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Old 01-01-2013, 03:39 PM   #1
Bradojo1400
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Unhappy How to get the clearest electric guitar sound?

HELLO

So I have a driver thing, I have a Mac, I have GarageBand, I have an electric guitar (duh), I have a distortion pedal, I have an amp, and I have an external plug-in mic.

When I record guitar using the driver, the quality of the recording sucks because the guitar effects GB provides are horrible (unless I'm not screwing around with them enough)

I'm always striving to get a distorted guitar sound, like todays modern and alternative rock, but i dont want horrible quality I want it to sound like you would hear on a pro band's CD. Is that possible? How can I get the best guitar sound? Through the amp and into the mic, or through my driver and into my computer, or what? Its very annoying, I hate recording such a crappy sound. I would really appreciate help, I asked this somewhere else on here but I am still confused on what I should do do get the best sound possible.

THANKYOU
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:48 PM   #2
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Well, your first problem is that you're using Garageband for guitar tones.

What amp and guitar do you have? Without thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of recording equipment and gear and years of recording experience, getting to sound like 'the pros' is very, very, very difficult.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bradojo1400
I want it to sound like you would hear on a pro band's CD. Is that possible?


Yes. There are two ways to accomplish this.

1. Go to school and learn how to become a recording engineer. They'll teach you the ins and outs of the trade and teach you how to use fancy studio gear to achieve utterly fantastic results.

2. Buy loads of fancy equipment and set it up in a spare room. Spend several years watching Youtube videos in an effort to figure out how to make it work and record the type of sounds you hear on a pro band's CD.

A secret third way is you visit your local recording studio and the bloke behind the thick glass charges you a few quid and makes you sound like a million bucks.

Personally, I opted for a slightly less expensive version of #2. I have some decent equipment and enjoy recording as a hobby. I'll probably never record the next top 10 CD, but that's not my goal.

The point of this whole post is to tell you that without the proper training and gear, or at least the proper gear and a few years experience, you're not likely to achieve the sound you're so desperately seeking. Creating good recorded sound is no accident.

Last edited by KG6_Steven : 01-01-2013 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:18 PM   #4
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I would do both. record a track going direct and then spend the time to find a good tone through garage band (which is very possible) and then record with the microphone see how that sounds and blend the two signals. It sounds like you have a cheap (possibly USB) microphone so if there is a lot of noise try to EQ it out and use the direct signal to fill up those frequencies.

One thing to note is that you have to get the phasing right with the two signals you can google that and find a lot of stuff on how to do that

Also unless you want it to sound like two guitars you have to play the tracks exactly the same which is very hard for inexperienced guitarists (and even for some experienced ones)
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:07 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses guys , and I have a Tascam US-122mkll driver, a Gibson Les Paul Studio, and a Traynor TVM10 amp.

?
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:18 PM   #6
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To be truthful, it's not possible. You can create some great tones through GarageBand with enough practice and patience, but to sound like the pros is very expensive and impractical.

I'm not going to tell you to stop however, or that good tone in that setting is an immpossibility. It's not. First, what distortion pedal are you running? Most distortion pedals will sound flabby and bland when recorded in that manner. I would start by cutting it out of the chain and experimenting with the direct signal into garage band. Another tip is to invest in some nice cables. Nice cables clean up the signal more than you'd think, and can be a HUGE impact on tone. Another suggestion I'd have is using a different program. Though GarageBand is cool and most definatly useful, it's not the best. To get close to that pro sound you want you're looking at Logic or Pro Tools (the two most commonly used programs). My last suggestion is to not save the files as mp3s, rather a wav. or another file type with less compression.

I'm no expert on this, so take my advice for what it is; suggestions. Don't get discouraged if you can't sound like the pros yet, do your best to sound like you and always strive for better. I have a $10,000+ rig and recording setup and I still can't get my tone exactly the way I want it. I do the best I can with my abilities, and keep learning and trying new things.

EDIT: I read this post on my phone and missed some things. I find the best tones come from amplifiers (though I'm not familiar with yours), and the quality of the mic and it's placement are the key factors. I typically use an sm57 on the cone of my camp with a condenser mic placed about 3ft back. I also occasionally put the condescension behind the cabinet and two 57s in front. It's all experimentation.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:31 PM   #7
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You might be able to download some amp simulators. Though I'm not sure if they work with Garageband. But really, my friend (JazzAzz) plays with Garageband sounds all the time and his recorded sound is half decent. Not that great though but passable. And you are only recording demos, they don't need to sound the best. If you want pro quality, you need to go to a pro studio. But first I would write some pro quality songs.

http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/JazzAzz/music/

These have all been recorded with Garageband. And I think they are all preset sounds, not sure though.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:46 PM   #8
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You don't really list a budget or anything so I'll just tell you to get a better amp and recording gear

On the cheap I've had decent success with my Line 6 Pod UX1 interface (driver) and a Shure SM57 mic. It costs about $150 and $100 new respectively. It also comes with Pod Farm emulation software which I must say - is pretty good. I've never played with GarageBand.

