Guitar sounds like crap doing DI to computer


scottrpileggi
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Joined: 05/02/19
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scottrpileggi
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Joined: 05/02/19
Posts: 17
10/12/2019 8:54 am

Hi there!

I need some gear advice.... I recently picked up a variety of instruments, amps, processors, etc.

Lately, I've been getting really frustrated with trying to play DI into my computer, which is perfect for playing along with lessons on this site. It seems like whenever I try to do so, the sound is very muffled, messy, and just downright bad; borderline broken. Especially on the neck pickup. This is my current chain for processing:

Guitar (Schecter Hellraiser C-1 w/EMG active pickups) >>> Amp modeller/processor (Line 6 Pod XT) >>> Audio interface (Behringer UMC404 HD)

As far as diagnostics go, I find that if I play the Line 6 Pod with the headphone output, it sounds significantly better. I also found that if I take the Pod out of the equation and plug the guitar directly into the audio interface, it sounds bad then as well. Unfortunately, I don't have another guitar to test the chain out. It's also worth noting that the guitar sounds fine when plugged into my fender amp.

This makes me think that it's either the guitar or the audio interface causing the problem. But what do you guys think? Would like to come up with a resolution so I can spend less time trying to get a decent sound and more time practicing.

Thanks in advance!

-Scott


# 1
bbriant
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Joined: 11/07/17
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bbriant
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Joined: 11/07/17
Posts: 95
10/12/2019 11:06 am

Hi

Yer I had the same kind of proplem.

i often wondered why peop;le mike there amps through computers? and thats the reason because unless you have a dedicated computer for sound only there is allsorts of weard and wonderfuly things going on in the background.

Say that I managed to improve mine a bit by running my guitar through a Di box with The XLR output on the box.

This was a slight improvement if I want to record I mike my amp up and record that way, it is also much close to the true sound you are playing.

hope this helps.

Barry


# 2
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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10/12/2019 2:50 pm
Originally Posted by: scottrpileggi

Guitar (Schecter Hellraiser C-1 w/EMG active pickups) >>> Amp modeller/processor (Line 6 Pod XT) >>> Audio interface (Behringer UMC404 HD)[/quote]

What computer? And what path in, USB, RCA, XLR?

[quote=scottrpileggi]

As far as diagnostics go, I find that if I play the Line 6 Pod with the headphone output, it sounds significantly better. I also found that if I take the Pod out of the equation and plug the guitar directly into the audio interface, it sounds bad then as well. Unfortunately, I don't have another guitar to test the chain out. It's also worth noting that the guitar sounds fine when plugged into my fender amp.

This makes me think that it's either the guitar or the audio interface causing the problem. But what do you guys think? Would like to come up with a resolution so I can spend less time trying to get a decent sound and more time practicing.

[p]Sorry for your frustration! It sounds to me like an input problem. Like your line level in is too hot. I would try to adjust the computer volume mixer settings. On a Windows computer, right-click the speaker on the task bar. & select volume mixer. Look at the input levels while you play the guitar.

You might have to go in the control panel & click on the Sound settings. There you should see the slider levels & the audio device if you are using USB input.

You might also try turning down the output level of the POD, since the headphone out sounds better. Active pickups are much hotter than passive, so that might be why you need to really turn down the input levels.

One final thought is that I've heard a dying battery on active pickups can cause havok with small voltage electronic. So it might worth trying to change the battery. But ultimately an A/B test with a passive pickup guitar would be best. Maybe you could ask a friend with a guitar?

Hope that helps! Best of success sorting it out!


Christopher Schlegel
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# 3
scottrpileggi
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Joined: 05/02/19
Posts: 17
scottrpileggi
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10/12/2019 7:49 pm
Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel
Originally Posted by: scottrpileggi

Guitar (Schecter Hellraiser C-1 w/EMG active pickups) >>> Amp modeller/processor (Line 6 Pod XT) >>> Audio interface (Behringer UMC404 HD)[/quote][p]What computer? And what path in, USB, RCA, XLR?

[quote=scottrpileggi]

As far as diagnostics go, I find that if I play the Line 6 Pod with the headphone output, it sounds significantly better. I also found that if I take the Pod out of the equation and plug the guitar directly into the audio interface, it sounds bad then as well. Unfortunately, I don't have another guitar to test the chain out. It's also worth noting that the guitar sounds fine when plugged into my fender amp.

