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Old 10-04-2008, 03:53 PM   #1
Sample246
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Recording guitar into Fruity Loops 8

Ok, I'm a TOTAL noob when it comes to music hardware and software. I went out and bought something like this:



I got my drum track set up in Fruity Loops the way I want. All I need to do is add bass, guitar, and vocals. Now, I've got several questions here:

1. I decided to test my guitar's recording in the little basic sound recorder for Windows. To my displeasure, I found that the recording came out extremely muddy, like some kind of HORRIBLE distortion, even though I was running the guitar clean (Guitar-->Cable-->Adapter-->Computer) into my computer. I found that this could be resolved by turning down the volume knob on the guitar, but from past experiences with my amp, I've found that messing with the volume knob on the guitar SEVERELY saps away your tone. I would rather this not happen. Is there another alternative to getting the sound to come out clean? I don't know what's the problem here.

2. Fruity Loops recording has to be the most complicated thing ever, I mean, whatthehell. Ok, I've got my drum track set, my guitar plugged in, and I click the "record" button. Suddenly I get a box full of moonspeak (or it might as well be. I dont know what any of this means). So I google "recording on Fruity Loops." I find a nice little video tutorial, but it says "before you begin, make sure your sound card has ASIO. If it doesn't, you can download ASIO4ALL." Well, I have no earthly idea how to check for ASIO or whatever on my soundcard, so I download this "ASIO4ALL" just to be safe. I install it, and I can't figure out for the life of me if it's automatically enabled, or if I have to activate it or what. I look through the ASIO4ALL website for tutorials to get it started and they don't help. So I just decide to go back to the video tutorial from before. It says to designate my sound input or whatever, and it clicks a dropdown box and clicks on some "ASIO" option. I don't have this option in my dropdown box. It's at this point that I throw up my arms and decide to post for help here. Please someone give me an idiot's guide to getting a guitar track on this damn program!

3. Once I get everything good a set, I'm going to send my friend the completed MP3 of the instrumental track, and let her send me a soundfile of the vocals she makes (we live kindof far apart). Will I be able to import an MP3 file of her singing into the program and get it on the playlist?

4. I've always heard things about how you're not supposed to play a bass guitar into a regular guitar amp because it'll damage it. Does the same principal apply to recording into the computer? Will it hurt my computer to record my bass directly into it?


Thanks for any help you can give me guys. Of course, I'd say my biggest problem is probably question # 2.
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Old 10-05-2008, 04:08 PM   #2
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What's going on in problem #1 is that the pickups on the guitar are, simply put, not loud enough. The pickup will produce sound at what's called "low-level," when you need sound at "line-level." You need a pre-amp of some sort to bring the sound up to line-level. You can accomplish this by using a dedicated pre-amp, or by plugging your guitar into your amplifier, and then plugging the amplifier into the computer (plug in a 1/4 inch cable to the line-out on the amp, and then plug that into your adapter). That should bring your signal up to line-level.

I wish I could help you with FruityLoops, but I honestly have no idea how the program works. Based on my experience with drivers for computers, you may have to restart before the ASIO thing will work. If you could post the error that FruityLoops gives, it might be easier to help.

It shouldn't be a problem to import the MP3 file, but I caution you to seriously consider not using MP3. The MP3 format compresses music in a way that's called lossy (as opposed to lossless). You may have noticed something called the bitrate of an MP3 file. Typically, they came in powers of two (64, 128, 192, 256, and 320 are the most common) and have the unit "kbps." That stands for kilobytes per second, and it means how much of the audio signal is stored for every second. The lower the bit rate, the less of the original sound is preserved, so you begin to lose the high and low end of the audio. The cymbals sound splashy, the bass kick is crunchy, and in many cases you lose a lot of the high audio altogether.

If it's possible, you should try using the same program as your friend, because typically the programs will allow you to send lossless audio files back and forth. If you can't do this, try using .wav or .aiff formats, because these are uncompressed and will provide the best fidelity. If that doesn't work, .flac is a lossless format, but you may have trouble importing them into the audio programs you're using.

Lastly, on the topic of recording bass, the reason why there are separate bass amps is because a guitar amp is designed to reproduce the sounds of a guitar, which are significantly higher than those of a bass. A bass amp can't produce sounds as high as a guitar amp can, and a guitar amp can't produce sounds as low as a bass amp can.

