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Real Valve Sound

Real classic valves or software?

All the retro guitar amplifiers were hired out last weekend to a band looking to record their rehearsal, they also wanted to capture that classic warm sound digitally and have some fun in the process.

They hired the Vox AC 30, Marshall, Matamp and Orange retro amplifiers. Let's say these guys were no spring chickens, they were highly skilled musicians with huge experience of gigging and recording. Two of the band members possessed powerful Mac laptops and they had some brilliant amp simulators installed but they tell me the sound is just too clean for what they were looking for. They want the noise, the harmonics, the distortion and even the hum to colour their mix for a live classic feel. 


Yes it is very handy to have an entire studio inside your laptop and with the touch of a button you have a complete rack of high end processing kit at your disposal but if you have the time and the space it can be rewarding to brush the dust off the old retro kit and have some loud creative fun.

The guitars were plugged in and the red button was pushed on the Mac, they recorded a couple of mins and the sound was excellent.

They used a fairly decent microphone but the quality achieved was amazing and well worth the effort. They were having fun already and were going to spend the entire weekend tweaking and improving their sound.

The sonic difference between the simulator and the real amplifers was huge, the harmonics and distortion combined with room noise gave the recording a real warm live sound that was pleasing to the ears. The Mac was vital to the setup as it is second to none when it comes to recording and editing, the only thing is I was told it cost just over 5k!! Yes, that's over €5000 for a laptop, as you know there are other less expensive ways to get a decent studio recording. The range of useable software and processors available for recording and mixing are stunning, but one thing is for sure, combine them with actual real life hardware and the results can be great.

So if you have the room and you love the warm valve sound of the past get the retro amps in for a session, you will not be disappointed. They are better than the digital simulators in your computer of course, but don't let your digital recording device take too much the original recordings.

Contact us at Sound Hire in Ranelagh and we will deliver them to your door, they are all flight cased and ready to rock.

About Us

In business since 1967, we are the longest established Sound Hire and PA equipment company in Ireland. We offer vast experience in providing the latest PA , Lighting & Music systems with professional PA solutions for many types of events likeHouse & Karaoke Party's, Corporate.

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