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Thread Tinny, electronic, unnatural sound!

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1 Tinny, electronic, unnatural sound!
I’ve just finished a recording session with another musician. We’re both musicians and not sound recording engineers or computer whizzes. The sound quality of our recording was lousy.

Specifics: Both vocals and acoustic guitar sounded tinny, distorted, boxy, electronic – not natural and acoustic. We were unable to get the signal going into DAW (Sonar) strong enough without getting this tinny, distorted, electric sound.

We used a C1000 mic for the guitar and the SM58 for vocals. We ran these mics into the Mackie mixer (channels 1 and 2). Trim and gain for each was at 12 o’clock. Everything else was flat. The tape outs from the mixer ran to inputs 1 and 2 of the LX6’s breakout box. We set levels from there using the meters on the Sonar interface, trying to get as strong a level as possible without clipping.

Our Sonar input for both tracks was left ASIO Aardvark; the output was “master.”

When we heard how crappy the sound was, we fooled with the trim and gain controls on the mixer, and sometimes it sounded a little better, sometimes not. Every time we improved the tinny, boxy sound, our trim levels were so low that we didn’t get a strong signal. We switched microphones to see what that did, but no results.

Questions:

What is a basic troubleshooting checklist we should run down to isolate and solve this problem?

Could it be related to the way I’ve set up ins and outs to and from the mixer?

Could these be the wrong mics to use for recording?

What is the best way to set trim and gain levels, and what’s the difference between the 2 (layperson’s language, please.)?

Are there threads on aspects of this problem I should read?

Thanks a lot for any help. We’re eager to stop fussing with the basic technology and start making music.

Paul S.

My system:

Dell Pentium 4 (Dimension 4600) running at 3.06 GHz, with hyperthreading technology; 1 gig RAM; 120-gig HD; Windows XP Home 5.1

Sound Cards: Soundblaster Audigy 2 for Midi; Aardvark DirectPro LX6 for audio

Mackie Micro Series 1202 12-channel mic/line mixer; Sonar 3.1.1 SE; Tapco monitors

Mics: AKG C1000S condenser; Shure SM57; Shure SM 58; Shure Beta 57S supercardioid dynamic

I/O – mixer main outs to speakers; mixer tape outs to LX6 ins; LX6 outs to mixer line ins.
2
Do all your gain on the mackie not Sonar.

Check to see if the mics sound bad when you solo only one track. You could be having phase problemms between thhe two mics