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Mind Riot

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  1. As Phil mentioned, I was going to chime in too and say that once you've got your mics set up make sure they're only sending signal to the DAW track. Mute the mic channels in your monitoring setup, even if you're just using headphones, for when you're actually running the amp and recording it. I got some squonky behavior if I didn't just mute everything that didn't need to be on when I was doing this. Reamping is a bit of an odd process, with a lot of loops going on, so if you're getting any kind of weirdness I'd just make sure nothing is sending signal anywhere that doesn't have to be.
  2. Excellent information here, all of it. Though I'm not actually having any problem with the tracks recorded through the Line 6 interface anymore. The Radial handles them just fine, so I'm good to go. Thanks for all your contributions.
  3. That's what I get for trying to save a buck or two.
  4. Well, I got the Radial in and I've been doing a bunch of tests with it and the dbx and pre to see how things stack up. Got some interesting results. I recorded some raw tracks using the dbx as my DI. When I did so, I recorded the DI signal and the miced signal from the amp at the same time so I could compare it's sound with the reamped sound. I was able to get very close to the original miced sound of me actually playing from reamping, both with the dbx and the Radial. In fact, they were indistinguishable from one another, though both were very slightly duller than the miced recording of me actually playing. (This is all done all in one session, same room, mics locked down, etc.) Now, me using the dbx produces a pretty hot signal for the DI. It has a gain control on the input but even all the way down it's almost peaking in the DAW, but not quite. As I said, this signal works very well for reamping with either the dbx or the Radial. But the main concern is all the old tracks I've got to work with, which were recorded through the Line 6 interface, and are not nearly as hot a signal. And, oddly enough, they seem to be more dynamic, with peaks only a few db below full scale and patches of relatively low loudness. The reason this is a concern is that the dbx setup does not do very well with handling this at all, which was why I started this thread. After all these tests, I now know that a louder track makes for dramatically better results from the dbx, but the dynamic range of them makes it so that I can't just increase the gain on the .wav without clipping. Just increasing the track's output or the interface's output introduces more noise and what sounds like some clipping to me, but I can't be sure on that. So in order to make it work with the dbx, I'd have to be cutting up all these tracks and increasing their gain variably to try to make it hit the dbx's sweet spot. Lotta work. But, as I suspected, this is where the Radial shines. It handles the lower output DI tracks just fine and still punches the input of the amp hard; in fact I had to back off the volume even though it's a passive device. So it looks like my instincts were right, the passive box is more forgiving of variations in signal strength, which is actually what Radial says on their website, a fact I recently discovered. So I guess I'll be keeping the Radial, but I wish I had just gotten it in the first place. Live and learn. Thanks for everybody's input, I appreciate it. TL;DR version: dbx has narrow sweet spot, Radial do gooder with all kind 'o' signal.
  5. A Steinberg UR44. The raw guitar track is routed directly to one of the balanced aux line outs on the UR44, which then goes to a little Rolls hum elimination box that also converts it from balanced to unbalanced, then into the line input on the dbx, out the low level output to the amp. Well, actually to a pedal first, but you know. No, I'm not sending an affected track out to an amp, silly. I try to be very nice and modest in how I interact on the forums so as to grease the social wheels, but that doesn't mean I'm totally clueless. We're not talking about a completely horrific sound here, where it's like literally unusable because I'm doing something so radically wrong that it's a miracle I haven't burned my house down yet. Everything's technically working as it should, it's just that the sound going into the amp is not driving it like it's driven when I play through it, and it sounds weak and uninspiring. The most successful thing I've done so far actually, is running a clean preamp in between the dbx and the amp to kick it up some. I tried that yesterday, and it sounded better, but still rather flat. My understanding is that there's inherent tonal differences between passive and active reamping devices, and that passive ones may react more naturally to changes in dynamics because of the behavior of transformers versus buffers and amps, yada yada. I don't know that much about them, and I've usually got to have some substantial incentive to really dive into the tech end of a particular field of gear, like being able to repair them will save me money, or building them is better than buying them, etc. So I certainly don't know enough to speak with any kind of authority on it. But in any case, I broke down and ordered a Radial ProRMP, which is passive, so once I test it out I'll see if it performs like I hope it will or if there really are just inherent limitations to reamping that I've got to get used to working around. I'll report back with results. Thanks again for your input.
