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Record Guitar Direct In using Amp-Head?
Old 11th October 2008
  #1
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Record Guitar Direct In using Amp-Head?

A metal bad needs a recording and their guitarist has a 5150, he wants to come out today but doesnt have access to his cabinet- he suggested he just bring up his Amp head..

Is it possible to record a good guitar tone this way?
Old 11th October 2008
  #2
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JustinAiken's Avatar
 

No, if you're going straight out of the speaker out on the head you can hurt your pres... and if it does have a line out for recording (I don't think the 5150 does, but I could be wrong) it will sound like crap.
Old 11th October 2008
  #3
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Geert van den Berg's Avatar
 

If you run the head without a speakerload connected you will probably damage the poweramp.

To record a tube amp direct you need something like the SPL transducer, Motherload or REAMP.
Old 11th October 2008
  #4
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Barry Lird's Avatar
 

I've had some good results with this one: Mercenary Audio - Palmer PDI-03 Speaker Simulator
Old 11th October 2008
  #5
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regardless of what most here will say, this is totally possible, but you'll still need to have a cab hooked up

find some random speaker cabinet somewhere...it doesn't matter what it is, as long as it can handle the load being sent out by the head

then record the signal off of the FX send as a DI track...it'll sound like **** when tracked, because it's just the preamp, but this is where the fun starts:

slap a convolution reverb plug(or something free like voxengo boogex) onto the DI track in your DAW...then load a speaker cabinet impulse on it, and viola, you'll have the best tone you can get without sticking a mic in front of a speaker yourself.
Old 11th October 2008
  #6
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Doesn't the THD Hot Plate have a feature by which you can NOT have a cabinet hooked up? I'm fairly certain I recorded this way once, but was unhappy with the sound...
Old 11th October 2008
  #7
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yea, that's what the hot plate is for...it simulates the load of a cabinet for the amp so that you can record direct in quiet

BUT...i doubt the OP is going to put down $300+ for a hot plate in this scenario...
Old 12th October 2008
  #8
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MadGuitrst's Avatar
DON'T TRY THIS WITHOUT A LOAD!!!!

Story: Many years ago, back in the portastudio days, I plugged my Ampeg VT-22 directly into the portastudio. Shortly thereafter, it looked like lightening coming from my amp, smoke rose from behind it, and I quickly shut it off.

My amp got so hot it literally cracked a couple of the power tubes, one cracked enough to actually have most of the glass fall off.

I took it to a tech who said I was probably lucky, I only had to replace the tubes; however, I believe you can fry your transformers.

Bottom line: No load = major impedance mismatch = ****ed up amp.
Old 12th October 2008
  #9
I would definitely suggest just tracking him with a D.I. for now (use Amplitube or Amp Farm or something to make it temporarily listenable) and then re-amping the D.I. track when the guitarist can bring in his cab.
Old 12th October 2008
  #10
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I took your warnings but I think I may have accidentally done something wrong still, I plugged a JDI DI inbetween the amp and cab- sent the THRU to my interface, then sent the JDI output to the cabinet.

The result was that I completely overloaded the Apogee Ensemble input- it was clipping even with the gain all the way down- COULD I have damaged my Ensemble?

The interesting thing was that the JDI appears to have soaked up some of the amp power, so the amp had to work harder to drive the cab which sounded better.

But I'm worried about the Ensemble being fed a signal from an amp through the JDI Thru jack...
Old 14th October 2008
  #11
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I plugged the amp head into the JDI passive DI, then I plugged an XLR/TR cable from the JDI output into the Cabinet, but I ran a TR/TR cable from the Thru on the JDI to my computer as well...

When I brought it up in logic, it was clipping like crazy. Could I have caused damage to my Ensemble?
Old 14th October 2008
  #12
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wrekdahouse's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho View Post
I plugged the amp head into the JDI passive DI, then I plugged an XLR/TR cable from the JDI output into the Cabinet, but I ran a TR/TR cable from the Thru on the JDI to my computer as well...

When I brought it up in logic, it was clipping like crazy. Could I have caused damage to my Ensemble?
you are sending power (watts) to a mic pre input. you may blow something, i dont know, but never send power to somethings not a cabinet or something built to handle high power.

regards

Patricio
Old 14th October 2008
  #13
The speakers are what makes electric guitar sound so good--why would you want to take them out of the equation?
Old 14th October 2008
  #14
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It was a miswiring accident.

I wanted to have the signal go from the gutiar, split off to the computer (for reamping later) then continue on to the amp/cab..

what we found out later was that, if you placed the JDI inline between the Amp and the Cab, it put more load on the signal and you had to crank the 5150 more to get the same volume (but better tone).

So I put it inline, then connected my computer to the thru (not realizing that I wasn't getting a DI, because it had been amplified already)

it was a mess of wires and I didnt see what I was doing until after I saw the super hot input level clipping in Logic/Ensemble..


How can I tell if I broke something??????
Old 14th October 2008
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho View Post
I took your warnings but I think I may have accidentally done something wrong still, I plugged a JDI DI inbetween the amp and cab- sent the THRU to my interface, then sent the JDI output to the cabinet.

