Old 11-17-2010, 08:45 PM   #81
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Look around you; there's probably something within 10 feet of you right now that could be exactly what you need to bring that bland guitar tone to life.
+1000

Would make an excellent sig!

Karbo
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:40 AM   #82
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Thank you both for the suggestions! The trash can idea sounds pretty crazy - I may just try it out!

Cheers!
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:01 PM   #83
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[I mostly have ignored this thread after the first few replies, and I now pretty much regret even having started it.

However there is one point that I think deserves clarification...

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Originally Posted by stupeT View Post
Well, I would not call it "tuning to chords" but tuning to a certain scale...Before well tempered area a harpsichord was perfectly tuned to the scale of the composition...(more about keyboards allowing different scales, etc)...
A guitar is not suitable for tuning to different "scales" in the sense that you are talking about, unless you can re-arrange the frets. To clarify this, simply imagine a one-string guitar-- you can tune the open string to whatever frequency you like, but the relative intervals are fixed by the distance between the frets. It's only ever going to play the 12-tone, equal-tempered, chromatic scale. Maybe you can get it to play a slightly messed-up version of the chromatic scale by severely adjusting the neck bow or saddle length or something, but that's only going to produce an out-of-tune version of the same.

You can't make a guitar play in microtonal or just-tempered or non-western tunings/scales. You CAN tune a SINGLE chord to whatever six notes you want, but a "just-tempered" E chord, for example, will only "work" in that position, for that chord. It's not like a piano or a keyboard, where you can re-tune every note so that the whole instrument is playing in just temperament in a certain key, nor is it like a violin or fretless instrument, which can play any frequency in its range.

this is what I mean when I say that a guitar tuned to a particular just-tempered chord is "wrong". That's not a reasonable "alternate tuning", it's a guitar tuned to play a single chord in just temperament, and every other note and chord slightly out-of-tune.

If you prefer just temperament or some kind of microtonal non-western music, that's fine, but you're not going to achieve them playing a guitar, no matter how you tune it. The frets dictate the kinds of scales it can play, and the frets set the intervals at 12-tone chromatic.

(Now, some jerkoff is probably going to chime in that you could technically get a conventional guitar to play 24-tone microtonals by tuning each alternating string a 1/4-step sharp or whatver, and someone else will helpfully add that use of slides or string-ending can do the same things as a violin, which is exactly why I should never have started this thread in the first place).

I have an informal term than I use when talking about guitars left lying about that some are "in tune", and some are "in tune with the rest of the world". That is, the acoustic guitar that sits in my living room is very often "in tune" in the sense that all the strings have been recently tuned by ear to be at the correct relative intervals, but not necessarily to precise A440-- that is, I may have tuned them all to whatever pitch the "A" string was at, without necessarily having used a tuner or tuning fork to set the "A" at exactly 440. So chords and scales and notes and all the rest will play fine, but may not play correctly when a second instrument is brought into the picture. For that situation, I'd have to actually tune the guitar "to the rest of the world" (meaning a tuner, tuning fork, piano, or some such).

Now, it's true that in music there is no right and wrong, there is just what sounds good. And it's also possible to "correctly" use "alternate tunings" with a guitar, such as tuning the whole thing to an equal-tempered "E" chord, which is fine, and which will still be "in tune with the rest of the world" up and down the neck, within the limits of the guitar.

But in a general discussion of guitar setup, there is really no place for tuning a guitar to voice a just-tempered E chord, or microtonal scales, or any of that. It's neither helpful nor elucidating, nor relevant to the topic, unless there is some forum of guitar players who try to force equal-tempered frets to voice intervals they weren't made to sound.

A guitar tuned to "open E" (so that each of the strings is tuned to the correct frequency for an equal-tempered "E" chord) is a conventional alternate tuning, and can be done just fine with a guitar set up for normal intonation. But a guitar tuned to a "perfect" or "just-tempered" E chord (i.e. an E chord that has no "beats" or dissonance) is not only going to be out of tune with the rest of the world (even on the supposedly "perfect" E chord), it' also going to play wrong up and down the neck-- the spacing of the frets has not changed, and the guitar is NOT now going to play just-tempered in the key of "E" just because some of the strings have been re-tuned. It's not going to be tuned to medieval scales or middle eastern or Chinese tunings or Indian Ragas, it's just going to be wrong and out-of-tune by any sane and normal definition (or even exotic ones).

