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MadSkillzMan 3rd February 2007 02:17 AM

Ugh...4x12 recording frustration!
 
Hey guys

Im here, chasing after the never ever ending how to record distortion guitar ...I'm a bit of a newb, so i really appreciate any advice..

Ive tried a couple different mics, SM58ABeta, EV MC300, and MXL2001.

My complaint with the dynamic mic's, is theyre WAY to middy. ESPECIALLY the shure. I thought i had this battle won. I tracked in on my tascam dp01. Sounded good on my M-Audio monitors

Dropped the tracks into logic, all went to hell! Usually this prog sweetens things for me..yuck not this time! Guitars sounded so gritty and dull

The MXL2001, i cant seem to figure out. No matter how hard i try, i get a ridiculous amount of ambient reverb. With the mic right there in the grill, it still sounds pleanty distant.

Im using a carvin X100b. WAS using a boss Gl100 rackmount for distortion/overdrive.. Ive tried the advice of turning down the gain, and this helped dramatically

I think part of my problem lies between the tascam and logic. Im transfering the files via USB, but the instant they land on my G5, even through the same monitors, YUCK. Its not on the whole mix though, just the guitars. Although i noticed when the MXL was heard on the computer, it sounded less roomy, which was fine with me.

Thanks in advance guys.

tINY 3rd February 2007 02:45 AM



You are doing something very wrong if the sound changes dramatically when you digitally transfer files.

I assume that when you say "same monitors" that you mean same monitors in the same place in the same room.



-tINY


davenutz 3rd February 2007 05:12 AM

make sure you have the MXL2001 oriented correctly(front towards sound more or less) the little gold cardioid shape is the 'front' of the mic.

if you have the cardioid sign facing the right way and it still sounds "roomy", turn the mic 180 degrees so that it is facing the opposite way and compare the sound. im sure it wouldnt be the first time a mic capsule was installed facing the wrong way, especially on an mxl mic where all the innards are bolted to a cylindrical metal frame.

Robearto4 3rd February 2007 07:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tINY (Post 1108568)


You are doing something very wrong if the sound changes dramatically when you digitally transfer files.

I assume that when you say "same monitors" that you mean same monitors in the same place in the same room.



-tINY



I agree, definitly get that situation settled, you might be losing quality in the audio files. What Tascam are you using?

MadSkillzMan 3rd February 2007 10:33 PM

Im using the TascamDP01.

THe monitors arent in the same place, however just to check i plugged the tascam in up here in my room where i master on logic, and the sound was definently different than on logic. Speakers were in the same exact position, forming a triangle between me and the 2 speakers

Now for whatever reason im playing today and it sounds more true to the tascam mix..WTF?

Also, with the MXL, ive been battling it for somewhile now. Yea i tried the flpping it, the diaphragm is lined up as should be, but no matter what i do with that one, its still alot of room getting in. Its definently noticable on vocals and acoustic guitar. Perhaps im setting something wrong? I do prefer the full sound of it on my cab, when compared to the dynamic, but the dynamic doesnt get all that noise in it.

Thanks for your help guys

heathen 3rd February 2007 11:57 PM

Put a really heay blanket ovey the amp and mic, make a small tunnel type of thing, dont cover the back of the amp or it will overheat and most likely die, just tape the blanket to the front and put something in there to hold up the blanket away from the mic. Make sure its really heavy and this should stop a lot of room sound.

Aussie Engineer 4th February 2007 12:06 AM

Hey Heathen. you're an Aussie and seem like a smart lad. Go to high end and see the post high end opinions. Jules (Doctor Evil) keeps banning Sound Bloke - he's an industry legend who has genuine opinions. There's a campaign being waged to bring him back - get behind it brother!

You're distorted guitar tunnel idea is good for that very punchy direct sound that's very popular. In a really good room, more difuse positioning can also work beautifully when those even harmonics are bouncing off the right surfaces. Omnis rule!

