Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by Wonks »

Or creating an almost certain ground loop with mains powered amps or halving the overall input impedance the guitar feeds into.
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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by Sam Spoons »

John is not selling Orchid products direct anymore which means prices have gone up considerably, Pre covid a Classic DI was £36 it's now £54 from Showbitz.co.uk That's still half the price of a Radial DI mind you...

https://www.showbitz.co.uk/product/orch ... ic-di-box/
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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by ef37a »

"I would also say that recording the speaker output of THAT particular type of amplifier might not be the best way to go.

Is that because it’s modeled anyhow Dave? "

Well possibly a bit but it also has two speakers and so you would have to back the mic off somewhat to 'integrate' the sound (might be a mono option mind?) The speakers are also not conventional 'guitar' speakers and the sound of the IDs is made 'guitarlike' by the amp's processing. Might work! Never tried, just a feeling. Actually my son has an iD Core 40, might get him to slap a 57 on it and send me a lick?

Yes, DI boxes do have the advantage that you get a balanced mic level signal and ground lift (though I am virtually certain the IDs are earth free?) Most however just passively split the incoming guitar signal so it is still loaded by the DI box and whatever the split goes to. However, interface HZ inputs are very variable, some are as low as 100k Ohms and even a few guitar amps are 470k. Not something people have seemed to notice in isolation.

Ooops! Just seen from Sam's link that the Orchid DI DOES have a buffered output for the guitar split. I stand by the fact however that the vast majority do not and just parallel guitar and amp input. Anyone ever seen the Radial schematic?

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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by The Elf »

Sam Spoons wrote: Fri Mar 24, 2023 4:10 pm John is not selling Orchid products direct anymore which means prices have gone up considerably...

Damn! That's a real shame. :frown:
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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by Wonks »

The Radial J48's input impedance is on the low side at 240k. Not something I'd care for much myself but others use them quite happily, though Radial tend to push them more for passive basses than guitars, where the loss of some top end is often a nice feature.

The Radial PZ-DI would be my choice (if I was buying a Radial) as it offers switchable 240k, 1M and 10M options, so copes with piezos that need a very high input impedance (not all do).

Though with a passive DI, you can always put the guitar through a buffered FX pedal or a clean boost pedal first.
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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by The Elf »

Interesting. I've always preferred my Radial J48 for bass and my Red Eye (or Orchid) for guitars. I've often wondered what it is that draws me to these conclusions, but I've also never doubted myself. It's just become something I don't even question. Maybe there's something in it...
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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by ef37a »

The Elf wrote: Fri Mar 24, 2023 4:50 pm Interesting. I've always preferred my Radial J48 for bass and my Red Eye (or Orchid) for guitars. I've often wondered what it is that draws me to these conclusions, but I've also never doubted myself. It's just become something I don't even question. Maybe there's something in it...

I think I am right in saying that the Radial uses a audio transformer whereas the Orchid does not? That might have some bearing on your preference Elf?

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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by The Elf »

ef37a wrote: Fri Mar 24, 2023 5:03 pm
The Elf wrote: Fri Mar 24, 2023 4:50 pm Interesting. I've always preferred my Radial J48 for bass and my Red Eye (or Orchid) for guitars. I've often wondered what it is that draws me to these conclusions, but I've also never doubted myself. It's just become something I don't even question. Maybe there's something in it...

I think I am right in saying that the Radial uses a audio transformer whereas the Orchid does not? That might have some bearing on your preference Elf?

Dave.

Possibly, but the Red Eye does have a transformer inside.
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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by ef37a »

The Elf wrote: Fri Mar 24, 2023 5:33 pm
ef37a wrote: Fri Mar 24, 2023 5:03 pm
The Elf wrote: Fri Mar 24, 2023 4:50 pm Interesting. I've always preferred my Radial J48 for bass and my Red Eye (or Orchid) for guitars. I've often wondered what it is that draws me to these conclusions, but I've also never doubted myself. It's just become something I don't even question. Maybe there's something in it...

