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Old 10-31-2014, 01:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Guitar -> Distortion -> Preamp -> Interface/Mixer... How will it sound?

Hello!

I would like to find a compact, preferrably not too expensive way to record guitars and play live guitars also. With distortion.

So, I was thinking of buying a Wampler Sovereign for distortion, and also buy a FMR Audio Really Nice Preamp for both vocals and guitar.

How do you think it will sound if I just plug them directly to mixer/audio interface?

I would like to not have guitar amp+speakers in the setup for several reasons: 1. To record guitars without disturbing neighbors. 2. To have a light and compact arrangement for live, so that I can manage easily if I need to carry everything alone. 3. To save money.

Any advice appreciated!

Cheers!
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Probably pretty bad. For less than the price of the Wampler distortion pedal alone you could get one of these. This will have distortion and OD but also speaker emulation so that plugging it straight into a mixer will get you much closer to the sound of a miked amplifier.

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Old 10-31-2014, 03:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I was trained as a recording engineer and we never take the guitar into the board direct unless the signal is clean. Generally, you play through the amp AND go into the board direct simultaneously via a DI (direct injection) box. You can distort the signal from the amp all you want as it goes to the board and then to the recording tracks but the direct signal should always be clean. Afterwards, you run the clean signal through a rack-mounted box to add whatever distortion you want and then you combine that with the amp signal. The amp signal is your primary sound so mix the two signals like 70:30 or something like that. This will give give you a guitar-from-hell sound.

Can you go into the board distorted? Yes, but the truth is, it doesn't sound all that good plus you can't change the distortion setting if you don't like it. You'll have to record the guitar track again whereas you can change the direct signal distortion all you want without needing to record it over. Direct-in distortion sounds passable as a demo but it lacks that amplifier "Umphhh!" as a finished production. You NEED that amp signal. I do bass tracks the same way even though I was taught to take bass in direct only. I like a MEATY bass sound that blows your face out and can't stand that thin direct signal sound by itself.
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Larehip View Post
I was trained as a recording engineer and we never take the guitar into the board direct unless the signal is clean.
You never worked with modelers????
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Old 11-01-2014, 01:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you very much.

But let's assume, for practical reasons, I can not have the miked amp+speaker in the equation. What would be your preference? Could a tube head with a direct out for example give a good sound (with the wampler distortion)?

Something like:

Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 5 Head

Or would something like Lord here suggested be the best solution?
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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*cough*

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Old 11-01-2014, 09:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I know the situation you're in. Most musicians who want to record themselves go through it. I've had to record living in an apartment and stuff. You just can't make too much noise. And I've recorded pretty good stuff that way using synths and drum pads. I used to use a little Tom Scholz fx box (you know, the guy from Boston). You clip it on your belt and plug into it and it gave you all kinds of fx to work with--nice distortion. It was actually very versatile. Ran on AC or DC. I still have it around somewhere. You could use it live too. I don't know if they still make them or not.

I'm not familiar with the equipment you're mentioning so I can't comment on them. You can make pretty good recordings going in direct. But it has that demo kind of sound. Anytime you see pros going into the studio, they do it the way I described above. They want that amp sound because your amp is part of your signature sound. We're proud of our amp sound and we want to capture it. For me, it's the same with bass. I have a nice bass amp sound and I want it on my recordings. But if you have to go in direct only, you can still make good recordings if you know what you're doing. Often, it's just hit and miss, trial and error.
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Oops.. meant to say Chula suggested.

Thank you very much.

I'm not pro (at least yet) and this is my situation now, as it is for many others. I was just worried that plugging it directly would give a "harsh", "cold", "unnatural" distortion, and sice the Really Nice Preamp should do pretty much nothing else but step it up I was wondering if a tube head could give it some "warmth" and more "natural" feel.

That POD, by the way, doesn't sound bad at all. But still the thought of a quality analog distortion like Wampler Sovereign tickles my imagination...
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkusUz View Post
That POD, by the way, doesn't sound bad at all. But still the thought of a quality analog distortion like Wampler Sovereign tickles my imagination...
As it should. Wampler pedals are great plugged into an amp. But they will sound like sterile crap plugged direct into a console.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I stayed away from pedals going in direct because they tend to add noise. I'm an obsessive audiophile--any extra noise is unacceptable. So I tended to use rack mounted stuff. I was using two signal processors--one was an Alesis and I can't remember the other. These could allow cool stuff like stereo fx and like that. Noiseless. They are definitely more DI friendly than pedals. Probably cheaper than a lot of pedals. Something to look into. For bass guitar, I use a Boss digital fx pedal--nothing better, I don't care what anyone says.
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