  6. Thanks very much for your reply. It's a Noise Reducer slash DI slash reamper, according to it's manual. It's got instrument input with variable gain (0-+20db), line input and output, and instrument level output, and can be used in any configuration using those ins and outs. The front bypass switch cuts the noise reduction without affecting any of the rest of the functions. Again, according to it's manual, it's designed to serve all these specific purposes, I'm not kludging it into working this way. And everything seems to work as advertised, technically speaking, it's just that the reamped signal is quite uninspiring. The tracks were recorded a while back through a Line 6 Studio GX interface, so they were recorded direct but not through a DI box. Is there some difference that makes them not reamp-able in that case? The reason I'm doing this is because I have several songs where all the guitar tracks have been recorded, and I had been planning to use software for the guitar tones. But since then I acquired a lovely tube amp, and have dialed both it and my mic setup in to where I think I might prefer to have it as my main rhythm sound on the songs instead. I don't want to retrack all the guitars on an album's worth of songs just to get my tube amp's sound on there. This is precisely the kind of situation reamping is for, and while I didn't anticipate getting a tube amp I did track everything dry on purpose so I could decide later on the final tone. So I guess I now just have two questions: 1) What's the tonal difference between a passive reamp box and an active one? Because I'm using active and I'm not getting what I'm after. 2) Are dry tracks recorded through a Line 6 Studio GX unsuitable for reamping, and if so, why? Thank you very much for your input.
  7. I've got some raw guitar tracks down that I wanted to run through my amp, but I hadn't really messed with reamping before so I didn't have a box for it, not even a DI box. I picked up an old dbx 563x on ebay cheap, which seemed like it would be a flexible tool for this kind of thing. It's a tape noise reducer/DI/reamp, with a bunch of ins and outs. Of course, I'm running it with the noise reduction on bypass, but everything else still works and should be unaffected, according to the signal flow diagram in the manual. So I've got signal going to my amp and all, not noisy, I've got a ground lift box inline, but it's just really wimpy, flat, and lifeless. I've recorded myself actually playing through the amp with identical settings and mic setup to compare, and it's nowhere close. I've done all kinds of things to try to punch it up: boost the level of the .wav file, boost it on the way out of the interface with the mixing software, run it unbalanced out of the interface (balanced is default), run it through the instrument input on the dbx so I can use it's 20db of gain boost, and all kinds of different settings on the amp and pedal and it's just blehhhh. I plug my guitar back in, and BLUDDOW SQUIDONK SQUEEOW CHUGGA CHUGGA SQUEEEEE!!! Like it should be. So here's my question. Is there just an inherent compromise to your guitar sound that everybody lives with when you reamp, and I'm just finding out about it now? Or should I be using something else to do this? Is there some reason an active box like the dbx wouldn't work? Or is there something else I'm missing? Thanks for any help.
  8. Thank you both for your contributions. I've decided to hold on to the Steinberg for the time being, and probably will for a good while unless something goes wrong. Everything installed easily and it's worked perfectly from day one; it's really quite a lovely piece of gear.
  9. Thank you for your input, Phil. The Steinberg also has onboard DSP actually, which only serves to bring them more neck and neck with each other. The Steinberg has two more preamps with phantom power on two of it's inputs, but does lack ADAT functionality. However, it's unlikely I'll need more inputs than it already has. Boy, they really are very similar. Maybe I'll just sell the Firewire card.
