Guitar Song Sounds Different

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Creativemind
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Post 22 Sep 2019

Hi All!

I have a song I wrote yesterday on my guitar and I recorded it on a digital camera. it sounded brilliant.

I put some strings on it using Reaper (as Reaper has video) and it sounded great.

I got to record it today on Reason and something is lost.

It seems to lose something I can't put my finger on. Can't be quality can it so, what is it?

Had the same issue ages ago with songs I recorded while busking on a dictophone. The quality of those was shocking but something about them sounded great.

It's almost as if it's too clean recording on a daw sometimes. Is it psychosomatic?

Same guitar by the way, I'm thinking maybe it was the living room acoustics being different and the camera being 6 ft or so away as well. I maybe might try to emulate it tomorrow but without a long lead for the mic and wireless headphones, not sure how I'd go about it. I was also standing up so although I was playing the same chords and doing the same strum pattern, something is different on how I strike the guitar as I'm sitting down recording this through a single dynamic mic (and yeah I know that isn't ideal) a few inches away from the last fret and sound hole of the guitar.

Thanks!
:reason:

Propellerhead Reason 10.4 / Cockus Reaper 6.05 / Cakewalk By Bandlab / Pro Tools First / Steinberg Cubase LE 5
http://soundcloud.com/creativemind75/iv ... soul-mix-3

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guitfnky
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Post 22 Sep 2019

I've experienced this many times, and I don't think it has to do with the sounds or method of recording, so much as the feeling you have in the moment of performance. I've occasionally had trouble recreating the vibe of certain pieces of music when rerecording them, even if I'm using the exact same sounds, setup, settings, etc. the only real variable was my playing, and probably more important--my mindset.

I think what it comes down to is that certain ideas really need to be captured in the moment of inception, for them to remain pure. on the plus side, these ideas are (at least for me) fairly rare, but the big negative is that you never really know when you're working on it that the feeling it has could be lost forever, if you don't see it through right then.

as far as practical advice, I'd say you're lucky that you got the idea captured on video! personally, I'd suggest leaning into the performance you already have, even if the recording quality isn't really what you envisioned. pull it into your DAW, and build around what you already have (there are ways to map the tempo to a performance that wasn't done to a click, so that would probably be my first step, to lay the groundwork). the finished product might not be what you originally heard in your head, but no one else would know that, and if it's great, that's the only thing that matters. :)

one thing to keep in mind is that 'bad sound quality' is a largely subjective thing. at the end of the day, all of your mixing and production decisions become intentional choices when you export an audio track and share it with people, even the audio quality.

anyway, good luck with the tune!

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selig
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Post 22 Sep 2019

Wow, 6' away with stereo condenser microphones in your living room vs a mono dynamic 6" away (and in a different room?). You can't get much different than that, other than use a different guitar or player!
There's also likely a compressor/limiter built into the video camera that may be contributing to what you like. In the studio I've often used a cheep stereo recorder with built in limiter for a cool room sound. I'd look at trying to do both the mono close mic AND the stereo room mic with the camera if there's any way to take a line out and record both at the same time.
Otherwise, maybe you can borrow the cables you need to record it with the video camera, which already sounds exactly like you want from the way you describe it - would be worth it IMO!
Selig Audio, LLC

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guitfnky
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Post 22 Sep 2019

selig wrote:
22 Sep 2019
Wow, 6' away with stereo condenser microphones in your living room vs a mono dynamic 6" away (and in a different room?). You can't get much different than that, other than use a different guitar or player!
There's also likely a compressor/limiter built into the video camera that may be contributing to what you like. In the studio I've often used a cheep stereo recorder with built in limiter for a cool room sound. I'd look at trying to do both the mono close mic AND the stereo room mic with the camera if there's any way to take a line out and record both at the same time.
Otherwise, maybe you can borrow the cables you need to record it with the video camera, which already sounds exactly like you want from the way you describe it - would be worth it IMO!
as much as the mic position (and type) is important for sound quality, ultimately, that's the only thing the mic is going to impact.
it's important, but it's got almost nothing to do with whether or not you *feel* the part the same way, as you're performing it. if it's recorded so poorly as to sound grating, that's one thing, but barring that, it's undoubtedly got much more to do with *you* than it does with the mic. of course, I don't mean that in a critical way (see earlier comment); it's just down to the moment, lots of times.

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Creativemind
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Post 22 Sep 2019

I tried re-recording the guitar earlier standing up and strumming it with more passion like I did in my living room yesterday and being a couple of feet away from the mic. It just sounded quieter with little bit more passion so I've stuck to my sitdown guitar strum for now lol!

Here's the lounge performance anyway (by the way, I don't think the cereals, the washing machine or the clothes on the back of the reclining chair have anything to do with it :lol: ):-

:reason:

Propellerhead Reason 10.4 / Cockus Reaper 6.05 / Cakewalk By Bandlab / Pro Tools First / Steinberg Cubase LE 5
http://soundcloud.com/creativemind75/iv ... soul-mix-3

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boingy
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Post 22 Sep 2019

Creativemind wrote:
22 Sep 2019
I tried re-recording the guitar earlier standing up and strumming it with more passion like I did in my living room yesterday and being a couple of feet away from the mic. It just sounded quieter with little bit more passion so I've stuck to my sitdown guitar strum for now lol!

