1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

noisy recording

Discussion in 'Recording' started by lanky, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. lanky

    lanky Guest

    I've been doing home recording for a bit but my knowledge level is low. One recurring problem I have is that whenever I record using a mic (a Shure SM58) I get a lot of background hiss. I'm running the mic into an M-
    Audio Fast Track Pro and then into my Dell using an older Cool Edit Pro program. In fact, I seem to get some hiss even when plugging in instruments.

    Any advice would be appreciated!
     
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    It would be helpful to know what type of source material you're trying to record? That old Shure SM 5 is a great old microphone. Great in bass drums and not bad on vocals. Its output appears lower than most due to the greater distance to the capsule diaphragm.

    Nothing wrong with the Cool Edit program in any variety. There will always be a little microphone preamp noise with any microphone preamp. And your USB M-Audio interface should also not be all that terribly noisy.

    So what exactly are you trying to record with a single microphone of this type? Viola Di Gamba from across the room?? If not? Are you recording at proper levels? Your Cool Edit meters should be indicating approximately -6 to -20 on average. As long as you don't peak out. 16-bit at 44.1kHz should be totally adequate. That specification alone dictates a reasonably low noise recording. How about some samples??

    Good equipment stuff shouldn't equal bad recordings.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    My guess is that lanky thought he wrote SM58, but the smiley came up and bit him.

    The M-Audio Fast Track is noisy. You can get away with it for close-miked vocals, but for distance recordings or low-level instruments you need a better interface.
     
  4. casper

    casper Guest

    What happens when you plug the mic or instrument into channel 2? Also are you hearing this at the headphone monitor or on record playback? On more thing where are you setting your gain levels? You might try and back it off to see if that changes anything.
     
  5. GnzlO

    GnzlO Active Member

    well, i agree with casper and remyrad, i used to record on cool-edit, there's nothing wrong with it, i dont think a 57 or 58 sure might be the reason of the noise, try positioning the mic again or try other levels, could be the interface, but a dont think so, m-audio works very good.
     
  6. lanky

    lanky Guest

    Thanks a lot for the advice. Yes, it’s a SM58 not SM 5. It sounds like I have a few things to check out: 1)recording levels in CEP, 2)Channel 1 vs Channel 2 on the Fast Track interface, 3)Gain levels. I’m having the most noise when recording acoustic guitar and bass. The sound input is so low that I’ve been raising the gain to compensate—does this add to the noise level as well? If I’m having no luck with the Fast Track Pro, what is a better interface to use?
    Thanks again for the thoughts.
     
  7. GnzlO

    GnzlO Active Member

    i guess it does add the noise level as well lanky...
     
  8. hackenslash

    hackenslash Active Member

    No, the most common cause of hiss is incorrect gainstaging. Check for optimum gain at every stage.
     
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Actually, in most classically designed microphone preamps (that is, the ones that have transformer inputs). That, coupled with a preamp whose amplification gain adjustment is provided by variable negative feedback, typically sound best at their highest gain, lowest negative feedback settings (Not quite so noticeable with Mackie type designed preamps which utilize fixed gain first stage amplification). These higher gain settings provide for a more open & full-bodied sound. Whereas, at lower gain settings, the preamp than becomes more conservative & reserved sounding. Almost squeezed in a sense by a greater amount of negative feedback, pumping back to its input. This provides greater stability over a more linear range. So an artfully utilized different flavor depending upon gain staging. So a lot of your recorded sound can be influenced by your first stage gain settings. I would start high within the preamp and attenuate further downstream where necessary. At some point you'll find the magic spot where you suddenly get a big fat sound that sounds great no matter what you do to it.

    Got to love gain staging!
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  10. hackenslash

    hackenslash Active Member

    Great post, Remy. 8)
     
  11. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yes, but the OP has an M-Audio Fast Track Pro. These are noisy at the front end. No amount of subsequent gain staging, however careful, is going to improve the S/N ratio. The only thing that will help is a 20dB fixed-gain low-noise pre-pre of the type that is used for ribbon mics, so that the signal as seen by the Fast Track Pro XLR input is of greater amplitude relative to its noise floor.
     
  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    If what you said it is truly applicable to this microphone preamp i.e. too noisy to use under any normal operating conditions? I'd say get a better preamp which you can plug into that noisy preamp with gain fully reduced, on the crappy preamp. This way you'll be utilizing it as a balance line level input. Switch the pad on this lackluster beauty first. Especially since you will be sending full-blown line level output from the new microphone preamp to it. Be sure to switch off plus 48 volts phantom on the crappy preamp. Or, since you have purchased a better preamp, plug that into your interfaces input, line level input. Especially since one really matches into the other much better. You might even get away with a few DB less of noise that way?

    Now you'll be making much better sounding lousy music that you haven't practiced enough.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     

Share This Page