Capstone Project (Open Access)
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Music & Performing Arts
Recording electric guitar has become a major component of any professional recording environment over the last 50 years, and recognizing the parameters that generate a quality recording is essential in getting the desired tonality and sound. The author examines the characteristics of amplifier cabinets desirable in studio use, and documents the process of building one from scratch for recording purposes based off of research parameters- as well as personal studio experience. This project compares the build of a custom amplifier cabinet against that of a store-bought cabinet from a reputable manufacturer (Fender) with emphasis on build materials, power handling, and cost of purchase, versus components sourced for build. Analysis of audio output in a practical application provides insight into the differences in cabinets and their changes in sound and frequency response. Incorporation of Audio Analysis tools such as Izotope's Insight software and the Presonus Studio One 4 Spectrum Analyzer illuminate the differences and characteristics of both cabinets, providing a detailed comparison of the two speaker cabinets when being fed a audio signal through identical signal paths outside of the difference in cabinets. Upon review of results, it was determined that while staying within the parameters set for the build, the custom cabinet was more focused in the mid-register while dampening the low-end resonance of the Fender cabinet and smoothing out some of the high-frequency overtones that are prevalent in the bought model. No major change in amplitude or signal output level was discernible between the two cabinet models, just a change in tonality from build components and speaker.
Livingston, John, "Building a Recording-Specific Amplifier Cabinet" (2018). Capstone Projects and Master's Theses. 388.