Roland vs 1880

Guitar Tricks Forum > Recording > Roland vs 1880

Registered User

Joined: 11/14/03

Posts: 436

Does anyone own the ol' VS 1880 24 bit digital studio workstation and experience this problem? How come when I record songs from the VS 1880, it's not as loud as the CDs that you buy from music stores? Does all recording people experience this too and not just VS 1880 folks? What should I do to make them recordings louder without getting too much bass and distorted sounds? thnx
"Lets see… well I play the guitar and when I'm not playing the guitar, I think about playing the guitar. My other favorite instrument, is the guitar and if I aspired to play any other instrument, it would be the guitar...

I can’t sing so I sing through my guitar. So when the sound guy says: “Your guitar is too loud!” I think: "Why does he never say that to the vocalist?"

#1

Does anyone own the ol' VS 1880 24 bit digital studio workstation and experience this problem? How come when I record songs from the VS 1880, it's not as loud as the CDs that you buy from music stores? Does all recording people experience this too and not just VS 1880 folks? What should I do to make them recordings louder without getting too much bass and distorted sounds? thnx
"Lets see… well I play the guitar and when I'm not playing the guitar, I think about playing the guitar. My other favorite instrument, is the guitar and if I aspired to play any other instrument, it would be the guitar...

I can’t sing so I sing through my guitar. So when the sound guy says: “Your guitar is too loud!” I think: "Why does he never say that to the vocalist?"

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 07/06/02

Posts: 5021

I Don't have a Roland but this is a common problem people with Korgs have. There are several solutions.

First, just turn your master up during the final bounce, burn. If that makes stuff clip and distort add some compression / limiting as a master effect
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

#2

I Don't have a Roland but this is a common problem people with Korgs have. There are several solutions.

First, just turn your master up during the final bounce, burn. If that makes stuff clip and distort add some compression / limiting as a master effect
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

Registered User

Joined: 11/14/03

Posts: 436

I tried it but somehow, the mixed sound doesnt sound as cohesive/ equalized as i want it to be. Something is always distorted when I turn the master volume. I'm thinking of selling my VS 1880 to get a new one. What's a good 24 bit recorder that has 16 tracks?
"Lets see… well I play the guitar and when I'm not playing the guitar, I think about playing the guitar. My other favorite instrument, is the guitar and if I aspired to play any other instrument, it would be the guitar...

I can’t sing so I sing through my guitar. So when the sound guy says: “Your guitar is too loud!” I think: "Why does he never say that to the vocalist?"

#3

I tried it but somehow, the mixed sound doesnt sound as cohesive/ equalized as i want it to be. Something is always distorted when I turn the master volume. I'm thinking of selling my VS 1880 to get a new one. What's a good 24 bit recorder that has 16 tracks?
"Lets see… well I play the guitar and when I'm not playing the guitar, I think about playing the guitar. My other favorite instrument, is the guitar and if I aspired to play any other instrument, it would be the guitar...

I can’t sing so I sing through my guitar. So when the sound guy says: “Your guitar is too loud!” I think: "Why does he never say that to the vocalist?"

Registered User

Joined: 11/14/03

Posts: 436

o, and may i also add, i'll add one of my test recordings to show you what i mean.
"Lets see… well I play the guitar and when I'm not playing the guitar, I think about playing the guitar. My other favorite instrument, is the guitar and if I aspired to play any other instrument, it would be the guitar...

I can’t sing so I sing through my guitar. So when the sound guy says: “Your guitar is too loud!” I think: "Why does he never say that to the vocalist?"

#4

o, and may i also add, i'll add one of my test recordings to show you what i mean.
"Lets see… well I play the guitar and when I'm not playing the guitar, I think about playing the guitar. My other favorite instrument, is the guitar and if I aspired to play any other instrument, it would be the guitar...

I can’t sing so I sing through my guitar. So when the sound guy says: “Your guitar is too loud!” I think: "Why does he never say that to the vocalist?"

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 07/06/02

Posts: 5021

Please don't take offense at this put the problem probably isn't the recorder.

Can you find what is causing the distortion and make sure that the input wasn't overloaded when you were recording it in the first place ?

Compression shouldn't alter the EQ that much and people usually use it to make a mix more cohesive. Have you tried using a limiter? If you have recorded your loudest track with out it clipping you can add a limiter to it to stop it clipping when you turn up the master in the mix.

Incidentally you can turn a compressor into a limiter by setting the compression ratio to infinity.

