The Acoustic Guitar Forum

The Acoustic Guitar Forum (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/index.php)
-   RECORD (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=43)
-   -   This guy says my tone sucks. (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=212240)

knuckle 03-30-2011 06:56 AM

This guy says my tone sucks.
 
I don't know what to think of this. I believe this guy might be right, from another forum I post on. Some of you have seen my videos. I record with an ipod *rolls eyes*

"It seems like you're doing everything you can to get bad recorded tone. It sounds like you've recorded it in one great big tunnel. The tone is distant, echoed, thin and amateurish. Your recorded tone sounded bad a year ago, and it still sounds bad. The other people here won't tell you that, they'll be dishonest with you because they don't want to hurt your widdle feelings, they'll criticize my view because they don't like me, they'll do everything except tell you the TRUTH. The truth is your recorded tone sux.

When recorded tone sux, people will pay a LOT less attention to the song, the singing and the playing.

You need serious help in how to record an acoustic guitar and voice. Get that help, and LISTEN to the advice. Otherwise your recorded sound will not reach a reasonable, listenable quality.

Ok, now it's over to everyone else, who'll tell you that I'm just an and that you sound GREAT, and how you're improving every week, and stardom is just around the corner for you"


So I tend to think it's difficult to get a good recorded tone with a video capturing device. It seems like it's either record audio only and forget the video or hire a production company to get a good quality video / audio.

I'm all ears if anybody has any advice. My goal is to get the music seen and heard, but according to this guy, I'm doing myself a disservice by releasing anything on the internet as the tone sucks. My goal with posting videos has always been to get some advice on whether the tune sucks or not. I'm primarily focused on playing live, till the tunes get real solid, then go into a studio and have someone else do it. Am I doing myself a dis-service by releasing videos with lackluster tone?

Phantoj 03-30-2011 07:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by knuckle (Post 2565230)
Am I doing myself a dis-service by releasing videos with lackluster tone?

Depends on how rotten the tone actually is. Got a link?

One thing I have learned in my professional life (not music) is that you will be judged by whatever work you release to others. Even "work in progress" should be relatively polished, or your peers will judge you to be a hack.

knuckle 03-30-2011 07:04 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBBWt...el_video_title

WmRob 03-30-2011 07:04 AM

Like a lot of internet critics, this guy can afford to be blunt. It's easy to hammer someone else's work when he's 1,000 miles away sitting in his underwear in his mom's basement and eating Cocoa Puffs right out of the bag.

BUT

he may have a point. I'm not certain, however, that "tone" is the right word to describe the sound recording. Maybe he means "audio". Either way you might want to consider upgrading to get a better sound.

knuckle 03-30-2011 07:10 AM

Yeah I should have put audio, not tone.

lennylux 03-30-2011 07:10 AM

It's not professional studio quality obviously given the parameters you're working within, but it is demo quality. ....and would better demonstrate an approximate live sound than a lush overly produced demo from a studio.

While the guy may have a point if you were approaching some of the big labels asking about a deal, his choice of words, his "Tone" of the response if you will, is incredibly discouraging and rude.

One thing before read in to his comments though, even the real Johnny Cash had more people dislike him than like him, the same goes for any major artist in country, rock and pop. Dust yourself down and move on from his comments.

Marley 03-30-2011 07:10 AM

I went to your site and listened to Hurt and American Indian. I can say without a doubt your acoustic tone is pretty good. I would never say it's as bad as the guy is telling you. Acoustic guitars are hard to capture accurately and correctly. Many professional studio engineers can have trouble on any given day. If anything try to edit the songs or videos so there are not long delays before you start. Also mess around with your vocal mix. It may be a little hot. Nice work

rlouie 03-30-2011 07:14 AM

I wouldn't put too much stock in to what one guy says...........are you getting a lot of other folks that say your tone/audio is bad ??? probably not.....just let it go, if you worry about what every person on the internet says about your performances you are going to constantly be second guessing yourself !!!! Let it Go!!!!!

knuckle 03-30-2011 07:18 AM

Thanks. No, he's the only one that really has ever mentioned anything. I mean I'm recording with an Ipod. It's either that or a DV cam. They both stink. But I'm not really interested in sonic quality at this point, just trying to get an idea of what is good and what is not as far as songs. I really have no idea how to write music. So I'm always second guessing myself.

