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Need help with soundcard/interface

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(@jeffster1)
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 231
Topic starter  

I've been looking online for awhile, but most articles seem to be pretty out of date. I'm using the stock soundcard on my PC for recording, which isn't working very well (I've got a decent sized pedal setup going into it including some a super high gain boss MT-2). It sounds muddy and buzzy even with no distortion on at all.

Two questions:

1) Could you name some good quality soundcards/interfaces for recording?

2) I've been told about impedence issues, would I benefit from hooking my amp's output to my pc instead of the pedals to the pc directly?

Thanks in advance,

Jeff


   
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(@kalle_in_sweden)
Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 779
 

I think that your major recording problem is that you are overdriving the input amplifier and analog/digital coverter of your soundcard, not the soundcard itself. Even the cheapest soundcard has a fairly good line input amplifier and at least a 16 bit/44.1 kHz analog/digital converter. This is normal CD quality and should be good enough for most home recording purposes.
But, the maximum input line level on a PC soundcard is much lower than the max output line level of professional sound equipment and guitar eguipment (as pedals etc).
I think that best thing you could do is to connect the amps line output or headphone out to soundcard line input.
Then set the amplifier to a clean guitar sound and play. Reduce the output level from amp until you get a good and clean sound when listen through the PC (use a pair of good headphones). You should get the same sound as listening through amp with headphone. Your ears will tell you when the soundcard inputs are overdriven but there is good free sw tools that can help to detect too high input levels into the soundcard, vumeter.exe http://www.robotplanet.dk/knef/vumeter/
/Kalle

Tanglewood TW28STE (Shadow P7 EQ) acoustic
Yamaha RGX 320FZ electric guitar/Egnater Tweaker 15 amp.
Yamaha RBX 270 bass/Laney DB 150 amp.
http://www.soundclick.com/kalleinsweden


   
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(@jeffster1)
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 231
Topic starter  

Wow thanks a lot for the help. I'm going to try that as soon as I get home.

Aside from doing this, I'm really lost on the type of soundcard/interface to get. I'd really like to be able to go from my pedals right into the PC without an amp, or am I just going about it the wrong way?


   
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(@jeffster1)
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 231
Topic starter  

Hmm, doesn't seem to affect it going through the amp and changing levels.

The "buzz" or muddyness is most noticeable when chords are played or even if two notes are audible at once. If this is an impedence issue, an audio interface should clear that up right? Or wrong?


   
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(@kalle_in_sweden)
Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 779
 

The "buzz" could be the overdrive distorsion sound from the soundcards input circuitry.
Try to reduce the output level from the pedal and listen to any changes in sound.

The the level control on most pedal just adjust the output level and don´t change the sound characterics of the pedal.
(the level control of a pedal is normally used to drive the input circuitry of guitar amp in more or less overdrived conditions and thereby change the sound of the amp).

Most pedals are designed to be loaded by a high ohmic (> 1 Mohm) preamplifier and the line input of a soundcard is in that impedance range, so there should not be any impedance mismatch problems.
/Kalle

Tanglewood TW28STE (Shadow P7 EQ) acoustic
Yamaha RGX 320FZ electric guitar/Egnater Tweaker 15 amp.
Yamaha RBX 270 bass/Laney DB 150 amp.
http://www.soundclick.com/kalleinsweden


   
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