View Full Version : another basic question

09-13-2003, 03:06 AM
I have yet to record on my computer, I only have a four track cassette thing I use. My question is when you guys post your mp3 here they sound so good. When I listen to my four track recordings they sound.... well awful. Are you guys able to alter the tone or add reverb or whatever to your recordings before you post them or do I just really suck.

Bongo Boy
09-13-2003, 04:35 AM
I'm sure folks here use a variety of techniques, and a lot of different things are going to affect the quality or character of you recording. You should be able to get a great recording using a 4-track tape unit such as any of the Tascams.

If you record direct (from guitar directly into a pre-amp equipped recorder), that will sound different than if you use a mic'ed amp. The mic you use will have an affect too, of course. If you're using the built-in mic that internal to the recorder (if you have one), that little teeny mic is going to be a LOT different that say an SM57--a relatively low-cost ($80 USD) mic considered by many to be a fantastic unit.

The bit rate of the conversion from your analog recording to MP3 encoding may make a difference, although I doubt it will account for much of what you hear as 'poor recording'.

If you descirbe in some detail the entire signal chain you're using, from guitar cable to MP3 file, I'm sure folks here can provide some ideas--what to start looking for as the problem. Also, don't hesistate to get over to homerecording.com, where this is about the only topic these guys discuss.

I have a big condenser mic that sits about an inch in front of one of the two 12" speakers on my cab. That mic goes into a cheap Behringer mixer preamp, then out thru 1/4" cable to the input of a Tascam Pocketstudio 4-track digital unit. That recorder does provide effects, including reverb, but I've never mixed down with reverb--lots of folks do. The Tascam then allows final mixdown to MP3 in a single step, and I then upload the MP3 via USB cable to the PC.

I think this makes a very acceptable reproduction of the crap I'm recording :D.

So how do you get signal into your recorder, and then how do you get from that recording on tape to MP3?

09-13-2003, 06:20 PM
Try Cool Edit PRO. You can pretty much do anything with it.

09-15-2003, 12:21 AM
Thanks for the responses. I was really frustrated that day but after taking a fresh look at things, my recording gear is not the problem, it's my playing. :( I pay no attention to things like rhythym and timing and melody. Its musical anarchy. Got to work on that.

09-15-2003, 12:31 AM
Let me point out that Cool Edit Pro no longer exists, Adobe software bought out Syntrillium and they made it a new program... I haven't tried the new one (nor do I want to), but maybe you can get an old veryion of it as well somewhere.

Also, theres a few things you can do to really make a recording sound better. Try double tracking the rhythms, and leads or harmonizing leads. Randy Rhoads triple tracked everything he did. It blurs the mistakes, makes it sound much 'thicker' and less brittle, and creates a wall of sound. Just try it some time on a very simple rhythm, you'll be amazed at the difference 2 and 3 tracks will make, if you aren't already aware. Try panning one to the left, and one to the right equally, and maybe one in the center. Reverb can help as well if you have it. Distance between the mic and amp is also crucial if your going that route, books can, and have been written on the subject. Alot of times you'll hear about people putting a mic up close, and another one a few feet away and mixing the two together.

The best way to get into this is to get a multi-fx processor and hook up to a computer, or hook up to a 4 track like what you have. I have the J-station and like it alot when I'm not using my amp, its also only 100 bucks now. The POD is probably regarded as tops, but theres also a number of good ones by digitech, behringer etc...that will give you all the effects, and tweaking and distortion styles you can imagine to mess with when recording.

If its your playing , all I can suggest it try playing along to recordings to help build your rhytmic skills up, or work with a metronome if thats your thing. I personally found that after playing with a drummer for about a month, and jamming along to songs i got rhytm naturally, but I remember when that wasn't the case. It will improve, just make sure to work on it. Good luck.