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louder, if you want to raise the volume after you already recorded it you are just asking to introduce all sorts of noise, static, and such into the recording. It's better to record it louder and drop it down if you want.
 

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Loud, but not clipping- especially if recording digital. Digital clipping, unlike analog, is ugly and noisy, especially annoying on clean guitars.
 

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yes very true about the clipping, you should record with as much of the signal being used as possible. If you leave to much head room or if you bring the noise floor up too high, then you aren't getting a good signal to start with for the rest of your mixing and such.
 

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Are you talking about how much signal should hit the track, or whether or not your amp should be cranked? If you're talking about the latter, then I've found that if you're mixing the sound with direct feed, you can go softer at the amp. If you're recording miked guitar alone, then you'll get a more "up front" sound if the amp louder. Neither is better. I appologize if you were talking about track level.
 

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I'm going to disagree with everyone. Page used a tiny amp to record the first 5 albums. Arrowsmith got all those huge sounds through dinky little combo amps too. SRV played that small fender single 12" combo too.
You can control the environment around the mic with lower volume. I keep the signal value high, but keep the actual volume down and depending on the mic, 1-3 feet away to capture abience.
 

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thats true, and Brian May's awesome thick distortion on the first queen albums came from a knackered old transistor radio speaker box (with a treble booster)......
 

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generally amps sound better LOUD, and you want to set the mic input levels as loud as you can get it without it peaking out. compression is a godsend for this, just set the upper threshold so it just stops it peaking after setting the input gain so you almost get no peaking.
 

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Yeah, I generally record my guitar parts loud. They just sound better when they are "pushed" to loud volumes. Then you can always tweak the volume later if you need to. But obviously its all personal taste. Some people tend to prefer to record their guitar at "normal" volumes.
 

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those low wattage handwired marshalls are good for recording, from what i know they run hard at lower volumes, and sound v.good.
 

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We have to define what was meant by "loud". The amp? Then yeah, tubes cranked, speaker cone breakup, etc. all translate into (generally considered) better distorted tones. Of course, he didn't SAY it was to be distorted, so if he's after sparkly clean sounds, I would back off a little - a good level to drown out any environmental noise is good, but too high and the mentioned distortions will grow hair on your clean sounds.

As for recording level, as has been said, the higher the better as long as there's no clipping.
 

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Personally, here's how I record amps:

Tube - Loud as possible
Digital (like my Line6) - quiet

I actually find my Line6 sounds better recorded at low volume.
 

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Two hands31 said:
Personally, here's how I record amps:

Tube - Loud as possible
Digital (like my Line6) - quiet

I actually find my Line6 sounds better recorded at low volume.
Solid State and Digital stuff sounds bad at high volumes. Tubes sound better at high volumes.

I run my ENGL Preamp direct. but if I want that "miced" natural reverb I mic it thru my Avatar 412 with vintage 30s and crank it really loud to about 7 or 8 and keep my poweramp quieter at about a 4!!!! And keep my pro tools volume lower.
 

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When i record my amp (Peavey 5150), i hook up headphones to the mixer that the mic is connected to. I hit the solo button, and raise the guitar volume on the amp to at least the point where muted powerchords, really sound like muted power chords and not pic scratches. At the same time i watch the input gain for the mic, to make sure the signal doesn't clip. I've come to learn that at low volumes, the "chug" isnt there, and the guitars sound lifeless. Usually on my peavey, the lowest satisfying volume is around 3.

If you must record low, try adding more mids. Stay away from adding lows, because you dont want to muddy the mix.

NOTE: Lower amp gain then usual is recommended. Helps with dynamics (palm mutes vs open chords) and clarity.

The following link is the 5150 recorded around amp volume 2. Not entirely satisfying, but good enough. It was for a Blaze 7 and Evo 7 pup comparision.

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/sepsis311/blaze7evo7.mp3
 

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Tube amps compress and warm up as they get louder, so if you're going for a crystal clear clean than go slightly quiter and perhaps take a little mid off. When recording guitars I nearly always record them with as little gain on as possible... Overly cranked amps with too much gain on them will compress the sound to the point of sounding completely flat anyway... When recording heavier rhythm stuff, I tend to go for a mix of high power-amp level with a slight cut to the mid hump I usually use for leads.
 
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