Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

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higain_guitar
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Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by higain_guitar » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:05 am

Hi everybody, I know I could mic my dark terror and ppc112 cabinet for recording, but I am interested in recording directly to computer and using impulses to simulate the cabinet.

I am not sure what is the best way to do this.

So far, the only way I have been successful is to use the effects loop in the following way:

(1) dark terror effects loop send into Radial JDV MKIII Direct Box, which has 2 outputs:
(2) first output is the amplifier through-put which goes to the "return" of the Dark Terror
(3) second output is xlr to the mixing board.

I can get good tones this way, but unfortunately with this setup I cannot record silently because with the volume knob on the dark terror all the way down I get nothing. However, if I raise the volume knob enough then I can get a good recording level.

I am a bit confused by this because I though the effects loop send (out to the mixer board) would bypass the power tubes and thus the volume knob on the front would be irrelevant but I guess the volume knob affects the preamp and the power amp section? I don't really understand how this amp works. Then again, I don't have a great understanding of how tube amps work to begin with. :-)

Any explanations/advice on direct recording is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
HG
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a.hun
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Re: Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by a.hun » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:29 am

Hi HG. Welcome.
higain_guitar wrote:...I don't have a great understanding of how tube amps work to begin with. :-)

Any explanations/advice on direct recording is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
HG
Well the single most important thing for you to know with running valve amps is that you must always have a suitable impedance load on the speaker outputs. That means either a real speaker or a so called 'dummy' load. If you power the amp up and it tries to put more than just a little power through the speaker output into an incorrect load (especially into no load = no speaker at all!) than the chances are very high that the (expensive!) output transformer will blow.

Solution to silent recording with valve amps? You need two things:
1/ A dummy load in place of a speaker to protect the amp itself, and
2/ A speaker 'simulator' or 'emulator' to recreate the sound of the guitar speaker you have removed. Guitar loudspeakers shape your guitar sound a lot (mostly losing higher frequencies). If you don't compensate by losing those frequencies than the sound is very like a swarm of angry wasps - not good news. So to get decent sounds you need a speaker simulator too, basically a specialised frequency filter.

Dummy loads must be able to take the full output power of the amp safely and be a safe impedance / resistance for the amp. You'll often find a 'load' setting on so called amp attenuators, devices which sit between the amp and speaker and absorb some power to allow higher amp settings at lower actual volumes. If actually set to 'load' they absorb all of the amp power and it is safe to actually remove the real speaker.

There are a few dedicated speaker simulators out there. The one I like and use is the 'Red Box' by Hughes & Kettner. It is basically a DI box for speaker level outputs, but you do still need a separate load box. Palmer make such things too. If you look around you can even find attenuator / load boxes with 'compensated' speaker outputs meaning with an inbuilt speaker simulator.

Sorry if that all seems a bit complicated, but with valve amps it is important. Transistor amps don't care if there is a speaker attached or not. Valve amps do.


Andy.
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higain_guitar
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Re: Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by higain_guitar » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:41 pm

Hi Andy, I appreciate your help. I forgot to mention in my first post that I did have the Dark Terror connected to my cabinet, so my output transformer is ok.

I have a H&K redbox, but to be honest I like the sound of impulses better and you can change them as you wish. The best software I have found in this regard is Two Notes Torpedo Wall of Sound III vst, which I use in Reaper to add poweramp and cabinet simulation.

Thanks,
HG
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Re: Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by John_BlackWolf » Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:47 pm

You could record the FX loop send into your audio interface then use an el84 & Cab IR
Dual Dark 50
PPC-212
Hardwired Tiny Terror

http://www.facebook.com/iLLUSTR8ORS" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

higain_guitar
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Re: Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by higain_guitar » Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:44 am

Hi John_BlackWolf, thanks but that is what I am doing. I guess my first post in this thread is not very clear... oh well my fault.
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jontheid
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Re: Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by jontheid » Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:15 am

I am a bit confused by this because I though the effects loop send (out to the mixer board) would bypass the power tubes
The 'effect send' jack doesn't break the connection. It is actually the 'effects return' jack that breaks the direct connection from preamp to power amp (and makes the connection from fx return to power amp).

