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guitar quality drops when recording?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by nismoalti420, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. nismoalti420

    nismoalti420 Active Member

    ok i am using fl studio to record my guitar and bass. the problem is when i record the guitar in edison recorder it sounds fine. i past it in the play list so i can record the bass guitar while the guitar track is playing. while the guitar track is playing back and i am playing bass the quality of the sound drops significantly. why? what can i do to get a better recording sound with what i got. here is a simple rhythm to try to show you all what i am talking about.

    is there a setting i am missing in fl studio 10 to make the play back sound better while recording another track? let me know if i need to try to explain this better, im need to recording and im trying to do the best with what i got on hand.

    also i hope this is in the right forum, if not please move accordingly
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Dude, the only problem that I hear is that you have not worked out your mixing chops properly. If you recorded your guitar, when you played back just your guitar, does it sound OK? Are you recording your guitar & bass guitar on separate tracks? Or are you stacking one on top of the other? You are talking about your software but software isn't there to affect your sound only record it. The other problems are simply in what microphones you select and where to place them. What kind of a preamp they are feeding. The gain adjustments set properly on the preamp. The level of the recorded track. How you mix them together in software. What kind of file format you use to record & mix out to. Your problem is nothing more than operator error. You are learning the art of recording. The art of recording isn't quite as brute force as the music you are playing and therefore cannot be engineered in the same way that you play it.

    More information is required from you as to the entire workflow, equipment, technique you are utilizing before a more smartass answer from me can be derived & convoluted into an incomprehensible answer. I just want that to be clear, about the chicken I just saw that crossed the street while answering this. Otherwise, I think you will have made a perfectly wonderful awful recording. Good job, screwing up. We've all done it. Well I haven't.

    I really don't want to contradict my contradictions by telling you how intelligently stupid your recording problems are are not being.

    RAD not what your country can do for you. RAD what you can do for your country with rock 'n roll.
    First Lady RAD
  3. nismoalti420

    nismoalti420 Active Member

    ya i know i got to work on the timing of the riffs thats all in time.

    ok how i am recording this set up is as fallows. the guitar is pluged in to the mic input on my computer, not the best way at all. then i am using fl studio's hardcore effects, for the guitar sound. i have nothing in the master eq. in insert 1 i am using fruity filter to help with the extra noise from the guitar. on the hard core effects i am using in this order noise gate, equalizer, distortion, then compressor. with the settings i have on the effects it sounds good. now when i record i use the edison recorder. i record my track and send it to the play list track one. i play that back and it sounds good, the levels are all in the green and nothing is clipping. ok so on to the bass track i turn the input in insert 1 in turned off and i turn it on in insert 2. i use the noise gate, chorus pedal, and compressor for the bass. i play back the guitar so i can play the bass along with it so i can get the timing right. but while im playing along with the guitar track the sound quality on my speakers sounds muffled and just not right. the riff i posted on youtube dosnt really show what it sounds like while i am recording.

    and the reason i am recording like this and not with mic's and amps is they were stolen. my bass amp, guitar amp pedal board and 5 of my guitars are among the things that were stolen.

    smartass answer from me can be derived & convoluted into an incomprehensible answer. I just want that to be clear, about the chicken I just saw that crossed the street while answering this. Otherwise, I think you will have made a perfectly wonderful awful recording. Good job, screwing up. We've all done it. Well I haven't.

    im not looking for a smart ass reply from some one who is conceded, i could just go down to my guitar shop for something like that. so keep your smart ass remarks to your self. that said i know it was a brown note of a recording and i came to this site for the help to learn how to record a better recording. every one is a newb at one point in time or another and always ask a seemingly dumb question or two.

    this is the computer i got Asus - Essentio Desktop / AMD Athlon™ II X2 Processor / 4GB Memory / 1TB Hard Drive - CM1730-03

  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I don't think Remy is referring to your playing. She's talking about your mixing and recording chops. I hear lot's of things going wrong.

    First of all the bass is clipping out.

    If you are using any sort of compression over the master bus, it's squashing the guitar every time your bass hit's the threshold.

    It's too loud. All of it. Turn the gain down.

    Most of all read the manual for Fruity Loops. Bring it to the can with you. You're not going to doing much else in there while you're on the throne. May as well do some reading. Read the manual for your interface too. That will help.

    Your bass is panned while the guitar seems centered. It should be the other way around.

    Try moving the mic around on your amp. If you're using an emulator, mess with the settings. Get the sound before you hit record. That is both the easiest and the best way to make a good recording.

    There are tons of books out there for recording. Go to the library. I guarantee they will have at least a half a dozen of them. Practice, experiment and practice some more. Eventually you'll figure out a way to make it sound good. If you do it a lot in your spare time, you should have some good ideas down by the end of next week. Don't settle for good enough. If you think you can make it better, try. If it doesn't work out the first time, try again. Read more then try some more. It gets easier as you go along and eventually, you'll start getting bright ideas on how to try new things. Some of them will work. Forget the other stuff.

