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SE GM10 :( new soundcard with preamp or new mixer?

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by sambaman, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. sambaman

    sambaman Guest

    New SE GM10 microphone to record acoustic guitar not sounding great...what new equipment do i need?

    Setup:
    - Core 2 Duo laptop with Cubase.
    - Soundcard MAudio Firewire Audiophile (no phantom power or preamps)
    - Mixer Phonic 1002 (phantom power)
    - Yamaha P5 Active Monitor Speakers

    Ive recently bought a new microphone SE's GM10 guitar. Its running through the mixer with phantom power and then the mixer aux is plugged into the inputs on the soundcard. The recording comes out very flat. My laptop mic is terrible, but the SE doesnt produce the deep tones or atmosphere that I was expecting. I've tried it recording in fron to the sound hole and elsewhere too.

    Do I need a mic preamp? Do I need to get a new soundcard with preamps/phantom power and run the microphone straight into it rather than via my mixer?

    Is it possible the mixer is just taking away that amount of sound?
     
  2. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Flat is good!
    I've got no beef with flat.

    It's possible that the mixer doesn't faithfully reproduce the signal.
    It's also possible that it's the mic.
    So, before you start buying new gear, first things first:

    Are you setting your gain properly?
    Unity at the Preamp, unity at the Aux Master, EQ flat...
    Moving the mic slightly, looking for the sweet spot?

    What does it sound like running through the board directly to your monitors via the stereo outs?
    How does it sound in phones?

    Still not good?

    Do you have any friends that might have a different mixer that you can listen to that mic on?

    Are there any studios nearby that you might be able to go to during their down time and A/B it on their setup?

    Do you play out live? If so, have you tried the mic on stage?
    Are there any bars with a PA in them that you could go to in the morning when they aren't busy and plug into for a quick listen?
     
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    A stretch maybe. Could it be that the guitar doesn't sound that great? Have you tried backing up the mic? How close are you micing? Tried different positions? Near the twelveth fret? Using a second mic? With a single sdc I've had the best luck micing at around three feet away. Toward the soundhole. You might want to try a hi-pass filter.
     
  4. sambaman

    sambaman Guest

    that's great. i'll try all that and post back.

    bent - you said unity at the preamp? i dont have a preamp. the mic is running into the mixer, mixer to soundcard and soundcard to laptop.

    bent and hueseph - hoping i wont need a new mic. i bought this one because i heard it was meant to be awesome and is as good as a stereopair!?
     
  5. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Just took a second look at that SE GM10. It looks very cool. This is the guitar body mounted mic system yes? I realize now that micing any further than the arm allows would be impossible unless you use a secondary mic. That being said, I still think employing a hi-pass filter is not a bad idea. I imagine that you are getting some boominess with the eq flat and the mic directly in front of the soundhole. I try not to touch the eq before it goes to disk.
     
  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Regarding unity gain on the Phonic mixer: Leave the "level" pot at the 12:00 position and adjust your gain via the "gain" pot.

    The mixer by the way looks like it came out of the same factory as the Behr... stuff. It's almost identical to the Behr... line of mixers with the exception of the name stamp. Not surprising really. No to say that it's a bad mixer necessarily.

    Again on a personal note, I don't particularly like the Firewire Audiphile. It only accepts unbalanced RCA input or SPDIF. If I had a choice, I would upgrade the interface and buy a dedicated preamp. A good preamp would probably do a world of good. But I wouldn't go buy just any $30 preamp. Find something that is at least worth the money you put into it.

    Check out the Joemeek stuff or FMR audio. Fairly budget minded stuff but well above most budget quality products. $200+ is a small investment for far better sound.
     
  7. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    For future reference, Samba, that's your preamp.

    When you turn it and the lights blink at -0- over on the right side of the mixer, that's unity.
     
  8. sambaman

    sambaman Guest

    Trying your suggestions this afternoon.

    I'd rather not bin the audiophile if I can accomplish decent results with a new mixer or better still with a new preamp. If its trying to flog a dead horse though, I'll go for a new soundcard with enough inputs (so no mixer) and preamps built in.

    Will post the results later.
     
  9. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    How many inputs do you need? If you can get away with just two I would suggest a Mackie Onyx Satellite interface, which includes a pair of excellent preamps, and is amazingly cheap at the moment.

    Those Onyx preamps are probably the best you can get without a significant leap in price, and the 'pod' unit can be used on its own as a pair of standalone preamps so will still be useful even if you upgrade to another interface at a later date.
     
  10. sambaman

    sambaman Guest

    all the levels at the 12o'clock position with a minor hiss, it produces some good sound. happy with that.

    have a listen, i've uploaded it to
    http://www.mediamax.com/backmeupnow

    That's without any eq tweaking. just raw wav file straight from wavelab. the microphone is at around 10inches from the 12th fret at 90 degrees, 45 degrees, and then parallel. i think the 45 sounds best.

    excuse the lack of skill, i was tangled in cables.

    so, how should i improve this sound because its an improvement but not quite there still. eq?

    this records in mono, so should I copy the track into the right channel then set wavelab to an autopan?

    suggestions!

    --> i'm a newbie! thanks for all your help so far.
     
  11. sambaman

    sambaman Guest

    (sorry. now its up there! have a listen)

    and apologies for the clown voice. i was in a funny mood!
     
  12. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    oops:
    The file you're attempting to access from a free MediaMax account exceeds the single-file limit of 10MB.

    To access this file, please ask the account owner to upgrade the account. There are no file size limitations on Premium, Elite, or Professional plans.

    Copy this link to send to your friend to upgrade the account.
    http://www.mediamax.com/Brands/MediaMax/home/pricing_plan.aspx



    Go ahead and copy it to the right channel, adjust the level of both channels if need be.

    Save it as an MP3, 128k if you can, and try uploading it again.
     
  13. sambaman

    sambaman Guest

    sorted! sorry for that!
     
  14. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    If you record to a mono channel it should pan center. No sense recording to a stereo track when you are only using one mic. Can't say much about the sound. I'm a work right now.
     
  15. sambaman

    sambaman Guest

    any thoughts on the posted file as to improving the sound?
     
  16. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Well, at first listen it did sound a bit "flat" and not in any good way. You kind of have to experiment with different positions. Did you try in front of the sound hole with a hipass filter engaged?

    What kind of guitar are you micing?
     
  17. sambaman

    sambaman Guest

    the guitar is a really nice old yamaha that has a great tone. i've also tried the micing with a taylor steel strung and a takemine. so its not the guitar as such with the problem.

    (sorry what's a hipass filter? are we talking software or some form of hardware? is it available for wavelab?)

    at the moment having a bit of trouble because the audiophile runs into the mini-firewire port on my laptop, which through moving in and out is now buggared. and rather than wait for it to be repaired, im thinking new sound card usb2 because that problem wont occur.

    any ideas? ive seen a maudio usb2 fasttrack ultra. it means i could use that as a mixer too and bin the audiophile and the phonic for now because it has plenty of inputs

    http://www.m-audio.com

    let me know soon! i want to order it today if you guys think its a good idea!
     

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