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recording issue--distorting thru di, advice?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by ()smoke(), Sep 21, 2008.


  1. ()smoke()

    ()smoke()

    Feb 25, 2006
    Dallas
    a frustrating issue arose yesterday in the studio:

    we're getting distortion on the di signal (sounds like i'm overdriven something, not pleasant) with both an higher output and lower output bass, even with all preamp controls and volume turned virtually off

    the issue was weird in that i did scratch tracks with the drummer on friday through the same di box, and those tracks sound better--only difference i know of is a different cable run from the di since i was outside the control room with the drummer

    so, we switched di boxes, no change in distortion, replaced batteries in the roscoe, no change in distortion, turned all instrument controls almost off, still too much distortion, went from hotter roscoe output to much lower output jazz bass, still too much distortion

    i noticed the pad on the di boxes wasn't engaged, and the engineer said that my signal was too weak to use it, even with the roscoe, which i don't really understand..the engineer at first was saying that this is just how my basses really sound, because the di is direct in, that my basses just sound distorted...after realizing he'd captured a fairly accurate sound the day before, he said the problem was somewhere from his di boxes to the board, but hasn't yet determined what's going on

    i finally had to just setup my thunderfunk/accugroove cab and mic it for the last 2 tracks, with no di at all

    signal is going like this, from what i could observe, with my bass being my only personal gear:

    bass>di box>rack preamp>console


    is there something i need to do/be doing? my jazz has lower output than my passive p had, and it still distorts the signal to an unusable level, so i'm at a loss and beyond my technological understanding...

    any advice is greatly appreciated...the earlier tracks sound pretty nice, it's like the problem was intermittent, then constant
     
  2. Steve

    Steve

    Aug 10, 2001
    There you go. It's his problem to fix not yours.

    I hope you're not getting charged for the wasted time. Personnaly, I'd have an issue with that.
     
  3. ()smoke()

    ()smoke()

    Feb 25, 2006
    Dallas
    that's what i'm thinking, that it's on his end, but i just wanted to see if i was overlooking something

    fortunately, we have a really nice fixed rate for 6 songs and the engineer is flexible with the amount of hours he's putting into it in an effort to promote his services...hopefully he can resolve the issue tomorrow

    thanks for the input Steve
     
  4. Maybe his preamps are going out. Did you try to put the bass through a different channel on the board?

    Agreed that he should fix the problem, but alas I understand how that goes. I had to retrack all the bass on our last cd because of strange engineer communication issues.
     
  5. Might it be worth trying the the DI XLR outputs on the Thunderfunk? Pre and post EQ?

    Davo
     
  6. ()smoke()

    ()smoke()

    Feb 25, 2006
    Dallas
    :) you know, i tried to suggest this as a test, but the engineer said the TF di would be too noisy for studio use even if it worked and didn't want to try it...:meh:

    i wondered the same thing, but as far as i know he didn't try another channel though

    ...i'm going to ask politely to experiment a bit this evening to see if we can discover the problem and find a way around it...
     
  7. ()smoke()

    ()smoke()

    Feb 25, 2006
    Dallas
    :)

    just finished retracking all the bass tonite

    i plugged myself into the direct box (engaged the input pad and didn't say anything), started playing and wouldn't you know it, sounded like my roscoe

    engineer commented it sounded so much better, i agreed...he asked which part i wanted to fix and i said every song...he agreed...and away we went

    it was much more fun being able to hear notes instead of clipping:D
     
  8. ()smoke()

    ()smoke()

    Feb 25, 2006
    Dallas
    ...this being said, i definitely learned a few things from this experience. hopefully i can take that with me to the next session and continue to improve my sound...

    we experimented a bit with some eq for a few things here and there, and i'm curious as to how the final mix will sound...i'd have preferred to hear it a bit more clearly as i played it, but considering the difficulties we had, i think it's a good improvement

    i'm not going to be completely satisfied with my sound or performance on these tracks, but honestly, in this instance i think it might be a good thing since i'm hungry for the next chance:bassist:
     
  9. That experience is so helpful. Last year was the first serious recording session I had been a part of and I learned a lot too. I read in TapeOp that musicians really need to be able to come in to a studio with all their gear ready to plug and play, but that doesn't seem to be the reality. The engineer will have their own ideas and then there's how it all goes to tape. My engineer had an approach that was really hands off for me and I wish he had been more involved. Sounds like it was kind of the opposite for you. I guess it all just depends onthe personalities. For my cd on the first tracking session I had a DI mixed with a mic on a beautiful swr cab, it sounded amazing when tracking but during the mix there was no room for the heavy thumping sound of my flat wound strung pbass and a massive drummer presence. In the end I retracked everything with Nash jazz bass with round wounds going directly in to the board and it sounded great.

    You can hear the results at http://www.reverbnation.com/graydaisy
     
  10. After everyone was happy with the results, did you share your insight with the engineer? I think he may like to know what the fix was.
     
  11. ()smoke()

    ()smoke()

    Feb 25, 2006
    Dallas
    thanks for the link--i'll check it out tonite at home!:)
     
  12. ()smoke()

    ()smoke()

    Feb 25, 2006
    Dallas
    i didn't point out the input pad--before i could mention it, he decided the previous problems were due to my bass' onboard pre overheating from too much playing (even though my other bass sounded the same way), and i was more interested in getting some stuff down while the sound was better than discussing at the time

    ...but i will let him know when i go back to listen to mixdown, and hopefully he'll be appreciative:)
     
  13. Wow! does that happen? Do on-board preamps overheat from too much playing? That sounds like a serious liability in a bass.
     
  14. ()smoke()

    ()smoke()

    Feb 25, 2006
    Dallas
    i've never had it happen myself, and i'd honestly never even considered it could happen before he suggested it...so i'm not sure if it can happen, but i'm sure mine didn't/don't--if that makes sense:)
     

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