For your setup to work silently you need your fx send as you have it, and a shorted jack plug in the 'fx return' socket. This will in no way damage the amp, I guarantee it.

This sort of thing:
Image

The 'fx send' is after the master volume on the Dark Terror, so you have to have the volume up or no effect will be sent (as you have discovered).

With a shorted jack plug in the effects return you can have the master volume all the way up and it will still be silent. I would recommend always having a speaker plugged in though.

Cheers,
Jon

higain_guitar
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Re: Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by higain_guitar » Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:24 am

Dear Jon, Thanks so much for your help.

So, do I understand you correctly that
(1) I would have to solder a wire between the tip terminal and sleeve terminal to make a "shorted jack plug"?
(2) Do you know if anyone online sells "shorted jack plugs"?
(3) Should this shorted jack plug be connected to the Radial JDV in my setup above? or should it just dangle--attached to nothing but the return of the effects loop (other end dangling)?

Thanks,
HG
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Wendigo
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Re: Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by Wendigo » Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:16 am

Just out of curiosity, why do you want to use impulses when you have a cab and mic? A cab recorded with a mic is the best sound you'll ever get. Like I say, I'm not judging, just curious. :)

Bensnake
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Re: Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by Bensnake » Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:45 am

Wendigo wrote:Just out of curiosity, why do you want to use impulses when you have a cab and mic? A cab recorded with a mic is the best sound you'll ever get. Like I say, I'm not judging, just curious. :)
+1

A speaker emulated solution is never goin' to sound as good or organic as the real deal (cab + mic). If you'll, however, choose "the emulated way" an all tube amp isn't ideal in any aspect.
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Re: Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by bclaire » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:20 am

Bensnake wrote:
Wendigo wrote:Just out of curiosity, why do you want to use impulses when you have a cab and mic? A cab recorded with a mic is the best sound you'll ever get. Like I say, I'm not judging, just curious. :)
+1

A speaker emulated solution is never goin' to sound as good or organic as the real deal (cab + mic). If you'll, however, choose "the emulated way" an all tube amp isn't ideal in any aspect.
I beg to differ. Properly recorded, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between an emulated guitar sound and "the real deal." And tube amps do make a huge difference...

Listen to anything Johnny A. has released. No mics....

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Re: Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by Bensnake » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:01 pm

I/we've never succeed. But after all I'm not Johnny A... :mrgreen:
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RV100 MKIII | '75 OR120 | OR100 | OR50 | CS50 | R30H | TT
2 x PPC412
Bax B. | Amp D.

Marshall 1959 HW + 1936V
Fender '65 Super Reverb Reissue
Vox AC30C2X + V212C

Playing Les Pauls and Teles...

higain_guitar
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Re: Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by higain_guitar » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:51 pm

Well in case anyone is interested this is basically how my direct recording sounds with minimal tweaks:

https://soundcloud.com/higain_guitar/dark-terror-di2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I used the setup described in the first post above (so it was not recorded silently).
The power amp and cabinet simulation were done by the Two Notes Torpedo WosIII vst plugin (basically impulses).
Then I notched out two problem high frequency areas with the DMG equilibrium equalizer.
Then I added a bbe sonic maxmizer plugin and boosted the volume.

That's it. Please pardon the sloppy improvised playing and remember soundcloud only uses 128 kbps mp3 encoding...
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Re: Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by John_BlackWolf » Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:10 pm

higain_guitar wrote:Hi John_BlackWolf, thanks but that is what I am doing. I guess my first post in this thread is not very clear... oh well my fault.
Ah okay cool, I didn't realise you meant you were using Impulse responses to model the power section and cab/mic.
Dual Dark 50
PPC-212
Hardwired Tiny Terror

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Re: Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by Wendigo » Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:57 pm

bclaire wrote: I beg to differ. Properly recorded, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between an emulated guitar sound and "the real deal."
I've heard your pleas and decided to allow it: you may differ. :lol:

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Re: Best way to Direct Record Dark Terror

Post by bclaire » Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:18 pm

Video I shot the other night - don't be fooled - he's only using the heads behind him through speaker emulators. Johnny A.: Hey Bulldog

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152610080891275" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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