Recording music

I’ve just bought a DAW and am using a PC.

I’ve managed to record my first bit of rhythm playing to test out whether I could record successfully, and get the track turned into an MP3.

I’m looking for any advice on how to record single note runs, which I haven’t tried yet, when I’m not yet using a microphone, just with the guitar plugged straight into my Focusrite Solo.

As I understand it I can plug my guitar into any effects and then into the DAW. I can use the effects in the software I’ve been provided. And I’m not sure if I can plug my amp directly into the DAW? And should I be taking the gain knob up to the sound of a single note played loudly as in the first try I took the gain up to the sound of a loudly strummed chord?

Any advice would be useful.

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Aaah beware of the rabbit hole of digital gear :smiley:

I think these days you can get fantastic results with completely free amp simulators and impulse responses!

Last time I checked the “king” of free amps was the Ignite Emissary 2.0 - check it out!

This video was also very interesting:

I’ve tried to download from their site and my computer will not do it as it says the zip file is unsafe. Google Chrome is blocking the download as it thinks the zip file is unsafe.

Can I use an amp simulator on its own, is it it’s own software, or do I have to run it through other software like Pro Tools First? I really am at day one with this.

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It depends! If they have a “standalone” mode then you can use the amp sim on its own, but this is usually just for jamming and getting the sound - not for recording.

Otherwise they usually come in VST / AU format, i.e. “plugins” - these are effects that you can use on one or more of your logic pro tracks. There is usually a “monitoring mode” on each track, and if you turn it on you should be able to hear the sound of the processed signal even if you are not recording. I think the Emissary is only in plugin form for example, but the Neural DSP stuff (a bit expensive but very good) has both modes.

As for the safety issues - I have downloaded the Emissary and had no visible problems - but it may be that these people are not “officially approved developers” for your operating system.

More generally note that there is a difference between amp simulation (the amp head) and cabinet simulation + microphone (aka Impulse Responses = IRs). Some plugins include both, others don’t. If you don’t include a cabinet + mic simulation, it’s going to sound terrible! :smiley:

Another point to keep in mind: typical IRs simulate a microphone placed very close to the amp speaker. This is very different to the jam-session “amp in a room” sound many of us are used to. But there are also IRs called “room mic”, which instead simulate that more familiar sound.

Most DAW’s these days have an amp sim built in - it’s a place to start.

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Nembrini Crunck and Nalex Crunchman and Amplex are fantastic too.
Impulse response however will have the biggest impact on tone.

My tip - gainstage. Once you setup your effects and all that in DAW properly just try to use as little gain as possible. Especially if you double or quad track.

I’m mostly playing ampsims so i could say I know a thing or two, if you have questions feel free to ask.