    They call that the school of hard knocks.

    Incidentally, no one is making fun of you. Remy's just having a bit of fun. Remy does that. It's all good. You should be thankful because that's one person who can probably help you immensely.

    Things you don't mention: what mics? What amp? What interface? What is your signal chain(flow)?
  5. nismoalti420

    nismoalti420 Active Member

    i know he was helping out and that he knows a whole lot more than i do thats for sure.

    you were right i adjusted the volume on the guitar and bass. i thought as long as the eq didnt go in to the red it was ok but is not the case. after i adjusted the volume and gain the sound on the play back while recording the bass was a lot better. i guess i need to find the manual on fl studio and read it since i havent done so yet. it could prob teach me a thing or two.

    as far as what mic and amp i am useing, none. the guitar is plunged strait in to the computer through the mic input and i am using the effects from fl studio. i am only doing this since my amps and other equipment were stolen a few months ago.

    as i said i took both of yalla advice and this is what i was able to get out of it. this is just a random riff with the bass and guitar

    let me know if the sound of it is better than the brown turd that was the first go at it.

    thanks again for the help RemyRAD and hueseph
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    While I don't find this as distorted, it sounds like you're mixing through headphones. Your EQ sounds like you have an incredible smile curve dialed in? It makes the bass guitar lose its definition. I certainly sympathize for you in that terrible loss of equipment. That's simply awful. We've all had stuff stolen and that bitter feeling will always stick with you because of it.

    So I have a couple of quick questions. Do you have any kind of stereo system whatsoever? What are you using for monitors? You know you could still utilize a stereo to out feed your guitar track to your stereo. Turn the treble down and stick a cheap microphone on it. Record that back to a track. Lather rinse and repeat at different distances. The guitar actually lacks presence. You want it to reach out and bite you. Turn down the low end on the bass track and give it some presence boost. This will bring the whole sound of your mix forward. This will make it rock.

    Rock the boat baby.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  7. nismoalti420

    nismoalti420 Active Member

    yep the eq was flat on the guitar and bass. im not really using any monitors, what i have hooked up to my computer for the sound is 2 surround sound systems with a powered sub on each system. the speakers are just the small mid range surround speakers not the best for what im wanting to do. im going to look tonight for a mic to record with and see if it sounds any better.

    ok i messed with it some more today. i added a an extra track for the bass and the guitar. it seemed to help the sound. i also added a stereo enhancer to both bass and guitar tracks. i messed with the eq on both but i still cant get the punch i want from the guitar or the sound i want from my bass. im thinking this is partly do to the hardcore vst effects im using. any one know of any better vst plugin effects i can use for the distortion and such? the only thing i didnt think to do was turn the bass down on the bass guitar so i can turn it up, next time.

    im going to play with it more to see what every thing does but this is where its at so far. to me it kinda sounds the same as the first.

    i had a different vid on here guitar and bass edit 2 but it sounded to much like the first two. i think this one is getting a little closer to what it should sound like. i still need to play with some more settings like the phase, i think i can hear it in there.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I liked this last version much much better. The bass guitar still sounds overplayed/clipped out but it's getting better. The guitar was certainly more upfront, more present. It's certainly all too easy to overprocess a bass guitar. It's quite a difficult beast to make it translate well to studio control room monitors all the way down through a little 3 inch speaker. So you should still be able to hear what the bass is doing even if the speaker cannot reproduce much bass and that's the trick. That's why, rolling off some of the low frequencies on a bass guitar track can provide a more solid bass guitar sound while also adding a limiter. Having control over the attack and release times can be very important in these types of applications. Faster releases will increase its " apparent loudness ", in computer terms it could be stated as increasing its " virtual loudness ". Lowering attack time allows a certain amount of the attack transient to be better heard and comprehended as opposed to removing all of its transient attacks. That's where software " look ahead " can be your worst enemy. Simply because the limiter will that we prevent the transient before you can take advantage of the transient. So frequently, I'll just turn off lookahead in the software to try and emulate an actual analog style of limiting. That's because analog limiters can't foresee the future and so, stuff gets by them. Look ahead can be equated to red light cameras at intersections. That's because the red light camera will detect if your car stops just beyond the thick line just prior to the crosswalk marking. You stopped but it still appears that you hadn't to the camera and sensor. Just because you've crossed over that line where the sensor is. So lookahead indicates you didn't stop when you actually did all based upon timing and threshold levels.

