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John Lacey

 

From:
Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 23 Jan 2022 10:31 am    
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I wish to record steel for clients and personal use. My platform is an iMac running GarageBand.
Steel
Black Box
Boss me 70
Mackie1202 viz 3
Steinberg UR 22 digital interface

I’m just not sure which arrangement I should plug into what for the best signal/noise ratio etc.
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Edward Dixon


From:
Crestview Florida
Post  Posted 23 Jan 2022 1:21 pm    
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I'm pretty sure you have listed them in correct order. Or are you asking where to make the connections? Will you have a volume pedal or use the pedal on the Boss me 70? That unit could also be hooked up as channel inserts on the mixer, depends on what you want to do. If used as an insert it could also apply effects to other instruments plugged into the mixer.
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John Lacey

 

From:
Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 23 Jan 2022 2:10 pm    
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I’m asking what is the ideal setup for recording steel tracks on the computer. Should I go thru the mixer from the black box then out to the steinberg? Will that be the correct impedance? I’ve already done some recording without the mixer going from volume pedal to the steinberg and it wasn’t too bad except I wasn’t nuts about the amp simulators available. I’d rather get my tone from the me 70, got to mixer then out of the mixer to the computer. Opinions? Is there anybody out there that are GarageBand users that are well informed with recording steel?
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Edward Dixon


From:
Crestview Florida
Post  Posted 23 Jan 2022 4:22 pm    
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John Lacey wrote:
I’m asking what is the ideal setup for recording steel tracks on the computer.

What is ideal for me may be nonsense to someone else.

John Lacey wrote:
Should I go thru the mixer from the black box then out to the steinberg? Will that be the correct impedance?

Your Steinberg is 2 channels, you don't actually need a mixer if you only want to record one instrument. As far as impedance, I see that in the context of the pickup and the Sarno, from there it's line level using either the ME70 or the mixer. It becomes digital from the Steinberg to the computer. Running without the mixer and without the ME70 would be sending an instrument level signal to the Steinberg as opposed to a line level from the mixer or ME70.

John Lacey wrote:
I’ve already done some recording without the mixer going from volume pedal to the steinberg and it wasn’t too bad except I wasn’t nuts about the amp simulators available. I’d rather get my tone from the me 70, got to mixer then out of the mixer to the computer. Opinions?

I am assuming you are referring to the amp sims in GB. You still don't need the mixer, you can run the outs from the ME70 into the Steinberg.

So it would be ...
Guitar--->Sarno--->VP--->ME70--->Stienberg--->Computer.


My best advice is more simple. We have options and we want results. We exercise all our options and check the results until we get what we want. If we can't get what we want from the available options we need more options. That can get expensive when it comes to chasing "Tone".
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John Lacey

 

From:
Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 23 Jan 2022 6:38 pm    
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Thanks for your response, Edward. I’ve recorded direct from my volume pedal to the UR22 before but didn’t like the tone that the imposed amp sims gave me, so I introduced the BB and the me70 to give me more control, but found out the amp sims still got in the way. Read a bit more and found out that when setting up a track, you do not have to use the instrument preset and instead use the microphone setup which totally bypasses the amp sims. Oh, happy day. I will mess around with more permutations and combinations now that I’ve got that impediment out of the way.
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Brett Lanier

 

Post  Posted 24 Jan 2022 10:06 am    
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If it were me I'd use a mic plugged right into the interface, then use the mixer for monitoring - on the output of the interface. The mixer won't affect the recorded sound but it will be handy for setting listening levels or playing music from another source like your phone, record player, etc. And if you aren't using an amp, you could plug whatever pedals or di device you're using right into a channel on the board and practicing without turning on the computer.
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John Lacey

 

From:
Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 24 Jan 2022 10:50 am    
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That’s sort of what I tried before, Brett. Makes a lot of sense, integrating the mixer into the whole process for monitoring.
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Edward Dixon


From:
Crestview Florida
Post  Posted 24 Jan 2022 11:24 am    
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John Lacey wrote:
Thanks for your response, Edward. I’ve recorded direct from my volume pedal to the UR22 before but didn’t like the tone that the imposed amp sims gave me, so I introduced the BB and the me70 to give me more control, but found out the amp sims still got in the way. Read a bit more and found out that when setting up a track, you do not have to use the instrument preset and instead use the microphone setup which totally bypasses the amp sims. Oh, happy day. I will mess around with more permutations and combinations now that I’ve got that impediment out of the way.


I'm glad to hear you figured it out. I have GarageBand on my mac but used it one time and decided it was not for me. As far as amp sims, I'll just say, usable ones are hard to find. Have fun!
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Edward Dixon


From:
Crestview Florida
Post  Posted 24 Jan 2022 11:33 am    
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The Steinberg also has 2 "outs" on the back that could be used for monitoring.

