The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Killing tape hiss and saving the sound...
Old 20th February 2003
  #31
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Kris
I agree that something must be wrong... this might be a good time to contact Digidesign support... You might have a bad I/O or clock or something...

What you hear monitoring vs what you hear on playback should be the same, no? Unless they are at different listening levels...
I think Kris hit it on the head. If the sound works for you even going through the converters, something "bad" happens on the way to disk and back. That could very well be a clock, jitter, latency or ??? problem. I have been recording distorted guitars to digital since the early 80s, because I DON'T like the sound of analog tape. Call me crazy, but I like the tape emulation of the HEDD or SPIDER much better than tape itself, because it's more controllable (and they don't smell). I don't think tape is going to solve your problem. A call to the mother of Alshihad is in order. Can you get another PT system into your studio to compare?
Old 20th February 2003
  #32
Gear Addict
 
mplancke's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
Call me crazy, but I like the tape emulation of the HEDD or SPIDER much better than tape itself, because it's more controllable (and they don't smell).
I love the smell of tape in the morning. yuktyy

Hell, I love the smell of tape anytime.



Mark
Old 20th February 2003
  #33
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I think you should try a few other experiments. Try recording some other instruments, and voices. See if they sound different coming off disk than they do in rehearse. Get someone to help you to do this. That way you can be in the isolated CR while they are in the live room. Try some acoustic sources, a small, clean quiet guitar amp, male and female voice (talking is fine for this test).

I would also like to know is in rehearse you are only listening to guitar, but once something is recorded, you are also hearing other tracks. You may be experiencing different tracks fighting for the same sonic real estate. Solo always sounds different than in context. I try to not EQ in solo for that reason.

Now on to tape and hiss. First guitar amps have a lot more noise than tape. Second hit the tape fairly hard, and use 30 ips if you're really concerned. Third mute large sections of silence.

Keep in mind that the hiss you hear from good nearfields won't always be a problem on normal playback systems. It's not as big a worry as some people think. Also get as wide a format with as little tracks as you can afford. A 1" 8-track will be quieter that a 1/2". As the track width gets smaller the noise get louder.
Old 20th February 2003
  #34
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

also you HAVE to be sure you have FULL isolation when critically listening to the guitar tracks while monitoring. guitar amps put out a ridiculous amount of sound pressure and its most likely the sound you are hearing while monitoring is being mixed with the actual amp... another reason why on playback it could sound different because it doesnt have the live signal mixed in with it. if you can hear the guitar AT ALL with the monitor turned down while playing... the signal is being affected on the monitors.
Old 20th February 2003
  #35
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
If you don't want to spend $10k or more and 5-10 years learning how to do this in order to finish your record...I would find and hire a good engineer that you trust and go into a recording studio that he recommends.

It's the quickest path.
Totally. There is no substitute for a for an experienced engineer. Every time I work with someone else I learn at least one or two things, even if it's what NOT to do.

Most times to get guitars to record well you'll need to back down on the gain, highs and turn up the mids. Most of the sounds you listed as favorites are actually pretty low gain and have plenty of mids. Remember that when you listen to the amp in the room your hearing all 4 speakers push air and the reflections of the room. When you record your sticking one or two mics on a tiny little part of 1 speaker. It's not even close to the same deal.
Old 21st February 2003
  #36
Thanks for all the tips guys. I opted to buy a nice set up instead of using the money for recording at a studio because I'm in this for the long haul and want to learn. I don't want to just be a songwriter/musician with little knowledge of the recording process. As with everything, I'll get better in time. I don't expect to do grammy engineering work for a while haha. I just want to learn as much as I can and apply it to my music.
As far as the bleed thing goes, it's extremely minimal. The cab is two rooms away and off the floor with two closed doors between me and it. ...and no, I'm not listening to it in the mix and wondering why it sounds so different. I'm listening very carefully to just the isolated guitar track.
With vocals, keys and clean guitar, I am satisfied with the transfer to digital. The distorted guitar just seems to be a different animal and seems to be affected more in the a/d conversion ... at least to my ears.
I'm not overcranking the distortion either. I'm getting the amp to put out just enough beef without getting muddy. I will try it with less gain. It seems strange to me that you would say that the albums I listed don't use much distortion because to me, VH 1, STP Core etc sound like a lot of distortion to me. Core sounds a little thicker as I think there was surely some doubled guitar tracks.

