Are Modeling Amps Good For Recording

We all know that modeling amps are great for practicing and small shows. It gives you unlimited features, tone options, and flexibility. But are modeling guitar amplifiers good for recording?

Yes, modeling amps are great for recording. They have good sound, tons of effects, and amp sounds. They have USB connection options that make it easy to connect to a PC. Also, some modeling amplifiers can be used as an audio interface.

Of course, you can use any guitar amp sim for convenience, but a modeling amp and mic will give you better and less digital sound.

6 Reasons Why Modeling Amps Are Great For Recording

In this post, I will give you five reasons why modeling amps are great for recording electric, acoustic, or bass guitars.

1. Unlimited Tone Options

modeling amplifier tones

One of the most amazing things about digital amps is that they offer an unlimited number of guitar tones. And that’s one of the reasons why I love recording guitars with modeling amps. They make it easy to choose ready-to-record guitar tones.

Modeling amplifiers come with built-in sounds that emulate famous and classic tube guitar amps. You can dial in any kind of clean, crunchy, or heavy tone in seconds. The flexibility of digital amps is amazing. Especially if you record different styles of music or use different tones in one song.

But that’s not all. These types of amplifiers not only have different amps but every effect you can imagine. You can add overdrive, reverb, delay, or modulation effects to your sound with a turn of the knob. And the quality of the effects is just amazing.

And having almost any guitar tone you want is a big advantage for recording. You can record any type of song with just one amplifier.

2. High-Quality Sound

Speaking of sound quality, I think they sound great. Especially clean and crunchy tones. And they are great for recording. They sound very clean and organic.

One of the reasons why I love modeling amps, in general, is the effects and clean tones. You can say that heavy amp tones are not so great but some modern amplifiers upgraded their heavy tones too. A good example is Line 6 Catalyst, which is a great recording guitar amp.

Flexibility, amp tone options, and effects are great reasons to use digital amps for recording. It makes the recording process and your work much easier.

You don’t need to have many amps or effects in your studio. Modeling amps give you everything.

You can have everything in a small box. And if you want to take it to the recording studio, you can. They are relatively lightweight and you just need an amplifier to record any guitar sound you want.

3. USB Connectivity

USB modeling amp

And that’s not all. All modeling amps have USB connectivity which gives you more capabilities. You can edit tones in-depth and also, and it’s great for recording.

Most digital amps come with an app you can use for free. You can connect the amp to the PC and with an app create more sound.

But most importantly, you can use the amp as an audio interface. USB connectivity allows you to record the amp sound straight into the DAW. Also, you can use the app as a guitar amp sim.

Additionally, some amplifiers can work as an audio interface which makes recording much better and easier. You can record your guitar with an amp and other instruments through a USB audio interface.

This feature allows you to record the whole band together and capture the live performance and sonic of the band. Modeling amps’ abilities are unlimited.

4. Multiple Instrument Support

Another reason why digital amps are great for recording is multiple instrument support. Many modern amps can work with acoustic and bass guitars too. So, you can have one amp for all your guitars.

That’s great because you don’t need to have separate amps for bass or acoustic guitar. Of course, you can use guitar or bass guitar amps but in my experience, amps sound much better than amp emulators.

For example, one of the amps that support acoustic guitar is Boss Katana. You can use all the effects and create beautiful and unique tones. It’s one of my favorite modeling amps and comes in different wattages.

So, if you have a home recording studio you can buy a modeling guitar amp that can be used for bass or acoustic.

5. Silent Recording

silent recording with digital amp

Another reason why I use modeling amps for recording is the silent recording capabilities. That’s very handy if you live in an apartment. You don’t want to disturb neighbors with heavy guitar riffs, right?

Every modeling guitar amp has headphone output which allows you to play your favorite riffs and not disturb anyone. But there is a better way to record silently.

Most modern amps have DI out which allows you to silently record your guitar parts. This means that you can play and record music at any time of day or night.

So, if you live in an apartment and you don’t want to disturb neighbors or your family members, you can use the headphones or DI out option and record instruments silently.

6. Custom Presets

One of my favorite things in modeling amps is the option for presets. All good digital guitar amps come with some factory presets that include different types of tones.

And most of the time they all sound great but what’s great about the preset options is that you can modify them or create your own from the scratch.

You can create various guitar tones by adding amps, and effects, creating signal chains, etc. Then you save it and use it any time you want. This way you can have completely different guitar tones in one place.

This is a great option if you play in a cover band because most cover bands’ set list contains songs from different genres. So, having the ability to have all the sound in one combo is an amazing option.

Some modeling amps offer up to 200 presets which is mind-blowing. And most amps come with mobile apps where you can add more presets and modify sound even further.

How To Choose Recording Modeling Amp

If you decide to buy a modeling amp for recording purposes, you need to pay attention to a few details. Because every amp doesn’t have similar features. Some of them work differently.

Depending on your room size, choose the appropriate wattage. For recording, you don’t need a 100-watt amplifier. Many small wattage amps will work great for recording.

Next, make sure that the amp has clean and dirty tone options. More is better. And of course, it must have effects such as reverb, delay, modulation, and overdrive options too.

Of course brand of the amp is very important. Don’t buy an amp from an unknown brand. Famous amplifier manufacturers such as Fender, Boss, Line 6, and Blackstar have good modeling amps.

And lastly, a good recording amp should have USB connectivity, headphone out, and DI output will be a great option.

Amps may have other options but in general, these features are enough to record high-quality tracks.


As you can see modeling guitar amps have several advantages over tube amps and solid-state amps when it comes to recording. Of course, guitar amp simulators can do the same but not every amp sim comes with effects and that many amp tone options. Also, in my opinion, guitar and bass guitar amp sims sound more digital than modeling amps.

When choosing modeling amplifiers for recording make sure they have different amp sounds, all the effects, and other options mentioned in this article.