Logic Pro X Questions/Mic'ing Practice Amp

Discussion in 'Home Recording and Studios' started by stratman420, May 20, 2019.

  1. stratman420

    stratman420 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    29
    436
    Mar 14, 2019
    Santiago, Chile
    Background: So, I have Logic Pro X on my computer, from my past career as a hip-hop producer. I used a USB powered M-Audio MIDI controller, so I had no need to purchase an interface. I will be purchasing an interface within the next few days. Just something basic, with an input for a mic, and for a guitar.

    Now that that's out of the way, I noticed that within Logic Pro X, there is a huge selection of digital amp simulators. I have heard they are great. I also noticed you can create your own pedal boards, and there is virtually every type of pedal available. So, that sounds good on paper and perfect for recording my guitar tracks.

    Here is where I need help/advice. If I go with using the built in amps/effects, I don't understand how I am supposed to turn on and off things such as distortion, or any other pedal I choose to put on my digital on screen pedal board. Am I supposed to just record the whole guitar track clean, and then highlight the audio wave file and add effects to each specific part? Am I supposed to record the clean part, stop, and then open up a new track and record the next part with a different effect? To me, that seems like a hassle and extra work, which is where I got my next idea.

    I love the sound of my Orange Crush12L practice amp. That, in combination with the pedals I have, are what I'd like to record. Not try to replicate it digitally, piece by piece. From what I understand, in the 80's and the 90s, and I've experienced it myself in the early 2000's but Solid State amps in general have a horrible disguishable sound. But with technology improving, this amp sounds amazing, even turned up all the way, where as solid states of the past would sound terrible. The sweet spot of volume for my amp, if I'm not trying to be quiet, is anywhere between 11 and 1 o'clock. I am wondering if I decide to record my amp rather than use the stuff built into Logic, what should the mic placement be, or should I build an iso cab?

    So, if anyone has experiencing recording guitar with Logic Pro X, please let me know if I'm completely wrong in how to go about doing things. Or if recording with a practice amp is a completely stupid idea.

    Thanks in advance,
    Patricio
     
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  2. squierbilly

    squierbilly Dr. Squier

    Apr 21, 2013
    sunny phoenix
    I have zero experiance recording and even less with computers.. (im using my phone :rolleyes:)..
    But on that pro logic can you have the thing programed to kick in a pedal at a certain time in the recording process?..
    Or maybe on a certain note?.. or if nothing else can you use the mouse like a foot switch?.. (might have to go blue tooth on the mouse for that if possible)...
     
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  3. Stratlover84

    Stratlover84 Squier-Nut

    Age:
    35
    930
    Jun 16, 2016
    NY
    Hello Patricio,

    I have limited experience in Logic, but having used Garageband for the past decade, I'm sure it is very similar: You need to have everything "turned on" or activated before you begin recording ideally. There are plugins and effects you can use for post-editing that can be turned off at the time of recording, but things like the built-in amplifier and overdrive should be on as well so you can hear them (monitor) while playing!

    The thing to remember about the recording process (even if you're a perfectionist like me), is don't be afraid to make mistakes! You can learn a lot from making mistakes. Just save alternate versions of your project in a different folder to allow you to experiment a little bit without losing progress you already made.

    I would also recommend that you try recording the amplifier so you can get a feel of how that process works and how that tone sounds in your mix. You'll quickly be able to tell if you prefer the tone of a recorded amplifier or direct using the digital in-program amplifiers.

    It's all about experimenting, trial and error, etc... good luck!
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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  4. surfrodguitar

    surfrodguitar Squier-holic

    Aug 4, 2016
    Laguna Niguel
    If you mean how to go from clean to distorted on the same track (or any effect) as if you were playing it live than you should be able to use automation as a option. However, I don’t use it that way, I just record a different guitar part. I will sometimes track a guitar part mic’d only if I am satisfied with the tone but not with effects cause then I’m stuck with the effect.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  5. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Age:
    35
    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    You're looking for shortcuts on something with which you are not experienced. In my opinion, this is not the time to be exploring shortcuts. If you're happy with the sound you get from your rig for clean/distortion/modulation etc. You would be better off either getting good enough switching effects during a live take, or recording separate tracks.

