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MXL Tempo USB mic --- need help

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Mohr23, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Mohr23

    Mohr23 Active Member

    Hello,

    New here - so if this is in the wrong spot please forgive me. I've done a lot of recording in a corporate setting for many years but I've never run into this problem and I am having a hard time trying to figure it out. We have a couple MXL Tempo USB microphones for doing VO work. The sound quality of these is pretty darn good for the price but --- monitoring without latency is darn near impossible and I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direct to solve this. There are some current limitations - We use Dell laptops running Win 7 64bit. THe onboard sound card is an IDT and uses an IDT HD driver. I record using either Audacity or Adobe Audition. When monitoring I either get good volume but high latency, or extremely low volume and no latency. MXL has been no help.... You are supposed to be able to plug headphones into the mic for "zero latency". This is a crock o' you know what. It actually gets the signal from the PC not directly from the mic. I get good levels in the recording software - I just can't get good zero latencly through the monitor headphones. I've tried ASIO4ALL - nope. I tried adjusting latency in the software - nope (can only go down to 30ms), Tried numerous settings with the sound card and USB codec- nope. I even tried using a small headphone amp from Behringer which helps a little but not sufficient enough. Any recommendation is welcome. If you can recommend a sound card that would work in desktop PC that would be great too.
     
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I have never used a Tempo USB or the higher model version (Studio 24), so could you explain what you mean when you say "When monitoring I either get good volume but high latency, or extremely low volume and no latency"? How is the either/or selected? When you tried using the headphone amp, was the problem that it did not bring the level up far enough in what you describe as the no latency setting, but was otherwise OK?

    According to MXL data, the Studio 24 has zero latency monitoring, and to me that implies that the Tempo USB does not. By way of confirmation, the user guide for the Tempo shows use of the Windows Audio Devices properties for adjusting monitoring level (this can only mean the signal has to go in and out of the computer), whereas the Studio 24 manual shows a separate application for controlling output from the microphone's headphone jack with virtual knobs for adjusting the amount of direct sound and replayed sound.
     
  3. Mohr23

    Mohr23 Active Member

    The tempo has a headphone jack that you can monitor your recording. MXL also states as with the Studio 24, the Tempo has zero latency monitoring. When using the headphone amp it did bring up the volume a little but nothing that I would consider usable. You are correct that you have to use the Windows audio device to adjust the monitoring level. In order to get zero latency monitoring I have to have the playback device set to my integrated audio card and the recording device set to USB audio codec. The level to my headphones (Audio-technica ATH-M20) is very low/weak even when run through the headphone amp I have. If I monitor using some Sennheiser earbuds (not sure of the model number) the audio level is much better. Not totally what I want but better. If set both playback and recording device to USB audio codec, I get really good volume but bad latency.
     
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    It's a bit hard to pick this apart, but the indication from your description is that it's the USB audio replay that's giving you most of the latency problem.

    As for headphone volume, I find it hard to believe that your built-in audio card cannot drive your headphones to an acceptable level. What volume do you get if you play a CD on the computer and use the audio card with your headphones to listen to it? If that's low as well, you could check in the Windows Sound properties that the output level control is at full.
     
  5. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Are you using the mic's ASIO drivers? Your buffers should be set as low as possible to minimize latency. 256 samples should be stable enough for a latency of less than 30ms or lower depending on how good the drivers are. Personally, I would avoid USB mics altogether.

    After looking at the manual, I would absolutely use ASIO4all since the mic doesn't seem to have any ASIO driver. Remember that you have to set the DAW to use ASIO4all as the audio driver.
     
  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    ON another note, what exactly are you recording? Are you recording? Recording interfaces are cheap these days and so are microphones. You probably could have set yourself up with a decent mic/preamp/interface combo for as little as $200. Often these interfaces come with entry level software. IE: Cubase Essentials, Pro Tools Essentials, Ignite,Ableton Live Lite.
     

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