Sound quality reduces with the more tracks I have

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Marmitepickles
KVRer
2 posts since 1 Nov, 2019

Post Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:59 pm

Im using Waveform Traktion Pro along with Guitar Rig 5 and Behringer UMC22 USB interface. I find that when I record 1 track the sound quality is great but as I record more and more tracks I find the sound quality of each track begins to reduce. I dont really notice this when Im not using any VSTs from Guitar Rig but when I do the more tracks I have the worse the sound quality gets. Is this a computer issuue or could it be something else, and how can I prevent this?

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toine6
KVRian
1279 posts since 29 Mar, 2002 from Salt Lake City, Utah - U.S.A.

Re: Sound quality reduces with the more tracks I have

Post Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:11 pm

I see this is your first post. I'm not sure how much experience you have or if you're kind of new to all of this.

"Sound quality", is kind of a subjective term, but I would assume you mean a loss of fidelity, clarity, punch, etc. Perhaps you are discovering why mixing is an art form. One instrument or vocal by itself will sound full of detail, while mixing it with other instruments, especially if they share the same frequencies, will change the sound of each individual track.

There's only so much love to go around so it becomes an art of compromise. There are so many awesome songs out there where it sounds like the vocal in doing all the work, but if you listen carefully you can hear the guitar or drums are really killing it in the background, but they've had to EQ out of a bunch of frequencies so that the vocals could shine. Many of those individual guitar tracks sound super huge, high-fi, and awesome when by themselves. The tendency is to want to keep them how they are and just start adding stuff on top of them, but that's when all the sound quality starts to degrade due to everything yelling for attention at once.

Maybe what I'm saying is all very obvious and you're having a different issue, but that's my initial guess.

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ProfessionalTom
KVRian
520 posts since 10 Oct, 2019

Re: Sound quality reduces with the more tracks I have

Post Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:52 pm

I agree with Toine6. The more tracks you have on your song, the more elements in your mix fight for attention in similar frequencies and you have to make compromises.

Or maybe you mean that with each song/demo you record the quality drops. That would be a bit weird, but that maybe due to something like you're guitar going out of tune slightly with each hour of recording or maybe your ears are becoming tired of listening to it? Or maybe that's Behringer frying up after a few hours?
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Marmitepickles
KVRer
2 posts since 1 Nov, 2019

Re: Sound quality reduces with the more tracks I have

Post Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:04 am

Thanks for the 2 comments so far. Heres an example, I have 6 tracks recorded, 1 or 2 use a Guitar Rig VST plugin and when I listen to the whole mix I can hear the quality of the later recorded tracks the guitar sound isnt as sharp or crisp as it could be and when I monitor just the input without recording anything it sounds good. Also when I play back and listen to my mix and then isolate one of guitars were I think its not up to scratch sound wise the isolated track sounds poor too, defo not what it should be sounding like if I just monitored this input without recording it, so I know its not other tracks and frequencies affecting it when in isolation the recording is still poor. I thought it might be a memory thing on my computer, I only have 8gb

fese
KVRian
989 posts since 14 Sep, 2004 from $HOME

Re: Sound quality reduces with the more tracks I have

Post Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:06 am

It has nothing to do with memory, 8g should be fine for most audio tasks. And as long as your cpu isn’t maxed out, there should be no quality degradation of single tracks, even if it is the 50th one.
Else, It’s is hard to say because “poor” isn’t a very precise description.
Guitar recording is a delicate task, even or especially with amp sims. Some ideas:
- be sure you record with a high enough level, but without clipping the input of your audio interface (usually indicated by a red LED flickering)
- run guitar rig in HI quality mode. It uses more CPU, but especially with distorted sounds it is necessary as it can introduce ugly aliasing.
- guitar rig has a “learn” function to get the right level for the amps and the cabinets. Use it. Getting the right input level for an amp sim is crucial.
- especially for distorted guitar: if it sounds nasty in the highs, sharp and brittle, try using an EQ afterwards with a deep narrow cut at around 5Khz. If it doesn’t sound bright enough, try a gentle wide boost somewhere between 2-4Khz. If it sounds muddy, a little cut somewhere around 300Hz can work.

dark water
KVRian
1237 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Re: Sound quality reduces with the more tracks I have

Post Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:28 am

In addition to the comments above, double check to see that you're not mixing into a buss / master channel effect like a compressor.
Although buss / master channel compressors are very handy when used with knowledge, it is very easy to forget that they are there and then when you add more instruments to the mix, the compressor will effect the music possibly to the detriment of the sound that you want (for example by adding pumping or distortion effects).

I don't know if this is the case in your scenario but at least eliminate it from your enquiries by seeing if there is a comp on the buss / master which is affecting your mix.

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DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
3349 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Re: Sound quality reduces with the more tracks I have

Post Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:45 am

In addition to the comments above, double check to see that you're not mixing into a buss / master channel effect like a compressor.
Although buss / master channel compressors are very handy when used with knowledge, it is very easy to forget that they are there and then when you add more instruments to the mix, the compressor will effect the music possibly to the detriment of the sound that you want (for example by adding pumping or distortion effects).
This. The same way you may simply be clipping your sound when sum of all tracks goes over 0 dB.

I can't think of any way subsequent tracks may degrade while recording. :scared:
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Burillo
KVRAF
3670 posts since 15 Nov, 2006 from Hell

Re: Sound quality reduces with the more tracks I have

Post Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:47 am

if you're double-, triple-, quadruple-tracking your guitars, if you're not tight enough, the attack gets smeared and perceived sound quality of your guitar tracks will in fact decrease.
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BertKoor
KVRAF
11305 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Sound quality reduces with the more tracks I have

Post Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:53 am

Maybe it's just a volume difference thing. Lower volume is often described missing high quality, less punch & treble :shrug:
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BorderPatrol101
KVRer
6 posts since 6 Nov, 2019

Re: Sound quality reduces with the more tracks I have

Post Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:46 am

DJ Warmonger wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:45 am
In addition to the comments above, double check to see that you're not mixing into a buss / master channel effect like a compressor.
Although buss / master channel compressors are very handy when used with knowledge, it is very easy to forget that they are there and then when you add more instruments to the mix, the compressor will effect the music possibly to the detriment of the sound that you want (for example by adding pumping or distortion effects).
This. The same way you may simply be clipping your sound when sum of all tracks goes over 0 dB.

I can't think of any way subsequent tracks may degrade while recording. :scared:
you guys are probably right. I would recommend a good spectrum analyzer to watch out from the peaks. it helped me improve my sound quality alot

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