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Author Topic:  Need Advice from the Experts
Larry Ball

 

From:
Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 19 Nov 2020 9:31 am    
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Now that the Recording “Bug” as got this Novice,,,I need advice from the experts. I am trying to improve my sound in my Steel track. So I am talking about mixing my sound.
Question: Should I mix my sound before it goes into the software or mix in the software itself. My novice approach would be to mix it in the software. I see some mixing with an analog (Interface) unit before it goes to the software. I am not dealing with multi tracks at the same time trying to mix them...just my steel track.

Question: Part Two

I am using Ableton Live Lite software that came with my Focusrite Solo Interface as a freebie. So do I need to upgrade my Software to get more tools and if so what would you recommend?
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 19 Nov 2020 5:08 pm    
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I would suggest don't mix anything or use any tools. Get a good sound coming out of your amp and put a mic in front of it. Keep it simple. If you can't get a good tone coming out of your amp then adding stuff will only make it worse.
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Larry Ball

 

From:
Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 19 Nov 2020 5:39 pm    
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Hi Bob,

Yes I always mic my amp, I never have been a big believer in DI into the board when playing live. I find both my steels are very similar in sound with this software. It sounds like the note is breathing when you listen to it. So when you mentioned "Nasal" sounding that struck home to me. I thought maybe you could mix out the nasal sound.

Thx for your response,
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2020 1:28 am    
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Nasal sounds are MID strong, try cutting freqs in the 800 to 1.5 Khz range . Also be sure the entire track(s) has everything below 80 HZ cut. Those sounds under 80hz ( mud) can be very deceiving. Experiment with cutting everything under 100hz and everything under 50hz , you will hear the difference in clarity and overall tones.


You also never mentioned how you are listening. All ref monitors and headphones are not equal . Some are night and day apart. Setting and balancing final tones is an ART all in itself.


Listen to your track in SOLO mode , sweep the EQ , you will hear drastic changes with very small edits. When you hear what you like , SAVE AS that parameter in the EQ list for future use. RE: for example > Save As > "Steel reduced 800" Try a few, save a few.

In addition, you do not want your Steel track sharing the same space with other instruments. Reserve +25 and -25 panning for your lead instruments or vocals. Somewhere in that range is a good starting place.

Stereo drums can go +100/-100 , Bass can go directly to ZERO , support instruments beyond +30/-30 but not on the same side. This is called creating space for your lead instrument. Create a stereo pallet for your Steel to sit in with no conflicts , be it EQ or space.


This is where the hard work is .
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2020 6:30 am    
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Larry Ball wrote:
Hi Bob,

Yes I always mic my amp, I never have been a big believer in DI into the board when playing live. I find both my steels are very similar in sound with this software. It sounds like the note is breathing when you listen to it. So when you mentioned "Nasal" sounding that struck home to me. I thought maybe you could mix out the nasal sound.

Thx for your response,


Is the sound coming out of your amp nasal ?

Experiment with mic placement. Think signal chain. Correcting problems down the chain is problematic and to be avoided if you can get it right at the source. I see you use a V8 in another thread. Try removing everything in the chain before the V8 except the volume pedal. Put on some fresh strings and see how it sounds.

In my case I got rid of the nasal sound in recording by removing all plug ins, compression or eq. I do use a touch of compression these days but it is not to solve problems.

That V8 is so great sounding. I love mine !
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2020 7:02 am    
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Bob is right about mic placement.

I learned music balancing (as we called it - rather than mixing) with limited choice of mics, primitive EQ and very few compressors available. So much of what we now expect to do on the board had to be initiated in the studio. The placement of screens, which we now think of largely as isolation devices, can have a big effect by reflecting or absorbing different frequencies.

You likely won't have screens in your own home, but when you mic a cab, consider how close it is to the wall or other objects. What we call EQ is actually phase distortion, which sounds less desirable when you call it what it is. If you can generate sounds you like right at the mic, the end result will be easier to listen to than if it's forced.
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ajm

 

From:
Los Angeles
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2020 8:22 am    
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I do not understand what you mean when you say ".....mix my sound before it goes into the software....".

