Cool guitar amp settings?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Kirk, May 18, 2004.

  1. Kirk macrumors regular

    Kirk

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #1
    I have tried GarageBand for a couple of days (great app!) but I’m having trouble finding any really cool guitar-sounds. I am using the Monster Instrument Adaptor to connect my guitar to my eMac. It would be cool if everybody could post theire favourite amp-setting. Right now, I am especially looking for some heavy Metallica-like sounds. :D
     
  2. busasa macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    #2
    well... i would advice you to plug your guitar into your amp first, then plug the output of the amp to the computer. For me, the sound of the cable is just too little, and I think in this way, the noise can be decreased quite dramatically. For the amp setting, Im still using the default ones, but I could get some very distorted sounds quite easily.
     
  3. Kirk thread starter macrumors regular

    Kirk

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #3
    Will that work without blowing the speakers or something?!
     
  4. Elbeano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Location:
    PA
    #4
    I don't think you'd be able to blow the speakers if you tried. They're very low power, and they probably have some sort of limit for what you can put in to them. As far as your original question, I personally had been using my guitar, into a distortion pedal, into my powerbook. That works well enough, but it still lacks a little punch. I tried running it directly out of my amp head (crate blue voodoo), and didn't get much better results. I think the best option is going to be either putting a mic in front of your amp in some sort of reasonably acoustically sound enclosure (like a box with a bunch of carpet). I'm going to try this over the weekend. Also, I'm interested in trying to use some sort of multieffects pedal with amp modeling, such as the newest Vox things (which actually have a tube preamp), or some sort of line 6 POD. Other than that, I don't think you can adjust the settings on the included settings in garageband. I could be wrong, or perhaps you could with the 100 dollar upgrade, but I'm not about to find out. It really bothers me too, because my friend and I have had great success with recording drums and vocals, but the guitars just don't have the great punch and crunch that they do when we're jamming away. I'll have to upload one of our newest creations so you can get an idea of what is possible.
     
  5. bonehead macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2002
    Location:
    Lost Angeles
    #5

    Putting a mic in front of an amp is the best way to get that full sound. Some modelers like the POD and such do a decent job but a mic in front of a speaker is the way to go. Your drums and vocals sound good because you record them with a mic. Your are moving a lot of air against the mics diaphragm and you are picking up the ambience of the recording space.

    By using a distortion pedal or the direct out of your amp you are bypassing two crucial elements: the speaker, as I mentioned above, and the power amp section of your amplifier. A distortion pedal is essentially a little preamp and the direct out of your amp is (usually) the output of the preamplifier section. While the preamp section is responsible for shaping much of the tone of your guitar, the power amp section colors the tone as well as giving it that oomph.
    I hope the speaker isolation box works for you. Check out http://www.amptone.com for more amp recording tidbits.
     
  6. Kirk thread starter macrumors regular

    Kirk

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #6
    I finally tried plugging my guitar into my Zoom effect-pedal and then plugging that to my Mac and it works like a charme! Don’t know why I didn’t think it would work, but it did . . .

    :D
     
  7. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #7
    The reason you couldn't get a good tone is no pre-amp.

    Unless you have active electronics in your guitar (i.e., battery powered), your guitar is instrument/mic level, NOT line level.

    The audio in jack on your Mac, like the audio in jack on most mixing boards, expects a line level signal. This is a boosted signal much more powerful over just an instrument level signal.

    So, the correct chain is:

    1) Instrument.
    2) Pre-amp.
    3) Board / Computer, etc.

    The best thing to do is to use a pre-amp designed for recording. Plug your guitar into the pre-amp, and then the pre-amp into the computer.

    The second best thing to do is to take a send from the LINE OUT on your amp. If you have a line out, great. Just plug guitar into amp, then a cable from the line out jack into your computer.

    If your amp has a speaker jack DO NOT use this! It can damage your computer. You just want the line level signal from your amp if it has a line out jack.

    If not, don't use it. As one person mentioned it is possible to get a small signal boost by using a pedal.

    In the absence of all this you can plug the guitar straight in, but it sounds like ****. The signal is so weak that you have to totally boost it to get decent volume, then noise gate it to death to remove all the unwanted background noise from the sound.

    Apple was a bit misleading when they said you could plug straight into the computer and record. A signal from a guitar that does not have active electronics is too weak to do this properly. It can be done, but with very poor results. You must preamp the guitar signal to a line level, then send it to the board/computer.

    ...hope this helps!
     
  8. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #8
    As for the Metallica sound:

    1) Humbucker pickup, bridge position.

    2) Mesa Book Mark IIc amplifier.

    3) Gain on about 7-8.

    4) Bass on 8.

    5) Mid on about 2 or 3.

    6) Treble on about 8.

    This is the basic setup, and is taken from an article with James. On the latest album things changed mind you (but the guitars sound like crap on the latest album compared to previous outings). The trick is to the get the "V" settings on an EQ... lots of bass, not too much mid, lots of treble. Don't completely take out the mid as you then end up with a sound that will, for the most part, be lost in a recording. The kick drum and bass eat up your low end, and the cymbols tend to eat up the high end. Listen to the and just for all album, and then the black album. hear the difference in how fat the guitar sounds? That is by adding some mid back into the tone.

    While I agree that a mic'd speaker is best in a perfect world some equipment has awesome speaker emulation (I am a big fan of Line 6). I have recorded my Mesa Boogie Mark IV before, and an emulation created with pure digital Line 6 stuff and have had many people be unable to tell he difference!