The guitar is not generally a suitable instrument for anything other than equal-tempered 12-tone intonation. Bringing in alternate or esoteric notions of different tuning systems, etc is both irrelevant and confusing to exactly those people who are most in need of guidance. There are a lot of ways to tune a guitar, including open tunings, dropped-D tuning, etc, and they are all fine as long as all the notes up and down the neck are in tune with a piano or a trumpet or a harmonica playing the same notes.

But talking about different temperaments or non-western scales is a totally different topic that has nothing to do with setting up a guitar for recording. Even if you want to tune the six strings to weird intervals for the purpose of voicing one particular non-western chord or six-note scale, that has nothing whatsoever to do with guitar setup. in fact, in such a situation, the setup doesn't even matter, because you could just tune open strings to those six notes and have a fretless guitar.
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:45 AM   #84
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Now even you started with that shit...

in your own thread..

sigh.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:21 PM   #85
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yep, why don't you simply continue with what you were planning on doing with this thread? the whole tuning discussion *was* basically over.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:53 PM   #86
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Great post. Musicians who come into the studio with craptastic guitars just grinds my gears. The way I do it is going back and autotuning DI tracks, if needed (Which, in most cases, it does). Not only is this a good read for engineers, but any guitarist who is going to be recording soon can also read up on this and learn a bit.
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:25 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by l0calh05t View Post
yep, why don't you simply continue with what you were planning on doing with this thread? the whole tuning discussion *was* basically over.
My wife isn't a musician, but she can hear when a guitar is out of tune, or when a vocalist is flat. Can we agree that there is a point to which an instrument can be tuned so that consumers will agree that it's "in tune" and leave it at that? When I buy a CD, if it sounds good to me, it sounds good. I don't give a crap if some prick sitting in his studio doesn't like it. If it sounds in tune to the consumer it must be close enough.

Has anyone seen the i-pad commercial where they plug the Amplitube app for it? If I could get even that one tone from any of my modelling stuff I'd be happy. Mine are ALWAYS filled with more "fizzy hash" that what's in that commercial. If I cut the highs it gets too muddy. I can stick a 57 in front of my cab and get a lot closer to the tone I want from it.
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:37 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by Colin_D View Post
My wife isn't a musician, but she can hear when a guitar is out of tune, or when a vocalist is flat. Can we agree that there is a point to which an instrument can be tuned so that consumers will agree that it's "in tune" and leave it at that? When I buy a CD, if it sounds good to me, it sounds good. I don't give a crap if some prick sitting in his studio doesn't like it. If it sounds in tune to the consumer it must be close enough.
sure, but you're not really helping with the "done" part

Quote:
Has anyone seen the i-pad commercial where they plug the Amplitube app for it? If I could get even that one tone from any of my modelling stuff I'd be happy. Mine are ALWAYS filled with more "fizzy hash" that what's in that commercial.
"Fizzy hash" usually means one (or both) of two things, in my experience:
1. too much gain, solution: reduce gain. add compression before amp if sustain is too low.
2. bad amp sim producing insane amounts of aliasing, solution: use a different amp sim. sadly, this applies to most amp sims out there.

Quote:
If I cut the highs it gets too muddy. I can stick a 57 in front of my cab and get a lot closer to the tone I want from it.
how are you cutting the highs? if you are already using a lowpass (as you should), maybe it isn't steep enough. for example, if you are using bx_cleansweep, it only has 6dB/octave, which is not enough for this problem. if you are using a lowpass in reaeq, how did you set the bandwidth? between 1.75 and 1.5 is usually a good choice to get "maximally flat" response
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:17 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by l0calh05t View Post
sure, but you're not really helping with the "done" part



"Fizzy hash" usually means one (or both) of two things, in my experience:
1. too much gain, solution: reduce gain. add compression before amp if sustain is too low.
2. bad amp sim producing insane amounts of aliasing, solution: use a different amp sim. sadly, this applies to most amp sims out there.



