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Recording two amps

mdsg

Member
Messages
3
hello to everyone,my first post on the Gear Page...I have a Carvin X100B,and an Ampeg VT 40.I can mic the VT 40,line into a small mixer,simple,no other options.I also have a Whirlwind IMP 2,I wanted to use on the Carvin X100B,generally I use a fair amount of gain.When I put the Whirlwind between head/speaker,the xlr output to the small mixer,the signal is thin and trebly.I back down the highs/mids with the mixer,mess with it for 45 minutes or so,still sounds terrible,nothing like the amp itself.When I put the Whirlwind between the head and mixer this way: line out from the amp xlr to the Whirlwind in 1/4 t/s,Whirlwind xlr out to mixer,the signal is very distorted and thin...way too hot...can anyone give me some pointers? It's my first time recording an amp...with something other than a mic. Thanks in advance...
 

treeofpain

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,183
Agree with loudboy. I would mic the speakers - easiest way to get a decent sound and you can start learning about mic placement. If you'd rather use a speaker compensated DI, the Red Box sounds pretty good and the Aiken Gold Brick sounds very good. Don't disconnect the speaker with these items in-line, since they are not load boxes, and your amp could get messed up. Just put them between the amp and the speaker and you'll do fine.
 

soulsonic

Member
Messages
980
You could use a speaker simulating plugin, like the TwoNotes Wall of Sound, to get a good fake mic'd sound. You can demo it for free. Other speaker sim plugins are available as freeware, especially in VST format. Depending on what software you are recording with, and what kind of sound card, etc... you may be able to run the plugin realtime on the live input while you are recording and be able to monitor with it.

What version of the X-100B are you using? According to Carvin's website, the current reissue version is supposed to have a "Cabinet Emulated" XLR line out. This means you might not necessarily need any filtering if you use just that. If this is the version you have, there's a good chance the DI box is messing the sound up. In any case, if the amp has an XLR line out anyway, there's no reason why you should have to use a DI box. Get that DI box out of the picture and try just going from the XLR line out straight to a line in on your mixer or sound card and see if that sounds any better. Sometimes, an XLR in on a mixer or sound card will be intended for mic level only (this is especially the case with sound cards), and the line out level would probably distort it. On the mixer, make sure the input trim/gain is turned all the way down when connecting an XLR line out to it. Start with that input trim/gain all the way down have the channel and master faders up high. Then slowly bring the input gain up until you get a good level. This is the best way to set levels when recording for lowest noise and distortion.
 

mdsg

Member
Messages
3
thanks for your replies ! soulsonic,I have a series iv reissue.I messed around with the X100B xlr out to my Behringer Xenyx 802,previously,and I guess I wasnt too impressed because I did attempt to use the DI box.I tried the direct line from the X100B xlr out to the 802 again,it works...ok.It's still trebly,and heavily distorted,even with with the gain turned down.I back the highs/mids all the down to zero,keep the bass at about 2...then using Audacity I equalize the highs/mids down again,and its ok.I do run the X100B with the drive at about 7,and everything else on the plus side of "5",similar to the Tony Iommi/UFO/Mountain sound.Not quite as easy as a mic,not as easy as I thought it'd be.Regardless,for now I'll go with your suggestion,I'm sure in a few weeks it'll be a piece of cake.Thanks for your help,I do appreciate it.This is my first go-round with "direct-lines",I'm sure there is a learning curve....
 

soulsonic

Member
Messages
980
You should consider using a different recording software than Audacity. It has an interesting and useful set of tools for a freeware program, but overall sound quality and performance is very poor, in my experience, when compared to pretty much everything else. I know lots of people seem to swear by it, but I think those people are crazy.