Robearto4 4th February 2007 12:21 AM

To add to this topic, what are your best methods for removing buzz, hum, and other unwanted noise from the amp (inside and outside of pro-tools)?

woomanmoomin 4th February 2007 01:40 AM

Hum? Electrical hum? Can be drastically reduced with EQ. What frequency are you guys on for electricity? 60 Hz? A standard (bass-cut) high-pass filter at about 80 Hz should help you get rid of a lot of the noise.

Haven't used the mic you mentioned and haven't had problems like this, but couldn't some of the problem be down to internal reflections inside the grille/mic?

Robearto4 4th February 2007 03:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woomanmoomin (Post 1110135)
Hum? Electrical hum? Can be drastically reduced with EQ. What frequency are you guys on for electricity? 60 Hz? A standard (bass-cut) high-pass filter at about 80 Hz should help you get rid of a lot of the noise.

Haven't used the mic you mentioned and haven't had problems like this, but couldn't some of the problem be down to internal reflections inside the grille/mic?

Oh, I wasn't the topic starter... I just wanted to add to the conversation. But yea, I did EQ a lot of it out, it just seems like it takes a little bit of the quality with it, tho.

I think it's cause my pickup's are pretty hot. On top of a cheap distortion pedal.

heathen 4th February 2007 07:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aussie Engineer (Post 1109974)
Hey Heathen. you're an Aussie and seem like a smart lad. Go to high end and see the post high end opinions. Jules (Doctor Evil) keeps banning Sound Bloke - he's an industry legend who has genuine opinions. There's a campaign being waged to bring him back - get behind it brother!

You're distorted guitar tunnel idea is good for that very punchy direct sound that's very popular. In a really good room, more difuse positioning can also work beautifully when those even harmonics are bouncing off the right surfaces. Omnis rule!

Mate I'm as Aussie as they come and thanks for the nice comment. Now are there any Soundbloke posts still around or has he been totally banned and deleted? Also maybe PM me and let me know who soundbloke actually is. I'm not familar with his posts but.... he must have said something pretty offensive to have been banned because ummmm I think nearly everyone has pissed at least someone off on here and gotten away with it, me included heh .

The mystery deepens as to "who is soundbloke and what did he say to get banned"? Seems a bit harsh to be banned though, maybe the sinbin for a few days but... forever is pretty rough. Then again, I was contemplating starting a thread on cracks to get myself banned but....... it's not so bad here, heh. Jokes. gooof

I reckon if George Bush can be president of America soundbloke should be able to play on gearslutz. No one is as offensive as George Bush.

Heathen

MadSkillzMan 4th February 2007 09:56 AM

Hey guys

Ill try the blanket thing tmr.

Surprisingly i havent had any issues with hum. I keep my setup wired good, guitar was properly shielded, plus a cheapo furman at the top

More i listen to my mix compraed to some in the other forum...damn im doing something real wrong lol

Robearto4 4th February 2007 09:20 PM

Yea, I'm definitly going to think about trying the blanket thing, cause I don't like the sound of any of the rooms I'm going to be recording in really. This will be my first time recording guitar amps, wish me luck...

woomanmoomin 4th February 2007 09:48 PM

Short little span of attention
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Robearto4 (Post 1110309)
I did EQ a lot of it out, it just seems like it takes a little bit of the quality with it, tho.

I think it's cause my pickup's are pretty hot. On top of a cheap distortion pedal.

A lot of people swear by these Monster cables for eliminating noise. Never tried 'em. Anyway, I guess any distortion pedal could make things way worse. I guess it's harmonising/distorting/thickening all the hum that's going into it, and (being cheap, in this case) adding a whole load of non-groovy noise all its own.

Sorry I haven't got a big enough attention span to notice who starts these chains and who's just contributing, by the way. It's the Neanderthal blood in my veins.

MadSkillzMan 5th February 2007 01:04 AM

OK guys

I had a wool blanket laying in my kickdrum, i draped it over part of the 4x12 and this time used my MXL2001.

