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  1. #1
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    Can I borrow some ears for a moment? (Updated 02/23/19)

    I've finally added some speakers to my recording computer (it's been about 18 months). I'm also trying to get a bit more comfortable in Reaper. This is recorded direct from the Little Jazz (with a HOF Mini) with a bit of EQ and some fairly subtle effects from Reaper. Any thoughts? Is the noise level OK? Is the output level ok? Does it sound reasonably real? Too bright? Boomy? etc.

    Recording #1 02/10/19 (Direct from the line out on the Little Jazz)
    http://www.solowayguitars.com/Record...-1-Effects.mp3

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I'm going to be doing a lot of experimenting in the next couple weeks and if no one objects I'd like to post additional samples in this thread. I'll update the title line whenever I add one and I'll include some of the technical details with the link.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Recording #2 02/12/19 (Direct to the interface using the Convolution Amp Modeler in Reaper running the Marshall JTM 45 with Blackface Deluxe cab for both sides)

    http://www.solowayguitars.com/Record...DirectTest.mp3

    ++++++++++++++

    Recording #2 version 2 02/13/19 (Direct to the interface using but using the 3rd party Blue Cat Amp plug-in instead of the Reaper amp modeling. I'm not sure it sounds terribly different than the previous file with the Reaper amp model but it does offer way more user control with an interactive preamp interface)

    http://www.solowayguitars.com/Record...ectBlueCat.mp3

    And here's version 3 replacing the Reaper ReaVerb with the 3rd party Tal Reverb II. This may be a bit more obvious but I think it's pretty sweet (and free)

    http://www.solowayguitars.com/Record...BlueCatTal.mp3

    +++++++++++++++++

    Recording 2 Version 4 02/18/19 (Based on the nice results that FEP got on his effort with Amplitube, I downloaded the free version and gave it a try myself. I used the TAL reverb but not a lot. These plugin toys are a LOT of fun. Special thanks to FEP for the direction).

    http://www.solowayguitars.com/Record...Amplitube1.mp3

    +++++++++++++++++++

    Recording 3 Version 1 02/23/19 (More testing with Amplitude using a high pass filter to try to get id of the bass boom without trashing the rest of the track). The level is much lower on this one but I think that may be a good thing.

    http://www.solowayguitars.com/Record...loetteVerb.mp3

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Last edited by Jim Soloway; 02-23-2019 at 07:42 PM.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  2. #2
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    It sounds good to me and a lot better than my attempts. Boominess, levels and noise are what I am struggling with myself. I am using Audacity and direct out of my amp to a small Tascam recorder. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I am frustrated, but I give up easily and just play. I really want to get it together though so I can post and get feedback here.

  3. #3
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    Well my ears aren't the best, but I listened on speakers and headphones and it sounds pretty good to me. I would be happy if I could get a recording that nice with my rig.

    It's not too boomy or too bright, but it does sound scooped. So, not too much bass or treble, but maybe lacking a bit in mids? That might be intentional for clarity, though? It's quite clear as-is, which shows off that great fingerstyle. Mids might muddy it up.

    There's a little noise. More noticeable with headphones, but it's not bothersome.

  4. #4
    Lovely sound you got going on there.

  5. #5
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    Nice sound, Jim. Rich, well defined bass, clear in the mids and sparkle on the top end. No mud, no fuzziness or blurriness. "Does it sound reasonably real?" Well, there is clearly no speaker in the signal chain so if you mean "does it sounds like a guitar through an amp in a club," no. There's a much greater breadth to the signal than you would get with the limitations of a guitar speaker, especially on the upper end. If you mean "does it sound like Jim Soloway," then a big yup.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  6. #6
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    I listened with headphones, too. I echo morroben's comments about the mids. Perhaps a slight boost would fill it out more. And there is a bit of noise (not bad though) which I imagine is quite difficult to eliminate altogether. Has been for me anyway.

