Help? Advice? I'm not sure what I need

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by KCWM, Feb 1, 2008.


  1. KCWM

    KCWM Member

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    To start off, here's what I'm using to record:

    Crate Palomino V32 with an SM57 (bought back in 2002 or 2003) Aimed just to the right of the center of the speaker, about an inch away.

    I run the SM57 into a Presonus Tube Pre (with drive and gain set at around 11:00) and then into an M-Audio MobilePre (with gain set anywhere from 12:00 to 3:00 since I have keep the amp's volume to a relative minimum) bought around the same time as the SM57.

    I'm using a Gibson Les Paul Double Cutaway or a strat with 57/62 pickups.
    For overdrive/distortion, I use either the amp's overdrive channel, a ZVex Box of Rock, or a Boss DS-1 (soon to be Digitech Bad Monkey later on today if UPS does their job).

    When I play in the living room of the apartment (about 4 or 5 feet from the amp), any of the three overdrives sounds nice, fat, and warm...if not a little bassy when using the rhythm pickup of the Les Paul.

    But, when I record them, it comes out extremely harsh and trebly sounding...almost cringe inducing.

    I used to use the same mic for my old halfstack and solid state head and the distortion, while not professional CD quality worthy, pretty much came across as intended. Now, I know a 1x12 combo amp isn't the same as a 4x12 cab, but the only thing that changed about my setup was the addition of the presonus tubepre. Take that out of the equation, and I still get the same harsh, tinny sound once it's recorded.

    Am I not placing the mic in an ideal place? I'd think that with a tube amp that sounds pretty good, I'd be getting a better overall sound. And I'd like to believe that the Zvex BoR is better than both the old Boss MD-2 or solid state distortion channel on my old Fender head I used to use.

    Any suggestions? I am trying to keep it cheap if I have to replace anything. Granted, tax time is coming up, and I can sell the two pre amps I have now, but with my current job situation, I can't go out and spend hundreds of dollars. My computer does not have firewire, so if I went in that direction, I'd have to upgrade hardware on my computer. Am I better off sticking with USB because of budget, or going with some kind of internal hardware for my computer. I do have a front panel free. I'm not looking to record drums anytime soon, so a single XLR or 1/4" jack is sufficient.
     
  2. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    Sounds to me like you're running a preamp into a preamp. Does the M-Audio have a line input? If not, set the input/gain to the lowest setting.
     
  3. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    Lower your dirt levels on your amp and dirt boxes.
     
  4. KCWM

    KCWM Member

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    It does have a line input. Two of them and two XLR inputs. But, I don't have a mic cable that ends in an 1/4" jack. I guess I should pick one of those up.

    Even when I don't run the Presonus TubePRE, I still get the same harshness.

    I will try backing off the dirt levels on my amp. I have both the pedals at 3:00, and I didn't think that was too much.

    I am interested in a better interface to record with. I'm open to that as well. There are so many out there.
     
  5. KCWM

    KCWM Member

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    I'll have to load the software on my fiancees laptop to do that. Though, I'll try that. My set up is in our living room. Later this year when our roommate moves out, the 2nd bedroom will be my little studio because it's next to a hallway between two apartments instead sharing a wall with one.
     
  6. KCWM

    KCWM Member

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    Here's a clip of what I'm getting. This is just into the m-audio mobile pre. I wasn't trying to be complicated or overly technical. It's a two chord rhythm part with a short, single note fill.

    The effects used are the Box of Rock with the gain set at noon, then the Bad Monkey with the gain maxed, and then the amp. Funny thing is, i loved the box of rock with my Carvin amp, but not so much with my Crate V32.

    These aren't final settings on the Box of Rock or the Bad Monkey, and I have the tone controls on both set to pretty much noon.

    http://soundclick.com/share?songid=6229836

    backing off the gain did help the box of rock a little.
     

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