Recomendations for a new setup.

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luismota
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Recomendations for a new setup.

#1 Post by luismota » Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:06 am

Dear Friends,

I am planning for a revamp of my present setup as a consequence of establishing new plans and objectives for me as a guitar player.

I currently use a Line 6 POD XT Live to make direct recordings to Protools, but I must confess I am completely annoyed with the harsh digital sound of this kind of amp simulators when compared with the real thing in the same recording system.

So I'm planning to go back to a much more real hardware based setup and, because I love many of the Vai tones, I think I will sell the Line 6 to exchange it to a setup very near to what Vai uses now (including the G-System).

The major problem I have is with amps and preamps.
I don't want (and don't need) to buy any kind of amp and/or speaker combination. I normally work late at night, with wife/kids in bed (not to speak of neighbours).

So I thought that I could use somekind of pre-amp to get the perfect sound.

But for recording directly to daw I should use also some kind of speaker simulator... and so I get into the strictly digital side of things...

1st question: Am I thinking correctly? Or I am missing the point altogether?
2nd question: If I am correct, what preamp (brand, model) should I buy? What gives me the best?
3th question: And finally, after resolving the preamp thing, how can I simulate speaker/mic and so on? Get another amp simulator?

Sorry for the long post but it was necessary to clarify my questions...

Luminescence
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#2 Post by Luminescence » Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:01 pm

Vai used a CAE 3+ preamp., that would work. I can't help you on your mic/speaker simulation, I'm sure there's something out there for it though. Try the harmony central amp forum, it gets crazy in there sometimes but someone is bound to have the answers you're looking for

Also, you don't really need a G system if you're not playing live. It was designed to be an effects processor/switching system in one. Just get a nice rackmount processor like the G-Force, its generally regarded to have nicer effects

seljer
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#3 Post by seljer » Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:24 pm

Luminescence wrote: Also, you don't really need a G system if you're not playing live. It was designed to be an effects processor/switching system in one. Just get a nice rackmount processor like the G-Force, its generally regarded to have nicer effects
yeah, if you're allready going for a rack preamp type thing you may aswell stick to having everything in the rack

1st question
I think you've got the right idea, I've never heard any sort of amp or distortion modelling that I'd be completely pleased with. You can't beat real tubes!

2nd question
you can get some pretty affordable preamps, used Marshall JMP1s, used ADAs of all sorts and there an Engl one that comes pretty cheap new
if money is not a limitation then theres tons and tons of them out there, the Mesa ones, the fancier Engl one, the Custom Audio Electronics one that was mentioned in the post above

3rd: question
Personally, I'd probably end up just doing the cab/speaker simulation stuff in software (sure there is VST out there somewhere....or you can do it with an EQ, just set it up for something like this , just do a pretty sharp cut on everything above 5khz and below 100hz) unless there were a cabinet simulator built directly into the preamp
I'm pretty sure if you're creative you could use one of those convolution plugins together with impulse responses off a 4x12 cabinet under different mic setups.

NOT!!!
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#4 Post by NOT!!! » Thu Jul 12, 2007 1:31 pm

I´ve had no good experiences with Speaker simulators. They just don´t give you a "speaker" or anything cluse to a tube amp.

If you really like Vais sound, you should get a Carvin Legacy. And with the late working...just get an Attenuator! I´m using this one with my Legacy:

https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/masslite.htm

It´s not that expensive, doesn´t change the sound and lets you play at very low level.

BTW: there´s also some nice Vai sounds for a POD. But only the non-Legacy ones, you can´t make a POD sound like a Legacy. Nor any tube amp!

Luminescence
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#5 Post by Luminescence » Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:05 pm

NOT!!! wrote:I´ve had no good experiences with Speaker simulators. They just don´t give you a "speaker" or anything cluse to a tube amp.

If you really like Vais sound, you should get a Carvin Legacy. And with the late working...just get an Attenuator! I´m using this one with my Legacy:

https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/masslite.htm

It´s not that expensive, doesn´t change the sound and lets you play at very low level.

BTW: there´s also some nice Vai sounds for a POD. But only the non-Legacy ones, you can´t make a POD sound like a Legacy. Nor any tube amp!
I love my legacy, but it is the wrong tool for this situation. The power amp is really important to the legacy sound so recording direct is out of the question, and even with an attenuator micing a decent sound late at night is impossible. A decent rack setup recorded with good software will sound much better than a legacy in this situation, legacy's need room to breathe

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#6 Post by seljer » Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:53 am

Luminescence wrote:I love my legacy, but it is the wrong tool for this situation. The power amp is really important to the legacy sound so recording direct is out of the question, and even with an attenuator micing a decent sound late at night is impossible. A decent rack setup recorded with good software will sound much better than a legacy in this situation, legacy's need room to breathe
If the schematics I've seen of it are correct, the "Line out" on the Legacy is taken after the power amp, from the negative feedback loop. Though if you were to record with it in a silent situation you'd still need a dummy load.
and a way to simulate effect the cabinet and speakers have on the sound (I think its not just the power amp that "opens up" when you turn up the volume a bit, its the speakers as well.)

thought about isolation cabinets?

