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New amateur recording newbie is in need of your help!!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Hallman, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Hallman

    Hallman Guest

    Alrighty first of all this site seems like a very nice place to fill my void of recording knowledge so any answers helping my current situation would be greatly appreciated. :smile:

    I am a lonely starving amateur musician just trying to record a simple 2 track guitar song for the sake of making music and am not getting too far on my own. Here is the myspace page I created so you can hear what's goin down: Google

    The first track is the song that I lovingly recorded with my $99 line 6 toneport and an Ibanez Jem. I arranged the song on Reaper. As you can hear it's very rough and lame sounding and it ends halfway through the full song because the soloing section of the song started to get quite nasty due to the many recording and playing flaws. The second track is the same as the first but it is fully complete because it is from Guitar Pro 5 which is what I wrote it on. So if you want to hear what happens after the first track ends just listen to the second track.

    I recently started recording the song again with the hopes of getting through the whole thing but things haven't really turned out so great. Long story short I worked really hard to make a better recording but it pretty much turned out worse than my first attempt.

    It's becoming increasingly apparent that my line 6 toneport and current way of doing things is probably not going to cut it. I'm fairly proud of the song and would really like to give it a proper presentation. My current options (to my knowledge) are to either suck it up and somehow get a good recording out of my toneport, possibly purchase a microphone and whatever else necessary to record, or maybe perhaps even rent a studio. Keep in mind that I am, not surprisingly, on a budget (I work at McDonald's :biggrin:). I heard or read somewhere that it would maybe be a couple hundred dollars or so to record a song in a studio. I'm really not sure what prices for a studio would be a ripoff or not but if it was a few hundred dollars then I would be willing to take such a path if it yielded a good recording and eliminated all the headaches of home recording. So my question to you all is what would be my best course of action at this point? Right now I'm leaning towards the studio if it's cheap enough but I really don't know if it's a terribly bad idea or not.

    I apologize for the long-winded post but if you've come this far than thank you for reading and again any help would be greatly appreciated :smile:
  2. leopoldolopes

    leopoldolopes Active Member

    Hi and Welcome!

    I believe that going to a studio would be the best idea for it, but only if were incapable to do a decent recording out of your present gear!

    From what you say about your recording conditions I can't understand what's happening with your Line 6 Toneport... You don't like the signal...??? is that it? Can you please give us more info about this?

    The other option is to buy a nice mic and record the tunes from your guitar directly from your cab!

    Can you please give us more info about what are your issues... is the quality of the recordings?

  3. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    What playing flaws do you mean? Are they timing problems? You may benefit from a different monitoring setup that avoids latency issues.
  4. Hallman

    Hallman Guest

    Hi thanks for the replies.

    The main problem is that I have a lot of problems getting a decent sound out of the toneport software. The software is called POD farm if that helps. Basically I was in the process of recording the song and the sound only comes out through the headphones that are plugged into the toneport. Things were sounding good because I have nice headphones but then I rendered the file and played them out of normal speakers and the track sounds considerably worse. The two guitar tracks sound very out of tune with each other even though I tuned my guitar before almost every take. Sometimes one track will come out a lot louder than the other and really drown things out, especially when playing chords. There are some timing problems but I'm not sure if it's my playing or my gear, but I'm thinking it's both. It seems like the toneport isn't capable of a lot of sustain because the notes die off very fast and a lot of important riffs feel very weakened because of it. The Guitar Pro 5 version of the song is very monotonous and sterile, but it delivers the message of the song. When I try recording it the mixing, volume, tuning, timing and sound all seem off and it all comes together and weakens the song.

    If you listened to my first recording from the link I provided you'll notice its kind of distorted and raw, so it almost sounds decent given its context of being an amateur home recording (problems like the ones I listed above are fairly hidden). The second time around I found a much cleaner tone on the toneport, but I quickly found out that a cleaner tone not only magnifies the qualities of a song, but also the flaws and mistakes.

