Makes Home Recording Easier
Like most musicians, I don't have the money to always head into a state of the art studio to record my music.
That's why I bought my Blackstar ID 60 Head. It makes recording guitar in the home studio easier, and sounds better than always using amp simulation software.
Improved Sound and Playability
An issue I continued to have with amp simulation software, like amplitube and ampire, is that when I play fast material the notes have a terrible time ringing out. In other words, the fast notes kept getting cut off. You couldn't hear them!
Now, using a compressor pedal and tube screamer can certainly help with that (and I still use those for recording), but another issue in recording direct is not having the best sound possible when you record.
With the Blackstar ID 60, you don't need to use compressor pedals or the like. It simplifies the process of plugging directly into your audio interface, and records a far better sounding performance.
The sound you send into your interface has already been saturated by the Blackstar, colored with your preferred distortion and gain settings, and enhanced with the Valve Power feature. This gives a much richer audio recording of your guitar.
In other words, it's best to have a great sounding guitar going into your interface instead of trying to make it sound great after you've recorded.
Designed for Direct Recording
Some amp heads require a cabinet or load box even though there may be a direct out line for recording.
The Blackstar ID 60 Head is designed so you can plug directly from the head into your interface without the need to use a cabinet or load box.
Why Not Just Mic Your Guitar Amp?
If you're like me, you don't live in a place where you can get away with blasting an amp to get the best sound out of it. Micing a guitar amp for me just isn't optimal.
Another issue with using a mic to record your guitar is that you need to get your material recorded that day. At the very least, all the guitars for one side of the mix must be done for that song. Because if you try to punch in on that track on a different day, or try finishing your guitar parts (like the 2nd half) on a different day, chances are you won't have the exact same sound.
Speaking from experience, even if you don't change an amp's settings, or mic placement, you can still end up with a slightly different tone that is definitely noticeable when played directly against what you recorded earlier. Direct recording eliminates this possibility, granting you more freedom and time in how you record your material.
True, a properly miced guitar amp/cabinet in a well designed recording studio will absolutely sound the best. But, I need convenience, and direct recording with my Blackstar provides the convenience I'm looking for.
Blackstar ID 60 Head Features
"It really does capture a remarkable spectrum of tones and does it very close to real tube-like dynamics."
"Dirt/distortion tones, unaided, are the best SS dirt tones, I have heard or tried."
-The Great Solderdini
"In love with this head. It sounds just as loud and as powerful as a Valve amp while being solid state. For those heavy, metal tones, there is no other comparison."
The Only Thing Missing
Something important to keep in mind, is that you WILL need some kind of guitar cabinet simulation software (commonly referred to as impulse response emulators) when recording direct. This will make your guitar sound even better! Typically I use Recabinet.
You could also run your head into a cabinet/speaker emulator (this is hardware) like these two:
Make Home Recording Easier
If you're looking for great sounding direct recording and you want it simple, I highly recommend the Blackstar ID 60 Head.
Share Your Thoughts
Have you used any Blackstar products before? What do you think of them? What do you do for home recording? Do you have a different preferred method of direct recording? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Guitar Cable Importance
If you want the best possible sound from your guitar rig, you'll need good cables.
Not only do cheap cables break easily, and have a very short life span, they can allow unwanted noise to break through and interfere with recordings, and live performances.
CLICK HERE to read an excellent article on the importance of having good cables, or just read the next section for the main points.
Benefits of Having a Well Made Cable
Mogami Gold Instrument Cables
I've been sold on Mogami cables for a several years now.
Not only do they easily out last cheap cables, but I've noticed better life span than Monster cables.
Features of the Mogami Cables
"Before this cable, I was using some cheap generic cable. I didn't realize how much noise I was getting from the other cable until I switched to this one...This Mogami is well-shielded and quieter."
"In my experience with many different types and qualities of instrument cables, I have found Mogami to be unparalleled in terms of their build quality, durability, near-silent operation, and seamless reproduction of my instrument's tone profile without coloration."
"Extremely even and clean crisp tone and zero noise or feedback even with my Strat which is what I play the majority of the time."
Upgrade Your Guitar Cables
Share Your Thoughts
Do you already use Mogami? What do you think of them? Do you prefer something else? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Metal and Rock Rhythm Guitar Crash Course
What's the #1 thing every guitarist needs? Speed? Accuracy? Natural Ability? Knowledge? WRONG!
Psst! Let me share a little secret with you…if your rhythm sucks, everything suffers. Everything. Rhythm, by far, is the single most important aspect of music. It separates the men from the boys. You’ll never become the guitar player you dream of being with poor rhythm.
I designed the new Metal and Rock Guitar Rhythm Crash Course to dramatically improve your rhythm. This will carry over into all other aspects of your guitar playing.
What if the material is too difficult? Won’t it overwhelm me?
This course has been carefully crafted to benefit a wide variety of guitar players. Each section has varying levels of complexity at a variety of tempos. That means you learn at the pace and tempo you want. The section-ending etudes provide you with the chance to put everything together. With them, you’ll solidify your ability to switch between different rhythm patterns. As you conquer each one, watch your confidence soar.
So what do I actually get? Do I only get a few tabs and some videos?
Phhffttt! Are you kidding? You get way more than that. Each section includes:
My favorite song isn't in 4/4 - will this course help me?
Though 4/4 time is the main focus of this course, I haven’t ignored other time signatures. The section “Beyond 4/4” has got you covered. You’ll learn how to count and play in 8 other time signatures. There’s even a short section on polyrhythms and polymeters - for those seeking a real mental workout.
Here’s how some students have described my teaching methods, which you’ll enjoy in this course:
The Metal and Rock Guitar Rhythm Crash Course includes:
And if you buy the course outright, you get Guitar Pro files (Ver. 6 & 7) for the entire course. As an introductory offer, you can get everything in this course for only $97. That’s the price of 3 guitar lessons.
This download will be a .zip file containing the following items:
Speed/Tremolo Picking Guitar Course
This speed picking instruction course is focused on getting that picking hand/arm as fast as you can get it! Here's what you will find in the course:
John Taylor, guitar instructor for Mile High Shred.