Nancy Sinatra - Bang Bang / recording & playing advice welcome!

Hello guitar folks!

I’m a newbie what comes to recording audio/video and wanted to give it a try with this Nancy Sinatra - Bang Bang cover:

I have posted one song earlier (my first AVOYP - G major impro) which I did with my mobile phone. Now I have finally managed to upgrade my ‘home studio’, with the intention to motivate myself to post more AVOYP -videos (nice way of spending money too) :smiley:

I’m not sure if I’m doing the recording the most optimal way, hence would be great to receive some recording tips and feedback on how this recording sounds. Feedback on my playing is ofc also warmly welcome, as I want to become a better player.

Equipment used:

  • Mic - Shure SM57-LCE (about 15cm from amp)
  • Focusrite Scarlett Solo
  • Positive Grid - Spark amp (with tremolo effect plugin)
  • Web cam - Razer Kiyo Pro (HD I think)
  • OBS Studio for recording audio and video simultaneously (PC)
  • Bose quiet comfort headphones - for listening to the song on Youtube to stay in time - obviously without noise cancel engaged.

Regarding the recording sound, I find the sound a bit muddy, but that is mostly because of Spark amp. Also, I added a ‘gain filter’ to the mic input in OBS Studio to boost the sound level a bit - otherwise the sound would have been too weak - not sure if this is the best way to do it:

I also adjusted the gain knob on my Scarlett - Solo so that it doesn’t turn red to avoid clipping. Anyone familiar with OBS Studio, is there a way to tweak the sound less muddy?

The headphones that I used are not very good as they are closed ones, and I had to wear them ‘half-way’ on my ears to be able to hear myself playing from the Spark amp. Wondering if open or semi-open headphones would be a good investment for listening to the original track to stay in time when recording covers?

I understand that there are also other ways to record guitar, such as using for instance Pro Tools or Ableton Live and then do the video separately and combine these two tracks in some video editing software (Windows Movie Maker?). Any other suggestions for a complete newbie?

I ended up using OBS Studio as I’m thinking this is the fastest and easiest way to quickly record myself without having the need to do video/audio editing separately. Please, correct me if wrong!

On the other hand, I’m assuming with Pro Tools or Ableton Live you could tweak the audio to filter out any noise/hum and make the sound clearer etc., correct? Which software is easier for a complete newbie, Ableton Live Lite or Pro Tools? (My Scarlett Solo came with these options)

I might give it a try at some point, as I’m assuming these options would give me greater control of the audio quality. It’s just that I’m worried that this would be too time consuming and take away from my valuable time of learning how to play properly first :sweat_smile:

Any tips / feedback would be highly appreciated, cheers :slight_smile:



Nice! I’ve always liked that riff. Well done.

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Welcome and good effort. It is great you took the plunge and had some GAS in the studio buying realm.

OBS is ok but limited. The 2 DAWs you mention may cost as much or more than all the recording gear you bought! I would head over to get Reaper for a 60 day fully free trial that is fully functional. It does video as well. It will do a great job on your audio. You can find it here:

While there, check out the massive library of videos under that tab. Nearly anything you could possibly want to do is covered in the fairly short videos. You will learn a ton. Your total cost for Reaper after the trial is $60 and that will cover you for probably 3-4 years. Try that vs Pro Tools and you will get my point.

Your play seemed good, but to me there was too much Fx on the guitar for my tastes.

Hope that helps and all the best!

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Hey, you’re an accomplished guitarist. That sounds sweet :ok_hand:

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Thanks a lot man! I will check out Reaper; price sounds very reasonable and video editing feature is plus for sure.



Good job on your first foray into video recording in your home studio, Karl. I think the video turned out well and your play sounded good too.

I have been using OBS for a while now though wouldn’t claim to be an expert. As far as I can tell any perceived muddiness would not be as a result of using OBS per se. I am assuming you are using OBS ASIO add-on in OBS and running the Focusrite ASIO drivers on your PC. If so I think the audio being recorded in OBS would be the same as would be recorded in the DAW, since the drivers are the same (but I’ve not tested that).

The gain plug-in is a good way to boost the signal in OBS. Keep in mind it is a chain, so the final level is based on the amp setting, gain setting on the solo, gain filter in OBS and the OBS fader.

My guess would be that perhaps perceive muddiness is as a result of the fx on the guitar. I was hearing a lot of reverb and delay (introduced by the tremelo setting I assume), which I think may be what you are hearing?

I am a Reaper user and as an interesting sidenote just discovered REAPER is actually an acronym Rapid Environment for Audio Production Editing and Recording.

