Help Spend my Money...



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Help Spend my Money...

Postby HighDeaf1080p » Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:15 pm

Here's what I need to do:

I want to be able to play guitar, while laptop records clean guitar, then play that clean guitar part back out after its recorded -- thru analog effects pedals, and then back into laptop to be recorded as another track (or two if stereo) after knobs have been set to ideal settings. Most ideal situation would be to have headphones attached to the interface, that allowed me to hear the signal routed through the effects in the headphones, even though the computer may only be recording the clean track.

If I get a nice enough audio interface, can I avoid needing a DI box as well? I'm assuming I need at least one instrument level input, then one output to send signal back out to effects pedals (can this be done at instrument level? Some effects don't like line level), and two line level inputs for stereo effects coming back into the interface.

I assume I need the audio interface (USB 2.0), some mixing software that lets me route inputs and outputs on the audio interface (may come with the interface), and some recording software for the computer (Reason, Pro Tools, etc.).

Please someone stop me if I'm about to roll off a cliff here, or if you see something missing...

Thanks for any guidance!
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Re: Help Spend my Money...

Postby echoraven » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:26 am

Why not a signal splitter? One clean to the interface and one through the effect path?
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Re: Help Spend my Money...

Postby HighDeaf1080p » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:36 am

Well, main reason is to give me the option to tweak the knobs with greater attention to detail after I have the clean track playing in a loop. That allows me to get the exact settings for rate, depth, gain, feedback, etc. that suit the tracks tempo, density, rhythm, etc., without having to tweak and play, tweak and play, tweak and play for hours before even recording. Then I can lay down the effected track once I have things exactly how I want them on the assortment of effects pedals being used on that track.

I think I understood that you were suggesting I just record the clean and the effected tracks simultaneously. If I misunderstood your question, let me know.
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Re: Help Spend my Money...

Postby Derelict78 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:25 pm

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aen wrote:Or I'll just use fuzz. Then Ill sound cool regardless.

Achtane wrote:Well, volcanoes are pretty fuckin' cool. Like I guess lava flows are doomy. Slow and still able to to melt your eardrums.
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Re: Help Spend my Money...

Postby DRodriguez » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:03 pm

The eleven rack is a good all in one solution for this, you can usually find them resold for cheap. It gives you one solid mic input, one intstrument input, a stereo/dual mono line or instrument level FX loop with adjustable impedance for your picky pedals, 2 outputs for your real amps that you can set up wherever in the chain you want (pre FX, post FX) solid enough low latency amp and pedal simulations, midi in and out., expression input assignable to be volume, wah, or any parameter in the built in fx. Additionally has 2 main outs for monitors, headphone out, usb control via your computer, and an additional digital i/o.

Main downside is that it only seamlessly works as an interface with pro tools. It'll work with other Daws with some additional work though.
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Re: Help Spend my Money...

Postby HighDeaf1080p » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:08 pm

Well since I don't own the DAW yet, this sounds like a really good option. I have no prejudice against going with pro tools. Thank you for the suggestion!!!
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Re: Help Spend my Money...

Postby HighDeaf1080p » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:11 pm



That's interesting. I hadn't considered adding my amp back into the chain, and not sure if I want the added noise of mic'ing the amp or not, but maybe, cuz its a sweet sounding amp. I'll think on this one a bit.
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Re: Help Spend my Money...

Postby rustywire » Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:53 am

Just to review, make sure I understand.
You want to record 'dry' to the computer, but send 'wet' through your monitors (or headphones) and an additional output where you'll be using the computer's audio as a sorta looper to feed your pedal chain in an effects loop?
Or are you tracking the performance dry while you dial in effects, then looking to track again 'wet' through the pedal chain producing a dry-only version and a wet-only version of the same performance? In mono or stereo?
Or will the dry-mono and wet-mono be combined into a 'pseudo-stereo' mix?

As far as your goals go, check out the Pigtronix Keymaster.
Wounded Paw also make some great Blenders which may prove useful.

And what you should really consider...is a mixer with aux sends. With multiple aux sends your routing potential expands greatly.