I think I am right in saying that the Radial uses a audio transformer whereas the Orchid does not? That might have some bearing on your preference Elf?

Dave.

Possibly, but the Red Eye does have a transformer inside.

Right, but then for any given size/price of transformer, distortion increases as frequency goes down. I 'think' 3rd harmonic doubles for every every octave drop? So a bass is going to have a bit more 'attitude' than a sixer.

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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by IAA »

Update :wave:

Well, hmmm, errr,

A splitter arrived before DI box and high pitched whine, earth loop by the sounds of it. So that’s gone. Hopefully DI box will do the job.

Whilst I was messing about I tried a mic in front of amp vs guitar straight into instrument input on my Apogee interface and then Amplitude.

Amplitude won hands down!

I’m sure you’re not surprised given it’s a modelling practice amp, but it was unbelievably worse than the DI. In fact I’m not sure if the DI box will be required :roll:

Clearly if I had a boutique amp (and a drawer full of mics) it might be a different story. But I don’t hear any real latency even going through the software. So for now I’m going to concentrate on DI and see if the box adds anything.

Thanks all.

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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by ef37a »

Just slightly confused Ian, have you tried the ID via its USB connection?

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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by IAA »

No Dave, I know it can do that but my projects run through my apogee and I didn’t want to use the AI capability because of workflow.

I suppose as a relatively inexperienced guitarist (being a keys player) I just wanted the best and easiest way to record guitar. The DI route seems easiest and leave the practice amps for well, practice!

Cheers

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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by The Elf »

IAA wrote: Sat Mar 25, 2023 6:16 pmI’m not sure if the DI box will be required...

There are several reasons I record a DI along with any guitar, least of which is to simply re-amp for tone. That DI acts as a guide for timing corrections, and can also be edited to remove fluffs before passing back to the amp to re-record and hide the edits.

So if you get a DI it may be more useful than you imagine!

But if you now plan to always plug straight into your AI then it is, indeed, of questionable value.
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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by IAA »

It’s tricky Elf. In part I read info/opinion that says plugging into AI is a real no no because of coloring of signal, but to my ears it sounds fine. So i will try a DI just to see - I have a radial turning up on Monday, crossing the splitter going in the opposite direction.

I’m no Gordon, but I want my efforts to sound their best!

Cheers

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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by The Elf »

IAA wrote: Sat Mar 25, 2023 9:44 pm It’s tricky Elf. In part I read info/opinion that says plugging into AI is a real no no because of coloring of signal...

Most of that kind of info/opinion is of dubious quality. If it sounds fine to you then go with it.

It never ceases to amaze me what people can hear when they know what want to hear... ;):D
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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by IAA »

:thumbup:
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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by Wonks »

It can depend on the input impedance of the AI. I think it’s been said before in this thread, but worth repeating, that not all ‘Instrument/Inst’ inputs have the typical 1 megohm impedance that a guitar or bass amp has.

Some are significantly less, with a resulting loss of high end, and some are higher e.g. 2 megohms, resulting in a slightly brighter character.

But then not all active DI boxes have a 1 meg input impedance either.

Assuming that your AI has a 1 megohm impedance, then the other factor that can affect the sound is the lack of acoustic feedback (when using headphones or very quiet monitors) compared to playing a loud guitar amp. Not important in a lot of music styles, but for say loud rock music, you aren’t going to get very long sustained induced feedback notes without some artificial aid (such as a Fernades sustainer or a digital ‘hold’ pedal). Which still won’t get quite the same sound as a semi-acoustic guitar on the edge of body resonance through volume.

So in that instance there will be a difference to a straight DI to an AI’s Inst input that can only be solved by volume at the time of recording. But that’s not strictly down to the Inst input, just the lack of volume to get an acoustic feedback interaction with the guitar.

