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  #31  
Old 04-11-2014, 11:15 PM
wcap wcap is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Just an interesting visual - not particularly useful I suppose - of "Sheebeg and Sheemore" at time 1:01. Same note
played twice but the second time (bottom waveform in picture) a brief harsh sound I attribute to fret buzz (until
proven otherwise). That created a lot of high frequency content and therefore a more square wave waveform.



Thinking about this further...

One hypothesis that was tossed around earlier in this thread was the possibility that there could be some really transient clipping going on as a result of me having recording levels set too high, perhaps.

While I suspect that my recording levels have often been too high (something I still need to investigate), the graphs here suggest to me that clipping is not an issue in this particular case...

Am a correct that this second waveform of the harsher sounding note is definitely NOT what clipping would look like?
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  #32  
Old 04-12-2014, 06:21 AM
Andy Howell Andy Howell is offline
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WCAP,

You will find Logic Express more flexible and adaptable. Your style is nice and would certainly benefit from upgrading to Logic X if the budget allows.

The recording levels are far too hot and that reverb doesn't help. When you are recoding acoustic guitar you don't want to be looking for peak indicators or LED's going into the red! The dynamics and attack of the acoustic will simply not register properly. When recording acoustic guitar your ears are your best friends!

Try setting your input levels to about 60% and see how that sounds and adjust up or down from there. With today's digital technology you should have not much problem adjusting the gain in the software without having too many problems with too much noise.

A couple of other thoughts.

I often find my recordings sound simply better without 'normalisation'.

The NT1A is a nice mic but be careful with large condensers. These do not have to be as close to the guitar as small condensers do. It is nice to give these more space but then the acoustics of room might come into play more and that can sometimes not be a good thing! Personally, at the budget end of recording I would always prefer two smaller condensers than to mix them this way.

It sounds as if you may have been far too drastic in cutting out the mids but I suspect it is the recording levels that are the biggest problem.

Also, I'm not sure what you are listing to your mix through. A pair of reasonably cheap monitors will always be better than relying on headphones.

Remember that You Tube crunches sound down considerably in its own compression.

Logic will allow you to 'bounce' to a number of different file formats at the same time, say an uncompressed file and a compressed MP3. to my ears the compression of an MP3 or PM4 always changes the tonal mix of the track.

I often find myself producing a different tonal mix for MP3 often the mids become more prominent and boomy. I allow for this in my mixes and then monitor the sound at a reasonable level of compression.

I haven't put much music on You Tube but I have uploaded a number of videos with voice over soundtracks, video podcasts and so on. My impression is that You Tube often crunches out bass and leaves things a little trebly. This won't account for your problems but it will exaggerate them.

I reckon it is sound levels and mic placement that you need to play with. That and the reverb. Audition the recording without reverb/delay and apply it more carefully. Search You Tube for Doug Young's tutorial on mixing acoustic guitar and follow his reverb tactics they work.

Finally, recording does make different demands of technique. I can work our an arrangement or write a tune which I am very happy with but when I record this I can be quite shocked with the quality. With up tempo jigs, wheels and so on my recordings can sound a bit muddy. This is because I'm playing the instrument too hard. I often rehearse for a few days through the mics and headphones in order to get the balance for the recording right.
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  #33  
Old 04-12-2014, 07:53 AM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcap View Post
Thinking about this further...

One hypothesis that was tossed around earlier in this thread was the possibility that there could be some really transient clipping going on as a result of me having recording levels set too high, perhaps.

While I suspect that my recording levels have often been too high (something I still need to investigate), the graphs here suggest to me that clipping is not an issue in this particular case...

Am a correct that this second waveform of the harsher sounding note is definitely NOT what clipping would look like?
Correct, neither waveform in my pictures above represent clipping.
See below for a clipping example:



You recordings were somewhat bright sounding to my ears but that is not related to recording levels (although I do suggest you record in 24 bit down 14 or so dBs below full scale).

