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Thread: I hate my 414mkII

  1. #1
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    I hate my 414mkII

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    Period.

    I've tried using this damn thing for 2 years now and I absolutely HATE it.
    Had it in the box for a good amount of that after my initial disenchantment with the product (could it come with worse headphones?!). Then I bought a nicer mic (e609, for guitar samples) to record my '57 Twin amp. This led to even more disappointment. That twin sounds damn good, but just CAN'T get it to sound good on the recording. I've tried various placement of the mic at various points of the speaker about 4-5 inches away and all I end up with is mud and $hitty overtones. I try to work the EQ but no matter what I do, it still sucks. I have two bars of red coming up, but not the third - which is what someone here recommended. Also, when tweaking the EQ, I find I have to have the headphone volume almost all the way up to get an accurate idea of what my guitar is sounding like. What's up with that!?

    Again, it lets me record clean tones fine. But when I want some grit, or some grind in the tone, it just goes south, FAST. I'm ready to pitch this piece of crap out the window.

    Can someone shed some light into this? Surely I'm doing SOMETHING wrong...

    And no, I wasn't the one who bought it, it was a christmas present a couple years ago..

  2. #2
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    I'd recommend a Shure SM57 mic placed dead center on your speaker. It has worked for countless recordings for many people. I'd also recommend something like a Presonus Blue Tube, or ART Tube MP as starter mic pre-amp. Have you cleaned the heads on that recorder in the two years you've owned it? New tape?
    "Who's that singing? That can't be me, I don't sound like that."

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnerboy61
    Period.

    I've tried using this damn thing for 2 years now and I absolutely HATE it.
    Had it in the box for a good amount of that after my initial disenchantment with the product (could it come with worse headphones?!). Then I bought a nicer mic (e609, for guitar samples) to record my '57 Twin amp. This led to even more disappointment. That twin sounds damn good, but just CAN'T get it to sound good on the recording. I've tried various placement of the mic at various points of the speaker about 4-5 inches away and all I end up with is mud and $hitty overtones. I try to work the EQ but no matter what I do, it still sucks. I have two bars of red coming up, but not the third - which is what someone here recommended. Also, when tweaking the EQ, I find I have to have the headphone volume almost all the way up to get an accurate idea of what my guitar is sounding like. What's up with that!?

    Again, it lets me record clean tones fine. But when I want some grit, or some grind in the tone, it just goes south, FAST. I'm ready to pitch this piece of crap out the window.

    Can someone shed some light into this? Surely I'm doing SOMETHING wrong...

    And no, I wasn't the one who bought it, it was a christmas present a couple years ago..
    a dynamic mic in close proximity will seem to add gain and placement is very important. i suggest you use a ribbon or dark condensor a few feet out from the amp. listening to the amp in the room, you're hearing the amp and room. a little distance and mic with a wider frequency response will capture that sound.

    how!

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    Play with your mic placements. Don't worry, alot of people start out with this problem. Playing around with the thing will help you more than anything.

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    A few years ago I played with mic'ing a guitar/amp combo and got a little frustrated with it. I started using two mics, one about 2 feet from the amp and the other somewhere else in the room. After playing with it a bit, I found a great sound I was happy with. Then again, I like the 'ambient" sounds from my instruments. Mic placement is probably the most important thing, well, maybe except for the clean record/playback heads and good tape. Put the mic in front of the amp, next to the amp, hell put in the next room just for grins and see what you come out with. Once you get that equation out of the way, then you can start changing up mics for brighter sound, better response, etc.

    If all else fails and you find you can't take it anymore, send the 414 my way.

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    Quality

    I have the same 414mkii and the first purchase I made was a Aphex 107 micpreamp. You can boost the micpream signal onto the Tascam and get a strong signal without any background noiise or hiss.(Noisereduction is ON for the Tascsam)..secondly, I found out that you MUST have the correct BASF cassette tape for the Tascam to record the signal without distortion. If you are getting good clean guitar amp recordings, and poor high gain gritty recordings...then the highgain signal must be distorted somewhere along its path. Figure it out with the Tascam, or A/B it with a friend's digital studio equipment before you toss it. Good Luck.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the responses. I've recently been happy using the 414 as a pre-amp before inputting it into my sound card on here and using a very basic program to record. It sounds best when the bars max out at the 0db spot, but so far all I've tried to record are clean tones...I'm sort of scared to push my luck with the thing I've moved the e609 back some and I'm happier with how it's sounding with that.

    I've never considered cleaning the deck..I guess I figure I shouldn't have had to at this point with the minimal recording that's been done on the thing..

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