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recording fidelity of lexicon alpha, lamda, and omega interfaces?

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  • recording fidelity of lexicon alpha, lamda, and omega interfaces?

    Say you're using a shure sm57 micing a speaker cabinet of your amp and the sound is recorded into DAW with the lexicon interface, is the quality of recording very good like as good as it u can get in professional studios? or is it not as good?

  • #2
    Given the quality of most interfaces today most have more then ample fidelity. Surely nothing in those units that going to prevent you from recording high quality recordings. The Alpha lacks phantom power so if you need top use a condenser mic you'll need a separate supply. You'll also want to look at the sample rates. Your better interfaces record up to 24/96 or better. Some of the low end USB interfaces only give you 24/44.1 That's still not bad for most situations.

    Its always better to start with a higher sample rate because you loose bits as part of the mixing process using plugins. Loosing bits at a higher sample rate isn't going to be noticed like it is at lower sample rates. This is also why you'd up-sample files to a higher bit rate when doing restoration work.

    If you want to get the best bang for the buck and make sure the units compatible with your computer. The preamp quality and the driver compatibility are important. Some headphone circuits aren't the best but you'd only use those for tracking. Mixing needs to be done on studio monitors which are a much bigger factor in getting quality mixes then the interface is.

    First and foremost it is - What - you are recording with a mic that determines quality. The old adage, garbage in garbage out is more important then the interface can ever be.

    The interface itself isn't going to bottleneck your sound. 99% of a good recording comes from the Performer compared to the gear. Its his mastery over the gear gained through experience and making it bend to the performers will that yields great tracks.

    Of course bad gear is bad gear. Unless the gear is from back in the 80's and 90's and obsolete its unlikely there aren't many truly bad units being sold. I have an Isis card from back in the 90's and it sounds just as good as anything being made today so even that doesn't hold true.

    If it sounds bad to the performer, chances are it will sound bad to everyone else, but you also have to see the flip side to that. A performer may think he has fantastic tone when he's playing but doesn't sound so hot to others. This is mainly because a guitarist feels his instrument just as much as he hears it. He feel the vibrations in the body and tailors his tone to how the instrument plays. Listeners don't feel any of that. All they hear is the end results.

    He may also lack the knowledge of how the sound changes during the mixing and mastering process and may not dial in tones that will survive those steps. Performing and recording was done by two different groups of people for good reason. It allows people to dedicating their talents to doing one thing very well. That still holds true today with all the inexpensive gear available.

    The odds of people being excellent in more then one trade is a whole lot lower then people think. All the positive thinking in the world isn't going to make you great at recording is you're trade is being a musician. It takes superhuman dedication and allot of hard work just to be good in one.

    This is where studios come into play. Many musicians are better off just putting all their effort into performing well and let someone else who has good gear, well trained in its use and dedicated to recording as a profession and has a proven t6rack record. Its surely better then trying to do two things well and winding up doing both half assed.



    Recording of course doesn't have to be for making the highest quality recordings however. I record all the time as part of my song writing process. I write music as I play and record it instead of writing it down. I do that too but no matter how descriptive that writing is it doesn't always capture the feeling of the music, so I simply record it instead. Out of all the music I record I may only take 10% and mix it to perfection.

    The others which number in the tens of thousands will never see the light of day, nor were they intended to. For one reason or another, they just don't have what it takes to ever become a great song. I do save the ones that have potential and often take parallel ideas and combine them and make a catchy song out of two or three duds.

    Sometimes it the performance, sometimes the tones I had tracking. Other times they simply miss the emotions I wanted or its groove just wasn't there. The songs may even feel good playing but when I hear them later, they need to have something there worth investing time and effort of mixing well.

    The problem is rarely if ever a fidelity problem, and the interface is one of the last things on the list that may impact the sound.

    I think the music itself and how its performed is a MUCH bigger reason why songs fail to be recorded well.

    I have hundreds of cassettes with music I recorded and even with their low frequency response below 10K and not much on the bottom end, the ones that had good catchy music, with a good groove, good lyrics and spot on performance still catch the ear and make you want to listen.

    Others recorded with top quality gear can have great fidelity but that doesn't make them any more appealing to the ears if its bad music poorly performed. You can polish a turd but it still stinks.

    The example I like using is you can give any of those interfaces to a great engineer and he'll make a hit record with them. On the other hand, if you were turned loose in a major recording studio with all top end gear made, chances are most people couldn't come close to what that engineer does with a budget interface. Why, because he has decades of experience which doesn't come with the purchase of gear. Its the use of the gear in uncounted situations, testing its limits, finding its faults that gives you that experience. .

    Experience is the one thing you cant purchase and its the thing you need most to get a great recording. People cant give it to you even if they wanted to. You can rent their experience or develop your own. The quickest way of doing that is going to a good studio, renting some time and observing what's people do to make that recording. Then you try and do the same. Quality gear surely has its merits but you only need the better gear when you outgrow mediocre gear.
    Last edited by WRGKMC; 10-03-2016, 02:28 PM.

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    • #3
      The most important piece of studio equipment is your ears.

      Now where can buy a better set of those for myself
      Neil "Hardwire" Speers - on SoundCloud

      Comment


      • mbengs1
        mbengs1 commented
        Editing a comment
        u just need to develop your ears so that it can discern good sounds from bad sounds
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