  7. #7
    Less bassy (slightly boomy) than your recordings in general, audible hiss but not taking away from the notes. A little less output could be better. Caveat: I have average ears.
    -----------------------------------

    "The instrument keeps me humble. Sometimes I pick it up and it seems to say, "No, you can't play today." I keep at it anyway, though." Jim Hall

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys. I've never been much of an engineer but at least now I can hear what I'm getting even if I don't really know what I'm doing. My playing definitely produced a scoop no matter what I do so I can try boosting the mids a bit. I have cut the bass a bit but I can definitely take out a bit more. If it ever gets quiet enough around here I can also do some testing with my mic but Mexico is noisy in the same way that Canada is cold.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway View Post
    I've finally added some speakers to my recording computer (it's been about 18 months). I'm also trying to get a bit more comfortable in Reaper. This is recorded direct from the Little Jazz (with a HOF Mini) with a bit of EQ and some fairly subtle effects from Reaper. Any thoughts? Is the noise level OK? Is the output level ok? Does it sound reasonably real? Too bright? Boomy? etc.

    http://www.solowayguitars.com/Record...-1-Effects.mp3
    Sounded good to me, referring to engineering and playing.

  10. #10
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    Jim,

    IMO, it sounds pretty darned good. It beats anything I've been able to get out of Reaper, to date. You play with a very even, light touch. It complements the setup of the guitar, which to my ear seems to have a set of .10-.42 strings, no?

    If I played your guitar it would sound not so good...I am too ham-fisted. However, your guitar responds gloriously to your touch. (It reminds me of Jim Hall. He played a setup that was too light for me, but it sounded for the ages in the master's hands.)

    Your tone sounds full and even. It isn't dark, but I am one of those guys who doesn't prefer the dark, smoky jazz tone.

    Nicely done.

  11. #11
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    Been busy all day, so just getting to this. It is a little boomy, not bad, but it's there. It could use some mid boost for me, but it's close to what you usually do. With decent headphones, there is some hiss. Not bad, but more than one would hear on a professionally-made recording. As an amateur recording, it's good. I don't know if it's possible to completely prevent noise without professional-quality equipment, perhaps it could be removed with filtering, but unless you're trying to make a recording to sell commercially, it's probably not worth worrying about.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone View Post
    Jim,

    IMO, it sounds pretty darned good. It beats anything I've been able to get out of Reaper, to date. You play with a very even, light touch. It complements the setup of the guitar, which to my ear seems to have a set of .10-.42 strings, no?

    If I played your guitar it would sound not so good...I am too ham-fisted. However, your guitar responds gloriously to your touch. (It reminds me of Jim Hall. He played a setup that was too light for me, but it sounded for the ages in the master's hands.)

    Your tone sounds full and even. It isn't dark, but I am one of those guys who doesn't prefer the dark, smoky jazz tone.

    Nicely done.
    10 to 48 but tuned down a minor third on a 25" scale length so it's incredibly loose.

    Thanks to all for the help. As a first effort with some sort of monitors for the first time in 18 months and with software that's new to me, I feel pretty good about this. There's lot's of things I can do reduce the noise level at the source without having to try to reduce it after the fact. As for the mid-range scoop, that seems to be a characteristic of my playing (understandable since the thumb is a heavier down stroke while the fingers are a lighter up stroke and it's often the bottom string combined with the top three or four strings.) but I can certainly adjust both at the amp and in the EQ in the DAW to flatten it a bit.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  13. #13

    Can I borrow some ears for a moment?

    Listening on good headphones the tone sounds fine to me, but I wouldn’t be satisfied with that level of hiss. I’m sure with a bit of detective work it could be brought down.

    Are you using the XLR out from the amp or the headphone out? I read that the headphone out on that amp has a high level of hiss.

    You might also try it with the reverb pedal out of the signal chain in case that’s the source of the hiss. Seems unlikely, but it’s easy to try.

    If your guitar’s volume knob isn’t set to the maximum, bringing it up should improve the signal to noise ratio. If that improves the S/N but you prefer the tone of your pickups with the volume knob down, you might need a low noise preamp (e.g., EQ pedal) between your guitar and the DV.

    I think the hiss is worth spending some time on. I think you can beat it down with a little effort.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway View Post
    10 to 48 but tuned down a minor third on a 25" scale length so it's incredibly loose.
    Really like the sound you get with the lowered tuning. It's incredible that you can drop a minor 3rd with such light strings and still make it work!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-ster View Post
    Really like the sound you get with the lowered tuning. It's incredible that you can drop a minor 3rd with such light strings and still make it work!
    Thanks. It is kind of hair trigger setup but it allows me to play lot of chord voicings that I wouldn't have the strength for with a more conventional tension level.