But regardless of that, what Bob Hoffnar said in his first reply.
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Larry Ball

 

From:
Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2020 9:06 am    
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Thx Gentlemen,

Your comments are greatly appreciated and will help me understand some of the complexities in the recording and mixing process. I am listening through a high end set of earphones for the initial stages. I also have a set of KRK (G4 Series) Studio Monitors which can be adjusted via a KRK App. When I mic my amp I use a S57 set to Off Center axis. I do not hear any nasal sound coming from my amp which is a Peavey Nashville 112. I use a slight delay and reverb from a Roland (E20). This comes through my amp in the chain. I use a Telonic’s F100 Taper Super Pro Pedal directly into the amp. Finally I am playing a Williams SD12 (700 Series) with a Telonic’s X12 humbucker pick up. I guess all I need now is to have some of the playing capabilities of you “Pro’s” and I would be all set.

This “Forum” has a Superlative collection of members who have provided an enormous amount of information to me an other members. This is what’s helps keeping this beautiful instrument alive.
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Jim Fogle


From:
North Carolina, Winston-Salem, USA
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2020 10:11 am    
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Larry,

If you have someone that will lend you their ears, play while they listen and move around, up and down, side-to-side, closer and away from the amplifier speaker.

When they think the steel sounds good, that is where you want to locate your microphone.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2020 10:12 am     Re: Need Advice from the Experts
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Larry Ball wrote:


I am using Ableton Live Lite software that came with my Focusrite Solo Interface as a freebie. So do I need to upgrade my Software to get more tools and if so what would you recommend?


Keep in mind that the Focusrite interface is also a preset pre-amp with no knobs to change tones. Are they good ? sure, people like them , do they alter the sound ? I don't know. But if you like the sound of your amp at the MIC and when you listen back it sounds different, then you have to find or LEARN what the culprit is and adjust. Interface, cans , near fields and of course MICS and mic placements. Remember though, mics hear everything, not just your amp.


One shoe does not fit all in this process. While others may not pull out some mids in the DAW , many others do. Don't be afraid to experiment. We sometimes have to correct for the signal CHAIN. Sometimes ADD sometimes subtract.

I personally use a 4 in 4 out M Audio interface and have 3 or 4 different independent preamps. I still make subtle edits in EQ here and there.

One thing not mentioned as of yet, in an open room, recording with a mic, what you do not hear are the artifacts of the room. Reflections are present and they can many times show up on a recorded track.

Turn the dials you've got nothing to lose ! Very Happy
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2020 1:38 pm    
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ajm wrote:
I do not understand what you mean when you say ".....mix my sound before it goes into the software....

I took it to mean recording with some EQ and reverb rather than flat and dry. Personally I need my live sound as motivation, although from a strictly engineering point of view it would be better to add FX later. I use the bare minimum to get the feel. You can always add more but you can't subtract.
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Dale Rottacker


From:
Washington, USA
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2020 1:47 pm    
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I was told early on by a Professional Recording Engineer and Producer to get the sound coming out of the amp the way you want it and record that... then the tweaks you make in the software will be minimal... I record everything that way, I may tweak a little reverb or compression or even a little eq... I do less of that when just recording the steel and not adding it to a Rhythm track... when I record to a RT, then I may have to tweak either the steel or the track so that they have some cohesion, and fit with each other... But if just recording the Steel Acapela then usually not much if any... If you're happy with what you hear in the room, you'll like what you hear in the DAW.
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Larry Ball

 

From:
Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2020 2:04 pm    
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Ian...What I meant before about mixing was that I have noticed some people using “Analog mixing units” to dial in their tone before it enters the software. So I guess my question should have been clearer. What is preferred or is it personal choice. I thought the nasal sound may becoming from the software, but like Tony said “Turn the knobs”
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2020 2:09 pm    
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I record direct and have for the past million years. I mostly use a DBX 376 Tube channel strip preamp which has a 4 band para EQ , compressor,input gain and output level. The only thing missing is the MIC and the speaker.

I can record at midnight and nobody even knows. Over the past few years, the sessions I did in town were mostly direct. But you do need to step up in the preamp department.

Don't rule it out, recording direct is not a bad thing but it is a process that requires dialing it in.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2020 5:05 pm    
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Larry, don't worry. Before I got my USB interface I put my steel through an analogue mixer with my backing tracks. Absolutely nothing wrong with that - it helps to make sure the levels are right if you're going into a basic sound card.

Like Tony, I record direct. My Telonics preamp has a modelled DI output and I don't have to make room for an amp and speaker. And my wife doesn't have to listen to them. She's very supportive of my studies as long as they're inaudible Smile
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 21 Nov 2020 1:22 am    
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Ian Rae wrote:
She's very supportive of my studies as long as they're inaudible Smile



Ha ! Love that line and I can certainly attest ! Laughing
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<b>Steel Guitar music here >>> http://www.tprior.com/five.htm</b>

Emmons Steels, Fender Telecasters
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
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