recording guitar

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recording guitar

Postby GaryD » Tue Sep 16, 2003 1:23 pm

I'm getting pretty good at getting down drum tracks (alesis SR-16) and synth tracks (roland EP-80)

What's the best way to record guitar tracks?
GaryD
 

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Postby andychap » Tue Sep 16, 2003 2:35 pm

What do you want real guitars or computer based ones.?

If you want real ones plug your guitar in to a pre amp (your alesis might have an external audio in that could handle it) and plug in into the line in socket on the sound card. Open the windows mixer panel for your soundcard and make sure you have ckecked the line in box. Arm a track in Cakewalk and set your levels and press record.

If you don't need real guitars then try Rhythm N Chords. I think you still get the lite version with Sonar. Right click the effects bin on a midi track, choose midi effect > Rhythm N Chords. Simply enter the chords on the measures, select a style and a strumming or picking pattern and press play. Once you have completed your guitar track choose the edit menu > apply midi effects and it will write your guitar track to the midi track it's self.

Clean overdriven and distortion type lead guitar can always be played from the keyboard or entered in the piano roll but you will have to try and make it sound like a guitar.

When Brian D comes on line he will be able to give you a lot more info, being an Axeman. :D
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guitar

Postby GaryD » Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:55 pm

mostly I want to play accoustic rythem....I'm using a fender classical with a built in pickup....running it through a mackie mixer....how do I turn the listening volume down without affecting the recording level?

Also,how can I reduce the noise?
GaryD
 

Postby andychap » Wed Sep 17, 2003 6:15 pm

I never had much success recording electro acoustic guitar by plugging in in. It never sounded right, the levels were all over the place and it sounded very noisy, lots of fret and string noise.

I found the best way was to play though my amp. At first I used the headphone out put into the line in and got better results by using the amp controls for volume, bass, trable etc. (don't bother with chorus if it's on the amp, you can add that later).

I then tried placing a microphone about a foot away from the amp and put that through the microphone in on the soundcard. I found I got a more natural sound this way but you need a decent mic and a reasonably quiet recording environment.

It's all trial and error really, just get the best sound you can. Unfortunately cheaper sound cards like the SB Live and On board soundcards are quite noisy when recording real audio.

I have got round this by getting a USB audio interface with an optical digital in/out. I record analogue into my minidisc deck and let the far superior A/D convertors convert it to digital and then into the digital in on the audio interface. If you have something like this it's a cheaper way to get clean recordings.
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guitar

Postby GaryD » Wed Sep 17, 2003 11:55 pm

Andy,....thanks for the tips...I figured at some point I'd be miking the guitar tracks...I tried running my telecaster direct and that was almost as bad!....how about some kind of noise gate?....can you edit out the noise in an audio track?
GaryD
 

Postby Brian D » Thu Sep 18, 2003 1:02 am

Hi Gary. I have recorded with my acoustic 12-string but used a mic directly into my mixer. I have a Behringer MX602A which is attached to my sound card. I also use it when recording with my electric via a Boss ME-30 preamp'd effects pedal.

The acoustic was the hardest to record. Only because of noise within the room and of course, fret and string noise. But you know, if there wasn't fret or string noise, I would suspect the recording. Not that I like clean sounding recordings, but there is ineveitable going to be string noise when you fingers change position.

Before the recording I play what I believe to be the hardest and set the input levels to not excede -3 dB. This way I know that I would peak the meters or cause any unwanted distortion. I can always play with the levels after the recording.

Plus, after the track is done, I will either play again to double the track, or just copy the track and put it on the other side of the mix. I eq the tracks differently to give the effect to two guitars playing.

You can hear an example of the acoustic recording here. Again, this was recorded with an acoustic 12-string, no pick up, SM58 mic and straight into a Behringer MX602A mixer. There was no additional preamping, just the mixer.

For the electric stuff, go to any of the links below and look for the tune Cryogenic. There you will here both clean guitar and distorted guitar.

Note: I don't use any of the digital DXi effects with Sonar. I have found them to be somewhat wanting. I have my own effects processors which I use. To see my equipment I use live, go to my web page and click on Gear.

Good luck and wecome on board. I'd be interested in hearing your material.
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guitar

Postby GaryD » Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:25 am

Hey Brian....thanks for the tips. I'll try miking using my makie board,but thats a little in the future...I want to get the levels on my drum/bass/synth tracks right first.

you (and Andy too) sound like you know cakewalk pretty well....I've only been recording for two weeks so please excuse the stupid questions.

