Recording with Boss

Amps, Cabs, Speakers, etc
JamesMusic
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2024 5:45 pm

Recording with Boss

Post by JamesMusic » Fri Jan 05, 2024 7:24 pm

Hi there. I own the Boss Katana-100 Mk II amplifier. I would like some advice about recording with the Boss amplifier that I own. When I was recording, I plugged in the wire from the 'Power Amp In' I believe at the back of the amplifier and connected it to the audio interface but was not satisfied with the quality of the recording. I use garage-band to record. I was told that recording with the usb at the back of the amplifier will have a better quality recording. Is this correct?
Also, how would I have and achieve the best sound when recording with the amplifier. I tried to record with a microphone that I placed near the amplifier but wasn't happy either with the sound and quality of the sound. Perhaps my microphone wasn't of a good enough quality. Is there a good way to record quality recording with the amplifier? Will doing so with the usb solve my problem and allow for a good quality recording? Or should I invest in a better microphone? Thanks in advance.

zentropa
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Re: Recording with Boss

Post by zentropa » Fri Jan 05, 2024 8:17 pm

I have never used the USB to record with a Katana, but I would bet that would give far superior sound than using the line out on the back of the amp, since the line out will not have speaker cabinet simulation.

As for recording it with a microphone:
The type of mic will have a big impact: instrument, condenser, pzm, etc.
The quality of the mic and mic preamp will have a big impact.
The mic placement will have a big impact: distance, height, angle, axis orientation, etc.
The room acoustics and amp volume will affect this as well.

There is a lot more to recording with a mic than could be easily written here. What mic were you using?

If the Katana's USB recording isn't of good enough quality, I would suggest looking into IR Impulse Responses/Cab Simulators as the next step either in pedal form (e.g. Boss IR-2, IR-200, Strymon Iridium, etc.) or software. Accumulating the gear you would be happy with for mic recording can be a rabbit hole, not to mention mic recording can be interrupted/corrupted by room noise.

JamesMusic
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2024 5:45 pm

Re: Recording with Boss

Post by JamesMusic » Fri Jan 05, 2024 9:58 pm

zentropa wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2024 8:17 pm
I have never used the USB to record with a Katana, but I would bet that would give far superior sound than using the line out on the back of the amp, since the line out will not have speaker cabinet simulation.

As for recording it with a microphone:
The type of mic will have a big impact: instrument, condenser, pzm, etc.
The quality of the mic and mic preamp will have a big impact.
The mic placement will have a big impact: distance, height, angle, axis orientation, etc.

There is a lot more to recording with a mic than could be easily written here. What mic were you using?

If the Katana's USB recording isn't of good enough quality, I would suggest looking into IR Impulse Responses/Cab Simulators as the next step either in pedal form (e.g. Boss IR-2, IR-200, Strymon Iridium, etc.) or software. Accumulating the gear you would be happy with for mic recording can be a rabbit hole, not to mention mic recording can be interrupted/corrupted by room noise.
Hi there. Thanks for the reply. I think I'll go with the usb route and see how it goes. This is the microphone I used: https://www.lewitt-audio.com/microphone ... mtp-440-dm
I'm not sure what a mic-preamp is. I don't have a preamp either, just a Roland interface. This is the interface I own:https://www.roland.com/us/products/rubix44/
I've heard a lot of about a pre-amp. Is it necessary to have one, considering the type of interface I have?
As for what you said about IR Impulse Responses/cab simulators, I know nothing about that.

zentropa
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Re: Recording with Boss

Post by zentropa » Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:14 pm

JamesMusic wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2024 9:58 pm
Hi there. Thanks for the reply. I think I'll go with the usb route and see how it goes. This is the microphone I used: https://www.lewitt-audio.com/microphone ... mtp-440-dm
I'm not sure what a mic-preamp is. I don't have a preamp either, just a Roland interface. This is the interface I own:https://www.roland.com/us/products/rubix44/
I've heard a lot of about a pre-amp. Is it necessary to have one, considering the type of interface I have?
As for what you said about IR Impulse Responses/cab simulators, I know nothing about that.
I'm not familiar with Lewitt, but a lot of people use the Shure SM57 if going with a passive microphone that is at a similar price point.

