Home Recording with the Blackstar HT20mkii

Home Recording with the Blackstar HT20mkii

If you are getting into home recording and you want to capture some big guitar tones at home, the HT20mkii has some fantastic features that allow you to do just that.

The HT20mkii is a 20w valve amplifier. 20w of valve power might seem a little excessive for home use but don’t worry, you don’t have to upset the neighbours to get awesome guitar recordings.

Microphone and DPR

Using the patented DPR (Dynamic Power Reduction) you can scale back your HT20mkii from a 20w amp to a 2w amp. This means the amp now runs at 10% of its total power. The advantages to using this in a home recording set up is that a 2w amp will give you a cranked amp sound at a much lower volume.

The 2w mode will bring the headroom of the amp down and introduce sag and compression giving you a warm, saturated tone at a low volume.

Stick a microphone in front of the speaker and away you go.

Emulated DI Out 1x12

On the rear of the HT20mkii there is an XLR Output. You can use this to connect straight to your interface (It can also be used to connect the amp to a PA system for live use).

This output has speaker emulation built in.

There are two modes. The first of which is 1x12 emulation. This emulates a 1x12 speaker, like that of the amp’s internal speaker. The tone you hear back on your recordings is the amplifiers power and pre amp sections with an emulation of a single 12 inch speaker.

Emulated DI Out 4x12

Using the DI Out, you can also select a 4x12 emulation. This is perfect if you are looking to record some really big guitar parts. The 4x12 emulation adds some additional low-end thump and warmth that you’d expect from a real life 4x12 cabinet.

USB Connectivity

You can also connect your HT20mkii directly to your computer as an audio device over USB.

Simply plug the USB cable in and connect it to your computer. This will then automatically install the drivers.

To run this with your DAW you need to install a universal audio driver called Asio4All. Once you’ve downloaded this, boot up your DAW and look for your audio preferences. You’ll need to select Asio4All as your audio driver and this should then give you the option to select the HT Series as the input for your audio.

When recording in this mode, the amps pre and power amps give you the tone and the USB adds a speaker emulation.

About The Author

Leigh Fuge is a professional guitar player from Swansea in South Wales that has written and created content for many high-profile guitar brands and publications such as PMT, RSL Rockschool, Trinity College London, Guitar.com and more.

He works with mgrmusic.com to provide high quality guitar content for guitar players of all abilities from around the country. To date, mgrmusic.com has successfully generated over 32,000 student enquiries for their network of music teachers around the country. Find a local teacher in your area today.