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New to recording with an RC-505

Hey guys. New to the forums here and kind of recording in general. I've scoured the internet all over the place and can't seem to find any good resources on a proper way to input and record a Boss RC-505 loop station to a computer to record cleanly. What I'm trying to do is record primarily vocals and beatboxing, so no instruments.

Right now I am using a Shure SV100 microphone to record the lyrics plugged into a pretty dinky M-Track M-Audio audio interface which converts it to a digital signal for Ableton Live. From there, I put the effects that I want on my voice (EQ or compression) and it then plugs into the RC-505. Then all the loops and vocals go out back to the audio interface to the computer to be recorded.

I feel like this is not very streamlined, namely because I don't currently have an effects pedal so I'm forced to do a lot of the effects through Ableton. My problem is that the recording that comes out just doesn't sound quite right and has a weird distortion on the bass (No it's not clipping) and other areas.

Is there a better way to do this? I'm also having some issues figuring out which knobs to turn all the way up when recording for maximum analog control. My first few attempts to record, the end product was really quiet. Any help would be appreciated, I'm sorry if I'm not explaining things in that much detail, like I said I'm new to this.



pcrecord Tue, 05/19/2015 - 02:59

Distortions can come from many sources. The obvious ones are a overdriven preamp, missmatch impedance and bad wiring.
I think you are wrong in thinking recording hot will give a better sound. It was true when recording on tapes, but when recording in digital like we are doing today, you don't have to push the recording level that high. When recording, the level in the daw could be as low as peaks at -16db. In fact most consumer level preamps and converters will sound better that way.

Try to avoid high level recordings and auto levels effects etc. See if the problem still occur.

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DonnyThompson Tue, 05/19/2015 - 11:16

PC is spot-on about "pushing" cheaper gear, and about recording levels. You don't need to be anywhere near 0db to get nice clean recordings.

Gaining up and driving cheaper preamps usually results in a worse sound than a moderate setting. This is generally when you'll hear the major difference(s) between budget level and pro level gear. Budget level tends to get snarky sounding as you push/drive it harder, where pro stuff doesn't... and in fact, depending on the pro pre, it might even sound better as you drive it harder. But you're not gonna want to do that with a budget model.

It might be the pre, the circuitry, it could be the converters, or, even all of those things... and that M-Audio preamp / i-o you're using is definitely of the budget caliber... in the grand scheme of preamps, it's not what most pro engineers - at least the engineers I know of - would be reaching for.

Now... this doesn't mean that you can't get "okay/acceptable" results out of it, you should be able to... just don't push it too hard.