Focusrite Scarlet Question

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?
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Meme Library
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Focusrite Scarlet Question

Post by Meme Library » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:23 am

If I were to get one of these, could I use it like this?:

Guitar > pedalboard > Roland Jazz Chorus 22 > line out > Scarlet > laptop

Or would I have to mic my amp? Before this, I've only used a Yeti USB mic, and I want to upgrade my recording setup. Sorry if this is a dumb question. Thanks!

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Re: Focusrite Scarlet Question

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:44 am

Yes, that's correct. It's a nice feature to have for recording, although I'm not entirely familiar with that model.

What I don't know is if you have any control over the volume of the amp at that point. But it is designed to send a signal out to what Roland calls "a mixing board or a recorder", so your Scarlett should work just fine.
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Re: Focusrite Scarlet Question

Post by jthomas » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:22 pm

I have a Scarlet 2i4 (2 inputs and 4 outs) running into into my desktop computer (3.40 gigahertz Intel Core i5-4670K) running Win7 (x64). I can easily run my guitar into my pedals (all types) and record into Audacity and into Ableton live 9 (I think that came with Scarlett). I had a little difficulty installing the drivers for the Scarlett, but figured it out without too much consternation. You have to play arouind with the input levels to not overdrive the AD front end, but that's true (I think) for all set ups such as this.

I have played around with Guitar Rig and can get it to work, sometimes, although I'm always chasing getting the latency low enough to make it usable. Sometimes it works ok and sometimes it doesn't. This is my general use computer (internet, itunes, email, word processing, etc.) and that would probably be less of an issue if I had just one computer set aside for recording. I think that the computer gets confused a bit as I switch between activities. I also bough a couple of inexpensive MXL condenser mics and can easily record my playing through any of may amps.

If you elect to proceed, I would offer the recommendation that you get a couple of inexpensive composition notebooks and keep a detailed log of what you try and how it worked. Keeping a written record of my experiments has ben very helpful.

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Re: Focusrite Scarlet Question

Post by horseblanket » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:34 am

I am using my Focusrite in a similar way except I use a two notes captor to get my tube amp loaded and a line out.
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Re: Focusrite Scarlet Question

Post by øøøøøøø » Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:50 pm

I haven't used a JC-120 in a long time, and have never used the line out, but yes... you should be able to use it that way.

Although in 2018, I'm not sure what the advantage of that would be. Is there something about the preamp section of the JC120 you like, or perhaps is its onboard chorus effect a big part of what you do?

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Re: Focusrite Scarlet Question

Post by Meme Library » Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:20 pm

øøøøøøø wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:50 pm
I haven't used a JC-120 in a long time, and have never used the line out, but yes... you should be able to use it that way.

Although in 2018, I'm not sure what the advantage of that would be. Is there something about the preamp section of the JC120 you like, or perhaps is its onboard chorus effect a big part of what you do?
I just really like how the amp sounds! Figured it'd be a shame to have it but not record with it, ya know?

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Re: Focusrite Scarlet Question

Post by mbene085 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:39 pm

Meme Library wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:20 pm
øøøøøøø wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:50 pm
I haven't used a JC-120 in a long time, and have never used the line out, but yes... you should be able to use it that way.

Although in 2018, I'm not sure what the advantage of that would be. Is there something about the preamp section of the JC120 you like, or perhaps is its onboard chorus effect a big part of what you do?
I just really like how the amp sounds! Figured it'd be a shame to have it but not record with it, ya know?
A huge part of what an amp sounds like is the power amp and cabinet. I don't think you'll find that the direct out tone sounds very much like your amp does in a room with you.

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Re: Focusrite Scarlet Question

Post by Dok » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:39 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:39 pm
A huge part of what an amp sounds like is the power amp and cabinet. I don't think you'll find that the direct out tone sounds very much like your amp does in a room with you.
Agree with this. In my opinion you'd be better off with even an SM57 than going direct, but then again I've made entire albums with the Amplitube plugin, so do what works best for you!
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Re: Focusrite Scarlet Question

Post by mbene085 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:22 am

Dok wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:39 pm
mbene085 wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:39 pm
A huge part of what an amp sounds like is the power amp and cabinet. I don't think you'll find that the direct out tone sounds very much like your amp does in a room with you.
Agree with this. In my opinion you'd be better off with even an SM57 than going direct, but then again I've made entire albums with the Amplitube plugin, so do what works best for you!
Absolutely, everyone has a different tone in their head and a different result they'd be happy with - I just wanted to point out that, unlike basses, unprocessed guitar DI tones tend to be lacking in most peoples' opinions.

