Mic-ing amps vs DI speaker simulation…

Today, has mostly been about burning the final Red Book master for the new album by The Nightwires. Having listened to it a couple of times to check all was ok, it occured to me that all of the guitars have been recorded using DI and speaker simulation. The majority of this involved using my Morgan and Victory heads into my Palmer PGA04 rack unit, with a few bits and bobs recorded with my Guitar Rig software.

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To be honest, I really dont think that any casual listener will be able to tell that I haven’t mic’d up any cabs. Granted, a few tone snobs may CLAIM they can tell, but in the context of a band mix, I think its impossible to tell. The beauty of the Palmer unit is that you can use a 50 watt valve head at full power, silently! With a subtle bit of post EQ and compression, you can get a great sound very quickly.

However, I cant see me going down the Axe FX or Kemper route any time soon for live work. Partly because I have so much money invested in my stupidly expensive boutique amps, but mainly because I still dont hear any digital modeling units that can truly compete with a proper tube amp at decent volume. Yes, digital is getting close, very close, but its not there yet.

So in the studio, I shall continue to do whatever gets a decent tone quickly and painlessly, but I wont be giving up on tubes any time soon.

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