Need help with a school project: Guitar Recording

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Member Since: Dec 23, 2005

Hey, I'm doing a project for one of my computer science/music classes, and I chose to do the topic on the various ways in which to record your electric guitar onto your computer. I had some questions though that I don't know the specific reasons for, so would like some input if possible. I may have more questions that pop up as I continue writing my paper.

1. What exactly is the technical reason behind why the mic jack on a standard computer card sounds bad when used for recording?

2. If you take a microphone and go directly into your line-in, why is the signal so weak? Is it because the mic jack has a built in preamp, where as the line-in does not? What are the main differences between the mic and line jacks?

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Since: Dec 23, 2005

Nov 27, 2006 02:19 am

3. Generally, why is it best to have a mic (referring to an SM57) so close to the grill of an amp? Why does it sound so much better?

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Nov 27, 2006 09:53 pm

Well, question 1 is easy. The reason is that the pre amp circuit is usually junk or cheap electronics that are not meant for high end audio.

2 A mic into the line you answered yourself, no pre amp. The line in is meant for high Z like and instrument line or a line out from another audio device. It already has a hot signal and does not need a pre amp to boost the signal. Although plugging and electric guitar or bass in there is not going to give you much sound either.

Differences are are as stated above. Line in does not have a pre amp section were as the mic in does have a pre amp section.

Hold 'Em Czar
Since: Dec 30, 2004

Nov 28, 2006 07:56 am

and a SHITTY, noizy one at that! which is part of your first question.

as far as close micing a guitar cab goes, the biggest reason is you get less room if you're in a really good room that complements the sound, then by all means back the mic up....usually though, the room is 'less than perfect' it's easier to mic close (dry) and add verb or delay later....much like vocal tracks, because you can't get rid of the room once it's recorded.

then there's style, in hard rock it's damn near impossible not to hear a close miced cab, because ppl love the 'in-your-faceness' of that if you've got Steve Ray Vaugn playin' live for 500 ppl on a good stage in a good room, then it would be more approprate to get a bit of the room 'vibe' in the mix....heh keep in mind his amp is close miced then gooin' through the PA!

also there's the proximity effect....when you mic real close to the source (on a directional mic) you get a bass boost....and who dosn't like balls on a guitar?

close miked sounds would be anything on your modern rock radio station...

distance miced sounds were more popular in older rock, say for instance the drums and guitar in "white rabbit".....

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