A non-bass digital amp probably won't be ruined by playing bass through it, but an analog or tube amp probably will be damaged, due to the method they use to amplify sounds. But because a computer doesn't have to amplify sounds, just record them, there's no worry about ruining it. Consider that the bass drum on a drum set is as low as a bass guitar, and that doesn't damage a computer.

I hope that all this made sense and helped you out. Good luck with your FruityLoops issues!
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:17 PM   #3
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Wow, that's a ton of help thanks alot man. I was afraid nobody was going to reply because my post was so long.

Anyways, more on my fruity loops problem:

This is the box that comes up when I click the record button:




This is the video tutorial I watched.

Anyways, speak of the devil, I went into fruity loops to make a picture comparing my dropdown box to the one in the video, and lo and behold, an ASIO option had appeared. I'm assuming this is what I need to set it at?



And a few more question, heh.

Quote:
plug in a 1/4 inch cable to the line-out on the amp, and then plug that into your adapter


1/4 inch cable is a standard guitar cable right? Never did know their technical name. Also, I'm using a Peavey Valveking 112. Where is the "line-out" on the amp? I'm assuming it's the jack on the back of the amp that says "External Speaker 50W RMS" next to it, but just to be sure, here are pictures of the amp front and back:





Thanks again for all the help!
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:38 PM   #4
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Yes, a 1/4 inch jack is the same one as on a guitar.

I don't know if you realize that using the line-out method will probably produce some less-than-pleasurable sounds unless your amp is converting the signal to digital automatically, and looking at your amp I don't think it is. That "External Speaker" port should work just fine, but it might not sound very good (especially with a lot of distortion).

If you can't get a microphone, you'll probably want a DI box. These will change the analog signal into a digital one, providing some better-sounding sound. They're pretty cheap unless you get a super-high end one. Check out http://www.guitarcenter.com/Direct-...-Processors1.gc

The option you have on FruityLoops should work; it just looks like an older version of the software in the video.

Good luck!
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Old 10-05-2008, 06:23 PM   #5
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Damn, I gotta buy some kind of thinga-ma-jig to get the signal to be clean? I think I'm just gonna go to my friend's house and use his recording studio, lol. This is just too much of a pain in the ass...
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Old 10-05-2008, 06:55 PM   #6
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DO NOT USE THE "EXTERNAL SPEAKER" PORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IT WILL DO SERIOUS DAMAGE!!!!!!!!!!!

use the one called "send"
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Old 10-05-2008, 07:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDriller
DO NOT USE THE "EXTERNAL SPEAKER" PORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IT WILL DO SERIOUS DAMAGE!!!!!!!!!!!

use the one called "send"



Really... glad you said that before I did anything.

However, the "send" jack looks like it's for making an effects chain. Are you sure I should use that one?

Also, does the "dirty signal" still apply to this jack also?

Last edited by Sample246 : 10-05-2008 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sample246
1. I decided to test my guitar's recording in the little basic sound recorder for Windows. To my displeasure, I found that the recording came out extremely muddy, like some kind of HORRIBLE distortion, even though I was running the guitar clean (Guitar-->Cable-->Adapter-->Computer) into my computer. I found that this could be resolved by turning down the volume knob on the guitar, but from past experiences with my amp, I've found that messing with the volume knob on the guitar SEVERELY saps away your tone. I would rather this not happen. Is there another alternative to getting the sound to come out clean? I don't know what's the problem here.


