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The magic space..

Discussion in 'Recording' started by EricIndecisive, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    Hey everyone, I have been using modeled guitars in my recordings for a while now, trying to get ideas down or what have you. But every time I try to record vocals over them, they sound like crap. The vocals do not fit at all!

    Then I listen to my older recordings, or something that is mostly acoustic, and they just sound so much better.

    So... I have come to the conclusion that there is some magic space between the amp and the microphone that naturally leaves room for vocals and other instruments that these amp modeling plugins can't create. Am I crazy?

    Also, when you cut out the lower frequencies on your electric guitars, how low do you go?

  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Welcome to the nightmare of ITB linear audio. Not that this is totally related but take a look at http://recording.org/pro-audio-gear/48262-dangerous-2-bus-hybrid-audio-explained.html
    Its partly why you are wondering and maybe hearing something that you can't quite put your finger on it. Whether everyone believes this or not is another topic.

    The better your ears get, the more you'll notice how analog and digital is a challenge. Make sure you leave a lot of headroom.

    Your song sounds great BTW so you are definitely on the right track.
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    -15 digital is right around anaolg 0. Headroom helped me get a 'fuller' sound in digital.
    DI works awsome on bass, clean guitars. Just hasn't done it for me when harmonic distortion comes into play. Listen to an old blues vocalist overdrive the chain, then to a modern -recreation.
    As far as mixing goes, 'like crap' is a vague judge. Too much 3k? which modeling used? i like guitar rig if i had to pick soundwise, still sounds too seperated for me. (great when i have an idea and heaphones in my bedroom tho!) i use my free amplitube for these situations.
    I found lately that, overdriving my cheap ART MPA 2's input section, and dialing in less binary code distortion, helped to keep things a bit more fun on distorted DI guitar.
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    0dBFS is 0dBFS period. Analog or digital is irrelevant. Carry on.
  5. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    I use Amplitube for my guitars. But I never plug in direct, I always use the clean channel on my "real" amp. It's set as neutral as I can get it, and straight out the back via cable.

    I've recently learned here on Recording.Org that this works so good because it matches the impedance for me - a direct box usually doesn't, neither does a simple cable.
  6. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    You use what out on the amp? The build-in recording out? Just wanted to know...
    Is it something different than a DI?

    M2c, ..Some amp simulations have been made just too perfect and give you too much of what you don't need.
    I have just tested the RammFire of NI and found it quite nice, but I must use it in a mix first,
    before I can decide if it is doing a good job there. I usually record guitars clean (by DI) and with mic(s) from the cabinet.
    For many recordings you neeeed the guitar in the same room for interacting with the amp. The constant influence of the vibes are sculpturing the sound and when recording solos it is even more important. You hold by the neck and squeeze the living daylight out of the frets...lol... move your fingers on the wood and it begins to live much more than playing separated from the stack...
  7. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    Cool posts guys, thank you.

    Big K - I think the room is definitely a big part of it. I currently record in my bedroom with hardwood floors... so my vocals are very NOT isolated. I have tried to isolate them but the work it involves is not worth the payoff for what it does.

    That being said, I was working on recording today and I think I got some decent sounds out of the 57... I'm going to do this whole song with that one mic. A big problem was my amp settings, had to turn the bass way down for these recordings. Recording 3 tracks for each side, each one at a different level of gain (distorted guitars)
  8. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    It just says "mono/stereo out". There are two XLRs on it, and tapping just the left one gives a mono of both channels. I have to use some gain on my Firepod to get a good level. The instruction manual just says "plug this into your soundboard".

    It's an old ART SGX2000-Express Studio, circa 1996.
  9. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    I have to have my real amp cranked for doing fast solos. In that case I'll run straight into the Firepod's Instrument input (channel 1) and then out the pre-amp out into the "real amp". THe real amp is set for distortion and loud volume so I can "groove" on it. But when I do that, I negate my previous post. Instead, I'm relying on the Firepod's instrument pre-amp to match impedances. It does a great job, although the FIrepod is known for having a "generic" sound, ie, not much coloration. Many opinions exist as to whether or not that is good or bad.
  10. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    Sounds pretty complex Todd!

    Another main reason that I REALLY want to get away from guitar rig, is when I have a bunch of them loaded, not only is the computer slower, but I have had a lot of files crash now because of that stupid program. For whatever reason the settings in my old files won't load anymore and crashes fruity loops every time. It's stuff I wanted to re-record anyways, but still. It would be nice to have the old ones. Oh well.

    Anyways, I did this all in about 15 minutes as a test... recorded all the tracks and did a quick mix, etc. with compression, EQ. Standard settings in ezdrummer just for the test. I want to know what you guys would change I guess, and does everything fit together? I always feel like my vocals never fit my mixes... Oh and don't pay attention to the lyrics, lol. I just sing gibberish to get a melody, and so you could tell me how the vocals fit in.

    You get the point, just tell me what you think / would change.

    Mix Test by EricIndecisive on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Listening on a pair of k240's. Your guitars/drums sound like there in the same space, but your vocs are completeley dry. this would be okay if it were a hip hop track. Throw some delay and verb on them. the delay can simply thicken it up a bit and or define the imaginary rooms boundries. the verb will help set the vocals placement front to back. you don't have to drown them, just make them a bit more cohesive.
    Oh yea you should check your compression settings, and pick articulation. the muted parts on the riff are quite soft, and blurry.
  12. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    How about spending a week on it and come back with something you are proud of?
    Maybe with a worked-out melody line and some solo in it?
    Your song, your work, your place in the Rock'nRoll hall of fame...

    Originally I wanted to put a ;-) under the lines, but I won't.
    What comes next? "Please, give me some advice on this D-String sound"?
    lol... Nahh,...


    I have had a crash with Guitar Rig ( free version ), too, when I installed it some months ago.
    It screwed up my Home machine quite nicely. I still don't know why it did that.
    It installed flawless on my studio PC, lately, to get Rammfire on it for testing.
  13. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    Thanks guys. kmetal - you're right i did keep them dry for some reason. must have forgot to put something on it! I usually put a subtle delay or two, one close one to widen the vocal, and a quieter more distant delay to blend them a bit. I think the muted palm parts might have been my playing. I was hardly paying attention to what I was playing so I didn't really put any effort into it. Definitely shows in the recording!

    Big K - will do, haha. I have other things that I am working on that hopefully will have a bit more depth to them than that little riff. I have lots of already written songs to record, Ill try to tackle some this next week.

    Yeah guitar rig works sometimes with me, and other times crashes like crazy. I'm finally getting a sound I like out of my guitars. 2 mics on the amp, and then in fruity loops there is a 'stereo shaper' that allows me to easily play with each channel as well as it's phase all in one little box. I don't know what I'm doing but I just keep playing with it until it sounds good to my ears. It's pretty cool!

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