According to this guy, everyone is afraid of telling me the truth. That's my only question. I don't care what he thinks of the tone/audio quality. That's not my focus. I want good solid tunes. I'm not going to go into the studio with a bunch of songs that suck. That's where I'm at.

Ranger1964 03-30-2011 07:21 AM

Well, we did discuss this at Show and Tell. I'd like to THINK that what the guy was saying (and has been mentioned before) is that you are making some great music but you are doing it a disservice using your current recording methods. I'm always on people for making as good a recording as possible to show case how great their stuff is. I'm no great recording technician but have found that using some good techniques adds a lot. To be honest, I have some "stock" settings in Adobe Audition that I use for reverb and equalization so the process (for me) of taking a recording and creating the final product simply requires mixing and a MAX of 10 minutes with the software. (I'm meeting a friend who is quite good with it to see if I can pick up some tips). In that thread, you indicated that you weren't really interested in devoting the time to that end of the hobby which is fine, but trust me, as good as your music is, people will continue to request better recordings. I think that is a compliment.

I have a Zoom R16, a DPM-3 pre amp, some SHS mics and some head phones. I purchased them piece by piece and probably have less than $1k in the whole set up. Yeah it's kinda of a lot, but A LOT less than my guitars. I sort of looked at it as the recording gear is an "instrument" of the hobby, just like the guitars, amps etc.

mr. beaumont 03-30-2011 07:22 AM

So the big question is--do you like your tone?

If you do, then just push the comments aside as being from the internet blowhard that he is...dollars to doughnuts he'd never tell you that in person.

But...

At least in my experience, the criticisms that have bugged me the most are ones where I know there's some truth in them...I personally do think there's too much reverb going on--but that's my personal preference--and I never thought you were posting finished products--I always took your videos as "hey, here's something I'm trying, give me some feedback"

See, if I could record you, we'd rent an old church...three microphones--one for your voice, one for your guitar, and one a few feet away to pick up some ambient room sound. No reverb added, only the natural sound of the room...

But that's ME. I'm not doing your recording...make sure YOU'RE happy with YOUR tone and don't take any comment some fool makes on the internet without a grain of salt.

EverythingMusic 03-30-2011 07:29 AM

I wouldn't worry about it. We get far worse in from people who are trying to get us to sponsor their shows. You can't expect an Ipod to give you great quality sound (and I don't think you do), but it shows the raw live expirence, which is good if you are applying to smaller live venues. As you progress you'll probably want better recording equipment, but that is just the nature of things. Keep up the good work and keep recording yourself.

lmacmil 03-30-2011 07:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by knuckle (Post 2565230)
When recorded tone sux, people will pay a LOT less attention to the song, the singing and the playing.

Only a guitar player would say this. If the song and the singing and the playing are good, i.e., the music, most people won't care about the audio quality (or guitar tone.)

I go to a lot of open mics. I much prefer to hear someone doing good songs (which realistically rules 90% of originals) and playing/singing with enthusiasm that a super musician doing lousy songs.

[email protected] 03-30-2011 07:38 AM

Seriously? You sound as good as you will on Youtube anyways. Most people will view that through mediocre computer speakers and such like I just did. You sounded fine.

Two things...

One, buy a microphone and an audio interface OR buy a Zoom H2 and use it as the input mic on your video recorder. That will up your sonic quality a lot.

Two, play with your mixing between guitar and vocals. I think there's a better balance to be had.

All that said, your video showcased your music very well and I'd never question its quality as far as the recording goes... it's fine.

knuckle 03-30-2011 07:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr. beaumont (Post 2565256)
So the big question is--do you like your tone?

If you do, then just push the comments aside as being from the internet blowhard that he is...dollars to doughnuts he'd never tell you that in person.

But...

At least in my experience, the criticisms that have bugged me the most are ones where I know there's some truth in them...I personally do think there's too much reverb going on--but that's my personal preference--and I never thought you were posting finished products--I always took your videos as "hey, here's something I'm trying, give me some feedback"

See, if I could record you, we'd rent an old church...three microphones--one for your voice, one for your guitar, and one a few feet away to pick up some ambient room sound. No reverb added, only the natural sound of the room...