Do you guys really think that it would not help my guitar tracks to sound better by say recording first to tape, hitting it hard and then dumping to pt?

Again, thanks for all your input guys. When I accept my grammy for best metal country disco rap, I'll say I owe it all to the family of gear slutz

Thx,
Steve
Old 21st February 2003
  #37
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by guittarzzan
. . . The distorted guitar just seems to be a different animal and seems to be affected more in the a/d conversion ...
That's what I don't understand. When you listen THROUGH ProTools, you would be listening THROUG A/D - D/A conversion, right? So, the only difference to after it's been recorded is the way to the hard drive and back. If you are NOT listening THROUGH PT but to the input of the converter (before conversion) then the problem obviously would be the A/D - D/A conversion. In that case maybe a different A/d converter might work better. I don't have PT , so I don't know how they do their input monitoring.
Old 21st February 2003
  #38
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by guittarzzan
Do you guys really think that it would not help my guitar tracks to sound better by say recording first to tape, hitting it hard and then dumping to pt?
no. because you arent eliminating issues that seem to be apparent in your post.

or are you just wanting us to all say... sure, tape will be the saviour to all your problems. go buy a tape deck?
Old 21st February 2003
  #39
I don't want anyone to say anything, but their honest opinion. That's what these forums are all about...sharing of ideas and experience. It almost seems like some of you are just playing devil's advocate against getting an analog recorder. As I said earlier I had a previous post asking if people thought that guitars really benefitted from going to tape first before daw and pretty much across the board they all said yes. Aside from whatever technical anomolie ( I probably spelled that wrong) I'm experiencing, I fail to see how recording to tape first, as so many prefer, would not be a good idea.
How many great sounding guitar oriented rock albums are out there that were recorded straight to disk?? My assumption is that there aren't many. I would love to get the insided scoop on people's successes in recording high gain guitars to disk.
I'm not looking for reassurance on a gear purchase or that is what I would have said in my original post. I was simply asking how people deal with tape hiss. Regardless of what anyone says, I will probably end up getting an analog recorder, have it serviced and see what kind of results I can get.
So since this thread has taken a hard turn into oblivion, I ask this: What are some cd's out that were, for sure, recorded straight to disk and that have great sounding "rock" guitars???
I'm sure it can be done. I just haven't hit that mark yet.
thx,
Steve
Old 21st February 2003
  #40
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
Well Michael Wagener has recorded some very big rock and pop names and he tells you that there is nothing wrong with recording guitars to digital, so I would definitely listen!

Even the guys on here who have analogue are telling you that analogue vs digital is not the answer to your problem.

I personally suspect that the problem is that monitoring your sound when you play it sounds ok, but possibly the sound you are putting to tape isn't sitting in with the other instruments in your track. This sounds through and through like an actual mic/recording technique problem. I would be inclined to get a professional engineer/producer to either come in and help you track your guitar or go to a professional studio. Stop watch and listen to what they do and you will probably learn very quickly where you are going wrong. As others here have said this is nothing to do with Analogue vs Digital.

Regards

Roland
Old 21st February 2003
  #41
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Steve,

In reply to your last post, I very much prefer tracking gits to 2" (and staying there). You'll also find a lot of guys, particularly on the internet, who don't prefer dealing with analog tape. Can both work? Sure. In the end, you have to compare, listen and decide what works best for you.

Some albums that sound to me like they didn't see 2" (but I could be wrong...) would be Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory, Puddle of Mudd's debut disc and Papa Roach's Infest.