    When I play the song through my amp I always say to myself "Now THIS is the tone I need to capture on the toneport". The sound seems decent, the notes don't die off, and it feels like the playing comes through with more power and accuracy. Mistakes in playing also seem to be less magnified. So in this sense perhaps it would be a good idea to buy a microphone. But the song I'm making is only two guitar tracks and it seemed to me like recording it would be no big deal, when in reality I've had all these problems and thus realized that recording is a very difficult and demanding task (at least to me). So when I imagine recording with a microphone it wouldn't be surprising to me if I got a whole new set of problems due to my inexperience on the whole matter. That's why I'm considering the studio and having someone who knows what they're doing to really take care of everything.

    But anyways I'm sorry if my description of the problems aren't informative enough, but I'm really not sure where the exact place is that they're stemming from. Maybe it's just my playing, or God forbid it's just the songwriting itself hehe.
  5. Hallman

    Hallman Guest

    Btw the timing flaws are actually not a huge problem. They're minor so it's not as noticeable as the sound itself. I think the latency is maybe off a little but I'm able to arrange things in Reaper to a fairly accurate degree so I can put riffs and takes where they need to be. The timing isn't perfect but it's not my main problem either. My main playing problems are really just not getting the notes to fully come through...I'm sure I could benefit from more practice but I do take a TON of takes with each riff and stuff so I usually get a fairly good take in.
  6. leopoldolopes

    leopoldolopes Active Member

    Seems Odd, but beyond POD farm cant you load the line in from your toneport to a recording daw? Why using the POD farm!? Do you really needt it to tweak your tones!? You may use after your recording a plugin to tweak your tone you know! It's easier! It should be easy to record to a free daw! Why not trying that?
  7. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    With all due respect, I think the thing you need to do most is practice your song. Timing errors are not a software or hardware issue. They are a performance issue. I had a Toneport UX1 when I was desperately trying to get my gear back after swearing never to record again.(but that's another story). You can get some very decent sounds from POD farm(at the time it was gearbox......lol gearbox!). The other thing you need to do is practice recording and mixing. Hardware and software does not instantaneously make you an audio engineer. Nor does it make you a better musician. Those things come with practice.

    Use compression on your guitar track to tame dynamics. That doesn't mean you are trying to make your guitar louder necessarily. It just helps to keep the volume from fluctuating over much. Apply some reverb. Double track. There are lots of things you can do to enhance the sound of your track. Buying new gear is not going to make it sound any better. Use your ears. Those will change the quality of your recording better than any software could.

    All due respect meant. I'm not trying to cut you down in any way. I thought what you did had potential. You just need to learn to use the tools you have.
  8. Hallman

    Hallman Guest

    Thanks for the advice. Right now I'm better at recording than I was when I first started (I've been playing around with POD farm and Reaper for about a year) so I can see where you're coming from. Hopefully with more practice I will actually be able to push out a decent recording. It's just that my lack of knowledge really leaves me in the dark to see if there's a better way of doing things, hence why I'm posting here. Obviously no matter what happens I'll keep practicing, it's just that I'm out of my element so progress is very slow.

    Leopoldolopes, I actually had to google "daw" to see what what it was haha. POD Farm is what came with my toneport so I thought that that was the software I had to use. I didn't even know that there's other recording software...Are there any daws that you would recommend? Tweaking the tone after a recording sounds pretty useful.
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Reaper is your DAW. Pod Farm is just an amp emulator. You don't have to use it but why not? It sounds pretty convincing. Play around with mic placements and types. You can still do that in Pod Farm right?
  10. leopoldolopes

    leopoldolopes Active Member

    Youm may try Reaper which has a evaluation time which you may use it's fully paramenters.

    You may also try the below:

    ardour - the digital audio workstation
    Main Page - www.muse-sequencer.org

    These are all free and easy to use!

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