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Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:11 pm
by redbaron1
Will installing the Realtek HD Audio drivers improve the Recording and playback quality on Studio One. I'm not real sure what the Realtek is, but from what I've read it may help, other articles saying it's not all that good.
If it will help, what is the official site to download it?
Also, are there any upgrades, or whatever, to improve the built-in sound hardware quality. I have seen some articles about improving PC performance on other things using the Cmd Prompt. Does any of that apply here?

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:15 am
by Nip
There is a good reason to invest in an audio interface that will allow low latency over ASIO as well as better quality and less noise.

HD Audio drivers are made for listening only, so not low latency anything - don't bother.

There are plenty good enough interfaces at $100 or so over usb.

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:07 am
by Tacman7
Ya, very hard to get serious with regular sound cards, you need decent audio interface.

Good news! Most all modern interfaces are really good compared to the old days. Big improvement over stock sound cards.

What will improve your 'sound' is ADC, so when you turn your analog sounds into digital, having good converters will be better.

DAC which is taking the digital sounds and turning them into analog so you can hear them doesn't actually improve the recording quality directly. It does give you the ability to hear what's going on so that will help your sound eventually.

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:06 am
by redbaron1
I am using an Audiobox USB on an HP 8100 Elite Mintower, Win 10 Pro, 64 bit.
I have another smaller HP 510-P010Z Desktop SFF sitting on my grand piano where it is Handy. I have an Audiobox USB 96 on it. It's running Win 10 Pro 64 bit.
Is there something better for an interface that is within a small Social Security budget?

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:53 am
by dcumpian
redbaron1 wroteI am using an Audiobox USB on an HP 8100 Elite Mintower, Win 10 Pro, 64 bit.
I have another smaller HP 510-P010Z Desktop SFF sitting on my grand piano where it is Handy. I have an Audiobox USB 96 on it. It's running Win 10 Pro 64 bit.
Is there something better for an interface that is within a small Social Security budget?


There's nothing wrong with the Audiobox(es). I would think a better microphone may be in order. Recording a piano is not a simple task, but it is possible to get a good home recording with a decent mic. Once you have a good one, you'll want to record the piano with the mic in different positions until you get the sound you are looking for. Recording a piano with two microphones is even better.

Can you post a l,ink to some samples of what you are referring to? That might help...

Dan

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:10 am
by SwitchBack
Have a look at a pair of Samson C02 supercardioids. Price/quality wise these are quite nice.

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:41 am
by darrenporter1
redbaron1 wroteIs there something better for an interface that is within a small Social Security budget?


Absolutely, but you will have to buy used. Audiobox interfaces are pretty much the bottom-feeders. Don't get me wrong, they have their place, but you absolutely CAN do much better. For example, this will run circles around the Audiobox.... https://reverb.com/item/31931576-audient-id4-2018-black

But it also may not be your "weakest link." Identify that and spend your money there.

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:52 am
by cristofe
"The weakest link" is good advice. Even a high end audio interface and microphones can be greatly degraded by cheap cables.

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:55 am
by darrenporter1
oh boy... please let's not go down the cables wormhole....

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:59 am
by cristofe
Oh PLEASE.

And your point is?? Poorly shielded audio cables can allow noise to be introduced. Cheap USB or firewire cables can cause errors and drop packets/signals. That's not a "wormhole". That's a proven fact.

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:03 pm
by Jemusic
All modern affordable audio interfaces for DAW recording will do an excellent job. For piano I would be looking into a matched pair of quality microphones. (A stereo ribbon mic would be a pretty decent choice as well, budget depending of course) Mics can be on two stands so you can move them around. (or two mics on a stereo bracket which mounts on a single stand) With the lid up and the mics in, but not too close either pointing at the strings (AB spaced pair) you are going to get a nice result. Better if the piano is sitting in a nice sounding room. Then you can move them back slightly. (out from under the lid into the room more etc. Experiment here and make test recordings at all positions. The results will differ quite a lot. It is surprising) The closer they are in the more intimate the sound will be. Slightly more percussive too.

Any good quality mic cable will get the signal from the mic to the interface reliably. It is wise to invest well here though. Eliminates problems. Don't make em too long either. If the interface is only a few feet away from the mics, get leads appropriate length.

PreSonus Audiobox USB will also do a fine job too. The most important thing here is using the correct amount of Mic Pre input gain to get the desired level recording onto a stereo track. At the loudest points in the playing. If a whole piece is played softly for example, you can use a little more input gain. And visa versa of course.