But that's ME. I'm not doing your recording...make sure YOU'RE happy with YOUR tone and don't take any comment some fool makes on the internet without a grain of salt.

Well that's where I'm at. I don't know if I'm using too much reverb? I have no idea what I'm doing really. I use my ears and the live sound I have sounds good. The ipod kills it. It's not designed as a recording device. Also all of the audio / video cameras out there are not designed for quality audio either. Even the ones designed for guitarists are far from studio quality. So a few posts ago, he's right, I'm trying to capture a raw feel and at the same time get some feedback on songs.

I'm getting longer and longer sets and I have about 1.5 hours of music tops. I'm working towards 3 hours of material. When it's solid, I'll hit the studio. This guy doesn't really get to me. I just question as to whether he's right as far as not releasing anything unless it's of superb quality. I'm also not opposed to learning recording down the road. But I work, have 2 kids, one that does not live with me and have only a small amount of time to practice, write, record. Down the road, yes, but right now I'll hire someone else to record me if it gets to the point where my stuff is super solid. If I went in the studio now, I'd be wasting my money.

knuckle 03-30-2011 07:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by [email protected] (Post 2565271)
Seriously? You sound as good as you will on Youtube anyways. Most people will view that through mediocre computer speakers and such like I just did. You sounded fine.

Two things...

One, buy a microphone and an audio interface OR buy a Zoom H2 and use it as the input mic on your video recorder. That will up your sonic quality a lot.

Two, play with your mixing between guitar and vocals. I think there's a better balance to be had.

All that said, your video showcased your music very well and I'd never question its quality as far as the recording goes... it's fine.

So I would need a video recorder with a mic input I assume for that?

rockinrebel 03-30-2011 07:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by knuckle (Post 2565230)
I don't know what to think of this. I believe this guy might be right, from another forum I post on. Some of you have seen my videos. I record with an ipod *rolls eyes*

"It seems like you're doing everything you can to get bad recorded tone. It sounds like you've recorded it in one great big tunnel. The tone is distant, echoed, thin and amateurish. Your recorded tone sounded bad a year ago, and it still sounds bad. The other people here won't tell you that, they'll be dishonest with you because they don't want to hurt your widdle feelings, they'll criticize my view because they don't like me, they'll do everything except tell you the TRUTH. The truth is your recorded tone sux.

When recorded tone sux, people will pay a LOT less attention to the song, the singing and the playing.

You need serious help in how to record an acoustic guitar and voice. Get that help, and LISTEN to the advice. Otherwise your recorded sound will not reach a reasonable, listenable quality.

Ok, now it's over to everyone else, who'll tell you that I'm just an and that you sound GREAT, and how you're improving every week, and stardom is just around the corner for you"


So I tend to think it's difficult to get a good recorded tone with a video capturing device. It seems like it's either record audio only and forget the video or hire a production company to get a good quality video / audio.

I'm all ears if anybody has any advice. My goal is to get the music seen and heard, but according to this guy, I'm doing myself a disservice by releasing anything on the internet as the tone sucks. My goal with posting videos has always been to get some advice on whether the tune sucks or not. I'm primarily focused on playing live, till the tunes get real solid, then go into a studio and have someone else do it. Am I doing myself a dis-service by releasing videos with lackluster tone?

Nice guy.
A true gentleman.

HAMFIST 03-30-2011 07:43 AM

I think we have two separate issues here. First of all, the guy in question is a jerk. Or at least he is behaving as one. There is a difference between offering constructive and helpful ideas and trying to make someone feel small and denegrating them.

The other issue is that there is a broad continuum of audio quality. You can invest more time and money into production and get better and better results. Depends on your goal and what you want your stuff to sound like.

I think your tone is pretty good. The playing is real solid. You seem to have your own vocal approach that is unique and well controlled. So if I were to say anything, I would offer suggestions for running a line-in to the camera. There are some lower cost cameras now that have external mic access which means they can also accept a line in from a board. Another option is to capture audio separately via a mixing board directly onto a PC, and marry the audio and video in a tool like Sony VEGAS.

