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Microphone is too quiet (I swear I must of tried everything)

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Transill, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. Transill

    Transill Active Member

    First off hello everyone! My name is Craig and I live in Florida and I'm still new to this but I want to learn.

    My brother and I have been wanting to get into independent film making since high school but we never had the budget for a camera just yet. We did however get an Azden SGM-2X Shotgun Microphone and a SignVideo XLR_PRO adapter to start toying and working with audio on the computer. The problem so far is that my cheap computer mic is being picking up sound far louder than my nice expensive one. The shotgun mic is clearer but it is at a whisper whereas the cheap mic is loud and clear. I've checked all the mic volume settings on the computer and XLR adpater but nothing seems to make it louder. If I turn the volume knob on the adpater down it stops picking up sound all together but never gets louder than a whisper. You would think that if the cheap mic works fine and you unplug it and plug in the other one it would mean a problem with the mic, cord, or adpater but I am hoping that is not the case and I have no reason to believe that's the case otherwise.

    Any advice that can be given is good advice, thanks!
     
  2. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Hi Craig welcome to RO,

    I'll assume you have a good new AAA battery in your shotgun condenser mic.

    The mic is 600 ohms, which is a perfect match for the interface. There's no reason it shouldn't do exactly what it's designed to do. mic > interface > camera

    Your interface is a passive device ( I have one ), and can't really provide any gain, only attenuation.
    The cheap computer mic might seem loud in comparison, guessing it's relatively high impedence.

    So, are you recording to a camera and importing audio and video into the computer from the camera, or trying to use the SignVideo as an audio recording interface into the computer via a stock soundcard? If you're trying to record directly into the computer, we'll need some details on what you're plugging in where, and what software etc.

    With my cameras I can apply some gain in the camera if necessary - it should have audio level meters onboard.


    Maybe with some more information we can help you sort this out.

    Good luck
     
  3. Transill

    Transill Active Member

    Thanks for your help and for being very clearly written!

    I don't have a camera yet so I've been trying to get it to work directly with the computer. The battery was the first thing I checked and I changed it with a fresh one. As you said it's currently hooked up as an interface with the computer and is plugged into the stock soundcard in the mic port.

    The software I'm using is Audacity and as far as I can tell I have the mic input volume turned all the way up.

    At the moment when I speak into the mic it picks up sound, but I have to turn the computer volume to max then the stereo volume it comes out of to max in order to hear it. And even with that it is just barely up to a normal speaking level.
     
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Could this mic require 48volt phantom power?
     
  5. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I wondered that too, so I checked. It's a shotgun mic for ENG use or similar application with a video camera, self-powered with a AAA battery.

    I just don't think he's got enough gain.
     
  6. Transill

    Transill Active Member

    Am I using the right equipment together? Do you think things would change if I were to plug it into a camera? I can't figure out why the gain would be a problem if the equipment is compatible, but if it is the problem the only way to fix it would be a something like a usb audio mixer right?

    As cool as new equipment would be it would be nice if there was a cheaper answer.
     
  7. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    We've established that you're AAA battery is good. Do you have any place you can take your Azden mic and XLR mic cable to test them to make sure they're both good?

    Your interface isn't really designed to be used the way you're using it. I've used the same kind of interface to feed my cameras, with a wide variety of mics with no problem. I've used it to feed a portable MiniDisc recorder with OK results. Both of those devices are designed to accept a range of input levels the interface can deliver and give it a bit of gain if needed. Whenever you get a camcorder it should provide enough gain to capture the audio from the interface. My Sony VX cameras and Canon XL1 do just fine with it. [no, I can't justify investing in HD camera gear yet - so sad]

    Your mic is compatible with the interface, it's the interface that I'm concerned isn't going to be good in this application. I don't think the interface was intended to boost the signal enough to go straight into a soundcard. It only provides attenuation and doesn't boost at all. Computer soundcards aren't really famous for great sound quality anyway. I don't know what your goals are in terms of 'toying with' audio, but unfortunately if you want good results you may have to throw down some money on a USB or Firewire interface. Or if you have your sights set on a camera soon, maybe this becomes a non-issue.


    To tell you the truth, I've been a bit puzzled why you decided to start with these two particular pieces of gear before you've even got a camera. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just an unusual way to start.
     
  8. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I think the problem may be that you are plugging the adapter into a line input on your computer. If you plug the interface into the mic input do you get better gain or does the computer only have one input? I'm guessing that it has a line input and a mic input since you mentioned comparing the computer mic with the shotgun. If that is the case, you should note that the interface you are using does not have a preamp. It's simply an adapter and as dvdhawk pointed out, it should work fine with a camera which will provide the needed gain.
     
  9. Transill

    Transill Active Member

    That's a good Idea dvdhawk, I forgot my cousin's friend has a really nice camera. Maybe I can beg him to let me test my equipment. If it comes to it I looked around and it seems like a usb interface is as cheap as 70 dollars so I guess it won't break the bank.

    Back when we first got the mic we had a home camera with microphone port we wanted to use it with before we invested in a camera (were new to this) but it stopped working pretty much right after we got the sound equipment. But we also wanted to try voice overs and things like that on the computer so that's what we've been trying to do for the time being.

    Do you guys think something like this would do the trick?
     
  10. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    That Alesis should get you going in the right direction. It includes Cubase LE recording software too, that's cool.
    A shotgun mic might be a little difficult as a voiceover mic, but you gotta start somewhere - right?

    Let us know how you make out.
     
  11. Transill

    Transill Active Member

    I went ahead and picked up the Alesis and also had a good talk with Chris from Florida Music Company. Great guy and very informative by the way. Anyways its working perfect now! I was warned not to use the phantom power however since mine has a battery and it could fry it.

    I found that it's true what you say, that it's not perfect for a voice over mic but like you said it's what I have at the moment and I will move to a good condenser mic if it comes to that. Also I have to say that I was reading reviews on Amazon about this Alesis having a hum and there is no hum that I can't correct with the EQ knob. The only hum it I'm picking up is from my computer fans.

    Thank you very much guys!
     
  12. PDKaster

    PDKaster Active Member

    After 6+ months how do you like the Alesis? Any issues with the interface or software compatibility?
     
  13. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The whole Multimix line is rubbish. They are buggy, shoddy manufacturing, and the drivers are wretched. When I first went from lurking to posting on this forum I spent most of a month and many long damn phone calls trying to help out an RO member get his MM working. And I didn't which is very very rare for me. Computers fear me as der Feind des Teufelhunden.
     
  14. Transill

    Transill Active Member

    I use Windows and audacity for my editing and I haven't had any compatibility problems. The only thing I found is that it overrides my speakers when plugged in so that the only sound comes through the headphone jack on the mixer. This isn't a problem for me since I don't want sound playing back on the speakers while recording anyways.

    However I do have to unplug it when I'm finished recording so I can use my speakers again. I think to remedy this I'll either plug my speakers into the mixer permanently or just get an on/off usb switch so I won't have to do any unplugging.

    Either way for 80 bucks its a small price to pay when you are doing small time audio.

    On another note I got an SE2200a Condenser mic that I'm in love with.
     

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