Harrison is currently selling MixBus for cheap cheap: http://harrisonconsoles.com/site/mixbus.html
I will warn that MixBus can be a little cantankerous with its driver interfacing. You pretty much have to install JACK (it's freeware) to be able to get good performance in Windows. The whatever built-in "native" JACK it has in the Windows version is terrible, in my experience. If you're on Mac, JACK is required anyway. Despite a couple warts with the drivers and the learning curve if you've never used JACK before, MixBus really does sound excellent and has all the good features for audio editing and mixing.

You could also consider Reaper, which is sorta free...you can install and run it for free, but then it will nag you to give them $50 or something... it's OK, not as good sounding as MixBus, but has much more MIDI features, if that's important to you.
If you're using Mac or Linux, you should cheap out Ardour. MixBus is just a fancied-up version of Ardour.
My personal hands-down favorite at any price is Samplitude. But that's Windows-only...not sure what system you're using.
Another freeware windows audio program is Wavosaur: http://www.wavosaur.com/ Like other freeware, it can be a little dodgy at moments, but it will run VST plugins realtime and recording sound quality is MUCH better than Audacity. During my freeware years (before purchasing Samplitude), I totally gave up Audacity after I discovered Wavosaur. Only thing is that I think Wavosaur doesn't do multitrack... I don't remember, because I only ever used it to edit stereo files, was using Cakewalk Sonar for multitrack (also a good budget-minded DAW to consider).

My point is that the software you use can have a surprisingly big impact on how it all sounds and how easily you can make the things you want happen. You can get by with pretty much anything, but if the software isn't up to snuff, your job will be much harder. But, you can totally get pro results with cheap software/freeware if you're careful about what you use.
 

soulsonic

Member
Messages
980
Wow thanks, just had to buy it at that crazy price.
The mixer in it really does sound great! But, remember I warned you about the drivers with JACK potentially being a pain. All depends on your system. BUT, after I installed the full version of JACK in my Windows system, it seems to perform well. I'm talking about things like latency, dropouts, etc... the actual editing and mixing of the program works great.
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,393
The mixer in it really does sound great! But, remember I warned you about the drivers with JACK potentially being a pain. All depends on your system. BUT, after I installed the full version of JACK in my Windows system, it seems to perform well. I'm talking about things like latency, dropouts, etc... the actual editing and mixing of the program works great.
I'll survive. I've used Windows for decades, and can handle a workaround or two on my mac as well. :)
 

mdsg

Member
Messages
3
soulsonic,I took your advice,I installed Reaper.After messing with it for a while I'm good with it.I still have the issue with the x100b xlr line out being thin,trebly,regardless of whether I use Audacity or Reaper,it's more tameable with Reaper.If I were to record the x100b,using a Shure out front,and the xlr line out,at the same time,you'd think it were 2 different guitars.I suppose another way to describe it would be by saying the xlr line out has much more gain.I'm not really too experienced with modern amps,or modern recording methods and terminology.Maybe the xlr line out is supposed to be reflective of the head plus effects, minus the speakers/cabinet.Perhaps the cabinet changes the tone factor much more than I expect it would.Regardless,thanks for everyone's input,and especially soulsonic,your suggestions turned me on to something new,another door opens.I also plan on using the DI box to record without using my amps,great for 12 strings,and I also plan on buying another mic,to record both amps. thanks!!
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,393
The mixer in it really does sound great! But, remember I warned you about the drivers with JACK potentially being a pain. All depends on your system. BUT, after I installed the full version of JACK in my Windows system, it seems to perform well. I'm talking about things like latency, dropouts, etc... the actual editing and mixing of the program works great.
As an update, had no issues installing it, and really liking it so far. Love having eq and compression so easily accessible, and sounds great.
Haven't had the time to dig deep yet, but it's great for my simple needs. v3 coing soon too.
Thanks again for the heads up! :aok
 

ClassicLP

Senior Member
Messages
1,199
Watch out for phasing issues. Yes, different amps can cause phasing, folks. Listen back to some sample takes. Also examine the wave forms. Use your ears, ultimately, to decide of you hear an combing, hollowing, or grating sounds that are associated with phase.
 




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