    An SM57, some time to find the sweet spot on your amp for the mic, and a simple interface like the Behringer UMC22 should be enough on the gear side to get you good, if not great results.

    You probably won't need an ISO Cab, but that would depend on what your house is like. Putting a mic on the amp in a room with a lot of soft furniture, like a couch or bed should be enough until you learn more about what you're trying to accomplish.
     
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  6. SoundDesign

    SoundDesign Squier-holic

    Your guitar FX/Amps are just plug-ins audio devices enabled on your track no different than reverb or compression or any other. Your track is recorded dry, the benefit being you can change your guitar FX setting afterwards. If latency isn't an issue you can record with software monitoring on, which means you'll hear the "wet" as you record. In my experience most apple plug-ins won't generate enough latency to create performance issues but I've had to scale back using Amplitube at times if I had too much going on.

    To change FX on a track you would use touch/latch for region automation to effectively have it "record" and "remember" the changes you are making so they will be duplicated going forward. I have not used that feature since I'm more inclined to use a separate track for different guitar sounds. This isn't like the old tape days where tracks were limited. Adding tracks is a minimal "hit" to your system resources (within reason of course).
     
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  7. 808guitar

    808guitar Squier Talker

    37
    Apr 23, 2018
    Hawaii
    You can use automation to change the state of pedals on your board after recording. However that is a pain in the butt in my opinion. Once you set multiple automations per track you will want to shoot yourself.

    You can also use your real pedals and the Logic amp simulator, so you are changing the sound live as you are recording. The downside is you can't go back and change it later like you can with the Logic pedalboard. This can be a negative or a positive, because if you are like me you will constantly go back into the settings and try to tweak thing and spend too much time attempting to perfect the sound when it probably sounded good enough.

    The other option is to either record the different parts separately, or just record it all in one state, and then duplicate the track, copy/paste the parts that would have different pedal states and then change it in the second track. Then run both tracks through the same mixing bus to get your EQ levels consistent.

    I honestly wouldn't spend too much time trying to mic up your Orange crush amp. I have one of those too, it sounds decent when I listen to it, but when putting a mic on it compared to a high quality amp it is amazing how much you can tell the difference. But if you want to try, an SM57 placed pretty close usually does the trick, but you'll need to experiment depending on the volume, tone and room size. There is an "orange" amp emulator in Logic, it is called "Sunshine" but I have not played with it much (I like the fake Marshall).

    Another thing that usually helps is to record the guitar track twice, as long as you can play the parts accurately so it sounds almost the same. Just doubling the track by copying/pasting won't get the job done though, an exact digital reproduction won't help.
     
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  8. 808guitar

    808guitar Squier Talker

    37
    Apr 23, 2018
    Hawaii
    The other thing I forgot to mention, if you decide to use real pedals, regardless of whether you are recording with a real amp or a simulator, is be aware of the volume changes when your pedals turn on/off. Its best to keep the volume level as consistent as possible during recording and then increase things in mixing via automation when they need to get bigger. And always soundcheck with your loudest pedal state first to make sure you're not going into the red and overblowing your track.
     
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  9. fadetoz

    fadetoz Squier-holic

    Age:
    47
    Jun 29, 2011
    IA
    I've found adding effects works best after recording. I tried and had latency issues and never tried again.
    I know people do use effects but I have no idea how it's working for them without latency.
    I try to get the sound I want going into the interface then maybe add some reverb compression EQ after the fact.
     
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  10. stratman420

    stratman420 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    29
    436
    Mar 14, 2019
    Santiago, Chile
    Thank you everyone for your advice. I never thought about running my pedals into the interface and into Logic, that completely skipped my mind. I will try that method, along with recording dry and then selecting the areas I want certain effects, etc... on, as well as trying to record my amp, and yes, there will be multiple tracks, which is a non issue for me, like recording a solo, or a harmony or something, but I was referring to getting the basic rhythm track of the guitar down first and wasn't sure how to go about recording it without some sort of footswitch. Perhaps Apple or a company affiliated has created some digital pedal board for use with Logic & Garage Band. Probably a lot of money though, that I don't have at the moment...

    Another option is to simply pay to go to an actual studio. I'm familiar with recording as in my past I've been the drummer and bassist in countless bands, so I can play with a click, etc... multiple takes if I mess up, etc... I'm just simply playing, the engineer is the one doing all of the work so I have no experience with that.

