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Guitar Sound Problems...

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by jakeplaysdrums, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. hey all, my band and I have been recording demos of our songs and we have had the problem of the guitars sound really digital or computerised if that makes sence.

    At first we were plugging the guitars straight into my recording system which is

    TASCAM US-1641
    Cubase SX

    the guitars we use are in E flat if that helps. We decided that maybe it was the distortion effects on Cubase that make the sound more "computerised" so we decide to line out of a small Randall amp we have use the distortion on that but close to no improment, should we result to micing the amp, which would not be a problem, or are there any other techniques that would help?

    Any help would be great, Thanks :D
  2. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    Perhaps a better AD/DA converter.
  3. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    AD/DA=Analog-Digital/Digital-Analog=Tascam interface.

    You'll rarely get good results plugging a guitar straight into an interface. Depending on how it's set, you could be loading down the guitar signal. A direct box, a preamp, or a POD (or similar) may help get a better signal.

    You'll rarely get a good sound from the direct out of a Crate amp. BUT, you could record a clean signal from that direct out, and then see if the "amp emulation" or whatever effects you are using in Cubase does better after that.

    Mic'ing an amp is tricky. But, you could try that.

    You could try to get a direct signal from the amp, AND record another track simultaneously with a mic in front of the amp. Then try to mix'n'match the two recorded tracks. Just record both at good solid levels. Might not sound right if monitoring exactly what's going in, but you can bring down recorded levels better and cleaner than you can boost them.

    You could try getting a direct box, preamp...whatever...and splitting a clean direct signal to one track, while recording a Crate Line out, POD, or mic'ed signal to the other. If you have a clean direct recording, you have the option of sending that back out for "re-amping", if you have the equipment to level-match everything.

    If the already recorded tracks sound kind of OK now, just not great, and you like the performances, you may just try re-amping those through an amp, or a POD, etc.

    Then, you can always massage (or mangle) the tracks in software later. :wink:

    Just some stuff to ponder. Several options you may have.

    Good luck,

  4. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    Yes, sorry about that...thanks K Krunch. If the converters in the Tascam are poo--poo then you're going to sound like a wad of aluminum foil in most cases.
  5. multoc

    multoc Active Member

    Jun 18, 2005
    Or maybe mic'ing your amp helps!

    Though alot of bands have been known to go d/i for full rhythm tracks. the one that sticks off the top of my head is the last Kiss record "Psycho Circus" go listen to that and you'll here d/i'd guitars that sound probably similar to the sound your describing.

    That's just how a guitar plugged direct in sounds, adding that speaker to the mix makes all the difference
  6. malamikigo

    malamikigo Active Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    doesn't matter what AD/DA you're using in this case, me thinks. the problem is just simply that you're recording a guitar DI and using fake effects to distort it.

    get an SM57, find a decent amp to mic, and do it up properly.
  7. BrianaW

    BrianaW Active Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    New York
    Agreed. :wink:

    And if that doesn't work, try backing off of the gain a little bit. What normally sounds good in the room can sometimes sounds fuzzy on tape.
  8. sshack

    sshack Active Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    Sorry, I didn't catch that DI was the primary method of recording...my bad.
  9. Cacacas

    Cacacas Active Member

    Jan 19, 2008
    Tempe, AZ
    Digital distortion never mixed well in my recordings.
    It sounds very crackly and fake, no mater what reverb or effect masked it. I imagine you need some distortion that sounds alive and real. I've run into this a lot. Now I know, I can tell you.
    When distortion bounces off walls, vibrates in an amp and surrounds the room it kind of develops a mature, full bodied sound. Mostly because it creates layers of distortion which adds clarity and nuances that don't come out of a simple one line digital distortion. Just imagine: multiple nuances of the distortion layered and blended in the room to create a complicated sound wave. A simple one tone won't create a mature distortion. I HAD to resort to micing amps. I won't do direct anymore, unless it's clean and I have good pre's. I put up a 57, but before I did that I tuned the guit, plugged in my effects, and eq'ed on the amp and effects until my ear would hear a pleasing sound to me when my head was right in front of the speaker. Since a mic hears right in front of the amp speaker, you should listen right there. Many multiple, almost painful takes later I found a good mic position. It was well worth it.
    Happy hunting.

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