Loud monitors can achieve very similar results to a loud amp (though most small studio monitors are never going to achieve cranked Marshall stack levels of volume). But for most domestic recording environments, getting a guitar amp or monitors that loud isn’t a feasible proposition anyway.

Otherwise, recording via the Inst input on an AI should capture pretty much the same input as a DI box when playing an amp at fairly quiet levels (a subjective term I know).

Any other difference will come down to the feel of how the player reacts to hearing a software amp compared to a real one, due to the AI round trip and processing latencies (which will be variable depending on the AI and buffer settings and software used). Some people are more sensitive to latency than others. Some can adjust and play slightly ahead of the note, so they hear the note start at the correct time, and some can’t, so that slight delay can put some people off playing at their best.
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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by Wonks »

But also a :thumbup: to what The Elf said.
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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by ef37a »

The Elf wrote: Sun Mar 26, 2023 9:09 am
IAA wrote: Sat Mar 25, 2023 9:44 pm It’s tricky Elf. In part I read info/opinion that says plugging into AI is a real no no because of coloring of signal...

Most of that kind of info/opinion is of dubious quality. If it sounds fine to you then go with it.

It never ceases to amaze me what people can hear when they know what want to hear... ;):D

Well, to be a bit fair, there ARE interfaces that have HZ inputs deliberately designed to add "colour/attitude/warmf" whatever you want to call it (I calls it all DISTORTION!) and these often get praised in reviews. My view is, that is fine if the effect can be defeated, if not then I am not keen as I believe such an input should be as transparent as possible. After all the punter might want to plug in something that is NOT a guitar or bass!

However, the vast majority of interfaces have a simple, clean Instru' input and if the specification says it is 1 meg Ohm the likelyhood is that is just a jfet op amp. This is probably why most AIs have at least two HZ inputs. Op amps come in pairs as a rule.

There can be a problem is the AI gives the HZ input too much gain. The temptation seems to be to enable it to hit 0dBFS when one just breathes on a feeble Strat clone. In fact you only need enough gain to get about -20dBFS with modest strumming. IMHO the front end of an AI is NOT the place to add distortion.

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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..update

Post by IAA »

Well I’ve ran a few tests.

I bought a DI, a Moer micro, £50 I think. Works fine. But I also did some tests with guitar plugged directly into a HiZ of my apogee element interface.

Now here is the odd thing. It may be the DI is a “budget” one,but I prefer the sound straight into the HiZ, more treble, clearer to my ears.

However, the vast majority of interfaces have a simple, clean Instru' input and if the specification says it is 1 meg Ohm the likelyhood is that is just a jfet op amp. This is probably why most AIs have at least two HZ inputs. Op amps come in pairs as a rule.

I can’t tell what the element has but it does sound clear on both humbucker and single coil.

The Di is useful because of the out to the amp too and I like the combination of DI and amp the two sources make up for the lack of clarity in just the DI box.

I don’t want to over complicate, so if sounds ok it’s ok?
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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..update

Post by amanise »

IAA wrote: Mon May 08, 2023 6:54 am ...

I don’t want to over complicate, so if sounds ok it’s ok?

...And that's the thing really isn't it? As long as you don't blow anything up. One thing to add might be whatever you do - its worth being able to reproduce it later if required. I remember one session in a land a long way away and a long time ago, where there was a giant Allen and Heath desk to which I had been very unwisely directly connected to. Maybe the coffee was particularly good that day - or something - but that thing was lit up very brightly indeed. Lots of red LEDs. It all sounded amazing and everyone went home happy. Anyway, when we'd all calmed down a bit, we realised we couldn't quite reproduce the sound of that desk. There was no way any of us were ever buying one. Another long anecdote from the house of drone.
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Re: Ampster or small tube amp or DSP or ……..

Post by IAA »

Anyway, when we'd all calmed down a bit, we realised we couldn't quite reproduce the sound of that desk. There was no way any of us were ever buying one. Another long anecdote from the house of drone.

Yeah, quite agree, I mostly work ITB for that very reason.
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