    For anyone interested, I've just added a second recording to the OP using a completely different method of recording.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  16. #16
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    The second recording sounds much better to me. The noise is gone, and the tone seems slightly darker, but without the boominess. It's not a dark tone, just not quite as bright as the previous recording. To me, it's a very good sound, I like it a lot.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    The second recording sounds much better to me. The noise is gone, and the tone seems slightly darker, but without the boominess. It's not a dark tone, just not quite as bright as the previous recording. To me, it's a very good sound, I like it a lot.
    Thanks. I'm hearing it pretty much the same way. It's a little odd so far using plug-ins in the recording process because I only hear the very dry direct sound while I'm recording and then the amp model gets added added after the fact. I don't know yet if I can get around that but I'm going to do some experimenting. It also opens up the possibility of a wide range of third party amp models that can be added for very little money (and some are free). I'm definitely feeling that this is the right direction.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  18. #18
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    I've now entered the world of third party plugins and I've posted another version of yesterday's file using the Blue Cat amp model and the Lam Reverb II. Both of these plugins are free.
    Last edited by Jim Soloway; 02-13-2019 at 06:18 PM.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  19. #19
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    Hi Jim,

    I liked track 1 the best, it has the most high end information/brightness/chimeyness.

    The other 3 tracks I'd be going to my eq to experiment with reducing the mids or low mids.

    I also liked the reverb on track 1. Track 2 and track 3 sounded dry, track 4 had a longer reverb tail that sounded a bit like an echo. The track 4 reverb is something that I think would work better in an ensemble format, but not so great for solo guitar imo.

    Track 1 also had the most noise, unfortunately. Not a deal breaker to me, just some high end (3 to 4K?) hiss. You could experiment with recording a bit hotter (that track wasn't recorded as hot as the others). Recording hotter might not make a difference with the noise level though but it's worth a shot.

    Are you using Reaper ReaVerb with impulse files. Reverb doesn't come with the impulse files but you can find some great ones for free. If you are interested, I'll send you the ones I found or if I can find the link again I'll send you those. I didn't like using ReaVerb until I found out about the impulse files, now it is all use for reverb on my recordings.

    Here's a reverb tutorial for reaper:

    REAPER | Videos
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    Hi Jim,

    I liked track 1 the best, it has the most high end information/brightness/chimeyness.

    The other 3 tracks I'd be going to my eq to experiment with reducing the mids or low mids.

    I also liked the reverb on track 1. Track 2 and track 3 sounded dry, track 4 had a longer reverb tail that sounded a bit like an echo. The track 4 reverb is something that I think would work better in an ensemble format, but not so great for solo guitar imo.

    Track 1 also had the most noise, unfortunately. Not a deal breaker to me, just some high end (3 to 4K?) hiss. You could experiment with recording a bit hotter (that track wasn't recorded as hot as the others). Recording hotter might not make a difference with the noise level though but it's worth a shot.

    Are you using Reaper ReaVerb with impulse files. Reverb doesn't come with the impulse files but you can find some great ones for free. If you are interested, I'll send you the ones I found or if I can find the link again I'll send you those. I didn't like using ReaVerb until I found out about the impulse files, now it is all use for reverb on my recordings.

    Here's a reverb tutorial for reaper:

    REAPER | Videos

    Thanks Frank. I'll keep working on it for a while. There has to be a way to get the tone to sound real but eliminate the noise and the plugin rout gives me a huge number of options o I should be able to get there.

    I'm really not much of an engineer but I'm patient enough and determined enough that I seem to get there eventually just by time combined by force of will.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  21. #21
    The third one is perfect to my ears
    -----------------------------------

    "The instrument keeps me humble. Sometimes I pick it up and it seems to say, "No, you can't play today." I keep at it anyway, though." Jim Hall

  22. #22
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    Hi Jim, (I tried to send this as a personal message but your inbox is full and won't receive messages)

    I was wondering if you could send me the dry direct track of what you recorded and posted recently. (Just turn of the fx button and render the track and post it on your site so I can download).

    I'd like to play around with it and share with you if I can come up with something worthy. Should be fun.

    Frank
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  23. #23
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    I still prefer two by a small margin, but three is closer to the Soloway sound. Both two and three are approaching commercial quality, and a preference for either is purely a matter of personal taste.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    Hi Jim, (I tried to send this as a personal message but your inbox is full and won't receive messages)

    I was wondering if you could send me the dry direct track of what you recorded and posted recently. (Just turn of the fx button and render the track and post it on your site so I can download).

    I'd like to play around with it and share with you if I can come up with something worthy. Should be fun.

