Jump to content
Soultrainer

How do you record?

Recommended Posts

I have had this problem for a long time. Its not just with Helix but other multi effects too. When I record using active monitors sound is ok. When I listen it with PC's surround system guitar sound is much worse, all the clarity is gone. When I listen other peoples videos from youtube etc I can hear perfect tones coming out from this PC surround system.

 

I have tried to solve this issue for years but I never find a solution. When I used to listen my guitar playing trough this surround system I could hear just what I heard when I was recording it. I understand that they are not made for guitar and cant produce prefect guitar tone but why does it change bad when I record with KRK monitors and then listen it with surround speakers. When listening trough KR monitors it sound exact the same when I played it. It cant be that my surround speakers cant produce good sounds since they do it with other peoples videos.

 

So any tips for this? Do you use some recording gear between Helix and computer (I record with USB straight from Helix to PC)? And would it change anything if I would use some recording gear. This is a total mystery for me. Even the guy from guitar shop told me that you should hear exact the same sound that I hear when I download a certain patch. I should hear the same tone that I hear from the video where the tone is demoed if I listen them with the same speakers (This was Boss ME-80). I did not believe him and I was right.

 

Anyway, I hope you got the point. How to record professional quality tones with Helix? Do I need some recording gear? I use REAPER. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the key is to build your patches in the environment you expect them to be heard in. In other words, build live patches at gig volume, standing at least 6 feet or so away from your speakers. Build recording patches playing through your "studio monitors", or whatever passes for them in your situation. Listen in the real context while you're creating your sounds, then you'll know how they work there.

 

Recording is tricky though, since people hear your music on everything from really crappy laptop speakers to a huge dance club PA. That's true for all instruments, not just guitar, and it's one of the biggest challenges for pro-level mixing. An environment you know really well is your best shot.

 

And you most definitely should take any advice from me on this topic as one guy's opinion, only. I'm pretty bad at keeping an absolute perspective that helps me know what thing will sound like on other systems.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me? Trial and error. Mostly error. :)

 

I'm just a hobby amateur guitarist and even more of an amateur at studio stuff. The more I learn about it, the more I know I don't know, and realize one could spend a lifetime at mixing, eq'ing, somehow zoning each instrument for its own frequency range when they clearly overlap, etc, and still have more to learn. I think it's black magic and witchcraft. :)

 

I'll often record something I think sounds decent, then play it through my car stereo and it's way to bass or shrill, or the levels on one of the instruments is way too high while others are barely audible, yet it sounded fine to me through decent quality studio monitors. Very mysterious!

 

How the pros do it and get it right considering all the different play-back gear they accommodate will likely be one of those great mysteries that will follow me to my grave. :)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I certainly agree with Zooey - you have to create your music in the environment you want it heard.  I listen to all my music with headphones so I create it the same way and I'm happy with the sound.  I have been doing home recording since I bought my Teac 4 track a very long time ago.  I use Mixcraft now, but I've used an audio interface for a long time rather than directly recording the Helix.  I use a Steinberg UR44 now.  The benefit of this is controlling the input and output signals.  

I finally have the time to really start to explore mixing and mastering so I bought Ozone 7 and Neutron and have been doing a lot of video watching and reading on mixing, mastering, and how to get good sounding songs on Soundcloud and YouTube, although I've never put my music on either (I'm curious). There's a real art to that and has an awful lot to do with proper EQ, compression and using the maximizer right so their processing of the track doesn't ruin the song sound.

I'm at the early stage of exploring the details of the art of mastering, but I'm pretty jazzed about what I have done with my own music.  If you are interested, you can send me a track your working on and a track that has the sound you're looking for, and I'll play around with with.  I don't know if I can do anything useful, but I'm interested in working on some music other than my own, just for the experience.  You can email me at my profile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had this problem for a long time. Its not just with Helix but other multi effects too. When I record using active monitors sound is ok. When I listen it with PC's surround system guitar sound is much worse, all the clarity is gone. When I listen other peoples videos from youtube etc I can hear perfect tones coming out from this PC surround system.

 

 

My thoughts in no particular order:

  • Surround speakers are probably adding some EQ and perhaps spacial cues.  How do your recordings sound through other playback systems?  
  • It sounds like your HX is hooked up directly to the monitors.  If so, have you tried playing back via USB through the monitors?  Is it more like when you're recording or more like playback through the surround speakers?
  • What (if any) processing (EQ, compression, etc.) are you doing on playback?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

My thoughts in no particular order:

  • Surround speakers are probably adding some EQ and perhaps spacial cues.  How do your recordings sound through other playback systems?  
  • It sounds like your HX is hooked up directly to the monitors.  If so, have you tried playing back via USB through the monitors?  Is it more like when you're recording or more like playback through the surround speakers?
  • What (if any) processing (EQ, compression, etc.) are you doing on playback?  

 

 

Thanks you everybody for answering. I sure am novice in this recording stuff, mixing, mastering (I dont even know what this word exactly means =)) 

 

Yes HX is connected to active monitors via XLR cables and it sounds the same when recording and listening the recording trough them which is ok tone, not professional but I can live with it (at the moment at least). I dont play trough surround speakers anymore since the quality is much worse. Actually I tried it but I cant get any sounds from them. Some settings or pluggings that i am doing wrong but this is not a big problem since I know they cant get to the same level as active monitors.