In answer to your original post, I never have a problem with tape hiss. It's a non-issue for me, though I do use automation or gates to mute the empty sections of the analog tracks. I usually work at +6 to +9 over 185nW/m with GP9 tape on a Studer A820, 30 ips, no NR.
Old 21st February 2003
  #42
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

dude, you are getting posts from michael wagener who recorded a TON of great rock guitar tones on digital that have gone multi-platinum.

we ARENT playing devils advocate against getting an analog recorder... we are saying something is fucked up about your system if what you hear monitoring differs from playback when listening while monitoring through the whole ADA chain. SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOUR SETUP. ANALOG WILL NOT HELP YOU. YOU WILL STILL HAVE FUCKED UP PLAYBACK WHEN YOU DUMP THE TRACK FROM TAPE INTO PT IF YOU DO NOT FIND THE CAUSE BETWEEN YOUR MONITORING AND RECORDED TONES. THEY SHOULD NOT DIFFER.

besides, guitar is definately not something that benefits from hitting tape. nor have i ever had a problem with tape hiss on distorted guitar tracks... the amp hiss far outweighs tape hiss.

the biggest difference between analog tape and digital comes in the drums... and even there its just subjective depending on the sound you want to hear. i have heard drums sound godlike straight to digital.
Old 21st February 2003
  #43
Lives for gear
 
blackcatdigi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by guittarzzan
...if this helps at all, some of my favorite records in terms of how the rythm guitar sounds are: (snip), Godsmack debut, (snip)
You've received excellent advice, previously. I also track guitars to dig and am generally pleased with the results I obtain.

A few personal observations:

1. IIRC, the Godsmack was tracked directly to digital and was a very conservatively budgeted project (for major label releases, at least). After the success of that record, the band (or rather, Sculley) decided to work with the same engineer on the next record. Straight to PT. No tape involved in those sounds.

2. Mr. Wagener is advising you that you don't need tape. If you're unsure of the validity of his opinion on this subject, check www.allmusic.com or just go look at your record collection.

3. If you're not hearing exactly what you've recorded upon playback, the input is not the culprit and the problem lies elsewhere. One of the acknowledged advantages of digital (over analog) is that it sounds essentially the same after recording as before. IOW, the medium itself, (unlike tape) has (in theory) no sonic character. (Convertors and nyquist theorum excepted), what goes in is what comes out. Assuming you are monitoring post conversion, the recorded signal IS the same. If this is not the case, something is wrong, and none of your tape remedies are going to rectify it.

4. You've spent some pretty serious cash on gear, already. I understand your reasoning, but for what you spent on gear, you could have already finished a very polished recording in a well equiped, professional studio, and with a very experienced engineer and/or producer at the helm... As you've elected to take on engineering in addition to being a musician, follow through and do the right thing. Pony up a couple more bucks and hire a pro to come over and trouble shoot your system/setup. Demonstrate your particular dillema to them and have them 1.Verify a problem exists. 2. Track down the problem by systematically elliminating possible offenders. 3. Rectify the problem. 4. Verify the problem no longer exists. 5. Offer up some guitar recording tips and and evaluate your tracking methods (what the hell, they're already there!)...

5. As this is Gear Slutz and no post would be complete w/o some gear suggestions, here are my suggestions to add to your shopping lust if you feel you must buy more stuff... Call Fletcher @ Mercenary and order a R121/122, an IBP (to aid in multimicing your amp) and a HEDD. Try again. Ship any/all back if there's no noticeable improvement.

6. Oh yeah, there is no reason to be embarrased to like a well recorded album (Out of the Cellar)... As a resident of Hollyweird in the mid 80s, and being privy to the LA Metal scene, I must say that the folks who worked on that record did a magnificent (if not downright miraculous) job, getting that record out of that band. Those were the days. That was the place. Everything your mother ever warned you about. In Excess!


Best of Luck!
Old 21st February 2003
  #44
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by guittarzzan
[B]I don't want anyone to say anything, but their honest opinion.

...truncated...

Regardless of what anyone says, I will probably end up getting an analog recorder, have it serviced and see what kind of results I can get.
[B]
Sure, go ahead and get one and see if that helps but I doubt it will. If your really dead set on buying on a deck I'd highly suggest going to a studio with an analog deck and a clue on how to run it and book a few hours to see if that gives you what you want. Compare tracking guitar to tape and bouncing vs. going right to your rig. Or, you could just spend a few grand on an analog rig and a large amount of time figuring out how to set it up and properly align and bias the deck. If it isn't biased and aligned your just shooting yourself in the foot and it will sound worse then anything you have now.

