#1
I dont have an electric guitar + amp yet. So I was wondering what's the best to record an electric guitar:

1. Using an M-audio fast track mkII interface. Plug in the guitar directly into the Guitar line-in on the USB interface. Is this even possible? When I have some studio monitors hooked up to my computerm will I hear the sound from the guitar through my monitors then? If so, how can I adjust things like gain, overdrive, treble, bass, distortion etc? Is that possible? Because then I dont need to buy an amp.
Also, I guess there will be latency then, right? Making it very hard to play...?


2. Just using a basic amp, and putting a professional condensor mic in front of it.
Last edited by The Known at Jan 8, 2012,
#2
Line in can sound decent if you get some good effects, maybe a multi fx pedal board.
However using an amp with a condenser mic actually to my experience sounds rubbish. Condensers are more for acoustic or vocals. A good dynamic mic with an amp would sound great.
#3
If you plan on recording through something like the M-audio you would need to get amp modeling software in order to get anything other than just the signal directly from your guitar. So you would either have to use effects pedals before the interface or get some amp modeling software. But i do believe there is free amp modeling software out there.
Last edited by oodlesofbrutals at Jan 8, 2012,
#4
Unless you have at least some sort of amp modelling going on, just recording dry guitar line in would sound horrible (unless you are going to reamp it later)

GEt an amp though. Seriously, i cant overstate how important a good amp is. You could always di the line out from an amp to record. It wont sound as big and airy as recording with a mic, but its better than nothing.
--------------------i'm definitely the alphaest male here--------------------
Last edited by FunkasPuck at Jan 8, 2012,
#5
The best way to record a guitar - and the way it's usually done in the studio or on stage is to place a microphone in front of amp cab. That's how I do it here. You don't really need an expensive condenser mic, either. I typically record my cabs with a Shure SM-57, although I do have some nicer mics, including a professional studio condenser - a Neumann TLM102. I normally use the Neumann for recording acoustic guitar.

If the M-Audio has an instrument input, then you can plug the guitar directly into it. You should be able to monitor the audio through your studio monitors. You can then use plug-ins to add distortion, overdrive, chorus, or whatever. If the M-Audio only has a microphone input, then you probably wouldn't want to use that for a guitar. The impedance difference between a mic and instrument input will likely cause the tone from a guitar to be less than desirable - that is, muddy or tinny. My old Tascam US-2000 would allow either instrument or mic inputs, while my new 16-channel desk only offers mic or line inputs. If I want to plug an instrument into the desk, I have to run it into a channel strip first. Most channel strips allow either mic or instrument inputs.

Latency... Possibly. Some interfaces are more prone to this than others. My Tascam did a good job with latency. My 16-channel console also does a good job. The best thing you can do to reduce latency is to configure your PC for audio. I have a dedicated DAW PC for recording audio - that's all it does. No word processing, no PDF viewing, no e-mail, no anti-virus and the operating system is stripped down to only what's essential for recording and playing audio. I won't get into that here, since that's an easy Google search.
#6
Quote by KG6_Steven
The best way to record a guitar - and the way it's usually done in the studio or on stage is to place a microphone in front of amp cab. That's how I do it here. You don't really need an expensive condenser mic, either. I typically record my cabs with a Shure SM-57, although I do have some nicer mics, including a professional studio condenser - a Neumann TLM102. I normally use the Neumann for recording acoustic guitar.

If the M-Audio has an instrument input, then you can plug the guitar directly into it. You should be able to monitor the audio through your studio monitors. You can then use plug-ins to add distortion, overdrive, chorus, or whatever. If the M-Audio only has a microphone input, then you probably wouldn't want to use that for a guitar. The impedance difference between a mic and instrument input will likely cause the tone from a guitar to be less than desirable - that is, muddy or tinny. My old Tascam US-2000 would allow either instrument or mic inputs, while my new 16-channel desk only offers mic or line inputs. If I want to plug an instrument into the desk, I have to run it into a channel strip first. Most channel strips allow either mic or instrument inputs.

