I haven’t played my electric guitar in a very long time and wanted to record some ideas that have been roaming the halls of my brain. Since I don’t have a studio the easiest way to record an electric guitar, besides plugging it straight into an interface the way Holger Czukay used to do, would be to use a speaker emulator and then plug that into the interface. A speaker emulator simulates the load that the speaker puts on a guitar amp. That load is important and is responsible for much of the sound of the guitar. The result is that one can play without using a speaker, simply listening on headphones.
I asked Stephen Duros about speaker emulators and whether he had any recommendations and the subject of the electric guitar sound on the documentary Wide-Eyed + Dreaming came up. Stephen was surprised I was using a speaker emulation box then, in 1996. I wish I still had it, I said. I sold it years ago and got into software amps. Then, around 2012, after a fair amount of searching and trying out, I bought a Mesa Boogie guitar amp and used that for the album three-oh-five. I asked Jon whether he remembered what I was using in 1996 – he has always had the most reliable memory! – and he said it was a Groove Tubes amp. I looked on the interwebs and found it:
The used amp costs a lot more money than I am willing to spend. Jon joked that it could in fact be my amp that was being sold again…
I am still looking and have a few leads. Ideally it’s a box that I plug my Mesa Boogie amp into and then connect to an interface. All I know is that I am done with software emulators. I have tried a lot of them and don’t enjoy them. I don’t need thousands of decent sounds… I want one sound I really like.
A nice result of this search is that I am playing Lush again. :-)