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> Reaper Recording Sounds Dull, HELP!
Berglmir
post May 15 2009, 07:15 AM
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Hi all!

Well, as the title says and as can be demonstrated here:
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=27423
I obviously have a problem with recording with Reaper.

To be more exact:
I use a Focusrite Saffire LE DAW to connect my Guitar with my PC, Reaper as recording software and Guitar Rig 3 for effects.
When I play I use High Level Headphones for monitoring, and - and this is the annoying part - everything sounds great!
Everything is crisp and when you change the effects in Guitar Rig 3 it REALLY makes a difference.

As soon as I render my project to mp3 the result becomes muddy, dull....boring. Even the Backtracks who are made by GMC instructors get washed out. ohmy.gif

I use the Focusrite ASIO driver for recording AND rendering - but only for that. For other applications on my PC there´s still a CL Soundcard installed (with connected speakers).
When I open Reaper with the Standard soundcard Settings the differences in changing GR3 effects are barely audible (and they are muddy as well). mad.gif

So - anyone else HAD this problem and solved it?! Would appreciate your suggestions!

Cheers muchly
Berglmir
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Canis
post May 15 2009, 07:49 AM
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I don't have sound here at school, but if your recordings sound good on other computers, it might just be your speakers and/or soundcard drivers that's messed up.

Do your speakers have a good sound when you listen to music, etc?


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Berglmir
post May 15 2009, 07:57 AM
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QUOTE (Canis @ May 15 2009, 08:49 AM) *
I don't have sound here at school, but if your recordings sound good on other computers, it might just be your speakers and/or soundcard drivers that's messed up.

Do your speakers have a good sound when you listen to music, etc?


Don´t write answers when @ school! laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

Interesting suggestion though, but I have listend to my upload here...err..at work...as well and altough it sounds a tiny bit different it´s still a BIG difference to the sound I have originally monitored with my headphones.
I have even listend to my other uploads here at GMC and although I have used very different effects in GR3 they sound very much alike now mad.gif

THX for answering!!
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Canis
post May 15 2009, 08:39 AM
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What else is there to do when at school/work, except reading GMC? tongue.gif

It's usually like that if you have good monitoring headphones/speakers. They sound extremely good compared to normal speakers. Maybe you have some stereo-settings disabled on your soundcard? That would result in bad panning and weird, muffled sound when channels is "blended".. If that makes any sense tongue.gif

No problem. Glad to help ^^

This post has been edited by Canis: May 15 2009, 08:41 AM


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Artemus
post May 15 2009, 01:34 PM
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Is there as much of a difference between rendering to mp3 and exporting to a wave file/uncompressed format ?


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DeepRoots
post May 15 2009, 01:56 PM
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Yeh could you post a few samples here for us to compare, a wav may take ages to upload/download but it may help us figure things out
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jafomatic
post May 15 2009, 02:14 PM
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What's the bitrate of the mp3? You're losing sound quality in proportion to the decrease of that number. Above 192kbit most folks won't hear a difference but perhaps your ears are unruined by the loud music of days past.

Also: aren't you always going to lose quality going digital, even at insanely high bit rate?


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Berglmir
post May 15 2009, 02:29 PM
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QUOTE (Artemus @ May 15 2009, 02:34 PM) *
Is there as much of a difference between rendering to mp3 and exporting to a wave file/uncompressed format ?


Hmm - I don´t know! I was just thinking it MIGHT.
The next thing I will try is to use ONLY GR3 for recording - I´ll just load the backtrack in one tape recorder, play over it and record it on Tapedeck 2 - I´m curious about the result.

More or less I´m expecting my noobishness in using Reaper to be the main reason for all of this! ;-)

I´ll post my settings (maybe some screenshots as well) when I get back home from work.

Cheers muchly for replying though!




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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 15 2009, 08:00 PM
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But why do you use your old soundcard at all man? Isn't Saffire a soundcard itself? Can't you connect the speakers to Saffire and use it that way?

BTW DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation, and it relates to software for audio production (reaper, cubase etc). Saffire is audio interface, not DAW. Sometimes it can be referred to Digital Audio System tho..

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: May 15 2009, 08:01 PM


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Berglmir
post May 15 2009, 11:16 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ May 15 2009, 09:00 PM) *
But why do you use your old soundcard at all man? Isn't Saffire a soundcard itself? Can't you connect the speakers to Saffire and use it that way?

BTW DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation, and it relates to software for audio production (reaper, cubase etc). Saffire is audio interface, not DAW. Sometimes it can be referred to Digital Audio System tho..


Interessting suggestion - really don´t know as my speakers have the typical small connectors to fit the usual CL PC soundcard. The DAS (as you rightly corrected me) has bigger connection slots - so I have to spend either money on some sort of adapter or buy new/better/bigger monitors.
But it might be worth a try!

