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View Full Version : recording with a DVforge Guitarplug, the computers line in, and midi




djake
Aug 3, 2005, 01:37 PM
So me and 3 other musicians are trying to record a little album, I bought a Guitarplug from DVForge awhile ago and was planning to use that to the EQ out on my bass amp, have the piano player use a midi uno, and have the drums (miced with 6 mics into a mixing board) go into the macs line in. Im on a new powerbook 15". However once we recorded a track there was a problem, the line in was lagging, or the other two were. The midi device and the guitarplug are syncing up fine but the drums are not. Could it be a memory issue? I only got 512 right now (getting another gig in a few weeks)

Any suggestions?

thanks in advance



Yebot
Aug 3, 2005, 02:40 PM
So you've got the bass going into one usb plug, the keys are sending midi signals through the other usb plug, then you have the analog line-in accepting the mixed drums. yes?

If you can deal with the laggin drums until after you've tracked, is it possible to 'nudge' the drum tracks over a bit to gel with the piano and bass? What software are you using to record?

Your setup is dying for a breakout box -> Try Presonus Firebox, or M-Audio 410.

faintember
Aug 3, 2005, 05:28 PM
djake, you have a LOT going on.

The best way, like yebot said is to look at buying a breakout box.

The reason is this. Both the piano (midi) and the Guitar are both having their signals (info) transferred via usb, whereas the drums are coming in via a line in, hince the piano and guitar are on the same page, and drums seem not to sync.

Before buying a breakout box try this: run everything through the mixer if you have enough channels (note just run audio out from the piano, and forget the midi unless you need it). This is a really dirty way of doing things, and will not give you much freedom to mix later on.

Buying a breakout box will allow you to record each inst. on a different track, which will give you a lot more flexibility when it comes to mixing, as well as give you much better quality than using the line in. Whenever using usb latency can be an issue, and thus cause a problem with things not syncing, so i would suggest buying a breakout box that transfers audio/data via firewire, that way audio and midi could all be transferred at the same time.

hope this helps..

-cameron

djake
Aug 4, 2005, 12:01 AM
I'm only using garageband. Nudging the drums just doesn't seem to be practicle, I mean youd have to be so exact. Buying a breakout box is the obvious solution, but its also the most pricey. With what I have right now I can record 3 instruments at once, and be able to mix everything accordingly, I have to think there has to be a way to slow down whatever tracks to make everything line up... right?

Putting everything into the mixing board works, but then you loose the capability to mix afterwards which is basicly the whole point of this.

any one have any ideas sans a break out box?

faintember
Aug 4, 2005, 01:36 AM
I have to think there has to be a way to slow down whatever tracks to make everything line up... right?
Well you can try to change your latency for the MIDI (should be able to do this through whatever software you are using, and some MIDI interfaces can do this as well), and you may be able to change the latency for the DVforge as well, but i have had no experience with this. Although it is worth a shot, it is a long one.
any one have any ideas sans a break out box?
You asked for any idea, so here one goes. Record the drums first, then playback the drums and record the guitar and keyboard to what the performers are hearing. If you record the drums with a click track, this should work fairly well, but i know that this defeats the purpose of the group recording together.

If all else fails, record the drums first, then record the keys, then record the guitar. If you go this route, i would recommend to run all of the audio through the mixer, just one instrument at a time. That way there would not be a notable difference b/t the drums (recorded via mixer, then line in) and the keys/guitar (recorded via usb). This may be your overall, best bet, as usb transfer speeds will fluctuate depending on processor load. This is the reason why most people prefer to record audio onto a computer via firewire, spdif, or lightpipe.

That said, if you want the cheapest breakout box, look at the M-Audio Firewire Audiophile (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AudiophileFW/). It has MIDI i/o, two analog inputs (rca), and four outputs (also rca). At $199, it is the cheapest "right" way to do it. So for instance with this box run the keys via MIDI, the drum mix via one rca, and the line from the guitar into the other rca.

Back to your original post my Ti PB 1Ghz, with 512mb ram handles everything i throw at it, so i would not think that it is a ram issue, although the more ram the better (i think i am finally going to break down and upgrade to 768mb, ram is still too expensive for my tastes.)

-cameron

djake
Aug 4, 2005, 12:11 PM
Well you can try to change your latency for the MIDI (should be able to do this through whatever software you are using, and some MIDI interfaces can do this as well), and you may be able to change the latency for the DVforge as well, but i have had no experience with this. Although it is worth a shot, it is a long one.

You asked for any idea, so here one goes. Record the drums first, then playback the drums and record the guitar and keyboard to what the performers are hearing. If you record the drums with a click track, this should work fairly well, but i know that this defeats the purpose of the group recording together.

If all else fails, record the drums first, then record the keys, then record the guitar. If you go this route, i would recommend to run all of the audio through the mixer, just one instrument at a time. That way there would not be a notable difference b/t the drums (recorded via mixer, then line in) and the keys/guitar (recorded via usb). This may be your overall, best bet, as usb transfer speeds will fluctuate depending on processor load. This is the reason why most people prefer to record audio onto a computer via firewire, spdif, or lightpipe.

That said, if you want the cheapest breakout box, look at the M-Audio Firewire Audiophile (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AudiophileFW/). It has MIDI i/o, two analog inputs (rca), and four outputs (also rca). At $199, it is the cheapest "right" way to do it. So for instance with this box run the keys via MIDI, the drum mix via one rca, and the line from the guitar into the other rca.

Back to your original post my Ti PB 1Ghz, with 512mb ram handles everything i throw at it, so i would not think that it is a ram issue, although the more ram the better (i think i am finally going to break down and upgrade to 768mb, ram is still too expensive for my tastes.)