And yes, VH 1 (Van Halen right?) doesn't have a ton of gain as compared to the God Smack guitars. If you think it does then you need to spend more time listening and A/Bing while tracking. That'll pay bigger dividends then any new gear you get.
Old 22nd February 2003
  #45
Thanks once again guys. I actually have spent some money and had 2 "engineers" come over to work with me on the guitar stuff and I hate to say this, but I think I had/have a better grasp of recording technique than either of them. One guy who was highly recommended by a fairly popular studio in town said he preferred the sound of the Pod pro over the VHT. Now the Pod does have some nice sounds, but I would think any half way decent engineer would rarely place the pod as his first choice over miking a nice tube amp. The other guy was a waste completely and was at about the same level I'm at. Maybe I'll look to some other studios around and see if I can find someone with some real crudentials to troubleshoot.
Yes, I would like to get a Royer as I've heard nothing but good things about em for guitars among other things. The problem is that I'm about to get a Lawson L47mp for vocs and that will delay a Royer for a while. I'm kinda hoping that the Lawson, maybe in combination with another mike will deliver some nice results on my guitars too.
I've heard a lot about the Hedd. At the same sample rates, does it do the a/d thing really a lot better than a digi 192 combined with a Fatso? I don't really need another converter, but if it does the analog simulation a lot better than the Fatso, it might be worth checking out I guess.
I'm in the middle of a remodel of a utility room at the moment, but over the next week or two, I will try out a bunch of ideas you guys have thrown at me and post up my success or failure.

Thanks again for the valuable advice!!!

Steve
Old 22nd February 2003
  #46
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

anyone who think a pod sounds better than a VHT needs to have the pod shoved so far up their ass they puke it out.
Old 22nd February 2003
  #47
I might pick up a Pod Pro XT model with SPDIF / AES outs (if they ever get around to releasing one...)

The Hiwat emulaton on the Vetta was cool, real Who Live at Leeds, (well, with me playing it it was )
Old 22nd February 2003
  #48
Lives for gear
 
jazzius's Avatar
 

Ok, i don't really know shit about recording guitars but here's my 2 escudos......

........guitarzzan......these guys know what the hell they're talking about.....sit down and read this thread again very carefully.

Being a great engineer is about being 50/50.........50% artist and 50% scientist..........in this case you need to concentrate on the scientist part.......something is wrong with your setup (maybe only in your own mind)......find out what is routed where 'cause the problem you described doesn't make sense........

........you don't need tape, you need experience

something else occured to me........maybe what he's missing after the recording is the acoustic sound of the guitar (plectrum on strings......other hi-freq twangly noises)......would it be worth micing up the guitar or is this ridiculous??????????grggt
Old 22nd February 2003
  #49
Jules, I don't want to burst your bubble, but my experience with recording with Pod pro is that it records better using the analog outs into a decent converter. ...at least with the higher gain stuff. When one of the so called engineers was here, we did a few a/b comparisons on the pod using analog and digital outs and we both preferred the analog. Maybe the new pod is different. I think the pod is better used in combo with a tube power amp+ cab and just miking it. ...which of course makes it just another preamp, but I think the tracks are a little more believeable. Keep in mind, it's a noob telling you this and you may be able to make a pod sound like a cranked soldano...I can't.

Cheers,
Steve
Old 22nd February 2003
  #50
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Man, sounds like you gotta find some real engineers. For all the time I've spent with the POD and J-Station I've never been able to get great sounds easily. I've had them make it to ear-candy tracks a few times but that's usually after lots of fussing and EQ. But, if you look at it for what it is it's pretty cool. I think of it as a new Rockman.
Old 22nd February 2003
  #51
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

the POD glitches. fully unworth it. get a couple real heads an a few cabinets.

i want that zvex nanohead.
Old 22nd February 2003
  #52
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

check out this head jules

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...&category=2384

fuck the pod and all the pod type clones.
Old 22nd February 2003
  #53
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

I'm not usually into modelizations and plug-ins, but a Virgin/EMI singer/guitarist/songwriter came in this month with about 15 different head and amps, including a new Line6 Vetta to try out. Now, this guy is about 45 years old, loves vintage sounds, and he recorded 28 songs live with his band in 8 days for the next album to analog tape. No editing.

To his and my surprise, we ended up using the Vetta for the entire album...and none of his vintage amps. The Vetta regularly sounded more like what he wanted than all his regular amps (there was a Pod also, but it sounded, well, like a Pod and didn't get used).

