I'm trying to do some silent recording of guitar tracks, and I'd like to configure a silent practice rig, both for late night use at home, and both using my main Jerry rig. I have an H&K RedBox MKIII (cabinet emulator) which I've used to go direct to board from my preamp signal with decent results. The RedBox also allows for an input from the power amp, with a thru to a speaker (it's not a load box). I hooked it up between my Velocity 300 and jbl e120 for the first time, and I really like the sound a lot better than using just the line level preamp signal > line IN on the RedBox. But, the signal is obviously still going to the speaker. I want to be able to use my power amp > speaker connection, but I want to have the speaker completely muted.
Now, after hearing how good the direct signal sounded, I'm also considering incorporating the Redbox into my live rig to either augment or replace micing a cab. For live, I definitely do not want to mute the speaker cab. I'm hoping an attenuator would address both my needs, rather than getting a dummy load box for the silent recording thing.
A few questions...
1. Will an attenuator (like the Dr. Z Airbrake) allow you to completely mute a signal to the speaker? I was thinking I could place the attenuator between the RedBox and Speaker to get a power amp out signal to the board, but still be silent.
2. Can an attenuator even be used with a solid state power amp like the Velocity? Any danger of damage, etc?
I assume there would be no real tonal benefit to using an attenuator on stage with a Velocity>JBL combo, since without pushing the JBLs, cranking the Velocity is not really going to improve tone. True?
However, if I do use the RedBox on stage to send a power amp signal direct to board, then an attenuator, post redbox, would be useful for controlling my speaker volume, without affecting the signal level going to the board.
Am I on the right track? Are attenuators tone suckers? Any thoughts and/or other recommendations most appreciated, as always.