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  1. #1

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    Do those of you who do home (or otherwise) recording, record your signal dry with no effects or add the effects to your signal going into the interface? Personally, I have a difficult time playing something, without me being able to hear in the headphones, exactly the sound I want to record. I, mostly, only use reverb but need to hear it when I'm playing. I know this can be a problem because you can't undo it once it's on there. I once recorded some pedal steel tracks for somebody's album at a local studio and the engineer forbade me to put reverb on my amp - probably the worst I've ever sounded in 40+ years of playing the instrument because what was coming out of the amp was not what I wanted to hear. Anybody else have this problem and is there a solution? I guess messing with your reverb settings until you find what comes out better on the recording?

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  3. #2

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    I'm the same, I need to hear the sound that I want while playing. But I'm recording on Logic. I'm using interface of course, but my tone shaping is from the Logic amp and pedal simulation software, so even if I recorded with one pre-set, I can change it to anything else afterwords, no problem. That works like a charm for me, because I have so much virtual gear, and it sounds just right.

    I experimented with pluging in actual pedals first and then to interface, but it never really worked for me if I do recordings at home, without a real band in a real studio. All those plug ins in Logic are fantastic and more than I can ask for.

  4. #3

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    I used to play dry into a computer. Most effects afterwards, if any. It gives the most control. Even a distortion/overdrive is something that i added afterwards. But this was for demo kind a recordings. Once you know what the dry sound, sounds like processed, it's not a problem to me only hearing the dry sound. Many times i just heard my strat unamplified.

    If we wanted to record in a band setting we'd mic everything.

  5. #4

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    Get a mixing board with a separate monitor send, or take the monitor out from your digital audio interface, and listen to that in your headphones or control room mix. Put all the effects you want on the monitor send, listening to that while you record, but record the signal dry. Essentially, you are splitting the signal and sending one branch of the "Y" to be recorded dry while listening to the other branch with effects added.

    ====
    UPDATE: Most multi-track recording software can do all of the above onscreen, without the need for an external board, BTW. The GUI should provide a way to enable a track for record or playback, route the playback to a monitor mix, assign efx to output (monitor mix, submix, the track itself, the entire CR output, whatever you choose) and choose what to listen to in the control room (monitor mixes or other submixes, main out, etc.)
    Last edited by starjasmine; 11-22-2020 at 01:52 PM.

  6. #5

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    Your DAW should allow you to apply an Insert effect that can be controlled via the wet/dry mix. That’s how I do it most of the time. There’s also the option to use a send bus and just dial in the appropriate amount of fx to your dry signal. Either works.

  7. #6

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    I think the best is to use a send bus (or multiple) to add effects on the mix.
    To record the instrument you can add effects to monitoring and play with your sound but without recording it, at least not in the same track of the instrument.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis
    Do those of you who do home (or otherwise) recording, record your signal dry with no effects or add the effects to your signal going into the interface? Personally, I have a difficult time playing something, without me being able to hear in the headphones, exactly the sound I want to record. I, mostly, only use reverb but need to hear it when I'm playing. I know this can be a problem because you can't undo it once it's on there. I once recorded some pedal steel tracks for somebody's album at a local studio and the engineer forbade me to put reverb on my amp - probably the worst I've ever sounded in 40+ years of playing the instrument because what was coming out of the amp was not what I wanted to hear. Anybody else have this problem and is there a solution? I guess messing with your reverb settings until you find what comes out better on the recording?
    If I'm recording on my own at home (using GarageBand), I nearly always use plug-ins for amp simulation and all effects while tracking. Every once in a while I'll use an actual overdrive pedal for a guitar solo, but not often. In real studios, yes, engineers usually discourage you from using the amp's reverb. The logic behind that is you ultimately want everything mixed in the same reverb/aural space unless you're explicitly going for something different (e.g., a saturated spring reverb sound), and you can't un-do the amp's reverb. But, yes, it's hard to play without reverb, especially if you're really used to your amp's reverb sound. The workaround is usually to monitor through headphones with a cue mix that has some reverb. without actually printing the reverb. That nearly always possible, whether using a traditional console/tape recorder or DAW. In a DAW, there's often a decent spring or plate reverb plugin that will get you very close to the sound you want from your amp. An engineer who can't figure out how to get you some reverb in the "cans" is not a good engineer.

    John
    Last edited by John A.; 11-22-2020 at 08:05 PM.

  9. #8

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    You can simultaneously do both, a direct box will split the signal. XLR out from the direct box to input 1 of the audio interface. "Thru" out from the direct box to your amp, to mic, to input 2 of the audio interface. Record to two mono tracks. Then you can choose between the two.

    BTW, Amplitube4 is a free plugin that comes with a few amps and a handful of pedals.

  10. #9

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    I'm a novice at recording, but here's what I've been doing.

    Guitar into my usual pedalboard, a Boss ME80. I add a touch of reverb with it -- an amount that I consider the minimum I'd ever want to hear.

    Then into the Focusrite 2i2. The Focusrite connects to my laptop, which runs Reaper. I run a line from the output of the 2i2 to my DV Mark Little Jazz. I have the LJ adjusted the way I usually play it.

