Recording Your Katana – USB
When recording your Katana you have at your disposal a couple of different options.
There’s USB, Phones/Rec Out and Line Out.
The USB connection can be used simultaneously to create your patches and as an audio interface.
All the options available have a very similar sound.
Normally you would use the Line Out to a PA system, the USB for recording and finally the Phones/Rec Out to plug your headphones.
The Phones/Rec Out name can be a bit misleading.
I started with USB and found out that even on the latest software version 3 the signal is very weak.
Many Katana users struggle to get a decent signal into their DAW’s. More on this later.
Then I moved to Rec Out. Here you can control the level hitting your sound card and the Katana speaker is muted.
So in this scenario it’s important to have a decent pair of studio monitors or headphones to monitor the Katana signal.
Nowadays most guitarists have an external audio interface as there’s many good and very cheap options on the market. The Focusrite Solo is one good example.
But still there’s many who use the Katana as an audio interface.
And there’s no problem with that.
If you’re going to record just guitars and eventually bass you’re good to go.
You only need and external audio interface if you’re recording vocals and other instruments or if you need many inputs to record a drum set.
So, what about the very weak USB signal?
There’s a a very simple workaround.
No matter what DAW you’re using, Cubase, Ableton, Logic, Pro Tools, etc, you can always use a Gain plugin in real time.
Every DAW has one.
So it’s really as simple as inserting a Gain plugin on the track you set to record.
Give it an extra 10Db boost. Seems a lot but I found out that’s probably the sweet spot.
Now you can monitor in real time the USB signal because you can properly hear your guitar coming out of your studio monitors or headphones.
It’s important to realise that the signal recorded is still weak.
There’s a couple of options here.
- Always leave the Gain plugin on.
- Normalise the recorded signal.
If you use the second option be very careful. Every DAW has a Normalise function.
It’s intended to bring very weak signals to life. The problem is that most DAW’s fail to do this correctly so you might end up with a big wave signal full of digital distortion. You don’t want that, trust me!
So I always recommend using the first option. Plus it’s a very low cpu resource plugin so any recent computer can handle a dozen of them!
I hope you find this article helpful for your future recordings.
I created an USB pack ready to record.
It features clean, crunch, lead and solo tones. Just plug your Katana and you’re ready to rock!
The Dream Tones Principle – Boss Katana
So what makes a dream tone so dreamy…?
There’s a lot going on when I work on these tones. I spend a great amount of time carefully tweaking every parameter of every effect in BTS.
It must be perfect. I take all scenarios into account. Gigging musicians, bedroom players, recording guitarists, etc.
“I want the reverb tail to be cut at a certain point so it doesn’t “colide” with the high frequency content”
That’s a great sentence!
I’m talking about eq the reverb. You have low and high pass filters there. Not a full eq but that will do fine.
High frequency content on a digital, modelling or solid state amp can be ear piercing sometimes.
The Boss Katana is no exception.
But there’s ways to make it very smooth.
Reverbs and delays help shape the overall tone. Not just eq’s.
Creating ambience and depth is very important.
I usually test my tones both live and at home so I can compare and make adjustments accordingly.
If you use too much reverb, delay or modulation effects like chorus your sound will probably get lost in the mix or in the band.
So it takes time to get it right.
Nowadays I cut almost all of my patches around 5Khz. I then compensate with a graphic or parametric eq.
The low end is cut as well. No need for that extra low rumble.
Wanna learn more? Stay tuned for the next Article about the Dream Tones!
The Power Of EQ – Boss Katana
Today I would like to talk about the Katana BTS equalisers.
I believe that they are a fundamental tool to shape the sound exactly how you want it to be.
Not that the Katana won’t sound good right out of the box!
But people sometimes refer to the amp as “too bright” or “dull” and they don’t realise what BTS can do.
I love using the amazing parametric Eq! And now in the newest version: 3.0.1 we have a the new graphic GE10 Eq!
From the original pedal:
“The Boss GE-10 Graphic Equalizer features a ten-band equalizer ranging from 31 Hz to 16 kHz with an amplitude range of +/- 12dB. It features a bypass switch, up to 15dB of output gain, and an external footswitch input”
It’s now a vintage eq from Boss.
With these tools at your disposal you can achieve pretty much any sound!!!
I usually start with the knobs from the amp. Then I move to the eq section to further shape my sound. Those tiny but very important details rely there!
Check out one of my video tutorials on how to dial a great tone!
It takes time. It’s a fact. And nowadays I only use the Katana and it’s internal effects.
The Katana takes pedals very well as well! But I see it as a magic box! It has everything you need! Not just for beginners but for advanced users as well.
Start today messing with the eq section. Dial a basic tone and go from there. Compare to the sound you’re after. Use your ears!!! Don’t be too drastic when cutting or boosting certain frequencies! Be gentle and pay attention to what changes after just one decibel from a graphic band. Don’t just quit!
The next article will be dedicated to recording!!!
Stay tune and I hope you’re enjoying your Katana as much as I am!
Recording – Boss Katana
When it comes to recording the Katana offers a few different options.
- Phones/Rec Out
- Line Out
The sound is pretty much the same on various options.
USB is a great option for those who don’t own an external sound card. The Katana acts as sound card the moment you plug it via USB.
You can then choose in your DAW the Katana as your main sound card.
Nowadays with the latest firmware update V3.0.2 you can even record a few different effects in stereo which is a pretty cool thing!
But there are some drawbacks. The USB signal is very weak. There’s a workaround but BOSS should have addressed that. And the sound imo is not so faithful.
So I started using the Rec Out which gives you a slighter better sound and you can control the volume on the Master knob on the amp.