Latency... Possibly. Some interfaces are more prone to this than others. My Tascam did a good job with latency. My 16-channel console also does a good job. The best thing you can do to reduce latency is to configure your PC for audio. I have a dedicated DAW PC for recording audio - that's all it does. No word processing, no PDF viewing, no e-mail, no anti-virus and the operating system is stripped down to only what's essential for recording and playing audio. I won't get into that here, since that's an easy Google search.

Yea, the M-audio interface has a guitar line-in jack. And yea, I was also thinking of using different types of plugins to edit the sound afterwards. But that's kinda clumsy when you want to play directly etc. So I guess it's better to just buy an amp and to put a mic in front of it.

I know usually they record that with dynamic mics. But I have a condensor mic, it'll probably sound different. But will it really sound horrible?
#7
Quote by grimms
Line in can sound decent if you get some good effects, maybe a multi fx pedal board.
However using an amp with a condenser mic actually to my experience sounds rubbish. Condensers are more for acoustic or vocals. A good dynamic mic with an amp would sound great.



It really depends on what you're looking for in the recording. Using a condenser dictates that you have a controlled environment. By that, I mean no noise of any kind, either in your studio, outside of its walls/door or outside in the street. Condensers will pick up a mosquito farting at 50 feet. This makes them bad for recording in noisy environments. Sounds that a dynamic mic would ignore will be picked up by the condenser. I have used a condenser to record my various guitar cabs, but usually the track is used to add air or sparkle to the main mic. So, in that instance, I'm usually using 2 mics on the cab. The first mic, a dynamic, is close to the speaker, while the condenser is 2 or 3 feet away, so I can catch some room and allow the tone to develop a little before hitting the mic. But, you are generally correct - condenser mics excel at recording vocals and acoustic guitars.

Edit: You asked if using a condenser would sound bad. One thing to remember in recording - There is no right or wrong. Try it and see what you think. I have used a condenser as the main mic. In fact, I have one sitting in front of an amp right now. Does it sound bad? I don't think so. Do I EQ the signal afterwards? Yes. If you find that you don't like the sound, buy a $100 Shure SM-57 and give it a try. The Shure SM-57 is a very popular studio mic, as is the SM-58. Both are used extensively in the studio and on the stage. If you buy an amp, then you can place the mic on a stand and use it. You'll still want effects pedals or plug-ins, to change your dry tone.
Last edited by KG6_Steven at Jan 8, 2012,
#8
Quote by KG6_Steven
It really depends on what you're looking for in the recording. Using a condenser dictates that you have a controlled environment. By that, I mean no noise of any kind, either in your studio, outside of its walls/door or outside in the street. Condensers will pick up a mosquito farting at 50 feet. This makes them bad for recording in noisy environments. Sounds that a dynamic mic would ignore will be picked up by the condenser. I have used a condenser to record my various guitar cabs, but usually the track is used to add air or sparkle to the main mic. So, in that instance, I'm usually using 2 mics on the cab. The first mic, a dynamic, is close to the speaker, while the condenser is 2 or 3 feet away, so I can catch some room and allow the tone to develop a little before hitting the mic. But, you are generally correct - condenser mics excel at recording vocals and acoustic guitars.

Edit: You asked if using a condenser would sound bad. One thing to remember in recording - There is no right or wrong. Try it and see what you think. I have used a condenser as the main mic. In fact, I have one sitting in front of an amp right now. Does it sound bad? I don't think so. Do I EQ the signal afterwards? Yes. If you find that you don't like the sound, buy a $100 Shure SM-57 and give it a try. The Shure SM-57 is a very popular studio mic, as is the SM-58. Both are used extensively in the studio and on the stage. If you buy an amp, then you can place the mic on a stand and use it. You'll still want effects pedals or plug-ins, to change your dry tone.