    "Honest, your honor, I stopped for the red light..." "Sorry the photo indicates you didn't...". Look ahead lies from the rear.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  9. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I really didn't like any of the clips being honest. The method that you are using to record is flawed in and of itself, so there is not much that one can do to advise how to do it the right way seeing as how it is the wrong way even from square 1. Fix it from the start rather than trying to kill it in the mix. Plugging a high impedance instrument like a guitar or bass straight into your computer's soundcard will not do the instrument justice as the soundcard does not provide the correct impedance to make it sound right

    The BEST thing you could do if you plan on continuing recording like this is purchase a high quality DI box to present the correct load for recording, and a decent quality middle ground starter interface for pre-amplification and digital conversion. The whole thing probably wouldn't cost you more than 5-600 after cables and shipping

    The other way to do this is to use a buffer before plugging straight into the soundcard. The cheapest buffer that is worth anything is probably the BOSS SD-1, seriously, plug your guitar in and then plug it into the soundcard input like you are doing. Thing is, even with the OD off, it is still conditioning your sound because it is showing the guitar and the soundcard the correct impedances. It is still not the best way of doing things, but at the current street price of $40, it can't hurt to try? Upside is, you may like the OD sound you get too.

    On topic of the clips. Your last clip had the best bass tone of all, but the guitar tone was the worst. The guitars had no midrange or fullness, and they sounded very scratchy. Whatever sim program you are using is either bunk, or you are leaning on it too much. A big problem with in-the-box production is not so much the limitations of the box itself, but the ears of the person doing said boxing... alright, that's my clever quip of the day, just following Remy in suit. Use Dropbox instead of youtube, makes clip and critique so much easier for all involved parties. Speak of the devil, Dropbox is currently down, or else I would link to you the sound of a properly recorded guitar rig for reference. Maybe when it comes back up.
  10. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Ok, it seems that Dropbox is back up again. See what you make of this, it's not perfect, but you can use it as a reference for a starting point. I edited the guitar and bass in and out so you can hear each as well as both together. For the bass tone I blended the clean tone alongside a distorted tone to give it an extra dimension and some texture. The tone is not perfect, but it fits the mix quite well, and that is the most important part. No listener is going to sit and pick a good tone out of a bad mix, they will just hear that on the whole it doesn't come together.

    (Expired Link Removed)
  11. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    As far as modellers are concerned, it helps to know what a good guitar sound is and how to expect to get it with a real amp. If you have that in mind, deciding what model to use, gain levels, effects, etc. A good modeller used properly should sound pretty convincing.
  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    That was awesome sounding Guitarfreak! Yeah man!

    As he indicated, most of these interfaces that offer a DI style input are not necessarily in the 2,000,000 ohm range most guitar pickups want to see. Rather, they are in the 50-100,000 ohm area which loads the guitar pickups down causing them to sound puny & dull (Although I've managed to get good recordings even with 50,000 ohm UTC input transformers). Conversely, there are a number of dedicated guitar amplifier emulation boxes made that are far less money than a real guitar amplifiers such as the POD 6, I believe. They not only provide the proper source impedance load for the guitar, all of the effects you could possibly want along with numerous different amplifier/cabinet emulations, you could only dream of owning/affording. And even if you don't have the dedicated bass guitar unit, it'll still work for bass guitar if you play with it just right. Getting it into the computer right, is the right way to start. Of course it also varies with what kind of software package you may have and what other plug-ins you may have also purchased. So you really need that kind of stuff to make your guitars bad ass sounding.

    Yup, start all over again. What you've already got ain't what you want. So, " take two ".... Come on already I'm running out of tape! Wait a minute! I haven't used any tape since 1993 so keep going. A 1 TB drive should be adequate for a 1 week long guitar solo. Maybe even two weeks?

    I still don't know how to get that kind of guitar sound... so I'm a dummy really.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I neglected to mention that if you have a active guitar, they can go into lower impedance input loads since their output impedance is extremely low unlike a guitar pick up directly.

    I had a funny session about 15 years ago with a friend. She played keyboards & had a PRS bass guitar. She told me before the session, that her passive pickups weren't functional.??? I asked her if she put in new battery and her 10-year-old PRS bass guitar? I received a look of "????? Battery?" LMAO! I opened up the back of her PRS bass guitar and showed her the dead battery. She had it backwards, the passive pickups were just fine but active guitars don't do well with dead batteries. LOL. And for 10 years she didn't know this. Dummy dummy dummy & more dummy.

    Charlie McCarthy was my favorite actor on television, so was Barney Rubble.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  14. Geozen

    Geozen Active Member

  15. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Nope, playing credit goes to Ola Englund, I just produced.
  16. nismoalti420

    nismoalti420 Active Member

    thats funny about 6 or so years ago when i got a new guitar it had active pickups in it. the guitar sounded good for about a year or more then the sound just went away. i was bummed to say the least. then i found out about the 9v bat in the back. face palm!!! every one has been there at one point in time or another.
  17. Geozen

    Geozen Active Member

    Haha ok then, but either way it sounds great so that is also a compliment to you! :)
  18. Geozen

    Geozen Active Member

    I did the same thing once with a 5 string bass I had. I apparently left it plugged in after practice and the battery got drained. When I picked it back up I thought it was broken! lol I'm glad that wasn't the case.

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