Of course, if you run the amp's DI into your interface and DAW, you totally have the option of adding cabinet and microphone emulation from software like Amplitube, which might get you exactly the tone you're looking for. That way, you're getting the amp's preamp and/or chorus, and the software's cab and mic sim. I've done this in the past with decent results (though I didn't find it any better than using a pure DI and the full amp sim, and it was less versatile in that you can't fully reamp unless you split and run a pure DI in simultaneously).

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Re: Focusrite Scarlet Question

Post by øøøøøøø » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:32 am

mbene085 wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:22 am
I just wanted to point out that, unlike basses, unprocessed guitar DI tones tend to be lacking in most peoples' opinions.
A slight derail, but I find it interesting that this viewpoint, while near-universal now, pretty much began to be that universal only in the 1990s or so.

Before then, there were TONS of direct guitar recordings, and on some of the most iconic records, too. Like... every Motown record made in Detroit. Beatles "Revolution" and many others. Led Zeppelin "Black Dog." Almost every (if not every single) Byrds recording that featured 12-string Ric. Most if not all Nile Rodgers in the Chic era, and many others.

In other words... TONS and TONS of direct guitar, across genres... and nobody ever seemed to think it sounded bad until sometime in the 90s.

Realizing this a few years back, I started experimenting with DI guitar sounds more. Now I use it as just another "amp flavor." These days, whenever I work on a full-length album, there's a fair chance that on at least one song there's something I feel would be best-served by the naked DI sound, and will choose it, even when I have several great vintage amps all set up and mic'd up. It's just a different thing, and sometimes it's the right thing... not nearly as rarely as you might assume, either.

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Re: Focusrite Scarlet Question

Post by mbene085 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:43 am

øøøøøøø wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:32 am
A slight derail, but I find it interesting that this viewpoint, while near-universal now, pretty much began to be that universal only in the 1990s or so.

Before then, there were TONS of direct guitar recordings, and on some of the most iconic records, too. Like... every Motown record made in Detroit. Beatles "Revolution" and many others. Led Zeppelin "Black Dog." Almost every (if not every single) Byrds recording that featured 12-string Ric. Most if not all Nile Rodgers in the Chic era, and many others.

In other words... TONS and TONS of direct guitar, across genres... and nobody ever seemed to think it sounded bad until sometime in the 90s.
I'm aware of the historical uses of DI'd guitar, and I think it's a really fascinating evolution in terms of people's perceptions and uses of electric guitar in various genres.

I also don't think it's a coincidence that the "turning point," so to speak, in the 90's coincided with the birth of the digital era. The proportion of guitarists running through a Urei into a Neve console to tape these days is a lot lower than those running into a sound card into a DAW.

For Motown or Byrds stuff, I get it. But those DI'd driven tones never sat well with me, personally. From Revolution to Suck My Kiss, I always found it a grating tone...and not in a flattering way. Not sure if it's a generational thing?

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Re: Focusrite Scarlet Question

Post by starflower » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:56 am

I'll just add that DI tones when well captured and transferred to digital can often be a great place to start when it comes to manipulating within a DAW... even when you only need clean amp tones with a cabinet sim and reverb.

That said, I'll never run straight into the UI Apollo Duo or MOTU 828 Mk.III (depending on which room I'm in), as a guitar or bass' clean signal sounds so much warmer and "natural" when I go via a tube preamp. For me it's an SPL Channel One (which I've used close to 20 years now), an all-purpose sleeper of a preamplifier with some emphasis on use for vocals that adds so much goodness in a subtle way and has a really simple onboard compressor as well that is easier-than-easy to dial in. And with Guitar Rig 5 + a number of Waves and UA plugins in the DAW, the sky's the limit with what I can do after that.
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Re: Focusrite Scarlet Question

Post by øøøøøøø » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:45 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:43 am
øøøøøøø wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:32 am
A slight derail, but I find it interesting that this viewpoint, while near-universal now, pretty much began to be that universal only in the 1990s or so.

