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buzz from mic plugged into the mic input on my computer

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Chris07413, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. Chris07413

    Chris07413 Guest

    i have been trying to make demos for my band using garageband and the mic input on my MacBook. I am pleased with the sound of my acoustic electric guitar and my yamaha digital piano plugged into the input. I can even hear it directly.

    I wanted to record my voice too but i wasn't satisfied with the sound of the built in mic on the computer. I borrowed my friends Sm-58 and went and got a radio shack adapter to get a mic chord to go from XLR to 1/4. I then used another adapter to get the chord to fit in to the mic input.

    The quality was pretty good, except there was a pretty loud buzz that i don't want to deal with. I tried putting a noise gate on the track but the buzz would just come up when the vocals came in.

    Is the reason for the buzz because of all the adapters that I'm using, the computer...or what? I don't want to buy an interface.

    Note-i also can borrow an MXL 900 and 901 but i didn't use them because i don't think i can get phantom power without a mixer or an interface.
  2. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I had the same problem my friend. You need an interface. Plugging your mic into your computer's soundcard for anything other than an online conference call is UNACCEPTABLE. You will not get good results this way. Try and see if you can borrow your friend's interface. Or you may have to buy one.
  3. Chris07413

    Chris07413 Guest

    yeah i figured everyone's going to say that...i'll get saving again.
  4. Chris07413

    Chris07413 Guest

    i like the way my voice sounds though!...i just want to get rid of this buzzing, it's frustrating
  5. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Your computer's built in soundcard was meant to playback simple audio files. Asking it to convert a stream of audio to digital form while sending it to disc is causing it to complain. This is the noise you hear.

    You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but you can buy a new dog.
  6. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    First: Did you buy their XLR to 1/4" adapter like the one shown below, or a cable that's XLR on one end 1/4" on the other? It sounds like you got the XLR female to 1/4" male adaptor, which would be a better choice.

    Next: Is the 1/4" to 1/8" adapter you bought mono 1/4 or stereo1/4 + mono 1/8 or stereo 1/8? or a combination - mono on one end stereo on the other? The 1/4" female of your adapter needs to be mono if you have the adaptor shown above. You need to make sure you know if your computer input is mono or stereo. If your computer input is stereo, your best possible result is sending the mono signal into both the L/R.

    NOTE: This has nothing to do with a mono or stereo source, obviously one mic is going to be a mono source. But the wrong cables & connectors will cause buzzing, hum, and other interferece if you're shorting the shield of a mono male across the left channel by using a mono male into a stereo female.

    Is the buzzing equally annoying in the left and right speaker?

    Lastly: Does you computer have a LCD screen or older CRT? If they are close to your computer, mics and guitars will buzz as they pick up interference from a CRT or TV. LCDs are not usually as much of a problem.

    No specific cure, but some things to consider....
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I tried to find a picture on Google Images of a laptop with a big-ass CRT strapped to it. Seems no one has taken the time to be that much of a smart ass.

  8. Chris07413

    Chris07413 Guest

    i am using the adapter in the picture. i am also using the 1/4 to 1/8 adapter that i believe is stereo. I don't think it is the computer or any electronics around it because i moved the mic to a different room and it didn't solve anything. I just need to get a converter...

    What i don't understand. is why the tracks buzz after i assign the mic to them. Even after im done recording and i take the cable
  9. Chris07413

    Chris07413 Guest

    i tried using a pair of old microphones and put them into the mic input on my computer. how come now i don't have any buzz????
  10. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Well that changes things a bit. What mics do you have? List what mics buzzed and which ones did not.
  11. Chris07413

    Chris07413 Guest

    hold up, i'm sorry. i got mixed up with my words. I plugged a pair of Headphones* into the input on the computer and i didn't get buzz.
  12. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Wait so you put a headphone jack into the mic input, and you wonder why there is no buzz? Your headphones are waiting for signal from the mic input which isn't going to happen. And your mic input is waiting for signal from your headphones which, again, isn't going to happen.
  13. Chris07413

    Chris07413 Guest

    i plugged a pair of headphones into the microphone input while i had my speakers plugged into the computer. so i was using headphones as a mic. I got no buzz..i am getting confused
  14. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Need a few things to clarify.

    1. Do these headphones have a built in mic? And are you saying that you plugged the mic jack into the mic input on your computer?

    2. Is there buzz when nothing is plugged in?
  15. Chris07413

    Chris07413 Guest

    1. i heard that headphones could be used as a mics. so i plugged these "audiotechinica studiophones" into a 1/4 to 1/8 adapter and plugged that into the mic input on my computer. The buzz was gone. And i could hear myself being picked up on the speakers.

    2. There is buzz when nothing is plugged in on the tracks, only after i have tried using the mic to record on them.

    I hope that helps.
  16. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Man you're really desperate huh. Nobody in a legitimate studio would use a pair of headphones as a mic. You have mics lying around, just get an interface so you can use them.
  17. Chris07413

    Chris07413 Guest

    i got the mic to record without buzz.
    I plugged the mic into the mixer of a behringer pa (that had a broken speaker) and i connected a chord from the out on the pa to the mic input on my computer. no buzz, and the sound is good enough for me. atleast for now.

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