If you listen to my early recordings (from "Apple Juice") you will hear that most of those recordings were brighter and thinner sounding than my later recordings. Factors involved included brighter sounding mikes, questionable preamps and AD conversion, room acoustics, and poorer sounding post recording software (e.g. equalization and reverb). I gradually changed all of this over the years. Of course there are brighter sounding guitars than others, so that may be something to look into.

As far as individual notes being harsh (usually either a bad fingernail contact or fret buzzing) I know from experience how they really can show up in a recording so I am on the look out for those when practicing. If recording and I detect I did a harsh note I usually immediately go back a measure and replay it. I should add that fret buzz causes included not pressing down on a fret hard enough (say for example when doing a barre or when doing a long stretch). A fret buzz from a sting hitting a fret further up the neck (often in low action guitars) is another cause.
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Last edited by rick-slo; 04-12-2014 at 08:39 AM.
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  #34  
Old 04-12-2014, 08:51 AM
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KevWind KevWind is offline
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Honestly as Rick indicated above the primary thing I hear is a fret or string buzz when you strike, I believe the high E strings or one of the octave strings (perhaps in a D chord)? Off hand it could be one of, or a combo of two things . One is the action is so low that when depressing the string on one fret it could be buzzing on the next higher fret. Or It could be insufficient fretting pressure or both.
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  #35  
Old 04-13-2014, 08:04 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Garage band has default effects in individual tracks and well as the master out. If ANY of these are engaged, it will change the sound. Before you do any ghost chasing. Pull up one of the recordings you did and check the right panel for possible EQ or compression that was put in.

New Strings?

Micing the bridge can contribute to a harsh sound, much like playing close to the bridge does.

Have someone else play your guitar in a style similar to the way you play it.

Stand in front and put a finger in one ear. With the OTHER ear, move your head around and listen for the lobes of sound that come of the face of the guitar.

When you find a spot you like put the mic there as a starting position.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Last edited by Ty Ford; 04-14-2014 at 07:26 AM.
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  #36  
Old 04-14-2014, 03:37 AM
Andy Howell Andy Howell is offline
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It does sound as if there is some EQ working automatically somewhere either in the Zoom or Garage Band — the mids seem to being knocked out.
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  #37  
Old 04-15-2014, 06:00 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcap View Post
Thinking about this further...
Am a correct that this second waveform of the harsher sounding note is definitely NOT what clipping would look like?
If you're zoomed into the same level on both graphs then yes, square waves are going to sound more harsh. I've seen triangle waves on the backs of sine waves that look like dinosaur back caused by inappropriate use of compressors and EQ. I'd still like to hear back what you've found about the GB presets that might be mucking about with your sound.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #38  
Old 04-26-2014, 10:37 PM
wcap wcap is offline
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Work (and other things) got really really busy, and I ended up being away the AGF for about 2 weeks (I barely even touched a guitar in that time period either!).

Thanks so much everyone for your time and feedback here. It will probably be a bit longer before I have time to process it all, and I don't have a clear sense of exactly what the solution(s) is(are), but you have all given me a lot of good ideas for things to investigate and experiment with when I have a bit more time (sometime this summer I think).

Incidentally, the 12 string went in for setup work today (something I'd been planning anyway), so that might help. However, my harsh sound problem is not limited to that guitar, so there will be other things to explore too, ranging from how I play when recording (I'm quite certain I need to modify my attack when recording), to microphone placement and recording levels, to processing.

(A more immediate concern temporarily distracting me from recording issues is turning out to be the matter of figuring out what sort of small amp or small PA system to buy .... my family has some performances coming up this summer and we'd like to get set up with some sort of amplification system soon.....amplification equipment is almost seeming like a bigger mystery than recording at the moment!)

Again, thanks, and I apologize for disappearing from the thread I started for so long without acknowledging all the help folks have given me.
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Last edited by wcap; 04-26-2014 at 10:46 PM.
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