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Old 03-23-2013, 12:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
Groupie
 
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Default Recording guitar

So, I'm looking for tips on improving the quality of my future recordings.
Basically what we do is: guitar into preamp, into amp (line 6 amp), into computer.
Im starting to record with Audacity at 24 bit audio (my initial test recordings sound about the same), I use a Creative Soundblaster sound card and quality is nice and clear. Overall the sound is fantastic, but the guitar sounds a bit like its missing something, perhaps its just that Im using a 6 string guitar for metal and need to go up to a 7, but any adivce on what type of equipment to consider would be appreciated.

I suppose I should mention we typically record songs in drop tuning, around c or b, even as low as drop a.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's because you're going from an amp output straight into your soundcard. If you want the actual sound of the amp, you need to mic it, and then you need an interface that will provide the preamps for the microphone and send it the proper way to your computer.
Normally, people do this with actual mixers.
If you don't want to physically mic the amp, then your option is DI (Direct In), but you don't use the amp for this... you simply plug your guitar straight into the instrument input of your soundcard and record the weak, crappy signal, then run that signal through an amp simulation program in your project.

This isn't the end-all rule or anything. I'm just letting you know why your approach is turning out sh*t.

Also, Creative Soundblasters are for consumer-level gamers. It's not for audio recording. If you're serious about recording into the box, your first purchase is going to be an actual audio interface. There's a reason they exist, and it isn't to just make you pay more money.

Anyway, it sounds like you should do some Googling to learn the basics of audio recording for a home studio. Don't worry, there is multitudes of information out there. If you have any questions about it, don't hesitate to ask.
But please do use that resource first.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Actually Ive been recording for about 13 years, but I suppose I should look for an audio soundcard. From what Ive read, the choice of recording digial or analog is more of a personal preference, good equipment before recording makes a bigger difference.
Ive tried using amplifier software and its never been as good as my current set up.
Ive been considereing getting a PreSonus mixer though.

Last edited by Reprogrammed to Hate; 03-23-2013 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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PreSonus AudioBox USB is what Im using, but I output this into my amp which gives the guitar a cleaner output without sacrificing quality. I'll mess around with the software it came with but I remember it being kind of crappy, maybe I just need to mess with it more.
On the other hand, the best part about my current set up is that it records in sync with the music, I dont have to manually put my recordings in my mixing software and try to get the timing right. I'll be messing around with this when I get home
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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if you're using a computer you're recording digital. putting a mic on your amp doesn't change that. freebase mentioned it's not an end-all rule to mic your amp instead of going directly into your computer... i think he was being nice. if not a rule, then a commonly-accepted trick of the trade. once you've tuned your guitar and amp to sound how you like it in the room that you've chosen to do this in, you should be able to use an EQ and a bit of compression - post-recording - to more properly emulate the sound of the room coming out of your speakers. if your amp has two speakers, get two mics. a room mic is also a good idea to catch ambients and refractive character. this will add depth. experiment with placement. you can also find charts about mic placement, but in order to use them you need to be familiar with what frequencies you're creating and what frequencies your mics are picking up. it's generally recommended to skip that part and use your ears instead, but you can certainly get all scientific about it if that's what you're into.

on the subject of your tuning and whether or not you need a 7-string: if you are happy with the way your current set-up sounds live without buying a whole new guitar, miking your amp and post-production should allow you to recreate more or less the same feeling. it's never exact. it's never perfect. but a lot can be done to make it totally awesome.

i highly recommend throwing the idea of going directly from your amp to your computer straight out the window though.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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ill try miking it, guess ill have to wear headphones when recording. Im still going to try the software with my presonus preamp.
Unfortunately that means switching compuers. Also unfortunately my post does not acurrately depict the quality i currently get, which is actually quite high.
Also i didnt mean to sound ungrateful, you guys have given me something to think about.
And, what is the opinion of sending my bass through the digitech bass processor? It sounds perfect to me.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you have issues with miking the cab, it gets a lot more involved in terms of acoustics, mic placement, preamps, etc. If you're content working in the box, I would suggest just going DI and using some virtual guitar amp simulators after the fact. You have much more control that way, and are not stuck with a particular recorded sound that you can't change, should it be necessary when mixing, however, it defeats the purpose of having an amp to begin with.

But if you want to mic the amp and have decent preamps on your mixer, you'll get a more natural sound if you do it right. Then if you need to adjust things in the mix, you can use your standard tool set.

As far as bass, I've always (and most people I know) done this straight DI. Bass is very forgiving in this respect. You can literally plug the bass into your instrument input on your audio interface and record that way, then send that through either a simple amp simulation, or just compress and eq it and add any additional effects like a little exciting or mild distortion to give it some edge.
Of course, it will depend on your approach and goals, but unless the bass is meant to be a featured element, you can definitely DI it and not be missing out on much in context with the full mix.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thats probably why I find the bass so sound perfectly fine, I think I'm going to try using the PreSonus and the Studio One with its amp plug ins, if it doesnt sound good then I'm going to try miking it, fortunately I have 2 mics so I can double it.
This was good advice and gave me some stuff to think about next time I get to play around with my set up, thanks again, and sorry if I sounded a bit irritated or something, not my intent.
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