Take the 2-minute tour ×
Musical Practice & Performance Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I just finally got a decent audio interface (M-Audio MTrack) and now I'm trying to figure out how to make nice sounds with the virtual amps in Logic, and Amplitube LE.

I figure now I have creative freedom to modify the sound of the guitar at any time in DAW, and that's pretty cool, but I still want it to sound authentic, so I'd like to start by recreating the presets from my Fender Mustang 1 amp. Now, that's a digital amp, so I see no reason I can't faithfully recreate them in Logic or Amplitube LE. The settings are Metal 2000, and American 90s.

Here is a sample of the kinda tone I'd like to recreate as a base. This is a whole song, so skip down if you just want shorter things

Shorter things:

Rhy and Main guitars, no post effects (There might be effects, but the amp added them and I don't know what they are, disabled all the ones in Logic though) With these, I just plugged the headphone jack of my amp into my computer's line in port.

http://picosong.com/yjaV/

New Interface Tests: Change settings multiple times throughout (Using the Logic Presets which apply multiple plugins, using the new set-up. Start with absolutely no settings so you can hear it raw. Everything sounds worse somehow.

http://picosong.com/yjam/

Also, for some reason, it sounds like even when the gain on the interface is turned all the way down, whenever I hit the low E string too hard, it sounds too loud and actually audibly CLIPS. Whats going on there?

Heres what I do:

  • Plug electric guitar straight into interface, no amp
  • Phantom power: Off, Input switch: Guitar
  • Gain and all knobs turned all the way down

Most of the time, the level meter on the interface stays around -20db, in the green, but the low E (in a chord) just sounds like clipping.

In the past I only used the volume pot of my guitar for tone, and it never made much difference unless it was lower than 3, but now, do I have to adjust it accordingly to actually control the recording volume??

Thanks, I'm new to all this. Excited though, I can definitely hear an increase in clarity and volume.

share|improve this question
2  
Most amp sims are only good at simulating a few amps. For example, the Fender Sims (Mustang Amps/Floor pedal) are very good at most Fender sounds. The Vox Sims are good at Vox sounds (Tonelab series of hardware/software) The rest of the simulations are average at best and take a lot of work to get a good sound. Expect to have to tune everything. The input levels from the interface, the sound shaping controls on the amp, the post processing tools all interact to make a big complicated pile... It gets easier as you get experienced with your tools. Find 1 or 2 you like and stick with them. –  JimR Sep 9 '13 at 14:29
    
Note the the clipping may be a limiter kicking in either pre or post effects (not part of the normal chain). IIRC Amplitube has limiting enabled by default. –  horatio Oct 22 '13 at 21:30
    
If you talk to serious professionals, there is no substitute for the real amp and guitar, e.g. strat with a real Fender 1965 Black Face Super Reverb, or an original Les Paul with an original Marshall Plexi. I have heard most of the simulators out there and I agree with the pros. –  filzilla Jan 24 at 0:31

2 Answers 2

I don't want this to come off as too audiophile-y but if you are going for true simulation (trying to sound as authentic as possible) then I doubt that the pre-amps on the MTrack are going to cut it. That is the unfortunate thing about interfaces -- basically if they have a gain knob, you are hitting a pre-amp circuit.

A much better alternative is to use only the Analog Digital Converters of an interface. If the interface has a "line-in" option with no gain control, that is usually what corresponds to ADC only (rather then preamp, then ADC). If there is no pre-amp circuit, the signal is literally just digitized into your computer and reproduction is solely dependent on the quality of the converters, not any additional pre-amps.

However, the signal coming from a guitar is much lower than line-level, which is why many players/engineers opt to use a DI box. It essentially boosts the signal much in the way that a pre-amp would, but most are designed as a fixed-gain level boost rather than an adjustable gain pre-amp and special design considerations are taken to avoid coloration of the signal. That said, there are many professional DI boxes that provide a lot of color and in the bass world (as well as guitar, sometimes) output from DI boxes is often used in the mix without an actual amp or simulator since their output tones can be very high quality.

I'm sorry for not addressing the other issues in your question but trust me getting a hi-quality signal into your software early on will save you years of headaches. :)

share|improve this answer

You shouldnt need it since you're using a good enough interface, but try installing a plugin like Asio4All, it is used to improve the latency but i find it helping with issues as the said low E clipping.

I cant really tell because i didn't test the system myself, but it could be something related to the processing capability of your PC.

Also, how are you connecting the interface to the pc? im assuming you're using a USB or Firewire connection, if you're not, if you're connecting the line out of the interface to the line in of the pc, its just like you're using the interface as a preamp, so it will do nothing to those issues...

If none of this applies, try tweaking the settings in the control panel for the soundcard and see if your OS is actually recognising the interface as a soundcard, it should.

As a last resort, try restarting the pc with the interface connected and turned on, in some versions of windows, and possibly other os's, it will recognize it as the main soundcard, note that you will not have sound coming from the inbuilt soundcard though.

Hope this helped, cheers

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.