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Logic Pro X V2

I have been experimenting with DI and microphones recently to record my guitar tracks.

MICROPHONES

Currently using Shure SM57 for left channel and Beyerdynamic M69TG for right channel on baby booms going to a Behringer Eurorack UB802 and thence to Presonus Firestudio mobile input 1 and 2 mic preamps.  I am using Laney IRT studio left channel and trying out Fender GB Hot Rod/Boss Katana 100/ Vox MV50 AC right channel.  The guitar goes through the pedal board and comes out of the TC Electronic HOF 2 in stereo into the amps.  I have the Strymon Timeline in Stereo into the HOF so get stereo reverb and delay and have tested it.

In Logic they are set up as audio input 1 and input 2 with default 512 buffer size connected by Firewire port from the Presonus FSM.  The mixer has everything neutral at 12 o'clock. FSM input is at 10 o'clock.

The results are outstanding and the valve amps you seem to feel the speakers moving more than the Katana.  This is the best sound I have managed to produce it sounds natural and more like in the room with the amps.  I am doing one more thing which I shall upgrade here which is to introduce a ribbon mic and SE RF-X Reflection filters which hopefully I can obtain next week. Even without these which is putting icing on the cake the sound to me is better than any DI sound.  The only other thing to consider is to up the mixer mic preamps as the Behringer is good, but low end compared to say Yamaha or Soundcraft.  If I am finding this is the best sound input wise I shall upgrade the mixer to probably to a Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK.

By using mics and no plugins I am not needing so many Mac cycles so I neither need to upgrade the computer nor the audio interface as latency is not a problem.  The same is true of DI and cabsim, but not USB which gets latency problems due to me using Toontrack EZdrummer2 and EZkeys on this computer.

The Hotrod is very loud and needs to on 3 to get speaker movement which means the IRT Laney is on 8 at 1 watt to balance.  The best combo so far mic'd up is IRT studio left wit Celestion G70 Anniversary speaker in the Laney cab and MV50 AC with Jensen C!2K speaker in the other Laney cab on the right.   This is a better balance than with the Hotrod.

DI and CABSIM

So far the DI out from each amp using IRT cabsim or Katana headphone socket does not sound as good as mic'ing the amps.  Both go directly to the Presonus FSM mic/instrument inputs.

I have also so far tried the Mooer Radar with its own and Ownhammer and Celestion IRs straight from the pedal board, not from the amps and although the tone is good it just feels like a change in the overall EQ rather than speaker movement etc.  The Radar is extremely good and enhances the input sound for sure, so next is to test this with each amp and see whether I can match the mic'ing of the amp.  If it sounds good I shall obtain a second Radar so I can use in stereo from the TC Electronics HOF2.  The Ownhammer super reverb IRS and the Celestion V30s and Alnico Blue sound extremely good compared to the Mooer presets. Although there are a couple of the Mooer ones I like to. 

CABSIM from amps

This section will look at the amps to the Mooer Radar for recording.  Using the IRS with the amps get a rounded more feeling of speaker movement than from the pedals.

IRT Studio EL84s

Great sound especially with the Celestion Greenback, V30s, Ownhammer Marshall 412 and 410 SPR IRS.  Its warm and punchy at the same time no hiss no interference noises or background noises

MV50 AC modelled EL34 NuTube

Great sound especially with the Celestion Alnico Blues and Ownhammer 410 SPR IRS.  That gets that chime, at the same time no hiss no interference noises or background noises.  

Hotrod 6L6

Slightly overloading the Radar so need to adjust volumes more.  Best with 410SPR and Marshall IRS.  Very punchy and loud, this time some hiss and interference with the pedal board background noise.

Katana SSL

Same as Hotrod slightly overloading the Radar so need to adjust volumes more.  Best with 410SPR, V30s and Alnico Blue IRS.  Very punchy and loud, this time some hiss and interference with the pedal board background noise.

Conclusion

Mic'ing up and using the Radar are complementary to each other, in fact having the IRT studio mic'd up and using the Vox MV50 AC with the Alnico blue IRS in the Radar would be an excellent stereo combination.  The Hotrod is just too loud at low volumes to be able to get the sound you want out of it.  When you push it to 4 or 5 or beyond the sound is great, but its too loud to be 6ft from it.  So without an attenuator it is a poor amp for recording.  For that you would need to rewire the speaker connection.  The Katana is better mic'd up and great for clean sounds, there is little to no speaker movement and there are problems with noise with the Radar.

If you want speaker movement sounds in the recording then mic'ing is probably more authentic to the ear than IRS with the Radar.   For higher gain sounds though then IRS are equally as good with the Radar.  I suspect the more expensive boxes like the UA Ox or Two Notes Torpedo Live provide this more authentic sound with the IRS and work with the amps dynamics.  The Radar does not probably hence its price.






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