New to the whole concept...



  • Hi guys,

    i am fairly new to the whole idea of doing music on the Computer. Since my gf and I were starting working with our iMac on Video Editing, i thought why not also check into the whole music stuff on the Mac. So we got ourself Logic Pro X as well. I checked on Garage Band before that a bit, but wanted to start with the better stuff like Logic.

    On Youtube and through a friend i came to Bias Amp 2. Really looked and sounded cool, so I got myself that one as well. I have to admit that I am still pretty much at the beginning of getting to know Logic Pro X and how that works, and many things are still a mystery to me. Those softwares take time to get really behind it all.

    The built-in Amps etc on Logic really didnt get me hyped much, so when I saw your Software, I really got excited.

    My setup here is like the following.

    I have a Boss Katana 100 where my guitar is plugged into, from there it goes on the back with the Record out into a small Behringer Mixer and that is connected via USB with the Mac. One of my many questions is, since there is a Standalone and a Plugin VST/AU version of Bias Amp 2, which one do I use ? N00b question, i am sure, but still, i need to find out. I know that the plugin is listed correctly in the Plugin list in Logic. But do I always need to start Bias Amp 2 via the Standalone app while using Logic, or how do i work with the plugin instead ?

    I fiddled around a bit and got some cool sounds... however, if I record that in Logic, the result sounds not even close to what i got as sound while i was playing / recording it. I am sure its just me not knowing much of the whole concept yet, and i am really sorry to bother you guys with that, but if you could give me some info on the above, I would really appreciate it. ;)

    Thanks in advance.

    Wolf


  • A2

    If you are using it as a plugin in Logic, you should not need to start the standalone. I'm not familiar with the Katana's driver software ( I was actually hoping to put it on my drivers list later), so I don't know if it has an option for unprocessed input, but it should still sound the same playing a playing back.

    In your case, it looks like you are using the Behringer mixer as your input. In general we usually like to say to monitor the whole chain and nothing but the recording chain. If you are hearing both the katana, and the recording chain while recording, and hearing only the recording chain when you play back, then for sure its going to sound different.

    In your case, it seems like the Katana is only needed as a DI, not sure if your particular behringer mixer has its own dedicated DI port, in which case I would far rather use that instead of the katana. This would eliminate piles of confusion



  • @pipelineaudio I do have to admit, i am a bit lost right now. ^^ It probably should make more sense for me. ;) The reason why I use the Behringer is because I also am doing some Podcasting as well. I didnt found an Audio Interface I liked, so I went with the Mixer, which has a built-in USB Audio Interface as well.

    I tried the Boss Katana Software, didnt liked it really. The sounds I could produce there was not even close to the quality i saw when I watched the first Videos about Bias Amp 2. I know I could use the Katana as USB Device as well, but I heard that wasnt really preferrable.

    So the way it is now, is as described.

    Guitar into the Katana (before I got the Katana i had it directly into the Behringer), from there with the Record Out into the Mixer into Channel 1. When I record in Logic, I use the Behringer as USB Audio Interface.

    If you could tell me exactly, if you wouldnt mind, what I could change to make it better (since I am obviously thinking wrong with how where what goes ^^), I would really appreciate that.

    Not to mention that I appreciate your previous comment as well, always good to find other people that can help. Because, nowadays, thats not always common anymore.

    Cheers m8

    Wolf


  • A2

    Can you tell me the exact model of your behringer mixer?


  • A2

    Also, what are you listening to the output of logic with? Does the mixer go to a set of studio monitors?



  • can you not connect your instrument directly to the mixer/interface instead of going through the Katana? It seems like adding unnecessary complication, considering that BIAS is going to be effectively replacing the Katana in your chain anyway.



  • @pipelineaudio said in New to the whole concept...:

    Can you tell me the exact model of your behringer mixer?

    Yes, its a Behringer X1222USB.



  • @pipelineaudio said in New to the whole concept...:

    Also, what are you listening to the output of logic with? Does the mixer go to a set of studio monitors?

    Yes, I have a set up Fluid Audio FX8 on the main out of the Mixer. I really like those a lot. I only got them recently, using them also to play all audio from my Mac now. Had a 2.1 Set before on my Mac, a regular Computer speaker 2.1 set. Now with the Mac via Behringer and the Studio Monitors sounds much better than with the regular set of speakers, directly going out of the Mac. I love the iMac, but for a Computer with that price, they do have a crappy onboard sound in my opinion.



  • @ash-wolford said in New to the whole concept...:

    can you not connect your instrument directly to the mixer/interface instead of going through the Katana? It seems like adding unnecessary complication, considering that BIAS is going to be effectively replacing the Katana in your chain anyway.

    I could probably do that, yes. ;)


  • A2

    @ash-wolford said in New to the whole concept...:

    can you not connect your instrument directly to the mixer/interface instead of going through the Katana? It seems like adding unnecessary complication, considering that BIAS is going to be effectively replacing the Katana in your chain anyway.