    Frank

    Here you go. A single naked raw direct track with no effects or EQ. (And anyone who's interested is welcome to give it a go ... or just to listen to hear what the direct track sounds like with no added dressing)

    http://www.solowayguitars.com/Record...rectForFEP.wav
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    I still prefer two by a small margin, but three is closer to the Soloway sound. Both two and three are approaching commercial quality, and a preference for either is purely a matter of personal taste.
    When I like a track I usually like to go back in a day or two to see if I still feel that way so I listened this morning and I actually like both of those. I think I can get even closer but I do feel like I'm on a path that could work.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  26. #26
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    Thanks Jim,

    I took a stab at it: Box

    Amp sim was Amplitube American Tube Clean 1, Cabinet was 4x10 Open Vintage (Free from IK Multimedia)
    A little bit of eq with ReaEQ (comes with Reaper)
    Reverb (in a separate bus not that that matters, it's just the way I work) is ReaVerb (comes with Reaper) with Lexicon 480L small plate impulse file (impulse file free from the web)
    Attached Images Attached Images Can I borrow some ears for a moment? (Updated 02/23/19)-js-amp-png Can I borrow some ears for a moment? (Updated 02/23/19)-js-reverb-png Can I borrow some ears for a moment? (Updated 02/23/19)-js-eq-png Can I borrow some ears for a moment? (Updated 02/23/19)-js-cabinet-jpg 
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  27. #27
    i like #2 best
    how come you aren't micing an amp? i always like that best, but i only have logics amp modelers and the one in NI Komplete
    i think i may buy amplitube now, lol

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by patshep View Post
    i like #2 best
    how come you aren't micing an amp? i always like that best, but i only have logics amp modelers and the one in NI Komplete
    i think i may buy amplitube now, lol
    The short answer is that Mexico is noisy like Canada is cold Actually most of my recording over the last 10 years or so has been with a modeler. I don't know if it ever sounds as good as a mic in a studio but for home recording, when modeling works right it's a great solution.
    Last edited by Jim Soloway; 02-15-2019 at 03:38 PM.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    Thanks Jim,

    I took a stab at it: Box

    Amp sim was Amplitube American Tube Clean 1, Cabinet was 4x10 Open Vintage (Free from IK Multimedia)
    A little bit of eq with ReaEQ (comes with Reaper)
    Reverb (in a separate bus not that that matters, it's just the way I work) is ReaVerb (comes with Reaper) with Lexicon 480L small plate impulse file (impulse file free from the web)
    I think it sounds great (although you appear to love bottom end as much as I do ). I'm excited about the whole concept. Being able to do it in the DAW instead of an external modeler is a huge leap forward for me and allows for endless experimenting, tweaking, and refining. Bearing in mind that I just started really looking at this concept a few days ago, I think the process shows a lot of serious promise.

    BTW, doesn't this little guitar sound great? I've really love playing this thing.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  30. #30
    I'm in manhattan and with a dynamic mic and the windows closed i'm good, i never liked modeling too much, but you are getting a very nice sound so maybe i just haven't tried enough... but whenever i do, i like the mic'd sound better, especially since i bought a beyer m88
    i'm seriously looking into amplitube now, i really don't like native instruments guitar amp modelers
    of course your playing sounds great, so you don't need tons of help, lol

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway View Post
    I think it sounds great (although you appear to love bottom end as much as I do ). I'm excited about the whole concept. Being able to do it in the DAW instead of an external modeler is a huge leap forward for me and allows for endless experimenting, tweaking, and refining. Bearing in mind that I just started really looking at this concept a few days ago, I think the process shows a lot of serious promise.

    BTW, doesn't this little guitar sound great? I've really love playing this thing.
    I have a direct box and often record direct and through a mic'd amp to two different channels. Also, I always do that when recording bass.

    That guitar and your playing sounds great.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by patshep View Post
    I'm in manhattan and with a dynamic mic and the windows closed i'm good, i never liked modeling too much, but you are getting a very nice sound so maybe i just haven't tried enough... but whenever i do, i like the mic'd sound better, especially since i bought a beyer m88
    i'm seriously looking into amplitube now, i really don't like native instruments guitar amp modelers
    of course your playing sounds great, so you don't need tons of help, lol
    I downloaded the free version of amplitube and that is what I used for the above post. I think it's a marketing tease, fully functional amp sim but there are so many more amps and pedals and mics you can add for cash.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  33. #33
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    I'm listening on different headphones now and I'm getting some boom from the bass. It sounded fine through my nearfield studio monitors and my AKG K240 studio headphones. These dennon headphones have more bass hype. I know it would be even more bass through my bose noise-cancelling headphones that really hype the bass.