Helpful as always!!! Cheers!
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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 16 2009, 12:26 AM
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QUOTE (Berglmir @ May 16 2009, 12:16 AM) *
Interessting suggestion - really don´t know as my speakers have the typical small connectors to fit the usual CL PC soundcard. The DAS (as you rightly corrected me) has bigger connection slots - so I have to spend either money on some sort of adapter or buy new/better/bigger monitors.
But it might be worth a try!

Helpful as always!!! Cheers!


The way I understand the situation, CL PC card is some kind of a low budget sound card for PC right? If so, you should not only disconnect the speakers from it, but disable it in windows. Saffire LE is practically the same hardware as the real Saffire, only lacks some inputs & features - and it is Focusrite Saffire! This is by no means a toy, it is a serious interface, and it servers as your audio system for PC, not just ASIO interface for DAW and headphones monitoring system.
If you have small 3.5mm stereo jack plug for your speakers, then you would need this cable:
http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/product/3986...jack-plugs.html

If you cannot obtain this exact cable, you can try calling your nearby electronic components store, and ask them to made one for you, they usually provide these kinds of services, and it is relatively cheap if you need short length.

The reason you are using your Saffire outputs is mainly because the sound is much better! The sound is practically as-is, and you will monitor your mixes with more precision.





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Berglmir
post May 16 2009, 12:38 AM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ May 16 2009, 01:26 AM) *
The way I understand the situation, CL PC card is some kind of a low budget sound card for PC right? If so, you should not only disconnect the speakers from it, but disable it in windows. Saffire LE is practically the same hardware as the real Saffire, only lacks some inputs & features - and it is Focusrite Saffire! This is by no means a toy, it is a serious interface, and it servers as your audio system for PC, not just ASIO interface for DAW and headphones monitoring system.
If you have small 3.5mm stereo jack plug for your speakers, then you would need this cable:
http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/product/3986...jack-plugs.html

If you cannot obtain this exact cable, you can try calling your nearby electronic components store, and ask them to made one for you, they usually provide these kinds of services, and it is relatively cheap if you need short length.

The reason you are using your Saffire outputs is mainly because the sound is much better! The sound is practically as-is, and you will monitor your mixes with more precision.


I will buy such a cable tomorrow - good idea.
My PC Soundcard is not so cheap & crappy as implied. It´s a Creative Labs SB X-Fi - sound is usually quite good for playing games or even listen to music, although I´ll give it a try.

Only thing that makes me a bit suspicious is that I monitor AND render my Reaper project while using the Sapphire - so the result should sound like monitored.

But we´ll talk later when I have recorded another take! ;-)

Cheers Ivan!!!!
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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 16 2009, 02:50 AM
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QUOTE (Berglmir @ May 16 2009, 01:38 AM) *
I will buy such a cable tomorrow - good idea.
My PC Soundcard is not so cheap & crappy as implied. It´s a Creative Labs SB X-Fi - sound is usually quite good for playing games or even listen to music, although I´ll give it a try.

Only thing that makes me a bit suspicious is that I monitor AND render my Reaper project while using the Sapphire - so the result should sound like monitored.

But we´ll talk later when I have recorded another take! ;-)

Cheers Ivan!!!!

SB X-Fi is a good card for gaming, watching movies, and other similar things, but Saffire is much better in all areas then X-Fi. The thing that X-Fi probably has are DSP effects that can be used in games, like reverb, stereo enhancement etc. If you need this, it is OK to use it. However if you record and mix using the Saffire, it would be good to have some kind of speaker monitoring from Saffire.

How do you monitor your Reaper projects before rendering?

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: May 16 2009, 02:51 AM


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Berglmir
post May 16 2009, 02:38 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ May 16 2009, 03:50 AM) *
SB X-Fi is a good card for gaming, watching movies, and other similar things, but Saffire is much better in all areas then X-Fi. The thing that X-Fi probably has are DSP effects that can be used in games, like reverb, stereo enhancement etc. If you need this, it is OK to use it. However if you record and mix using the Saffire, it would be good to have some kind of speaker monitoring from Saffire.

How do you monitor your Reaper projects before rendering?


I used some good Headphones only (to be exact: Audio-technica ATH-M40fs).

Just riged my system up with the connector as you have suggested and I have to say - I LIKE IT!! laugh.gif
The things I get out of Reaper now sound like the the ones I´m hearing while playing - that´s a good thing. biggrin.gif

Unfortunately I have not been able (yet!) to produce something I dare to upload here - but I´ll get there!

Looking forward to your feedback (when I upload something) and thank you all (Ivan especially!!!) for your support!

Cheers muchly!
Berglmir

PS. Anyone looking for a cheap Soundblaster X-Fi?! rolleyes.gif
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Berglmir
post May 16 2009, 07:29 PM
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Update: Although I like having the Focusrite Saffire as my major & only sound interface I just want to show you my render settings for mp3 and wav in Reaper - maybe you can comment on that as well?!