-cameron
I was deffinitly considering plugging the guitarplug into the mixing board, and just have the drummer and the pianist record there tracks and then I could easily dub my tracks over them, but heres a new problem the guitarplug is mono. Sure I could record the drums mono I guess, but don't you guys think thatd sound alil bare? Does anyone know if you can use 2 guitarplugs at the same time? Buying one guitarplug would be cheaper than buying a breakout box, and would solve everything... right?

faintember
Aug 4, 2005, 12:35 PM
Does anyone know if you can use 2 guitarplugs at the same time? Buying one guitarplug would be cheaper than buying a breakout box, and would solve everything... right?
2 of those at once? When i looked it up on the internet (btw, the first time i had seen such as the guitarplug) it looks like it is what it is, and thats it. So basically no, you prob can not use 2 at the same time.

However you could just record the guitar track mono on lets say track 1, then copy the audio onto track 2, then pan track 1 hard left and track 2 hard right, and BAM!, ghetto stereo.

The guitarplug is a great idea for just getting an guitar into a computer, but thats it; it is meant for solo work. You want to do multi-tracking and that is a totally different set of issues.

djake
Aug 4, 2005, 01:19 PM
2 of those at once? When i looked it up on the internet (btw, the first time i had seen such as the guitarplug) it looks like it is what it is, and thats it. So basically no, you prob can not use 2 at the same time.

However you could just record the guitar track mono on lets say track 1, then copy the audio onto track 2, then pan track 1 hard left and track 2 hard right, and BAM!, ghetto stereo.

The guitarplug is a great idea for just getting an guitar into a computer, but thats it; it is meant for solo work. You want to do multi-tracking and that is a totally different set of issues.
Its a shame you cant use the line in and usb devices to record in garageband, if apple is gona make it so you can use all 3 at once they shoulda thunk to make it so none of them would lag, but w/e I wont complain. I think my best bet short of buying a breakout box would be to just record the piano and drums together and have the drums be mono... anyone have any suggestions for the drums to keep them from sounding plain in the world of mono? I have the drums miced by 6 mics into just into your standard mixing board.

faintember
Aug 4, 2005, 08:29 PM
Its a shame you cant use the line in and usb devices to record in garageband, if apple is gona make it so you can use all 3 at once they shoulda thunk to make it so none of them would lag, but w/e I wont complain.
Well thats not really how the line in and usb audio devices are typically used. Anyways, processor speed and ram/hard drive speed have more to do with it than anything. I bet if you were using a PM G5, with 1 gig of ram and a 7200 rpm hard drive that it would not be that big of a deal.

Face it, you paid for a PB so you could be mobile, therefore you have to sacrifice some features. Your situation is like buying a Kia, and expecting to be able to put a V8 into it. It may work, but it is gonna cost ya. :P (sorry for the bad, bad analogy)

Anyways, if you were getting stereo input from the drums running through your mixer earlier, then just record the drums first, have the keyboard player record that part while listening to the drum part, then overlay the guitar over both. That way you can get stereo all of the way. Besides you have already recorded the drums before, so if you still have file, import it into your fav. audio program, and use it while you overlay the keys and guitar.

When getting into audio there is a lot to learn, and part of that is what gear to buy. You will not get the same end result with a $100 Squire guitar as you will get with an $1000 Fender. Thats just the way it is. My personal advice, sell the guitarplug, save up and buy a decent breakout box for future use. If you are going to be doing a lot of recording it will save a lot of time, frustration, and give you a much nicer end result. BTW, what audio software are you running?

-cameron

djake
Aug 5, 2005, 03:41 PM
just garageband

faintember
Aug 5, 2005, 09:05 PM
Just to let you know, if you get the Presonus Friebox (or the firepod, for that matter) it comes bundled with a low-end version of Cubase (cant remember which one off the top of my head, and too lazy to look).

Either way, Cubase in any form is going to give you a lot more freedom than GB, IMHO.

Either way, good luck man, and let us know how it turns out.

-cameron

djake
Aug 6, 2005, 04:12 PM
I really might just have to shell out the cash for a breakout box, any suggestions under $500 (the more line ins the better)

If im going to really gona want to finish the project that Ive started I think Im gona have to shell out the dough.

faintember
Aug 6, 2005, 08:40 PM
I really might just have to shell out the cash for a breakout box, any suggestions under $500 (the more line ins the better)

If im going to really gona want to finish the project that Ive started I think Im gona have to shell out the dough.
I think you will be happy once you go this way (and pay the bill off):p

Look at these options:

Firewire 1814 (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Firewire1814/) with 8 unbalanced analog inputs, MIDI, adat/spdif i/o, 4 outputs for $499.

Firewire 410 (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Firewire410) with 2 unbalanced/mic inputs, MIDI, adat/spdif i/o, 8 outputs for $299.

Presonus Firebox (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FireBox/) with 2 line inputs, MIDI, adat/spdif i/o, 6 outputs, Cubase LE software for $399.

Focusrite Sapphire (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Saffire/) with 4 line inputs, MIDI, spdif, 10 outputs, 2 preamps, MIDI, Cubase LE software, and some extra plug-ins for $399.

I have used the Firewire 410 and it is a solid unit, but you may need more inputs, so look at the Firewire 1814. Both the Sapphire and the Firebox are about the same, so it is a toss up between those. The nice thing is that the Firebox and Sapphire have Cubase Le, and that the Sapphire has some DSP that supposedly runs off the hardware, and thus would not use the CPU.

If you can go to $600 the Presonus Firepod (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Firepod) may be the best bet for you. Edit: btw i really want to buy a Firepod, as i have heard some GREAT reviews of them

If you have any more questions, let us know.

-cameron