    Cheers,

    James
     
  9. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #9
    I agree - amplifier emulation can be a good thing. I use a sans amp which does the job a lot better than I can at micing up a speaker cab. Recording is a lot about illusion - because you have an amp cranked up in the studio doesn't mean it'll sound great on tape (or even on your hd :D ) You don't have your neighbours to worry about too! Many session guys use little amps to get a big sound on record. You can also hear exactly what is going down too - if your recording on your own then it's very hard to listen to your tone through headphones when you have a guitar amp on full power only a few feet away! It's also an art in placing the microphone in the right place too - very difficult to play and move your mic to that 'sweet' spot! I much prefer monitoring my sound through my monitors too.

    A lot of people rate the POD stuff highly - I will have to check them out... :)
     
  10. wowser macrumors 6502a

    wowser

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Inglaterra, Europa
    #10
    I love the American Crunch setting - very Joy Division-esque. I don't think you can get a really heavy distortion on Garageband without it sounding... crap
     
  11. Toreador93 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    #11
    Are you guys from the Metallica boards? I usually frequent the Musicians Forum, and other than the Mac related stuff, you can find some really helpful info.
     
  12. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #12
    Yeah i tend to agree - less is more - you wanna hear some of the 'guitar' too.
     
  13. wowser macrumors 6502a

    wowser

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Inglaterra, Europa
    #13
    :) Though i have a fondness for the Organic Flanger setting.
     
  14. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #14
    I hear ya! Yeah - I do like the GB flanger - great for that police (the band - not the cops ;) ) sound.

    Giant steps are what you take... :D
     
  15. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #15

    So true. Have you ever noticed how much LESS distortion or overdrive you need when recording, versus what sounds good to your ears when playing live?

    One thing I will say for me for sure, my live sound is definitely NOT the sound I prefer when recording. Sometimes even recording dry and then amping it later can be quite fun. As far as the "heavy" albums go, it is funny how many of them layer in completely clean guitars with the distorted tracks just to get some clarity.

    Cheers!
     
  16. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a

    stevehaslip

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    The Ocean Floor
    #16
    when you play live, and you're standing next to your amp or some pa speakers you think "nice, but it could do with a bit more umph!" whereas if you stand back you can hear all of the parts together. when you listen to it on say garageband its like you are listening to it through someone elses ears.

    i totally agree that i find myself turning back the gain when recording stuff on the computer. too much distortion often sounds crap!
     
  17. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #17
    Very true.
    I think acoustic guitar sounds good behind a heavy electric.

    My favourite heavy guitar sounds are from the Young bros. from AC/DC. (Showing my age LOL) It's not that distorted when you listen to it carefully. When stuff is too distorted it sounds pretty lame to me - Too fuzzy. When the output stage of an amp distorts (along with the speaker cones) that's when it sounds great. (not good for the ears tho. ;) )
     
  18. wowser macrumors 6502a

    wowser

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Inglaterra, Europa
    #18
    I'll soon be trading my Strat in for a classical electro-acoustic, so i won't be using any distortion on that. At the moment I have a big standard, cheap cable converter to plug the lead into my line-in input. Does the Monster Cable offer a better sound quality? (ie - is it worth paying for)
     
  19. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #19
    I haven't tried the monster cable - but I am sure it'll be as good as you can get when using the standard mac inputs. You might find that a DI box or something to boost your guitar signal to a higher level a good investment (or a m-audio mobile pre) The mac audio inputs are not really designed for guitars - it will work - but could be better.

    I too have a classical electro-acoustic (admira 1000E) It was about £250 but the preamp (Fischer) is pretty cool. There were other better sounding classicals in the shop - but the built in preamp swung it for me. It even sounds good with some of the amp simulators too. So I can get heavy now and again. LOL

    OT: Can anybody recommend and nice classical pieces for me to learn? I need TAB as my music reading skills are pretty non existant.
     
  20. sonofsam macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    Torrance, CA USA
    #20
    You can't go wrong with Bach. Bouree in E Minor, Prelude in Cm (no. 1), Tocatta in Dm were some of my favorites to play "bach" in the day. They are not extremely difficult to play and his music is beautiful.

    http://www.e-tabs.org/tab/bach

    Have Fun!
     
  21. sonofsam macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    Torrance, CA USA
    #21
    BTW Kirk...

    If you want a great guitar sound get Guitar Rig. If you can't get that, buy a used POD and get on their website and download the Line 6 Edit software. After you install the software, go to the URL below and start playing with sounds.

    The website runs slow as crap and it only works with Safari. You will find some great user presets and some lame ones but it is a lot of fun to play with. People post their user preset settings and you can post your own as well.

    http://www.customtone.com/index.html
     
  22. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #22
    Thank you very much :) - I am glad they are not too difficult to play - I just wanna sound good! ;)
     
  23. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #23
    Yeah - I second that. Just have to find a way to pay for it. I could sell an arm - but then I wouldn't be able to play.... Does anybody wanna buy a leg? :)

    It's very cool tho - if your cpu permits it. ;)
     
  24. sonofsam macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    Torrance, CA USA
    #24
    Fingers...

    I swear I will stop talking about Guitar Rig soon...
     
  25. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #25
    Time will tell mate... LOL - I won't hold my breath...
     

Share This Page