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Can't get Blue Icicle to work

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by Superheroine1219, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. Superheroine1219

    Superheroine1219 Active Member

    Just got the blue icicle preamp. It's supposed to be plug and play, but I can't get it to work. Everything seems to have installed correctly, I didn't get any error messages. But even with the gain all the way up, there's no signal. I've uninstalled and reinstalled it several times as well as restarting my computer. The strange part is that if I shake it, I do see the signal level jump in the track that's armed to record. But tapping on the actual microphone gives me nothing.

    I'm using Sonar and an SM58. Anyone have any ideas?
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Have you tried it with another mic? In short... you're sure that the 58 is working?

    Have you tried using another cable?

    And you're sure that the track you have armed has the Blue USB as the assigned input?

    Beyond that, I'd suggest returning it for a replacement.
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    To make it work, your usb port needs to supply power but not every port does. Test on other usb port and/or another computer and with another mic like Donny said..
    Or return the d..m thing and get an audio interface for about the same price : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00154KSA2/?tag=recording.org-20
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I have no experience with these "mini-pre's", so I don't know what the user is supposed to expect.

    I would echo my colleague Marco's advice, and also suggest that you look into an actual standalone mic/instrument pre / I-O, especially since they are so close in price.

    The model he provided the link to above would also give you things that the Icicle doesn't: 2 input channels instead of only 1, using XMax pre's ( 60 db gain), a headphone jack/volume, separate monitor outs, a "blend" function, which allows you to hear the input, output, or a blend of the two, which can come in handy when dealing with latency, also, a midi I/O, should you want to work with a midi keyboard controller at some point to play and incorporate VSTi's (sample-based pianos, strings, organs, drums, etc) into your productions, along with 48v Phantom Power for condenser mics, and USB connectivity.
    pcrecord likes this.
  5. Superheroine1219

    Superheroine1219 Active Member

    Thanks for the replies! As it turns out, it's a problem with either my microphone or the cable. I plugged it into an old M-Audio audio buddy preamp and there was still no signal. I haven't done any recording in a very long time and the audio interface I was using has been discontinued for some time, which means I cant find any compatible drivers. I was kind of looking for the cheapest way to just get up and running again, hence the blue icicle. Looks like I'll be buying a new cable and if that doesn't work, a new mic!
  6. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Why not open up the connectors and have a look inside - fixing it could be a five minute job? Before you buy a new mic, you need to get a handle on basic fault finding.
  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    To be honest - and somewhat blunt as well, it's difficult for me to relate to the fact that someone who is active in audio recording has only one mic cable - and a potentially faulty one at that - but I get that there are those who are on extremely limited budgets.

    That being said, and if money really is that tight for you, I agree with my colleague Paul - before you run out and buy a new one, take a look at the connectors on the cable you currently have. Check both ends of the XLR cable - It could be as simple as a single faulty solder point, a loose wire, which is an easy fix. If the cable happens to be faulty in the middle somewhere, then you could try tracing down the break; and you might be able repair it and then re- splice the cable.
    On the other hand, if the cable is old, shows any signs of oxidation or wear, then you could face more issues with it in the future, even if you do fix the apparent problem now. If this is the case, then you're best off to just purchase another cable.
    Most music stores have XLR's for around $15-20, unless you're looking at high quality cables, by manufacturers like Mogami, Monster, etc.

    While not impossible, I'd find it surprising that the 58 was bad. SM57's and 58's are workhorses; and known for their rugged construction, and ability to take all kinds of ridiculous punishment... and still deliver almost every time.

    I've told the story here on RO before, about losing a 57 in the snow one night while unloading my car after a gig, ( I didn't know I'd dropped it into the snow, when it came up short I thought I'd left it at a gig) and then finding it in the spring... and I found it by running over it with a lawnmower... I tried it, thinking for sure it would be toast, but it still worked. And in fact, it still does. I use it all the time for my live solo act - in fact, I used it on a gig just last night. It certainly ain't pretty - LOL - but it works just fine.

    You didn't really mention what it is you want to do, what kind of quality you are ultimately after, or how serious you are about this... if this is just a hobby for you, just for fun, then there's no real point in investing any more money than what you already have - with the exception of a working mic and working XLR cable, which is crucial for anyone who is recording , regardless of the level of quality desired... so, find out what your fault-point is, fix or replace it, and have fun.

