
  #24
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dandeurloo's Avatar
i will sometimes record a direct sound when demoing a song (im a drummer so who cares, it will be replaced). I like to use a neve type pre into a pedal like ZVEX BOR or AC Booster into LA 2A. It sounds ok after that in most cases and I can get it fairly close to what i want. I will say everynow and then I keep it as well (not often).
Old 7th May 2009
  #25
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Quote:
super clean non distorted sound
I disagree with this, something I do and see a lot people suggest on here is really overdriving a pre (I use a Solo 610 for this) into an amp emulator (I use Revalve). I think it helps a lot with over driven tones. And, almost any bass thru any decent pre will sound great if the player is good enough to record.
Old 7th May 2009
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisrnps View Post
So does Rammstein, whom I hardly think of as wimpy-sounding. Just depends on what sound you're going for.
Rammstein?
Old 7th May 2009
  #27
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No such thing as good direct guitar sound unless you plan to reamp or use modelers.

So to break your rules, I recommend getting a really low watt, tiny amp and, if necessary, building an iso booth for it. Or get a modeler.
Old 8th May 2009
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by neve1073 View Post
No such thing as good direct guitar sound unless you plan to reamp or use modelers.

So to break your rules, I recommend getting a really low watt, tiny amp and, if necessary, building an iso booth for it. Or get a modeler.
Rules? Rules? We don't have no stinking rules.

My Fernandez sustainer guitar has unique clean sounds while notes ring out forever, sort of like a string version of an organ. It drives the Axon synth rig like a keyboard, no dreaded "midi note off" problems.

Modelers are simulators. Amps limit high frequency response. A well played clean direct guitar sound is good thing unless you're pre-conditioned to hear distortion with your music. It's just a style choice. I like a full pallet.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
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