As a general aside & FWIW
IMO miking amps gets far more interesting tones than going direct. Generally speaking. Def exceptions to the rule.
I'd much sooner go direct with bass than guitar though. DI w/transformer coupled inputs :love: bottom end oomph
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Re: Help Spend my Money...

Postby HighDeaf1080p » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:02 am

For laying down the initial performance, I want to hear the effects (set to approximate settings) in my ears, while the DAW records a dry track. Then I want to be able to play back the dry through the effects while I tweak knobs...then when the knobs are just where I want them, record the track again wet. I can then mute the dry tracks, but always have them if I want to change the effects chain or effects settings and lay down a new wet version for any layer.

This may be mono or stereo depending on the effects I am using. I believe right now, the only stereo effect I have is my delay, but I use delay to some extent on most things, so I'm likely to have a lot of stereo wet tracks, that correspond to a mono dry.

In the final mix, I don't expect to have many dry tracks, other than may be the drum machine, or bass line sometimes. Even those will usually have some mild effect on them, most times, with all dry tracks muted until needed for editing.

If I do mic my amp, then I just need the capability of playing back the dry track into my amp, with effects between the interface and amp. That method would also give me the ability to add some very sweet sounding microphones to the mix of things as well as the tubes in my amp...just wish I had a soundproof room to prevent things like my air conditioner, cats, passing cars, etc. from fucking up the wet track recordings.

What about this?

For recording the dry track: Guitar into interface. Interface output1 > computer for recording, output 2 > effects pedals > headphone amp > headphones.

Then when I want to tweak the effects and also when i want to record the wet, unplug from the headphone amp, and plug output 2 into the input of my amp, which is mic'd to input 2 on the interface.

In this scenario, I only use headphones when laying down the dry...when knob tweaking, or laying down wet, I'm hearing everything through the guitar amp (which I'd need to do anyway to know if the knob settings were exactly right).
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Re: Help Spend my Money...

Postby HighDeaf1080p » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:13 am

Gosh, I'm having a tough time thinking of one good reason not to click the "1-click purchase" button on this:

http://www.amazon.com/Avid-99006518200-Tools-Eleven-Bundle/dp/B005LG0XTG
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Re: Help Spend my Money...

Postby rustywire » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:23 am

If you're concerned about ambient noise then you can spend much monies on room treatment & building a proper setup.
Or buy studio time & do the wet recording there once you've tracked the dry take. This would likely be the cheaper/best results producer of the 2.

Your ideas sound like they could work but you're going to want room treatment and proper monitors if you go the diy route. Or not, but expect extra headaches. Just remember there really are no rules. Planes, cars & coughing have made it onto hit records & cult classics alike. Keeps things interesting IMO. You aren't trying for a perfectly polished pop track are ya? Not the type of thing you might hear alongside Katy Perry? Dwai, just try everything you can. The journey is more fun than the destination.
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Re: Help Spend my Money...

Postby HighDeaf1080p » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:18 am

Thank you. That was an incredibly healthy reality check for me. I am not a pop artist. Nothing I'm doing is going to be on the radio. Why am I judging myself by those standards...always?

This might do away with some of that crippling self-doubt.
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Re: Help Spend my Money...

Postby Derelict78 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:07 pm

HighDeaf1080p wrote:


That's interesting. I hadn't considered adding my amp back into the chain, and not sure if I want the added noise of mic'ing the amp or not, but maybe, cuz its a sweet sounding amp. I'll think on this one a bit.

You can just replace amps in that article with pedals.
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aen wrote:Or I'll just use fuzz. Then Ill sound cool regardless.

Achtane wrote:Well, volcanoes are pretty fuckin' cool. Like I guess lava flows are doomy. Slow and still able to to melt your eardrums.
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Re: Help Spend my Money...

Postby echoraven » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:36 am

How about a signal splitter paired with a Gibson Memory cable ($99)? The memory cable will "record" a dry performance so you can play it as much as you need to for tone tweaking. Total wouldn't set you back more than $200.
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Re: Help Spend my Money...

Postby CollectEclectic » Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:00 am

I was looking into Radial myself when I had something similar in mind. Plus, If you ever decide to record those tracks through an amp, it'll help with impedance issues.
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