    I just have always simply used Logic Pro X to make hip hop beats, which is quite easy compared to recording actual instruments.
     
  11. fadetoz

    fadetoz Squier-holic

    Age:
    47
    Jun 29, 2011
    IA
    I prefer using a mic on my amp if possible.
    I'm usually recording late though so I will go direct or use the line 6 direct into the interface.
    That's my setup for the last 7-8 releases I've done https://fadetoz.bandcamp.com/
    The mics I use are pyle (sm57 clones) for $13

    IMG_20190405_002313.jpg IMG_20190423_100823.jpg
     
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  12. Bassman96

    Bassman96 Squier-holic

    Age:
    41
    Nov 13, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    We used to record the lead guitar parts with the amp in the shower and a mic drapped over the shower head lol. Got some BIG sounding guitar out of a little amp at low volume that way. Just don't turn the water on while you are at it...
     
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  13. stratman420

    stratman420 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    29
    436
    Mar 14, 2019
    Santiago, Chile
    Wow, nice set up! That's another thing I need as well, monitors. Twice I blew my monitors when trying to plug them in. First, when I arrived to Chile, my monitors arrived via FedEx, so I purchased the plug adaptor so I could plug it in, did so, turned them on and the light turned on and then they just died. I didn't understand or investigate the issue. Second time, a friend from the states sent me a pair of monitors for the work I was doing for him (custom beats, mixing his vocals, etc...) Same thing happened. I then realized I need to get some wattage or voltage converter, or just buy a pair here in Chile for an insane amount even used :/ But I can't not notice a nice pair of KRKs in a photo, not to mention the great amps and pedal board, and I like the large screen.
     
  14. fadetoz

    fadetoz Squier-holic

    Age:
    47
    Jun 29, 2011
    IA
    The monitors I didn't really go cheap on. I mostly buy budget gear but I had heard some KRK monitors and really wanted some bad. I got the 6" ones and don't regret it.
    I got a great deal on the Fender Champ. I use it most of the time. I do enjoy the Blues Jr and Jet City allot too. I've pretty much settled on my amps. I always like to try new pedals though.
    The interface is a Presonus Audiobox. You can find them used for probably like $50.
     
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  15. Roccobagadonuts

    Roccobagadonuts Dr. Squier

    Sep 8, 2010
    Remulak
    Sign me up for a 5 watt hand wired tube amp with a mic in front of it when it comes to recording guitars. Numerous pedals may be needed but the end results are almost always gonna be good...

    Lots of folks like to record clean/direct tho and then add effects later. Im a fan of my stuff sounding old tho and the best way ive found to achive that is to stick a mic in front of an old amp and then record it...
     
  16. SoundDesign

    SoundDesign Squier-holic

    I may be wrong but it sounds like you may be in a situation similar to what I was in a few years ago - getting into (or back into) recording in a digital world and bringing some analog recording experience with you that you are subconsciously trying to apply. At some level, it's like the old saying:

    "To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

    My advice would be to try to avoid using a digital workflow like it was an analog one - particularly if you're doing it solely because of comfort/discomfort. There are certainly "classic" recording techniques and theories that will absolutely serve you well in a DAW / digital workflow situation (like mic'ing techniques, understanding busses / sends etc) but some of that analog workflow knowledge is the equivalent of making three right turns instead of one left turn because you're more comfortable turning right. ;)

    I initially considered spending money on a control surface but I didn't actually need one. I really just wanted to have sliders and knobs so I could avoid getting over my discomfort with a fully digital interface. I also bought a 1/8"-headphone-to-dual-1/4"-plugs adapter cord, thinking I would plug one end into the headphone jack on the back of the keyboard and run the other end into the two analog inputs on my DAW. As it turns out, the keyboard has USB so I just plug it into the computer and record MIDI information. Logic has a million and one better sounds for keys than the keyboard does and if I play a wrong note, I can just grab it and move it. Needless to say, that cord/adapter has never been out of the package. :p

    Relating this to your guitar questions, noise is one of the biggest enemies of the home studio and analog instruments are the biggest culprits when it comes to introducing noise to your tracks. As a result, I would need to REALLY be in love with an analog pedal/pedal board to consider recording a guitar track wet like that - same for mic'ing an amp. If I can dial in a useable sound with plug-ins instead of an amp, I'm going to do that 100 times out of 100...
     