You can also try normalizing after compressing however this is a less attractive option as it will also boost noise.
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

#5

Please don't take offense at this put the problem probably isn't the recorder.

Can you find what is causing the distortion and make sure that the input wasn't overloaded when you were recording it in the first place ?

Compression shouldn't alter the EQ that much and people usually use it to make a mix more cohesive. Have you tried using a limiter? If you have recorded your loudest track with out it clipping you can add a limiter to it to stop it clipping when you turn up the master in the mix.

Incidentally you can turn a compressor into a limiter by setting the compression ratio to infinity.

You can also try normalizing after compressing however this is a less attractive option as it will also boost noise.
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

Registered User

Joined: 11/14/03

Posts: 436

Oh no, Dr_simon, I don't mind you telling these things to me. I'm not that good anyways. This is the first that I am getting serious with recording so I'm going to need a lot of help. I'm really more used to playing live with a band on a stage- not in the recording studio. I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a beginner when it comes to recording. As I said, I don't have a very big ego- just a big head lol.

By the way, if you don't mind, I just have a couple of questions that I want to ask you- if you can bear with my long posts (I think I'm beating Jolly as king of long posts don't you think?). Thanks.

(1) What ways can i make sure that i don't overload the input? I tried turning down the volume on my controls, on the amp, and all this stuff in the recorder but i find that it always has an effect on the product CD- the sound is abnormally of low volume, even if i turn the volume knob on my cd player to 10.

(2) No matter what I do, I always have a problem with the bass whenever I am mixing instruments. It's just too loud (its like its comming from a broken set of speakers)that it drowns the whole music. When I try to make the other instruments louder by using the eq, I end up drowning the bass. Even when I am plucking by myself or using my two finger technique where I use the thumb to play bass and the other finger to strum to add a light touch, the bass still sounds awfully loud. What can I do to have a more clear and equalized bass sound.

(3) With the vocals, what's a good effect to add and what settings do you use? I use the reverb and delay but it's too much. I tried changing the settings for them effects but somehow i either get something too weak or too much- nothing in between that's just enough for what I'm looking for.

(4) I also want to add that during the last few months, whenever I record, I plug everything straight to the VS- 1880. My bassment is under some construction so I have to move everything up in my room. The problem is, I have too much equipment, but i only have an extremely small room that I don't have enough space to put them amps and mics. Could this set up be the reason why I am getting this distorted sound? thanks.

(5)About the limiter, I think I haven't studied how to use it in the manual. I don't even know what a limiter is. Would you kindly explain to me how it works?

Again, thank you very much for all the help and for being patient. I appreciate the help.
"Lets see… well I play the guitar and when I'm not playing the guitar, I think about playing the guitar. My other favorite instrument, is the guitar and if I aspired to play any other instrument, it would be the guitar...

I can’t sing so I sing through my guitar. So when the sound guy says: “Your guitar is too loud!” I think: "Why does he never say that to the vocalist?"

#6

Oh no, Dr_simon, I don't mind you telling these things to me. I'm not that good anyways. This is the first that I am getting serious with recording so I'm going to need a lot of help. I'm really more used to playing live with a band on a stage- not in the recording studio. I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a beginner when it comes to recording. As I said, I don't have a very big ego- just a big head lol.

By the way, if you don't mind, I just have a couple of questions that I want to ask you- if you can bear with my long posts (I think I'm beating Jolly as king of long posts don't you think?). Thanks.

(1) What ways can i make sure that i don't overload the input? I tried turning down the volume on my controls, on the amp, and all this stuff in the recorder but i find that it always has an effect on the product CD- the sound is abnormally of low volume, even if i turn the volume knob on my cd player to 10.

(2) No matter what I do, I always have a problem with the bass whenever I am mixing instruments. It's just too loud (its like its comming from a broken set of speakers)that it drowns the whole music. When I try to make the other instruments louder by using the eq, I end up drowning the bass. Even when I am plucking by myself or using my two finger technique where I use the thumb to play bass and the other finger to strum to add a light touch, the bass still sounds awfully loud. What can I do to have a more clear and equalized bass sound.

(3) With the vocals, what's a good effect to add and what settings do you use? I use the reverb and delay but it's too much. I tried changing the settings for them effects but somehow i either get something too weak or too much- nothing in between that's just enough for what I'm looking for.

