Share your MP3 recording rigs!

Share music you've made with your Kiesel Guitars / Carvin Guitars gear.

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Spoons
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Share your MP3 recording rigs!

Postby Spoons » Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:39 pm

I have the worst problem recording anything decent with my recording "rig". The mp3's come out muffled and it makes it sound like I'm beating up my strings, I am actually a rather light player.

Perfect example is this:
SC90M Humbucker Quack Sample
The quack is toned down so far it's almost non-existent compared to what it is like in reality. The whole thing kinda sound crappy.

Here is what I am using and how I am using it:
I'm running straight from my Mackie mixer using the stereo tape output on the mixer into the AUX IN 2 input directly on the front of a Creative X-Fi FATAL1TY Sound Blaster. Then I record it directly to an MP3 using the Creative MedisSource Organizer software that is included in the Sound Blaster bundle. The sound coming from the mixer sounds GREAT but crap when it is recorded.

Does anyone have any suggestions for equipment or am I just not using this stuff correctly? There has to be an easier way! :evil:

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spudmunkey
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Re: Share your MP3 recording rigs!

Postby spudmunkey » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:07 pm

Have you tried recording directly to a .wav instead of directly to an mp3? Record it to .wav, then convert to a 160, 192, 256 or 320 mp3. For me, 192 is a great balance of sound quality/file size. 160 can be a bit noisy/artifact-y. For me, VBR isn't much better than 128. (Whoever first decided that 128 is "cd quality" needs to be executed.)

When dealing with a whole song or a short sample, the file size difference isn't a big deal. It's like 3.5mb compared to 4.5. An extra mb isn't a huge issue. My girlfriend was sending 3 photos to a friend, and she was trying to get them in a zipped, compressed folder. She ended up saving 8k. Hardly worth the effort or complication. If someone's willing to download 3.5mb, they'll wait for the extra mb.

For me, 128 is awful, 160 still has some issues especially a "swirling" sound with cymbals and a general "dullness" to the sound. I believe VBR goes between these two bit rates. (don't quote me on that). 192 is my bare minimum acceptable rate, mostly because I mostly listen to music in a car (noisy, crappy speakers) at work (noisy and low volume so you can't hear fine nuances) and at home (not high-enough volume, long runs of not-super-nice speaker cable, and relatively noisy with the computer, traffic, and fridge). If I had a studio, or were only listening through headphones, I'd start at 256k.

maxoom
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re: Share your MP3 recording rigs!

Postby maxoom » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:13 pm

I have the same problem and sound when doing cleaner guitar tones?
What sounds good when playing comes out too hot and Quacky.

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Spoons
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re: Share your MP3 recording rigs!

Postby Spoons » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:55 pm

I did what you suggested and here are a couple of simple samples:

Converted from WAV to mp3 @ 160

Converted from WAV to mp3 @ 256

Here is the one from earlier:
Original Quack Sample
This one was recorder directly to mp3 @ 128

That rotten GT-6 makes a lot of background noise but I believe both the new ones are better sounding, what do you think?

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spudmunkey
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re: Share your MP3 recording rigs!

Postby spudmunkey » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:10 pm

Oh yeah. Way better. doesn't sound like you've got too much gain like the 128 one does. You're right on the noise, but that should be easy-enough to dial out either with eq, or checking piece by piece to see if any lamps or appliances are causing interference. If you're on a CRT, try turning off your monitor, too.

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Spoons
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Re: re: Share your MP3 recording rigs!

Postby Spoons » Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:08 am

spudmunkey wrote:If you're on a CRT, try turning off your monitor, too.

Geeze, I should have thought of that one, probably the major noise source with those pickups! THANKS!

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phalanges
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re: Share your MP3 recording rigs!

Postby phalanges » Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:41 am

Mp3s SUCK! Every time I get a wav file I'm happy with, then convert it to mp3 so I can post it on Soundclick, I am invariably dissatisfied with the results. Sometimes I have to do a separate mp3 mix to try to avoid the problem

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spudmunkey
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re: Share your MP3 recording rigs!

Postby spudmunkey » Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:20 pm

Yeah that can happen...couple things to check:

#1) Try a different converter. Some software just plain sucks at it, while others do a pretty good job. For some reason my mp3s made using Music Match Jukebox sound MUCH better than the ones I get from converting using GoldWAV.

#2) As I stated above, make sure you're using a high enough bitrate. 192 is my minimum, but I'd go 320 if it's really an issue. Going that high will help a lot if you are really picky.

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spudmunkey
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re: Share your MP3 recording rigs!

Postby spudmunkey » Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:32 pm

BTW: Here's my rig:
Acer (A Crap-tastic Econo-Recorder) Laptop with XP SP2 (I'm only using my laptop because my desptop is only SP1, and I can't upgrade do to software issues (long story)

Plugged directly, via USB, to my:

Digitech RP350 (It has...eh...passable amp modeling)

I have an old Boss Dr Rhythm 660 drum machine, but I'm looking for some easy-to-use, yet good sounding software (I liked FastRedPonyCar's posted sound clips which were EZDrummer...)

Software: Audacity. Hey, it's free and it does the very very limited things I need it to. :-p

And, of course, my Carvin CS6 or my Cort Elec/Acoustic. (My Ibanez S hasn't left the case since I got my CS6)

Ideally, I'd be able to use my Fostex digital 4-track mixer, my Shure SM-57 and AKG condenser mic, my 4x12 cab with Celestions, my Ampeq VH-140 head, my Ibanez stompboxes...etc...however apartment complex living doesn't lend itself to RAWK!


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