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Hi, I am Rasheeq Rayhan from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

This lesson is for week 1 of Introduction To Music Production at Berklee College of Music. I will be teaching how to record an electric guitar with an amplifier.

The gears I will be using for this demonstration are: A Sennheiser e845 dynamic microphone An XLR cable (balanced) Two -inch TS (Tip/Sleeve) cables (also known as quarter-inch mono-phone cable;

unbalanced) An Apogee Duet2 audio-interface A PRS 25th Anniversary SE Custom 24 electric guitar A Stranger Cube-40M guitar amp A MacBook Pro computer Audio-Technica ATH-M35 headphones

Option 1:
Step 1: Plug the guitar into the amplifier with a quarter-inch cable.

Note: Keep the amps volume at 0 before plugging.

Step 2: Put a mic in front of the amplifier (close to the speaker grille pointing directly at the center of the speaker cone). Note: If you have a different type of amp you can experiment further: Where the amp has multiple speakers, it's traditional to deliberate over which one sounds best, then mic that one! Moving the mic to one side produces a less toppy sound, so before reaching for the EQ knob you should try moving the mic. Where the cabinet is open backed, you can experiment with miking from the rear, as this produces yet another range of tonal flavors, usually warmer and less bright than miking from the front. You can mic both the front and rear of the cabinet simultaneously, but experiment with phase inversion on one of the mics to see which setting gives the best subjective sound.

Step 3: Connect the interface to the computer via USB/FireWire cable.

Step 4: An XLR-cable goes directly from the mic to the interfaces XLR-input. If the mic is condenser, you will need to enable Phantom Power (48V) from the interface.

Note: Set the input level of the interface to 0 before connecting the mic.

After connecting the mic, gradually increase the volume. Now set the gain before it hits the red and there is no distortion or noise in the sound.

Step 5: Connect the headphones in the interfaces output. The headphones usually have a two-conductor shielded quarter-inch stereo phone jack (TRS Tip/Ring/Sleeve).

Step 6: Hit the record button in your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and play the guitar from the heart! The audio signal is recorded into the computer through the interface. Using this method, the mic 'hears' the guitar sound much as an audience would. It is probably the most common approach and has its own benefits: The amp makes an intrinsic part of the sound. Each amp has its own sonic color. Thus it allows making a personal rig and achieves a unique sound of your own. The drawbacks are: There will be the sound of the room in there. So, every time you are recording with the mic, you are also recording the room it is in. If the room is not acoustically treated, it will not produce good sound. Theres a chance of feedback with the monitors. The choice of mic also plays a big role here. Generally, the dynamic mic produces a solid sound with a smooth high end, while the condenser has increased definition producing a brighter, more open sound when used in the same way.

Option 2:
You can also record directly with the amp using a Line-Out. Step 1: Plug the guitar into the amp, set the level and gain as described in Option 1.

Step 2: Usually amps have variety of quarter-inch connectors on the back. Look for the one saying Line-Out and NOT Speaker-Out. Never hook a speaker-output to any line in any of your gear as they are very high levels and are designed to be hooked directly to a speaker and give all that volume.

Step 3: A quarter-inch cable goes from Line-Out to interfaces input.

Step 4: Connect the headphones and record as described in Option 1. The benefits of this procedure are: You can hear the sound in real time right out of the amp without any latency. As you are using the preamp built into the amp, you will also have the amps sonic color too. The drawbacks are: It might not sound exactly like an amplifier does as you hear it through the speaker of the amp (but it does get some of the character). You will not get the natural room reverb or ambience.

Option 3:
You can use a Direct-Box to record your guitar. It is a device that provides a way to go from quarter-inch to XLR-cable, also matches the impedance of guitar allowing it to be plugged into a Line-In. It also gives a parallel output in which you can connect the amp and monitor in real time. Now, as I do not own a direct-box I will demonstrate this with a diagram that I drew myself (yes, I do a little sketching too J).

Step 1: Take the output of the guitar directly into one of the quarter-inch inputs of the Direct-Box. Step 2: Take the XLR-out and connect it to the interface. Now, you can just record like this. Since you have that secondary parallel output, you can go from there into the amplifier hearing out of the amp in real time. Step 3: In further, you can put a mic in front of the amp, get both signals recorded simultaneously and later choose between them in your DAW.

The advantages are: You can use a short quarter-inch cable close to you and a long XLR-cable connected to the studio. As the XLR-cable is balanced, this will result in reduced noise. You will get a really clean signal from guitar. I hope you enjoyed the lesson as much as I enjoyed making it. If you have any questions do not hesitate to discuss with me so we can learn together! Thank you for critiquing. Also, if you want to know more about my music, please visit my YouTube channel. J

Regards, Take Care and Happy Learning!

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