#1
So ive been recording stuff for a little over a year now and im not very satisfied with the way my reocrdings sound. i have a basic understanding of how EQ and panning works, as well as some effects such as a compressor, but i really need some help with proper recording levels, eq, methods, etc.

My gear:
http://us.store.creative.com/EMU-0404-USB-2.0-White/M/B001NTDFMC.htm
My first interface. Pretty crappy, but it mainly use it for midi drums to computer and combining mixers. It also has a 1/8" jack output so it can go straight into my computer's line it with no adapter via aux cable.

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Behringer-EURORACK-UB1202-Mixer?sku=631236
My most recent addition. Just a 12 input mixer. I got it on coincidence with the drum mics so i can hook up all 4 drum mics. this along with my other interface allow me to use 6 mics for recording drums. I have not yet used this method in recording, just testing... as i dont have an acoustic drumkit of my own. It is much better with handling gain than the other interface, less noise, more inputs/outputs, and basic pan and eq effects.

for sutdio monitors, i JUST got 2 radioshack monitors. they are decent. not exactly pro or even intermediate, but its all i can afford.

drum mics.
http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/CAD-Pro4-Drum-Microphone-Pack?sku=271262

I also have 2 nady starpower dynamic mics that i dont use much because they are cheap(came with mic stands) and an MXL condenser mic which i use to record acoustic instruments and vocals.

my drumset is an electric roland td-4. i hope to one day re record everything with a real kit. living in an apartment, i couldnt get an acoustic.

my guitar amp is a peavey vypyr 100. it has a 1/8 headphone jack specifically(or so they say) for recording use. id say it works pretty well. i get a high output, clean sound with it. i also use it to record bass.

here are my basic methods for recording all the instruments.
-Electric Guitars and Bass: Through the Peavey Vypyr headphone jack>computer line in.

-Acoustic anything or vocals: MXL condenser mic>big mixer>audio interface. (this seems a little ghetto to me. id like opinions on how you think this sounds. mic>mixer>interface>computer. I dont just go mic>interface>computer anymore because the mixer has a much higher output with much less gain.

-Drums: Electric set>interface>computer>sometimes into FL studio via Drumset MIDI>Interface>Computer for better samples* (The interface has 2 inputs for stereo. The drumset has 2 outputs for stereo. Since its electric, the set also gives a pretty good output so i get a decent clarity and volume without going into the big mixer.)

-Strings/Midi: I usually write out orchestral parts in Finale2011/2011 and just run a line from the headphone jack to the line in jack. Ive never managed to get midi or vst to work with adobe audition.


My main guitars are a bc rich warlock and an american fender strat. typical warlock problems are excessive noise from the high output pickups picking up very slight string vibrations from random strings while i play others.(i can usually fix this with a bandanna on the first fret, unless i need to use the first fret... which is kinda a lot...)
Typical strat problems are buzz from using any single coil pickup or even the humbucker(its HSS) by itself. I dont know why the humbucker is noisy, but it is. Neither of the warlock humbuckers buzz.

Id appreciate any help i can get regarding methods of recording, gear settings, guitar noise remedies, proper EQ settings for various instruments, good effects to use to make a track blend well with the song, how to make a final mix down louder, etc.

Here is a song i would like help with. its the only one i have uploaded.
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/ciano16/music/all/play979100

I notice that certain things randomly drop out. mainly the heavy rhythm guitars and drum cymbals. i have compressors on them, because, if i didnt, they would be too muddy and shrill-sounding. I also have the EQ on them set to one with more lows and one with more highs so they complete eachother instead of just both being the same.
#2
Well, I'm no expert, but right away, why aren't you going through the interface with your guitar and bass? Built-in PC sound card line-ins generally suck, and you'd be much better off either going amp>interface>PC or just guitar>interface>PC and use some free amp sim VST's, if you can't mic your amp.

So far that's all I've got, as I don't know enough to recommend anything else right now and be 100% sure I'm telling you right. The experts will be here shortly.

EDIT: And headphone outs on amps generally aren't a good idea because the actual speaker does a lot of work on tone, and by going out the headphone jack you're bypassing that.
Last edited by cjmabry at Apr 8, 2011,
#3
Way too much compression on the whole mix. Everything is pumping and ducking the whole time.

Personally, I'd ditch Audition and get Reaper. You won't have any issues with midi or VSTs with it.

Here are some basic things that are applicable in any DAW that will help a lot with the clarity of your mix:

Frist, put all your faders all the way down.

Start by getting your kick and bass guitar to sit right together. For heavy music, it's usually preferable to compress the shit out of the bass to eliminate any peaks and keep a constant low end. I set the volume of my bass guitar fader so it never peaks over -18dbs (with all the compression, it'll pretty much end up being a constant -18 dbs). From there, bring the kick up until it's at an acceptable volume. Now what you have to do, is EQ each of these instruments so there are no frequencies competing for headroom, then readjust their volumes. With a metal kick, you can pretty much scoop out all the mids starting around 150-200hz, all the way to maybe 5-7khz, it depends on the kick you're using. Basically, you want the big thud of the low end, and the click of the high end. I like a slight boost around 60hz with my kicks for an added kick to the chest. As a result, I need to make a cut on my bass guitar at 60 hz to make up for this so there isn't an overload of 60hz. Make sense? From there I bring up the rest of my drums. The snare is usually the loudest part of the kit and also eats the most headroom. You can put a clipper on the snare to lower peaks while bringing up the over all volume which will help you sit it better in the mix, look into Gclip for this.

