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Complete thinking about guitar processing extends beyond the guitar speaker, all the way to the final full-range monitors

Many guitarists only think about how to achieve great Tone at the guitar speakers. But for headphone-level cranked-tube-amp tone, and for recording and for PA systems, what really matters is the Tone achieved in the final full-range monitors - the studio monitor speakers, headphones, or PA speakers. Many guitarists think their options for effects placement are either before the guitar amp, or in the guitar amp's effects loop. But when you think in terms of the *complete* processing chain all the way from the guitar's output jack to the full-range monitor speakers, this reveals an additional place for processing: after the guitar amplifier, such as in the mixing board's effects loop. If microphones are involved, mic technique and mixer technique enter the Tone equation. In the control room of the professional recording studio, compression, equalization, and time-based effects are very often used -- all this processing happens *after* the guitar amplifier and cabinet, though many guitarists chronically forget to think about what happens *after* the guitar speaker. It might sound surprising that so much post-amp processing occurs so often, but even without explicitly running the signal through processors, conventional mixers and tape machines routinely support post-amp processing, as follows:

For future processing-chain descriptions, I will be sure to include the final power-amp and full-range monitors, to remind guitarists and designers to think past the guitar speaker:

preamp and before-amp effects -> tube power amp -> guitar speakers and cabinet -> mikes -> post-amp processing -> final power amp and monitor speakers

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