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poor recording quality with great equipment?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by juwanshahir, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. juwanshahir

    juwanshahir Guest

    im so frustrated.
    (Dead Link Removed)
    and a pop filter.
    i record in a bedroom with a loud computer fan but i dont think
    thats the problem since the vocals sound crappy, not the entire thing.
    its not even near studio quality (if i wanted studio quality i just wud need a soundproof room).

    im editing in cool edit pro (what else?), and i lay down tha following effects when i record my verse.

    amplify (6-9db)
    custom dynamics processing
    custom hard limiting
    custom reverb
    custom graphic equalizer
    track 1 custom eq (multitrack view, for the songs beat)

    when i mean custom, i mean i took the presets from a recording
    guide and ya just put it in there.

    my opionion is that i pull up the gain too much in the preamp, but if i put it down i have to amplify it digitally, which makes the computers fan sound EVEN MORE louder.

    i dont kno what the hell to do, im getting a shockmount soon, and thats it, PLEASE GIVE ME ADvice im a great mc with great lyrics and hard worker but its my motherf**in quality,i even use great equipment as listed....

  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    First off, you don't have great equipment. Nady stuff is all made in China. you have not mentioned what kind of microphone preamplifier you are currently using. I think you're going about your recording the wrong way?

    If you are using Cool Edit, it has a built-in noise reduction feature that is excellent at removing your fan noise from your computer picked up by your microphone.

    Here is what you need to do. Plug your microphone into your microphone preamplifier. Go buy a useful compressor/limiter like a DBX166, Alesis 3630 or equivalent. Plug that into your microphone preamplifier and plug that into your computer line input. Make sure that line input not microphone input. Then set the limiter to start with with a ratio of 4: 1. Make sure your microphone preamplifier is generating good level and adjust the compressor/limiter threshold control while viewing the gain reduction meter and then you start to see around 2 to 4 DB of gain reduction. Adjust the output control on the compressor/limiter for a reasonable output level while checking the input level through your software on your computer for a proper record level.

    Now that you have cut your track with a good preamplifier and a little bit of compressor/limiter, you are ready for playback, some equalization along with some reverb to taste. Now it will start to sound better! If you find that the Van Nuys from your computer is bothering you, sample a few seconds of just the fan noise. Go to the effects drop-down menu of the editor section of Cool Edit. Create a noise print of the highlighted fan noise sound. Once you have captured the noise print, highlight the entire vocal track and then try the noise reduction program again with the previous noise print. I think you'll find a noise reduction of no more than 50 to 70% totally adequate at removing the fan noise?

    You don't need a shock mount for your microphone if you're not jumping around while trying to sing into it. You just need better technique and a little more experience. I suggest compression/limiting while you are tracking rather than trying to do that only in playback. It's just not the same that way. And always remember, LESS IS MORE.

    Tracking too many vocals throughout the years
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. Zoro

    Zoro Guest

    I am sorry and is nothing against Nady, but are you sure that's GREAT equipment?, common, you need some thing a litle better just think about it, cheap equipmnet=cheap sounding.
  4. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    You need something you cannot buy at GC. You need experience. RemyRad has given you in one amazing paragraph the results of a lifetime of experience. Do what she is suggesting and you should be able to hear the results.

    Best of luck and let us know how it is going.
  5. juwanshahir

    juwanshahir Guest

    this is my preamp
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    thanks for the reply remy. but before i go thru the same mess
    i went with the preamp, tell me which cables i need to hook compressor into preamp and into comp. oh ya and im not sure what u mean by Line input, i just put it in the mic input. do u mean phone line? when i had preamp
    problems someone told me to put it in the line input but i put it in the mic input and it works fine.

    i think my mic is fine i dont wanna return it.
    so ur saying i shud get a new better mic?
    wut wud i wud do with my current mic?

  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    OK, now I know what kind of preamplifier you are using but what are you plugging it into on your computer?? Is it just your computer soundcard that came with the computer?? Like a Sound Blaster?? Or is it a studio quality soundcard designed for recording and not just for children playing games?

