Recording Advice

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by driver8, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. driver8

    driver8 Tele-Meister

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    Cleans sound pretty good, until I use any overdrive. Then it gets all fuzzy and gross. I'm going straight in from the line out of my SCXD, and also tried using a cheap Nady mic that I picked up for $10. If anything, the mic sounds better. :eek: I have to turn all the levels waaaaaay down when going line in - is that normal? And it still sounds distorted when using OD. Nothing is really jumping into the red, it all looks okay, only the sound sucks. I'm a total recording newb, just experimenting at this stage, but wondering what I'm doing wrong. I'm recording with Audacity if that makes a difference.
     
  2. peteycaster

    peteycaster Tele-Meister

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    "I'm going straight in from the line out of my SCXD"

    Straight in to the computer or interface? If interface are there any level adjustments on it?

    Sounds like the signal is too hot from your line out. The mic should fix this but could be it's crap because it's a $10 mic. You probably need some sort of gain stage ie. interface or pre amp.
     
  3. paulvcarter

    paulvcarter Tele-Holic

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    You need a pre amp, they are fairly cheap, if you use apple get an apogee, use Garageband and you can DI from your pedal boards or buy a cheap mic (SM57 @ $99)

    Also always use less distortion or gain than you think you should, a lot less. Double your guitar parts for more depth and pan left and right in the mix.
     
  4. driver8

    driver8 Tele-Meister

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    cool! Thanks for the suggestion, I wouldn't have known to do the doubling and panning.

    I don't have a mac, this is on an old PC I "repurposed" for learning basic recording. Sounds like I need a pre-amp if I want to keep using mics, or else a recording interface to go from the line out. I'll check those out - I saw some cheap interfaces at MF that looked okay. Appreciate it.
     
  5. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    For a few dollars more you can get a Sennhieser E609 silver. Its my favorite amp mic now.
    Nothing against the good ol 57, but this mic doesn't have to hold its head down to anybody.
     
  6. driver8

    driver8 Tele-Meister

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    That looks really good, I'll definitely put that one on the short list. Any recommendations for a pre-amp to go along with it? I was thinking of getting a mixer with mic inputs - that would do the job, right? Plus give the flexibility of having a mixer?
     
  7. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    Or you could look at mixers with decent preamps that double as an interface.
     
  8. driver8

    driver8 Tele-Meister

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    That's exactly what I had in mind. I have a friend who comes over and jams once in a while and is interested in having us record some stuff, so it would be nice not to be limited to just one input. Are those cheap behringer boards any good?


    ---------> edit:

    I just noticed the M-Audio "MobilePre mk II" interface at MF for $124, which comes with Pro Tools SE - that seems like a pretty good solution for what I want to do, doesn't it? Basically just plug and play into windoze, with (I'm assuming) good production capabilities with Pro Tools? I'm kind of iffy on that behringer stuff, so that would also give me time to research a decent mixer if I end up actually needing one. Comments on that course of action?

    oh wait - it looks like SE is a crap version. But I could always use Reaper or Kristal or something with it, right? I'm mainly a linux user, so I'm not really too familiar with these windows programs.

    edit again - i'm not seeing USB 2 listed anywhere, whereas USB 2 is blared all over the Fast Track Ultra specs, so I'm getting the sneaking suspicion this 'mobile pre' is a USB 1.1 piece of junk.

    what is the answer here? A Line 6 interface? I just want to plug my freaking guitar and/or a mic into something and be able to record decent sound without spending a zillion dollars. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  9. Impulse

    Impulse Tele-Meister

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    Or just use an ADT plugin.
     
  10. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    You might look at something like the Alesis MultiMix ... this one's USB2, but I use one of their Firewire units ... decent pre's, low-latency interface and the mixer's also useful for various patching chores.

    w
    The POD stuff is good for guitar (I use it) and vocals (so I've heard), but doesn't have the mixer function.
     
