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Vooduu

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Just wanted to drop a note and say thank you to everyone who's been posting about setting up something to record with. I took a great deal of what Tekker posts and made something out of it I think. Thank you Tekker, YOU DA MAN!!! Setup - Behringer U-CONTROL UCA222 and Behringer XENYX 802. Fender Jazz bass with 4 different pedals 3 of which I got this week(experimenting with the signal chain to get the sound that's in my head of course) and a ever so slight tweek with a built in audacity mod effect. I like the basics of audacity but would like to use the real time VST mods and such, not sure exactly what DAW would be the best on a budget(all advice appreciated). Anyway here's a sound I remember from the 80s possibly 70s that I haven't heard in a while but seemed to figure it out kinda. Just a quick first test.

SoundClick artist: Vooduu - page with MP3 music downloads

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Hey Vooduu, welcome to the forum! :clap:

Thanks for the compliments, glad you enjoyed the tutorials.

That was some wild sounds you got there... I was wearing headphones while listening to it and my head is still spinning. :D

-tkr

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Yeah that's what I was going for. Just testing how to get a spacial and harmonic sound. Something that melts your brain with good surround sound effects. :isaynothing: The set up works well, the only thing I'm having a little difficulty with is a real good pure clean sound with the bass. Seem to be having trouble getting rid of the slight digital buzz. Any ideas? Tried turning all the volumes down on the mixer and usb sound card setting. Gonna keep playing with it till I get it right. Would a DI help with this possibly? Thanks

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The set up works well, the only thing I'm having a little difficulty with is a real good pure clean sound with the bass. Seem to be having trouble getting rid of the slight digital buzz. Any ideas? Tried turning all the volumes down on the mixer and usb sound card setting. Gonna keep playing with it till I get it right. Would a DI help with this possibly? Thanks

Are you sure the buzz isn't from fret buzz on the bass? I get some of that from my bass as well, but you don't notice it once it's in the mix.

Yeah, a DI definitely would help... Or even better, an audio interface with a high impedance setting for plugging a bass/guitar in directly (which is essentially a DI built right into the audio interface).

Can you post a clip of your clean bass sound?

-tkr

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Are you sure the buzz isn't from fret buzz on the bass? I get some of that from my bass as well, but you don't notice it once it's in the mix.

Yeah, a DI definitely would help... Or even better, an audio interface with a high impedance setting for plugging a bass/guitar in directly (which is essentially a DI built right into the audio interface).

Can you post a clip of your clean bass sound?

-tkr

Just checking in. As far as fret buzz, I don't think so, i get a beautiful tone with no buzz through my amp. Was I off base thinking that the Behringer U-CONTROL UCA222 is the audio interface or do you just mean a different interface with a built in DI? Bought the Behringer due to it being an inexpensive means to an end I thought. I also thought using the mixer directly in front of it would work well as the preamp which it seems to do. The few things I have recorded clean so far are covers more or less and I thought I read Soundclick is kind of finicky about posting those so I'll try to get something tomorrow or this weekend it being kind of late here to record now. Rock on my friend!! :punk:

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Was I off base thinking that the Behringer U-CONTROL UCA222 is the audio interface or do you just mean a different interface with a built in DI? Bought the Behringer due to it being an inexpensive means to an end I thought.

Yes, I was referring to a different interface, the Behringer doesn't have a high impedance guitar input.

The Behringer does work, but if you're after a better sound then the interface plays a big role in that. I upgraded my audio interface a while back and both were in the same price range, in fact the new one I got was about $100 cheaper, but it was a better brand and newer and I can't even begin to describe the difference in sound quality... It was huge! So a better quality interface may be something to think about.

I also thought using the mixer directly in front of it would work well as the preamp which it seems to do.

You do get amplification with the mixer, but the inputs on the mixer are line level and the guitar/bass is quieter than line level. The mixer works in terms of getting the volume you need, but the DI works better for preserving the tone of the guitar/bass.

For example, my audio interface has both regular line inputs (like you'd find on a mixer) and instrument inputs on two of the channels. I could plug my guitar or bass into a normal line input as it works fine, but the instrument inputs sound much better than the regular line inputs so that's what I use to record with.

-tkr

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Ok got a couple of test patterns recorded. clean test 01 is bass>pedals>mixer>usb>audacity. clean test 02 is bass>mixer>usb>audacity. Seems to be something with the pedals possibly that's doing this. When looking at peaks in the recording the pedal version peaks are much wider. Maybe they're giving some sort of boost or volume change? Neither the mixer or audacity show that I'm getting anywhere near clipping. I'll have to try going through each pedal individually to see if it's a specific pedal. The signal chain is running through 5 pedals on the first test(3 Boss and 2 Landmine).

SoundClick artist: Vooduu - page with MP3 music downloads

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Wow, I see what you mean...

The second definitely sounds a lot cleaner. After going through each pedal if you don't find the problem that way, then start with just one pedal and stack them one at a time until the problem comes back. It could be that all the pedals together are adding too much volume and causing some clipping somewhere along the chain.

-tkr

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Been playing around with the setup a bit getting closer to where I'd like to be. As far as DI go which do you recommend(passive or active) for my setup with the passive jazz bass? I'm looking at the BBE DI-1000 which has passive and active settings. I'm a little confused in what I've been reading about what to select. All help appreciated. Thanks.

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Also if I went this direction would I go from the xlr out of the DI to the xlr in of the mixer and if using pedals go before or after the pedals? Thanks.

