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needs some help with recording....


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i currently have in my possesion a Korg PXR4 Digital Recorder, got it around christmas, its a cool little tool but i need more. XLR inputs are a must. So heres what im thinkin of doing...

try to sell my digital recorder on ebay, hopefully get at least $200 for it (was $300 new and in perfect condition). Then pick up something like this... click here , not exactly that one, but somethinglike it. so id run it like this.....

Guitar->Pdl->Amp->Mic->Mixer->Rec.System->Computer

 

so heres the questions, would this be a wise choice of a recording method? if so what kinda of computer hardware would you suggest and what would be a good choice in software to go with it?

thanks for your time

ryan

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I don't know. I'm not a recording guru but what I do gets along just fine without spending a ton of money on equipment.

 

What I do is take my guitar, plug it into the channel in my PA head (a Carvin PA620). I use the line out on the head to run into my computer. I use Garage Band to add effects and amplifiers, unless I'm plugged into my Cyber Twin.

 

Using my method would save you about $150 and provide you with 200w of power to use live, provided that you have speakers. And it sounds just fine for me.

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EmptynessOfYouth:

 

I am a cat, so please keep that in mind as you evaluate my response.

 

I think your thinking is exactly right, and you might even consider taking it one more step in that direction:

 

use an audio interface that will allow you to plug in your guitar direct, and that in turn brings the audio directly into the computer, no amp, no mic:

 

guitar -> audio interface -> computer/software

 

Once in software, you can throw a plug in or two at it to make it sound like any amp you like, and you wont be forever locked into amp/mic combo and that little buzzing sound you sometimes get.

 

Or, what Cowbell said.

Dooby Dooby Doo
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My PA has an RCA line out, and I have an RCA>8th jack that goes into the mic hub in my Mac. My Mac automatically recognizes I've got a line in, and anything that comes through there will be recognized and recorded in Garageband.
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Yeah the Lexicon Omega looks good, but so does the Tascam US 122 which is cheaper. You could do as the cat says, but if you want really want to mic up an amp an interface such as the two already mentioned would be fine.

 

For software, something like SONAR or Cubase would keep you happy.

 

Good luck

 

John Scotsman

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Is that Spike thingy from Mackie shipping?

 

It's around $400 and has mic and line ins. Probably comperable to the Lexicon thing, but possibly better -- I'm always a little leary about buying anything from Lexicon that isn't a reverb.

 

You still may need a direct box, though, but that's no big deal.

 

I wonder if there's any cheapo all-in-one interface by Edirol, M-Audio, or RME that would be just what you want? You might want to call up Sweetwater Sound and ask a sales guy (they'll probably know just what you want). You should know in advance, though, that the guy at Sweetwater will most likely call you "buddy," even if you don't buy anything from him.

Dooby Dooby Doo
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also i checked the mackie unit out, theyre a good company and the unit looks nice as well. However i didnt see anything about XLR inputs. I know i must seem a little obsessive about those but i feel the quality is greater than your standard 1/4's.
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Someone will probably come along and correct me on this, but...

The benefit of XLR is the distance you can run the cable. The quality of your signal should be fine on the short run. If you think you can really tell the difference between Q-inch and XLR, then I would have to assume you also have your studio room acoustics totally dialed with some kick-ass monitoring. If that is the case, then none of the products mentioned are going to do it for you, because you'll notice right away how cheap the converters sound...etc...etc.

 

Here's a question,

What are trying to accomplish that you cannot accomplish with your current recorder?

 

This will really help us make the best recomendations.

 

A lot of people are going the software route anymore. Software is pretty powerful, but you need to remember that it is limited by your computer. You may experience numerous glitches and hang-ups, trying to get the software to run audio on your computer. You'll notice that many of the people who use computers to record their music, use their computer for that purpose and that purpose only. They have no other software on the computer. No games, no internet. They have a seperate computer for all of that.

 

I think getting into the software side of recording is pretty seductive because of all that you can do for a relatively cheap price. But that price goes up pretty fast when you find that you need this, that, and the other thing, to really make the software run the way you want it.

 

There is a really nice thing about a dedicated hardware recorder. It was designed and built for just one purpose.....to record audio.

No conflicts

No timing problems

No errors

Certainly less headaches.

 

Just my 0.02

Super 8

 

Hear my stuff here

 

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XLR is desinged to match the needs (impedance, gain, phantom power for condensors) of microphones. Line levels inputs general are of two types eithe r+4dbu, or professional levels, such as that from a sound module or mixing console, and -10dbV, such as that from a synth. Some units are switchable.

 

The Lexicon has only 2 mic inputs, so if your currne tunit has 2 mic inputs, you've gained nothing. Lexicaon has a good reputation for building quality products, however this is their first venture into recording. It comes with it's own software, all you need is a computer to connect it to.

 

The Mackie Spike is a very nice unit, with 2 Neutriks combo inputs that are both XLR (mic)and 1/4" (line level). superb preamps, and the ability to record at sample rates up to 96K. You can use it with any DAW software, including Garageband and Loud Technologies (Mackie's parent company) Tracktion.