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  17. fadetoz

    fadetoz Squier-holic

    Age:
    47
    Jun 29, 2011
    IA
    I tried a mixer and it was a total waste. I realized within 1 hr it wasn't going to help my work flow. It only actually supports 2 DAW channels on most anyway. Luckily my buddy let me try it out and had it back the next day.
    I don't need more than 2 inputs at a time anyway.

    PS: I got allot of advise from Rocco and I have to say he never steered me wrong. My amp search ended when I got the 1974 Fender silver face Champ amp. My only regret is not getting it before I did.
     
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  18. fadetoz

    fadetoz Squier-holic

    Age:
    47
    Jun 29, 2011
    IA
    Good points. Depends on what you want with your sound. No rite or wrong answers. Just depends. If I wanted a really minimal setup I'd probably use my POD pedal direct in and a USB mic for vocals. But I mic my Champ because it sounds better to me.
     
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  19. stratman420

    stratman420 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    29
    436
    Mar 14, 2019
    Santiago, Chile
    Well, I will still experiment with both mic'ing the amp as well as trying the built in amps and effects. I am leaning towards mic'ing my amp.

    Today, I came up with a riff I liked, so I realized it was a perfect opportunity to check the latency if any, if Mic'd from either the built in mic on my macbook, and for whatever mic I get in the future. I had my headphones on could hear the click track, as well as the guitar coming through the headphones as well as my amp and it all was in real time. So I decided to record a little second part for the riff, add MIDI drums, and midi bass. No mixing or mastering or anything, I just wanted to experience if I can get a decent sound out of my amp, and IMO the following short piece of music I created (49 seconds) shows that if it sounds that decent on an extremely small built in laptop mic, it will sound much better with a proper mic.

    Obviously the tone is not what it is IRL or if it was mic'd properly, but it still is basically the same. I was using my HH partscaster with the neck pickup for both guitar tracks. I was using a slight bit of reverb from my digitech pedal.

    https://soundcloud.com/scarred/tuesday

    Keep in mind, this is not supposed to be professional sounding, it was simply an experiment, although I like what I created so I might incorporate the guitar parts into a future song.
     
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  20. Roccobagadonuts

    Roccobagadonuts Dr. Squier

    Sep 8, 2010
    Remulak

    Trying things out and seeing what happens would definatly be a good idea. Id consider thinking of all kinds of stuff to try out and test out... For example if ya have 2nd cheap little guitar amp sitting around hook up ur guitar to play thru both if u can and try recording both at once. U might think the amp sounds like crap but who knows what might happen if its played at the same time as the other amp and a mic then catches it and records it... It might sound better then the Orange amp on its own...

    Pretty much if ur gonna be recording its a good idea to just try out everything u can. Especially if it wont cost any money to test it out...

    I spent forever trying to get better recordings of my friends vocals and then 1 day we were at a guys house and he had an old solid state Crate 2x12 amp from the early 90's sitting around. Unlike a lot of amps it had a pre amp "out" 1/4 jack on the amp and also had a spring reverb unit in it... Next thing ya know were recording my buddies vocals running a dynamic mic into the the amps 1/4 input. Then running a guitar cable from the amps preamp "out" to the cheap little Lexicon interface we were using to record. It ended up giving us the best sounding vocal recordings we ever got up until that point...

    Being a poverty stricken type I don't have money to throw around to try and improve say vocal recording tracks. So even to this day I record vocal tracks thru an early 80's Peavey Backstage Plus guitar amp... Got it for 60 bucks and it has a 1/4 inch preamp out on the front panel of the amp. And a spring verb unit as well... It might not give me the best thing possible but it improved things a whole bunch and then some and only cost 60 bucks... Would have never ended up doing things that way if I hadn't tested out recording a vocal track thru a friends amp tho… The figuring it out part ended up costing nothing... No buy and then sell because it didn't work or make things better...

    So moral of the story? Trying things out and seeing what happens is probably a really good idea... Id even put a few moments of thought into what kind of things u could try out and test. Things that don't cost anything to try... U might find things that help and wont cost a fortune to make things better...
     
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