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:04 pm
by darrenporter1
:roll: and so here we go...

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:10 pm
by darrenporter1
Jemusic wroteAll modern affordable audio interfaces will do an excellent job.


"Adequate job" would be a more accurate phrase here. If you want true "excellence" in an audio interface, you need to be willing to pay for it.

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:17 pm
by Jemusic
darrenporter1 wrote
"Adequate job" would be a more accurate phrase here. If you want true "excellence" in an audio interface, you need to be willing to pay for it.


Less cost now for a very good interface than ever before. Both a very affordable dual channel interface and an expensive one will make excellent recordings. If the same two mics were split to both of them the resultant recordings would be much harder to tell apart than many think. The expensive interface will be better but it will require much more expert ears in very accurate listening conditions to be able to tell them apart. And if someone like Chick Corea is doing the playing, it wont matter very much at all.

The choice of microphones and their placement will produce far more dramatic differences than the difference between a $200 interface and a $2000 one.

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:19 pm
by cristofe
darrenporter1 wrote:roll: and so here we go...


Not we......just you. :lol:

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:23 pm
by matthewgorman
My .02. Unless you can directly put a finger on what needs to be upgraded, then put the money back in your pocket. Keep learning until you can. The AB you have has entry level preamps, but they aren't awful. At least one time per day you will hear a song that was recorded with similar or worse preamps. There are any number of ways to improve recording quality with the gear that you have. Push that to the limit, and what you need to improve will become clearer.

Things like what mic, and where its placed, can have a much bigger impact on recording quality.

To all in the thread, lets stop arguing about cables, and keep to the OP's question. Whatever camp you are in regarding what cables to buy, just be comfortable with your own decisions. Let help the OP in his recording process, shall we?

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:28 pm
by matthewgorman
Will installing the Realtek HD Audio drivers improve the Recording and playback quality on Studio One. I'm not real sure what the Realtek is, but from what I've read it may help, other articles saying it's not all that good.


The realtek drivers are for realtek internal pc soundcards. You do not have to do anything here if you are using the Audiobox

Also, are there any upgrades, or whatever, to improve the built-in sound hardware quality. I have seen some articles about improving PC performance on other things using the Cmd Prompt. Does any of that apply here?


There are no upgrades that you can make to existing PC hardware that will improve sound quality. When you see references to improving PC performance, most times it is referencing computing power, not audio quality. If you have things like a delay in hearing a played note (latency), to pops and clicks during playback or recording, these are some of the things that improving PC performance will help fix.

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:53 pm
by darrenporter1
Jemusic wrote
darrenporter1 wrote
"Adequate job" would be a more accurate phrase here. If you want true "excellence" in an audio interface, you need to be willing to pay for it.


Less cost now for a very good interface than ever before. Both a very affordable dual channel interface and an expensive one will make excellent recordings. If the same two mics were split to both of them the resultant recordings would be much harder to tell apart than many think. The expensive interface will be better but it will require much more expert ears in very accurate listening conditions to be able to tell them apart. And if someone like Chick Corea is doing the playing, it wont matter very much at all.

The choice of microphones and their placement will produce far more dramatic differences than the difference between a $200 interface and a $2000 one.


You do realize that the interface I suggested he look at is selling for $150 used, right?

I totally agree that you can only work with what you can afford and that the "bottom feeders" are improving, but you don't need to spend $2000 to get a fantastic two-channel interface - in fact I think that would be foolish. There are reasons a two-channel Audient, RME or Apollo interface cost what they do (all WELL under $1000) and those reasons are why people are willing to pay for them.

Mic placement can not offset sub-par preamps and poor converters, but yes proper technique is of course vitally important no matter what level preamp you can afford. No amount of money spent on gear will compensate for not knowing how to use it.

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:28 pm
by SwitchBack
OP's on a tight budget, so pair of C02's $100, two mic stands with boom $30, two 30ft mic cables $30 (Neutrik plugs preferred). $160-$175 in total and go! Spend more where you can but cost rises exponentially with quality ;)

And spend plenty time reading/watching up on mic placement for grands.

Re: Improving Recording Quality

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:15 pm
by darrenporter1
That might be a good way to spend $175 but he didn't really say what mics he had. Questions were specific about PC/interface improvements.

If mics are an issue, that's a good suggestion though. A PZM mic for the grand might be good option to look at as well.

Budget is an issue, so I strongly suggest looking used to stretch your dollars... Reverb.com and local Craigslist is your friend if money is tight.