Recording though "amp modeling" direct box

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Recording though "amp modeling" direct box

Postby Jakeblues » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:59 am

Long story short: I'm getting back to playing harp. I wanted to get a good lo-fi sound for recoding some blues tracks. I have a 520 that I was going to run through a direct box (line 6) that can model a lot of guitar amps. What are some of the more popular amps for harp? I can skip the Marshalls and the hi gain Mesa boogies, but there's a lot f choices, inluding Princeton, twin, Matcless, vox. Any ugestions appreciated.
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Re: Recording though "amp modeling" direct box

Postby jawbone60 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:25 pm

I have run a Silvertone 1482 for live gigs for years. BUT smaller yet, Epi valve Jr, Alamo Capri, even the Pignose 7-100 shoebox amp are good for in the studio. I had a single 10" Princeton tremolo some years back that was great to record with. I would recommend keeping the settings pretty straight, no trem from the amp. or very little. Go for tone only and add effects at the board.
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Re: Recording though "amp modeling" direct box

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:44 pm

Hey Jake,
I understand your question but, you know it's funny story about those modeling amps. I mean it's a ridiculous story.

Because they're trying to sell those to people, who've never heard, heard of, or owned those old timey amps.
I've never owned any of those amps, why should we care what they used to sound like 40 years ago?
They don't make them anymore, and the reproductions made of them are way too pricey.

However, having many different tones in one amp is valid, but referencing the antique amps in their menu, what does that mean to us today?
What will those references mean to people in 10 years? :roll:
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Re: Recording though "amp modeling" direct box

Postby jeffl » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:01 pm

The princeton is as good a harp amp as there's ever been, but having said that, I've noticed that the fender blackface modes on alotta modelling amps do a good job for harp. Basically, it's a matter of gain: you go up the gain chain until you've gone too far, and then you go back to the last voice (If you're looking for that brown Chicago tone).
I'd go more by the sound than the name of the voice. Every mic reacts differently to any circuitry. A mic will not sound the same thru a modelling circuit as it will thru the amp the circuit's named for. Guitars are a different matter.
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Re: Recording though "amp modeling" direct box

Postby Jakeblues » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:35 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. There are a couple of Silvertone models that I'll have to give a try. And BB, to your point, a lot of these options are not necessarily relevant, to me any way. In a lot of ways, there's just too damn many! For guitar, there are a few amp presets that I use, black faced twin, Mesa Mark II, Marshall Plexi, bassman. There are a lot that I can't really tell the difference between, and I don't really have the patience to pick through so many. I've found what works for guitar, and those are what I stick with.

As for harp, it's gong to be a longer road back, I'm afraid. I used to carry one with me in the '80's when drove truck for a bakery (Yes, I "hauled buns") and the trips were typically 9-12 hours. I was hoping it would come back relatively easily, but that's not he case so far.
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Re: Recording though "amp modeling" direct box

Postby jawbone60 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:08 pm

In case you hadn't noticed Jake, I have used some of those old amps for 20+ years. Jeff said the magic word, Princeton, which was my first tube amp. Silvertone 1482 has been my go-to amp for a decade for small to medium rooms, and I've owned all the way up to a custom built Bassman replica.
I'm not saying modeling amps don't work, I've never really messed with them. Seems to me if I had one I'd run through all the models and settings and find the ones I liked and use them. It really is subjective. BUT the reason you may want to care about the "old amp sound" is that it gives you something to shoot for. Those guys who defined the electric Chicago sound- from the original Sonny Boy Williamson to Paul Butterfield to Tad Robinson, can teach us something about delicious tone.

Vintage amps are definitely available. I just got a Silvertone 1482 in very good shape for just over $250. I sold my old one, in not great shape cosmetically, for $200. On fleabay I see the same amp in not as good a shape going for $400 and more.

Jeff also makes a good point about microphones. Not to mention effects pedals. These are all variable which give a different character to one's sound and tone.
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Re: Recording though "amp modeling" direct box

Postby jeffl » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:28 pm

After everything jawbone posted, you still got to take into count the fact that there's more than a few very good harpers around the world who're playing strictly through boxes like the Pod, and some of 'em have succesful recording and international touring careers.
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Re: Recording though "amp modeling" direct box

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:59 pm

I just recorded a bass track directly through a mixing board and into the imac.
It was a fretless bass with passive pups. Garage Band had the few effects I use for bass: gain, 3 knob EQ, stereo chorus and reverb.
Sounded very good, no preamp.
I just wanted to find out if I could play and record without disturbing my neighbor.
As for guitar, looks like I have some good options I should try. No tremolo but I can just use a pedal for that. :wink:
Very cool, if I don't have to have a snake pit of mic and amp cables everywhere! 8)
As for drums, yes I intended to use those options, but I still need to set up 4 mics into a mixing board, so yeah, it'll be a snake pit for recording drums. :?
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