NOT!!!
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#7 Post by NOT!!! » Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:31 am

Luminescence wrote: I love my legacy, but it is the wrong tool for this situation. The power amp is really important to the legacy sound so recording direct is out of the question, and even with an attenuator micing a decent sound late at night is impossible. A decent rack setup recorded with good software will sound much better than a legacy in this situation, legacy's need room to breathe

oh, of course you can get a decent sound out of it! You can even do it with a G-Major (or G-System) by turning the output volume of the G-(Whatever) down. That lowers the signal going to the Power amp and you can play it at Master on 2 or 3 without having any problems.

Also, the Sound of a Legacy is just there when you go to about 1 with the master volume. There´s no huge diffrence when going to 5-6 (except for the loudness).

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Preamp?

#8 Post by luismota » Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:23 am

Ok.
With your help I'm just getting the picture less blurred.

I've crosschecked prices for a couple of pre-amps ans it seams to me that engl or mesa could be a good bet. I'm not into a 100% copy of Vai's sound and at night I need to be in (almost) absolute silence, so the Legacy situation, even with an atenuator, is for me out of question.

The Engl E530 seams an interesting offer (for the price) because is also out of question to pay for a pre more than the price asked for a full fledged amp head, like in the situation of Engl E580 or the Mesa Triaxis.

I've also saw the Rocktrons, but I don´t know if their are in the same leagle as the Engl. What do you think about it?

And I also stepped into the Hughes & Kettner Tubeman II. Is it any good? It is a floor unit (the other I mentioned are rack mount) but it also has somekind of speaker simulation technology inside...

And the Seymour Duncan SFX03 Twin Tube Classic?

Not abusing from your gentleness, after this discussion I will ask you how to connect all this... (Volume pedal, Morley wha, tubecreamer, ds1, whammy, G-force/G-system and pre...)

Thank YOU people...

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#9 Post by luismota » Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:24 am

...and MXR 90 Phaser...

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#10 Post by seljer » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:45 am

I can't really comment much on the various preamps since I haven't tried them (I think theres a forum dedicated to rack gear on harmony-central)


as far as connecting it:

guitar ->
volume pedal -> (this is personal preference, you can place it after the preamp or wherever else you like it)
wah -> (ditto)
Phase 90 -> (again, personal preference, for if you need that slightly more subtle sound of the phaser in front of the distortion)
Tubescreamer >
DS1 ->
the rack preamp ->
G-Force or G-Major ->
into your recording interface via the S/PDIF output (if possible), I dont think the TC Electronics stuff has any type of cabinet simulator in it so EQ it in Protools or find some kind of cab sim plugin


edit: the Engl E530 has an FX loop and a built in cab sim type thing for direct recording/when using headphones

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#11 Post by pagliai » Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:59 am

At all marshall jmp1 (it 's got a speaker simulator and it sounds well)with a ds1 or sd1 or mxr distortion + or tube screamer for the solos and a g major ,if you want to stay comfortable headphone sony 7506 .That's all.If you wanna be super soap you can buy the uad 1 plugin pci ,it is amazing and you can solve the problem of the speaker with pultec eq.If you are interesting about pultec issue ask me and i'll explain it ;)
Another way is to build a silent box or buy it at demeter audio so you can mic your head without problems maybe you can use a thd hotplate with this setup or you can buy a palmer speaker simulator to solve the problem.............or you can do a mix with these things.
Tadà
Alex

luismota
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#12 Post by luismota » Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:01 am

seljer wrote: as far as connecting it:
guitar ->
volume pedal -> (this is personal preference, you can place it after the preamp or wherever else you like it)
wah -> (ditto)
Phase 90 -> (again, personal preference, for if you need that slightly more subtle sound of the phaser in front of the distortion)
Tubescreamer >
DS1 ->
the rack preamp ->
G-Force or G-Major ->
into your recording interface via the S/PDIF output (if possible)

Thanks for the recommendations.
I'm starting to get the picture here.
I had already decided to go for the Engl E530 which I think is a great pre.
The sequence is also interesting and matches more or less what I tought initialy.

Thanks for the help

luismota
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#13 Post by luismota » Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:08 am

pagliai wrote:At all marshall jmp1 (it 's got a speaker simulator and it sounds well)with a ds1 or sd1 or mxr distortion + or tube screamer for the solos and a g major ,if you want to stay comfortable headphone sony 7506 .That's all.If you wanna be super soap you can buy the uad 1 plugin pci ,it is amazing and you can solve the problem of the speaker with pultec eq.If you are interesting about pultec issue ask me and i'll explain it ;)
Another way is to build a silent box or buy it at demeter audio so you can mic your head without problems maybe you can use a thd hotplate with this setup or you can buy a palmer speaker simulator to solve the problem.............or you can do a mix with these things.
Tadà
Alex
Marshall JMP1? I can't find it anywhere? What's that? Could you give me a link?

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#14 Post by Mr. Bluesman » Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:27 am

Check out this guy!

http://www.myspace.com/murisvarajic

All his recording are done from a direct outputof a Rocktron Prophesy. And the videos are done with a tiny Korg Pandora!

See how you like it.

luismota
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#15 Post by luismota » Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:41 am

pagliai wrote:...you can buy a palmer speaker simulator to solve the problem...
I investigated the Palmer thing.
In fact it looks a brilliant thing. There's one new version to work with pre-amps (the PGA05) but it's a little bit pricey...

Relating the Marshall it seams that they don't do it any more.

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