Here's the lounge performance anyway (by the way, I don't think the cereals, the washing machine or the clothes on the back of the reclining chair have anything to do with it :lol: ):-

What you've got there is a Performance with a capital P, pure and simple. As soon as you try to record it "properly" your mind is distracted by settings, levels, mic position, tempo, the record button, the screen and a thousand other details.

I have a similar problem. I'll rough out a guitar part and practice it until I'm happy and I can play it (almost) perfectly. Then I hit record and cock it up 10 times in a row. This makes me mad and incapable of playing anything so I smash up the PC, set fire to the guitar, dump the whole lot in the passenger seat of my pink Cadillac and drive it into my swimming pool. OK, maybe not those last bits but I do end up walking away from the PC in a sulk.


Suggest you position a mic exactly where the camera was, make sure you can't see the PC screen or the level LEDs on the interface, set it recording and then play until you forget it is there. If you manage to do this please tell me how.

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Creativemind
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Location: Stoke-On-Trent, England, UK

Post 22 Sep 2019

boingy wrote:
22 Sep 2019
What you've got there is a Performance with a capital P, pure and simple. As soon as you try to record it "properly" your mind is distracted by settings, levels, mic position, tempo, the record button, the screen and a thousand other details.

I have a similar problem. I'll rough out a guitar part and practice it until I'm happy and I can play it (almost) perfectly. Then I hit record and cock it up 10 times in a row. This makes me mad and incapable of playing anything so I smash up the PC, set fire to the guitar, dump the whole lot in the passenger seat of my pink Cadillac and drive it into my swimming pool. OK, maybe not those last bits but I do end up walking away from the PC in a sulk.


Suggest you position a mic exactly where the camera was, make sure you can't see the PC screen or the level LEDs on the interface, set it recording and then play until you forget it is there. If you manage to do this please tell me how.
Oh I cock it up don't get me wrong. I know your frustration there. Strumming for me. My strumming isn't brilliant and I can have a specific strum nailed and hit REC....b******s lol!

The thing here is though, I'm not concentrating on levels (I know I perhaps should be) but this is where having a studio and an engineer comes in (the musician just plays and the engineer does the rest) but there's something missing, not sure what. Judging by earliers mic thing, being far away doing it in the living room with the same distances set up won't work. It must simply be, the way the mic on the camera is picking up the sound. Will have to get into the specifications.

Joke - what's big, green and sits in the corner crying?
A - The incedible sulk. :lol: sorry, schoolyard joke from when I was 12.
:reason:

Propellerhead Reason 10.4 / Cockus Reaper 6.05 / Cakewalk By Bandlab / Pro Tools First / Steinberg Cubase LE 5
http://soundcloud.com/creativemind75/iv ... soul-mix-3

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guitfnky
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Post 22 Sep 2019

Creativemind wrote:
22 Sep 2019
I tried re-recording the guitar earlier standing up and strumming it with more passion like I did in my living room yesterday and being a couple of feet away from the mic. It just sounded quieter with little bit more passion so I've stuck to my sitdown guitar strum for now lol!

Here's the lounge performance anyway (by the way, I don't think the cereals, the washing machine or the clothes on the back of the reclining chair have anything to do with it :lol: ):-

really dig the tune, man. inspired me to head back to my own setup and do some vocal work on a song I need to finish. from me, it doesn’t get much better than making me want to work on my own stuff, for whatever that’s worth. 👍🏼

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Creativemind
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Location: Stoke-On-Trent, England, UK

Post 22 Sep 2019

guitfnky wrote:
22 Sep 2019
Creativemind wrote:
22 Sep 2019
I tried re-recording the guitar earlier standing up and strumming it with more passion like I did in my living room yesterday and being a couple of feet away from the mic. It just sounded quieter with little bit more passion so I've stuck to my sitdown guitar strum for now lol!

Here's the lounge performance anyway (by the way, I don't think the cereals, the washing machine or the clothes on the back of the reclining chair have anything to do with it :lol: ):-

really dig the tune, man. inspired me to head back to my own setup and do some vocal work on a song I need to finish. from me, it doesn’t get much better than making me want to work on my own stuff, for whatever that’s worth. 👍🏼
Thanks man. Hope your tune turns out well. Wish the essence of this video would translate to when I record it. What you can't see is a guy behind the camera with a violin. :lol:
:reason:

Propellerhead Reason 10.4 / Cockus Reaper 6.05 / Cakewalk By Bandlab / Pro Tools First / Steinberg Cubase LE 5
http://soundcloud.com/creativemind75/iv ... soul-mix-3

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guitfnky
Posts: 1796
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 22 Sep 2019

Creativemind wrote:
22 Sep 2019
guitfnky wrote:
22 Sep 2019


really dig the tune, man. inspired me to head back to my own setup and do some vocal work on a song I need to finish. from me, it doesn’t get much better than making me want to work on my own stuff, for whatever that’s worth. 👍🏼
Thanks man. Hope your tune turns out well. Wish the essence of this video would translate to when I record it. What you can't see is a guy behind the camera with a violin. :lol:
appreciate it. :) I’m sure you’ll get it there one way or another!

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