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Guitar Playback Quality

Postby Robert Hicks » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:08 pm

Hi folks

I'm using a 2016 MacBook Pro (USB-C), Focusrite Clarett interface and Apple's Logic Pro X. All running latest software. I have this annoyance where the sound of the monitored recording sounds slightly better than the playback of that recording. I've always had this problem but hadn't really attacked the issue before now.

Logic is set to record audio at 44.1KHz and the Clarett is set to match that rate.

When auditioning a patch from Guitar Rig, it's generally sounds great through Guitar Rig and the Yamaha monitors I use. But when I come to play back a recording of the same GR patch, it sounds thinner. Now, this might just be how it is, or might have something to do with the slight sound bleed from me actually playing the electric guitar at the point of listing making the sound a tiny bit fuller. I'm looking for as warm and rich as tone as possible. Might this just be as simple as increasing the audio sample rate in Logic? any tips or wisdom?

Many thanks

Rob
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Re: Guitar Playback Quality

Postby mashedmitten » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:13 pm

Make sure you're not monitoring the signal twice. Make sure the DAW/ Interface knob is all the way towards DAW.
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Re: Guitar Playback Quality

Postby CS70 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:21 pm

Robert Hicks wrote:I have this annoyance where the sound of the monitored recording sounds slightly better than the playback of that recording.

Couple control questions:

- do you monitor thru the same chain both cases?
- do you monitor at the same volume both cases?
- do you use direct monitoring?
- do you experience the issue while recording/listening to the guitar as a solo instrument or against a musical backdrop?

For the volume, you can try and play for a few seconds to a level where the strings sound is simply too low.

Regarding direct monitoring, I don't have a Clarett but I suppose like most modern interfaces it has that functionality - which means that what you hear when you're playing is going more or less directly from the interface inputs to the outputs (the precise meaning of "direct" depends a bit on the specific interface design). When you hear the sound played back, it's (rather obviously) played back from your DAW.

If you are indeed using direct monitoring, you could try and disable it and see how the result sounds while you play. I have a Forte and the way to remove direct monitoring is to lower down the non-DAW inputs in the digital mixer. You have to enable the "listen" function in your DAW's channel (I don't use Logic but all DAWs have one) to be able to hear your playing (often with a little delay of course) and check how it sounds.
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Re: Guitar Playback Quality

Postby Jack Ruston » Wed May 03, 2017 7:36 pm

There's often a problem when you track guitars in the control room monitors that you can hear the instrument acoustically - there's a certain sparkle and tone that it contributes in the room which when absent can make a noticeable difference. You get used to it and come to expect it but it can throw people a bit.

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Re: Guitar Playback Quality

Postby Martin Walker » Thu May 04, 2017 1:11 pm

Jack Ruston wrote:There's often a problem when you track guitars in the control room monitors that you can hear the instrument acoustically - there's a certain sparkle and tone that it contributes in the room which when absent can make a noticeable difference. You get used to it and come to expect it but it can throw people a bit.

Very good point Jack!

And yet another reason why players should be wearing headphones with good acoustic isolation if they want to hear what's actually being recorded :beamup:


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Re: Guitar Playback Quality

Postby A. AuCr » Fri May 19, 2017 5:10 pm

Jack Ruston wrote:There's often a problem when you track guitars in the control room monitors that you can hear the instrument acoustically - there's a certain sparkle and tone that it contributes in the room which when absent can make a noticeable difference. You get used to it and come to expect it but it can throw people a bit.

J

Door #3: Put up a microphone to capture that, mix a bit of it in...
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Re: Guitar Playback Quality

Postby ef37a » Fri May 19, 2017 7:16 pm

CS70. OP cannot be using Direct Monitoring if he is using GRig as a software effect?

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Re: Guitar Playback Quality

Postby CS70 » Sat May 20, 2017 8:22 am

ef37a wrote:CS70. OP cannot be using Direct Monitoring if he is using GRig as a software effect?

Dave.

Dont know with the OP's DAW, but with Sonar I can have set up so that I hear both direct monitoring and DAW output . The (clean) direct monitoring signal could blend in and alter the overall sound that he hears when monitoring I guess.
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Re: Guitar Playback Quality

Postby ef37a » Sat May 20, 2017 8:36 am

CS70 wrote:
ef37a wrote:CS70. OP cannot be using Direct Monitoring if he is using GRig as a software effect?

Dave.

Dont know with the OP's DAW, but with Sonar I can have set up so that I hear both direct monitoring and DAW output . The (clean) direct monitoring signal could blend in and alter the overall sound that he hears when monitoring I guess.

Agreed but Mashedmitten mentioned having the monitor knob all the way over to the DAW(output) .

Playback and record monitor levels SHOULD be unity but there is always the possibility of a VC somewhere having been set a dB or two low or high? One reason I keep all internal levels slammed to max and control monitor volume externally and annylogically!

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Re: Guitar Playback Quality

Postby CS70 » Sat May 20, 2017 8:46 am

ef37a wrote:
CS70 wrote:
ef37a wrote:CS70. OP cannot be using Direct Monitoring if he is using GRig as a software effect?

Dave.

Dont know with the OP's DAW, but with Sonar I can have set up so that I hear both direct monitoring and DAW output . The (clean) direct monitoring signal could blend in and alter the overall sound that he hears when monitoring I guess.

Agreed but Mashedmitten mentioned having the monitor knob all the way over to the DAW(output) .

Playback and record monitor levels SHOULD be unity but there is always the possibility of a VC somewhere having been set a dB or two low or high? One reason I keep all internal levels slammed to max and control monitor volume externally and annylogically!

Dave.

I guess it depends on the DAW and hardware. The Focusrite has direct monitor enabled by default (i.e. you must take the specific volumes down to remove it). To hear the GTR output in Sonar you have no volume, just a "monitor" button on the track.

So if someone is unaware, would be very easy to put the GTR on the track, think "hei, the guitar doesn't sound any different!", then realize that the DAW monitoring is off and push the button so to hear the GTR. Then one would say "Wow!" and proceed recording.. but likely forget to the disable DM (which is now blended, and a bit anticipated, to the effected sound.. but not recorded).

The result would be that when the recorded playing is played back, it would sound different as no DM would (obviously) occur at that moment.. and, with distortion effects, most often "thinner" - since without the anticipated clean sound mixed in, the balance would be skewed towards the highs
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Re: Guitar Playback Quality

Postby 4TrackMadman » Wed May 24, 2017 6:25 pm

I hear this complaint with a lot of people, I think there must be some kind of bleed from the internal input monitoring or just seems thicker because you are also playing.

@Robert - try some tricks, like duplicating the track (copy+paste on new track) and apply a different drier second patch. When I record heavy distortion, for example I often use a low crunch track, something like AC30 patch dry cranking about 20% volume in comparison to the distortion track being at say 80%, then mix in both.
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