How to Record With a Line 6 Spider IV

By Scott Shpak
Line 6 equipment lets you get the sounds of a store full of guitars and amps.

The Line 6 Spider IV amplifier series incorporates the capability of Line 6's effects and simulation modeling into complete amplifier packages of every size. Making the guitarist's job easier, everything needed to create a wide spectrum of sounds and styles is packed into the amplifier and the need to juggle multiple pedals and stomp boxes is gone. The flexibility of the Spider IV amps translates to the studio as well.

Set up a microphone on the speaker of the Spider IV amplifier. Miking an amplifier is a standard studio technique, which you can adapt to the home studio. Close miking gives the best results in rooms without acoustic treatment. If you are recording a combo, isolate the amp and mic in a closet, or place a moving blanket over the amp and mic to reduce sound that may leak into other microphones.

Connect the "PHONES/DIRECT OUT" jack on the back of the Spider IV amp to the input of your recording device using the 1/4 inch TRS patch cable. The format of the other end of this cable depends on your setup. Balanced XLR or a Y-adapter to two 1/4 inch TS phone plugs are preferred. When the "PHONES/DIRECT OUT" jack is connected, the speakers on the Spider IV are muted, so monitoring through headphones is required.

Connect one or two extension speakers to the "SPEAKER OUTS" jacks on the back of the Spider IV. You can mike each separately to take advantage of the Spider IV's stereo effects, or mike a single speaker to capture its own unique sound. If necessary, take precautions to avoid sound leakage from the amp into other microphones, if used.

Tip

The Spider IV amps are ideal for simulating different guitar and amp types with one instrument. Choose sounds that contrast as well as complement when experimenting. Recording one track miked, and then another directly may also provide a pleasing combination.

Warning

Guitar amplifiers are capable of producing sound at levels loud enough to damage hearing. Take reasonable precautions to protect yourself from excessive noise levels.

About the Author

As an operations and technical projects manager in the photofinishing industry, Scott Shpak is also an experienced audio engineer and musician, as well as Editor-in-chief, feature writer and photographer for Your Magazines Canada.