#1
I turned my amp's distortion setting to 1 and still feel like I'm getting too much distortion when recording. I'm using an SM57 and a Focusrite Saffire. What can I do about this? Also, when I change to a clean tone, I still get a little ugly-sounding distortion when monitoring the sound through headphones.

Also, what sort of quality should I expect to get by playing around with this setup? I have audio samples I can upload and maybe someone will tell me if they think I can get better and what I may do.
#2
bad speakers or bad recording.
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#3
Reduce the gain of the amp, and the input level on the Saffire. The input signal should hover at the -15 - 10 range.
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Recording Guitar Amps 101
#4
Quote by Fast_Fingers
Reduce the gain of the amp, and the input level on the Saffire. The input signal should hover at the -15 - 10 range.

I've tried both of those. As you turn the amp's volume up does the quality of the recording go up as well and then stop at a certain volume (assuming you're adjusting the input level as well)?
#5
It sounds like *something* is clipping *somewhere.*

All these are good:

-distortion set low (very low) on amp
-57
-focusrite

You only get the 'ugly sounding distortion' when recording a clean tone when listening through headphones? Maybe your headphone amp is clipping? Maybe your headphones are just blown?

Open up the control applet of the focusrite. Check those meters. Anything clipping there? When you use the words 'ugly sounding distortion' it makes me think of digital clipping. Maybe you're clipping your converters on the way in, but it isn't showing up on your meters in whatever software you're using?

About guitar volume - that can be tricky. As a general rule, if it doesn't sound good in the room, it won't sound good 'going to tape.' Often times, you need to turn it up a certain ways to get the sound you like. That said... if you don't *need* to crank it, you'd be surprised at how little volume you need to get a big fat guitar sound.

Now, you get to a point where the volume of your amp is just excessive. Mics can get blown out (though a 57 will routinely endure repetitive whacking of a snare drum from one centimetre away, so guitar cabs would have to be insanely loud to blast them out) if you're not careful. How loud do you need it, before the extra 70db is being cranked out for no other reason than 'because I can!?"

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

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Last edited by axemanchris at Aug 16, 2008,
#6
Quote by hthedinga
I've tried both of those. As you turn the amp's volume up does the quality of the recording go up as well and then stop at a certain volume (assuming you're adjusting the input level as well)?


As Axe said before it's probably clipping. The quality does go up as well, but then nosedives as it reaches a certain volume which is dependent on the input level...it can only really be measured by the device itself. To be honest, there shouldn't be a need to crank the amplifier up unless you have a tube amp and must have that saturation...but then again there are attenuators for that.
Quote by keiron_d
thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!


True love exists in UG. Can you feel it?

Recording Guitar Amps 101
#7
Thanks for the comments.

Quote by axemanchris
It sounds like *something* is clipping *somewhere.*

All these are good:

-distortion set low (very low) on amp
-57
-focusrite

You only get the 'ugly sounding distortion' when recording a clean tone when listening through headphones? Maybe your headphone amp is clipping? Maybe your headphones are just blown?

Open up the control applet of the focusrite. Check those meters. Anything clipping there? When you use the words 'ugly sounding distortion' it makes me think of digital clipping. Maybe you're clipping your converters on the way in, but it isn't showing up on your meters in whatever software you're using?

About guitar volume - that can be tricky. As a general rule, if it doesn't sound good in the room, it won't sound good 'going to tape.' Often times, you need to turn it up a certain ways to get the sound you like. That said... if you don't *need* to crank it, you'd be surprised at how little volume you need to get a big fat guitar sound.

Now, you get to a point where the volume of your amp is just excessive. Mics can get blown out (though a 57 will routinely endure repetitive whacking of a snare drum from one centimetre away, so guitar cabs would have to be insanely loud to blast them out) if you're not careful. How loud do you need it, before the extra 70db is being cranked out for no other reason than 'because I can!?"

CT

You are right, my amp is clipping. I noticed when I got a new guitar (Gibson Les Paul Vintage Mahogany) that the clean sound would be a little distorted sometimes, especially on lower notes. Both guitars, when played through my (non-tube) amp clip. There's a red light on the amp that indicates that. I'm thinking I could increase the distance between pickups and strings to solve this problem, but is there another way?

Also, while I'm at it, my new guitar hasn't been "set up". Should I have a professional do this? What exactly would this entail and how much should I expect it to cost?

Anyway, nothing is clipping in the applet for the focusrite (saffire control). I have the input volume as high as it can go with having the volume barely go into yellow.

I know this is subjective, but I gather the most common mic placement for micing guitar amps is to have the mic in the middle of the cone a few inches away. Maybe a lesser common method is to have it at the rim of the cone? When having two similar sounding guitar tracks that will be panned left and right, should the guitar sounds be very distinct? If I can't use different guitars and amps, I could change the settings on the amp, maybe switch pickups, eq different, etc.?

Quote by Fast_Fingers
As Axe said before it's probably clipping. The quality does go up as well, but then nosedives as it reaches a certain volume which is dependent on the input level...it can only really be measured by the device itself. To be honest, there shouldn't be a need to crank the amplifier up unless you have a tube amp and must have that saturation...but then again there are attenuators for that.

Can you usually instantly tell if someone is using a tube amp or not?

I have put my most recent recording online. Please listen to it and share any helpful words with me.

www.myspace.com/musichans (it's called Rough Draft)

Thanks.
Last edited by hthedinga at Aug 24, 2008,
#9
you could always move the mic away from the amp... if youre hearing it not distorted but its coming up as too much dist on the recording, then just move the mic away from the speaker and it will hear what youre hearing
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