    It doesn't look like that particular model has a DI. I wonder if the Katana has a line output return from USB...Ideally a cheap DI into that mixer would be good I would think



  • @pipelineaudio said in New to the whole concept...:

    @ash-wolford said in New to the whole concept...:

    can you not connect your instrument directly to the mixer/interface instead of going through the Katana? It seems like adding unnecessary complication, considering that BIAS is going to be effectively replacing the Katana in your chain anyway.

    It doesn't look like that particular model has a DI. I wonder if the Katana has a line output return from USB...Ideally a cheap DI into that mixer would be good I would think

    DI ?


  • A2

    Ideally, the chain would be DI - Bias DSP - Monitors, usually.
    Its fleshing out those in between things that can get tricky
    You could definitely use the katana to get up to line level for the mixer, but I'm not sure how well Bias will react to that. Id set the katana completely flat, bypass everything, get a decent level to the line input of the mixer, set that flat and see how Bias feels. If its right, get out some tape and put notches on everything so you can back to it....eventually, spend the 10-40 dollars, but a DI and forget all the hassles


  • A2

    Direct box or something that fills the same function



  • @pipelineaudio Would that do ?

    https://www.musicstore.de/de_DE/EUR/Behringer-DI100-Ultra-DI-active-DI-Box/art-PAH0000110-000

    https://www.musicstore.de/de_DE/EUR/Behringer-DI4000-Ultra-DI-Pro-4-Kanal-active-DI-Box/art-PAH0000111-000

    https://www.musicstore.de/de_DE/EUR/Klark-Teknik-DN200-Dual-Di-Box/art-PAH0015300-000

    So, if I understand you correct, best to leave the Katana out of the whole thing and plug the guitar directly intoyan DI, from there out into the Mixer I have, which is connected via USB to my Mac. Is that more less ok?


  • A2

    That Ultra DI100 should be fine, since your mixer has phantom power.
    I used one of those for a lot of bass and clean guitar recording and it worked great. I know how people feel about Behringer, but some of their stuff is good at any price, and that DI is one of them.

    Till you get one though, you should be able to set the katana as flat as possible and send the fx send to the line in of the mixer

    As you get more into this stuff, you'll be glad you own a DI, or 2, or 10



  • @pipelineaudio I saw a video yesterday, where someone tried all the different settings to record out of the Katana, also the FX send, and that especially sound really bad. Although that guy was using the Katana Head, but I doubt that makes a difference in that matter.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92qbj7Zc5ic&t=69s

    I tried again earlier today with just the guitar, into the mixer (Line In) on Channel 1. When I started Bias Amp 2 (Standalone), i even got a pretty ok sound. But recording it in Logic, what came out when I played it, was just the Clean sound. As if Logic didnt record anything of the Bias amp 2 sounds, but just the regular Clean setting from within Logic Pro.

    Why is that ?

    I also dont really know how to use Plugins, as Bias Amp 2 (Plugin Version), rather than in this case, the Stand alone version. I checked the Plugin settings in Logic, Bias Amp 2 is recognized and authorized, but I dont know how to use it. I only know how to use the Standalone version. Its not hard to see that i am still a n00b at these things. ;)

    I would appreciate any help in this matter. You already helped me a lot, would you be so kind and maybe help me with understanding this bit too ?

    And I will check on this DI. I read a bit around, and there are many that say that these cheap Behringer DIs have bad sound. As you said , and I already heard plenty before, Behringer aint what many people like. But sometimes it just might do, like my Mixer. Its not really good, but its also not bad for the price. I am just going into all these things, I can still get something better along the way. But for the beginning it should be enough.

    Cheers

    Wolf


  • A2

    @aowwolf said in New to the whole concept...:

    @pipelineaudio I saw a video yesterday, where someone tried all the different settings to record out of the Katana, also the FX send, and that especially sound really bad. Although that guy was using the Katana Head, but I doubt that makes a difference in that matter.

    In that case, they want the sound of the amp, thru a speaker, thru a mic. An amp straight to a mixer will normally sound absolutely disgusting, we need the filtering action of the speaker to give us the sound we expect. The recording compensated outputs on the katana acheive that, the same way the cabinet or impulse responses in Bias do.

    In this case, I suggested you set the Katana as flat as possible for the least possible in any way change to the guitar sound, You want ONLY the functions of the Katana that can function as a DI: Convert the signal coming from the guitar to the level and impedance that a mixer input needs, whether line or mic. The idea here is that Bias will do ALL of the signal processing and you will then always have the pristine, clean sound of the guitar to get back to, already recorded, so you can change the sounds you are getting later in the context of the mix

    I tried again earlier today with just the guitar, into the mixer (Line In) on Channel 1. When I started Bias Amp 2 (Standalone), i even got a pretty ok sound. But recording it in Logic, what came out when I played it, was just the Clean sound. As if Logic didnt record anything of the Bias amp 2 sounds, but just the regular Clean setting from within Logic Pro.

    Why is that ?