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If you're looking at spending $250 for a DI box, I'd just go with a new interface as you can buy a whole new interface for about the same price.

Something like the Tascam US1641 ($300)

Tascam US1641 from zZounds.com

That may seem overkill if you're just recording yourself, but you'll be able to use when you want to record a band or jam session with some friends and it is by far the best deal on audio interfaces I have seen. For instance an interface that is 1/4 the size will cost almost half the price, so it'd be worth it to make sure you'll have an interface that you won't out grow later.

Tascam US122 MKII ($130)

Tascam US122 MKII from zZounds.com

If $300 is too much, the Tascam US122 will also do the job. Both interfaces have the guitar/bass inputs.

Another thing that maybe be worth trying is applying an amp simulator effect. The DI will help get a better tone recorded, but it will still be a "dry" sound that you get right out of the bass guitar. Typically basses are plugged into bass amps that give it a fuller (more bassy) sound and also allow you more controls for tweaking the tone.

There are a couple options I have used for bass, one is Boogex by Voxengo which is free. It's actually a guitar amp simulator but works quite well on bass if you keep the gain low enough so you don't get a lot of distortion.

Guitar amplifier plugin - Boogex - Voxengo

The other is Vandal Amp by Magix. It costs $200 and it does both guitar and bass (it is actually designed for bass as opposed to Boogex). This is the best guitar/bass amp simulator I've used. It has a 7 day demo you can try out.

MAGIX Vandal

I recorded a short instrumental and all the guitar and bass sounds were done with Vandal.

http://www.guitarforbeginners.com/tekker/zPosts/Rock%20Instrumental.mp3

Audacity doesn't support real time effects so you can't use these effects while playing in Audacity, you'll have to use another program such as Reaper ($60) or Kristal Audio (free) to hear them in real time while you play.

So before buying anything, I'd try downloading the free Boogex and either download the Reaper demo (which is fully functional and never expires) or Kristal Audio and experiment with that and see if you get a sound you're happy with.

-tkr

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Thanks for all the advice Tekker. I'm sure you're right and I will eventually go with a good interface with a high impedance input. All the reviews on the specific ones in the lower end price range that I've been looking at seem very mixed good and bad wise. I usually buy something when there's at least a 96-100% positive feedback on the item(I'm picky that way, It's a brainular(made up word) thing).

As far as getting where I want to be with the clean sound, I'm getting pretty close. I updated the drivers for the Behringer U-CONTROL UCA222 which helped a bit.

I changed to Reaper DAW and finally figured out how to add the plugins(the users guide they supply is a bit confusing and not very beginner user friendly). I just started playing around with the Boogex by Voxengo and Vandal Amp by Magix. The Vandal sim is really cool(uploaded a new noise session on soundclick using it)wish it lasted longer than 7 days - 30 with registration.

Just gonna keep grinding it out till I get the chance to purchase a real good interface. For now I think it will suffice my noob talents.

Thanks for everything again.

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The only problem I see with the Tascam products are they don't support Windows 7 64 bit. Seems like M-Audio is up to date on their drivers so far. Still investigating.

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The only problem I see with the Tascam products are they don't support Windows 7 64 bit. Seems like M-Audio is up to date on their drivers so far. Still investigating.

Which unit are you looking at?

They have updated the old drivers for the 1641 and the word is they are working now (scroll down to the last 3 posts):

Line outs into Tascam US1641 mic inputs - Gearslutz.com

Here is the driver page:

TASCAM us-1641

I usually buy something when there's at least a 96-100% positive feedback on the item(I'm picky that way

It's nearly impossible to find music equipment with 96%-100% feedback because music gear is very subjective... Something that is a "10" for one person maybe a "1" to someone else.

For example, Pro Tools is an industry standard and the most widely used recording software in pro studios, yet I am not a fan of Pro Tools at all (for many, many reasons) and I would rate it towards the bottom out of the recording programs I have used. I would WAY rather use the $60 Reaper than Pro Tools. So it's all subjective and what best fits your needs.

There are so many factors that go into user ratings that unless you know all of the reasons behind why they rated it the way they did you can't know if the review actually does you any good or not. For instance, someone rated the US122 MKII a "2" because it didn't play the Snow Leopard system sounds (even though it did work in the recording programs in Snow Leopard). Luckily that user did put their reasoning for rating it so low, but others don't always do that and you are left guessing why it didn't work or what they didn't like about it. In the Snow Leopard example, unless you're using a Mac running Snow Leopard, then their low rating doesn't mean anything. So if they had instead said in their review "Doesn't work, stay away!!!". You wouldn't know that the problem is only for Snow Leopard and that as a windows user it would actually work just fine.

Another thing is often problems are related to user error instead of the unit itself. I've seen many people bash software that I know works and is fantastic (because I use it) but just because the user interface isn't just the way they like it and/or they can't figure it out, they bash it.

Then there are those that expect miracles and because they don't sound like *insert famous multi-billion dollar recording artist here* they rate the unit badly. Sadly, this is VERY common with recording/music gear.

And then there are those who just like to troll and bash on things just because they can. LOL

So you just have to take most user reviews with a grain of salt. User reviews/ratings on websites are just one piece of the puzzle when seeing what the overall consensus is on a particular unit. I mostly refer to a few different recording forums that I'm on because once you spend enough time on the forums you can get a good idea of who knows what they are talking about and who doesn't. You can't always get a sense of how experienced/knowledgeable the person is from one review/rating on a website.

-tkr

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