The interface will have an onboard mic preamp. Mixing boards do as well. My guess is that the Roland one is pretty good. Preamp quality can vary a lot, but it is often either ignored or nerded out on into oblivion.

As for cabinet simulators in general, the reason that recording via the 1/4" line out jack isn't great is because it will just give what is coming out of the katana's preamp and will not come close to what a guitar amp sounds like. For direct recording or running direct to a mixing console in live applications, a cabinet simulator will make the line level signal sound reasonably close to a mic'd amp. They have been around since the 80s, but they have gotten significantly better over the past 10 years or so. Recording direct USB from the Katana should have an onboard cab simulator, but I'm not sure how good it will be.

The way I kind of look at it is that if someone is doing a tone demo of an amp, using a mic is the way to go.

If you are just recording yourself, a good cab simulator will reduce a ton of headaches. Back when I used to do home recording in the 90s, I didn't have anything resembling an isolation booth and would often have to redo or fix takes due to the phone ringing, a door slamming, loud car going by, having to cough, etc. It also limited when I could record due to the hours where I could play loudly.

JamesMusic
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2024 5:45 pm

Re: Recording with Boss

Post by JamesMusic » Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:26 pm

zentropa wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:14 pm
JamesMusic wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2024 9:58 pm
Hi there. Thanks for the reply. I think I'll go with the usb route and see how it goes. This is the microphone I used: https://www.lewitt-audio.com/microphone ... mtp-440-dm
I'm not sure what a mic-preamp is. I don't have a preamp either, just a Roland interface. This is the interface I own:https://www.roland.com/us/products/rubix44/
I've heard a lot of about a pre-amp. Is it necessary to have one, considering the type of interface I have?
As for what you said about IR Impulse Responses/cab simulators, I know nothing about that.
I'm not familiar with Lewitt, but a lot of people use the Shure SM57 if going with a passive microphone that is at a similar price point.

The interface will have an onboard mic preamp. Mixing boards do as well. My guess is that the Roland one is pretty good. Preamp quality can vary a lot, but it is often either ignored or nerded out on into oblivion.

As for cabinet simulators in general, the reason that recording via the 1/4" line out jack isn't great is because it will just give what is coming out of the katana's preamp and will not come close to what a guitar amp sounds like. For direct recording or running direct to a mixing console in live applications, a cabinet simulator will make the line level signal sound reasonably close to a mic'd amp. They have been around since the 80s, but they have gotten significantly better over the past 10 years or so. Recording direct USB from the Katana should have an onboard cab simulator, but I'm not sure how good it will be.

The way I kind of look at it is that if someone is doing a tone demo of an amp, using a mic is the way to go.

If you are just recording yourself, a good cab simulator will reduce a ton of headaches. Back when I used to do home recording in the 90s, I didn't have anything resembling an isolation booth and would often have to redo or fix takes due to the phone ringing, a door slamming, loud car going by, having to cough, etc. It also limited when I could record due to the hours where I could play loudly.
Thanks again for the reply. When I spoke of a pre-amp, I was referring to not the mic-preamp but the general pre-amp, which I don't own and I am thinking of buying. Is it worth it? Will it increase the quality of recording? When you spoke of the pitfalls of working with mics, I think I'll avoid that for now.
Can you tell me the difference between a IR Impulse Responses and a cab simulator? Or are they one and the same?
If using a cab simulator makes the recording similar to a mic’d amp, I suppose its the better solution, at least for me.
You mention that the recording via usb will have a cab simulator, is there a way, for instance if I am not pleased with the cab simulator of the USB recording, to combine the two? To use both a good cab simulator like the Boss IR-2 and the usb recording? Or if I am not pleased with the usb recording, I can just go straight to the Boss IR-2? What do you think? Many thanks.

