Songwriters in the Kitchen!

Board index => The kitchen café => Topic started by: Rabid Parrot on January 17, 2016, 05:27:23

Title: what do i need to record music properly? really. I suck.
Post by: Rabid Parrot on January 17, 2016, 05:27:23
Hey,  I don't know if anyone checks this section out, but I am getting frustrated in my music recording process.  I have a decent mic and for some reason can't record my guitar properly.  I bought a Focusrite Scarlett Solo but have no idea why it is not working properly - recording only what sounds like loud static.

https://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-solo

I am so new at this... I don't even know where to begin or what I don't know enough to know what I want.  I wanted an interface to plug a mic and a guitar into so i can record myself playing in a single go.  This appeared to be the right item.  I don't have an upgraded soundcard, so I was told this would handle all sound processing duties as an external soundcard would.  It has the basic inputs that I require.  A mic input, guitar input and a headphone jack for monitoring.  The problem is that it won't record the guitar at all - it did for maybe a month or so - did i break this thing?  I don't even know.  It's put a real dent in my desire to record any new music since this is the only thing I have.  Ever since getting it, my sound on my PC is also acting up - clipping when i watch YT videos and such, mostly while using Chrome.  If i hear it clipping, either I can shut the browser down or I can deselect this device as my primary playback device (i.e. switch to my usb headphones) and switch back and it someties corrects itself.  Something is really off...

I don't know if I bought a dud or if I am just not doing something right.   All drivers are up to date and it did work for about a month or so seamlessly. 

I am prepared to sell this one to upgrade but I need to figure out if it is working at all first.  So any suggestions on what might be wrong in my setup or suggestions as to what might be a better thing to purchase would be helpful!  Thanks!
Title: Re: what do i need to record music properly? really. I suck.
Post by: GTB on January 17, 2016, 13:08:18
I am one of the least technical on here so I feel your pain! I assume the mic works ok then? It's just the guitar won't record.  I'd look at the following:
If you have an acoustic guitar with pickup check If it has a good fresh battery.
I assume you have everything plugged in as per the manual (if in doubt check on line for instructions). Does varying the dials makes no difference too? I.e. For a hotter signal.
Try with a different lead, or check the lead on an amp.
Does the guitar fail to record or you just can't hear it recording? That points to the monitoring.
If you can, try the device on a different computer, use a different guitar (full electric?), or try a different device on your computer if you have access to one. This will isolate if the issue is in the computer, the interface or the instrument/leads.
Ideally you need to find someone near you that can show you around the set up.
Don't give up! I know it's very frustrating and demoralising but once sorted write down (or photograph) your settings in case it happens again. Good luck!

P.s. If YouTube causes sound issues you may have more than one problem here)
GTB
Title: Re: what do i need to record music properly? really. I suck.
Post by: digger72 on January 17, 2016, 14:24:02
Hi Rabid,

The fact you had it working and now it doesn't suggests a couple of things to me - the device has gone faulty, or you have somehow corrupted the link between it and your DAW. Perhaps do a system restore on your PC to when it last worked?

I don't have your model of interface, but I do have a Focusrite.

The interface should plug into your pc/mac. This then needs to be set up to be recognised by your DAW. Mine uses Saffire MIx Control, aswell as my DAW (Ableton) - you may have a similar set up. Make sure your DAW recognises your interface as the input. So if you're using Ableton click Options- Preferences- Audio and check the driver and Audio device match your interface. If not - they need to.
Make sure you have selected which input you are using on the interface - 1 or 2 (the mic or the Inst) matches the input on your DAW.
e.g. you are using the mic input (1) - is the track in your daw set up to receive input 1 or 2 from your interface. In Ableton, you can select whether it's 1 or 2 (or both). If i'm plugged into 1 on the interface, but have selected 2 in the DAW, I'll record nothing.

Yours has Phantom Power (the 48v) thing - so you should be able to use any mic.

It really should just be a case of plugging in your mic or guitar and away you go.

Probably doesn't help much.

Digger
Title: Re: what do i need to record music properly? really. I suck.
Post by: Dutchbeat on January 17, 2016, 17:13:28
I don't know about this the Focusrite Scarlett Solo

but this reminds me of something i had with my interface, the Roland Quad capture, i got it to work and after a while it failed, and in the end i just had to re-install the driver and it turned out they made an update because there were issues....i got that Quadcap when it was just out on the market, but deleting the driver and re-installing the updated version via a website from Roland made it all work fine again and since then it has been running great... pehraps try that ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: what do i need to record music properly? really. I suck.
Post by: Mar T. on January 17, 2016, 18:18:16
Hi Rabid, sorry to hear that. Focusrite sells excellent stuff, so I hope it's just a configuration problem. Good questions/suggestions above from digger, GTB and DB, we'll see what you report back, and maybe some of us get a 'eureka' light bulb idea to fix it ;-).
Hope it's going to work as it should soon!
MM
Title: Re: what do i need to record music properly? really. I suck.
Post by: Rabid Parrot on January 18, 2016, 01:02:58
Hey - thanks for such a speedy reply everyone! 

I assume you have everything plugged in as per the manual (if in doubt check on line for instructions). Does varying the dials makes no difference too? I.e. For a hotter signal.
Try with a different lead, or check the lead on an amp. Does the guitar fail to record or you just can't hear it recording? That points to the monitoring.
If you can, try the device on a different computer, use a different guitar (full electric?), or try a different device on your computer if you have access to one. This will isolate if the issue is in the computer, the interface or the instrument/leads.

tried variations on connections and bought new leads - even upgraded them.   I do have everything plugged in correctly and triple checked.  I like the idea of trying different inputs (guitars or computers) but I only have the one guitar and the one PC.  It worked great for a short while but then suddenly it just stopped working. 

The interface should plug into your pc/mac.  Make sure you have selected which input you are using on the interface - 1 or 2 (the mic or the Inst) matches the input on your DAW.
e.g. you are using the mic input (1) - is the track in your daw set up to receive input 1 or 2 from your interface. In Ableton, you can select whether it's 1 or 2 (or both). If i'm plugged into 1 on the interface, but have selected 2 in the DAW, I'll record nothing.

All it records is static when i select the input (which correctly shows up as "Line In - Scarlett Solo" and correctly as the L and R channels - the left channel is my mic and it works fine, but when I record the right channel I get horrible static.  Like "FSSSSSSSSSSSSS" - if that's a sound.  It did used to work but suddenly stopped. 

... i just had to re-install the driver and it turned out they made an update because there were issues....i got that Quadcap when it was just out on the market, but deleting the driver and re-installing the updated version via a website from Roland made it all work fine again and since then it has been running great... pehraps try that ??? ??? ???

I went to the website and downloaded a new driver. Uninstalled the driver and reinstalled with no change.  I do hope I didn't break it somehow, but I would have thought that not possible - unlike the ancient fuse-based inputs or ones that were powered.

I will try replacing the battery in my pick-up - that is one thing that makes a lot of sense to check, since it would explain the symptoms - i.e. my guitar pickup is not sending any proper signal to be recorded.  I have a headphone mini-amp that didn't work when i tried it right now. 

https://www.amazon.ca/Vox-amPlug-AC30-Guitar-Headphone/dp/B000ZMYRJS

So maybe this is the right avenue to explore.  will report back!

Thanks for all the help so far!