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# Recording electric guitar, quality problem. Any suggestions?

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How dou you record your e-guitar playing? I use the mic. in of my SB-Live!, (the line-in seems to be dead) connected to the head-phone out of my guitar combo. Alas, I can''t get it sound good, it always sounds dirty somehow. Yes, of course I have distortion on :-) (I use a Boss MT-2, and a cheap crap combo amp, but it sounds all right directly from the amp) but it seems the sound gets distorted by the mic-in a second time, although I use very low output level with my amp. My input monitor says, the signal is not too high, but it sounds like crap, no matter what I do. I suppose the impedancies don''t match, but I can''t really improve the sound quality by playing around with filters of my recording software. What would you suggest I should do? Would the line-in work better? Then I''d have to buy a new sound card... Thanks in advance.

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in general, if you''re going to record directly to some sort of source, you should go through some sort of direct box. i don''t know your particular set-up, but the headphone out is to the microphone in is NOT the way to go. You might get a better sound simply sticking a cheap computer microphone, or a good stereo microphone for a minidisc player in front of your amplifier. if the amp sounds good, then it might sound good through a cheap microphone.

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The only setup that ever sounded right to me is guitar -> effects -> amp -> microphone -> mic-in on sound-card. If I connect the effects direct to the PC, even with amp modelling turned on, it always sounds muffled or something.

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Well, thanks for your replies, so far.
The mono-stereo thing is not the problem,
I tried stereo-input, too. The line in is dead...
(does strange klicking sometimes when moving its
volume control, without an audio source connected.
nothing like that with any other inputs)

The idea to put a mic in front of the amp is not
that bad. Alas, my neighbours would get crazy,
I live in a small flat...
I use head phones for playing most time.

EDIT:
I tried this: volume very low, creative plastic computer
mic very close to the speaker, to not making my neighbours
go crazy...
well, doesn't sound brilliant, and because of the
low volume I have extra noises...
but it seems to be the way to go, sounds indeed better
than direct connection.
I'll go and get a better microphone.

Thanks, dudes.

[edited by - UnshavenBastard on October 24, 2002 5:25:37 PM]

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You may be experiencing some impedence mismatch (i think thats what its called.) To give you an example of such a thing, most people can''t connect the PC Speaker to a soundcard, even though it''s possible, the power running through the lines isn''t quite enough. In your case, you might be overdoing it, I.E. supplying to much power and hitting the soundcard''s automatic micboost clip reduction stuff. Use the Line-In and record from there if possible, and also try reducing the overall volume level leaving the amp. You can always normalize the volume once it reaches the PC.

-> Will Bubel
-> Machine wash cold, tumble dry.

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A different question:

Would it really be worth the money to buy a compressor,
and put it before the distortion?
I''ve heard many saying they do this, but I''d like to know
if the sound gets really any better.
I use a Flying-V with two humbucker pickups,
directly connected to the distortion, no pre amp
or something.

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It''s a matter of preference. Try a few out at the store.
It''ll take the dynamics out of your tone (squash it). I don''t personally like them on guitar, but some do, especially if they want loads of sustain.

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honestly i usually dont use preamp effects. i do all of my effects in the post
editing process via Sound Forge and plugins

-eldee
;another space monkey;
[ Forced Evolution Studios ]

Do NOT let Dr. Mario touch your genitals. He is not a real doctor!

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quote:
Original post by UnshavenBastard
EDIT:
I tried this: volume very low, creative plastic computer
mic very close to the speaker, to not making my neighbours
go crazy...
well, doesn''t sound brilliant, and because of the
low volume I have extra noises...
but it seems to be the way to go, sounds indeed better
than direct connection.
I''ll go and get a better microphone.

The Creative ones are active microphones and do their own amplification, which picks up noise. ''Proper'' microphones won''t do this, but you''ll get a much cleaner signal as a result. Problem is, you''ll probably need to have the amp up louder too. And the mic will need to be either touching or mere millimetres from the amp, generally. Try deadening the sound with cushions below and around the amp, and that way you can reduce the chance of your neighbours complaining, and also reduce unwanted reverberation into the bargain.

Also, if you have Sound Forge or something similar, and you''re just starting to record with a new setup, analyse your recordings for frequency spikes... sometimes you can spot electrical hum or whatever and nuke it quite effectively with a single filter.

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thanks, I''ll try this out.

I have an old version of SForge (I think SF XP 4.5 is old? :-),
well, but it can do this.

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Being a pro audio guy, Id actually tell you to get a conpressor (you can get a decent fone for \$60 on ebay)and plug the output of your distortion to the input of the compressor,and the output of your compressor into your sound card. That shoudl give you the desired effect without overdriving the signal path to your soundcard.

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I don''t know anything about electic guitar but my cousin does. He records a lot of songs from his guitars (electric and accoustic). In fact he has tons of them on his computer. Here''s his e-mail: finke@hotmail.com or finke.17@osu.edu He might answer you if he''s not too buisy playing Super Mario World. He needs to get his ass off of that. He usually checks his e-mails at noon. So if you wait till then you should get a reply from him. His name is Jorge Finke and when you contact him tell him to get his dumbass off of the couch and stop playing Super Mario World.

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I''m @ schoo, so I don''t have much time, but like other ppl said, go right from the guitar to the sound card, and even then, put the guitar level at highest half, if not lower [most sound cards can''t handle much; you can distort it just by having a semi-high level]

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