Okay, so a while ago I was laying a track down on my guitar and then left it alone for a couple of months. I went to do some work on the track (after not even using my recording equipment for a month or so) and when I tried recording I realized EVERYTHING sounds like crap. I'm trying to figure out what settings I may have used in my initial recording because what I'm recording now (the same riff) sounds HORRIBLE. I am posting a quick link to a sample of the original riff which I'd like to believe is the better recording (at least by my standards, which isn't saying much at all) and then a few seconds later you'll hear the most recent recording which sounds like garbage. I'm hoping you guy can help me figure out where I went wrong. Maybe the treble is too high or I'm using too much gain, i don't know, I'm very very new to recording and I'd appreciate ANY help. here is the sample song with both recordings of the same riff.... http://download.yousendit.com/CAF101EB399F70E6 Here is the recording equipment I'm using.... I have a Rode NT1A mic which is plugged into a xenyx 802 mixer. Now, since I record everything onto my laptop, and my xenyx lacks a USB outlet I plug my mixer into a POD XT Live which has a usb output for my Macbook. I use garageband to record all of this. Also, while I am much happier with the first recording of the riff you hear in the sample above, I'm sure even that sounds terrible to most of you guys, so any advice on improved recording techniques would be helpful! And finally, the xenyx 802 doesn't have an on/off switch. You simply plug in the power adapter and it turns on automatically. My only concern is that I don't want to damage my mic. I usually have the xenyx plugged into the mic and THEN plug the power adapter into the xenyx. Is this the correct way to power everything up? Or do i turn on my xenyx first and THEN plug in the mic? My biggest fear is that my mic is damaged but I doubt it as I'm hoping it's just that I have my recording setup on all the wrong settings. ANY help would be appreciated, and I'm sure you guys get threads like this all the time, so i appreciate any input you guys have. thanks!