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Using a PC daw setup

Discussion in 'Recording' started by bwmac, May 8, 2007.

  1. bwmac

    bwmac Active Member

    I have a small home studio and I am never happy with my recordings.
    I suppose everything revolves around the sound card,
    so I tried a different one and different drivers,
    I have used different programs and now use sonar-6,
    and have even gone to a new 64 bit pc.
    I guess the only thing I haven't changed is the engineer, me, LOL
    My only conclusion is that it must be in the mix and
    that I always make the same mistakes.
    Its very hard to analyze your self.

    Does anyone else have this same problem.
  2. i dont know if its just me but i heard there was little to no difference between a $200 and a $2000 dollar soundcard... I all thought it depended on your mic and the other stuff correct me if im wrong
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Is there a difference between a Honda and a Ferrari? You get what you pay for. True, a hack is a hack no matter what gear he/she uses. Still, the better the gear, the easier it is to get a nice sounding recording.
  4. bwmac

    bwmac Active Member

    LOL, Very good guys, very good points, but let me explain further.
    I can strap on the guitar which is 1/4 to my GNX-4(guitar peddle), that goes to the sound card by usb.
    I can listen to the recording in sonar and it sounds exactly as I heard it while playing it.
    The change seems to be when rendered/exported out of the DAW to a wave, mp3, or wma.
    it seems to be a bit muddy-er.
    not all the time mind you. the more tracks that get rendered to the one seems to make it worse.
  5. jdier

    jdier Active Member

    I think that you would be better served using an amp and a mic to get your guitar sounds.

    You might want to share your config... which sound card, any preamp, which mic... This might help.

    One other thing to consider is your recording and mixing room. I have two mix rooms. One I can trust, the other is a crap shoot. Something might sound good in there while editting, but take a rough mix out and it sounds like hammered shite.

    If your main problem is guitar sounds, and you go the amp/mic route, then head over to http://womb.mixerman.net and check out the slipperman distorted guitars from hell stuff. There is a lot of noise there, but some wicked good info too.

    One other great source of micing info is here: http://www.homerecording.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=27030
    It is a few nights worth of reading, but if you have any interest in recording and micing at all, this is a great crash course.

    You might also want to post some examples so people can hear your problems.

    The Slipperman stuff is likely your ticket.

    Don't get too down. We all started just like you... spent a bunch of money, and every sounded like crud. It takes time and experimenting.

    Keep it up.
  6. bwmac

    bwmac Active Member

    Thanks for the reply jdier;

    I might not have been clear enough as the sounds that I record that go to a line in,
    or a mic, are exactly as i hear, well normally.

    I have two sound cards a audigy-4pro64 bit and an audiophile 2496 32 bit

    I have noticed a change in quality when converting the tracks down to a wave.
    I know that going from 24 bit to 16 will cause a difference but I thought
    that was corrected with the dithering processes.
    Now in sonar-6 I have the DC offset and dithering set for automation.
    Now I don't know if it matters but the DC offset is corrected well recording and that seems ok and the dithering is set for triangular.
    Now as far as I know the dithering is to correct the 24 to 16 bit conversion.
    Also which wave is a guy supposed to convert to (Scott's, Microsoft, riff, or broadcast)

    Thanks again for your responses
  7. bwmac

    bwmac Active Member

  8. audiotec

    audiotec Guest

    You might have too much low frequency energy in your mix. The cumulative effect from each track will cause a muddy sound in the final mix when exported. Try cutting the frequencies with the low shelving EQ in the DAW on the drum, bass guitar and guitar tracks. You could try a step slope below 50 Hz for drums, go higher for the bass guitar and higher yet for guitar. Also, experiment with attenuating the high frequencies of each instrument. The point is to not have instruments overlapping in the audio spectrum. By using subtractive EQ, you can get each instrument to sit in it's own space, which produces a more natural sounding mix when exported.
  9. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    This is interesting, because I've noticed the addition of a certain audio "mud" when I export stereo wav files o completed mixes. I just figured it was because I was going from multiple individual tracks on dedicated audio software to a stereo wav on windows media player. Andy
  10. jdier

    jdier Active Member

    You have me stumped. I have never heard the diff when I go from listening to 24 bit in sonar or reaper or PT to stereo 16 bit wav.... so I do not think that is it. I wonder if your mix software has some rendering setting that is screwing something up.

    Try it out in Reaper once and see if you get the same problem. http://www.reaper.fm
  11. bwmac

    bwmac Active Member

    Thanks jdier
    That reaper program looks good, Ill give it a try.

    Maybe we will figure this out together drumist69

    audiotec you have brought out a very good point and i know better but I don't always EQ the tracks in to their place.
    I will also put a stick on the monitor to get rid of some of that low, low thump.
  12. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    I'm currently using Reaper myself, so this should be interesting. I don't think I've got anything finished in Reaper, but I had been using Kristal Audio Engine for a while and noticed it when exporting mixes from that software. I always assumed it was either just the way it is with the process. or that it was a flaw in KAE somehow. Maybe I could try moving a KAE project over to Reaper ans see if I notice a difference between the two. Andy

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