Make sure you're plugged into the line in on your PC, not the Mic In. The Mic In on your PC has a crappy mic preamp in the signal path that's not made for recording. The Line In should not have this preamp, but still may not sound great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sample246
2. Fruity Loops recording has to be the most complicated thing ever, I mean, whatthehell. Ok, I've got my drum track set, my guitar plugged in, and I click the "record" button. Suddenly I get a box full of moonspeak (or it might as well be. I dont know what any of this means). So I google "recording on Fruity Loops." I find a nice little video tutorial, but it says "before you begin, make sure your sound card has ASIO. If it doesn't, you can download ASIO4ALL." Well, I have no earthly idea how to check for ASIO or whatever on my soundcard, so I download this "ASIO4ALL" just to be safe. I install it, and I can't figure out for the life of me if it's automatically enabled, or if I have to activate it or what. I look through the ASIO4ALL website for tutorials to get it started and they don't help. So I just decide to go back to the video tutorial from before. It says to designate my sound input or whatever, and it clicks a dropdown box and clicks on some "ASIO" option. I don't have this option in my dropdown box. It's at this point that I throw up my arms and decide to post for help here. Please someone give me an idiot's guide to getting a guitar track on this damn program!
Use Fruity Loops to build your song (Drum loops, Bass line, etc), and then export it and record your parts in another program such as Audacity. It's much easier that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sample246
3. Once I get everything good a set, I'm going to send my friend the completed MP3 of the instrumental track, and let her send me a soundfile of the vocals she makes (we live kindof far apart). Will I be able to import an MP3 file of her singing into the program and get it on the playlist?
Refer to answer above, but you'll want to use something besides FL to quantize and arrange the vocal parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sample246
4. I've always heard things about how you're not supposed to play a bass guitar into a regular guitar amp because it'll damage it. Does the same principal apply to recording into the computer? Will it hurt my computer to record my bass directly into it?
It's ok to run your bass into your line in directly. Use different VSTs like Helian's Bass 1st and 2nd amp sim and you should get a VERY usable result.
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Death-Speak
Make sure you're plugged into the line in on your PC, not the Mic In. The Mic In on your PC has a crappy mic preamp in the signal path that's not made for recording. The Line In should not have this preamp, but still may not sound great.


I'm using an HP Pavillion laptop. It has only three plug-in areas. Two of them seem to be labeled as output (headphones, speakers, etc) and the one I've been using has a picture of a mic, so that's the one I've been using. I don't see any more plug in spots.

Quote:
It's ok to run your bass into your line in directly. Use different VSTs like Helian's Bass 1st and 2nd amp sim and you should get a VERY usable result.


VST's... you mean plug-ins for Fruity Loops? Like, to make a synthetic bass line?
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sample246
I'm using an HP Pavillion laptop. It has only three plug-in areas. Two of them seem to be labeled as output (headphones, speakers, etc) and the one I've been using has a picture of a mic, so that's the one I've been using. I don't see any more plug in spots.
Oh ok, then look in the control panel for your laptop soundcard and see if it will let you choose whether that input is a mic in or line in. Some will let you most won't. Beyond that you may want to look into an audio interface. I have a M-Audio Fast Track Pro and it's small enough to fit into my laptop bag to travel with me (for work) and such.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sample246
VST's... you mean plug-ins for Fruity Loops? Like, to make a synthetic bass line?


No. VSTs are a type of plugin standard and will work in lots of different host programs (including FL,Cakewalk, etc). As far as synthetic or real you could do either. I've created passable bass lines in Fruity Loops (and other programs), but I prefer to record a real bass guitar. The VST plugin (for either method) will help you hone your sound and is an option I prefer to actually micing up a bass amp. The Helians bass plugin I refered to is a bass/amp simulator that will give any where from a clean to a dirty tube bass sound. It's all up to you on how you do that though.
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Death-Speak
Oh ok, then look in the control panel for your laptop soundcard and see if it will let you choose whether that input is a mic in or line in. Some will let you most won't. Beyond that you may want to look into an audio interface. I have a M-Audio Fast Track Pro and it's small enough to fit into my laptop bag to travel with me (for work) and such.




No. VSTs are a type of plugin standard and will work in lots of different host programs (including FL,Cakewalk, etc). As far as synthetic or real you could do either. I've created passable bass lines in Fruity Loops (and other programs), but I prefer to record a real bass guitar. The VST plugin (for either method) will help you hone your sound and is an option I prefer to actually micing up a bass amp. The Helians bass plugin I refered to is a bass/amp simulator that will give any where from a clean to a dirty tube bass sound. It's all up to you on how you do that though.


I cant find anything in the control panel. Yeah, this is a load of crap. Too much technical audio stuff that I don't understand, and too many different people telling me totally different solutions to the problem. And I don't have over 9000 dollars to spend on new equipment. I'm just gonna go to my buddy's house, he's got a mixer and adobe audition software that he knows how to use good. He can hook me up.

Thanks for the help anyways guys!
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