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Electric guitarists - Real amp + mic or VST?

posted on #1
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Most of you guitarists post great sounding guitar tracks. I know a lot of it (most of it!) is because you're also great players.
I bought one I liked recently, but now I've found one I like more. Before I bankrupt myself buying one after the other...I was wondering how many of these fantastic sounds are produced with a DI straight into your audio interface and if they are, what amp/cab/effects sims you use?
I'm interested in all sounds from clean to metal. My guitar is passive single coil, a Strat, so I'm particularly interested in those.
Thanks for reading.
posted on #2
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Joined: 11.01.14
Hello Zedders,

Not being the most suitable to answer your question, I leave my opinion anyway.

Well in my case I can say that I have good guitars, the best being a Gibson Les Paul Standard, however all the others, Epiphone, Ibanez and Acepro, I changed the pickups and electronics suitable for the sound I was looking for. In other words, at Ibanez I put an active ZW AMG + SA set, at Epiphone I put Seymour Duncan APH-2S Slash Alnico II Pro ZB and at Acepro I installed pickups from a Gibson SG 87, I can say I like them all. As for the amp I have a Marshall JCM 2000 TSL 60 and a Joyo Zumbie II, but I don't actually use it for recording, I use Guitar Rig 5, Amplitube 5 and Overloud THU instead. Any one of them has enough effects and tones for any taste. To record I use Mixcraft 9 Studio Pro and a Behringer UMC 404HD interface, although any interface will do, I've had some with one or two inputs, this one I'm using has 4.
In short what i mean is that with good plugins you don't need good guitars.I hope I helped.

Rock on
I do not know nothing about rock n 'roll but I like it
posted on #3
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Lol the chase after the perfect sound is a quest that will never end :D

I also have an original 1987 US Strat, all pickups are original too. So I use different things, but often a mixture of multieffect and DAW effects. I have posted here some examples, in most cases look to the song description, it says what I have been using.

[wl]204620[/wl] Roland GR55 multieffect straight into the computer - read the song description #204620

[wl]194822[/wl] Microphone on my 5 Watt Pignose, under a pillow because it was late at night #194822

[wl]188916[/wl] 2 Microphones on my Pignose Amp. #188916

[wl]178489[/wl] Microphone in front of 50W Tube Amp #178489

[wl]159443[/wl] Through my pedalboard into the computer #159443

[wl]150001[/wl] through a Pedalboard with TC Flashback delay to get a Gilmour feel #150001
Edited by TeeGee on Dezember 01 2021 13:02
posted on #4
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Thanks for the generous and detailed reply TeeGee. I had a 62 Jaguar but no longer have it. That sounded great to my ears even plugged into a sound card with no effects at all. Now have a 2014 American Strat that just sounds cheap and nasty to me... and I think I preferred the shorter scale of the Jaguar... and I was younger and played more. Oh well!
posted on #5
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The reason I bought the Roland GR55 is that it is a synthesizer, it uses its own Pickup and creates the sounds. That way I can play the Strat but it sounds like a Les Paul for instance. Or a Piano :D or change inot open tuning without having to tune the guitar (for slide). I am quite happy with it, I had to sell a few other pedals and things because that thing is really expensive - but I did find a good used one. Check it out. I believe that I will keep it forever because it has all the effects that you have in a DAW, but also a Wahwah pedal and delay tapper etc.
posted on #6
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Where I have an old POD that is so noisy I don't use it!

I'll check out your pedal thing. :)
posted on #7
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The Roland pedal - any regrets? One thing I noticed from a few YouTube videos is a lack of attack on almost all the sounds apart from guitar and some of the guitar sounds were a bit lacking there also. Very interesting piece of kit though.
Have you used it to record midi? Could be fun for a non-keyboardist like myself.
posted on #8
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I did make a church organ recording on a track I am working on, and a few months ago we had a small jam session and I played around with the flute and some other sounds, was very cool indeed!
posted on #9
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Hi zedders,

I'm a year+ late with this reply. :D I have some FREE plugin suggestions you might like to try though. I always use speaker cab IR's because I record really early in the morning before I start the work day. I use Two-Notes Torpedo Wall of Sound and bought a couple of 412, 212 & 112 IR's. Two-Notes Torpedo is a free download and I spent $50 on Michael Neilsen's BHG cab pack. I typically use multiple cabs in the program with various mic models.

