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Old 03-10-2013, 11:59 PM   #1
campster68
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Recording quality/mic pre amp question

Ok so,

Me and my band have been getting into self recording lately, but we want it to actually be decent quality. I bought a Shure SM-57, and I know its a real one, but yet I can't seem to get high quality recordings of my amp mic'd up. I know how to do it, and what the volume should be like on my amp, etc, and it sounds decent, just not as I'd expect.

Now heres the problem, or atleast I'm pretty sure: I don't have a real mic pre-amp. What we've been doing is plugging the mic into a little guitar multi processor (Digitech RP55), with the amp simulation off (so theres a little reverb, EQ settings, etc there, and of course, it adds power to the signal so that I actually get something in the computer). That then goes to Logic Pro 9 on my iMac.

So, will having a REAL USB Audio interface for the mic get me the kind of recorded guitar sounds I want? Every single demo of an SM-57 i've heard sounds great to me, and thats all I want.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:23 AM   #2
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A mic like that is pretty much useless without a proper pre-amp of some sort.

Most USB interfaces have a mic pre built in, so if recording on your PC is what you're after that would be the way to go.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:33 AM   #3
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Well, you do indeed need a preamp. Especially for a 57 which needs a lot of clean gain, albeit not as much on a cab.

I'm curious as to how you're getting the signal in right now.... quarter inch to eighth inch adapter to mic in on the computer? There's a good bit of your problem. Even if you have a mac, which you do, the onboard audio card isn't meant for recording. I actually used mine for a long time with a radio shack sm58 knock off and made some pretty good recordings. Still, I improved immensely when I finally got an interface.

Getting the sound you want requires experience, a lot of it. But having a USB interface, especially one of DECENT (doesn't have to be high) quality will give you the tools to get the sound you're after.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:53 AM   #4
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Very Useful Interfaces are. Plugin guitar directly you can. Check Fearedse's tutorials on YouTube you should.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:59 AM   #5
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^cant tell if adbot, really bad at English or trying to be Yoda.

Anyways, Scarlett 2i4. That's all you need and you'll be set.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:21 AM   #6
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Yeah, you're not going to get very far using an RP55 as your preamp.

More importantly, are your cabinet and amp up to scratch, as well as your mic placement technique? You'll never get good tone with a crappy cab or dodgy placement.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis Entreri
Well, you do indeed need a preamp. Especially for a 57 which needs a lot of clean gain, albeit not as much on a cab.

I'm curious as to how you're getting the signal in right now.... quarter inch to eighth inch adapter to mic in on the computer? There's a good bit of your problem. Even if you have a mac, which you do, the onboard audio card isn't meant for recording. I actually used mine for a long time with a radio shack sm58 knock off and made some pretty good recordings. Still, I improved immensely when I finally got an interface.

Getting the sound you want requires experience, a lot of it. But having a USB interface, especially one of DECENT (doesn't have to be high) quality will give you the tools to get the sound you're after.



The mic is running into an unbalanced input into the guitar pedal. then the output of the guitar pedal is running to the computer with a cheap 1/4 inch to USB cable (USB goes into the computer obviously)

I'm using a Marshall Lead 100 mosfet head, plugged in to an MG412A cab. Not the greatest stuff, but I like the tone I hear when I play it, and I've heard the MG cabs aren't even too bad even compared to 1960 cab's, atleast when it comes to mic'd up sound.

I ordered a cheap ($50 bucks or so) Behringer Xenyx Q502 USB "Mixer/audio interface" which has a mic pre-amp but can record multiple tracks, output to a computer via USB.

I'll see what kind of sounds I get when it arrives. If it's nothing good, I'll just return it, and either keep trying more equipment, or just decide to go record with some one else (we have friends who can do this stuff at as low as $50 a song, with quality decent enough that you would listen to it and think it was at least semi-professionally done)
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campster68
I ordered a cheap ($50 bucks or so) Behringer Xenyx Q502 USB "Mixer/audio interface" which has a mic pre-amp but can record multiple tracks, output to a computer via USB.