(4) I also want to add that during the last few months, whenever I record, I plug everything straight to the VS- 1880. My bassment is under some construction so I have to move everything up in my room. The problem is, I have too much equipment, but i only have an extremely small room that I don't have enough space to put them amps and mics. Could this set up be the reason why I am getting this distorted sound? thanks.

(5)About the limiter, I think I haven't studied how to use it in the manual. I don't even know what a limiter is. Would you kindly explain to me how it works?

Again, thank you very much for all the help and for being patient. I appreciate the help.
"Lets see… well I play the guitar and when I'm not playing the guitar, I think about playing the guitar. My other favorite instrument, is the guitar and if I aspired to play any other instrument, it would be the guitar...

I can’t sing so I sing through my guitar. So when the sound guy says: “Your guitar is too loud!” I think: "Why does he never say that to the vocalist?"

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 07/06/02

Posts: 5021

I can and will do the above in the next wk or so. Im in the middle of writing a grant due in jan 9th so Im up to my eyeballs at the moment
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

#7

I can and will do the above in the next wk or so. Im in the middle of writing a grant due in jan 9th so Im up to my eyeballs at the moment
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

Registered User

Joined: 11/14/03

Posts: 436

thnx doc. take your time. i can wait.
"Lets see… well I play the guitar and when I'm not playing the guitar, I think about playing the guitar. My other favorite instrument, is the guitar and if I aspired to play any other instrument, it would be the guitar...

I can’t sing so I sing through my guitar. So when the sound guy says: “Your guitar is too loud!” I think: "Why does he never say that to the vocalist?"

#8

thnx doc. take your time. i can wait.
"Lets see… well I play the guitar and when I'm not playing the guitar, I think about playing the guitar. My other favorite instrument, is the guitar and if I aspired to play any other instrument, it would be the guitar...

I can’t sing so I sing through my guitar. So when the sound guy says: “Your guitar is too loud!” I think: "Why does he never say that to the vocalist?"

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 07/06/02

Posts: 5021

Ok Dude, bout time I gave the old egg head a rest !

Ok first up check out a place called http://www.vsplanet.com they are all about, well you get the idea. Ok so your questions:

(1) What ways can i make sure that i don't overload the input? I tried turning down the volume on my controls, on the amp, and all this stuff in the recorder but i find that it always has an effect on the product CD- the sound is abnormally of low volume, even if i turn the volume knob on my cd player to 10.

OK so first you want to get hip to gain staging. This is all about getting the best signal you can into your recorder. The golden rule of thumb is, get your signal as hot as you can as quick as you can. This is good for several reasons 1) you wont loose your hi highs and your lo lows. 2) You will cut down on noise and 3) you will get a nicer overall sound.

OK so how do you do this? It is a good idea to use one and only one preamp. Using more than one is a bad idea as it will boost noise as well as boosting signal and transparency (low self noise) is one of the things you really want in a pre amp. Now, your VS will have built in pres and if they are anything like the Korg D1200 / D1600 they will be crappy. So you want to bypass them and use an external preamp like a pod or a GT6 GNX3 etc etc. Now the way I do this is I use the S/PDIF digital interface between my pod pro / GNX2 and my Korg as the digital input bypasses the pres on the Korg completely (monitor signal on “post fader setting”). However if you are stuck with an analogue input then just turn the trim pots right off and turn the pre up to just below the point where it starts to distort (you will want to monitor the signal coming out of the pre to determine this point using headphones). OK the VS probably has a way of looking at both “pre” and “post” fader signal strength for individual tracks. You want to find out about this because the next thing to do is to make sure the signal coming out of your pre amp is not overloading your input. To do this you want to set your VS signal monitoring to “pre fader”, set the fader to unity gain (0 db) and adjust the output form the pre to just below the point where it registers clipping (= distortion). OK you are good to go.

(2) No matter what I do, I always have a problem with the bass whenever I am mixing instruments. It's just too loud (its like its coming from a broken set of speakers)that it drowns the whole music. When I try to make the other instruments louder by using the eq, I end up drowning the bass. Even when I am plucking by myself or using my two finger technique where I use the thumb to play bass and the other finger to strum to add a light touch, the bass still sounds awfully loud. What can I do to have a more clear and equalized bass sound.

OK so bass requires plenty of compression and this may be the solution to all your problem. Compression is all about controlling the dbs of your signal. The way it works is like this. You dial in a threshold value and that tells the compressor to go to work on any signal it comes across that is over this threshold. You can also tell the compressor what to do when it goes to work on this signal by telling it what compression ratio to use. So, hypothetically, you dial in a level of –4. This tells the compressor that when it comes across a signal that is louder than –4 it has to do something. What the compressor will do is determined by the ratio you dial into it. A ratio of 1:4 means that for every 4 units that the volume increases (coming into the compressor above the threshold) the compressor will squash the signal into an increase of only 1 unit coming out of the compressor leaving everything under the threshold un altered.