The mixer also gives you the option to incorporate more instruments into the mix without disturbing the settings for the previously recoded track(s). I'm using 24 channels of a 32 channel mixer for a whole studio of instruments. Just turn on what I need and it's ready to record any or all of those channels. I'm lazy that way.
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David Mitchell

 

From:
Tyler, Texas
Post  Posted 24 Jan 2022 7:14 pm    
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If it was my gear I would come out one output of my volume pedal and send it to the instrument input on your blackbox (I'm assuming your blackbox is a transformered 600 ohm out direct box) then come out of the black box with a balanced mic cable and send it to the microphone input of your mixer. The reason for a balanced mic cable with a transformer at each end is so you can be two miles from your mixer with no signal loss. When hi-impedance cables are over 10 feet they can start losing highs and picking up radio signals. Then come out of your mixer into your audio interface which goes to your computer. Now those cables are for recording a dry signal only. Next come out of the 2nd output of your volume pedal to your guitar amp to monitor with. Feed a signal from your mixer through the headphone output to the musicans that are recording. Also going back into your mixer is the output of your computers soundcard so you can hear the playback of what has already been recorded for simultaneous syncronization. If you just want to mic your guitar amp instead of going direct do the same thing only use a microphone from your mixer instead of the direct box. That's how recording engineers have been doing it since the 1950's only they used tape recorders instead of computers in the early years. They didn't need a digital interface (AD/DA CONVERTORS) because everything stayed in the analog domain.
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John Lacey

 

From:
Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 26 Jan 2022 7:49 am    
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David, I’ve been using most of your scenario in my setup except for the lack of a balanced line from the black box. I also just need to use this setup for distance recording for remote clients and putzing around with steel stuff by myself. I’d like to keep it without an amp to stay quiet so a nice preamp would be cool. I heard that Brad Sarno’s other products are great for that. Thanks for your pro help, Dave. I’ve been around myself, been a fulltime working pro for about 50 years in the Calgary area and have been recording for about as long, with home studios in the last 20 years, albeit analog.
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David Mitchell

 

From:
Tyler, Texas
Post  Posted 26 Jan 2022 10:37 am    
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John it sounds like you got it all together. I've been using an Audient ID14 preamp for a DI and convertor and it has a good clean clear sound without being sterile like a Behringer preamp. They tell me the type of convertors makes a difference in sound but I've never had enough money to spend $3,000.00 per channel on convertors to find out. I think most of the preamps and generic convertors are high quality today. Just pick your flavor.
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Larry Ball


From:
Airdrie, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 1 Feb 2022 8:58 am    
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Hi John,

I don’t have the same units that you have for recording but I thought I would mention something I discovered in my recording setup. I have tried many ways to record (mic amp, DI directly to Audio Interface, DI from amp to interface..etc). I have also tried various simulated amps from software.

I have a “Preamp Channel Strip” that I go from my Telonic’s pedal directly into the Audio Interface then to my DAW. I can control my tone before I get to the Interface and DAW. I also have “Steel Guitar Black Box” which I have tried but I would only use it with my amp (Peavey Nashville 112).

So I guess what I am saying you may want to try it with out the “Black Box” when using a strictly digital setup.
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Mullen SD10,Williams SD12 Extended E9, Sho-Bud SD10 LDG, Peavey Nashville 112, Mission Pro V/P, Telonic's F100 Multi-Taper Super Pro V/P, too many other guitars, amps and effects to mention.
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David Mitchell

 

From:
Tyler, Texas
Post  Posted 1 Feb 2022 9:29 am    
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Larry Ball wrote:
Hi John,

I don’t have the same units that you have for recording but I thought I would mention something I discovered in my recording setup. I have tried many ways to record (mic amp, DI directly to Audio Interface, DI from amp to interface..etc). I have also tried various simulated amps from software.

I have a “Preamp Channel Strip” that I go from my Telonic’s pedal directly into the Audio Interface then to my DAW. I can control my tone before I get to the Interface and DAW. I also have “Steel Guitar Black Box” which I have tried but I would only use it with my amp (Peavey Nashville 112).

So I guess what I am saying you may want to try it with out the “Black Box” when using a strictly digital setup.


Yes! Last time I recorded Junior Knight on an album he just gave me a line level out from his channel strip. Clean, no hiss signal but with the tone settings he liked. Worked great.
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post  Posted 18 Feb 2022 6:27 pm    
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I'm a little late chiming in, but-

I suggest ditching everything but the interface and a volume pedal, if you use one, and finding decent plug-ins for Garageband (Logic plug-ins generally work, and Garageband comes with a set of decent ones; many others are available for free or at low cost).