    The preamplifier outputs a line level output and you should NEVER PLUG IT IN TO A MICROPHONE INPUT! You need to be plugging it in to a " line input", no, that is not a telephone line input, that is an "auxiliary input" also known as a line level input, that you feed a line level source with such as the output from your preamplifier. You're having problems because you're plugging a line level source into a low level microphone input! No wonder you're having problems!

    So I am sure it that your sound card has both microphone and auxiliary "line" inputs. Because your Beringer preamplifier has both XLR and 1/4 inch inputs and outputs, you need to determine what brand of sound card you are using in what type of input connectors it has. It certainly sounds like you are not properly patching it in?

    Let me know what soundcard you have?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. juwanshahir

    juwanshahir Guest

    i have a regular stock soundcard that kids play games on.
    ok i put it in the line input it sounds much better when i do noise reduction
    but it adds some weird noise to my voice like a hiss kind of thing like a 10hz-100hz highpass or somethin.
    so do i still need a compressor? will it make it sound much better? tanks
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    something went wrong with my Internet connection, sorry
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    The noise reduction program can add its own artifacts if used too aggressively. I think that is the peculiar noise that you believe it is adding?

    I still think some light compression going into the computer is still not a bad idea? The preamplifier already has a limiter built-in that appears to be nonadjustable? I personally like the sound of some compression while tracking as opposed to just trying to do it in mix down but it is so highly personal and subjective, everybody has their own personal choices and feelings regarding that.

    One of the things you could also try, since your preamplifier already has a limiter built-in, if there is any indication as to when the limiter begins to work, you could crank up your input gain on the preamplifier until the unit begins to limit on your louder passages and adjust the output level into your computer input for a decent overall recording level. I think while digitally recording, you will notice more presence and better focus with doing what I have suggested?

    If your computer fans are that loud, you may want to try to put your computer into a box with some sound absorbing material. Make sure the box closes up with only a small access hole for the cabling. Otherwise you may want to look at some lower noise fans which are available, at your local computer store?

    Vocals R Us
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Oh, regarding your interface cable, I assume you are taking the 1/4" output to your sound cards 1/8" input? Obviously you have figured that out since you have indicated you know are experiencing a better quality of sound?

    Missing my brain
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  11. juwanshahir

    juwanshahir Guest

    lets say im buying a compressor.which kind of cable wud i need for it to go in the preamp. and the line input? so thats 2 cables, how much wud those be around?

    and the alesis 3630, is that a good compressor. cuz im seeing it for 100$ which is affordable for me.
  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    That 3630 is a good entry-level compressor/limiter probably on a par with the DBX 266. I have used them many times before and find them adequate.

    To go from the preamplifier to the compressor you'll need a simple guitar cable. 1/4" to 1/4" mono. You can also go with a stereo 1/4" to 1/4" cable since many of these devices offer a balanced "TRS" or tip ring sleeve connectivity, both output and input on many devices but the balanced interface is really only necessary in situations where electrical interference and long cable runs dominate the interface. In a bedroom control room situation, it is usually not a big factor.

    Now, if you to use the Mono cable into your computer soundcard input, it will only appear as a left channel signal since your computer soundcard input is actually a 1/8" mini stereo phone plug input like the connector on your i-pod earphones. So it's not a bad idea to go with the RCA red and white connectors with their associated RCA female to 1/4" mono and the 1/8" mini stereo phono plug, since it is all around more useful in a home recording situation when you do want to go stereo.

    Thankfully I have more than one control room
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  13. juwanshahir

    juwanshahir Guest

    ok cool can u link to a picture of these cables and point out which one goes in where? thanks
  14. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Just print out what I have indicated and take that with you to Radio Shaft or your local Guitar Center.

    Ms. Remy Ann David
  15. juwanshahir

    juwanshahir Guest

    ok i got the compressor.
    i have a 1/4 -1/4 plug and i put it in the preamps output, to the
    compressors input, but does it have to be on both channels for
    the preamp-> compressor?

    and for the compressor -> line input

    Can you please link that to me, i cant seem to find that.

  16. juwanshahir

    juwanshahir Guest

  17. juwanshahir

    juwanshahir Guest

    ok i got the problem fixed THANKS EVERYBODY

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