 

Micing an amp and plugging a guitar into an interface are two competely different approaches. Plugins will help the direct guitar, but it will never sound like a guitar through an amp really. Your approach is a better one, micing your amp IMHO.

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

Analog approach to digital recording.

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Originally posted by EmptinessOFYouth:

also i checked the mackie unit out, theyre a good company and the unit looks nice as well. However i didnt see anything about XLR inputs. I know i must seem a little obsessive about those but i feel the quality is greater than your standard 1/4's.

I imagine that the inputs on the Spike are TRS, which is the same thing as XLR -- both are balanced inputs and of equivalent high quality. You would simply get an adapter or cable that goes from XLR toTRS.

 

TRS = Tip Ring Sleeve, with each accomodating one of the leads from the XLR, so you don't loose any benefits.

 

A direct box is a little box that you plug your guitar cable into on end, and it spits out a line level on the other end that goes to an audio interface or mixer. It enables you to record "direct" and avoid a trip through an amp, hence its name. Some interfaces include Hi-Z inputs, which is essentially a built in direct box, so that you can plug your guitar directly into it.

 

But here's the thing:

 

You keep asking basic questions and saying "I don't know anything." At the same time you keep showing that you've already researched the answers and know quite a bit about them.

 

Are you pulling our paw?

Dooby Dooby Doo
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I wouldnt go the USB route unless you need it to be portable. The bandwidth is seriously limited when using USB 1.1 devices like the Omega. Plus, Lexicons track record for driver and PC support is pretty dismal. Something like an M-Audio Audiophile ($100) and a cheap preamp or mixer ($50) will do the same thing and with much better performance.
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k heres what i want plain and simple. I want to be able to record my guitar at a descent quailty for the leaat amount of cash possible. The PXR4 didnt do it for me, the clean is fine but when i switch into overdrive the sound just doesnt cut it. I recently bought a sennhieser E609 guitar mic and would like to incorparate that into my recording....once i get my mic im gonna try to record the overdrive with that by going

 

amp->mic->recorder

 

but i really dont think its gonna help much.

thanks again

ryan

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Originally posted by EmptinessOFYouth:

k heres what i want plain and simple. I want to be able to record my guitar at a descent quailty for the leaat amount of cash possible. The PXR4 didnt do it for me, the clean is fine but when i switch into overdrive the sound just doesnt cut it. I recently bought a sennhieser E609 guitar mic and would like to incorparate that into my recording....once i get my mic im gonna try to record the overdrive with that by going

Okay, so the Korg unit has built in effects...but you don't like the effects.

 

This is what I would recommend; keep the Korg recorder. It's a simple and effective recording solution. It looks like you have four tracks to work with, and you can probably bounce tracks with no degredation in signal. I think you could get a lot of mileage out of that. Plus you already have it, so you don't have to buy it.

 

I like the idea of recording your guitar by micing your amp. But another solution might be to buy a Line 6 Pod, or maybe a Vox Tonelab. Both are highly respected amp modelers, plus they have other effects. You should be able to get a great sound out of them.

 

Another -less expesive- route would be a SansAmp. These were really a great way to run direct before digital amp modelers, like the Pod, existed. You won't have any effects like delay or reverb, but you'll get a nice tone from it, and I'd bet you could pick one up on Ebay for a song.

Super 8

 

Hear my stuff here

 

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I've used my Fostex X-14 and a stereo cable to my computer to record some of my guitar parts with passable results. A good microphone is a necessity with this approach.

 

I've got two Shure 588 SB(?) mics, which are pretty much SM-58's. They're good for guitar stuff. My next challenge is to record a passable drum track with them, and I was thinking of using those two mics as well as an additional mic for the kick drum (maybe a SM-57, which would also get used for other stuff) and running them all into the mic input of my X-14 in parallel. I'd put the two 588's on mic stands on either side of the drum set and the 57 on a short stand in the hole in my kick drum's resonant head.

 

Will that work OK?

 

Sorry if I hi-jacked your thread EoY. :wave:

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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Originally posted by bluestrat:

I'd put the two 588's on mic stands on either side of the drum set and the 57 on a short stand in the hole in my kick drum's resonant head.

 

Will that work OK?

It would be servicable. But you should really get a different mic on that kick drum. You should be able to find something for under $200 that would do a decent job.

Super 8

 

Hear my stuff here

 

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Originally posted by Super 8:

It would be servicable. But you should really get a different mic on that kick drum. You should be able to find something for under $200 that would do a decent job.

Anything you'd recommend?

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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Originally posted by bluestrat:

Anything you'd recommend?

No. But I'm sure you'll have no problem getting suggestions from others around here who are far more knowledgeable than myself.

 

My thought is just getting a cheap mic that was designed for the purpose of micing the kick.

I mean, it's not like you are doing this professionally or anything. You just need a mic that is designed to pick up the frequencies that come from a kick drum. And, I don't think an sm-58 is going to do you justice in that department.

