This is mainly for Thomas, but anyone else with sound equipment experience can feel free to chime in.
Be warned, though, it's long-winded.
I've finally got a little extra room to set up my small batch of recording equipment (which will hopefully grow). My problem is that I can't find any good primers out there and I haven't been happy with the stuff I've been able to record. It might be my signal chain - and is no doubt largely due to my general ignorance.
Here's a quick rundown of what I'm dealing with:
-Fostex MR-8 digital multitracker
-LTO S-6 6-channel mixer
-Boss DR-5 Dr. Rhythm
-Boss ME-50 Multiple Effects pedalboard
-Behringer Condenser microphone (the mixer supplies phantom power)
-Fender M-80 Amplifier
Not much, I know. For the signal chain, I usually feed the drum machine and any mics into the mixer, then that into the multitracker. For a guitar I go through the pedalboard into the amp then straight into the multitracker.
The big problem is that I can't ever get a good guitar sound. I think it's the amp, but using the amp simulation in the multitracker generally sucks. Feeding it all through the mixer generally sucks, too. I want to get a full, heavy distorted sound, and the levels are never right - I either cut it out completely or it redlines.
I'm thinking I need a compressor, yes? Are there any good primers online that detail general recording stuff like this? Are there general rules for what level to put things at, how to get volume, the real nitty-gritty?
I'm not looking for anything professional, just being able to tinker with effects without getting overpowered by the drum machine or having to weaken the overall sound. I usually have to cut so much of the gain and level that the distortion loses most of its shape. And I can't even think about using the wah - the high-end completely redlines, unless I just completely cut it out with a filter. Not good.
Any thoughts, anyone?