#1
Alright folks, I really need your help on this.

1. I feel my guitar input is somewhat weak. I'm currently using an Epiphone g310 with passive pickups, plugged directly into a Fast Track interface. The interface does have a guitar gain knob but it still doesn't feel strong enough. Would using a preamp or DI box help?

2. After I'm done recording, whatever I record sounds too quiet. I'm using cubase, but it's the same case with other DAWs, if I raise the volume of the track, it starts to clip. Any solutions to this?

And one last thing, I have a semi-acoustic (Takamine ED50SC), and I'm having trouble making it sound like an acoustic when I'm recording with the pickup. Any tips? Compressors? Equalizers?

Thanks people
#2
1.) I don't know, I have no experience with DI boxes. Try turning the input gain up? Also, spend some time with an EQ, 15 or 31-band if you have it. You get your EQ right, it can do wonders for a guitar sound.

2.) Again, make sure the input gain is high enough that you have a hefty signal, but not so hefty it clips. You want to bring the level right to the point where it clips, and then roll back just a tad. That's your volume threshold for when it comes time to mix the full project. Also, make sure the volume on your computer/speakers is the same as it is when you're listening to music. I've been fighting with stuff like that, and then realized that my computer volume was just low and felt like a moron.

3.) A compressor can help a lot with recording acoustic guitars. I'm currently working on someone's acoustic EP, and I'm not happy with a lot of the tones I'm getting. But I've found a compressor is a good start. EQ only if you absolutely have to, it's really easy to let it run away with you. "Less is more" is the name of the game with the EQ. You want to enhance the natural sound of the guitar, not alter it (unless of course you're going for a real unique tone, in which case go nuts).

Hope this helped
Gig Rig:

Schecter Hellraiser V-1
Crate BV120H
B-52 LS 4x12 cabinet
BBE Rackmount Sonic Max
Boss ME-50 Pedalboard
Digital Reference 2505 Wireless

I don't like BTBAM. Sue Me.

PLUR

My Solo Project
#3
I'll be sure to mess around with acoustic/compressors later on tonight,

But for what you said about the volume being the same level as when listening to other music, I've already tried that which is why I'm here asking how to get my recording to sound at a similar level. I'll try messing around again with everything and see just how far it goes before clipping.

Thanks for your reply!
#4
It's difficult to get, that's for sure. I've been doing this recording thing for a decent amount of time, and I'm still using the iTunes volume adjustment thing to compensate occasionally. I've found acoustic guitar is a lot easier to get up to the golden level than a heavily distorted electric guitar. Also, I don't know if Cubase has it, but Logic has a Normalize option that supposedly brings the mix up to the highest possible level without distortion when it bounces the mix out. Not sure if this is true, so it might be worthwhile to try doing a couple bounces with the normalize feature on and some with it off and see if that helps.
Gig Rig:

Schecter Hellraiser V-1
Crate BV120H
B-52 LS 4x12 cabinet
BBE Rackmount Sonic Max
Boss ME-50 Pedalboard
Digital Reference 2505 Wireless

I don't like BTBAM. Sue Me.

PLUR

My Solo Project
#5
1. Most interfaces have a boost on the input, for example I have a pod which has a +18db switch on the input mixer. Try looking around for something like that. Also, it's not a huge deal if your DI isn't super loud, I record with mine peaking around -6 db with a passive humbucker.

2. Volume is one of the many aspects of the mastering stage of recording. If you're dealing with a full mix (guitars, bass, drums, vocals, etc) it's a bit tricky to get a commercial volume level without ruining your mix; however, if you're just dealing with some guitar riffs, you're in luck because you can simply add a brickwall limiter to your master buss and it will bring your volume way up without any clipping. I'm pretty sure cubase has a stock limiter you can play around with.

3. Can't really help here. The easiest thing to do would be to mic the acoustic and blend the mic and pickup.
#6
A preamp or DI will help. Ideally, I would recommend splitting the signal from your guitar, sending it through two paths. DI one signal, run an XLR (a mic cable) from the DI out to the preamp, and the preamp out to your interface. Send the other signal to your amp and mic the amp. However, it sounds like you won't be miking the amp, so just do the DI path.

For the volume issue, don't raise the fader if it starts to clip. Put a gain plug in on or turn up your speakers. The issue with recording might fix this as well. I tend to record in Pro Tools, and the levels I record at are around -18dBFS. The meter should mainly be green, just barely going into the level on the louder parts. This gives you plenty of headroom for raising the fader if it ends up being not loud enough.

For the acoustic issue... You're gonna have a hard time getting your acoustic-electric to sound like an acoustic using the pick-up. The best thing to do is mic the acoustic guitar. Since you have the option, I would recommend miking the acoustic AND taking the signal from the pick-up. This way you can blend the signal to get the sound that you want.

Hope that helps!
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