Very new at recording. Some very basic questions.

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by sgsummers, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. sgsummers

    sgsummers SS.org Regular

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    I've got some metalcore songs I am recording. I am 100% new to this and I just started yesterday. I am using Cubase, bias fx 2, drumforge and I have a Scarlett 2i2.

    Here is an example of what I am working on. I recorded it in a few chunks. No editing as I dont even know how yet. A couple rough spots and some noise. Maybe some out of time parts. But this is my learning file.

    About a minutes worth of what I have done so far:
    https://soundcloud.com/sgsummers/wip-visions-up-to-chorus-rough

    I guess some of my questions at the moment are about my sound waves. Making sure I have my hardware configured correctly, levels, etc. I dont really know what to ask yet but I want to make sure I am off to the right start.

    My waves at least to me look flat and maxed out at the peaks. Is this a bad thing? Does this mean I am clipping? Or another problem? I have tried to adjust the scarlet input level/knob to where the ring isn't flashing red but occasionally I see some orange and a red hit every once in a while and it's only set at about 10 o'clock. But if I need to set something inside the DAW as well I don't even know where to start. I am using a Schecter SLS Elite with fishman fluence pickups.

    Wave images:
    https://imgur.com/RGea2w2


    https://imgur.com/WSr6via


    Do these waves look bad? If so how I can fix them? I dont know what a good wave looks like.

    Thank you in advance to everyone who offers some advice.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I don't use Cubase, so I don't know if it's a zoom-level thing, but if that is actually clipping, then yeah, that's not ideal. There should be some kind of meter that will light up if you're hitting 0. The lights on your interface are not a reliable measure of whether or not you will be clipping in software as well. You also don't want, necessarily, to push things as loud as possible - some headroom is probably a good idea for a number of reasons. From what I understand about how signals like that work, you could have a wave that teeeeeechnically has no samples above clipping, but when played back will still clip.

    Keeping everything relatively quiet right up until you do your mastering might also do you some favours in terms of mix, and prevent you from demolishing all dynamics super early in the process.
     
  3. drgamble

    drgamble SS.org Regular

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    There are peak lights in Cubase. By default, you will get a red clipping indicator that won't reset until you click it. On the upper right hand side of the edit window, there should be a vertical line with a dot on it. This is your waveform zoom, you can adjust this to what you want. For distorted guitars you want an average level of -18 db. Really, all of your individual track should be hitting around -18 db RMS or 0 VU if you have VU meters. Some plugins come with the VU meters. This will vary by instrument, but distorted guitars are mostly compressed so if you shoot for around -18 db you should be fine. For something like drums you don't really want those going over -6 db. At the end your total mix should peak somewhere around -6 to -3 db. This ensures headroom without clipping. Usually mastering is the final stage and that is where everything is made louder.
     
  4. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    It's definetly clipping. Solution is to either use a DI-box to do impedance conversion between instrument level signal and mic pre amp, or get an audio interface which has better headroom with the pre amps, and has DI-input or instrument input integrated to the input which really works. If it's a 1st generation Scarlett it most certainly doesn't handle it, 2nd had similar problems too. Very common problem and learn't that the hard way by bying two Scarletts at the time.

    This is a how a DI looks with Duncan Solar bridge into Audient iD4. Don't really know how Reaper compares visually to Cubase, but this is peaking pretty close to -1.5-0 VU.
    Waves.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
  5. sgsummers

    sgsummers SS.org Regular

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    Thank you everyone for your replies! All of you have really helped! I will look into all of this and see if I can get better results.

    I also do have a countryman type 85 direct box. I did not use it in the recording above though. I wasn't really sure what I needed it for. I bought it because I was told I needed by a friend.
     
  6. sgsummers

    sgsummers SS.org Regular

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    I guess I thought the countryman was a signal booster and if I was already clipping it wasn't a good idea to use it? Maybe I dont understand how the DI box works.
     
  7. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    Plug the guitar into Countryman with regular instrument cable, then xlr-cable from mic output to the audio interface. Pre amp set to microphone level signal and input level adjusted according to that.
     
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  8. sgsummers

    sgsummers SS.org Regular

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    Great, Thank you. So when you say pre amp level to microphone... you mean on the Scarlett, correct? So Where the button on the scarlet says into, turn that off, and then turn on the button for air?
     
  9. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    Turn it for "air" yes. Since Countryman needs power, put the 48V phantom power on too.
     
  10. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    Your clip sounds great. Good job man!
     
  11. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    Why not set it at minimum? I do find that's where those interfaces want to be for metal guitar. You aren't losing anything by having it turned all the way down.
    Open a blank project and insert a track - arm it for the Focusrite and pick as hard as you can. Ignore the lights on the Focusrite as you can see more detail in the DAW track - with the DAW fader untouched (so set at +-0dB) you want your guitar DI peaks (with no amp software) safely away from the red. The Focusrite lights should be in agreement with it when you do this.
     
  12. sgsummers

    sgsummers SS.org Regular

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    Thanks guys! You are helping me SO much you dont even know. I literally know NOTHING. I fumbled my way into recorded the clip above.

    I'll try setting the Scarlett lower and connect the country with air selected. I figured I would get too low of a signal if I turned it too low. Good to know it can be lower.

    I haven't made any new progress since my post. Been too busy.

    Again thank you for everything, everyone!
     
  13. sgsummers

    sgsummers SS.org Regular

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    I think I've got my waves looking better. Using the countryman now connected through air and the Scarlett is barely turned up.

    recording updates in case anyone is interested. Have added multiple layerings at 100% and 70%. Progress is slow but I'm learning.

    Some out of time stuff still but I'll fix it all later. Still practicing and figuring out. Still need to figure out how to edit etc. Instead of editing a bunch on a single track I have a bunch of different tracks playing the next part. Which I know is wrong. But I'll get there. lol

    Progress up to chorus:
    https://soundcloud.com/sgsummers/visions-learning-up-tp-chorus-with-layers

    Slight work on Chorus:
    https://soundcloud.com/sgsummers/chorus-trim

    New waves:
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    Sounds okay to me, it's not a brickwalled sounding mess anymore :metal: :yesway:
     
  15. sgsummers

    sgsummers SS.org Regular

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    thanks. Some of it needs to be played tighter. I'll fix it all as I learn. I'll be slow at it since I work so much. :)
     

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