I recorded my riff, without listening to other recording, just with the drum track

Then i A/B'd the 2 recordings. Guess what, dynamic mics sound like CRAP! The MXL sounds so full and open and obviously very little sound is lost. It does need some distortion tweaking. I want it heavy enough to still sound "brutal" but i quickly found its easy to make a chainsaw recording.

The blanket eliminated NEARLY all noise. The only thing it was faintly picking up was my coldwater aquarium across the room, but i temprarily unpluged the filter...had to write a sign on the door to remind me to plug it back in lol.

Now something i noticed. Im using a behringer Eurorack mixer. The sound that comes from the mixer, and the sound in the Tascam are slightly different. I found out that MAINLY the sound between the Headphones out and Mains out, are ungodly different. The headphone jack sounds much sweeter and richer, the mains jack has the dullest sound ive ever heard. Way to go behringer...

Im wondering if the lame ass preamps in the tascam are degrading the sound. Luckily thats just a single board that can pop out for future modding.

Thanks a ton guys. I heard the blanket trick before, but never gave it much thought. I just need to experiment with Gain settings and EQ, any advice?

Robearto4 5th February 2007 03:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woomanmoomin (Post 1111350)
A lot of people swear by these Monster cables for eliminating noise. Never tried 'em. Anyway, I guess any distortion pedal could make things way worse. I guess it's harmonising/distorting/thickening all the hum that's going into it, and (being cheap, in this case) adding a whole load of non-groovy noise all its own.

Sorry I haven't got a big enough attention span to notice who starts these chains and who's just contributing, by the way. It's the Neanderthal blood in my veins.

Yea, I could use some good monster cables... I got rid of one of the old pedals in my chain, and it's a little bit. As well as I made the Gain on the amp higher and lowered the volume, that helped a good amount as well. And gave it a little crunch, which I think sounds pretty tasty. I can't wait to get my Tubescreamer pedal...

MadSkillzMan 5th February 2007 03:42 AM

Ill be honest, ive had horrible luck with monster cables. NOT reliable, and get quite noisy.

Ive found if i just simply make sure my gear is properly grounded/Shielded, im not facing my amp, and the flourescant lights are off, all is well

Robearto4 5th February 2007 04:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MadSkillzMan (Post 1111981)
Ill be honest, ive had horrible luck with monster cables. NOT reliable, and get quite noisy.

Ive found if i just simply make sure my gear is properly grounded/Shielded, im not facing my amp, and the flourescant lights are off, all is well

I'd rather make my own cables. But I get them for free, we'll see...

I might just get the 100 version of monster cables.

MadSkillzMan 5th February 2007 05:16 AM

I like the idea of making them alot. Where do you get your cables/ends?

Also after much tweakage, i still used much gain. Man this isnt easy!

woomanmoomin 5th February 2007 05:26 AM

Bummer we can't all use balanced leads between our guitars, our pedals and our amps!

Curve Dominant 5th February 2007 07:29 AM

The problem may very well be with the amp.

Those amps are made for arenas, not studios.

It's a very well-kept secret that, in rock & roll, small amps rule in the studio.

If you or the guitarist has access to a 2X12, or even a 1X10, open-back amp, try that instead.

It's much easier to crank a small amp to the sweet spot.

Put an SM57 in front of the cone, and a LDC of choice behind the amp, and record to 2 discrete channels. Mix to taste.

When you mix the guitar in the mix, just "pretend" it was printed with huge amps.

You may be pleasantly shocked at the results you get, if you choose to try that technique.

Happy hunting,
-Eric @ Studio Curve Dominant

MadSkillzMan 5th February 2007 07:43 AM

I will try that technique, aint got much to lose lol.

Ive got a small ibanez practice amp. Not my fav for distortion, but i have many dirt pedals, plus the rackmount. AND the back comes off of it.