This makes me think that it's either the guitar or the audio interface causing the problem. But what do you guys think? Would like to come up with a resolution so I can spend less time trying to get a decent sound and more time practicing.

[p]Sorry for your frustration! It sounds to me like an input problem. Like your line level in is too hot. I would try to adjust the computer volume mixer settings. On a Windows computer, right-click the speaker on the task bar. & select volume mixer. Look at the input levels while you play the guitar.

You might have to go in the control panel & click on the Sound settings. There you should see the slider levels & the audio device if you are using USB input.

You might also try turning down the output level of the POD, since the headphone out sounds better. Active pickups are much hotter than passive, so that might be why you need to really turn down the input levels.

One final thought is that I've heard a dying battery on active pickups can cause havok with small voltage electronic. So it might worth trying to change the battery. But ultimately an A/B test with a passive pickup guitar would be best. Maybe you could ask a friend with a guitar?

Hope that helps! Best of success sorting it out!

Thanks for writing!

The audio interface connects via USB to my late 2011 Macbook pro. FInally the output ends up from my interface via quarter-inch cables to my two studio monitors. The monitors are good size, barely used, and definitely not blown out. Music or anything else sounds great played through them.


# 4
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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10/13/2019 2:36 pm
Originally Posted by: scottrpileggi

The audio interface connects via USB to my late 2011 Macbook pro. FInally the output ends up from my interface via quarter-inch cables to my two studio monitors. The monitors are good size, barely used, and definitely not blown out. Music or anything else sounds great played through them.

I don't know much about Apple products! But another thought occured to me. I've never used one of those Berhringer units, so I was looking the product website. They have input level knobs & buttons for line, instrument & padding. You might also try to turn down the input levels on the Behringer unit or experiment with those channel buttons!


Christopher Schlegel
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Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 5
matonanjin2
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Joined: 08/11/17
Posts: 357
matonanjin2
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Posts: 357
10/13/2019 6:47 pm
Originally Posted by: scottrpileggi

Hi there!

I need some gear advice.... I recently picked up a variety of instruments, amps, processors, etc.

Lately, I've been getting really frustrated with trying to play DI into my computer, which is perfect for playing along with lessons on this site. It seems like whenever I try to do so, the sound is very muffled, messy, and just downright bad; borderline broken. Especially on the neck pickup. This is my current chain for processing:

Guitar (Schecter Hellraiser C-1 w/EMG active pickups) >>> Amp modeller/processor (Line 6 Pod XT) >>> Audio interface (Behringer UMC404 HD)

-Scott

Why are you going from the POD into an interface? Doesn't the POD have a USB output? I used to use a Scarlett Guitar interface (and a Behringer before that) to plug my guitar into my computer and DAW. But when I got my POD HD500X I just went directly into the USB port. My Scarlett has been sitting very lonely in the corner of my music room for months now.


[u]Guitars:[/u] 2014 PRS Santana, 2013 PRS Paul's, 2009 PRS Hollowbody, 1972 Gibson ES-325, 2012 Fender Strat American Standard, 2012 Yamaha Pacifica, Martin M-36, Martin 000-15M, Seagull S6 Classic[br][u]Amps:[/u] Fender Blues Junior III, Boss Eband JS-10, Line 6 POD 500X, Quilter Microblock 45

# 6
scottrpileggi
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scottrpileggi
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03/16/2021 12:36 am

Update!

I did figure out how change the settings to receive hotter signals that EMG's bring in. But after some trial and error, getting more famililar with gear over the past year, and playing different instruments, I've come to the realization that active pickups simply aren't my cup of tea.

I sold both my Schecter electric guitar and V string bass, and swapped all of that gear out for Fenders and an Ibanez; all with passive pups of course. Much happier with my setup now!


# 7
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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03/16/2021 11:20 am
Originally Posted by: scottrpileggi

I did figure out how change the settings to receive hotter signals that EMG's bring in.

[p]Ah ha! good detective work. I also do not like active pickups. Good for you figuring it out & finding a solution. Well done! Now you can spend more time playing music on your guitar. :)


Christopher Schlegel
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# 8
Herman10
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Herman10
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03/16/2021 11:14 pm

I recorded a lot with the line 6 POD XT Live directly to the line in on the computer and never had a sound problem, maybe you should try that?


# 9

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