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Thread: Line/Instrument

  1. #1
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    Line/Instrument

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    Well, I've been having some trouble getting a good sound out of my guitar recordings on my current project. I've been at it for a few days, wondering why I can't mix these guitars so well this time around. Didn't know if it was in my head or if I've simply heard it too many times now.

    The clean guitars seemed really springy and popped quite a bit, and the overdriven rhythms seemed more gainey than usual, less full and more bright. Then I noticed that my switch on the 2i2 was set to "line" instead of instrument. Not sure how/why. Maybe I toggled it when I cleaned the desk last week.

    Would using the interface in line mode cause these issues, or any at all in regards to tone? Or is it just, basically, just a volume problem? I'm pondering rerecording these guitar parts, but there are quite a few and I'd rather not if it isn't going to make a difference. And no, I don't want to just "try it and see"... I'm lazy.

    edit: the interface did not clip while recording these guitar parts. fyi. Also, I use a Micro-DI to decrease guitar gain by 15db. The guitar will clip on the lowest volume pot position without it (that's a solved solution. had a thread on it last year sometime. been good since this line dilemma.)

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    I assume this difference is due to the different type amplification that the Focusrite imparts by having the switch set to a different setting. Instrument level is not line level, and it still needs amplification to get it there. Essentially, by switching the setting, you’ve switched the type of amplification used, and as a result, it sounds different—I assume the instrument setting sounds better, yeah?
    "Nahhhhhhhhhhhh mannnnnnnnnnn. I ain't touching that mic. That thing's expensive."

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowsofFritz View Post
    ...I assume the instrument setting sounds better, yeah?
    That is what I am asking, dude. In general, in principle, would line give an unpleasant tone for electric guitar, and might that be my issue with the guitars in my current project...is that a possibility, or is the difference between the two unrelated to tone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrushkiwt View Post
    That is what I am asking, dude. In general, in principle, would line give an unpleasant tone for electric guitar, and might that be my issue with the guitars in my current project...is that a possibility, or is the difference between the two unrelated to tone.
    Like I said, the amplification is different on the two settings, so yes, having a different setting will yield a different tone.

    What line level signal is for is if you were to plug your guitar into an external amplifier and then take the signal out of the amp and plug it in the Focusrite at line. When you’re turning up the gain on line level and it’s plugged in straight from the guitar, you’re turning it up without using the type of amplification that Focusrite intended for you to use when plugging in direct.

    Yes, the tone, in general, will be more unpleasant if you plug in your guitar direct and use line instead of instrument.
    "Nahhhhhhhhhhhh mannnnnnnnnnn. I ain't touching that mic. That thing's expensive."

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowsofFritz View Post
    ...Yes, the tone, in general, will be more unpleasant if you plug in your guitar direct and use line instead of instrument.
    Thanks. I'll switch it over and rerecord tomorrow, see if that fixes the issue. There was just something off about the guitars, and I couldn't put my finger on it. Must have spent two hours cycling through amp sims and IR cabs trying to find something that sounded good.

    This is probably the issue.

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    "Also, I use a Micro-DI to decrease guitar gain by 15db."
    That means you are using the microphone, XLR input so all talk of "Instrument input" is just confusing.

    You are also correct in that the 2i2s had poor instrument input headroom, especially the very early ones.

    Dave.

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    The impedance presented is different too, besides the level of preamplification.
    Scarlett 2i2 | Focusrite

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    Quote Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
    The impedance presented is different too, besides the level of preamplification.
    Scarlett 2i2 | Focusrite
    Not sure what you mean there Keith? The F'rite is 1 meg same as the Micro-DI.

    Dave.

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    I meant the Focusrite’s impedance is different depending on the LINE/INST switch setting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
    I meant the Focusrite’s impedance is different depending on the LINE/INST switch setting.
    Ah! Got you. But in any case it seems OP is going into the mic input?

    Dave.

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