Don't open it and return it. They're terrible when it comes to the USB input. Driver issues & terrible AD conversion
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockwolf
Don't open it and return it. They're terrible when it comes to the USB input. Driver issues & terrible AD conversion


I had another xenyx mixer before and liked it... Plus it was used I only paid like 40 bucks for it.

I'll just see how it is
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockwolf
Don't open it and return it. They're terrible when it comes to the USB input. Driver issues & terrible AD conversion


This. You will see 0 improvement over your current st up. You need a real sound card to convert the signal from analog to digital and to replace your computer's card.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:00 PM   #11
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A while back when my soundcard died I borrowed a Line 6 Toneport UX2 for a while, it did a fine job of things to be fair, mic'ed up my amp with a Shure SM7B. The toneport obviously isn't top end stuff but it's certaintly more than capable for what you want and there is no reason why you would not be able to get a fantastic sound from your SM57. Not to mention that it can double up as a modeller with the software that comes with it, you can plug your guitar straight in.

Saying that, I have no idea how much they cost!
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campster68
I had another xenyx mixer before and liked it... Plus it was used I only paid like 40 bucks for it.

I'll just see how it is


As a mixer, they're fine units. Expecting it to do anything outside the mixer part well is asking for a miracle.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:44 PM   #13
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https://www.dropbox.com/s/mu5s7zruy...xenyxsample.mp3

Here's a sample I recorded today with the SM57 plugged into the mixer, then the mixer plugged into USB on my iMac and running through garageband (I have logic pro 9 but something's been wrong with my computer, and it won't work with my account lately, and I don't have the password to get on the account it does work on).

This is raw, un-EQ'd, untouched audio from the mixer. only thing done was the 2 band eq on the mixer's input had the Low on about 6 and the high on about 4, considering my amp settings are pretty trebly.

Don't mind the playing either, it's a little bit of crazy train but that chorus fill has always been a problem for me, haha
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:58 AM   #14
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Rather harsh and nasty sounding (and terribly out of tune), but that's not bad. The MG412 is a pretty crappy cab but if you get the mic placement right you should see usable results.

I still think the Xenyx mixer was a mistake, for the reasons everyone else mentioned.

Quote:
only thing done was the 2 band eq on the mixer's input had the Low on about 6 and the high on about 4, considering my amp settings are pretty trebly.

No no no! Get your mic placement right instead of using corrective EQ.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:32 AM   #15
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... also get the amp sound right (if you know it's trebly, then fix it!) rather than relying on corrective EQ.

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Old 03-13-2013, 11:35 AM   #16
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:28 PM   #17
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^ LOL



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Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

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Old 03-16-2013, 12:14 AM   #18
campster68
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Well, after doing some more research I officially regret having ordered that behringer mixer. I'm an idiot, I don't know why I just didn't get an interface in the firstplace :sigh: . Anyways I'll probably just return this thing, and I think I'm looking at getting a presonus audiobox. A guy I know has one of those and we recorded a song with him, going direct on on the guitar to amp simulation, heres that for a sample:

http://factorspoppunk.bandcamp.com

And about the tone in that clip before with the SM57 and the behringer mixer, I like the tone I hear in person, but it sounds like ass in all the recordings. but thats probably because of the use of a mixer instead of an audio interface.. bad choice on my part.

Thanks everyone for all the help though, anyways
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:37 AM   #19
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Now you've (hopefully) learned we know what we're saying when we say don't get something, I'm going to suggest you don't get the audiobox either. It's well known for having buggy as hell drivers, which will make it a pain to set up and probably a pain to use continually as well.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:49 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by chatterbox272
Now you've (hopefully) learned we know what we're saying when we say don't get something, I'm going to suggest you don't get the audiobox either. It's well known for having buggy as hell drivers, which will make it a pain to set up and probably a pain to use continually as well.


I guess I wont get an audiobox then, either! haha.

As I said thats what was used in that other recording I posted ^ and I was happy with that, But i'll look around at other interfaces then
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