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Setup to record guitar only

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by foul_owl, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. foul_owl

    foul_owl Active Member

    I am starting to build amps, and I would like to record how they sound. I am mainly building high gain amps, with metal in mind. I currently use a Peavey Valveking cab (ugh, getting a cab with V30s soon), a Shure SM58 into an XLR to 1/4 inch adapter (quality loss) into my laptop's mic in. Running Ubuntu Loonix, using Audacity. Using a Schecter Damien FR with EMG 81/60.

    I am planning on getting a decent audio interface, as apparently there is a quality loss with XLR to 1/4 inch, and also I don't know how good (bad) the ADCs in my laptop's sound card is. Looking to spend $100, but could be convinced to spend maybe a bit more if it would make a difference.

    Current recordings are decent. The tone of the gain sounds good, but it sounds a bit lo fi. Download clips here:
    http://www.zshare.net/download/810013963f2ccaac/
    http://www.zshare.net/download/810015055b14d2ba/
    Please critique to all hell.

    Here is what I need help with:
    * Should I stick with the SM58? Mic placement tips? Specifically mic placement tips for this style of music, if that matters.
    * What audio interface should I get? Budget of $100, perhaps a bit more.
    * How can I get my recordings to not sound like every other high gain metal guitar recording, but still sound awesome?
    * What volume should I be recording at? (Obviously very subjective unless I used a decibel meter at the mic I guess) Use an attenuator?
    * I want to double track, but it is loud to the point where I can't hear the recording in my headphones. Are there studio quality isolation headphones? Or should I get just a decent pair of isolation headphones (since sound quality doesn't really matter when playing along with something) and then get some studio monitors? My goal here is to have some sort of really nice studio monitors/headphones, but also have isolation headphones, while minimizing cost, budget of approx $200. Also what about monitors vs headphones?

    whew, I think that is it. :biggrin:
     
  2. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    58 0r 57 nearly the same mic will produce great results. Mic placement http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug07/articles/guitaramprecording.htm
    $100.00 ????? For a good interface?????
    The lowest possible volume while still achieving amp dynamics is usually best, in high gain amps this is usually a moot point as the levels are usually very loud to get the amp to perform, this increased volume makes the reflectivity of the space very important. Even close mic'd amps will suffer from bad rooms. Some people like attenuators I don't, I can hear a difference in the amps tonality.
    You can probably find these at a better price http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002GZLY2/?tag=recording.org-20
    Monitors over headphones for mixing absolutely. $200 for monitors is a a very very very low budget
     
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Welcome to RO !!!
    This post is really not appropriate for the PRO RECORDING forum, try the BUDGET GEAR section. JG is right on, you don't have a realistic budget for what you are attempting to achieve.
    BTW, the type of connector doesn't dictate the sound quality of the rig, the circuitry behind the connector(s) does. I realize that you are just starting out, please forgive the negativity, but I'm curious how somebody who feels that they have the technical chops to build a high quality, reliable, high-gain amp with tone that sets it apart from the other crapola out there could be so naive about the recording medium. You might try going online to some of these "boutique amp" manufacturers and see what they list in the recording chain for their sound clips. Then save your pennies to buy decent gear that will support your efforts... best of luck to ya!
     
  4. foul_owl

    foul_owl Active Member

    Thanks for the help! That helps me a lot.

    What about a $400 budget for an audio interface?
     
  5. foul_owl

    foul_owl Active Member

    Thanks for the input!

    Ok, how about a budget of $400 for an interface, and $400 for monitors.

    Of course I understand that it is not the connector, I just used XLR to refer to balanced and 1/4" to refer to unbalanced. An incorrect reference on my part, but I didn't think much of it. I would assume that using a balanced cable from my mic to a balanced input on the audio interface would sound better than using a balanced to unbalanced converter at the point of the audio interface and using an unbalanced input. That is what I meant when I said "(quality loss)" as I thought someone would mention that, and I wanted to point out that I was aware of that quality loss. It's a moot point anyway, as I'm not going to be using my laptop's sound card, once I get an interface, lol. But I wanted to list exactly what was in the chain for those clips that I posted.

    Haha, yes it's true, I have read little to nothing about recording. I have spent my time working on my amps themselves. It is only recently that I decided I wanted to try recording myself, vs taking them to a studio.

    I certainly welcome constructive criticism (please critique the clips that I posted!)
     
  6. foul_owl

    foul_owl Active Member

    Also, I have been thinking about building one of these: http://www.amptone.com/diyisobox.htm

    How do they sound compared to a room? Do they work well for high gain amps?
     
  7. foul_owl

    foul_owl Active Member

    If I built an isolation cabinet, would it matter if it was designed to hold a 1x12, 2x12 or 4x12 soundwise? Considering my budget, I was thinking about just using 1x12s with various speakers, in a somewhat large isolation cabinet to offer more mic placement options.
     
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    oh dear foul_owl. You want your guitar to sound good. Use a cabinet that is relatively small and has a single speaker within it, for recording purposes. You use your other big stuff for the big shows not for recording purposes. That's issue number one.

    SM57 or SM58, it doesn't matter which. Close-up to the grill in front of the center Cone. Don't like that sound? Move the microphone 2 inches to the right or to the left of the Cone. So that is focused upon the body speaker as opposed to smack dab in the center of the Cone.

    Decent microphone preamplifier like API 312/512 or Neve 1272/3115/1072/1073, etc., Avalon, GML, Millennium.

    Screw the isolation cabinet. You Mike it close and you also stick a pair down the hall, into the living room or the den and record those on a couple of other channels.

    Now that's a serious commitment. If you're not planning on making that serious a commitment try this:

    SM57 into M-Audio USB/Digidesign USB/RME FireWire/other cheapies with XLR inputs and for it.

    Try sticking a microphone in the back of the speaker cabinet and invert the phase when mixing it. Or put one in front in phase and one in back out of phase. They don't have to be the same kind of microphones.

    Move the cabinet around your house and find out where you want to record the sound. If you want it to sound like it is in a little box buy the little box. Then you won't have to worry about quality sound anymore.

    Think outside the box, please
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  9. foul_owl

    foul_owl Active Member

    Ok, I think I'll go with the 1x12 then! I want to use an isolation cabinet because I want to get a good cranked sound without an attenuator, and don't want to piss off my neighbors. Thanks!
     
  10. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    BTW I went to your clips but they are on a crappy "must download" them site, many people here like myself won't download anything from an unknown site. Try posting your clips in the song and mix collabaration forum and use a site like soundclick (which is free) that streams them so they don't need to be downloaded
     
  11. foul_owl

    foul_owl Active Member

    Thanks for the tip! I'll put em up on Soundclick tonight!
     

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