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Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

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Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby Will1402 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:59 pm

Hi, I wondered if anyone could offer any advice for this problem please - I am recording electric guitar straight into the input of the Novation Nio (using Ableton Live Lite). The problem is that even with the input gain (input 2 for guitar on the Nio) turned all the way down, it is still distorting on high attack notes.

I am recording directly in order to use plug-ins on the guitar but the problem seems to lie with the direct signal. When I've used amp mic'ing on the Nio I've had no problems with adjusting the gain to the right level to avoid distortion but can't seem to adjust it low enough for what I need now.

I don't want to solve the problem with turning down my guitar control (as I want the fullest tone from my Les Paul pick-ups). Can anyone help please?
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Re: Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby Will1402 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:43 pm

Further to my initial post I've tried another guitar, which seems to have a lower output and the problem is gone. Could it be that something like a Les Paul (with particularly high output) requires a DI box or something to make it more compatible with the interface?
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Re: Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby Dynamic Mike » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:53 pm

Hi Will,

Have you switched input 2 from 'mic' to the guitar symbol (on the right of the unit) to match the impedance? I'm presuming you're using the input on the front of the unit.

I've used pretty high output active pick-ups (much hotter than my Les Paul) & still had to crank the gain up a fair bit.

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Re: Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby Will1402 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:49 pm

Hi DM,

Thanks for your reply - yes the Input 2 switch on the side of the Nio has been on the guitar symbol all the time so that doesn't seem to be the problem. The other guitar I tried (whose input was low enough not to distort) is a Schecter with active EMGs 81/85, which I would've expected to be louder than the LP.

Where you've said you normally have to crank the gain a fair bit on your Nio, my problem seems to be the opposite so maybe it's a problem with my Nio. I'm thinking maybe a DI box might come in handy for other stuff anyway & would be a plus if that would make it easier to record the Les Paul.

Best wishes

Will
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Re: Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby Dynamic Mike » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:57 pm

Hi Will,

I'm not sure whether a passive DI box attenuates the signal in the way you want. Do you have a line out socket on your amp, or an effects pedal with a bypass you could try first? If not a cheap active DI like the Behringer DI 120 with phantom power would allow you to use the XLR input, but if anything you'd have more gain. Don't worrry about the 'B' word, I've used their DI for years & it also doubles as a handy splitter so you can monitor through your amp when recording.

I know the nio is really picky about USB leads too, but I presume that would affect both inputs. There was also a know noise issue with early models, but that too would be global. I'm presuming you have just input 2 selected & FX to S/W switched off. Have you tried using the LP with a different interface just in case there's a connection issue that isn't apparent through the amp?

DM
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Re: Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby Will1402 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:59 am

Thanks for the suggestions DM, I don't have another interface to try the LP through but I will try what you suggested with the amp line out and also effects pedals. Also will look into that Behringher DI, thanks
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Re: Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby The Elf » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:56 am

Sorry to butt in, but I have to say that my experience of Behinger DI boxes differs. I have found them extremely noisy and quite unreliable. Not all Behringer gear is bad, and I use a few bits of their gear myself, but a DI box is definitely on my 'no' list.

If you do go the DI box route I'd suggest spending a little more and getting something that will pay you back for years to come.
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Re: Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby Will1402 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:35 am

Thanks for the advice Elf, I am looking at possible getting an ART DTI - what do you think of this compared to the Behringer?

It's around the £40 mark and literally at the top end of my budget unfortunately (but I have seen positive reviews of different ART boxes on this site, and the versatility of the outputs makes it more appealing). I also would prefer a passive box (which the ART DTI is) after reading Martin Walker's articles about reducing noise in computer audio.
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Re: Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby The Elf » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:55 am

I have a couple of bits of ART gear, though not that particular one. It's fine for what it is. If it meets the budget then I'd certainly go that way, rather than opting for the Behringer.

There are a few DI boxes within your budget, but as with anything like this I'd personally prefer to stretch to the better models (I like the sound of Radial boxes, in particular) to save having to buy again in future. But budgets are budgets - just make the best of what you can run to.

Good luck with it!
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Re: Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:30 am

Will1402 wrote:Thanks for the advice Elf, I am looking at possible getting an ART DTI - what do you think of this compared to the Behringer?

It's around the £40 mark and literally at the top end of my budget unfortunately (but I have seen positive reviews of different ART boxes on this site, and the versatility of the outputs makes it more appealing). I also would prefer a passive box (which the ART DTI is) after reading Martin Walker's articles about reducing noise in computer audio.

That ART DTI looks good to me, being particularly versatile on the connections front with its XLR/1-4-inch jack and phono sockets.

It ought to last you for many years


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Re: Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby Will1402 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:08 pm

Cool, thanks Martin - in that case that's the one I will go for!
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Re: Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby Dynamic Mike » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:31 pm

Hi Will,

I'd beg, steal or borrow one to try before you part with any money, because you're already plugging into a Hi-Z input. I suspect a DI box is going to make very little difference unless you were having problems with interference, ground loops, cable length degredation etc. Generally plugging a guitar into a Lo-Z input would give you a dull, slightly muted signal which is the opposite to what you're experiencing.

Just a thought but are you recording with the meters switched to 'input 1-2' on the nio otherwise you'll be monitoring the signal coming back out the DAW rather than the DirectFx input. Might also be worth checking the properties of any WAVs you've recorded to make sure you're leaving sufficient headroom. If your signal really is too high, you can further lower the input level using the software input control in the DirectFx rack.
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Re: Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby Will1402 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:31 am

Hi DM, thanks for the tips - I've checked that the meters switch is set to input 1-2 and it still had the tendency to distort slightly (this is on the direct sound without any effects also, so any audio after the plug-ins still has the clipping from the dry sound intact). I've found however that, ironically, just lowering the bridge pickup on the Les Paul seems to have solved the problem (which wasn't too much of an unsatisfactory compromise given it was a fair bit louder than the neck P/U!)

The DI box still could be useful as I also do get glitchy noises coming through the audio (which I've been discussing on the top thread) - I'm just slightly confused as to where the box fits in the chain, if not between guitar and Nio (given that I'm using a simple set-up of Guitar > Nio > Laptop and just monitoring the sound through headphones into the Nio)?
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Re: Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby Will1402 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:47 am

Just thought I would give this thread a bump, as I rather impulsely bought the ART DTI and am now confused as where I can put it in my set-up (as described above) to help with ground loops/glitches?
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Re: Problem in recording direct guitar signal with Novation Nio

Postby Dynamic Mike » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:35 pm

Hi Will, you need to put it between the guitar & the input on the nio. Given that the audio out on the nio is through the USB cable you're gonna struggle to put it there. Personally if I were you though I'd put it back in the shop because I can't see that it's going to help.

Also having searched user feedback on a few other forums, if you're using a laptop it may actually add to your problems. You might be better with the Art Tube MP, then you get a pre-amp & directbox impedance matching for £30.

DM
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