 

A number of companies are making inexpensive mics these days, and many people I've read have been impressed with the sound they can get out of them. I think the design and manufacturing has of mics has turned a bit of a corner.

Super 8

 

Hear my stuff here

 

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Originally posted by EmptinessOFYouth:

ive got a pedal for effects dont realy need a pod

Okay, then you are losing me here a little bit.

 

The Pod is first and foremost, and amp modeler.

 

If I've been reading correctly, the problem you are having in recording, is that you can't get a decent overdriven tone from your guitar. Correct?

 

This is what the Pod was designed to do. To give you that 'amp tone' without having to mic an amp. It does have effects, but I wouldn't put the effects secondary to it's ability to model the sound of an actual amp.

 

And like I said, the Sansamp is also a good amp simulator option for recording direct.

Super 8

 

Hear my stuff here

 

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Originally posted by EmptinessOFYouth:

k heres what i want plain and simple. I want to be able to record my guitar at a descent quailty for the leaat amount of cash possible. The PXR4 didnt do it for me, the clean is fine but when i switch into overdrive the sound just doesnt cut it. I recently bought a sennhieser E609 guitar mic and would like to incorparate that into my recording....once i get my mic im gonna try to record the overdrive with that by going

 

amp->mic->recorder

 

but i really dont think its gonna help much.

thanks again

ryan

Ryan, there's lots of ways you can record a great guitar tone... the problem is, the definition of a great guitar tone can be different from player to player. :)

 

Do you already have an amp? If so, and if you like the way the amp's distortion sounds in the room as you're playing it, then "amp-> mic -> recorder" is the classic way to go - so I'm not sure why you said "but i really dont think its gonna help much". :confused: Of course, you can always go with a line input or "DI" (direct injection) and plug the guitar directly into the computer via an appropriate audio interface, and then apply distortion via one of the various software amp simulation / distortion plug ins that are available. And then there's external "amp modeller" hardware such as the Line 6 Pod - you plug the guitar into the Pod, and then run a line output from that into your computer's audio interface. All of these methods can get acceptable tones, but it's really subjective as to which method and sounds you'll prefer.

 

There's a lot of hardware interfaces for your computer these days, and I'd suggest going with something like that for the recording device - assuming your computer is up to the task of multitrack recording, that can be a relatively inexpensive way to get a pretty capable setup.

 

Many of the audio interfaces come "bundled" with software to get you up and running. These software packages are usually not as full featured as the full blown retail versions, but are usually quite capable and will certainly serve your needs for quite a while - maybe even permanently.

 

The Lexicon Omega, Tascam US-122 / U-224, Mackie Spike, Digidesign MBox, E-Mu's 1824, Steinberg's Cubase System|4 and M-Audio's Omni Studio all offer all the features you'd probably want or need for anywhere from $200 to $500.

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my previous atempts of recording to my recorder produced very unsatifactory tones. When i record clean to the device its fine but when i kkick the distortion on its terrible. The way ive been doing my setup goes like this,

 

guitar->pedal->amp->recorder

 

ive also tried

 

guitar->pedal->recorder

 

but both of those produce very crappy sounds, im hopin when i get the mic and throw it in it gets better but if it doesnt, thats my reason for lookin for a new direction.....hope that helps explain it a little

thanks again

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Originally posted by EmptinessOFYouth:

my previous atempts of recording to my recorder produced very unsatifactory tones. When i record clean to the device its fine but when i kkick the distortion on its terrible. The way ive been doing my setup goes like this,

 

guitar->pedal->amp->recorder

Okay, now I'm starting to wonder if you aren't just cliping the inputs on your recorder.

 

When you go from clean to overdrive, is there a difference in the VOLUME coming from your amp into your recorder?

 

How do you have the levels set on your recorder? Are you watching your levels on the display?

 

You gotta watch those meters. You don't want that signal going up past -6 on your display, or you're going to start clipping. And clipping is BAD...

Super 8

 

Hear my stuff here

 

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Were you taking a line out from the amp and running that to the recorder? If so, that can usually provide you with less than great results - even some amps with "speaker emulations" on the line outputs sound like poop. The mic should improve things quite a bit.

 

In my experience, a guitar into a stomp box and then direct usually sounds like poop too - there's lots of technical reasons for that that I won't bore you with here. :)

 

What type of amp and guitar are you using?

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with regaurds to the clipping, i followed what they said to do in the manual. The input volume is set to 6, (which is what they recommend) and on the display the volume metere goes up and stops right before the clip level when i play as loud as possible.

with regaurds to my gear, i have my boss gt-6 goin into a crate 65watt combo, it plays a descent classic rock overdriv when heard through the speaker. I have the cable goin from the speaker out on the amp to the input on the recorder.

 

what i want to do when i get the mic is mic my marshal cab i usually i have set up to the speaker out on the combo. I thinkk this will be better but not sure yet. when the store calls to tell me my mics in i might pic up a little mackie mixer to through in before the recorder as well.

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