Help with recording

I needed help with my guitar recording. Everytime i try and record in straight to n it sounds tinny and i can’t figure out how to fix it. i usually try and play one of these ways. Through my pedal (zoom 606) to the computer, or My pedal through a amp. it comes out sounding tinny and bad and i can’t figure out how to make it sound clearer. sometimes it sounds like it’s underwater or in another room. if any one knows how to set it up it would be a huge help. Thanks.


Are you going into the line in or mic input of your soundcard?

If you are pluggin your zoom or the amp straight into the PC they will be line level signals and goinginto the mic input will sound bad (the mic input of an onboard soundcard will probably not sound too good regardless of what you plug into it…)

Plug into you line in socket if you have one.

Also not sure what you mean by sounding “tinny” so maybe if you posted a short sample someone may be able to suggest some things to try and change it.


Are you getting the loudest (without clipping) input level (N-tracks inputs meter showing you how loud , no red peaks) ????

If not, this also can give you the sound you are getting.

I’m not peaking. my guitar sound is going through my line in. i hace a sound blaster audigy 2 zs sound. and i’m recording all my instruments through the same line in. i don’t know how to post up a sample of it. but i was wondering what you all use for your guitars sounds. the only thing i’m having aproblem with recording is the distorted guitar i’m playing in a pop punk band and i want a good distortion sound on my recording. so if there are any programs you use or if you can teel me how you set up your guitar it could be a good guideline for me. Thanks again.

If your levels are Ok, but it’s sounding “tinny”, that sounds like an impedance matching problem. (Which may mean that all frequencies are not passed equally).

However, if you’re going through a Zoom pedal, then it should be impedance matched, and should present the correct line o/p level to the sound card.

Or, it could be “one-legged”, i.e., a bad ground connection.

So, dunno. ???

Anyway, these days I always record clean, and use NI Guitar Rig to add fx later.

And if you need to hear a “grungy” guitar while playing, then, as long as your PC latency is low, you can still record clean and listen dirty.

If not, split your guitar o/p before the soundcard, and record the clean channel, and monitor (and record) the dirty channel at the same time. :)

Adding distortion and other fx is easy; taking it away, is a lot, lot harder. :D


Tank, do you really use Guitar Rig?


Tank, do you really use Guitar Rig?

Yes I do Tom. I obtained it at a very good price during my recent trip to the USA, and those very nice people in Las Vegas paid for it. :)

I remember posting about it at the time, and I’ve also posted a clip on here of it, (in response to Bubba’s claim that Strats were useless for heavy metal). :D


What do mean by preamp? is that something i have on my computer? Cause i do what you wrote i just don’t use a preamp. i’m trying to get my distortion to not sound like it’s recording through a wall.Also i’m working on recording vocals if anyone could help me with setting that up too it would be a big help. Thank you,

How are you monitoring the sound of the guitar? The recording should sound virtually identical to the monitored sound unless there is something funky in either the record or monitor paths.

Preamp = one of those things in your mixer that you use to get the signal from the mic up enough to be usable. When you record with your amp, how do you do it precisely? Tell us the mic and mixer and everything in your signal chain. 'Cause it might be that you are just experiencing that weird “it-sounds-good-to-me-in-the-room-when-I-play-but-the-recorded-sound-sucks” thing which we all have and do experience on a regular basis. If that’s all it is then it’s a matter of mic placement, setting the tone on the amp properly, compression, and that sort of thing.

i’m montitoring the sound through my computer spreakers(also my stero cause it’s hooked into my computer). it is kinda that it sounds good in the room but sucky in the recording. How do you all set up your guitars for recording? and how exactly can i post a sample of the sound i am getting on here fo you all to hear so you can help me more?

Also i posted the wrong equipment i’m using a zoom 505 ll guitar pedal, epiphone flamekat guitar, a fender princeton 65 amp, a shure 8800 mic and of course ntrack. Someone told me i could just plug the pedal in and work on the sound from there. but i’m not great with this stuff yet.

ok, am i getting this much right?

you are plugging your guitar into the pedal, pedal into amp, then put the shure mic in front of the amp. now, where are you plugging that mic into???

this is typically where the preamp comes in (a mixer is a preamp if you have one). you plug the mic into a preamp, which lets you get a good level, then plug the preamp into the LINE IN of your sound card. if this hasn’t been said before… do NOT use the MIC IN on your sound card if it has one.

the other way to do this is to plug the pedal directly into the preamp or the sound card and cut out the amp entirely.

explain your whole signal chain a bit better :)

Sorry my chain is…
Guitar>Pedal>amp>mic>computer or

I don’t know what a pre amp is is it gonna solve the problem i’m having? My guitar just doesn’t sound like a good recording at all. i’m gonna post up a sample soome so you can all hear what it sounds like.And i’m plugin into the line in on my computer not the mic slot .i brought a sound blaster audigy 2 zs just for the fact that it has like 8 different places to plug in. But i just use the line in on the front.


What kind of mic is it? Which input on the soundcard? A mic into the line input is going to be less than optimal at best. What kind of plug is on the mic? Are you using any adapters? There’s lots of room for funkyness in that small part of the chain.

The pedal into the line input should work fine, but you get the exact sound of what is coming out of the pedal, whatever that isa. That’s not necessarly bad, but if it doesn’t sound like what you want it to sound like then something needs to be done to fix that, either before recording ar at mixdown.

yeah post something so we can hear if you want, you can use the mixdown window in n-track to generate an mp3. chances are it’s just going to take a bit of practice and experience to get the sound you want, but we should make sure you’re hooking everything up correctly first.

i took a look at the manual for the zoom 505 ii. this particular effects unit uses something called “amp modeling”…which basically simulates the tone you get when putting a guitar effect through an amplifier and speaker. so try this… patch your zoom pedal DIRECT into the LINE IN of your sound card, and turn the AMP simulator setting ON (change the ZNR/AMP value to A1)… this might help you get a tone more like what you hear out of your real amp…

something to try anyways.

If you’re going “direct in” to your PC, (not using a preamp) and your guitar has passive pickups it will ALWAYS sound tinny or muffled… depending on the instrument… Get a nice amp modeler they’re pretty cheap…

Hope it helps!