Anybody else recording with the Vetta? Experiences?
Old 22nd February 2003
  #54
Lives for gear
 
blackcatdigi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
I might pick up a Pod Pro XT model with SPDIF / AES outs (if they ever get around to releasing one...)
to which Steve responded:

Quote:
Originally posted by Guitarzzan
I don't want to burst your bubble, but my experience with recording with Pod pro is that it records better using the analog outs into a decent converter.
You're probably correct in that observation; However...

I'm guessing Jules intended use (for the device), is as an outboard 'Amp Farm' (to free up DSP in PT)... That's why he wants the dig I/O.
Think hardware 'Plug In' to insert on tracks. I've considered this myself...
Old 22nd February 2003
  #55
Gear Addict
 
mplancke's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk

besides, guitar is definately not something that benefits from hitting tape.
It'll take a lot of convincing for me to tow the line on that one Alpha. I love the extra punch and grind you get when you hit the tape just right, it's the cherry on top of the cake. I've never heard tracks come back from digital sounding better, not just different than when they went in.

Mark
Attached Thumbnails
Killing tape hiss and saving the sound...-atr102.gif  
Old 23rd February 2003
  #56
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

its not my job to convince you... but i dont get my tracks coming back out sounding differently... sounds like the same great tone i was going in with, mine dont need "improvement" from tape
Old 23rd February 2003
  #57
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by mplancke
I love the extra punch and grind you get when you hit the tape just right, it's the cherry on top of the cake. I've never heard tracks come back from digital sounding better, not just different than when they went in.

Mark

I agree.

Transfer from 2" to PT...it always sounds worse.

Transfer from PT to 2"...it sounds better or worse depending on the machine, engineer, and musical context.

Keep in mind that many posts here are from folks who don't use both formats together on a regular basis. They would have a hard time really knowing if the gits sound better to 2" versus their DAW/digital recorder without working both formats regularly.

If you are happy with what you're getting, that's the most important.
Old 23rd February 2003
  #58
"I'm not usually into modelizations and plug-ins, but a Virgin/EMI singer/guitarist/songwriter came in this month with about 15 different head and amps, including a new Line6 Vetta to try out. Now, this guy is about 45 years old, loves vintage sounds, and he recorded 28 songs live with his band in 8 days for the next album to analog tape. No editing.

To his and my surprise, we ended up using the Vetta for the entire album...and none of his vintage amps. The Vetta regularly sounded more like what he wanted than all his regular amps (there was a Pod also, but it sounded, well, like a Pod and didn't get used).

Anybody else recording with the Vetta? Experiences?"

Now THIS is damn interesting to me. I tried a Vetta combo in NYC a year or so back & was knocked out with its Hiwat emulation. Total "Who Live at Leeds"...

I looked into the Vetta head but got cold feet.. I have an Engle Head & cab now, I may well get Vetta Head one day...Just for all the variation.... Or run an XT with cab emulation off into the poweramp stage of the Engle.. I dont have much storage space here...

Tips about not bothering about Line 6 digital outs - noted & appreciated, I was more concerned with easy access to parameters....
Old 23rd February 2003
  #59
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Keep in mind that many posts here are from folks who are elitist snobs who have to justify their monthly lease payments.
Old 23rd February 2003
  #60
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Now THIS is damn interesting to me. I tried a Vetta combo in NYC a year or so back & was knocked out with its Hiwat emulation. Total "Who Live at Leeds"...

I looked into the Vetta head but got cold feet.. I have an Engle Head & cab now, I may well get Vetta Head one day...Just for all the variation.... Or run an XT with cab emulation off into the poweramp stage of the Engle.. I dont have much storage space here...

Tips about not bothering about Line 6 digital outs - noted & appreciated, I was more concerned with easy access to parameters....
Hey Jules,

For the vintage sounds, which that album was all about, I was pretty impressed. I wish we'd had time to compare the Vetta's Soldano and Rectifier presets to their real equivalents here to check out the Vetta's performance on heavier sounds.
πŸ“ Reply
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
πŸ–¨οΈ Show Printable Version
βœ‰οΈ Email this Page
πŸ” Search thread
♾️ Similar Threads
πŸŽ™οΈ View mentioned gear