JamesMusic
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2024 5:45 pm

Re: Recording with Boss

Post by JamesMusic » Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:30 pm

Incidentally, I found this bit of information about the usb way of recording of this amp:
"The Katana-100 MkII features line, USB, and phones/recording outputs with mic'd cabinet emulation, letting you send mix-ready amp tones to a PA system, computer DAW, or headphones. The direct sound can be shaped with five different Air Feel settings, which are accessible from BOSS Tone Studio. Two-channel USB operation is supported, allowing you to track in true stereo with many of Katana's modulation, EQ, delay, and reverb effects."

zentropa
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Re: Recording with Boss

Post by zentropa » Fri Jan 05, 2024 11:18 pm

JamesMusic wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:26 pm
Thanks again for the reply. When I spoke of a pre-amp, I was referring to not the mic-preamp but the general pre-amp, which I don't own and I am thinking of buying. Is it worth it? Will it increase the quality of recording? When you spoke of the pitfalls of working with mics, I think I'll avoid that for now.
Can you tell me the difference between a IR Impulse Responses and a cab simulator? Or are they one and the same?
If using a cab simulator makes the recording similar to a mic’d amp, I suppose its the better solution, at least for me.
You mention that the recording via usb will have a cab simulator, is there a way, for instance if I am not pleased with the cab simulator of the USB recording, to combine the two? To use both a good cab simulator like the Boss IR-2 and the usb recording? Or if I am not pleased with the usb recording, I can just go straight to the Boss IR-2? What do you think? Many thanks.
I guess it's not clear to me what you meant by preamp. The Katana is a guitar preamp before its power section and the interface has a mic preamp. All guitar amps have a preamp, which is what separates them from being just a power amp. The mic preamp is what gives a passive mic "gain".

As for IR vs. Cab Sim..
A cab sim is basically anything that will make a line level signal sound like it has been played through an amp with a speaker.
An IR is a digital replication based upon recorded tones that will turn what you are playing into that replicated tone, these usually include cabinet/speaker tone.

I'm primarily analog, so I don't know a ton about all that can be done with an IR, but people think they are a lot better than older-tech cab sims.
JamesMusic wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:30 pm
Incidentally, I found this bit of information about the usb way of recording of this amp:
"The Katana-100 MkII features line, USB, and phones/recording outputs with mic'd cabinet emulation, letting you send mix-ready amp tones to a PA system, computer DAW, or headphones. The direct sound can be shaped with five different Air Feel settings, which are accessible from BOSS Tone Studio. Two-channel USB operation is supported, allowing you to track in true stereo with many of Katana's modulation, EQ, delay, and reverb effects."
Cool. I had forgotten the headphone out was the cab sim. You should try both that and the USB. I have a feeling the USB will be slightly better since going from the headphone out will add a DA converter into the equation that will be bypassed if going directly from USB.

JamesMusic
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2024 5:45 pm

Re: Recording with Boss

Post by JamesMusic » Sat Jan 06, 2024 12:47 am

zentropa wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2024 11:18 pm
JamesMusic wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:26 pm
Thanks again for the reply. When I spoke of a pre-amp, I was referring to not the mic-preamp but the general pre-amp, which I don't own and I am thinking of buying. Is it worth it? Will it increase the quality of recording? When you spoke of the pitfalls of working with mics, I think I'll avoid that for now.
Can you tell me the difference between a IR Impulse Responses and a cab simulator? Or are they one and the same?
If using a cab simulator makes the recording similar to a mic’d amp, I suppose its the better solution, at least for me.
You mention that the recording via usb will have a cab simulator, is there a way, for instance if I am not pleased with the cab simulator of the USB recording, to combine the two? To use both a good cab simulator like the Boss IR-2 and the usb recording? Or if I am not pleased with the usb recording, I can just go straight to the Boss IR-2? What do you think? Many thanks.
I guess it's not clear to me what you meant by preamp. The Katana is a guitar preamp before its power section and the interface has a mic preamp. All guitar amps have a preamp, which is what separates them from being just a power amp. The mic preamp is what gives a passive mic "gain".