I have five songs "complete"...at least for demo purposes...when I record them to CD some are a little hotter than others....do I adjust the mix before exporting,or as I'm creating the CD?

I still have to learn how to get the music on line...which kind of files etc.

Thanks again! Gary

oh yeah....what is sonar?
GaryD
 

Postby Brian D » Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:47 am

I, personally, would adjust the levels while doing the mixdown. What I do is take all the tracks to one stereo audio track. This track is what I use to make my .wav file for converting to MP3. I think some of the CW software will do it for you, but I prefer the old fashion method.

When recording the mixdown, I try to get the highest peak level not to exceed 0 dB. It will go into the red zone and start clipping. Too much will cause distortion in the final mix and you will have to mixdown again.

I find that if I keep the levels between -6 and 0, I get the best sound. So all the tracks I mixdown, I shoot for that level.

Once my tracks are in .wav format, I use a different program to convert them to MP3. This is the prefered format for sharing. The .wav format is hugh; xx,xxx kB while the MP3 format is 4000 to 5000 kB. If you are going to use something like MP3.com or MusicV2.com, you will have to have your files in MP3.

And Sonar is a higher grade of recording software by Cakewalk. I use Sonar 2.2XL although I am looking for something better. Not that I don't like this software, I find it a little clumbsy for me. I don't have "simple" edit tools. Just me.

Good luck my friend. Andy might have a different solution for you mixdown. Better to have different ways to do the same thing.
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Postby andychap » Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:53 am

You covered everything there Brian.

I play all my tracks through a few times adjusting the levels so that nothing exceeds the 0db mark on the master channel. I then bounce the audio down Edit > bounce to tracks to create my final stereo mix. I don't know whether the bounce is available in other Cakewalk products but it is a handy feature.

I use MusicMatch jukebox to convert my wav files to MP3 at 128k for uploading to the net.
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Postby Guest » Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:36 pm

Brian,

thanks again....learning fast here. One of my problems was a couple of tom hits were way too hot so I figured out how to lower the volume on them. My second demo CD was a lot better although there's still vast room for improvement.
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guitar

Postby GaryD » Sun Sep 21, 2003 1:32 pm

alright!.....My mixes are getting better.....so.......

I think I'll try getting some guitar tracks down tonight....one more thought...Did you guys ever try running direct through a low impedence channel using a direct box? I used to do that live a lot,it was better for accoustic guitar. I'm going to try it just for the hell of it,but I'll probably end up miking per/ your guys advice.

thanks again

Gary
GaryD
 

Postby Brian D » Sun Sep 21, 2003 3:02 pm

No Gary, never tried a DI. It would be just about the same as a mixer I would think. Give it a try, you have nothing to lose, well, except audio form the guitar. :D

Good luck and tell us how it worked.
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have you seen my direct box?

Postby Gary » Tue Sep 23, 2003 2:59 am

Before mixing this afternoon I tried to put down some guitar tracks. I couldn't find my direct box...I think it's in my gig bag...in my garage in Ft. Myers, FL. Since I'm in MA it didn't work too well. Have to shelf that idea for now.

I tried miking using a mackie powered mixer...I couldn't get a hot enough signal,although the recording I got was pretty clean. Also,it's a nylon string guitar,so it's even harder to mic. What's the best mic for the job?I have mostly shure mics...sm58,a 54 and a pe85l...from the band days. I have to try them all to see which one works best. I've got an EV around somewhere too.

Just for the hell of it I ran directly into the mixer and put down some tracks. It was a little noisey,but I mixed the rhythm track way back anyways. It added a lot to the song. The other guitar track was a melody lead with a little echo.It came out ok,esp. for this stage of the game. That way I'll have something to compare with in the future when I get better at this stuff.

GaryD
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Postby howdthattaste » Thu Sep 25, 2003 2:47 pm

hey

sorry to jump into your topic, but you're basically talking about it. how do i "punch in" when recording real guitar?

i know i can "arm" an audio track. and then "record" (say with drums). if i make a mistake, how do i go back and play along with the previous and then "punch-in" and record over the mistake?

thanks

-paul
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Postby howdthattaste » Thu Sep 25, 2003 2:50 pm

im soo sorry

im using WinXP, Cakewalk 2002, and i have a full deplex sound card.

anything else?

-paul
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