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Home vs. Studio

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by CultParadox, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. Hey everyone

    I was in studio for the first time the other day. I played my '95 Fender MIM Jazz (pickups wide open) with new D'Addario XL's through a Boss DI-1 into the board. When I heard the track, I (and everyone around) was astounded at how good the tone was! I had no idea my bass could sound that good.

    So I was in the music shop like two days ago, and I saw the Boss DI-1. I enquired innocently as to its price, and the saleperson gently reminded me that since I have a Roland DB-500, I have that exact DI box (obviously he means the technology) built into my amp. Brilliant!

    Now I'm messing around at home with N-track ( :spit: ) and my M-Audio Delta 1010LT, coming from the DI on my amp... and it sounds... well, let's just say it doesn't begin to compare to that tone I heard in studio.

    My big question is... why not? Why does it sound better in studio than at home?
  2. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    It could be the analog --> digital converters. The studio was probably using 192KHz converters and your M-Audio Delta 1010LT tops out at 96KHz with a normal operation of 48KHz.

    So, first off, try recording at 24/96 to see if that helps your sound.
  3. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    Everything sounds good in the studio. Once you get it home it never sounds the same. It's true with every recording. You have to remember your in a "sound safe" room at the studio. Built for good sound. More than likely the room your listening to your N-Track stuff isn't. There is also the converter thing also mentioned earlier. Not to mention compression and other little enhancers thrown in.
  4. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    And studio monitors - they probably have high end studio monitors and a sub system, tuned for the room. Also, if they have a good board with solid onboard preamps - or high end outboard pres - that would make a huge difference. They also may have hi-end compressors in the chain, etc. There's a lot to be said for all of that.
  5. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    The original poster said he used a DI so I figure the room's acoustics can be discounted in this specific case.
  6. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    I meant the playback room. :smug:
  7. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ

    OK, gotcha.
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Most likely everything in the signal chain in the studio is WAY better than what you have at home.

    Now you know why some guys don't bother using amps in the studio.
  9. Thanks for all the responses!

    The engineers were pretty novice, so I wasn't going through a compressor (unfortunately).

    Yes, they had - I think - Yamaha NS-10 (?) monitors there, which definitely beat my JVC hifi, and the control room was almost certainly a better listening environment than my room: my room has a big glass window opposite the speakers, has a very steep, sloped ceiling and has metal blinds :spit:

    I was recording at 48kHz at 24bits, so I'll try bump that up to 96kHz; maybe I'll go get another hard drive for this comp.

    I'll let you all know how it goes!
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    My bet is that you ran the bass through a very high end console. Most big buck studios have board that cost well over $100K, and that's what imparts that 'downtown sound' to big budget studio projects.

    It defitately wasn't the NS-10s :D
  11. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
  12. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    As stated above I would say that the signal chain in general is going to be better than at home. A big part that seems to have been over looked is the Pre-amp. He took a DI right? Thats meens he used a mic pre to get your bass up to line level. That is the single most important gain stage in the whole process and pre's make a huge difference. This is why when you used your DI at home it did not sound the same. Also shows why pre's can cost thousands per channel.

    Good monitoring and environment are big too ;)
  13. Artisan


    Apr 14, 2004
    The Roland DI into an 1010LT should give you fantastic tone. You don't need NASA quality electronics these days to have a great tone in home recording.

    In the studio, you had experienced folks adjusting sliders from instinct. They probably got the levels and EQ zeroed in in a hurry, so everything sounded great.

    At home, YOU have to do the zeroing in to get things just right.

    Furthermore 16 bit and 44 KHz is fine for recording, since that is what a commercial CD will be playing back at.

    Running much higher sampling rates and bit depth will only tax your home computer's resources to the point where you get break-up and distortion. Some times less is more.

  14. You speak much sense, Artisan.

    I have a feeling that it's my hifi that's letting me down.
  15. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    it's a pretty bad idea, imo, to run non-mastered music through a home hi-fi. not only will it not sound very good, it could very well ruin your speakers.

    studio monitors - even cheap ones like those ns10's - have more solidly constructed drivers, which will not choke on very low frequencies, like some home speakers will.
  16. Another vote for the Preamp. They can make a huge difference.

    - Andrew
  17. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Find me a commercially released CD that was recorded at 16/44.1

    Most recordings are done at considerably higher res and sampling rate (or analog) and are mastered as such then at the end of the process are down converted to 16 bit at 44.1. To say that recording at higher frequencies and resolution will give you break-up and distortion is a bit paranoid sounding to me. I have know idea what your computers spec's are but if you can do the higher res/sampling rate then go for it. If your compy can't handle it you will know right away. Do some experiments at higher res and such then nock it down to 44.1, 16bit It will sound better than if you just recorded recorded at the "CD quality" level to begin with. Though if this proves to be to complicated then by all means stick with what you know. People should not be afraid of "Hi-res" its not just for big studio's and such.