#1 Edited by ztiworoh (731 posts) -

So, I've been getting back into music, building up my confidence in my playing and singing, and playing around with recording myself. I've posted a few of my songs on here over the past few weeks with some great feedback from the community.

I'm back with another, a cover of a song by Sixto Rodriguez, who is featured in the amazing documentary "Searching for Sugarman"

So take a listen and let me know what you think:

https://soundcloud.com/nick-horowitz/cause

#2 Edited by Pr1mus (3872 posts) -

I can be pretty quick to dismiss whatever i don't care for but i opened the link in another tab, clicked play, continue about my business on the forum while listening and let it play all the way to the end and i did not hate it.

I'm not a music critic so this is the extent of the feedback i can provide.

#3 Posted by bassman2112 (834 posts) -

Hello again haha, glad to see you're continuing on =) Overall, it's good! The quality is better than the last one, and thankfully you're still doing well with performance. My only real critique is that the vocals sound a little distorted (did you bump the gain up a bunch?)

#4 Posted by ztiworoh (731 posts) -

@bassman2112: I think the distortion might be having the recording level on the mic up too high? I also had some issues getting some fret buzz/extra bass on barre chords, which I wasn't hearing when I played them live. Not quite sure really, but there are some rough spots that I definitely would like to even out.

#5 Edited by bassman2112 (834 posts) -

@ztiworoh: That is possible! I'm not sure what kind of system you are using, but there will be at least two stages of "gain." The first will be how much your interface (or mixing board, or whatever you're using) is taking directly off the mic which is called "pre-gain." After that, it goes through your various filters and such, and then there is your "post-gain," the one more commonly shown as being a fader/slider. Distortion is usually caused when the pre-gain (not the fader/slider) is set too high. A common reason this happens is because you are monitoring at a fairly low level, so you turn up your gain to hear yourself better. It is much better to turn up your headphone volume rather than try to compensate with gain.

As for the low noises, mics pick up every frequency that comes at them, so it's possible that you weren't even noticing the little noises you make. I'm not sure if you're still using Garage Band, but if there are effects (I can't remember, I haven't used garage band in a long time) look for an EQ. There should be something in the EQ called either a "High Pass" or a "Low Cut" (same thing). Slide that around until the low stuff disappears, but try not to affect the frequencies that are being produced by the guitar =)

I'd be happy to show you how it works if you'd ever like!

#6 Posted by ztiworoh (731 posts) -

@bassman2112: Thanks - I'll take a look tonight and see what's up with that. My eventual idea with this is to get at least one more mic and move my setup into my basement where I'll have more room. I'm currently recording in a spare bedroom that's more than a bit cramped (I'll admit, it looks more like Jeff's hoarder house than I'm comfortable with).

At the moment I'm using a simple USB mic, but I figure I should actually get a mixer and some legit mics if I want to continue down this path at some point.

#7 Posted by Sinusoidal (1417 posts) -

Yeah, using a crappy USB mic, it doesn't matter what you do with the gains, it's going to sound like crap. Pick yourself up a USB condenser mic. I've got a Blue Yeti and the sound quality is awesome for a $150 mic. I hear the USB Audio Technica AT2020 is also quite good and a bit cheaper.