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Line-in hiss with SoundBlaster AWE64

Discussion in 'Recording' started by BobJones, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. BobJones

    BobJones Guest

    I've begun to experience hiss when recording through the line-in with my SB AWE64. Is there any way I can prevent this hiss?

    I go headphone-out from my minidisc recorder, through a preamp, into the sound card's line-in. When I just play the minidisc audio through the sound card's line-in, the sound is excellent, with minimal or zero hiss.

    But when I then record this audio and play back the recording, the hiss is there.

    I haven't had this problem in the past. I've tried adjusting my output volume, the line-in recording volume, everything I can think of, but can't get rid of the hiss.

    Since I experience no hiss when using the line-in as a pass-through, could this be a software or a problem with the Windows XP driver?

    Note that SoundBlaster no longer provides drivers for the AWE64.
  2. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Get rid of it and get your hands on a decent (pro) sound card.
  3. mhughes

    mhughes Guest

    Hi Bob.

    A limitation of the AWE64 is that the playback while
    recording is at 8 bits. This is the hiss you are hearing.

  4. BobJones

    BobJones Guest

    OK, then. Suggest a couple of moderately priced pro sound cards.
  5. tundrkys

    tundrkys Guest

    I've recorded enough through an AWE64 to know it is not your problem. Wish I could join the snobs, but I understand not every project requires a "pro" sound card.
    Sounds more like you have a gain stage problem. Hiss is usually a side effect of a second gain stage amplifying a low signal. in your case, your minidisc player's output is too low.
    I can't remember if the AWE64 has it's own mixing utility, or control panel, or if you have to use the windows control panel. If the AWE64 has it's own panel, open it, and see if it has a meter showing the signal coming in. After you have maxed the volume coming from the minidisc player, observe the signal going in to your soundcard.
    If you have to use the windows control panel, be sure that you click on the options button, then click on properties. Chose recording, and be sure there is a check in the line in, and microphone boxes. If your signal is too hot, then you'll want to lower the fader for which ever input you are using.
    you may be able to watch the recording meters in your audio program. you want the level to be in the yellow, and on the edge of the red. this should solve your problem more or less.
  6. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Sorry Bob for not getting back to you sooner (had problems posting pics on the Pro Audio forum). First, how many I/O's do you need? Second, Will you be doing any high res recording? Third, do you have any other pieces of gear that you plan to maybe interface this sound card with (ie. digital transfers via coax/optical). These are just a few questions that you can ponder with, so when you do decide to upgrade, the choices won't be so vague.
  7. BobJones

    BobJones Guest

    New sound card


    Well, if I can't work out the AWE 64 problems (I've been working on the gain stage issue without success) and do decide to upgrade, I will need a QUIET line-in that will allow me to dump music and voice audio from an external source that I can then burn to CD.

    It should be able to accommodate an externally powered mixer as well.

    I'd also need a good mic in for recording music and vocals, using a Shure mic and external pre-amp.

    An optical out connection would be useful, although not essential.

  8. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    FYI, keep in mind that the dynamic range changes a little bit when you go from going through the AD/DA conversion versus going straight digital or bypassing the converters. When I got started, I was using the same sound card (SB AWE64 Gold) which sounded superb. But when I needed to really get down with the recording thing, it was'nt the card that I could rely on to get it done. So with that said, again I'd go with a good semi pro card with most if not all the bells & whistles, because you might find yourself doing another upgrade to replace a not-so-up-to-par sound card. P.S. All of the pro cards on the market now-a-days have more than enough of what you're looking for.

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