This is how a limiter works. A limiter is a compressor with its compression ratio set to infinity. Consequently your entire signal under the threshold will be normal and anything over the threshold will be, well the same volume as the signal under the threshold. Now can you see where I’m coming form regarding you having certain tracks being too loud ? Cool hu !


(3)With the vocals, what's a good effect to add and what settings do you use? I use the reverb and delay but it's too much. I tried changing the settings for them effects but somehow i either get something too weak or too much- nothing in between that's just enough for what I'm looking for

Ok vocals are tricky. The first thing you have to do is find a mic you like. I like SM57s (I hate SM58s) and I also love my KSM44. In terms of effects I generally don’t use any and if I do it is to add depth to a stereo image. WHAT !!! Ok when you are mixing you can really help your self by separating out instruments using the PAN controls. This helps avoid frequency conflicts which stops different instruments that have the same frequency outputs fighting with each other and making everything sound muddy and cluttered. However, the PAN controls only control the left and right fields and it is possible to tweak the forwards and back fields using a little reverb (echo) making things seem further away. I try and use reverb as little as possible.


(4) I also want to add that during the last few months, whenever I record, I plug everything straight to the VS- 1880. My bassment is under some construction so I have to move everything up in my room. The problem is, I have too much equipment, but i only have an extremely small room that I don't have enough space to put them amps and mics. Could this set up be the reason why I am getting this distorted sound? Thanks

Me and the misses live in a small apartment with people below and to the side. Miking a cranked Marshal stack is not an option. This is unfortunate however IMHO it is much easier for a beginner to get a nice guitar sound using say a pod rather than miking an amp. This is not true for a pre in a studio who has been doing it for 20 years however, Im not there yet ! I don’t think that miking the amp is your problem, I think it is probably gain staging.

OK dude, I hope I have made some sort of sense, check out the VS manual and look up pre and post fader signal monitoring on input, that should solve most of your problems.

Best of luck
DrS
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

#9

Ok Dude, bout time I gave the old egg head a rest !

Ok first up check out a place called http://www.vsplanet.com they are all about, well you get the idea. Ok so your questions:

(1) What ways can i make sure that i don't overload the input? I tried turning down the volume on my controls, on the amp, and all this stuff in the recorder but i find that it always has an effect on the product CD- the sound is abnormally of low volume, even if i turn the volume knob on my cd player to 10.

OK so first you want to get hip to gain staging. This is all about getting the best signal you can into your recorder. The golden rule of thumb is, get your signal as hot as you can as quick as you can. This is good for several reasons 1) you wont loose your hi highs and your lo lows. 2) You will cut down on noise and 3) you will get a nicer overall sound.

OK so how do you do this? It is a good idea to use one and only one preamp. Using more than one is a bad idea as it will boost noise as well as boosting signal and transparency (low self noise) is one of the things you really want in a pre amp. Now, your VS will have built in pres and if they are anything like the Korg D1200 / D1600 they will be crappy. So you want to bypass them and use an external preamp like a pod or a GT6 GNX3 etc etc. Now the way I do this is I use the S/PDIF digital interface between my pod pro / GNX2 and my Korg as the digital input bypasses the pres on the Korg completely (monitor signal on “post fader setting”). However if you are stuck with an analogue input then just turn the trim pots right off and turn the pre up to just below the point where it starts to distort (you will want to monitor the signal coming out of the pre to determine this point using headphones). OK the VS probably has a way of looking at both “pre” and “post” fader signal strength for individual tracks. You want to find out about this because the next thing to do is to make sure the signal coming out of your pre amp is not overloading your input. To do this you want to set your VS signal monitoring to “pre fader”, set the fader to unity gain (0 db) and adjust the output form the pre to just below the point where it registers clipping (= distortion). OK you are good to go.

(2) No matter what I do, I always have a problem with the bass whenever I am mixing instruments. It's just too loud (its like its coming from a broken set of speakers)that it drowns the whole music. When I try to make the other instruments louder by using the eq, I end up drowning the bass. Even when I am plucking by myself or using my two finger technique where I use the thumb to play bass and the other finger to strum to add a light touch, the bass still sounds awfully loud. What can I do to have a more clear and equalized bass sound.