how are you cutting the highs? if you are already using a lowpass (as you should), maybe it isn't steep enough. for example, if you are using bx_cleansweep, it only has 6dB/octave, which is not enough for this problem. if you are using a lowpass in reaeq, how did you set the bandwidth? between 1.75 and 1.5 is usually a good choice to get "maximally flat" response
Onward and upward I suppose
Thanks for the tips. I don't usually use a lowpass OR compression in front of the amp sim so I'll experiment with those.
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:30 AM   #90
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The lowpass belongs after the amp sim, although one in front might also help with aliasing issues. Certainly worth trying though.
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:58 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by l0calh05t View Post
The lowpass belongs after the amp sim, although one in front might also help with aliasing issues. Certainly worth trying though.

...in fact. Though the best sounding "lowpass" for e-guitar might be a 4x12 inch cabinet (or a good impulse of some). Next to low passing it does so much more to the sound.
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:19 AM   #92
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I find that I like to send to the sim only to those parts of the guitar output that I want it to mess with.

In practice, that means that after I get my guitar DI to a track, I usually use some kind of filter (invariably ReaEQ) before I hit the sim (usually pod farm, but I just discovered the lovely LePou stuff.)

In a way, that pre-sim ReaEQ works tonally as a second pickup stage of the guitar, before it hits the "amp." This gives the sim something nicer to work with. That's what I would define as the basic "instrument" that gets recorded.

Then on the other side, post-sim, it's another stage altogether. The first thing to touch it is another ReaEQ, to filter and shape the sim's output. That filter functions in part as a grill-to-mic gap between the "raw sim" out and what a virtual mic actually captures.

The way I see it, it's only at roughly this point that I actually have my "sound," what in a traditional recording scenario corresponds to what ACTUALLY GOT TRACKED. What the "mic" captured. (Or the cat dragged in.)

One thing I've started doing that I like is not having any fx on the track I'm recording (other than maybe a ReaEQ), then send that to one or more secondary "tracks" which have fx galore, automation, etc, but no audio of its own (receive-only "channels".) IOW, separating the track from its fx chain(s). I don't know how common that is. But there seems to be more control and freedom that way.

To some extent, the actual guitar *track* gets reduced to data, for downline plugins to process, same as a MIDI track is to its VSTi's.

God I love digital audio!

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Old 11-23-2010, 06:00 AM   #93
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I've started doing the same Marah Mag, and with good results. I find that if I want to have multiple tracks with the same processing I can just send them to the FX loaded buss.

What did you mean l0calh05t, about compression before hitting the sim? Wouldn't you also need something like a TS9 to get sustain, or was that what you had in mind?
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:08 PM   #94
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I've started doing the same Marah Mag, and with good results. I find that if I want to have multiple tracks with the same processing I can just send them to the FX loaded buss.

What did you mean l0calh05t, about compression before hitting the sim? Wouldn't you also need something like a TS9 to get sustain, or was that what you had in mind?
Although a TS9 will have a somewhat similar effect, I mean an actual compressor. Like reacomp (or an Orange Squeezer if you want a pedal). This will help getting more "even" distortion, at lower gains, which in turn reduces "fizzy hash".

My current chain is quite long:
Blockfish->Simulanalog Tube Screamer->Nick Crow 8505->ReaVerb(Impedance impulse)->ReaVerb(Cab impulse)->FerricTDS->ReaEQ(HP+LP)

might actually add the filter in front as well, because there's no reason to amplify noise (which almost everything over 8k will be on a DI track
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:19 PM   #95
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What about the quality of the preamps in most interfaces today like RME and/or Presonus? I plan on doing mostly guitars in my studio, would it be smart to invest in one really good quality channel for miking and D.I.ing guitars, thus bypassing the interfaces internal pre's?
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:49 AM   #96
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sorry if slightly OT, since the thread Yep's started out was about getting a nice ALL-ITB guitar sound.
I do not believe anyone could get a nice sounding egt even from a pricey preamp direct to the box, - I mean a decent sounding guitar compared to a well amp'd/mic'd real situation (such a difficult task, per se).

