Mic'ing guitar amp!

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Member Since: Jan 17, 2008

Ok, So I've decided that the way I want to go in recording is mic'ing my amp, acoustic guitar, and possibly other stuff(but thats unlikely).

Now my problem is when I do that, my mic hardly picks any sound up. So I realized I need a mic pre-amp. Would one like this:
do the trick? Will the sound quality then still depend on my soundcard? And if it does, will my Realtek HD audio soundcard give me atleast decent sound?

And one more thing, how do you all listen to the rest of the song while playing? (computer speakers, headphones, etc)


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Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Feb 12, 2008 07:19 am

Yep, that'll do the trick.

Your quality depends, really, on each part of the chain. Each part takes a little of your signal, or adds some sort of un-wanted color. Some just do this more than others =).

Your mic will probably be the greatest variable for now.

Your onboard sound is certainly usable, and you shouldn't worry too much about it for now. It will have it's limitations, but they are livable. Many a recording has been done with onboard sound, and sounds pretty good. Just learn how to get the most out of it, and good things can happen.

I listen to my pre-recorded signals via headphones. I have a mixer that functions as preamps, plus, it receives my PC output, and I plug my headphone into the mixer. This way I can hear my new signal, plus my pre-recorded signal in my headphones.

For cheap and easy, you can plug your computer output into some sort of home receiver or bookshelf stereo. Then you can plug your normal speakers to the receiver/stereo, but you can also plug headphones into it as well. I've done this for quite a while, till I got pieces to replace them. It works quite well. Plus, with home receivers, you can often plug in 2 sets of speakers.

Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

Feb 12, 2008 11:57 am

On the ART. Personally I liked it for vocals\acoustics but thought there was way too much being added to my electric guitar and bass tracks. Just my experience though.

If just looking for a singal pre-amp how about a tiny mixer. Would give you more routing options as described by pjk also.

Actually, for 5$ more this looks promising, just a thought.


Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Feb 12, 2008 12:18 pm

eh, those little mixers don't route like the bigger ones do. We've had quite a few posts regarding getting PC output back into the mixer, and to your headphones. Seems it is one way or the other with those small decks.

Caveat Emptor!

Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

Feb 12, 2008 12:32 pm

It does have one input (CD\Tape) that is assignable to either the main outs or the headphones. Would that not do the trick, sorry but I'm a mixer dumb dumb.

I guess my main point is I don't like what the ART does to my guitars.

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Feb 12, 2008 01:04 pm

Sounds like that would work. I've not seen one, only heard from users, and looked into the block diagrams.

The xenyx is probably different form the older UB version I was looking into.

But yeah, I think there's a few more people with ART preamps (the small ones) that aren't overly impressed with them. Good for bass, but not much else =/.

If you're rec distorty guitars, it may not be an issue.

I bet the behry would be a bit less colored than the ART preamp. But I don't know for sure.

I am not a crook's head
Since: Mar 14, 2003

Feb 12, 2008 02:16 pm

I've always been pretty down on those ART preamps myself as anything but a bass DI.

All of the guitars in that song I linked in forty's thread were done with an SM57 thru an ART TubeMP Studio. It doesn't necessarily sound bad, just no high end. It really showed itself after layering all those guitar tracks. The end result just lacked any oomph with every track having the high end subtly stripped off of it.

But as a first preamp it should be fine. personally I'd recommend a small mixer just to allow you some room to grow without having to purchase additional preamps every time you want to throw an additional mic on a sound source.

Since: Jan 17, 2008

Feb 12, 2008 03:38 pm

Hmm.... Well my Mic(being a cheap ~$40 sony dymaic mic) is actually picking up some good tone, except it's just not loud enough. When I put some EQ effects in my chain, it ruins the tone a bit - plus plugging a mic straight into the line in just isnt a good idea.

Basically I want to record everything about guitar(from cleans, to jazz, to metal). Also I'm recording my acoustic guitar once in a while.
So any other mic preamps/mixers around that price that are worth looking into?

And how about a pair of headphones?

By the way, why use a stereo system to hear what's happening: my computer speakers are just as loud n stuff.

EDIT: By the way, to use a mic preamp does the mic need to use XLR cable, because mine uses the regular 1/8 cables

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Feb 12, 2008 04:37 pm

By the way, why use a stereo system to hear what's happening: my computer speakers are just as loud n stuff.

I suggested this as a way to get better quality speakers, if your PC speakers are cheesy. If yours are good, then great. Also, PC speakers don't always let you plug in headphones, again, if yours do, then great. A home stereo would cover those three angles: 1) power to drive speakers, 2) use better speakers, 3) plug headphones into something.

Plugging in headphones lets you hear your previously recorded tracks, while recording your new tracks. So you don't re-record the previous tracks into the new one. Headphones are a must for this to work.

There's no other mixers/preamps in that price area. That's as low as I've ever seen any of them, for new.

If you want to get a kind of 'all-in-one', the Line6 UX2 has preamps, is a good interface, and offers modelling (should you want that), for 200$ range. Probably more than you wanted to get into, but it covers a few of your bases quite nicely.

Most mic cables are XLR. This is the standard, and you should want to stay with it. XLR cables are balanced, which rejects noise picked up by the cable, before it gets to the preamp. After the preamp, the signal is much bigger, so outside noise doesn't affect it so much. But from mic to preamp, XLR is the way to go.

If there's not a way to put a XLR cable on your mic, then you may be kinda stuck. A new mic may be in order. A soundcard with a 1/8" preamp input may be usable, but I shy away from advising using a soundcard preamp, unless it's built for recording duties. Preamps for cheap soundcards aren't really up to recording real audio. They're better suited for webchats, and the like.

It can be done, but I'd not want to spend much time doing it =).

Since: Jan 17, 2008

Feb 12, 2008 05:19 pm

well there are some 1/8 mini jack to XLR adapters around the net, so I'm sure I can find one at a store somewhere.

Anyways, I'll be checking the mixer out some more. There are also some other cheap 2-line mixer out there that I'll look at. Thanks for the help

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