What kind of mic are you using? There ARE now stero mics designed specifically for the iPod. Coming up with a better original signal may be the fastest way to make incremental improvements. There are a lot of options.

It all depends on how polished you want to be. I WILL say your playing and singing are at that level where I would not feel guilty about investing a bit more in production. You've got a lot of skills and some good stuff going on. If you want to add more polish, I can connect you with a few guys who can really be helpful. Without being jerks.

knuckle 03-30-2011 08:02 AM

Thanks, I was checking out that mikey mic for the ipod. I don't know much about ipods, I'm wondering if I plug that in does the video recorder on the ipod know to use that rather than the internal mic?

geokie8 03-30-2011 08:14 AM

Reading the guy's comments, I expected to find a much worse recording than I actually did. It sounds like many of the You Tube covers that I dial up.

Having said that, I do have some observations (in no particular order):

1) You're a much better player than the average You Tube cover. That higher quality of playing creates in me a subconscious demand for a higher quality of everything, including the audio experience.

2) You have a wide array of equipment, multiple guitars, nice looking amps, etc. Similar to point #1, this all creates the expectations for a better audio experience. Why spend so much time and money and then stop right at the point that directly affects the audience? This goes double (actually quadruple) given the fact that your website looks so sophisticated and technically pleasing. Why did you stop caring about the technical end when you got to the music?

3) There does seem to be a kind of tunnel, or ringing, or something that may or may not be able to be dialed down/out with your current equipment. The audio on a typical camcorder seems to be the weak link on most of these projects. Getting a good set of technical ears to help you would be worth the effort.

4) Whereas the overall sound would better be described as "audio," your voice would better be described as "tone." You have a nice, deep voice, but bass can become muddy if not directly addressed. A mic change for your vocal range might be in order, or perhaps just a little tweaking of the vocals that would help clear up your vocal tone. (The tunnel or reverb sound that is affecting the overall sound is undoubtedly contributing to the vocal muddiness).

You asked for honesty and this is the best I can give you. If you want people to load up one of your songs, you don't need to do anything. If you want them to load up 5 or 6, and then pay for a CD, you'll improve the audio experience.

Good luck!

geokie8

HAMFIST 03-30-2011 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by knuckle (Post 2565298)
Thanks, I was checking out that mikey mic for the ipod. I don't know much about ipods, I'm wondering if I plug that in does the video recorder on the ipod know to use that rather than the internal mic?

Yeah -- it should pretty much be able to tell that there is an external mic and reference that audio source. There are also stereo mics that terminate in a micro plug that ought to work just as well.

IMHO, just using a decent mic or two and going without amplification may actually work better. Seems like you are getting a lot of feedback here. A number of folks may be willing to consult with you a bit off the thread. It's all good, man.

Main thing is ... you are a very musical and compelling player/singer. There are complete wankers out there who use more toys and production tricks than you are using here.

knuckle 03-30-2011 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HAMFIST (Post 2565318)
Yeah -- it should pretty much be able to tell that there is an external mic and reference that audio source. There are also stereo mics that terminate in a micro plug that ought to work just as well.

IMHO, just using a decent mic or two and going without amplification may actually work better. Seems like you are getting a lot of feedback here. A number of folks may be willing to consult with you a bit off the thread. It's all good, man.

Main thing is ... you are a very musical and compelling player/singer. There are complete wankers out there who use more toys and production tricks than you are using here.


LOL @ the Wankers comment. Thanks for the compliment and suggestions. One of the issues I have is that I can't hear what I'm doing. I have no extra set of ears. The reverb on the vocals might be up to high causing the feedback. I actually turned the volume way down on the amps too for this one. I think the recording space is just not optimal, It was the same thing 2 years ago with different equipment. I think I need some carpet on the floor or something too, or something on the walls perhaps as well as a better recording device or an external mic for the ipod.

rick-slo 03-30-2011 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by knuckle (Post 2565234)

Yeah, this one is bad in a number of ways. On the other hand you picked the worst one as an example. The others on your website are reasonable sounding. If your other recordings for some reason sound as bad when on youtube then try to remedy that.

