Audio Interface and Amp Sims

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by SolarBears, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. SolarBears

    SolarBears SS.org Regular

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    Who here has gone from a budget interface ($200) to a higher end interface ($800) for recording amp sims? How much of a difference does it make in the quality of your DI?


    I get okay tones with a Countryman DT85 and Steinberg UR242, but it's not as good as other's on Youtube. I've tried all tweaking including EQ, sample rate, Ownhammer/Rosen/Redwirez impulses, 8 different guitars at Guitar Center, TH3, Revalver, Bias, Amplitube, TSEX, etc. My tones sound ok, but just a bit flat, and not excellent like I hear in demos.
     
  2. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger Contributor

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    I went from a Saffire Pro 24 to an Apollo Twin Duo and there was a noticeable improvement. My DI was clearer and more 3D sounding. When I had my tracks re-amped through a 5150 setup the difference was huge.
     
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  3. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I don't do the DI/amp sim thing, but I made the jump from a M-Audio Profire2626 to an Apogee Ensemble, and I'll say that while we're talking subtle improvements on an already good interface, I did feel like it was an overall clearer sounding unit. Self noise was a lot lower too.

    Something like that, though, a high end 1- or 2-channel interface (an Apogee Duet, for instance, if you're on a Mac) with quality pres and a really good instrument in, would probably make a difference.

    Alternately, you wouldn't benefit from the improved conversion quality, but just buying a dedicated DI box would probably help - again, not my area of expertise, but I understand the impedence of the input can make a big difference here, and your average recording interface line in or instrument in is probably not optimized for a guitar.
     
  4. SolarBears

    SolarBears SS.org Regular

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    I'm using the Countryman DT85 as a DI box which is a $150 DI box so I don't think it's an impedance problem (10MOhm unless that's excessive). So maybe it is the pres and converters in my unit.
     
  5. SolarBears

    SolarBears SS.org Regular

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    Really? Ok that's what I'm going after. It seems like no matter how much tweeking I do, it just doesnt sound as good as some people who just plug in and play and get a kickass tone on Youtube demos
     
  6. rahnvu

    rahnvu SS.org Regular

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    @Guitarjon should be a great help here! Never heard a single bad or even meh tone from the guy.
     
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  7. SolarBears

    SolarBears SS.org Regular

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    Im debating btwn the Apollo and Helix LTE. Im assuming the pres and converters are better on the Apollo than Helix but with the Helix I can easily setup a live rig
     
  8. noise in my mind

    noise in my mind SS.org Regular

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    It sounds like you already have fine equipment. What's your monitoring environment like? Are you mixing though headphones? Speakers? Square room? Desk in the Corner? Etc.
     
  9. Elric

    Elric SS.org Regular

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    It's not going to make that much of a difference TBH. I would fully expect you to be able to get crushing tones with the Steinberg. If you are not getting satisfying sounds it is probably something in your setup or how you are dialing/mixing that is a much bigger influence than the subtle effects of interface differences.
     
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  10. SolarBears

    SolarBears SS.org Regular

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    I just bought a Line 6 Helix and my DI has more content in the higher frequencies and sounds clearer. The amp sims respond more like a real amp. Will try to post an A/B comparison.
     
  11. Elric

    Elric SS.org Regular

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    If your interface is rolling off highs, it is a POS. Guitar pickups have impedances in the area of less than 20k. If the input resistance on the interface input is north of 500k, ideally around 2x at ~1M, you are not going to bleed any significant treble. Your *cable* is probably a more significant source for high frequency error than a modern interface with a decent Hi-Z in. After that, you have an input buffer and ADC both of which are probably *stupid* over-specced for a guitar DI's bandwidth unless, again, the IF is junk/broken/ancient. I would fully expect a newish $200 or more interface to provide a good DI for guitar as long as the design is just not completely thoughtless. Even if it didn't it would cost next to nothing to get an input box to provide your guitar with a high impedance input and provide a line level out allowing you to go into the I/Fs line input which again, is likely over-specced for a guitar signal. If your Helix sounds better than your other sims it is probably because you like the Helix's sims better. I assume you did not buy it solely as a DI box.
     
  12. SolarBears

    SolarBears SS.org Regular

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    I know what you're saying man. That's what I was thinking but I'm running my guitar into a Countryman DT85 (a reputable DI box with 10Mohm input). From there I go into the XLR input of my Steinberg UR242 interface with clean mic-pres. The HiZ on my interface is off. I'm doing everything correctly. In theory you're right but for whatever reason, the DI is better on the Helix. I'm at work now. Let me check the DIs when I get home in an actual plugin. This is all by ear so maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. Also, this is with the DIs going into the same amp sim and impulse
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017 at 2:37 PM

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