    I'm not exactly sure how Logic works (oh that's painful to say, those guys were marketing geniuses to come up with that name "what? You have no logic? You don't understand logic?" touche).

    It sounds like somehow you are monitoring thru Bias during record but not monitoring thru it during playback.

    Ideally you SHOULD only be recording the clean guitar signal, but you should definitely hear bias modifying it, unless you have bias bypassed in the plugin chain

    Basically, the way people usually record this type of stuff nowdays, is to send the clean guitar in, with a plugin like Bias on the track, so that all you hear at the output is what bias did to it. When you play it back, you hear it just as you heard it when recording, yet you are free to change the settings, bypass the plugin and hear only the clean, or even change the plugins. You always still have the clean track as a base to start from. I dont know how the routing works in logic, but hopefully someone else will know exactly which buttons to push

    I also dont really know how to use Plugins, as Bias Amp 2 (Plugin Version), rather than in this case, the Stand alone version. I checked the Plugin settings in Logic, Bias Amp 2 is recognized and authorized, but I dont know how to use it. I only know how to use the Standalone version. Its not hard to see that i am still a n00b at these things. ;)

    It seems like the unprocessed signal is reaching both Logic's input and Bias standalone's input in parallel, which may explain the issue above. You hear the standalone while you are playing, but Logic records what you told it to, which is the unprocessed. When you playback, the signal has no reason to go through Bias standalone, so all you hear is the clean playback from logic, as it should be. You really need to use the plugin, and enable input monitoring for that track...again, not sure how to do this in Logic.

    And I will check on this DI. I read a bit around, and there are many that say that these cheap Behringer DIs have bad sound. As you said , and I already heard plenty before, Behringer aint what many people like. But sometimes it just might do, like my Mixer. Its not really good, but its also not bad for the price. I am just going into all these things, I can still get something better along the way. But for the beginning it should be enough.

    Somewhere in this forum is a few pictures of the piles of different high dollar DI boxes I own. I get in a lot of trouble for standing in front of my racks and racks of botique mic preamps, and happily doing videos recording thru cheap behringer or focusrite mic preamps just to prove a point.

    The Marketing Machine is powerful, and spends all sorts of time and money and pressure to convince people that they need to worry about things that nobody can hear. Once people spend their money on this stuff, they too have a vested interest in protecting their investment and justifying their purchases by pretending to hear things they can't hear.

    I was mentored in the recording industry amid this sort of magical thinking, and used to push it as hard as anyone else. My penance for my sins has been a nonstop fight back against the nonsense, bad science, psuedoscience, magical thinking and dishonest tactics of this whole system.

    In reality, there are a few measurable parameters that can tell you nearly anything you need to know about the actual fidelity of any gear, such as noise, distortion and frequency response. No matter how much magical claims people make, these are testable. When there is no measurable difference, there is no audible difference.

    You will run into people all day long in forums that scream this way or that that there is some magical, subtle difference that they can hear. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. But the absolute, world ending, mindblowing power of the ABX test can really shut it all down....of course there are still true believers that won't accept the results, but for the reality based community, the ABX test, or the null test are proof enough.

    All that rambling preamble aside, when my pile of gear to test gets big enough, I will often have facebook contests to give the gear away to anyone who can tell the difference between two devices that measure the same, at a rate higher than random chance.

    Modern DI boxes are an area where I have ultimate confidence in having to just give the gear away at random, as nobody, no matter how much they scream in the forums, or how many receipts they have from guitar center, or which recording "school" they went to, will be able to tell the difference between boxes.

    In a normal, day to day signal, they all do very similar things. Some DO spec slightly better. Some are noisier than others, but in their normal range of operation, they tend to behave the same.

    The reality based reason for needing different sorts of DI's is mostly to deal with pathological signals, such as noisy environments, extra hot pickups (yeah, this can certainly be an issue, many of the most expensive DI boxes out there cannot handle the output of EMG pickups, while most of the cheap modern ones can), long cable runs and other specific use cases.

    Or say, you don't want to rely on phantom power? Then you might want a passive DI....but then, good transformers are expensive, it can be pricey. Will you hear the difference between cheap and good transformers in a mix? Probably not, but maybe.

    If I had to pick just one, I would use the Radial JDI, as it is a commercially available version of the same Jensen transformer circuit I have used for my whole recording life, most of the time just having built them myself, but Radial puts them in a nice package for you.

    However, if all I had was the Behringer Ultra DI 100, and I had phantom power, I would use it and not give it another thought. There are WAY bigger fish to fry and in real world experience, I have never had a single issue with that particular unit

    This 12 string went thru the Ultra 100, and certainly didn't lose any highs or make undue noise, which is what I usually worry about from DI's (aside from distortion on hotter pickups). I could have reached into my bag and grabbed my Radial, taken all of 20 seconds to swap it out, but the Behringer was already sitting there, setup and sounded fine.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDHSDyjoWHk

    TL;DR

    You can spend as much or as little as you want on a modern DI, the point is, not to lose any sleep over it. Content is King, and the content of your song will not be hampered in any way by any decent modern DI