noledog 03-30-2011 08:35 AM

Hey Knuckle,
I agree that the tone of your guitar is fine. Keeping in mind that you are just tryin' to just put your art out there and having fun, you may want to tweak the audio levels/eq or use a better device. I think maybe the natural acoustics of the room is a main contributer to the "tunnel" reverb effect. As you know in my little YouTube show I simply use a Sony Vaio laptop. I have a nice condenser mic and Protools I could have used, however I chose the former for this project because I wanted to do an off the cuff, raw, live kinda thing. I live in an old home with real old wooden floors (1945) and the natural acoustics in my livingroom are lovely & lend favorably to the pure natural sound/tone of my guitars. Thats what I wanted to capture, not that a better device could still do that, but I was trying to keep it simple. Now the laptop has a decent mike and I definitly had to tweak the levels/eq as much as the program allows and I still may be able to improve it, however I did have friends preview it to double check audio as to not be too hot/overdriven or to soft where you have to crank the audio to max and still can't hear it very well. I left it so the listener has room to go up or down in volume.
It does ones music an injustice if the levels are too extreme, the device is of poor quality, or the natural acoustics of the environment are conducive to undesirable colorings to your instrument.
Knuckle you are an artist with a wonderful gift both lyrically and musically. An honest friend will graciously advise you in helping you to tweak your recordings to where you want them. This fellow on the other forum was not.
So you may 1.)try recording in a different room, 2.)tweak the audio device you are using and if the environmental acoustics of the other room improve the audio but still isn't satisfactory, invest in a better suited audio device.
Don't be discouraged friend, I've listened to your tunes, and your a gifted songwriter and many here obviously support you and are ready to help. :)
noledog
PS. Stamper Mike has a wonderful recording sound in his studio, it is very natural and pure IMHO
he may be one you may consult...

knuckle 03-30-2011 08:36 AM

For the comment before noledog. See, I can't figure this out. I thought this one sounded better than the others :D

Who knows.


noledog, thank you for your compliments. There's some good feedback and suggestions in this thread, I appreciate it.

arie 03-30-2011 08:55 AM

knuckle, internet opinions as they are i think that your guitar playing is quite good and your sound is fine. recorded "tone" is what it is and if you feel a need to improve then it's just a matter of a tech upgrade.

what i feel could use some attention though is that your voice seems to have a narrow range. while this is fine and good, paring it better with your guitar might be an area for some investigation. it's one reason i don't bother to sing myself. perhaps a vocal coach could help you to find areas to explore within your range to better accentuate your current playing and chosen tunings.

all in all i think you are doing fine and at least you are getting it out there which is more than a lot of people do. :)

Glennwillow 03-30-2011 08:58 AM

Hi Knuckle,

I listened to your video; as others have noted, it's not out of line with the quality of most You Tube recordings. Your antagonist from the other forum is being overly harsh and unfair.

I do agree, though, that if you want to make more of an impact, you will need to find ways to bring your recorded sound quality more up to professional levels. That takes better equipment and a lot of experimentation. It really helps to get help locally from someone who has some recording experience. I would look around where you live to see if you can find anyone who can help you. With a little help, you could make some quantum, positive changes pretty rapidly.

I would keep at it, but look for ways to run mics to a separate board and then from that board into your Ipod through the external mic input. That approach, alone, could make a huge difference. Also, a little reverb goes a long way; most of us want to layer on too much.

Hang in there...

- Glenn

edman 03-30-2011 09:56 AM

I suggest going unplugged and moving the Ipod in close or backing the reverb down (or off). It seems like the camera is too far away creating additional reverb. I believe that is the "tunnel" effect everyone is talking about. In my opinion, the small internal mics on phones and cameras don't handle reverb well.

knuckle 03-30-2011 10:04 AM

Thanks, I'll do a reshoot later, no reverb, ipod closer, see what happens. I have a small studio room I built downstairs for music, it's about 12x14 and the sound seems to bounce off the walls in there. Sucks as I built the whole room with recording and playing in mind and it sonically sucks. However the room is not treated or anything with any acoustic insulation.

enalnitram 03-30-2011 10:12 AM

What does his recorded tone sound like? point us to a link of his so we can all go there and make comments? :D


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:24 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, The Acoustic Guitar Forum

vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=