    If I were to do it again I'd cut some bass.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    I downloaded the free version of amplitube and that is what I used for the above post. I think it's a marketing tease, fully functional amp sim but there are so many more amps and pedals and mics you can add for cash.
    Thanks Frank. I've just loaded and installed Amplitube. This is getting exciting. All sorts of options, most of the easy to use and all of them free. I'm looking forward to some dedicated play time.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  35. #35
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    With some inspiration from FEP, I downloaded Amplitube and did some experimenting. I've added the results to the OP. I think this was not bad for a first try. Amazing the tools that are available for free.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  36. #36
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    Tat AmpliTube Erskin is pretty sweet
    Redeemed, Husband, Father, Veteran. Thankful for all four!

    Godin 5th Avenue, Córdoba GK Studio, and a Chibson Firebrand knock-off guitar with Vintage Vibes pickups; Kala uBass; L.R. Baggs DI Preamp, 1954 Magnatone Varsity, and Carvin MB12 amps, plus kazoos and harmonicas

  37. #37
    How does Amplitube compare to NI Komplete Guitar Rig, or the Amp Modeler in Logic?

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by patshep View Post
    How does Amplitube compare to NI Komplete Guitar Rig, or the Amp Modeler in Logic?
    No idea. Other than some unsuccessful dabbling this is really my first venture into this sort of thing.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  39. #39
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    Sounds real good Jim.

    When recording direct have you figured out how to monitor thru the amp sim while you are playing?

    You set the record monitoring to "on" on the Reaper track. Then on your i/o hardware device you should be able to adjust it so you are only hearing the output from the computer, on my interface the dial is called "mix" which if I turn it all the way clockwise I only hear the computer output. There may be some latency issues, I do okay as long as I don't have any reverb on. Depends on how powerful of a computer you are running.

    That last little icon on the second row is a three way toggle that sets 1) Record Monitoring off 2) Record Monitoring on and 3)record monitoring auto. See how the icon changes (with a mouse click) on the images below:
    Attached Images Attached Images Can I borrow some ears for a moment? (Updated 02/23/19)-record-monitoring-png Can I borrow some ears for a moment? (Updated 02/23/19)-record-monitoring-off-png 
    Last edited by fep; 02-19-2019 at 02:11 PM.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  40. #40
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    Just in case anyone is interested, a bit more on how I use amp sims with Reaper.

    I plug my guitar into a direct box.

    I plug a cable from the "thru output" of the direct box into my effects board, to my amp, to an sm57 mic, into input 1 of my interface and into my "Amp Guitar" track in Reaper.

    I plug an xlr cable into the direct box direct out and into input 2 of my interface and into my "Direct In Guitar" track in Reaper. On this track I use an amp sim.

    I monitor directly from my amp (I'm not using the Record Input Monitoring from Reaper).

    I now have two tracks in Reaper to pick from or even use both.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  41. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
    Posts
    4,509
    I've added another one using Amplitube. I'm working on contain the bass boom without trash the rest of the track.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  42. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Montpellier France
    Posts
    25

    How about the pickup ?

    Hi Jim
    Listening to the unfiltered file, there is an obvious gap in the rendering of mids (eg strings 2-4). Before spending a lot of energy in leveling up the recordings, could some adjustments be done on the guitar itself ? Your touch seems very balanced and sensitive, an experienced luthier could probably help. This is may be a naive and old fashioned way of tackling the problem but I would submit such a detail to a person of the art .

  43. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Montpellier France
    Posts
    25

    did not want to be rude

    Hi Jim,
    Don't take it bad, please !
    I have listened to your recordings and wrote what I consider a respectful contribution to the debate ...
    Please forgive my poor command of english if this post appeared unfriendly
    Best regards
    Fred

  44. #44
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
    Posts
    4,509
    Quote Originally Posted by Gobi34 View Post
    Hi Jim,
    Don't take it bad, please !
    I have listened to your recordings and wrote what I consider a respectful contribution to the debate ...
    Please forgive my poor command of english if this post appeared unfriendly
    Best regards
    Fred
    Not at all. I spent the day yesterday learning some new things and I feel like I'm continuing to make some progress. I'm happy to get any input I can on this process and I always apreciate that people care enough to offer their thoughts..
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

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