Thanks in advance!
Attached File(s)
Attached File  Settings_mp3.bmp ( 610.53K ) Number of downloads: 159
Attached File  Settings_wav.bmp ( 582.84K ) Number of downloads: 143
 
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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 17 2009, 12:01 AM
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You can still keep the X-Fi as a backup, you can't make that much money on it to sell it, and it may be useful in some occasions or for some trade-offs, you never know wink.gif

Regarding sound monitoring, always use speakers+headphones for monitoring, never headphones alone, cause they give away inaccurate sound, no matter how great they are. Try to compare the sound from headphones and speakers, and see how they sound, and adapt the mixes to both.

If you upload something I will be glad to comment on that, don't be afraid, there is no need, we all have to start somewhere.

Your rendering settings are good, but just check if Saffire has 32bit floating point native resolution. If it doesn't, just use 24bit, it's quite enough. Raising the sampling to 48kHz wouldn't hurt either, but if you want to burn the projects to audio CD, then 44.1 resolution would be a good way to go. 44.1 is slowly getting out of use, and getting replaced with 48 and 96kHz, so consider doing some future projects with these settings. For now, this looks good.

cheers mate



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Berglmir
post May 17 2009, 03:28 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ May 17 2009, 01:01 AM) *
You can still keep the X-Fi as a backup, you can't make that much money on it to sell it, and it may be useful in some occasions or for some trade-offs, you never know wink.gif

Regarding sound monitoring, always use speakers+headphones for monitoring, never headphones alone, cause they give away inaccurate sound, no matter how great they are. Try to compare the sound from headphones and speakers, and see how they sound, and adapt the mixes to both.

If you upload something I will be glad to comment on that, don't be afraid, there is no need, we all have to start somewhere.

Your rendering settings are good, but just check if Saffire has 32bit floating point native resolution. If it doesn't, just use 24bit, it's quite enough. Raising the sampling to 48kHz wouldn't hurt either, but if you want to burn the projects to audio CD, then 44.1 resolution would be a good way to go. 44.1 is slowly getting out of use, and getting replaced with 48 and 96kHz, so consider doing some future projects with these settings. For now, this looks good.

cheers mate


I did as you said and you find the results here:
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=27508

And to show you my appreciation for all your great support I have chosen your great "Canon in D Blues" lesson to "test" my new recording setup!
REALLY looking forward to your feedback!

Cheers mate!!
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MickeM
post May 17 2009, 05:42 PM
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There's three major steps to a successful recording.

Record

Mix

and Master

fail either and you're had.


I don't have much of a clue about the mastering part, there are vst plus you can just run your mix through and it will make the magic for your specific genre. Sadly, I havn't found a freeware master plug of any sort so I usually just stop at the mix and leave it be.
Mastering is where th emagic takes place so it's no step you want to skip in case you're looking for a good quality result.

Anyway, during recording jusy make sure you get enough signal and add some effects.
Mix your song to let each instrument have it's frequency range, make the neccessary panning of your sources and make the mix "stick together". You should end with a result that you're perfectly happy with.

Mastering your track turns darkness into daylight. Don't ask me how but according to my friend who's a pro it's time consuming - though you can run it through a couple plugins and get a good result.


...maybe something suitable for a lesson? Mixng and mastering wink.gif


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Berglmir
post May 17 2009, 06:36 PM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ May 17 2009, 06:42 PM) *
There's three major steps to a successful recording.

Record

Mix

and Master

fail either and you're had.


I don't have much of a clue about the mastering part, there are vst plus you can just run your mix through and it will make the magic for your specific genre. Sadly, I havn't found a freeware master plug of any sort so I usually just stop at the mix and leave it be.
Mastering is where th emagic takes place so it's no step you want to skip in case you're looking for a good quality result.

Anyway, during recording jusy make sure you get enough signal and add some effects.
Mix your song to let each instrument have it's frequency range, make the neccessary panning of your sources and make the mix "stick together". You should end with a result that you're perfectly happy with.

Mastering your track turns darkness into daylight. Don't ask me how but according to my friend who's a pro it's time consuming - though you can run it through a couple plugins and get a good result.


...maybe something suitable for a lesson? Mixng and mastering wink.gif


Thanks for your insight - I´m sure everything is true.
But hey - I´m just one guy sitting in his study in front of his PC with the aim to get something out of the equipment he has! laugh.gif
ATM I´m happy with the results I have posted in the Upload section (link posted above).

Although I like your idea about the lesson! smile.gif

Cheers muchly!!
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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 19 2009, 12:05 AM
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Really cool man, I've listened to the takes. One thing that I notice right away is that it lacks some dynamics. Clean sounds the best, but it is a bit thin. Nothing to worry about of course, it will get better. Tell me, do you record your amp at bedroom volume?


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