The amp has a 25w/50w/100w switch, and it definently gets basically that sweet spot at lower volumes, but hey ill try anything right now.

jeremynothman 5th February 2007 08:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MadSkillzMan (Post 1111737)
Now something i noticed. Im using a behringer Eurorack mixer. The sound that comes from the mixer, and the sound in the Tascam are slightly different. I found out that MAINLY the sound between the Headphones out and Mains out, are ungodly different. The headphone jack sounds much sweeter and richer, the mains jack has the dullest sound ive ever heard. Way to go behringer...

alright, well a few things, those euroracks are noisy as ****...

but how can you tell that the outputs are different. how are you plugging your monitors into both? surely the main outs are balanced dual mono (ie separate left and right) whereas the headphone out is a jack stereo unbalanced connection. the headphone jack will also have a much higher possible output.
If they are both going to the monitors then they are going at different voltages and one is goign balanced and the other unbalanced, or if (as i suspect is the case), one is going to headphones, what makes you think that both your headphones and mointors have the exact same frequency response?

not trying to dig at you, just trying to show some possible reasons...

Curve Dominant 5th February 2007 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MadSkillzMan (Post 1112459)
I will try that technique, aint got much to lose lol.

Ive got a small ibanez practice amp. ... the back comes off of it.

Pull the back off that fukker, and hang an LDC behind it, about 4-6 inches away, and cock the mic at about a 30 degree angle, from an "above" bias.

Quote:

The amp has a 25w/50w/100w switch, and it definently gets basically that sweet spot at lower volumes, but hey ill try anything right now.
Fukk with those settings until you're driving that amp to a tight overload.

Don't get it TOO saturated..that's just mush in the mix. You want to retain some BITE.

Then get the guitarist to play his fukking ass off.

Lemme know how it goes.

jeremynothman 5th February 2007 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MadSkillzMan (Post 1112459)
I will try that technique, aint got much to lose lol.

Ive got a small ibanez practice amp. Not my fav for distortion, but i have many dirt pedals, plus the rackmount. AND the back comes off of it.

The amp has a 25w/50w/100w switch, and it definently gets basically that sweet spot at lower volumes, but hey ill try anything right now.

i dont think that curve dominant was talking about some POS ibanez practise amp, but more along the lines of a low wattage tube amp... something between 1W and 30W (30W is already really too much). I play a fender blues junior (that's 15W through 12") and know exactly what he means.

your switches on the back, sadly do not remove tubes from the circuit of the amp and just give less power to all of them. this amp sounds like the carvin 100XB?

as for the settings, try to use less preamp gain and more power amp. the "breakup" (ie. harmonic information that is added from distortion) will sound nicer. you can sound very heavy without a heap of distortion...
also, you might think that the guitar sounds crap in isolation, but remember that the sound doesn't have to be HUGE by itself, but just fit within a mix.
another point to add is that recordings that you hear will mostly have a compressed guitar signal, are you doing that on the tascam/logic?

hope some of that helps. and good luck!

Curve Dominant 5th February 2007 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeremynothman (Post 1112517)
i dont think that curve dominant was talking about some POS ibanez practise amp, but more along the lines of a low wattage tube amp... something between 1W and 30W (30W is already really too much). I play a fender blues junior (that's 15W through 12") and know exactly what he means.

Yeah, ideally, you would use a Fender Pro Junior or Blues Junior for this task. Or any amp that has all-tube circuitry.

Experiment with the POS Ibanez, if that's all you got to work with for now.

But a Fender Pro Junior is only $300, and every studio should have one, for this purpose.

Go to my website and listen to the G.Starr stuff - that was all recorded with the Fender Pro Junior, with the mic configuration I described.

