Sorry if this has been discussed previously, but for the life of me I can not think how to describe this problem.
The attached image is of a recording from my guitar. Recorded with a Shure 57 a few inches from my guitar cabinet.
My question is why the recording always seems to come out in this leveled off square shape? I’m playing fairly dynamic as well.
No matter what I’ve tried I cannot seem to record at a volume higher than shown.
Thank you for any help!
What’s the microphone plugged into?
If you are plugged into a regular soundcard or laptop it could just be a “cheap soundcard”. If you’re using an interface with 2 inputs, you can be limited to -6dB (50%) if you record in mono while only using one of the inputs.
In any case, you should be able to get-around that by simply turning down the amp or moving the mic back a bit.
but for the life of me I can not think how to describe this problem.
It’s called [u]clipping[/u]. Normally, digital clipping happens at 0dB (the “digital maximum”). But you can also clip an amplifier or the preamp in your soundcard. i.e. If you crank-up your amplifier and try to get 150W out of a 100W amplifier, that’s also clipping. And, it’s possible that you’re clipping your guitar amp although that’s less likely since you say you’re playing dynamically.
Recorded with a Shure 57
Those are impossible to overload, but what they’re plugged into can have problems. As above, what’s it plugged into?
I should have mentioned before, Yes I am using a PreSonus 2 channel USB96 audio interface. I have the input volume turned as high as possible or if I dial it back even a little I lose a lot of recording volume.
Yes I am using a PreSonus 2 channel USB96 audio interface.
I assume the clipping LED is coming on? You should turn down the recording level (unless you want the distortion “effect”).
It’s cutting the signal in half so when you record in mono with two channels, the mixed (summed) level won’t exceed 0dB and digitally clip as long as both channels are below clipping.
If you record in stereo you should be able to hit 0dB (100%) but then you’ll have to delete the silent channel.
Typically, you’re going to leave some headroom to avoid clipping on unexpected peaks so you’re probably going to amplify after recording anyway.
or if I dial it back even a little I lose a lot of recording volume.
It’s perfectly OK to amplify after recording. (Pros often record at around -12 to -18dB.)
“Loudness” is complicated. The digital level is limited by the peaks but the peaks don’t correlate well with “loudness”. A “dense sound” from excessive clipping or from driving your amp into distortion will make it sound louder. Most commercial music uses dynamic compression and limiting to bring-up the loudness and you may need to use those effects if you can’t get your recording loud enough.
Mount it in the system as stereo (two waves) instead of mono. The sound channel should go back up to normal volume, but it will be on the left and you’ll have one blank track.
Use the drop-down menu on the left of the track > Split Stereo to Mono. Delete the dead track.
There are two ways to deal with the two microphones. Stereo where each microphone gets its own channel, or Mono where the interface adds them up into one channel. That one courts overload, so they reduce the volume of each microphone by half. That’s where you are now.
Sometimes you can sweet-talk Windows into making up the difference in the Widows control panels and sometimes you can get the driver software that comes with the interface to do it. Google “shooting Mono with a PreSonus 2 channel USB96.” They may have a driver for this. This problem is very common.