  10. Hello there gentlemen, and ladies, if there be any. My long-faithful interface recently gave up the ghost and I've found myself in need of a new one. In actuality, I have already purchased the Steinberg UR44 and currently have it in my possession, and it is so far working quite well. However, I am still within the return period on it and have an opportunity to pick up a TC Electronic Impact Twin at the same price, actually slightly less, so if I choose to I can end up with it instead. Why would I care if the Steinberg is working fine, you ask? Just a couple small reasons. For one, I've tried a few different interfaces and the Steinberg wasn't my first choice (though it is a lovely device so far). Some of these were Firewire interfaces, while the Steinberg is USB. So along the way I did invest in a nice, quality SIIG Firewire card with an audio use approved TI chipset, and it would be nice to get some use out of that, just on principle. I'm sure you understand. Otherwise, the Impact Twin generally has a reputation for being, shall I say, a cut above many of the $300 and below devices on the market when it comes to preamps and converters. Of course, from what I can glean through some Googling, the Steinberg is no slouch and is armed with Yamaha's D-Pres and the same converters as some of their higher end devices. Both the Steinberg and the Impact Twin fill my needs as far as inputs and outputs, MIDI, all that sort of thing. I'm basically just asking if there's any compelling reason when it comes to pres or converters (or perhaps included plugs) to choose the Impact Twin over the Steiny, because I'm at a point where I can do so at pretty much no cost and I've already got a compatible Firewire card. Thank you all in advance for any insight you might be able to give.
  11. While that may be true, unfortunately I can't use you as a source unless you're being compensated for saying that somewhere in a publication.
  12. Indeed, it's only after some time casting about and coming up empty that I thought to ask here. I'm fairly confident I can find examples for impulse responses, amp modeling, and orchestral samples, but I think most people would sooner die than admit needing audio quantization.
  13. I've run across Sound On Sound, but Mix and Electronic Musician hadn't struck me. It's been a while since I've had any real world magazine subscriptions. Any other online counterparts of periodicals I should look at? Thank you gentlemen for the recommendations, unless UstadKhanAli is a lady, in which case please forgive me madam.
  14. Good evening, gentlemen and any ladies who may be present. I'm in the middle of a writing project explaining some recent music technology in lay terms, and I need to find some examples of the usage of such technology on specific songs or albums from reliable journalistic type sources to cite for reference. Things like impulse responses as opposed to either mechanical or digital reverb, as well as their use for guitar cabinets or other things, amp modeling, polyphonic editing such as is employed in Melodyne Editor, audio quantization and time stretching as opposed to MIDI, and film soundtracks done with sample libraries instead of live orchestras. I know the use of some of these things is near ubiquitous and some may be more targeted toward the consumer/prosumer market, but I'm having a heck of a time finding any examples to point to for the reader. I don't really have any subscriptions to music mags, or perhaps this would all be jarringly obvious to me, but if any of you have any links you could share where a producer, artist, engineer or even a product website states that a particular one of these technologies was used on a specific release, and that sources is NOT a blog, forum, or wiki, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you all kindly in advance for any help you may be able to give.
  15. I agree, that particular file doesn't seem like a very good design for a number of reasons. In addition to all the points you made, it's design is self defeating in one key respect: like you said, it cuts in one spot and wears down quickly there, but the cutting surface is flat so it basically sands the side of the fret down to create a beveled surface rather than a rounded one. This is fine if that's what you want to do as a luthier, albeit an unusual choice as it removes so much material, but the shape of the file locks you into that choice since it rests on the fretboard the way it does. The whole point of using special rounded files on frets is to use the shape of that cutting surface to help shape the frets. And the whole point of using flat surface files on frets is to give a skilled user the ability to carefully shape the fret how he wishes, since the flat surface guarantees a smaller point of contact and he can come at it from any angle he wishes. But that file seems to eliminate the advantages and impose the limitations of both types at the same time. Don't think it'll be winning any design awards anytime soon.
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