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Thread: guitar amp is loud, inputs cranked (Profire 610)... track still too quiet!

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    cutout is offline New Member
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    guitar amp is loud, inputs cranked (Profire 610)... track still too quiet!

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    (This is a newb question, sorry if it's all obvious...)

    Pretty standard setup - I'm mic'ing a Fender Twin with an SM57. Amp is medium-loud. Mic is plugged into the Profire. Input faders on Profire app are turned all the way up. But the guitar signal still only peaks at about 35-40% of the faders, max.

    Is this normal? When you guys record guitar, aren't you usually trying to peak it out almost into the red? I'm not sure what else I can change to get a better signal.

    The end result of this issue is that I have a pretty good song recorded with a bunch of parts - but no matter how much I crank the master volume in Garageband, the tracks are all too quiet, even if turned all the way up. So my first issue is to figure out why the Profire is quiet. Second issue is to try and salvage this song and see if I can add gain to the master track or something. It sounds great on my loud monitors. On a laptop, it sounds terrible

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    Quote Originally Posted by cutout View Post
    When you guys record guitar, aren't you usually trying to peak it out almost into the red?
    No, you don't want to go anywhere near the "red" when recording digitally. If you're peaking at about -12, that should be fine.

    Having said that, your levels do seem low. It's hard to say without actual meter numbers, but "35-40% of the faders" sounds low, considering you say you have the input gain cranked all the way up.

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    cutout is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAMI View Post
    Having said that, your levels do seem low. It's hard to say without actual meter numbers, but "35-40% of the faders" sounds low, considering you say you have the input gain cranked all the way up.
    What I've been doing is turning the input knob on the Profire all the way up until it starts to feed back in the monitors and then rolling it back slightly until it doesn't do that anymore. I would think that would be super loud. BTW, what does -12 look like on the faders? 50%? (I'm at work and can't look at my interface or DAW...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by cutout View Post
    BTW, what does -12 look like on the faders? 50%?
    I don't know. It probably depends on your DAW. That's why I wasn't sure what "35-40%" meant either, in numbers.

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    cutout is offline New Member
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    I just meant, when the guitar signal is coming through, it fills about 35% of the bars in the faders, kind of like this -

    http://home.comcast.net/~noise.lab/P..._SPDIF_Tab.jpg

    To complicate things, I've noticed when I export/normalize from Garageband, the track actually gets quieter :/

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    Quote Originally Posted by cutout View Post
    I just meant, when the guitar signal is coming through, it fills about 35% of the bars in the faders, kind of like this -

    http://home.comcast.net/~noise.lab/P..._SPDIF_Tab.jpg
    Hehe....I know what you meant, but I've never looked at my levels as being a "% up the fader", so I have no idea what those percentages mean.

    But, looking at your picture, it seems that 35-40% up the fader gets you up to about 15 to -10db, if I'm looking at it right. If that's the case, your levels are fine.

    To complicate things, I've noticed when I export/normalize from Garageband, the track actually gets quieter :/
    That is weird. Can't help you with that, I'm not familiar with Garageband.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAMI View Post
    your levels are fine.
    I might have to correct that. While the levels in the DAW might be fine, there's something wrong with the gain staging if you have to crank the input full to get that signal. Maybe you have to turn up the guitar amp so that you can turn the input knobs down.
    Last edited by RAMI; 12-04-2012 at 12:24.

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    AlecBeretz is offline Senior Member
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    as far as volume goes...

    I'm not sure how to make your guitar come in louder... make sure your interface isn't using any -10 db switches, use different inputs, try a different mic, etc.

    if its still quiet, most DAW have a gain plug-in that just raises volume. garage band sucks though... sorry man.




    At the end when you export from garage band and its quieter than all your other itunes songs:

    music volume is registered at the highest peak. so the part when your guitar/song gets the loudest, that will be the same level as the other songs in itunes... that being said, it means the rest of the track is quieter. here's how you fix it:

    THE EASY WAY: get to know compressors and limiters. garage band kinda sucks in this department, but you need to compress your instruments and compress the master track, as well as use some limiters. this will bring down the volume of the loudest parts of the song, making the whole song more even. Then you just turn up the volume and your good.

    THE PRO WAY: this sucks, but its the way to go if you can do it. You may use compression and limiting still, but its better to use volume automation. basically, you manually turn the track up and down at the quieter and louder parts respectively, so the whole instrument track is, relatively, at the same volume. You tend to do this less with drums, more with vocals, not too much with guitars and bass. Those tend to use a bit of compression. Then at the end you apply more gentile limiting and compression, and your mix will sound loud, AND powerful, because you have maintained most of the dynamics of the song.


    This of course requires years of practice.... heres what you can do for now
    1) buy logic
    2) learn how to use the "AdLimiter" plug in
    Last edited by AlecBeretz; 12-04-2012 at 17:09.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlecBeretz View Post
    This of course requires years of practice.... heres what you can do for now
    1) buy logic (or torrent it... but i am not responsible for your legal troubles etc etc etc blah blah blah)
    HR does not look kindly upon members who propose cracked or pirated software as an option, irrespective of the caveats they apply.
    http://homerecording.com/bbs/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=45599&dateline=1256715193
    I have a theory about that

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    Quote Originally Posted by cutout View Post
    What I've been doing is turning the input knob on the Profire all the way up until it starts to feed back in the monitors and then rolling it back slightly until it doesn't do that anymore.
    You need to turn down the monitors so it doesn't feed back. The recording level is set independently from the listening volume. In other words, if the mic is feeding back in your monitors, but you aren't getting a good recording level, the monitors are up WAY too loud.

    It sounds like you are turning up everything in the monitoring chain which is keeping you from turning up the input gain, which is the only thing that controls the recording level. The faders in the profire software are there for you to make a monitor mix, they don't affect the recording level.
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording and HERE!!!!

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