    On the other hand, if you are looking for a higher level of quality, or a gain chain that can offer you greater flexibility, then you'll need to spend some money to make that happen. You wouldn't need to spend a lot of money to improve your quality and flexibility by a noticeable margin, but you would need to invest some more. :)


  8. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Thats' gotta be the best testimonial for an SM57 I have ever heard in my lifetime...
    - It should be on their website (providing Shure gave you a lifetime supply of SM57s' in lieu of the endorsement of course...) ;)

    It made me chuckle and think Yep, only an SM57 could take that type punishment and still function
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Yeah, it's definitely a real testimonial, and I think perhaps the strongest example available for just how well-built those mics really are. ;)

    What I didn't mention, was that I bought the mic new in 1979... and that the situation I described happened in 2003. Which means that the mic was already 24 years old, and had been used on countless gigs during that time, before I put it through virtually the worst punishment imaginable... an entire winter under the ice and snow, freezes and thaws... and then, as if that wasn't punishment enough, to be hit by the blades of a Briggs and Stratton lawnmower the following May... and then finding out that it still worked just fine afterwards... further, I've had it an additional 12 years since, continued use on countless gigs... and.. it still works fine. LOL.

    Yeah, I'd say that's definitely one for the books. ;)
  10. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Something tells me you need to mow the lawn more often....;)
  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    LOL... well, I don't think there's a Telefunken Elam laying out there... but who knows?
    Sean G likes this.
  12. Superheroine1219

    Superheroine1219 Active Member

    Using a different cable didn't do the trick. I tried to take the mic apart, but I can't get that damned screw to turn. And yes, I know that it's opposite of all other screws. I tried turning that thing in both directions, but it won't budge and my hand is practically raw from the stupid screwdriver. I'm ready to throw it against a wall and see if that helps! :mad:
  13. Superheroine1219

    Superheroine1219 Active Member

    I guess throwing it against the wall did the trick! Just kidding... I gave it one more try and it worked. Figures, huh? All if the solder points look fine. I took both ends of the cable apart and nothing is loose there either.
  14. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    I was going to suggest leaving it out in the snow for three months, then running it over with the lawnmower, but its not an SM57....
    pcrecord likes this.
  15. Superheroine1219

    Superheroine1219 Active Member

    I'd be willing to try that if I thought it'd help... And if I lived somewhere that got snow.
  16. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    In what way do you mean "it worked"? Are you saying that you're now getting a signal into your pre? Or are you saying that you were successful only in getting the mic open?

    Well, if you tried another cable and still got no signal, it's doubtful that it's the cable, unless the other cable happened to be bad...

    I'm still not convinced that this isn't the Icicle... I know you said you tried it with another pre/I-O, the audio-buddy, but when was the last time you used that? And are the drivers for it up to date?

    Here's what I suggest... take the Icicle, along with your SM58 and your cable with you to the store where you bought the Icicle, and ask them if you can connect your mic and cable through a basic PA, or something that you know for a fact is working. If it's still not working, swap the cable, if that doesn't work, then swap the mic.. this is all a process of elimination here.

    The problem with you doing this elimination at home, is that you're not 100% sure that any of what you are using is working properly; so you need a solid, working base-control foundation from which to test all the other components in question. I doubt the store would give you any grief about asking to do this, especially if they think they'll end up selling you a cable, or a mic, or, maybe even both.
  17. Superheroine1219

    Superheroine1219 Active Member

    I got the mic open to take a look at the connections and everything looks fine. I took a look at the wiring at the top part too. Did the same to the cable and everything looks fine there too. Nothing is loose. And yet, the mic still doesn't work.
  18. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    see my post above your last post.
  19. Superheroine1219

    Superheroine1219 Active Member

    I get that you're a moderator and you're trying to help me, but I also get the distinct impression that you're being judgmental, which I neither need nor appreciate. It's been well over a decade since I've played with any of this stuff and I'm actually surprised I was able to dig out the equipment that I did. So thank you for your suggestions, I will take them under advisement and I will work this out on my own.
  20. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Being a moderator has nothing to do with it.
    If you were to take the time to read my past posts here on RO, posts to others who have sought help here in the past, or, if you were to ask anyone here on RO, they would tell you that I am always willing to help those in need. I'm not judgmental. If you take it that way, then that's your own skewed perception.

    I will not apologize for attempting to help you. None of the members here offer their time, experience and expertise for any compensation of any kind. We do this because we like to help those who need it.

    Perhaps you should re-read the posts above, including my own, all of which were written with no other motivation than to HELP you. If you don't want that help, then that's your business.

    I promise you that I will not attempt to assist you again.

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