Before then, there were TONS of direct guitar recordings, and on some of the most iconic records, too. Like... every Motown record made in Detroit. Beatles "Revolution" and many others. Led Zeppelin "Black Dog." Almost every (if not every single) Byrds recording that featured 12-string Ric. Most if not all Nile Rodgers in the Chic era, and many others.

In other words... TONS and TONS of direct guitar, across genres... and nobody ever seemed to think it sounded bad until sometime in the 90s.
I'm aware of the historical uses of DI'd guitar, and I think it's a really fascinating evolution in terms of people's perceptions and uses of electric guitar in various genres.

I also don't think it's a coincidence that the "turning point," so to speak, in the 90's coincided with the birth of the digital era. The proportion of guitarists running through a Urei into a Neve console to tape these days is a lot lower than those running into a sound card into a DAW.

For Motown or Byrds stuff, I get it. But those DI'd driven tones never sat well with me, personally. From Revolution to Suck My Kiss, I always found it a grating tone...and not in a flattering way. Not sure if it's a generational thing?
I don't think it was the introduction of digital recording that precipitated the change in attitude-- I think it was the rise of "gear/tone culture" that followed in the wake of Stevie Ray Vaughan's popularity (among others).

I first begun to hear the narrative in guitar magazines in the very early '90s (I was just a kid, but I remember). This was when all recording was still analog, when the Studer A827 was still cutting-edge tech, when Sound Tools had not yet become a viable platform (it still took hours or days of computer processing to execute simple tasks).

More than a response against early digital , the shift against DI guitar was a statement of fashion. All things "vintage" were newly en vogue in the guitar mainstream. Blues and roots music on the one hand, and indie/punk and grunge on the other, had replaced slick pop and disco in the cultural imagination. DI guitar sounds sucked in blues, roots, indie, punk and grunge contexts. They evoked dance pop and disco, which weren't the coolest genres among guitarists in '91 or so.

Shortly after this shift in mores, internet message fora sprung up, and this fashion trend-- as is wont to happen in this environment-- became ensconced in guitar gearhead lore; a permanent orthodoxy that was never questioned. A generation or two of guitarists accepted it without really doing any extensive experimentation with DI approaches themselves. They just believed, along with all the other stuff that rose up in those nascent web-based narratives: "vintage guitars are better" "klon centaur is the best overdrive" "DI guitar recording sounds like shit" etc etc ad infinitum. Many read, and believed. Few did the work of experimentation.

To the extent that the preference is "generational" it's probably related to this phenomenon. For the record, I was born in the 1980s and most of my contemporaries, predecessors, and antecedents accept prima facie the conventional wisdom that "direct guitar doesn't sound good."

But I tried it for myself, and found that, for many things, I don't agree.

What I WILL say is that, of all the ways to record your guitar, it's the method that demands the most of the player. It is the least-flattering possible sound. If there's any issue with the sound YOU are able to pull out of your instrument--ANY small shortcoming in technique, etc--it will be put right up front on display.

It's possible this might be another reason that most of the guitar's chattering community likes to vilify/invalidate it. :) "It couldn't possibly be that I have work to do... this must just be an awful way to record guitar."

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Re: Focusrite Scarlet Question

Post by mbene085 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:06 pm

I get what you're saying. The "gear culture" is definitely part of it. I'm one of your contemporaries, but I've done my own experimentation and just don't enjoy the majority of DI'd guitar tones, and it has nothing with not having 'teh TOOBZ' in the signal chain. Might also be related to the genres I generally play electric guitar for. The majority of the rock spectrum treats amplifiers and effects as instruments in and of themselves...many players are "playing" a wall of fuzz or a singing, feeding-back solo tone just as much as they're playing the guitar. The guitar parts are often written with those tones and those devices as an integral part of the music itself.

Then again, I've committed my own tone/gear sacrilege by going fully digital with my amps - running a Kemper and/or an AX8 into either FRFR amplification live or into the board for recording. I use DI regularly, but it's primarily for purposes of digital reamping (also for ease of edits when you've got a heavily distorted guitar tone that otherwise makes it really tough to identify transients in a DAW).

I once had a band leader tell me I had to use his refrigerator SVT cabinet instead of my Kemper + Bose L1 system for my bass, because my rig didn't "look Rock enough!" Nevermind the fact that it sounded better, could be DI'd to the FOH dialed-in, and was easily moved by my skinny 140lb ass in a compact car without risking any herniated discs.

So yeah. A lot more goes into people's gear decisions than the tones themselves, agreed.

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