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I am new to this and recording in the manner stated below.

Any and all advice will be tested and considered.

I have a B-52 LS-100 solid state half stack and an AKG-P220 microphone with a Scarlett 2i2 interface. The amp head has a record out option on it. How would I go about doing this; as where I live well yeah not liked much by neighbors.

Second question. If option one is not an option I do have an AKG-P220 mic that requires phantom power and a Scarlett 2i2 audio interface. Would this work to mic the amp with? And what precautions should I take?

Please note I am an amateur newbie when it comes to this topic.

Thank you for the time spent on responding.

  • I'm not 100% clear on what the two options are but assuming you are recording digitally, using software on a computer, you might as well try out all the ways you can think to do it and see what works best. You have no tape cost so there's no reason not to experiment. – Todd Wilcox Feb 10 '16 at 11:20
  • Do you want the specific sound of your amp? – FDM Feb 10 '16 at 13:33
  • Have you thought about recording a DI signal and re-amping? – necrosato Jul 7 '16 at 7:17
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Ideally, you would use both the line out and the microphone simultaneously, and record the microphone on channel 1 and the amp’s line out on channel 2. That way, when you are mixing, you can either use channel 1 or channel 2 or a mixture of both. You might find that the best guitar sound for your mix is 80% microphone with 20% line out. If you record as 2 mono tracks you can get that with the faders, or if you record as one stereo track you can get that with the panner.

The way to record that is to put the microphone in front of the speaker and plug it into channel 1 of your interface, and run a line cable from the amp line out to channel 2 of your interface. Set the interface to receive a microphone input on channel 1 and line input on channel 2, which are very different kinds of gain.

There are various ways to place the microphone in front of the amp. Some people like to just hang the mic cable over the top of the speaker cabinet and let it dangle in front of the speaker. Others like to put the microphone on a stand and point it at the speaker, typically offset from the center of the speaker a bit. Where the microphone is placed with affect the sound quite a bit, so it is more a matter of taste than doing it right. You can research “microphone placement for guitar amp recording” and likely find many tips. Or just experiment with various microphone placements until your playback sounds the way you want it. A big thing is that the closer the microphone is to the speaker, the more bass you will get.

Also you typically will want to record the amp at a volume that is ideal for getting the sound you want.

If conditions are not ideal — i.e. the neighbors — you might still be able to get good results with the above setup at a lower volume. Your amp may have gain controls so that it can give you a “louder” sound at a lower volume. You can also put some baffles or blankets around the amp (not between the amp and the microphone) to reduce the volume the neighbors are going to hear while not reducing what the microphone hears.

However, it is not necessarily wrong to record the amp solely from the line out. Whether that gives you a good result depends on your amp, your taste, many factors.

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In general, recording the amp with a mic is going to result in better sound than taking a direct output from the amp head. In the past I had tried recording both line out and using a microphone and always ended up throwing the direct out sound away as it sounded awful (especially when using distortion). You could try talking to your neighbors to let them know you're going to be doing some recording and as long as you're playing during reasonable hours in the day as opposed to evening or night, then hopefully they'll be ok with that. But if the neighbors are still an issue and you must record quietly, then you might consider purchasing some kind of amp simulator (either amp sim software or something like a Line6 POD). These try to replicate the sound of a real amp and will likely sound much better than the output from the amp head.

If you are able to record the amp (assuming neighbors are ok with you recording), then your mic should work fine. Condenser mics tend to be brighter than dynamic mics, so do some test recordings first and make sure the recorded sound isn't harsh and tinny. Mic placement makes a huge difference on the sound as well so try doing some test recordings with different mic placements. Pointing the mic towards the outer edges of the speaker cone is a good general starting point. Also experiment with placing the mic right up on the speaker (almost toughing the grill) vs placing it further back from the amp. Often times more than one mic is used with one up close and one farther away and then the mics are blended together. But if you have only one mic, then you should experiment and do test recordings in various locations to see which position you like best.

A great recording trick is to double track your guitar. Record the same part (play it as close to exactly the same as you can) two times and then pan them right/left. This is how you get a single guitar part to sound really "wide". If you do double track your guitar, then moving the mic and maybe even changing your amp settings between the two different takes will give the two guitar parts different tones and the guitar sound better and wider when double tracked and panned.

Recording with less distortion than you think you need will often give better results in the end. The notes will cut through a mix of other instruments like bass, drums, keys, etc. much better than if it is washed out in too much distortion.

A final precaution is DO NOT record to loud. A general misconception is to record as loud as possible without clipping and this is totally wrong. Give yourself plenty of headroom (at least 6dB) while recording and mixing and your recordings will turn out much better.

  • Sorry for the late response. Just moved and got settled. Ended up with my own studio in the new house. Best part no neighbors. I'm in the country :). I'll more than likely bite the bullet and get a SM-57/58. I just used the record out found it works well. But still get some gain issues. I'll update when I sort this out. Thank you all for the advice it will be used. – VVladislav Jul 3 '16 at 14:20
  • Well I got it figured out. Ended up needing a new instrument cable to run from the back of the head ( record out) to the interface. After that I messed with the he volumes and gains as stated above in your posts. That was another issue but it helped a lot. Thank you all for the advice and help. – VVladislav Jul 4 '16 at 21:46

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