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Hobbyist Home Recording: How Many Amp sounds ?

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by ping-ping-clicka, Nov 25, 2020.

  1. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I record at home for my own enjoyment. Isee products that provide many many amp sounds.
    I've been thinking perhaps three basic amps Fender Deluxe, AC 30, and a Marshall JTM Plexi,
    would provide 3 very good starting places for building guitar tones.
    Each has a distinct type of sound, and may be modified with various stomp boxes for changing the flavor and or edge of each amp . many but not all early rock players used one of the three generally speaking

    I recently recorded a slide part which I like but the tone was not to my liking. Using the 3 band parametric eq on the mixer, with a few quick adjustment and a little with and with out eq comparisons,
    the guitar tone was more pleasing and sat in the track very nicely.

    I know that I am not a discerning tone gourmet, and believe at this time keeping it simple is best given my limited experience and tin ear.
    KrazyKat border.jpg
     
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  2. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's

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    I just saw an ad for some kind of cab simulator that claimed "20,000 mic positions" and "unlimited creative possibilities". Unless you are disciplined, you will waste time that could have been spent playing, recording, arranging, etc. with cork sniffing tones. I'd say you're on to something with 3 basic sounds, and EQ to fit into your track.

    Honestly I think these cab sims and mic sims could mostly be replaced by a parametric EQ.
     
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  3. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Agreed - I've actually stopped looking at what the amp model is and quickly choose one with the vibe I'm going for and tweak settings and EQ to fine tune. Rarely do I find I can't achieve what I looking for this way.
     
  4. beanluc

    beanluc Tele-Holic

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    I used to think that EQ alone could be used to replicate almost anything other than picks and fingers.

    I don't anymore, but it's still hyper useful. I agree with @Digital Larry that your 3 amp sims and useful EQ tools are probably all you really need.

    Of course, there's another element here, which is that not every home recording hobbyist is after the same thing. So the "good starting point" for you might not be the same 3 amp sims someone else might want. But NOBODY (other than maybe a very very experienced professional recording engineer who has a good professional reason not to just go and get their hands on actual gear) needs 20,000 options for mic positions alone, to say nothing of all the permutations you could multiply in with 5,000 mic-hardware sim options, 5,000 amp-sim options and 5,000 cabinet-sim options.
     
  5. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    My take is that tonal exploration is good, up to a point, because it helps you narrow down to particular sounds that inspire you. The great thing these days is it doesn't have to cost you $1000's to do it.

    While I tend to stick with Fender and Vox amps/models, I've done a lot more experimenting with IR's since they're relatively inexpensive. Between Celestion and OwnHammer IR's I probably have a few thousand files. However, after a little experimentation I found that I like IR's based on the Electro-Voice EVM 12L Classic speaker in either a 1x12 or 4x12 configuration with either a Royer 121 or Neumann KM84 mics. Since I don't have $5000+ to spend on this kind of real recording setup, the IR's work great for me.
     
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  6. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'll probably get flogged by all the AmpFanBoiz and Plug-in Pilots for saying this, but to me, 'amp sounds' don't matter. I mention this because once you stick a few effects in the chain and get a sound recorded, the amp's sound you originally chose to use becomes polluted by all the other stuff (including cabinet sims, microphones and where you put 'em, etc.) that affect the signal.

    Manufacturers of gear and software/plugins are hoping nobody thinks like this. The way modeling, EQ, and effects work these days, you can get pretty much any sound from any amp model.

    I'd rather spend my time making music, rather than pushing buttons and twiddling knobs. I know there are plenty of players that love this 'equipment' aspect of playing, and that's valid too because there's nothing wrong with it. If you're a studio jock, you need to have as many tools as you can carry in your bag to the date. But for me, I prefer a simpler approach to making/recording music. When I was playing in bands, I had a small pedalboard and I used three basic sounds--clean, gritty, and distortion. There was a chorus and a delay for tunes that required 'em.
     
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  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    This thread is right up my alley. After long searches using pedals, amps and EQ, I found what I like and just use 3 amp emulation pedals through one loud and one low Watt Fenderish clean amps. Been very happy with this set-up for a couple years now. IMG_2987.JPG
     
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  8. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Everyone is different, but if I can get one great clean-ish Fender sound one great more crunchy AC30 kind of sound, I can do just about everything I'm interested in doing.
    PS what you are describing is exactly what the Strymon Iridium pedal is designed to do - it emulates a BF Deluxe, an AC30, and a JCM800, and has a few cab sim options for each. It's pretty expensive given that you get more choices from a Helix or whatever, but if you want simplicity and those sounds, it's pretty appealing. I don't own one myself, but it's pretty tempting.
     
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  9. Wulf

    Wulf Tele-Afflicted

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    I tried some of these digital recording things myself and came to the conclusion that there was no real substitute for a real amp and a couple of microphones well placed
    im lucky..lots of different amps to play with and im not much of an f/x fan
    i noticed too many digital artifacts or a too clinical sound using software...so went back to basics and do it the old fashioned way...tascam digital 8 track yes...but i do everything in realtime ..treating it like a tape machine
    set up and go ...easy...
     
  10. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I really generally need only 3 or 4.

    A good acoustic sound, a good clean blackface sound, a good driven tweed sound, and a good high gain like, hot-modded marshall or boogie sound
     
  11. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Think about all the great songs/albums that were recorded with the amp the guitarist brought to the studio- in many cases, the only one he owned.