Unless you set up for recording using a mic on an amp and are recording "live in the studio", all that other stuff is unnecessary, can add to the noise floor and may affect frequency response, raise harmonic distortion levels and change the tone of your basic guitar signal.

Recording direct with an interface equipped with a "guitar" input you are better off going direct with as little "stuff" between guitar output and the interface's guitar input as possible.

The Black Box is redundant - the guitar input on your recording interface *is* the impedance matcher. You can use one to add some tube warmth, but it will take a lot of experimentation, You still won't get the warmth most think of when talking about tube amps - that comes from the output stage, not the preamp. Impedance matching preamps like the Black Box don't mimic the output stage of a tube amp running close to the top of an amp's headroom (generally the point at which a tube amp sounds its best). You need to do a lot of tube rolling to find a "warm" signal from the preamp alone.

Same goes for the ME-20 multi-effects box - only high-end modelers include effects optimized for direct recording. Even with Garageband you're better off recording "dry" - with no effects, including reverb - and mix the dry track to an another track, adding plugins to the mix. That way you can find out what sounds best in a non-destructive manner (meaning your dry track is not affected). You can try an unlimited number of plug-ins until you find what sounds the best for what you're recording.

But if you record using effects, impedance matchers or anything that affects the natural sound of the guitar it's a "one way ticket" - if you decide later that you don't like the sound the only solution is to re-record the steel track.
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No chops, but great tone
1930's/40's Rickenbacher/Rickenbacker 6&8 string lap steels
1921 Weissenborn Style 2; Hilo&Schireson hollownecks
Appalachian, Regal & Dobro squarenecks
1959 Fender 400 9+2 B6;1960's Fender 800 3+3+2; 1970 Emmons SD10 Cuttail (Courtesy ReSound '65)
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David Mitchell

 

From:
Tyler, Texas
Post  Posted 19 Feb 2022 2:22 pm    
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Jim Sliff wrote:
I'm a little late chiming in, but-

I suggest ditching everything but the interface and a volume pedal, if you use one, and finding decent plug-ins for Garageband (Logic plug-ins generally work, and Garageband comes with a set of decent ones; many others are available for free or at low cost).

Unless you set up for recording using a mic on an amp and are recording "live in the studio", all that other stuff is unnecessary, can add to the noise floor and may affect frequency response, raise harmonic distortion levels and change the tone of your basic guitar signal.

Recording direct with an interface equipped with a "guitar" input you are better off going direct with as little "stuff" between guitar output and the interface's guitar input as possible.

The Black Box is redundant - the guitar input on your recording interface *is* the impedance matcher. You can use one to add some tube warmth, but it will take a lot of experimentation, You still won't get the warmth most think of when talking about tube amps - that comes from the output stage, not the preamp. Impedance matching preamps like the Black Box don't mimic the output stage of a tube amp running close to the top of an amp's headroom (generally the point at which a tube amp sounds its best). You need to do a lot of tube rolling to find a "warm" signal from the preamp alone.

Same goes for the ME-20 multi-effects box - only high-end modelers include effects optimized for direct recording. Even with Garageband you're better off recording "dry" - with no effects, including reverb - and mix the dry track to an another track, adding plugins to the mix. That way you can find out what sounds best in a non-destructive manner (meaning your dry track is not affected). You can try an unlimited number of plug-ins until you find what sounds the best for what you're recording.

But if you record using effects, impedance matchers or anything that affects the natural sound of the guitar it's a "one way ticket" - if you decide later that you don't like the sound the only solution is to re-record the steel track.


All of which Jim said works great for me. Players are always asking what amps, mics and guitars I use to get such a clean pure recording. I don't use guitar amps or mics on my steel. Straight from the volume pedal to the audio interface. I have far superior effects and EQ in my DAW and I can put the reverb on a send and return it in true stereo which makes a steel sound huge. Another advantage is you can postpone a lot of decision making doing it that way. If you want to hear all the effects while recording you can do that too with a low latency sound card. Players insist on noisey guitar amps then when they place a guitar effect in the signal chain the noise is as loud as the music. They have always heard Buddy and Lloyd used guitar amps in a studio but that was before the computer age. They got use to operating that way and it works but in my opinion not the best sound you can get.
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John Macy

 

From:
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Post  Posted 20 Feb 2022 7:21 am    
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I like to get pretty much what I want on the way in. Over the years I have tried just about every kind of direct box (passive, active and tube) and have never been happy eqing on the inside. I think the Black Box makes a huge difference and my favorite direct setup is guitar-black box-vp-Sarno V8 tube preamp. I seldom need to do much to it come mix time, maybe some light eq and compression if needed. That setup with Brad's gear is nothing but great to me...
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John Macy
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Engineer/Producer/Steel Guitar
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