OK so bass requires plenty of compression and this may be the solution to all your problem. Compression is all about controlling the dbs of your signal. The way it works is like this. You dial in a threshold value and that tells the compressor to go to work on any signal it comes across that is over this threshold. You can also tell the compressor what to do when it goes to work on this signal by telling it what compression ratio to use. So, hypothetically, you dial in a level of –4. This tells the compressor that when it comes across a signal that is louder than –4 it has to do something. What the compressor will do is determined by the ratio you dial into it. A ratio of 1:4 means that for every 4 units that the volume increases (coming into the compressor above the threshold) the compressor will squash the signal into an increase of only 1 unit coming out of the compressor leaving everything under the threshold un altered.

This is how a limiter works. A limiter is a compressor with its compression ratio set to infinity. Consequently your entire signal under the threshold will be normal and anything over the threshold will be, well the same volume as the signal under the threshold. Now can you see where I’m coming form regarding you having certain tracks being too loud ? Cool hu !


(3)With the vocals, what's a good effect to add and what settings do you use? I use the reverb and delay but it's too much. I tried changing the settings for them effects but somehow i either get something too weak or too much- nothing in between that's just enough for what I'm looking for

Ok vocals are tricky. The first thing you have to do is find a mic you like. I like SM57s (I hate SM58s) and I also love my KSM44. In terms of effects I generally don’t use any and if I do it is to add depth to a stereo image. WHAT !!! Ok when you are mixing you can really help your self by separating out instruments using the PAN controls. This helps avoid frequency conflicts which stops different instruments that have the same frequency outputs fighting with each other and making everything sound muddy and cluttered. However, the PAN controls only control the left and right fields and it is possible to tweak the forwards and back fields using a little reverb (echo) making things seem further away. I try and use reverb as little as possible.


(4) I also want to add that during the last few months, whenever I record, I plug everything straight to the VS- 1880. My bassment is under some construction so I have to move everything up in my room. The problem is, I have too much equipment, but i only have an extremely small room that I don't have enough space to put them amps and mics. Could this set up be the reason why I am getting this distorted sound? Thanks

Me and the misses live in a small apartment with people below and to the side. Miking a cranked Marshal stack is not an option. This is unfortunate however IMHO it is much easier for a beginner to get a nice guitar sound using say a pod rather than miking an amp. This is not true for a pre in a studio who has been doing it for 20 years however, Im not there yet ! I don’t think that miking the amp is your problem, I think it is probably gain staging.

OK dude, I hope I have made some sort of sense, check out the VS manual and look up pre and post fader signal monitoring on input, that should solve most of your problems.

Best of luck
DrS
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

Registered User

Joined: 11/14/03

Posts: 436

wow, that was fast lol. thanx doc. so that's what those compression ratio knobs were for! I was wondering what use they could serve because whenever I touch them, it doesnt seem to do anything much that's until i've had the end product. Maybe I should get speakers instead on relying on headphones all the time! Compressing the bass and panning does help a lot, but i'm still taking some time to study how to pan. The pre amp was also a good idea. Roland's built- in pre amp and built- in effects unit are just crappy sounding.

right now, i'm still working on this music. when i'm done with it, i'll post it on this site. thanks to you!
"Lets see… well I play the guitar and when I'm not playing the guitar, I think about playing the guitar. My other favorite instrument, is the guitar and if I aspired to play any other instrument, it would be the guitar...

I can’t sing so I sing through my guitar. So when the sound guy says: “Your guitar is too loud!” I think: "Why does he never say that to the vocalist?"

#10

wow, that was fast lol. thanx doc. so that's what those compression ratio knobs were for! I was wondering what use they could serve because whenever I touch them, it doesnt seem to do anything much that's until i've had the end product. Maybe I should get speakers instead on relying on headphones all the time! Compressing the bass and panning does help a lot, but i'm still taking some time to study how to pan. The pre amp was also a good idea. Roland's built- in pre amp and built- in effects unit are just crappy sounding.

right now, i'm still working on this music. when i'm done with it, i'll post it on this site. thanks to you!
"Lets see… well I play the guitar and when I'm not playing the guitar, I think about playing the guitar. My other favorite instrument, is the guitar and if I aspired to play any other instrument, it would be the guitar...

I can’t sing so I sing through my guitar. So when the sound guy says: “Your guitar is too loud!” I think: "Why does he never say that to the vocalist?"