Ok, first off, I'm a woodwind player. I've always messed around with guitars/bass, know some chords, can play a bit, but never played on anything other than a combo amp, so I know virtually nothing, really. Anyway, a little over a month a ago a friend/band member coerced me into buying a guitar head (Peavey MH Mini Amp Head 6505) for the purpose of recording. He lent me equipment and it just...it just all didn't work out. We were in a band together, there was a big blow up and now we're no longer speaking as if you can't live up to his expectations, he flips out and I couldn't take it anymore (it wasn't this. I'm not going to get into it. Not the point. Just explaining I can't exactly ask the person who initially convinced me to buy it). Anywho, I have this guitar head that I barely know how to use and I have some general questions on how to use it/recording, etc. If I sound like a really dumb 12 year old, yeah, sorry.

1) How do I adjust distortion/clean/etc? Do I need pedals for that? (Dumbest question on the forum this year probably, I know. I'm really embarrassed, even if I'm essentially anonymous). Is that why this one comes with a switch https://reverb.com/item/939933-new-peavey-6505-mh-mini-amp-head-with-footswitch-free-shipping?_aid=pla&currency=USD&pla=1&gclid=CMvdy82Wp8sCFYMkhgodODYPGg ? Should I bring it back to guitar center and just order that one? I have no clue what I'm doing.
2) I always seem to have issues with recording. What kind of external sound card do you use? Recording program? It seems like I'm always having some sort of issue. Where would you suggest I start? Should I get an apple computer? I have a Sony Vaio I used to use for work that I ended up just taking home.
3) Should I just buy a speaker and just slowly amass recording equipment, ditching the combo?

I actually have a ton of other questions, I just really need to get to work and they're questions that just randomly cross my mind. Maybe I should just get a sound card and stick to bass for the time being? You just plug that directly in, right? I'm sorry, I know I probably sound like a colossal moron, but I really know virtually nothing about this.
So do you have a cab for the head? That's pretty essential and we'd like to know what cab it is.

1. You see the switch labeled "channel select" right next to the hole where you plug in the guitar? That switches between the clean and the distorted channels. Next to it are two knobs, both labeled "pre-gain". The one that says "Rhythm" controls the level of distortion for the clean channel, and the one labeled "lead" controls the distortion for the lead channel. This is a simplified explanation though, but it should get you started.

2. The most popular sound cards tend to be the Focusrite cards, usually the scarlett or the saffire model. Generally, you'll want a sound card that records at at least 24bit. (it doesn't matter if you know precisely what this mean, just make sure that the interface you're using/buying has it.)

You don't need an apple computer. They work very well for home recording, but are a waste of money imo unless you have a lot of money to spare. PC's work just fine and you can get a good one for cheaper. Not sure about how the Vaio handles, but it should work well for basic recording. For a recording program (usually known as DAW, digital audio workstation) I'd recommend Reaper, it's a 60$ program with an infinite free trial that works wonders.

3. speaker for what? do you mean a guitar cabinet? Also, what is the combo you're using?

You can plug both guitar and bass direct in, but you'll need to know a thing or two about plugins and virtual amp sims. The amp head you have, the 6505, should also have a DI output that let's you record it directly, but I'm not sure about the quality and usability. I recommend that for starters you check out these threads:


this thread is about plugins and amp sims, might prove useful:

Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

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*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
ALL I have is the head. I have NO speaker/cabinet. Sorry, I literally don't know anything about terminology, etc. Really, I'm like a child with this. I thought I was getting both, but when we got there, we just got the head. At the time, I literally only got 6 hrs of sleep in 4 days so I was very confused, but far too spacey to think to ask questions because my brain was barely functioning. Anyway, while I have speakers connected to the computer, but no matter what I do/change settings/whether it's in fruity loops or audacity, I always have some unique problem. I'll give some more details later, just had a quick break at the office to check back. Thanks so much so far for your time.
Okay, just a quick reminder, DON'T turn on the head without a cab. It will break.

Also, what was the combo you have? You might be able to use it as a speaker.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
Ok, I'm just going to return it. I have no idea what I'm doing and don't want to make things worse. My friend never mentioned anything about that and for the most part when I made any attempt to get it working I just mimicked what he did (plugging it directly into the sound card). Now, considering I don't know what I'm doing, like the moron I am, I hooked up the usb directly to the computer from the head (I know, I know, but a description said you can...goddamnit) without the soundcard, but it don't think I broke it...at least yet, which is why I'm just going to take it back. This is partly why I can't talk to him about this because he really had no idea how little I really knew and that created a kind of thing.