 

I have not done any EQ, compression etc with REAPER and this probably would make the tone better (if you know what you are doing, or by trial and error).

 

Next thing I will try to make it sound better is trying this processing thing with REAPER. I guess REAPER is good enough to do even professional level audio editing? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had similar issues with recording.  I just figured out how to change assignments of the USB ins and outs so for the longest time I couldn't get the levels to work well.

I was hearing tracks form the DAW sent to my speakers and the guitar from the Helix sent to my speakers.

By changing the routhing the Helix output only went to the DAW, then everything the DAW was "hearing" was sent to the speakers (Helix and other tracks).

There was definitely a difference in the tone.

I'm really excited about the Helix Native because I'm looking forward to recording dry guitar and endlessly modifying it afterwards.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure you can do additional processing in a DAW, but it shouldn't be necessary for getting a good sound.
Decent instrument > Helix > Good monitors / amp + speakers / headphones > Nice sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ka5par has it right! This stuff should not be difficult, just follow his advice.

Decent instrument > Helix > Good monitors / amp + speakers / headphones > Nice sound.

What can go wrong?

 

Well, lots apparently!

As in your previous thread about this stuff, we discovered that your home cinema speaker system was not up to the job of accurately monitoring from a DAW. We also discovered that even though you have a copy of Reaper on you PC, you were totally unfamiliar with how it works. IIRC, the best advice then was to follow all the video tutorials for using Reaper, available from their website. That advice still holds true in this instance.

 

Once you have a "Nice sound", as Ka5par suggests, you can progress with learning the basics of audio engineering and then probably be able to create a reasonable, professional recorded sound. You have to study this stuff, it doesn't just happen.

 

As stated in the previous thread - if you bought a Helicopter, you really should have some flying lessons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see some here saying they were hearing double guitar signal when recording. This is due to a lack of understanding on setting up your DAW, or a technical limitation of your DAW, however any decent DAW should be able to handle this without much issue.

 

Here is how I do it.

 

Guitar - Helix Rack (it is my audio interface) PC FL Studio.  Helix Rack - XLR - Studio Monitors (Event Bas 20/20)

 

I have a patch that sounds relatively decent for the track I am recording onto.  This way I can have a wet monitor (with amp/FX) with no perceivable latency. I send to FL Studio through USB 7 a dry recording (I always ReAmp).  I send the dry recording to FLS intended mixer channel. (lets say mixer channel 30 for this example) I de-route that mixer channel 30 from going to the master channel. Essentially what is happening is I am muting my recorded guitar signal.. It is muted AFTER the recording, but before that recording is sent to the master channel, and out the USB 1&2, and thus the speakers with the rest of the mix.   

 

What I hear is the wet monitor along with the mix. (what isn't being recorded)

I hear no duplicate sound, I get a dry recording, I hear a relatively latency free wet monitor. I get great tones.

 

Any decent DAW should have a similar ability to mute the incoming track after the recording, but before the audio is sent back out the master.

 

To the OP as far as the tone problem with Studio monitors, and translation to home theater... Well this.

1. Home theaters don't translate well for guitar tones, especially on their own. Full mixes are one thing, but just guitar... not so much.

2. The KRK Rockit studio monitors are entry level, and not really FRFR. They are overhyped. Unless you happen to have the VXT series, which is a little better, but I reckon you are using the Rockits.  If so, I would look at some other monitoring system for a long term solution.

 

I mean no offense by this post, but I value the information over cordiality. Thus, this is how I respond. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought the Helix 2 weeks ago and did my first record with it.

 

My signal chain was: Gibson Flying V -> Helix -> USB cable to Windows PC.

 

For monitoring I used my ElectroVoice ZLX12P (powered FRFR) and some cheap JVC headphones (after I dialed my tones listening them thru my EV), I monitored the audio thru my headphones with little tweak.

 

My friends liked it... I'm a hobbyist but I like my tone for this song... What do you guys think?

 

Ps: I didn't ReAmp this record but I strongly recommend it!

 

You can ReAmp following this simple instructions:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In general the more options you have the better. I run an xlr with amp modeling directly into the helix. I also run the same models through my deluxe reverb and mic it. I have the amp modesl set up so I can turn them on and off, so when I want to record just the amp, I can do that. This allows you to either a:: mic just the amp , b: mic the amp with your processing runnung through it (i use a real sm 57) c: just use the modeling componemt or 4: mix all three together or any combination of same. The SM 57 has a brighter thinner sound and quite often, that 's what you want, you don't want all thoe other frequences mucking up your sound. Other times, the helix models on there own sound fuller and warmer. Mixing the two gets you both, which , depending on the situation, may or may not be what you want. All these things are tools, there is not shortcut to finding what sounds good other then experience and skill and the willingness to try different things. I may not want to hook all this stuff up just to write a song, in which case the helix does great. For final version stuff, I like to do as I mentioned above. That said, for several years I wrote a bunch of stuff for tv and film useage using, in nearly every case, Amplitube 3.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×