#1 Tip for Recording Modeling Amplifiers

I’ve been recording by miking my Fender GTX-50 and just this week have tried this cute little Yamaha THR-5.

The #1 most important thing to know is that some models in any modeling amp are very noisy, and others very quiet. Some of the effects in these amps are also very noisy.

Make sure you listen to your miked amp carefully, and listen for noise. Choose the quietest models. If a model is noisy enough to actually register on your interfaces led meters. stay away from those models!

Key Line Blues

I was in the mood for a train song that sounded like a “cacaphony” of sound.

Decisive Moments

With our camera
Through our lens
We saw lovers
We saw friends

We missed some shots
And capture others
With an open mind
We could've discovered

In a split second
We had our chance
To make it right
Find true romance

Our eyes were closed
We made mistakes
But then we saw
We were awake

In this life
In time we learn
What to keep
And what to burn

With age comes wisdom
We set our sights
We fix our lens
And get it right

Yamaha THR-5 Review

Bottom Line

If you need a very portable amplifier for your home or RV or when you travel, this is a great choice.

If you need a great sounding battery powered amp, this is a fantastic choice.

If you want a modeling amp that is also a sound card / interface, this is an excellent choice. Just a laptop and this unit and you’d have a complete recording studio.

It works great with Cubase and sounds fine miked. It is NOT on par with my Fender GTX-50 but for a tiny 10w amp its superb. This amp will not replace my Fender.

I highly recommend installing all software. the modeling editor really makes this amp shine.

Full Review

I have been using a Royer R-10 ribbon mic + Royer dBooster and a Shure SM-57 on a fantastic Fender Mustang GTX-50 50 watt amp for two years. I run those mics through an SSL2+ and then Cubase. For most songs this has been great but in some cases, the sound is muddy or noisy. The Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin with single P90 makes a lot of noise and feedback, but its become my favorite guitar.

In one of my recording books they mentioned that sometimes miking a smaller amp is needed. This is why I purchased the THR-5. I did not want high power, but I did want full sound at low power. I also wanted battery power so I can avoid line noise. Finally, stereo is best since I record left and right channels into the SSL2+

The THR-5 is just a bit bigger than a lunchbox

I’ve only recorded one song but I do like this little amp. It is not at all the same as a single speaker amp, so buyer beware – you need to try this and compare against other amps. This little amp will not replace the Fender. I think its important to realize that at 50 watts, the Fender has a lot more headroom. The Yamaha had the clean sound and will solve my “sometimes” problem with the Fender. It also will most likely be the go to amp for my Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin. The Godin through the Fender is a noise machine, but is tamed through the Yamaha.

Miking the THR-5

My first impression is to use the Yamaha on the Godin and my cello – both get noisy or muddy with the Fender, and other instruments through the Fender. But I also have never played too much with the Fender settings.

Listen to “Less is More” – recorded from the. Yamaha, and then “Archtop” recorded using the Fender. You can hear the noise of the Godin and the bottom end muddiness of the cello. But the Fender has a grittier, maybe fuller? sound. I think using both amps will be the winning idea. Maybe Godin rhythm playing through the Yamaha THR and lead in the Fender Mustang. I’ll experiment.

The song “Decisive Moment” is all recorded through the THR-5 as an interface, except the vocals which were recorded through my UA 276.

Less is More

May there be Peace, Love and Kindness
Less is more
More or less
You mess with the best
You die with the rest

In this song
I put to the test
What is best
More or less?

We need more love
So more is best
We need less hate
We've been put to the test

We need less hunger
And need more food
Need more housing
For the greater good

We need more money
To help the poor
Fewer millionaires
Who take it all

More compassion
Less fascism
Fewer isms
Fewer schisms


The Simple but Elegant Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin Archtop

No lyrics today. I’ve been concentrating on guitar and cello mostly these last couple of songs.

I’m still amazed at my Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin Archtop. It was very reasonably priced and I have never been so addicted to a guitar before.

Tree Bones


As the fall colors faded, I started thinking “What next?” (Photograhically speaking).

The first thing that came to mind was cityscapes in San Francisco and mostly architecture, plus any possible “decisive moment” photography. Storefronts like Atget or street photography like Henri Cartier Bresson. Skyscrapers, fountains, old parts in town. Small bits of building detail. Boats on the Hyde Street Pier. Maybe the streetcar museum in Suisun?

The winter sun, especially late afternoon is something I always remember from the decade I lived in San Fracisco, or the Fall and Winter I spent in London.

Not only do you get mottled light, but the trees are bare and don’t blot out building details. In fact, trees look architecturally like structures against man made structures.

Trees look skeletal, like “tree bones”.

The Dead of Winter

The dead of winter
Is very much alive
If you stop to notice
And open your eyes

When I was young
I'd stare at the trees
They looked so barren
Without any leaves

Now I know
Behind all those leaves
There is a forest
That lives beneath

Only in Winter
Can you see
The life in abundance
All around thee

Grab your camera
Quick - don't hide
The Holiday Pageant
Is happening outside

Let every step
In your life that you take
A moment to reflect
And celebrate

The Staff of Life

Some of the best things in life are free
Some cost time or money but its all honey
When they come together to make
An unforgettable experience
A "peak experience"
That might even bring a tear of joy to your eye

As soon as my musicianship hit a certain level – where I could say in my head “I’m going to write a song based on something, someone or just an emotion” and it turns out as good or even better than I expected, I guess in a way, that has always been my goal, and I didn’t even know it.

This is the first year in my life that I can truly celebrate seasons and the holidays more as a songwriter and musician playing my songs than listening to my favorite (other songwriters / musicians) music.

Don’t get me wrong – I listen to jazz and other music daily, but my daily routine now includes taking my every day life experience and setting it to music. And yes, more than it feeling like a job, it required persistence and discipline.

What a gift! I’m so thankful. I’m able to feel the spirit of not only this season but every day – through music, lyrics and photography.


I've got a secret weapon
Not in a solid state
I'll stop the robot invasion
My Three Bee Twenty Eight

Robots have bad circuits
Made in a solid state
My EMP blasting wave
Will crush their evil hate

Don't let Elon scare you
With his silly ruse
He can't outsmart me
Because he has no tubes

I've got a secret weapon
Not in a solid state
I'll stop the robot invasion
With my Three Bee Twenty Eight