As an owner of a vox ac30, nothing compares to it when it comes to emulate that sound digitally.

that said, even if I don't understand too much about electric impedance, magnetic fields, bla bla, the better result I've got so far ITB is via that little device called Vox Amp Plug plugged into my guitar and direct to the audio card input (presonus)
by experience, I can get rid of many disturbing frequencies from the source

or, to make it short, I like it more :-D
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Old 11-27-2010, 12:21 PM   #97
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As an owner of a vox ac30, nothing compares to it when it comes to emulate that sound digitally
That amp is really a dream to record. Haven't gotten any comparable crunch sound out of a digital sim yet. Clean and heavy distortion tend to work better in digital, although the heavily distorted tones can be a little harsh/fizzy/noisy.
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:19 PM   #98
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Default Strat shielding - by itself may not help... with a demo

In the intonation comments, there was a note made about "shielding"

I have an article on this, and a short demo here:
http://www.artandtechnology.com.au/g...ing-strat.html

The video at the end uses a camera with an AGC, which does slightly exaggerate the hum with no other sound, but in reality that doesn't really change anything.

A shielded guitar AND hum bucking (or No Noise etc) pickups work with high gain. Single coils will hum, but not as much, with shielding, which may be quiet enough for you if you’re not into distortion (but probably not)....

Last edited by megacurve; 11-27-2010 at 02:25 PM. Reason: fix url!
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:25 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l0calh05t View Post
Although a TS9 will have a somewhat similar effect, I mean an actual compressor. Like reacomp (or an Orange Squeezer if you want a pedal). This will help getting more "even" distortion, at lower gains, which in turn reduces "fizzy hash".

My current chain is quite long:
Blockfish->Simulanalog Tube Screamer->Nick Crow 8505->ReaVerb(Impedance impulse)->ReaVerb(Cab impulse)->FerricTDS->ReaEQ(HP+LP)

might actually add the filter in front as well, because there's no reason to amplify noise (which almost everything over 8k will be on a DI track
Thanks for the tip about putting the compressor before the sim. That makes sense - I'll give it a shot.

I see you've got two ReaVerbs in your chain with different impulses. Can you explain as if to a child what jobs they do? Am I correct in saying that I'm using Guitar Rig or similar software that the cab selection is, among other things, like using the ReaVerb(Cab impulse)? Or am I missing something?

Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:26 AM   #100
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Thanks for the tip about putting the compressor before the sim. That makes sense - I'll give it a shot.

I see you've got two ReaVerbs in your chain with different impulses. Can you explain as if to a child what jobs they do? Am I correct in saying that I'm using Guitar Rig or similar software that the cab selection is, among other things, like using the ReaVerb(Cab impulse)? Or am I missing something?

Thanks!
Yes, ReaVerb(Cab impulse) is the cab selection. The other ReaVerb basically acts as an equaliser emphasizing the lows around the speaker's resonance and the highs. This emulates the interaction of a tube amp with the speaker. Recabinet already includes this without an extra impulse, since the impulses were recorded through a tube amp, btw.
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:51 AM   #101
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I'm not a guitarist. This gives me a big advantage in my opinion.
Even outside the scope of recording. Most guitarists really have the wrong idea of what a guitar should sound like. They spend 95% of their time filling up their spare-bedroom with a sound that fills every little squeek in the frequency spectrum, completely ignoring the fact that they'll have to spend the other 5% (the percentile that matters) in a collaboration with other instrumentalists. If had a dime for every time I heard a guitarist say: 'But it sounded great at home?!'...
I'm probably more like this person - I studied as a guitarist as a young chap but barely play now and this helps I think to get away from the idea of "the perfect tone" and more into "what does the piece need"

also I think when talking about 'sound' people should give examples - it would be really helpful because 'guitar sound' is so broad. Personally I tend to EQ out the frequencies covered by other instruments quite heavily. But solo guitar recording is completely different.

re tuning - people sometimes forget that how hard ones fingers press affects the tuning as much as many other things. I take the view that one should tune to the individual piece being played - I'm assuming we're talking recording here, not live, which is much more restricted

here are two different sounds in the one piece, both DI'd, (G&L for clean sound and Jackson for the distorted sound) rough mix coz it is late. All freeware fx on guitar I think - it is an old piece and I haven't gone back to see what I used - probably freeamp3.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/28r6by