From here I usually bring up guitars next. First thing I do with guitars and add a high and low pass filter. I high pass around 150-200hz (depending on the tone and bass) and high pass between 8-12khz (again, depends on the tone). Distorted guitars don't usually need compression as that's basically what distortion is. For panning, I usually double track rhythms, one guitar track 100% left and one 100% right. Leads usually go straight center. If there are harmonized leads, those go anywhere from 50-20% L/R, really depends on what you're going for here.

After guitars comes vocals and any other parts such as synths, strings, etc. Just remember that it's all a frequency and volume balancing act. You need to be able to hear where things are competing and take care of it with EQ cuts. The end goal is to have a very balanced and relatively quiet mix. My mixes usually end up peaking around -6dbs when I'm done and move into the mastering stage.

When you're just starting to get into mixing, things like spectrum analyzers can be helpful to let you see where there may be peaks and problems, but as you become more experienced, you want to be able to hear the problems. That said, always go with your ears. Something may look funky on the analyzer, but it if sounds cool, go with it. This is mainly for seeing things like the giant peaks at 100hz you may have trouble hearing without proper monitoring, etc.

For some things more specific to your situation:
Did your amp come with the USB output that I know some Vypyrs have? I'm pretty sure you'll get better tone results from that, and the better your sound source, the better your mix will turn out. In your song, your guitar sounds a bit over gained and thin, especially on the leads, though I think this may be a result of the 1/8th inch jack. That a side, your mix isn't that horrible. Fix the compression and balance issues and it'll be pretty solid!
#4
wow man thats tons of help. thanks. the fader is the basic gain knob, right? also, since its an electric kit i used,(before using the midi>FL studio) i cant really change just the bass drum... unless you know a way to do that. i think ive tried reaper before. i beleive my amp came with a trial or light version of it. i tried using the usb out on my amp once but i couldnt only get it to record to mono instead of stereo. anyone know why that is?
Last edited by ciano16 at Apr 8, 2011,
#5
Yeah, I'm not familiar with Audition, but since it's billed as a DAW, I'm sure it has a mixer window. Try under window>mixer, or something like that. I find working with faders like this a lot either than knobs or dials on vertical tracks in a main window.

Well, if you're recording midi data from the e-drums, I'd invest in a nice little sampler like EZdrummer, either the drumkit from hell or metalheads expansions. I've heard some really nice stuff from the new metalheads expansion. This will let you run the midi data you record through a sample with professionally recorded drums and give you a much more natural and realistic sound. It also will allow you to mix each part of the kit separately which is key in getting a good mix. Having a single stereo track for your drums will only get you so far. In the mean time, if you've got midi data for some of your songs, send me a PM and I'll run them through Superior Drummer for you so you've got individual pieces of the kit to work with.

I don't have any personal experience with the Vypyr, but a mono guitar track isn't too big a deal. I bounce all my guitars to mono before panning them. You can add stereo wideners, reverb, or delay later to create more space during the mixing process. The main thing I'd be worried about (hopefully someone who records a Vypyr via USB can chime in) is having to use cab impulses on your recorded tracks. I would assume it records the direct output from the preamp which means you'd need to get an IR loader such as KeFir and some cab impulses to run as an effect on your guitar tracks so they sound real instead of a thin, super distorted signal. If this is the case, check out the vst amp modeling thread under the cab simulation section.
#6
ok so there was a mixer window with EQ settings right there for me to adjust on the fly! basically increased the low frequencies of the bass and drums so there wouldnt be too much cymbal noise, took the lows out of the guitars so it wouldnt fight with the bass, and left the clean guitars almost the same just taking out a little lows. the main thing i need help with now is noise and distortion removal. apparently when i recorded the 2nd half of the clean guitars on the song, i had the amp output too high and there are a few clicks i can hear where the guitars go over the limit(i hope you understand my less-than-pro vocab with this stuff). is there any simple way to fix this? also, in the mixer window, theres a button that says "Send 1 Pre-Fader/Post-Fader". does this have something to do with the faders you were telling me about? i still havent found any fader controls in the program besides that.
#7
use the noise reduction tool to remove any background hiss. audition might not be the best DAW out there but its noise reduction tool surprisingly is.

the pop/ click eliminator might be able to help your clicks sound better so try that out on the exact area in single track view.
#8
Quote by ciano16
ok so there was a mixer window with EQ settings right there for me to adjust on the fly! basically increased the low frequencies of the bass and drums so there wouldnt be too much cymbal noise, took the lows out of the guitars so it wouldnt fight with the bass, and left the clean guitars almost the same just taking out a little lows. the main thing i need help with now is noise and distortion removal. apparently when i recorded the 2nd half of the clean guitars on the song, i had the amp output too high and there are a few clicks i can hear where the guitars go over the limit(i hope you understand my less-than-pro vocab with this stuff). is there any simple way to fix this? also, in the mixer window, theres a button that says "Send 1 Pre-Fader/Post-Fader". does this have something to do with the faders you were telling me about? i still havent found any fader controls in the program besides that.

The clicks you're hearing is a result of your singal 'clipping.' This is when your signal is too hot (loud) and distorts. There are audio restoration type things you can do to try and fix this (I don't know anything about this) but I feel like it'd be a lot easier to just record over again.

The faders I'm talking about are just the things you push up and down
Last edited by Odirunn at Apr 12, 2011,