Hey guys,

My band and I, we are trying to get the best sound possible while recording at home. We recorded using a SM58 and a FastTrack Pro interface, but can't seem to find how to get a good quality of sound. Would it be better to send the amp in the interface using the line out? (We use a Marshall Valvestate 8080, I know, not the best, but it is that, or a MG...).

It really depends on what you want the sound to be like, for instance, going line out doesn't include the speaker in the mix of things, so you just get the sound that's being made in the amplifier pre-speaker. It's fairly easy to do this because there aren't a whole lot a variables you have to tweak, but just make sure your volume level isn't too much, or you will get some chopping in the sound when you play it back.

Mic'ing the amp on the other hand gives you the true tone of the amplifier, but while it may sound more realistic, there are a lot of things you will need to think about: where to put the mic, how far, centered, off-centered, etc. and of course the mic itself can give you different tones.

I have always gone line out, because I don't have a lot of space for a mic stand, cables everywhere, etc. but I can't complain about the sound I get from my amplifier when I record things, but since I can't hear what i'm playing as i play it, recording can be a bit sucky at times.

Those are some things to think about when deciding to go mic'ed or DI'ing it, but done right, either one will work out just fine in my experience.
The only thing with a mic interface is that you often need a good mic to pick up every little frequency shift clearly, and you need to have space to position and set up the mic. If you're on a budget and can't afford a good-quality microphone, then Line Out is fine as well, but you have to be ready to do a lot of takes to get something as perfect as you want it.
youve got one other option you havent thought of: send the guitar DI and skip the amp completely. you then run an amp sim and cab impulse to get your tone. i tend to this most of the time since it is easier to tweak (and essentially silent).

youve got a solid mic and interface, so if you want to go that route just keep working with it. mess with mic placement, tweak the settings, etc.

i wouldnt go with the line out, but if you do make sure you stick a cab impulse on there so you get some sort of speaker modeling.
Go Line Out! Get yourself SIR 2 (vst Impulse loader) and just throw impulses on your tracks.
That way, you'll have a lot of different cab. combinations for a monolithic guitar sound. It's easier to work with too, especially when you lack the resources to get a good guitar sound micing (like me). I can share my Impulses in this thread if needed. I got some great ones
If I'm not mistaken, isn't the SM58 a condenser? I know tone is subjective and how you capture that tone is completely up to the person, but most of the time recording a mic'ed up amp is done so with a dynamic mic; SM57, e609/906. I could be completely wrong but I thought the 58 was a condenser.
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Last edited by StillSoundRG at Apr 19, 2011,
Go direct into your interface and use an amp sim, I wouldn't waste time with that amp
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