Questions & Answers

How to record an electric Guitar with external Pedals without clipping ?

+1 vote
asked Mar 14, 2021 in Recording Interface Series Feature Requests by davidbuchmann (160 points)
As a guitaris I'm using a lot of special pedals like those from Earthquaker Devices so there is no way to replace them with digital ones. Therefor I'd love to directly record with those pedals (no reamping). When I go electric guitar into Pedals (Boost, Distortion, Fuuz, Pitch, Reverb, Delay, Flanger...) into interface (AudioBox USB 96) where the input is already as quiet as possible (-10dB)  some Pedals tend to clipp really fast despite they are not turned to max volume. So I have to turn them down a lot which leads to a negative sound modification I am not looking for but otherwise I can't record without clipping. Afterwards I use digital Amp & Box Simulations by Studio One 4.

So the question is how can I use my pedals while recording with the knob options that sound best with a real amp without clipping. Is there a specific tool I need infront of the Interface, or a special interface, or is something like this only possible with reamping (I haven't done reamping yet and also doubt that it is possible with just the AudioBox USB 96)?

1 Answer

+1 vote
answered Mar 14, 2021 by michaelfried (180 points)
If you're trying to capture the sound of your pedals as they sound through your amp, I'd recommend trying to mic your guitar amp instead of recording these DI. Recording pedals direct (esp. dirt/gain related effects) will always end up sounding different than they do through you guitar amp.

That said, you might be set on recording Direct, in which case there are other potential solutions. You could try to run pedals into a Direct box (DI). For input level issues most DI boxes have a "pad" feature where you can knock your input down by 12,20, or 40 dB depending which should give you some headroom for gain from your interface.

Hopefully that helps!