For this you will need a sound card.
There are many inexpensive solutions on the market today. And they are all good!
So I think it’s better for you to get one because it will come in handy for other tasks like recording vocals, etc.
I bought my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for around 100 bucks. It’s cheap, good and delivers great sound! But there cheaper and also great alternatives.
The sound I was getting was good but not as good as what I was hearing from the amp speaker.
So I decided to use another alternative and in my opinion the best one!
A microphone! I have a SHURE SM 57. A very well know mic with many applications and used for a long time on guitar amps!
I plug the mic on my audio interface, adjust the gain knob and then I search for the ideal position of the mic/speaker.
This can take a while and depends a lot on your room acoustics. Something I want to talk on the next article.
So, what do you use?
Are you happy with the results?
Once the guitar is recorded into the DAW you have many options regarding eq’s and effects!!! But let’s leave that for another time!
Stay tuned for more and keep on rocking!!!
The room where you play – Boss Katana
It’s one of the most important aspects of your tone and will play a huge roll specially if you play at loud volumes.
If you’re into recording it’s even more important!
You want to avoid reflections. Standing waves. In other words you want to avoid your sound bouncing from wall to wall creating a path that when the sound finally reaches your ears it’s not well defined, rich, and very different from what you’ve heard close to the speaker.
There’s a few ways around to fix this problem. If your room has carpet on the floor or curtains, even the furniture will reduce theses “echos”. Everything helps.
If you’re into recording I highly advise you to acoustically treat your room.
There’s some non expensive solutions on the market or you can even build yourself a few bass traps to put on the corners of your room. This is one of the most crucial areas.
In the picture above you can see great solution.
The position of your studio monitors and the monitors themselves also play a huge rule for the recording musician.
There is a lot to talk about recording techniques and acoustic studio solutions.
But for now I just leave you with a few tips that will help you getting the best sound possible if you’re into recording.
Have a nice day.
Tube Like Amp – Boss Katana
Yes, I can feel it.
Tube snobs have a hard time with this one…
One thing is tone which is very subjective. Another thing is how the amp feels and reacts.
On that department I’m fully confident that the Katana delivers!
Delivers great feel! It’s very touch sensitive, just roll down the volume on your guitar on the Brown channel and you can hear every detail!
It will react to your pick attack just like any tube amp!!! And I’ve had many…
So I think I can speak with confidence.
Do I miss my tube amps? Well I’ve just ordered a Marshall Origin 20C all tube combo.
But it’s not because of the tubes! It’s because of its Tone!!!
I couldn’t care less if it didn’t have tubes…
Now don’t get me wrong! I love tube amps! There’s something special about them.
Not always great! I need versatility and stability, great tone along with virtually no maintenance costs. There’s the Katana.
The non linearity of tube amps makes them unpredictable. Not saying it’s a bad thing.
You might love the tone on one day and hate it on the other day…
I’ve been there. So I’m not replacing the Katana. I just love Marshalls.
My go to amp will still be the Katana for everything.
The Marshall is just an addition and a good one to further help me shape my tones on the Katana!
Have a nice day!
Gain Stage – Boss Katana
There are several ways to gain stage your Katana.
You have the obvious Gain knob, Volume and Master volume.
But that’s not all!
Then you have boosters, overdrives and distortion pedals!
All adds up.
One of the things I get asked frequently is relative to my patches.
How do I raise or turn down the overall patch volume without affecting the mains tone?
There’s the parametric or the graphic Eq. Aside from all the bands you have a final gain slider or knob.
Don’t worry! It won’t affect the main tone.
I use all the time to level my Patches.
Brown channel to sparkling clean and there’s a volume difference… Use the eq gain.
It doesn’t affect the tone because we are in the digital domain. It will only increase/decrease the overall volume. That’s it.
Use this tip to match all your patches.
I hope you find this tip useful.
Have a nice day!
2 Delays – Boss Katana
By now your probably very familiar with BTS (Boss Tone Studio)
This software unlocks many great features on the amp that you cannot access just by using the panel knobs.
One of the things I love in my tones is using two different delays with two different tempos.
And you can do that via BTS!
By going into the EFFECTS menu you can see all the different fx.
On the right panel you can choose to have Reverb and Delay in the same knob.
That’s here where you activate the DELAY2.
By doing so you can now have Reverb, Delay and Delay 2 engaged.
One of my favourite settings is using the first Delay with a tempo of around 350Ms.
Then use the Delay2 and double the tempo – 700Ms
You can have stereo effects by using the Katana as your input via USB.
This way you can create a sensational stereo sound image!
Don’t abuse it! I use a very small amount of delay or the sound gets lost in he mix.
I hope you find this tip useful.
Have a nice day!
Tight Bass- Boss Katana
One of things I’ve noticed right away when I first played with the Katana 100 was the fact that it had lots of bass!
Almost like a bass amp. Specially on the clean channel.
Better to have more than less. But sometimes you need to control those frequencies or the sound goes from full to boomy. And that’s not good.
Specially with heavier tones.
You have a couple of options.
The bass knob on the amp and then the graphic and parametric eq’s in BTS.
You will probably need more of the last two ones.
There’s also a high and low pass filter.
I would start from there. Cutting around 50 to 80 Hz.
You don’t need what’s below that. That’s space for the kick and bass. This is very important in a mixing situation, rehearsal or playing live!
Another very effective way if your into hard rock or metal is to use the great tube screamer that comes with the software.
I believe this is the best way, from all the pedals at your disposal, to achieve a tight heavier tone.
Try these settings:
And that’s all for today!
Enjoy these tips.