  11. driver8

    driver8 Tele-Meister

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    I was actually looking at the Multi-Mix 6, which would have adequate inputs for what I need. Would that work on its own, without an interface? [edit: scratch that off the list, only 16bit, and reviews say the preamps are kind of hissy.]

    How would it compare overall to something like this:
    http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Line-6-POD-Studio-UX1-with-POD-Farm?sku=250003


    >>>> I think I'll just get the UX1 or 2 and call it a day for now. That should be enough to get me started. If anyone thinks that's a bad idea, feel free to chime in. Otherwise, thanks everyone for pointing me in the right direction.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  12. peteycaster

    peteycaster Tele-Meister

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    Any of those USB 2 interfaces will be suitable for your needs as they have the pre amp, line and mic connections, monitoring etc. You may still need a decent mic (SM57 perhaps) if you want to mic anything (amp or vocals)
     
  13. driver8

    driver8 Tele-Meister

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    Great, thanks. I think I'll go with that and get a mixer later as (or if) needed.

    Anyone else like the Senn mic, or should I stick with the venerable 57? A lot of the reviews look really good (for the senn).
     
  14. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    I've used the 609 for quite a few years now ... the fact that it's engineered as a guitar mike makes a difference, IMO. At big-stage gigs, if the sound guy sets up a 57 on my amp, I ask if I can use my Senn instead. (Nobody has ever said no.) And it records great, so what's not to like? The only advantage to a 57 is that you could use it for vocals in a pinch.
     
  15. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hard to say. A decent pre-amp can give you some real quality.
    A mixer gives you the advantage of more inputs. Might be just the thing.
    There are a lot of them on the market now that have usb outputs.

    Some of us are shall I say "budget driven".
    This recording stuff can become a never-ending suckers game.

    My first Mic pre was a Presonus Blue Tube.
    I would recommend that your Pre amp have:
    1) 20 db cut
    2) Some kind of Low end roll-off
    3) Phase reverse
    3) A Master Volume to go along with the Mic Gain
    4) Mic XLR, 1/4". jacks

    Nicer mic's, nicer mic stand, nicer shock-mount, nicer patch cords, nicer mixer, softare upgrade, playback monitors (which is where you need to spend as much as you can), recording software, room acoustic treatment (this can be a chunk of change too), it doesn't seem to stop.

    Been there, still doing that. :)
     
  16. driver8

    driver8 Tele-Meister

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    Sounds good. I think I might get the Senn.

    is that another word for "cheap?" :p

    /raises hand :eek:


    Kind of what I want to avoid. I have a room that I'm not using in the winter that I want to start converting into a recording space this summer, but right now I just want to get some basics down and figure out what I'm doing first. I suck at recording, but am pretty good at production, just like I suck at photography but am pretty good with photoshop, so hopefully that will help me avoid falling down the recording rabbit hole. Since I know it's going to suck anyway in advance, I can make do with entry level gear. :lol:
     
  17. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    All good stuff above, excellent recommendations, but first learn WHY the sound is distorted when it arrives at the recorder..unless you know WHY, it can happen again even with new components.

    VU not in the Red or Yellow implies the sound is already too strong, so go back to the source. Seems like you are recording an over driven tone.... Recording out of your amp may not be the best alternative but all things considered, folks are using them...figure out why it is "over driven" then make choices for more gear after that...

    PC software is looking for input levels and initial tone from the source, either the amp you are using with a direct out or from a preamp of some sort.. a mic would be plugged into the preamp...

    all part of the learning process, we have all been here...
     
  18. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    Excellent approach! What you're saying is that you suck at engineering but have a big-picture view as a producer. Getting the basics down starts with learning the engineering skills to put down good tracks from the git-go, and good tracks make things go much smoother when you put on your producer hat. The only way to do this is trial-and-error experience ... you seem to be good at researching things through the Internet, and that's where you can pick up a lot of tips on getting good tracks. Try everything, discard what doesn't work for you, and you'll be left with a growing arsenal of skills that will define your personal recording style. The more you work at it, the faster your techniques will improve.
     
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