If you are interested in a new amp then use the Sticky 'We need Budget, Genres,.....' as a guide and we'll help you.

Good luck,


what KG6 Steven and Eppicurt said is good advice too.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:21 PM   #9
Eppicurt
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Originally Posted by Bradojo1400
Thanks for the responses guys , and I have a Tascam US-122mkll driver, a Gibson Les Paul Studio, and a Traynor TVM10 amp.

?

Your amp isn't terrible by any means, but it isn't great. As 311 suggested, Podfarm/Guitar Rig 5/Amplitube would be your best bet. Get some better recording software than Garage Band as well. Reaper is completely free and is a way better DAW.

Ideally if you want better studio quality sound, Cubase/Pro Tools/Logic is a lot better for studio after effects like EQ and compression. It's a huge learning curve dude. Don't expect instantly good results. I've been recording for 3 years now and I'm still rubbish at getting a decent mix and EQing.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:15 PM   #10
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Yea, so I'm just gonna spend a hell of a lot of time messing around with all these different components and learning and I should see a bit of an improvement at least.

Eppicurt, I just got Reaper today and in brief, what makes Reaper better than Garage Band? Really general question I guess but Im wondering if its worth to switch over. Will it provide me with better customization of guitar sounds or something or what else ? And speaking of Cubase, I believe my driver came with that so Im going to look at that right now.

MaggaraMarine, those sound pretty good! I like the sound of the guitar especially in Pulse and Another Way, although its not the distorted tone Im looking for, it does sound decent quality. And so would you happen to know the name of your friend's driver?

Butthead, I'm going to start experimenting with the mic then because I haven't really before, Ive only really screwed around with my driver.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:56 PM   #11
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It's a bit more functional than GB, you can do a lot more within the DAW in terms of effects/EQ/etc. GB is a little too 'easy' and 'user friendly' if you get what I mean. It's good to get hands on with recording, you learn a lot more.
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That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


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Old 01-01-2013, 08:22 PM   #12
Bradojo1400
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Originally Posted by Eppicurt
It's a bit more functional than GB, you can do a lot more within the DAW in terms of effects/EQ/etc. GB is a little too 'easy' and 'user friendly' if you get what I mean. It's good to get hands on with recording, you learn a lot more.


Alright, it looks complicated but Im going to try to explore Reaper..

How does it compare to logic?
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:27 PM   #13
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Logic is in a completely different league of its own. I would start off with something like Reaper and if you start really getting involved in it, buy Logic.

You should be able to find plenty of starter guides on how to setup, record and do post production. It's not rocket science by any means. It just takes time to get the right sound.
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That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


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Old 01-01-2013, 08:40 PM   #14
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Logic is in a completely different league of its own. I would start off with something like Reaper and if you start really getting involved in it, buy Logic.

You should be able to find plenty of starter guides on how to setup, record and do post production. It's not rocket science by any means. It just takes time to get the right sound.


Alright, thanks for all your input. And so another question I have is about both the DAWs.

I'm wondering if Reaper is more for recording real instruments, through mics and such, or is it more for recording electronic, programmed MIDI instruments? Is it more for one than the other? And is Logic for more electronic stuff or real instrument recording?
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:47 PM   #15
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They're both good for all that stuff. Usually you'll buy proper VST's to run within them for MIDI and electronic stuff. Logic just has better and more VST's built in. Though I prefer Cubase's VST's over most, you'll be able to get by with what's available. Not sure what comes with Reaper though.

Ideally you want a DAW to have multiple input bus's, a good sequencer, VST's, good mixing options and a hearty array of post production tools.
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That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


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Old 01-01-2013, 08:52 PM   #16
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They're both good for all that stuff. Usually you'll buy proper VST's to run within them for MIDI and electronic stuff. Logic just has better and more VST's built in. Though I prefer Cubase's VST's over most, you'll be able to get by with what's available. Not sure what comes with Reaper though.

Ideally you want a DAW to have multiple input bus's, a good sequencer, VST's, good mixing options and a hearty array of post production tools.


I see...Btw, I have Cubase LE 5, what is that? (Noob to technicalities)
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:54 PM   #17
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More or a less a stripped back version of the full version of Cubase 5. You still get a heap of the features in the full one, just not everything. I would use that over Reaper any day.
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That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


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Old 01-01-2013, 09:02 PM   #18
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More or a less a stripped back version of the full version of Cubase 5. You still get a heap of the features in the full one, just not everything. I would use that over Reaper any day.


So Cubase 5 is a DAW? And so does Cubase LE 5 have any software instruments? It came with my driver so yea. Should I try using it instead of Garage Band?
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:24 PM   #19
Eppicurt
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They're all DAW's. Definitely go Cubase.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:54 PM   #20
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Whats the difference between Cubase Le 5 and Cubase 7 haha
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