I've used a couple of different LePou Poulin amp plugins. LeGion for metal which think this is modeled after an Engl amp, HyBrit for Marshall tones and they have more. They're free so try them all. They are pretty good especially with a bit of reverb


I've used Valhalla's Supermassive for delays, reverb & chorus and Valhalla's Space Modulator for chorus, flanger and more of it's really wild settings. Both allow you to create presets and save them which I do by editing the presets they come with. Supermassive is Excellent and my favorite plugin. I've used it on nearly everything I've posted here. I've only recently fixed my Lexicon effects processor and began using that about a month ago.


Most of the time I use old '90s tube preamps in my rack to record with. I have a pretty big collection of tube amps too and use those with an attenuator. The attenuator has a line out so I can set that for full attenuation and run the line out to my DAW then add reverb & delay with the Supermassive plugin. Since I fixed the Lexi I run the preamps to a line mixer and feed that to my MPX-1 which I run back to the line mixer so I can run a parallel mixed wet & dry signal to my interface. Honestly Supermassive sounds just as good most of the time and is a lot easier to work with.

I also have a couple of pedals that double as preamps. I recorded this a couple of days ago using an AMT V1 Vox in a box style pedal straight to my DAW interface and used the Supermassive plugin to add reverb.

Edited by Riffraff on November 23 2022 03:56
posted on #10
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zedders wrote:
...I'm interested in all sounds from clean to metal. My guitar is passive single coil, a Strat, so I'm particularly interested in those.

My latest discovery is the "tc electronic Spark Booster" pedal, it's lovely for emphasizing the Single Coil sound with it, which is a bit weak by nature (if I am not wrong) in contrast to Humbuckers, etc..

I've compared this Spark with the "Xotic Super Clean Buffer" pedal, which makes also a nice boost, but in the end, I chose the "tc electronic Spark Booster" beause it has more knobs for adjustments. Also, in its mode "fat", it pushes the low strings/low frequencies nicely, which i was missing while not using this booster, and which was one of my main aims. It's overdriving/gain also, so I don't need a separate pedal for this.

I don't use an Amp currently, only pedals.
Edited by hartmut on November 26 2022 12:13
posted on #11
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Personally speaking...I vowed I would never own an amplifier ever again many years ago. Ive carried enough of them up stairs and into vans lord knows.

I do everything thru an amp profiler which renders owning an amp obselete.Then sraight into the DAW. Ill use VSTs such as channel strips, EQ, compressing/limiting on the mixdown.

A channel strip is probably one of the best investments recording wise any musician could own. It simulates a real world class recording console and gets you that professional quality polish and tone.

With effect pedal technology now a days, they even simulate the sound of a Shure SM58 microphone 3 inches away from a Celestion 4x12 speaker cabinet. Its that exact.

But no....no amps for me. Dont need any I refuse to play publicly ever again.I paid my dues.

Get one if you plan on playing out but recording wise, all you need is a profiler for the same money.
There is Fractal, Kemper, Boss Gt1000, Line 6 etc...for different budgets.

You would be shocked that alot of high profile bands just go thru profilers into the PA system now ,completely eliminating amps all together anyway. Its straight thru their profiler into the PA system and all speaker cabinet sounds are digitally simulated.The days of hurting your back loading a huge 4x12 speaker cab are over.

A company called "Ownhammer"makes very high quality speaker cabinet patches and you can simulate microphone positions down to a one inch to four inches away or to the side of a specific brand speaker inside a specific brand cabinet.

This basically explains the entire "no more amplifiers are needed" thing...

The Ownhammer patches are imported into your profiler to simulate speaker cabinets and microphone positions.


I will sometimes microphone an acoustic but never amplifiers. Just dont need them in the 21st century anymore.
Edited by LittleWing on November 23 2022 23:57
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