quality problems with recording electric guitar

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korbbit
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quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by korbbit » Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:03 am

yesterday i bought a cable that runs from my guitar to the microphone jack, and i started recording into live, it sounded terrible, but through a lot of tweaking in the control panel microphone settings i managed to get it to sound like a guitar, but it is still not too great. there is a bit of white noise in the background i cant seem to eliminate and the sound is not very sharp..
anyone been in my position?
and i know there's lots of gadgets you can get to put between the pc and guitar, i just wanna know what can be done with out buying any hardware.
and also please don't use any technical terms, and if you do, please explain them :) sorry im a noob
-corbin

Winterpark
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Re: quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by Winterpark » Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:19 am

a technical term...

"Gain Structure" = making sure you set the level (volume input) right.

too much and the incoming signal digitally distorts.
too little and you'll get noise (hiss/buzz) when you turn it up later to compensate for it being too quiet.


other than that... there are many reasons why this is not ideal.... but that's a whole big learning curve ahead of you there.
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zalo
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Re: quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by zalo » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:02 am

im sure you have a guitar amp with a pre amp out (effects loop will also work) run that to your input

you will get a lot better tone out of that set up

korbbit
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Re: quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by korbbit » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:15 am

yeah i'v fiddled with the input volume and its not getting any better. i just kinda assumed someone here would have discovered a way to record really nice quality guitar into ableton. mayb sum kind of noise remover thing?
-corbin

zalo
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Re: quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by zalo » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:55 am

did you try my method? it will require less digital gain and should give you a clearer signal when recording

Winterpark
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Re: quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by Winterpark » Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:16 am

korbbit wrote:yeah i'v fiddled with the input volume and its not getting any better. i just kinda assumed someone here would have discovered a way to record really nice quality guitar into ableton. mayb sum kind of noise remover thing?
people have discovered a way to record really nice quality guitar into ableton.

you need more than a single cable and your internal computer soundcard though.

the pre-amp suggestion from an amp, (or an amp sim) is a good one.

buying a proper external soundcard is another... using a microphone to mic an amp... and the list could go on and on.

as i said... big learning curve ahead!
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korbbit
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Re: quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by korbbit » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:06 am

fair enough, thanks for the help:)
il go drag my huge ancient amp from the garage
-corbin

zalo
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Re: quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by zalo » Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:27 am

huge ancient amps sound the best anyway!!!!!!!!!!

Warminstrel
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Re: quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by Warminstrel » Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:21 am

zalo wrote:huge ancient amps sound the best anyway!!!!!!!!!!
+1

I use a Fast-trak pro along with amplitube 2 with which I can get great results and have the bonus of being able to change the amp settings at a later date if required. (as the guitar signal is recorded 'dry')

That being said, I more often mic my fender amp, recording a nice fat, warm sound from the outset and often feel that this technique makes my guitar sound more cohesive (due to tha fact that what you hear is what you get; sometimes adding fx post recording can sound 'fake')

Recently I married the two techniques together by both recording a dry signal and also micing up my amp on two separate tracks and have to say that this method gives great results (And I only use a crappy pound-shop microphone).

One thing you havent mentioned is the latencey which for me was the hardest thing to get right so not all bad!

korbbit
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Re: quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by korbbit » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:06 pm

im just about to get amplitube actually, but im affraid that that bit of annoying white noise will still come through even if i were to use it, simply il never b able to get silence when im not playing, which then means u cant let a note or chord fade out in a song because once the note finishes there will b a clear moment when you hear the white noise get cut, or i cud just let the noise run throughout the whole song and hope the listners ears will get used to it.... i dunno this si seriously just making me wana give up. is latency where the sound seems to take a moment to get processed and leaves an annoying split second offset in the timing which is painfully annoying to correct?? coz that also gives me the shits but it seems like something that is just inneviatble....
-corbin

Warminstrel
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Re: quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by Warminstrel » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:24 pm

I had no success using my guitar innitialy for same reasons: low volume, noise, latency etc..

In fact i've only just about got it right this year from trial and error...

To record guitar in real time with no latency and clean sound you really need to get yourself a dedicated sound card with a decent built-in pre-amp.

Check out this forum for recomendations (My M-audio fast-track-pro works ok for me but many would offer better alternatives.

UKRuss is prolly one of the best Ableton forum users for guitar tips, tap him up mate, he'll have some better answers!

pbajzek
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Re: quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by pbajzek » Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:46 pm

The advice given here about preamps and soundcards is correct. However I think it's important to clarify one point: strictly speaking this issue has nothing to do with Ableton Live, but is true for recording digital audio *period.* So you'll need the preamp/soundcard etc. no matter what software you use. I only mention this because I've seen some people complaining about "poor guitar tone in Live" when really their problems are universal.

michaellpenman
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Re: quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by michaellpenman » Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:48 pm

Check your surroundings, what else is in the room hum can be introduced by other elecrtonics.
Also if you are miking you need to watch for outside and inside noise etc.
Also mic postion is key

AndrewZachary
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Re: quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by AndrewZachary » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:06 pm

Get yourself a new soundcard, or an audio interface (usb, firewire etc..) If you are not recording anything professionally you can get a good interface for around $150...I use Ableton with a Native Instrument usb interface, and I get low latency and good sound quality.

Tone Deft
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Re: quality problems with recording electric guitar

Post by Tone Deft » Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:19 pm

korbbit wrote:a cable that runs from my guitar to the microphone jack
there's your problem.

a mic input is not a "hi Z" input that a guitar needs. google "Hi Z" if you don't know what that means. all you really need to know is that guitars need a "Hi Z" input.

the other problem is that unlike all the other cables in your setup the guitar lead does matter. its impedance, capacitance, all those techy terms. you really want a proper guitar lead, not just a cable with 1/4" on one end and 1/8" on the other end.

the other problem is that standard inputs/outputs on computers aren't really musician quality, they're there for the average consumer to play games and listen to youtubes.


get a proper sound card with a Hi Z input. don't go cheap on the sound card as it will have high latency.

google terms you're not familiar with, we could write a book on what these terms mean and all their implications.


in my experience I get my tone externally with a Line 6 PodXT. amp simulators inside a computer work and it's debatable which is better, Amplitube or a Pod, people love both. BUT when you want to play guitar and the computer acts up, or you get high latency or have to deal with a computer at all, I'd rather just not deal with the computer at all and play. I don't even need the computer to play guitar, I just play the Pod into my monitors.
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