Recording guitar without an amp? Options?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by WilburBufferson, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

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    Pedalboard with great effects: check!
    Scarlett 2i4 interface: check!
    Ableton Live software: check!
    Guitars a plenty: check!
    Bed tracks (WAV files) recorded in professional studio: check!

    We live in an apartment. Mic'ing amps is not an option. I would like to lay down some decent sounds as either: a) useable tracks that our sound engineer can use to create a finished product, or b) decent approximations that will guide me in the studio later.

    I've been looking into options: Two Notes CAB sim boxes, pre-amps, IR pedals (Mooer Radar), HX Stomp, OX box, Boss Amp Expander, and tons of other stuff out there. It's a wild West out there.

    Is there a *simple* way of getting great tones into the Scarlett from my pedalboard without spending weeks/months of learning a specific device and scrolling through 5 layers of menus? What will get me 90% of the way there in the least amount of time?

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. guitarsophist

    guitarsophist Tele-Meister

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    Ditch the pedalboard and try Tonelib GFX (free). It works in Windows, OSX, and Linux. Very cool.
    https://tonelib.net/
     
  3. simoncroft

    simoncroft Tele-Meister

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    Short answer: Play your guitar clean into Scarlett interface, then add processing after the event in whatever DAW your sound engineer is using.

    However, that approach can be uninspiring if, for instance, you're playing a blistering rock solo. In my experience, most pedals that sound great in your live rig can get very similar sounds into an audio interface, which gets you round the learning curve.

    Why not make a few test recordings, then see what studio magic your engineer can achieve? It's probably a process best worked out between the two of you.
     
  4. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Friend of Leo's

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    +1 on direct into the interface. Your sound engineer should have software to turn the raw track into whatever you like. I use Guitar Rig 4 which is a couple of years old now but sounds great. The only issue is you aren't hearing your final sound as you play it. Personally it's never been an issue for me, but ymmv.
     
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  5. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

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    Could you be a bit more specific about what you want? A) and B) as stated are vastly different. Or rather, it's way easier to do B). A) is much harder.

    For B) there are tonnes of options.

    Software amp emulation. Amplitube. Guitar Rig. Waves GTR. There are dozens of plugins that will do the job. IME just about all of them are useable so long as you don't have bigtime latency issues or sensitivity about it sounding "just so". Waves GTR is pretty cheap right now--$35 with coupon. All of them should work fine for stratch tracks and practicing, etc.

    But they probably aren't going to give you studio tracks. Or at least they don't for most people.

    Reamping is the other rabbit hole you could potentially go down. Depends on what your studio guy likes/knows/is used to.

    I think that's the big issue. If I was in your place, I would want to have a fairly detailed conversation with the studio guy to find out how he likes to work. If he's really used to using plugins then there might be something he's done in the past that'll really work for you. Otherwise I think you should...relax your expectations and go for the scratch tracks.
     
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  6. reckless meanie

    reckless meanie Tele-Meister

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    Line 6 Helix. It's expensive but works great for that. You can record the instrument into the DAW as you hear it through the Helix rather than recording it clean and then using plug ins to alter the sound. I hate recording a clean guitar and then trying to ad effects and overdrive and stuff later. It never sounds right to do it that way the dynamics are all wrong. Good luck.

    You could do the same thing with the Digitech GSP 1101 it's a lot lest money and sounds pretty dang good.
    https://reverb.com/p/digitech-gsp11...n=6481455966&utm_medium=pla&utm_source=google
     
  7. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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  8. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

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    I paid $ 5 for a old Boss ME-30 Multi Fx, I use it for what you want, older Pods are often > $ 50 I have the Orange sim on my ipad, use a original iRig I picked up at a yard sale, probably the best of the bunch, but they all work, real easy to over think things..
     
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  9. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Meister

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    If you try something like a Sansamp that is analog/standalone, consider a reverb pedal after it turned way down in the mix.
     
  10. Rolling Estonian

    Rolling Estonian Friend of Leo's

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    Amplitube Fender is my go to right off the bat, the twin is worth every penny.

    M
     
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  11. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Ad Free Member

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    Are you ruling out amp plugins???
     
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  12. Telegnosis

    Telegnosis Tele-Meister

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    An old original first issue POD from Line 6 is easier than diving through menus and fiddling with dozens of mouse controlled "knobs" that are like trying to hit a gnat with a rake.

    Get the sound to sound good in your headphones. The more you listen to finish released tracks through your system and phones, the better idea you have of what sound to look for.

    The Boss Amp extender sounds brittle. A POD is more analog of all the things you've mentioned.

    Lot of people put the POD down, but the first issues are the analog sounding units.

    At least you have knobs, amp modeling and if you use a computer you can get more choices out of a POD. Then there's the "AIR" setting switch by the outputs.

    Helps if the preamps in your DAW are good. That should go without saying.

    The hits we all hear are through good quality console preamps in the least.
     
  13. Marquee Moon

    Marquee Moon Tele-Meister

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    maybe record direct and then reamp it somewhere you can play loud? DI's typically work well for certain types of music, like byrds, chic, clean type music.
     
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  14. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    Take your guitar, peddalboard, amp, and your ass over to your sound engineer's place and play music. There must be a friend or family member with space available to let you do what you want....garage even. Hell, my old band used to practice in a storage unit on the outskirts of town twice per week.

    I realize that I am not really answering your question, but it just sounds a little silly to me to try and record an electric instrument with wizardry instead of just organically with an amp. It can be a very difficult hobby when living in an apartment, but it doesn't need to be impossible either. Maybe just speak with your neighbors and find a time of day that would not bother anyone? I livied in an old 2 story 4 plex for about 10 years which had a trumpet player in the unit below me. We all got together and discussed schedules to where he was able to practice as loud as he wanted between the hours of 4-6 weekdays and most of Sundays. You might be surprised what you can work out when you discuss it with your neighbors....especially when you can keep it low with a mic.
     
  15. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Holic

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    If you are in love with your effects consider an Atomic fire box, simple to use and in my opinion a little more realistic than say a POD. I was an early user of the POD and I think they are ok and I also dig the better Line 6 amps. Those are fine choices if you are on a tight budget. For a little more you can get some out dated multi units from Boss, Digitech, or Eleven. Pretty good sounds for not much coin and they will give you everything and a lot of flexibility. For over $500 there are tons of options including the HX Stomp and the Atomic Amplifire.
    Best to keep it simple. My live rig is a Boss GT10, usb output eliminates the need for interface for guitar.
    Good luck!
     
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  16. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

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    At this point, yes, pretty much....
     
  17. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted

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    Face into the corner like Robert Johnson did?
     
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  18. WireLine

    WireLine Tele-Afflicted

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    Just some opinions...

    -Don’t be afraid to print effects on way in. Compression, drive, etc....lay off Reverb for mix
    - its not unheard of to have a dry-as-a-bone track parallel to recording interface, for whatever manipulation you prefer in editing.
    - An amp with a recording/line out (or something like a Palmer PGA04) will almost always offer a much more natural amp sound than guitar-cord-interface
    - Remember most sounds we think of as “righteous “ we’re done with a decent amp, a great mic, and a good room.
     
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  19. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

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    What do folks think about the Suhr Reactive Load IR? Not the cheapest option, but wouldn't it give me what my amps do, but without microphones?
     
  20. gkterry

    gkterry Tele-Holic

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    I think the direct route in is the way to go. Use the most essential effects from your pedals and add reverb and whatever else in the DAW.
     
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