Need to Go Direct?
What is Going Direct?
"Going direct" with a guitar refers to the practice of connecting the guitar directly to an audio interface or mixer, bypassing the need for a guitar amplifier. Instead of using a traditional guitar amplifier to amplify the sound, the guitar's signal is sent directly into a recording device or sound system.
Why Go Direct?
There are several reasons why musicians choose to go direct with a guitar:
- Convenience: Going direct eliminates the need to carry around heavy guitar amplifiers and cabinets. It simplifies the setup process and reduces the overall gear required for performances or recording sessions. Some ampless solutions are small enough to fit on your pedalboard meaning no more laborious load-ins (and outs).
- Flexibility: We don't all have access to endless amps and cabs, let alone the ability to transport them. A fully functioned amp and cab simulator can give you almost endless choice. By going direct, you can experiment with various virtual guitar amplifiers and effects through software plugins or digital modelling devices. This allows you to access a wide range of sounds without the need for multiple physical amplifiers.
- Consistency: Direct recording ensures a consistent and controlled guitar tone since it bypasses the variations introduced by different amplifiers, microphones, and room acoustics. If consistency has been a problem for you from venue to venue, going direct can greatly help the FOH engineer to make sure you sound the same night after night
- Recording purposes: Going direct allows for clean and isolated guitar recordings. This gives you the flexibility to add effects and process the sound during the mixing stage, enabling more precise control over your final tone.
It's worth noting that going direct with a guitar may require additional equipment, such as amp simulators or software plugins, to emulate the sound of traditional guitar amplifiers.
Additionally, some guitarists prefer the sound and feel of playing through a physical amplifier, so going direct may not be suitable for every musician or situation. But it's good to know it's possible just in case!
We made a video about ditching your amp and going direct, we go through some options which might help you understand what's possible...see below...
How to Go Direct
To go direct with a guitar, you normally need an audio interface or a direct box (DI box). These devices convert the high-impedance signal from the guitar into a low-impedance signal that is suitable for both recording and/or live sound applications.
Helping you go direct...
Our favourite sounding of the compact options. This entirely analogue box packs in three amp sims, three tube resonance types plus two separate cab sim options that you can use in stereo or mono. Effects loop, thru jack and dual XLR outs. Pro.
This sits neatly between simpler pedal solutions and a full-on rack unit. Eight guitar amps, three bass amps, over 100 IR cab sims, serious EQ section, presets, on-board ambient effects, FX loop, USB, MIDI and of course stereo or mono operation. Woah.
Here we have classic Vox, Fender and Marshall voices paired with a choice of three IR cabinet simulations, all in a regular pedal-sized enclosure. True stereo in and out, on-board boost, presets and MIDI control add superb functionality.
Leave the cab at home (or use it as well) and just bring your amp head. This pairs an analog reactive load attenuator with UA’s class-leading emulation software for speaker cabs, mics and post effects including delay, reverb and compression.
From the industry leaders in cab simulation, this capable ‘clean pedal platform’ has four power amp models and 32 pre-loaded IRs from eight mics and 12 rooms! Loads of presets for your own IRs, on-board EQ. Great on bass too.