    Having options is great, but in most cases I think our modern era of unlimited options for everything just leads to analysis paralysis. There's a great story of legendary producer Glyn Johns teaching his assistant a valuable lesson on a session- the assistant spent a long time carefully placing mics on a guitar amp until he was satisfied with the result. Just before the band came in to start tracking, Johns grabbed the mics and moved them without even listening. The assistant was horrified that Johns had ruined his work, but as the band was playing, Johns said "just listen". He realized that in the context of the track, the difference in mic placement was unnoticeable.

    The lesson wasn't that we shouldn't bother working to get good sounds, but that we shouldn't obsess over details that, in the grand scheme, don't make much difference. Sure I like having access to digital emulations of every amp ever made at the click of a button. When the rubber hits the road though, you don't NEED all that if you have a good player playing a good song through a good sounding amp. A plexi style Marshall and a Rangemaster will cover most any rock guitar sound you could need, short of extreme metal.
     
  12. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Afflicted

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    I think it depends on what type of music you’re making. In real life, I’ve only gigged mostly with a DRRI, a bassman, or a tweed deluxe/blonde princeton thing. Most of the music I write at home is supposed to sound like me, so I just have really good emulations of each of those, give or take (have a decent PR, TR in there too probably). I don’t get bogged down with emulations, I just pick what most sounds like my own amps to me and treat them after the fact. I’ve actually considered the strymon iridium if I could find a used one cheap enough, I’d probably just leave it in deluxe reverb mode (and, if you max the mids, it becomes a tweed deluxe emulation). Everything else is just whatever stuff that I like to use when jamming along with records for fun.

    I guess if you’re playing covers or doing session-y work for people you’d need at least a fender, Marshall, vox, orange, Mesa.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
  13. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Afflicted

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    Marshall JMPish
    Vox AC30
    Some kind of Tweed.

    Sometimes I run them all through the same impulse response of a 4x12 greenback cabinet with a 57 and a 121.
     
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  14. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I use a Legacy 3 and small pedal board with 3-4 distinctly different flavored drive pedals.

    It all ends up sounding like me... I get more distinction from changing guitars than changing pedals
     
  15. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    To the OP, I went down this path with actual amps. If you are trying this in software, it's not quite clear from your post, here is what I went through and you can think about this whether going amp sim or real.

    First would be having 10 inch and 12 inch speaker options. It makes a difference matching tone to the recording. Also open back and closed back options for cabinets. Finally get a tweed option in there. I went with a Mojo 5E3 i.e. Tweed Deluxe option.

    Having some mix and match options gets a range of tone. My picks were a Fender Deluxe & Vibrolux amps for different speaker sizes. I went with a Vox AC15C1 instead of AC30 because the 30 is a heavy amp. I also got a Marshall DSL40c which works but a plexi brings a bit more authenticity. Another option is a 4x12 closed back; this for the tight low end it brings. Later I realized that the Tweed Deluxe was actually a pretty important option and gets used a lot more than I originally thought it would. I have a Princeton but it tends to get mushy sounding when pushed and the Tweed option records better. Not sure this would be the same in software.

    When recording, the variety of tones is also dependent on the mics and locations you put them i.e. front, dual front, front and back with the option of a room mic at varying distances. If you have mic options a couple SM57s or SM7, Royer 122 or ribbon mic along with a distance condenser mic for room bounce/characteristics.

    Just wanted to relay real world to help you think about your options whether in or out of software.
     
  16. tanplastic

    tanplastic Tele-Meister

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    For casual recording I've found a Line6 Pod indispensable.
    It's as simple or as deep as you want, is relatively inexpensive, and sounds good.
     
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  17. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Really though truth be told, I can pretty much do it all with that good driven tweed sound, manipulating vol and tone controls on my guit

    And when I'm doing my own recordings, it's always Line6 Gearbox software
     
  18. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Holic

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    You'll be fine with one amp. I've always felt one should focus on songs, not gear
     
  19. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    I haven't started recording yet, just getting set up, so take this with a grain of salt. I've been playing with a Kemper for a bit over a year now. I've got many hundreds, maybe even thousands of different amp sounds readily available. I play 3 or 4 regularly and one more than any other.

    I play a profile of a Little Walter 22 more than any other amp with gain set at various levels i.e. about 3 different rigs with the same amp. The LW22 is basically a 5c3 Deluxe with bigger trannies and rectifier so kind of a cross between a 5c3 and 5g3 Deluxe. I've been looking to pick up one of these amps after playing these profiles. They're that good.

    Other than the Little Walter profiles I use pretty equally the following:

    1970 100 Watt Plexi profile Medium gain
    1978 100 Watt JMP profile (high gain)
    1972 DR-103 Hiwatt low to medium gain (profile of David Gilmour's actual amp)
    1972 DR-103 high gain

    I very much doubt that my "amp" usage will change much when I start recording.
     
  20. knavel

    knavel Tele-Meister

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    When lockdown started, I set up three amps. (1) BF Princeton Reverb; (2) BF VibroChamp; and, (3) Valco Gretsch Playboy (12'', 6973 Power Tubes).

    The Princeton Reverb was put back in fairly short order and 80% of the 12 songs or so tracked so far are with the VibroChamp. The main variable is my old Echoplex which is modded to separate the tape delay feature from the preamp feature.

    What has mattered most? -> My Antelope Audio A/D converter Discrete Synergy Core 4 which is fantastic quality for the money, it blows away the Scarlett one I originally had. Also a Pacifica preamp that while costly, takes no skill whatsoever to use and is amazing.

    Obviously if you are using a modelling approach, then you won't need to go loud to get the properties you want from a Vox and a Marshall. But one can also get a lot from a very simple arsenal of amplifiers.
     
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