As @LBro said, Reaper does have a useful capability for video editing and I produced this project using Reaper to do all the video work. But Reaper cannot be used to record video (as far as I know), so each of the 4 clips in the project were recorded separately in OBS.

When I was at the same point that you are now, with a Focusrite AI and mic, I installed Ableton Lite. It worke fine though I always struggled a little to get it to do what I wanted as I progressed beyond a simple recording of guitar and vocal. That’s on me, not necessarily a slight on Ableton.

I eventually sought an alternative when the limits of the Lite version became a problem. That is when I moved to Reaper, probably based on LBro’s sound recommendation (excuse the pun). Two good reasons: the suite of videos LBro mentioned and the price. The upgrade from Ableton Lite to the full solution is probably 5-6x the price of Reaper. That said, there are open source options, such as Ardour, which also has video editing capability, and may be worth considering.

I found the workflow and interface of Reaper simpler to use, more intuitive than Ableton. If you began with a lite version of a DAW, I’d suggest maybe Pro Tools over Ableton, based on all the videos I have seen where Pro Tools is being used. Specifically for recording songs with guitar and vocals. It seems more intuitive than my recollection of Ableton (though maybe now with a few years of learning and experience, my experience of Ableton would be different).

Once you have a DAW then options abound to enable video and audio recording plus post recording production. As I said, OBS remains a good option for the video recording. I’m not aware of any other similar tool, based on my research and conversations here (unlike DAWs).

With Reaper (and I am sure all other DAWs) you can route your audio from the Solo into Reaper, apply fx, and then route to OBS to be able to record the video with processed audio simultaenously. That requires work up front to get all the levels, fx etc as you want them.

You can also record the audio in Reaper dry (no fx or processing), route to OBS, and then mix the audio in Reaper after recording the video. Drop the video into Reaper, align the video audio with Reaper audio, mute video audio and then you can re-render the video from Reaper with the mixed audio.

Or you route straight into OBS and use filters to apply fx. If you setup OBS correctly it can make use of the VST plugins that are used in DAWs. Based on my setup with Reaper, I have access in OBS to the plugins I use in Reaper.

You can also decide what audio source you want to monitor in your headphones. That can be setup to include backing plus your own instrument/vocal, either from Reaper or OBS. You just need to work that setup to ensure you don’t have noticeable latency (delay between you playing and hearing).

So a lot depends on what you want to do. I use a different approach to make the project I shared above vs setting up to perform at a Community OM … horses for courses.

WRT headphones, based on the above I don’t believe that you need open-back headphones. You may find that your Bose HPs colour the sound, whereas HPs designed specifically for music production are designed to have a flat frequency response. That said, for our purposes, if the sound quality is good and the HPs are comfortable I am sure you’ll be fine.

I have found recording, mixing and production to be as much fun as the learning to play, though it is not everybody’s cuppa tea. So again, depending on what you want to do, your preferences, there are lots of options.

Have fun and for digging deeper plus posting questions, check out this sub-category: #gear-tools-talk:hardware-software-recroding

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Just a quick note. I would not call Reaper a video editor. I would say rather that it can show videos in the DAW and you can do some limited functions. Check out the Reaper video library for more info on what it can do. I go to the library, EXPAND it and hit Cont-F. That brings up a search box. In this case I would type “video” and look at each video that returns. You should find a video(s) on Reaper video editing. As @DavidP said, I am not aware that Reaper can direct record video into it. I don’t know what your using for a cam. That would dictate your options out on the video. From there you have to look at what will receive that feed of audio and video.

All the best on your new found studio gear adventure!

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Thanks a lot for taking your time to respond and give feedback, it replies to many of my questions. Highly appreciated :slight_smile:

I’m actually not using any ASIO add-ons / drivers, and I’m not very familiar with these. However, I do know it is supposed to tackle latency issues. I recently upgraded my desktop computer with a 12th gen i7 CPU, and the other components are pretty high spec as well, hence? I haven’t experienced any latency issues with OBS Studio in conjunction with my Focusrite Scarlett Solo. Maybe I will need to install ASIO drivers when I try out Reaper.

You are right, the effects (tremolo etc.) from my Spark amp are the result of the “muddy sound” for sure.

Anyways, based on the feedback, I will give Reaper a try for sure! Will also dive into the gear/tools section of this community.

Btw, I watched your project video, very nice job with both the video editing and playing :sunglasses:
It gives me inspiration to try out something similar once I have learned how to use all the available tools.


sounds really nice!

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That’s a really great riff. Well played and well done.

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Very nicely done Karl. Great song to pick as well.

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