Okay, that sounds good. I'm going to give this a try. Btw, as you know much about this studio stuff, and I'm only setting everything up, you probably know this as well.

I am planning on buying the M-Audio AV40 monitors. (http://www.rockpalace.com/gfx_productcode/XL/111536/3/M-Audio-AV40-Studiophile.jpg)

I think I need an audio interface to hook them up to my PC? So I was thinking of a M-audio Fast Track MK-II. (http://www.m-audioshop.nl/images/fasttrackmkiibacksl.jpg)

How do I hook up the monitors with my PC? Can I just plug in the monitors into the line-out of the Mk-ii interface?

Also, what's the difference between the "line" on the monitors and the "TRS" on the monitors?
#9
The amount I know would fill a thimble. I know just enough to get me into trouble and occasionally just enough to get me back out of trouble.

Based on the photos you posted, here's what I would say. I would recommend using an audio interface to connect the speakers. You can connect them to your soundcard, but using the interface would be best. Use the RCA Left and Right outputs from the M-Audio to connect to the monitors. In my setup, I'm currently using a high-end Altec Lansing computer speaker system for all of my needs. I use a DBX patch panel to route my signals as needed. I run both of my computers through the patch panel, as well as my mixing console. I can then use patch cables to select which I route to the speakers. I will eventually buy dedicated studio monitors, but for now, these Altecs work great. You can see photos of my setup in my profile pics. The last two photos are of my recording gear - a Various Recording Gear photo and my PreSonus 16.4.2 console.

So, to answer your question - just plug the monitors into the line outs of the Mk-ii.

TRS refers to a balance signal. TRS stands for Tip, Ring and Sleeve, which refers to the connections on a 1/4" TRS plug or jack. Balanced signals can be driven over longer distances with lower loss and greater resistance to stray signals. A line input is unbalanced and can be prone to problems from stray signals, such as 60 Hz hum or nearby radio transmitters. "Line" also tends to refer to a signal with specific impedance and signal level. The output from a CD player, or reel-to-reel tape deck is usually line level. Line level signals usually use 2-conductor cable. Again, TRS refers to a type of connector and the use of balanced 3-conductor cable. Although there are exceptions to this rule - it is possible to have TRS or XLR connectors and 2-conductor cable. Some companies sell these types of cables and pass them off as more expensive balanced cables. Balanced cables can be used for mic, instrument or line-level signals. I have a pair of Taylor guitars with balanced outputs. I also have an amplifier with balanced inputs and a balanced output, which is fed into my console. Some professional audio gear use nothing but TRS or XLR connectors.
#10
The only time I recommend people to record with a mic and amp is if they have a great sounding amp and they are patient enough to get the mic in the right position. Many amateurs who use a mic and just throw a mic up against the cab without experimenting and get a sound way shitter than amp modeling software.

With that said I know I am in the minority when I say I like the sound of amp modeling over most amps anymore to the point live I use amp modeling.
#11
I would mic it, in my experience recording an amp sounds much better than direct in, but if get a decent sound you like it go for it.
#12
Quote by Poisonouspot
I would mic it, in my experience recording an amp sounds much better than direct in, but if get a decent sound you like it go for it.



I agree. And in most cases, it's not all that hard to properly mic a cab. If you Google it, you'll find there are some suggestions for mic placement. Again, there is no right or wrong. The technique I usually use is to start off with the guitar in my lap, wearing headphones and the microphone in an approximate position. For me, it's usually almost touching the grill and the mic aimed near the edge of the speaker. As I play the guitar, I'll listen as I move the mic around and find the sweet spot. As you move the mic around, you'll definitely hear the sound change. Find the place that sounds best to you, then record a little and play it back and listen. Adjust and repeat. Get the best dry tone, before moving on to processing your signal wet.
#13
NVM, posted in another thread. This topic can be closed.
Last edited by The Known at Jan 22, 2012,