#1
hello, I built a preamp a few weeks ago and have been experimenting with some VSTs and IRs in reaper. I connect my preamp to the USB interface and then into reaper. in reaper, I process the sound as:

Guitar Rig 5 pro(for effects) --> Ignite Amps TPA-1 tube power amp plug in --> Kefir(red wirez marshall 1960A)

It all works great. the thing is that I have never used or even played a tube amp before in my life before my tube preamp, so I dont have a clue how to set up a power amp. the TPA-1 comes with a handy manual that does quite the good explanation of what each control does in a circuit, but I just cant figure out how to get a good sound. this plug in changes tones quite dramatically with every knob. How would someone normally set up a power amp for lead and metal recording?

my other question is about choosing mic and position for an IR. I downloaded the free Red Wirez Marshall 1960A IR pack and it comes with a gazillion wavelengths, mics and positions. this IR pack has what I believe to be most of the well known recording mics(sm57, sm7, audix i5, a few neumanns, sennheisers, etc) and a million positions for every mic. and all this for every single wavelength and bitrate in the pack. its overwhelming.

my preamp is a clone of the lead channel of the soldano x88r(almost identical to slo-100 lead channel). it has a ton of lowend that I find quite pesky at times. It is somewhat muddy on the low end with high gain. Id like to know which position and mic would help get a brighter, tighter recorded tone.

this isnt for serious recording, just for hobbying and testing the mods in m preamp. and maybe record a song or 2. anyone help is greatly appreciated.
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#2
With It's you keep playing till you find one you like. But it's often it's a case of finding out how some professionals you like mic up real amps and replicating it. I tend to go with a classic combination of a SM57 (or equivalent) and some kind of condenser, put I play around until I find the tone I like. It's all about playing around.
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#3
For the IRs, check out Two Notes Wall of Sound III (go to www.two-notes.com/en/ and it's a free beta download). The free version comes with 2 Marshall cabs and a hand full of mics, yet you can customise where you put the mic - complete freedom!

It also comes with a Power amp simulator too, so if you're just running the preamp into your interface, this plug covers everything else. It has Presence and Deep controls in the power amp section, as well as a 5 band EQ, a compressor, an exciter and gate, so you'll be able to roll off the low end from your pre if it's too much.

You can also double cab and mic, to create the "wall of sound"...Wonder where they got the name from...!

As for making it sound good; as ChemicalFire says, it's just playing around. Personally, I prefer to push the power amp harder than the preamp, making the power valves do the work. That way you get a less-dirty signal, but have power, clarity and just enough grit for blues and lower-gain rock. Then adjust the EQ and mic position to suit what you want.

As a tech point - are you recording through monitors or computer speakers? Either way, you'll what to have them up to around 72dB at your ears. That's about that same as someone talking pretty loud next to your head. This makes sure you're hearing all of the low and high end, without the speakers creating ghost frequencies from being under / over worked.

Hope that helps.