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Old 12-03-2010, 12:20 AM   #102
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for anyone who is interested I looked up my fx chains on the piece posted above

Di'd straight into my presonus firebox, which is a little noisy, so I tend to record a segment of signal-less noise at the beginning as a noiseprint and then remove that using Adobe Auditions noise reduction.


clean = a mix of reaeq, voxengo tempo delay, electriq,charsiesis,

distorted = fa3 (stage), charsiesis, blue cat stereo chorus, electriq,

bass = IIEQPro, RedPhattPro, blue cat stereo chorus

plus reverb - normally a plate impulse

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Old 10-17-2013, 12:55 AM   #103
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As one who grew up in the era of pitch pipes and tuning forks, you lot dont have a clue.

My band at the time were loaned a Conn strobotuner in the early seventies by a wealthy friend - we were touring with a hohner clavinette D6 - and it changed our lives.
Regardless of how "out" your guitar sounds nowadays with the help of an accurate electronic tuner, it is sheer heaven compared to the sound of two guitarists and a bass player all tuning to their own pitch pipes using their own varied "ear" skills.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:17 AM   #104
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As one who grew up in the era of pitch pipes and tuning forks, you lot dont have a clue.

My band at the time were loaned a Conn strobotuner in the early seventies by a wealthy friend - we were touring with a hohner clavinette D6 - and it changed our lives.
Regardless of how "out" your guitar sounds nowadays with the help of an accurate electronic tuner, it is sheer heaven compared to the sound of two guitarists and a bass player all tuning to their own pitch pipes using their own varied "ear" skills.
I have a late 60's early 70's Conn strobotuner,....it still work pretty good too,...I have to turn it on and give it a calibration on of these days.

My Uncle's band used it back then,and I got it handed down to me in 1981,...when it was used by me and my band,and I've had it ever since.

I love it,....I love the old gear.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:06 AM   #105
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Quote:
I have a late 60's early 70's Conn strobotuner
I have one of those actually. Its bronze colored and runs on tubes.
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:12 PM   #106
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The most important thing I've learned about sims, besides the fact that they are, hands down, kill in terms of cost/benefit compared to real amps (although the sound I've gotten with a ribbon mic on amps has been nice enough);

is that you need to

UNDERSTAND YOUR PURPOSE

are you:

1. playing live?

- who are you playing with?
- how will you stand out without stepping on anyone?

2. recording?

- there are several different parameters when we are talking about recorded sound, and many amp sims are set up for this, and WONT sound "live"

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Old 12-15-2013, 01:18 PM   #107
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Just stumbled across this thread...

Point 1. All of you who spend more time anally fine tuning your intonation than playing... don't ever buy a vintage Tele. You'll have a nervous breakdown.

Point 2. Stop thinking of the 'commercial amp sims' as being... well, just amp sims. The vast majority of them also simulate the cab mics, room mikes and the studio's ambience, so get into a control room mindset and tweek those settings as well as the basic amp settings.

Point 3. Most guitarists are actually crap at getting a good guitar sound that will work in the context of 'a full mix'. Don't set guitar tones in isolation, whether using sims, real amps, recording or gigging.
If you're going to use a sim, track the guitar dry and add the sim later.
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:03 PM   #108
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I'm not a guitar head. I usually just plug my guitar into the input, record it dry and then add whatever is necessary to get the sound I want. But I'm curious, I assume that part of what makes a guitar sound the way it does is acoustic feedback (speaker to pickup via string excitation). How important a part of the sound is this and how do you simulate that? Can these amp sims do it?

How do people use these amp sims in recording? Do you monitor with headphones or in open air so that you do get the feedback effects?
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:53 AM   #109
Bezmotivnik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Time Waster View Post
I'm not a guitar head. I usually just plug my guitar into the input, record it dry and then add whatever is necessary to get the sound I want.
This is the future, and welcome to it.

I don't listen to pop music much because I'm no longer paid to, but when I do hear money music these days, guitar sounds to me like a straight A/D transduced tracks worked on by a pro sound designer later on under the direction of the producer.

That's fine. That's progress. I'm 100% for it.
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