There are three basic ways in which 90-something percent of electric
guitar recordings are produced these days:
1. Microphone on a speaker cabinet (with either a real amp or an amp
2. Amp/cab modeler direct to tape/disk.
3. Clean performance tracked and then re-amped later.
availability of kick-ass recording software and cheap, huge, hard
drives; alot of players do combinations of the above using hi-Z, lo-Z,
DI boxes, A/B/Y boxes, etc. Below are just a few of the
more common setups that utilize DI's.
Given a choice,
i think that most people would use a DI to get the signal from
their amp modeler to their hard disk (preferably with a tube preamp to
soften/fatten things up).
Let's take a look at that setup in its simplest form:
If the modeler allows it, a semi-affected (or unaffected)
signal can also be thrown to an amp/speaker, which could itself be mic'd
I have used both cheap and expensive DI's live with amp modelers, and my
own personal conclusion is that the sonic differences (with distorted
electric guitar) are all but completely inaudible through the
PA. But studio recordings are another matter altogether; in
which case i recommend using the best (cleanest; most headroom) DI that
can be afforded, especially for getting dry tracks to tape/disk.
get dry guitar tracks to disk? For reference and for reamping.
The obvious problem is that when you're trying to play blues, rock, or
hard rock; you need to hear more than just a completely clean
What most people do is use the DI's Parallel Out to send the guitar
signal to an amp modeler, which (in some various form) is routed to the
performer's headphone mix for reference while tracking.
In addition to using the modeler for reference monitoring, its signal
could also be sent to tape and recorded.
Of course to get the best of
ALL worlds, you can get the dry performance to tape/disk while
simultaneously recording an actual amplifier, which typically looks like
[i wasn't motivated enough to put microphones in these
Now with that dry performance captured, you're ready to spend endless hours going through
all of your various amp-modeling hardware & software, second-guessing
yourself at every patch. ;)