help me get a nice clean sound from my guitar while recording

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by BeyondMountains, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2008
    my setup:

    gibson les paul studio
    m-audio profire 2626
    logic pro

    I'm trying to get a nice clean sound with the guitar plugged directly into the profire since I'm not always able to use my amp (late at night)

    Any tips on how to do this?

    I'm not getting the crisp clean sound I want, like i would get from my fender twin amp.
  2. macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
  3. macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2008
  4. macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    turn your guitar volume knob down to half, and dont have the input volume up very high (also probably near half).

    turn the volume up afterwards, if its too soft..hhmm i donno.
  5. macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    if we heard samples of the "good" and "bad", we might better know what to suggest.

    in the meantime, are the "inst" inputs on that interface meant for Hi-Z instruments like guitar?
  6. macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2008
    I've often found that instrument inputs on budget gear are unsuitable for my guitar which has a no load tone pot so is quite hot on its output, despite using single coils.
    I experience this with an mbox 2, and I'm receiving an apogee duet in the week, so I'll see how they compare.
  7. macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    The 'clean' sound you get from a Twin isn't really 'clean' it's not at all similar to the sound being output by your pickups - the sound from the guitar is shaped by the impedence of the input, the colouration of the preamp and the tone controls, and the acoustic response of the speakers and the cabinet. (this is setting aside any additional colouration you get from overdriving the inputs - compression, distortion and breakup effects). This is one reason why direct line-ins sometimes don't sound great, even if you have a quality preamp or interface. The other main reason is the effect of mismatched impedence between the guitar and the input (as mentioned)

    So if you want the canonical "clean" sound, you have to mimic these effects. The easiest way would be to run the guitar signal through either software amp and speaker simulation (like Amplitude, as mentioned, or dozens of others), or use an external modeling box like a Line6 Pod, Korg Pandora, M-Audio BlackBox (also doubles as a USB audio interface) or one of dozens of models of Digitech, Zoom, and others.

    Or go old school with analog boxes like a Tech21 SansAmp plus some compression and EQ.

    The advantage of getting an external box is you can also use it live or away from the computer, and they have a gazillion different modeled sounds, dirty and clean and echoed, etc.
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2008
    ok thanks for all the replies sorry for my delay, been really busy.

    i have played around with the volume on my guitar, but i will try more with the suggestions given

    I'll also try to get sound samples so I can show you guys what I mean.

    I assume from this " These two jacks differ slightly
    from those on the rear of the interface since they are optimized for instrument-level signals and can be used to record
    the direct output of an electric guitar or bass Like the rear panel XLR connectors, these inputs can also be routed to the
    preamps "

    that they are meant for instruments like guitar/bass .

    thanks again
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2008
    thank you for this. i learned a lot from this post.
    the manual does say this:

    These two jacks differ slightly
    from those on the rear of the interface since they are optimized for instrument-level signals and can be used to record
    the direct output of an electric guitar or bass

    but it looks like I need something that will closer mimic my twin amp like you said. I'm not sure if software amps/plugins are working that well but i have only been using the ones found in logic pro. ill look into aplitude and the other products you mentioned. thanks
  10. macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2008
    I don't understand. If you like the sound of your fender twin, why don't you just mic it?
  11. macrumors 68040

    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    I'm trying out an X3 Live into a FireWire audio interface right now with my Strat with decent results. What I was looking for was something that could work without being connected to a computer, and by extension something that wouldn't take up a lot of additional CPU cycles when recording different tracks. If you already have a decent FW interface, IMO its worth your time to demo the current crop of modeling pedals.

  12. macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2007
    CanadaRAM's post has lots of good info. Excellent.

    The best solution is to mic the Twin. You'll find it very hard to match that kind of good, clean Fender tone via software.

    The Amp Sim in Logic is OK, but it only sounds good if you feed it a decent DI tone and for that you need something more than the interface. A Good DI box from Radial, Tech 21 or the like will bring the sound of the guitar out properly.
  13. macrumors 68040

    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch

    Seroiously, guys, its almost like you guys aren't bothering to read the original post:

    As the owner of a Twin (currently being modded to be a head instead of a combo), I can tell you the only way to get that really good, clean Fender tone is to rattle a few windows. That's not terribly compatible with "late at night".
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2008
    would a shure sm57 be good to record with? I could always use the 25wat switch when recording but as you know, its still loud as hell.

    i have been playing around with amplitube in logic and i like it so far. its better the the logic/mainstage guitar sims (at least i think so)
  15. macrumors 68020


    Jan 10, 2007
    I'd say play around with the presets in Guitar Amp Pro. I always go direct into my MOTU Ultralite with my ES-335 and i can get nice, clean tones with the preset channel strips, only needing to play around with the mids and trebles in Guitar Amp Pro. I also do not use the reverb in Guitar Amp Pro. I usually use a plate from one of the Space Designer settings. My guitar volume is usually on 7-8 for a clean sound, as I don't want the pickups taking the signal "too" far.

    Just be advised you can lose HOURS of your life playing around with the Guitar Amp Pro settings and channel strips. When you find something you like, save it as a channel strip so you can use it over & over again without having to remember what all your settings were.
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2003
    Guitar Rig, ampfarm, amplitube, that app from Izotope, etc.
    Do a search on simulators. Lots of them offer 14-day trials so see what really suits your needs.
  17. macrumors 68040

    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    Not only that, I don't think the 1/4 power switch does much (power not being linear) except muddy up the great tone the Twin is famous for. I have a Deluxe Reverb that I never use, for the very same reason.

    I do use the SM57s, mostly because I sort of inherited a dozen of them about 20 years ago. I mic the Twin slightly off center, though that will change when I start running two heads into a split half stack cab I gutted. I also used to use the 57s to mike a Leslie I once had. They aren't bad stage mikes either -- for dynamics. Hell, you can just about pound nails and chip ice with them, they are the epitome of indestructible.

    My favorite guitar cab mike is still my Senn 409, but now that they are discontinued and going for five benjamins a piece they probably aren't a good value proposition. Edit: BTW, the 409 is for teh crunchy, not teh clean. ;)

    Because we tend to record live into Logic via two Ensembles, its hard for us to work with the computer amp sims. I've been "demoing" an X3 Live modeling pedal that has been working OK so far, though I'm still getting to know it. I'll probably pick up the new GT-10 from Boss as soon as my local Guitar Center gets them in stock.
  18. macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2007

    Nice One.

    I did read the post and having gone down this path, it seems perfectly valid to point out that amping the mic remains the best solution. I certainly wasted a lot of time trying to get a great clean tone through DI. My fav clean amp is my Super and I simply can't record it at night, which is why I mix up my schedule so I can record during the day. It's inconvenient, but it's the most satisfying solution.

    If I have an idea I want to record at night, I follow the other suggestions I made in my first post. Those yield OK results, but seldom something I would want to keep for a final mix.
  19. macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2008
    Why go through the firewire interface? You can just plug the X3 Live in via USB and get the benefit of recording each tone separately with and without effects simultaneously across multiple tracks.
  20. macrumors 68040

    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    Latency. :(

    With the live band we record everything through two Ensembles anyway. At home, I'm currently using a Duet. I have analog keyboards anyway, so its not a huge issue.

    As for recording direct-to-digital out of the X3 Live, I ordered an M-Audio CO2 to convert the coax S/PDIF to Toslink S/PDIF direct into my blackbook, it'll be interesting to see how well that does or doesn't work...

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