    So, I'm monitoring with the LJ. That's perfect for the guitar, because I hear just what I want there. But, it's also monitoring the tracks I'm playing along with when I'm overdubbing. One recording-enthusiast friend was horrified by this. Monitoring with a guitar amp!!!!

    Doing it this way means that nothing is mic'ed. So, extraneous noise in the house or street doesn't matter. The LJ seems perfectly good enough for monitoring for me. Who am I kidding? My hearing sucks.

    I've also recorded using an ME80 patch, the same one I use live. I understand that this reduces flexibility and that I might be better off going straight into the 2i2 and running the output through the ME80, but I don't know how to get that sound with the Reaper FX. I guess I could figure out how to record clean then playback through the ME80 while recording into another track. Not a bad idea, but I'm getting what I want without it. Or do what a post above suggested and split the signal into clean and processed in front of the ME80.

    For one tune, I wanted the sound of a distorted amp. For that one I added a line coming out of the ME80 into the amp. I mic'ed the amp and ran the mic to the other input of the 2i2. Set Reaper to record them on different channels. So, I got my usual sound plus the distorted amp, on different tracks. I monitored it all with the LJ, as usual.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I'm a novice at recording, but here's what I've been doing.

    Guitar into my usual pedalboard, a Boss ME80. I add a touch of reverb with it -- an amount that I consider the minimum I'd ever want to hear.

    Then into the Focusrite 2i2. The Focusrite connects to my laptop, which runs Reaper. I run a line from the output of the 2i2 to my DV Mark Little Jazz. I have the LJ adjusted the way I usually play it.

    So, I'm monitoring with the LJ. That's perfect for the guitar, because I hear just what I want there. But, it's also monitoring the tracks I'm playing along with when I'm overdubbing. One recording-enthusiast friend was horrified by this. Monitoring with a guitar amp!!!!

    Doing it this way means that nothing is mic'ed. So, extraneous noise in the house or street doesn't matter. The LJ seems perfectly good enough for monitoring for me. Who am I kidding? My hearing sucks.

    I've also recorded using an ME80 patch, the same one I use live. I understand that this reduces flexibility and that I might be better off going straight into the 2i2 and running the output through the ME80, but I don't know how to get that sound with the Reaper FX. I guess I could figure out how to record clean then playback through the ME80 while recording into another track. Not a bad idea, but I'm getting what I want without it. Or do what a post above suggested and split the signal into clean and processed in front of the ME80.

    For one tune, I wanted the sound of a distorted amp. For that one I added a line coming out of the ME80 into the amp. I mic'ed the amp and ran the mic to the other input of the 2i2. Set Reaper to record them on different channels. So, I got my usual sound plus the distorted amp, on different tracks. I monitored it all with the LJ, as usual.
    If you want cleaner monitoring then I don’t see why you couldn’t run the output of the LJ into an input on your Focusrite. Everything “in front of” your amp ( ME80) and the LJ sound, should be preserved and you’ll have better fidelity across the board with your other backing tracks. There wouldn’t be a “global” coloring of all the backing tracks being fed through the same signal chain like a master bus effect, so to speak. The only downside to going direct is some latency. Not saying your current setup is wrong, at all. There’s just another option available with its own benefits.

  12. #11

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    I like to get the sound I want out of my amp in real time. I think it affects how you play. I can't imagine playing clean then adding distortion or overdrive later. I have used a bunch of digital effect add ons but it was in an academic setting.

    The only thing I do after recording is apply EQ with my DAW. I bought an EQ pedal but haven't even plugged in yet. I guess that means I like my live sound well enough - until I hear it played back, lol.

    I plan to experiment with reverb for classical guitar a bit too. Try to get that marble church effect.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Esport
    If you want cleaner monitoring then I don’t see why you couldn’t run the output of the LJ into an input on your Focusrite. Everything “in front of” your amp ( ME80) and the LJ sound, should be preserved and you’ll have better fidelity across the board with your other backing tracks. There wouldn’t be a “global” coloring of all the backing tracks being fed through the same signal chain like a master bus effect, so to speak. The only downside to going direct is some latency. Not saying your current setup is wrong, at all. There’s just another option available with its own benefits.
    I like monitoring with the LJ. It sounds fine to me. I was just making the point that more serious recordists wouldn't be likely to approve.
    If I wanted to get more serious, it would be near field monitors and careful compensation for my hearing loss using the playback FX. I use playback FX now, but I'm still guessing at the EQ compensation-for-bad-hearing curve.

    The chain you suggest is interesting. If I understand your approach its guitar--> ME80 --> LJ --> Focusrite --> laptop. So, I listen to my usual amp setup as I record. And, that's what gets on the track.

    In order to hear the other tracks (which I'm overdubbing onto), I would plug headphones into the Focusrite, or, plug the Focusrite output into a different amp. Then, I remove the guitar sound from the playback mix. Or, I turn off the speaker in the LJ and monitor everything through the headphones or second amp.

    I've never had any issue with latency, so I don't see why I would with this setup. Apparently, Reaper takes care of it transparently.