As for IR vs. Cab Sim..
A cab sim is basically anything that will make a line level signal sound like it has been played through an amp with a speaker.
An IR is a digital replication based upon recorded tones that will turn what you are playing into that replicated tone, these usually include cabinet/speaker tone.

I'm primarily analog, so I don't know a ton about all that can be done with an IR, but people think they are a lot better than older-tech cab sims.
JamesMusic wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:30 pm
Incidentally, I found this bit of information about the usb way of recording of this amp:
"The Katana-100 MkII features line, USB, and phones/recording outputs with mic'd cabinet emulation, letting you send mix-ready amp tones to a PA system, computer DAW, or headphones. The direct sound can be shaped with five different Air Feel settings, which are accessible from BOSS Tone Studio. Two-channel USB operation is supported, allowing you to track in true stereo with many of Katana's modulation, EQ, delay, and reverb effects."
Cool. I had forgotten the headphone out was the cab sim. You should try both that and the USB. I have a feeling the USB will be slightly better since going from the headphone out will add a DA converter into the equation that will be bypassed if going directly from USB.
Hi there again. I am trying to understand all of this. I don't understand what you mean by the headphone being the cab sim? I thought the cab sim was already pre-installed within the amp. My dilemma currently is whether or not to use the usb route or the cab simulator Boss IR-2. I guess I'll see if I am pleased with the quality of the amp via the usb route.
Sorry for the confusion with the pre-amp. You said that the amp is a pre-amp, what is that exactly? And you also mentioned that the interface of the Katana has a mic-preamp. What exactly is meant by that?

You said the following:A cab sim is basically anything that will make a line level signal sound like it has been played through an amp with a speaker.
Don't you mean through an amp with a mic?
Thanks for all the help.

zentropa
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Re: Recording with Boss

Post by zentropa » Mon Jan 08, 2024 6:59 pm

JamesMusic wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2024 12:47 am
Hi there again. I am trying to understand all of this. I don't understand what you mean by the headphone being the cab sim? I thought the cab sim was already pre-installed within the amp. My dilemma currently is whether or not to use the usb route or the cab simulator Boss IR-2. I guess I'll see if I am pleased with the quality of the amp via the usb route.
Sorry for the confusion with the pre-amp. You said that the amp is a pre-amp, what is that exactly? And you also mentioned that the interface of the Katana has a mic-preamp. What exactly is meant by that?

You said the following:A cab sim is basically anything that will make a line level signal sound like it has been played through an amp with a speaker.
Don't you mean through an amp with a mic?
Thanks for all the help.
Outputs with Cab Sim: USB or Phones/REC out. My bet is that the USB will sound better.
Outputs without Cab Sim: Line Out

Guitar amplifiers can be split into two section: The Preamp and the power amp. You can bypass the preamp by plugging into the amp's effects loop return. The preamp is where the tone controls, amp distortion/overdrive, etc. reside.

Your Roland recording interface will have a mic preamp on every XLR mic Input.

And yes, a cab sim is a simulation of what the amp would sound like when it is mic'd.

If you dislike how it sounds when running the USB or Phones/REC output, then you can explore the options of a pedal like the Boss IR-2 vs. going with a different mic.

JamesMusic
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2024 5:45 pm

Re: Recording with Boss

Post by JamesMusic » Fri Jan 12, 2024 9:37 pm

Very good thank you very much for your help. I hope I will be pleased with the sound quality of recording via USB. Right now I'm busy with other things. I hope to begin soon. God bless you.

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