MadSkillzMan 5th February 2007 08:45 AM

You guys have given me alot to ponder

few things

i see your point on the headphones/monitor outs issue completely. No hostility taken. Basically i plugged my headphones into the mixers headphone jack, then again into the Tascams jack. The mixer was feeding MAIIN OUT into the Tascams Input. The sounds were very much different, more bassy and dull on the mains out. For the hell of it i plugged cable from mains out to headphone into the tascam, and the same sound as previous was reproduced. In terms of noise, i meant theres no hum/hiss/rumble like i know there is on the newer Eurorack units (my friend bought the 32 channel one..HAH oh that sucked)

Yes this is an X100b. Love that thing! I figured the low wattage comment pertained to a small tube amp. My distortion is a rackmount boss Gl100, and just after the last listen, i think im going to try a totally different approach, IE tubescreamer/MXR or something alittle more natural. I dont have much of an isolation room, just the blanket thing

Now, compression is something i havent messed with. Ive read many times its not wise to add compression to a distorted signal, since the distortion is already compressing it. However, i do have a keeley Compressor i do quite enjoy, but i assume id be better off using one of logics plugins rather a stompbox in the line before my amp?

Now, what does the LDC BEHIND the amp do exactly? i assume pickup room? Cause IMO my rooms suck lol. i always feel lilke im getting too much room.

For what its worth, im going to make a makeshift isolation/dampening spot in my basement. Basically in the laundry room hang heavy wool blankets/absorbing foam in a roomlike fashion and try to capture there. This room is a finished basement, with wooden panels on the walls, behind that styrofoam. So you can imagine the bounceback is pretty intense.

I should probably try to post some clips later, may be easier to tell me what im doing wrong.

I'm the one playing the guitar, so its not like im pissing off anyone by being a newbie.

i appreciate the help guys.

Robearto4 5th February 2007 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MadSkillzMan (Post 1112154)
I like the idea of making them alot. Where do you get your cables/ends?

Also after much tweakage, i still used much gain. Man this isnt easy!

It's way cheaper if you find some good cable and connecters. I'm still searching, but I've found some Mogami Mic Cable as Samash for .57 cents a foot. Which isn't too bad in my opinion. I have yet to find some good instrument cable.

jeremynothman 6th February 2007 05:54 AM

yeah , my mate used to have an x100b, i liked the tone , but always too loud for me...
maybe check the manual/forums about the amp to see if you can remove 2 of the power tubes (6L6s if i remember correctly), without having too much platye voltage. i dunno if it is possible, but is with some amps.
if you could do this you'd be fighting less volume

dumb question. with the room (you mention a basement), do you have carpeting under the amp? in not, try and find some to put the amp on, so that you dont have it echoing as much.
other than possibly borrowing a friends amp (that is lower wattage), or getting one for yourself, or a smaller cab that has the power handling (eg. one of those mesa boogie 12" that can handle 120W) i dont have many suggestions.

in terms of the budget little amp department. maybe look at the little epiphone amps. crate also do some cool ones, but really much more expensive than the epiphones. the z-vex is also a studio obvious. running 5W through a 4x12 sounds HUGE, but running 100W at 1/4 volume through a 4x12 is weak

as for the pedal thing. yeah , i'd avoid the digital distortion from your boss unit. maybe look at the maxon (that's the company that used to make pedals for ibanez) reissues. they've basically reissued all the ibanez pedals 9series pedals with true bypass (I have the envelope!). my OD of choice though, is my Jersey Girl Fulltender, which is just awesome (and rather difficult to get)

good luck!

MadSkillzMan 6th February 2007 10:59 PM

After some tinkering, heres what ive concluded..thus far

First off i gotta stear away from the boss. Its not at all digital, this is before that analogue modelling, after talking to some guys on harmonycentral who have it, they agree its a great sounding preamp, but when it comes time to record, hell no its not!

Ive got both 6l6s and El34s for this amp, i modified the screen resistors to the EL34 version, which accepts both. EL34s have the most awesome cleans on this, but you put 6l6's in and it takes to distortion to much better. I have no issues swapping tubes and biasing it to record different parts lol

Also i found tinkering with the 512k region on the Graphic eq in logic GREATLY adds fatness to the tracks