    The guitar sound would be a little different this way. Worth a try. Thanks.

  14. #13

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    I’ve become a big fan of recording dry and then re-amping through various bits of gear or running digital plugins.

    you can obviously run some effects on your monitoring to allow you to play in an appropriate way (for example with drive.)

  15. #14

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    Oh, this would depend on the type of effect and the premises.

    It's advisable to add any time based effect (reverb, delay) post recording. But there are exceptions (for example when playing duet with your own echo). Most studio environments make it possible for the musician to add effects to the monitored sound without having those effects stick to the recorded track.

    Then there are effects that as a rule of thumb are always part of the recorded signal. Those are of different nature, more like tone shapers rather than effects. Distortion, for example would be part of the recorded signal because it doesn't make sense to add it post recording. Same with Wha-wha, that is an instrument you play with your foot together with the guitar.

    You don't want an EQ pedal part of the recorded track, unless you use it to shape amp distortion. Your sound will be EQed in the mix post recording.

    One could argue that reverb is a tone shaper part of a signature tone, and sometimes reverb is part of the recorded track, but remember, there will often be reverb added post recording, to individual tracks as well as to the master and this could interfere with your recorded reverb making your sound less favorable in the mix.

    Never record swirl effects (like chorus) or compressors (unless you use it to shape distortion), it typically sounds better when such effects are dialed in post recording. Try to avoid recording Delay, you really like to sculpt it in the mix afterwards.

    Finally, remember there are no rules.
    Good luck

  16. #15

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    I think the authentic creative process if we hear the exact sound, real time when playing, because that is the part of the expression and hearing it unevitable for the next musical thought.

    The only exception I can imagine some reverb only in case of acoustic guitar, recording postprocess compression

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor
    I think the authentic creative process if we hear the exact sound, real time when playing, because that is the part of the expression and hearing it unevitable for the next musical thought.

    The only exception I can imagine some reverb only in case of acoustic guitar, recording postprocess compression
    What a dogmatic approach.
    It's just as creative (if not more) if a player can play dry and imagine the effects that he will implement afterwards and still deliver a good track.

  18. #17

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    It all depends on your goal.

    I record with outboard reverb (from my ME80). That's the reverb sound I want, and the Reaper FX options don't give me the same sound. Since I've never thought, "gee I wish I could remove the ME80 reverb from my recorded track" it hasn't been a problem to do it that way.

    I suppose I could record dry while monitoring wet, and then reamp (if I understand that term -- playing back through the ME80 with reverb and then recording the result onto a new track). Or, I could split the signal right after the guitar and record both dry and wet. But, it's all theoretical at that point -- meaning, why bother, I'm already getting a sound I like.

    An aside, maybe a rant:

    I sort of bristle at "rules". The only thing I'm trying to do is get the sounds in my mind to come out the speaker. I'll do whatever I can figure out to accomplish that, whether or not it breaks a "rule". My friend was horrified at me using the LJ as a monitor, but I liked the result.

    A well known player, who just got a Grammy nod, told me some years back "I don't play Drop 2". I think it was an exaggeration, but the kernal of truth was that Drop 2 is a sound associated with a certain classic jazz guitar style -- and he wanted to sound more modern than that.
    Most teachers advise learning Drop 2 and playing them. His position was to learn them so he could avoid them and sound more original. This is a comment on rules -- sometimes helpful, but perhaps not a recipe for originality.

  19. #18

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    Hi Skip,

    With a decent computer and if you keep to effects that don't take up much processing power you should be able to monitor back from Reaper without noticeable latency. I can on my system.

    The trick is to know what effects are using a lot of resource. I just figure that out with trial and error. The most common culprit in my case is the Reaper ReaVerb when using it with impulse responses. I haven't had any problems leaving the other effects going like ReaEq and ReaComp for example.

    But you want to hear Reverb... I put "Reverb Solo" in the track and often times only use it for monitoring while recording. It is a nice sounding reverb, it's simple to use, it's free, and it doesn't seem to affect latency. Then when mixing if I want a different reverb I'll turn it off. I do this for both guitar and vocals.

    You can get it here: Reverb SOLO | Reverb
    Attached Images Attached Images Effects: Before or After?-r-3-png 

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel_A
    What a dogmatic approach.
    It's just as creative (if not more) if a player can play dry and imagine the effects that he will implement afterwards and still deliver a good track.
    I think dogmatic is not the appropriate word, may be oldschool would be better. The two are not interchangable.
    Btw continuing your thought, "the singer can not sing, and the correct pitches will be implemented afterward and deliver a good track."

    i understand, it is not the same, but undeniable has common: artifically adding later something which was never there in the creative musical process. The effect is an acoustic tool. The fact that we achieve the effect electronicaly, and nowadays also digitally, is a formal thing, and nothing to do with the point, the effect is the part how the musician formulates her/his thoughts to music. "can imagine" you wrote as an extra credit to the player. This reasoning stinks. Why would anyone take an extra effort to on fly imagine something, which would be instantly there with no effort? There must be a reason... I think it is more like "can not imagine" and can not play, then after, with guesswork of effects, tries to make it enjoyable. Really not convincing.