How to Record Audio From Guitar Amp: A Helpful Guide for Beginners

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More than the guitar, the amplifier has the most influence on your music.

This piece of equipment is responsible for transforming the guitar’s sound into something extraordinary and dynamic.

Specifically, the amp enhances your guitar’s tone by boosting the sound produced and bringing out the subtle nuances.

Given this, understanding how to record audio from guitar amp properly becomes important.

Let’s learn about the different aspects of capturing sound from the amp and other related topics.

Different Types of Guitar Amp

Before we jumped into how to record audio from guitar amp, let’s look at the most common types of this music equipment.


Tube amps are the most conventional type of guitar amp, utilizing vintage technology to produce great-sounding tones and mellow distortion.

Despite the rudimentary technology and various limitations, they are still the top choice for many guitarists.

Its name came from the vacuum tubes that are the primary components for amplifying sound.

When the tubes are activated, they split up the frequency and generate a smooth overdrive.

The enduring popularity of this amp is primarily attributed to the tone it produces.

Many prefer the feel and warm tone that a tube amp can give.


Solid-state guitar amplifiers are highly useful and may produce very clear tones.

They are usually lighter, more dependable, and less expensive than tube amplifiers.

To amplify sound, this type uses transistors rather than tubes.

On the other hand, a glass vacuum tube might crack or burn after some time.

As such, solid-state amps are low-maintenance and designed to have a long service life.

However, some guitarists may find the sound not preferable.

To explain in detail, the sound quality of solid-state types, specifically the warmth, is not comparable to tube amps.

Still, they can generate ultra-clean tones that tube amps cannot.

Musicians like jazz guitarists will find solid-state amps more convenient because precision is emphasized in their genre.


Modeling amps offer an assortment of effects that are often meant to replicate the qualities of various guitar amps, speaker cabinets, tones, and more.

The mentioned features are usually due to digital technology, but some models may have classic circuitry to deliver effects.

Since modeling amps are mostly comprised of motherboards and chips, they are considerably more lightweight than other types.

These amps could provide a range of vintage amps from which to pick, which allows for countless possibilities for sound quality.


Several manufacturers produce hybrid amplifiers intending to provide the advantages of the different types in one device.

This is a general categorization of an amplifier that combines various systems.

Hybrid amps can differ from one another by utilizing multiple technologies to generate the tone or produce output.

Usually, most hybrid amps feature a tube preamp component with a solid-state power amp section.

On the other hand, some models could have a modeling preamp section with a tube power amp section.

tips on how to record audio from guitar amp

How to Record Audio From Guitar Amp

To understand how to record audio from guitar amp properly, there are some aspects that you need to consider.


Before recording audio, you should fine-tune both the pedal and amp settings to produce the best output possible.

Consider changing the position of your amp or even relocate it to a separate room if you can.

You might get surprised that some spots will generate better sound quality than your current settings.

Means of Recording

Most players choose to do it with a microphone to record the guitar amp’s sound.

Any microphone can technically record a guitar amp, but a dynamic mic is the standard type most would suggest.

Dynamic microphones are built to handle exceptionally high SPL (sound pressure level), which is useful because guitar amplifiers can be significantly loud.


The mic’s position in regard to the cabinet has a severe impact on the recorded audio.

As such, dedicating time to experiment with various angles and distance is crucial in obtaining the best possible result.

Once the proximity effect is in full effect, you must remember its influence on the recording quality.

If the mic is closer to the speaker cone, the lower frequencies are more highlighted.

The spot between the center and edge of the cone will modify mid-range presence.

Positioning the mic off-axis will softly roll off the higher signals.

On the other hand, if the mic is placed away from the amp, it’ll emphasize room reflections.

You’ll have more depth and background noise, if there is, added to the audio you’re recording.

Additional Microphone

When recording, you may want to use an additional mic to capture more dynamic tones.

A second dynamic microphone placed at the back of the amp will also be a factor.

In the recording, many low-end sounds are often missed with a single mic.

The second mic ensures that the amp’s sound quality will be present with the recorded audio.

A dynamic microphone combined with a condenser mic is also a feasible setup.

When you put the condenser microphone with a bit of distance from the speaker’s back, you’ll be giving the guitar tone additional warmth and depth.

However, when adding a second mic, you might encounter phasing.

It happens when two microphones do not take up the sound waves in unison.

For instance, the first microphone is somewhat farther from the amp than the second.

The discrepancy in distance will make the sound waves take a bit longer to reach the first microphone’s diaphragm.

To minimize the occurrence of this potential issue, always be mindful of the mics’ placement.


If you’re not convinced about utilizing microphones for recording audio from a guitar amp, you may use a computer or laptop to do it.

As long as your amp has a headphone socket or line-out, it’s possible to capture the audio that your amp produces.

However, the problem is that you disregard the guitar amp’s speaker.

The speaker has a significant impact on the guitar amp’s sound.

You won’t get the effects that make your recordings more dynamic and unique.

As a result, the recorded sound is considerably different from the audio recorded coming out of the amp.

With this significant difference in quality, guitar amps are mostly recorded with a speaker’s microphone.

Effectively Recording Audio From Guitar Amplifiers

Using one or two microphones to capture audio remains the standard method, and rightfully so.

While there are ways how to record audio from guitar amp without a mic, it’s better to do it the old-fashioned way.

That said, make sure you also learn how to mic a guitar amp.