The result was that I completely overloaded the Apogee Ensemble input- it was clipping even with the gain all the way down- COULD I have damaged my Ensemble?

The interesting thing was that the JDI appears to have soaked up some of the amp power, so the amp had to work harder to drive the cab which sounded better.

But I'm worried about the Ensemble being fed a signal from an amp through the JDI Thru jack...
damn....what part of "don't connect the power amp output to the line input of your interface" wasn't clear?! The thru connection of a di is exactly what it says - the signal being fed into it.

In other words, you did exactly what everyone on this thread said not to do.

Firstly, never plug a speaker out connection into anything other than a speaker, or a speaker sim designed for this purpose. Ever. No DI, not even a jack lead - use speaker leads always.

Now - is that input on the ensemble still working? Sound the same as the rest? If so, thank your stars you werent punished for a dumb mistake, and carry on.

Might be an idea to learn how to use a DI at some point too - I could almost understand it if you connected the out of the DI to your interface instead of the thru, although that may be an even worse idea!
Old 14th October 2008
  #16
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Quote:
....what part of "don't connect the power amp output to the line input of your interface" wasn't clear?!
BTW- I had it set to Mic input, not line... dont know if that makes a difference.

Like I said, I thought that I was taking the Thru BEFORE the amp, I thought I was getting the unadaulterated DI signal from the guitar, I didnt realize from the mess of wiring, that the JDI was still plugged inline inbetween the amp and cab, so I took it AFTER, unfortunately.

I'll have to play something out of an output and record it back through each preamp channel and perform a null test. that should give me my answer.

Any suggestions on how best to perform this null test to check the health of my DI/Preamp channel in my Ensemble?

I was thinking of just taking a balanced +4 output out of the ensemble and routing it back into the Hi-Z input of the ensemble, then recording it and comparing that recording to the same material recorded through the other ensemble inputs.

or should I use my JDI in reverse to knock it back down so the HiZ is receiving at instrument level?
Old 14th October 2008
  #17
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kafka's Avatar
I seriously think you need a friend to come out and show you how this stuff works. You don't know a power amp output from a line input, and you're probably going to destroy the amp and the Ensemble at once - if you haven't done it already. I don't think trying to feel your way through this by posting in some forum is going to clear that up for you.
Old 14th October 2008
  #18
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Alright People, Look- I understand the issue, but like I have mentioned Several times, I thought I had everything wired correctly-

So, stop telling me that I am an idiot and, instead, help me.
Old 14th October 2008
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho View Post
Alright People, Look- I understand the issue, but like I have mentioned Several times, I thought I had everything wired correctly-

So, stop telling me that I am an idiot and, instead, help me.
fair enough (you were actually typing at the same time as me) but how do you muddle up a di thru and the output? I mean, they're different connectors for a start! So, even if you'd had the DI in the right place before the amp, you're not using it at all.

As for how to check the input just record something with it. I'd have thought it would be fairly obvious if its knackered or not.
Old 14th October 2008
  #20
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svart's Avatar
 

Quote:
How can I tell if I broke something??????
Does everything still work?

If so, then you didn't break anything..
Old 14th October 2008
  #21
TRA
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TRA's Avatar
 

Yes, you can get a good sound from recording the head direct. Here is the easiest way.

Get one of each of these:

Buy Behringer Ultra-G GI100 DI online at Musician's Friend

Parts Express:8 Ohm 100W Non-Inductive Dummy Load Resistor

-Plug your head into the Behringer unit
-Make a cable for the dummy load and plug that into the speaker out on the Behringer unit
-Plug the line out of the Behringer unit into your interface, mixer, whatever.

You can use the speaker simulation that the Behringer unit has or bypass it and use a convolution plugin (Altiverb, Revolver, etc) with a speaker cabinet impulse.

Doesn't sound quite as good as a mic'd amp, but way better than Amplitube.
Old 14th October 2008
  #22
TRA
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TRA's Avatar
 

One more thing...

That resistor will get hot! Don't let it sit on anything that you don't want burned.
Old 14th October 2008
  #23
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Thanks for the information.

I am using a JDI, and on their page they detail a special pad and filter that says:
Quote:
Finally, a second -30dB pad may be engaged that, when used in tandem with the -15dB input pad, allows the JDI to be connected in parallel with a speaker. This, for instance, allows the engineer to ‘tap’ the sound coming from a guitar amplifier speaker ‘post distortion’ thus adding another creative dimension. This unique function incorporates a speaker emulation filter circuit that rolls off highs and lows to more closely approximate the sound of a 12” driver.
Is this another way to accomplish the same thing you just mentioned using the dummy resistor?

Also- Svart: I know you are trying to be funny, but I would assume that in dealing with complicated electronics that it is possible to break something and not realize until you engage a certain feature of the ensemble. I want to find out right now if I have broken something, not in a few months when I need the feature I potentially broke last weekend.
I'm assuming that If I broke anything, it would be the signal chain for the DI guitar Hizinput-preamp on ch. 1, but I shouldnt assume because I know nothing about the inner workings of the Ensemble.
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