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Problem with Behringer x2222usb output...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by JohnCellar, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. JohnCellar

    JohnCellar Active Member

    Hey, I've had this issue with my Behringer x2222usb mixer since I got it, but just figured I was doing something wrong and forgot about it. Basically, whenever I use the usb output to my computer, I get this background noise that sounds like a very distant, but very present leaf blower. I couldn't figure it out, so I've just used the rca output going to a 3.5mm jack ever since.

    I'm under the impression that the Xenyx preamps in this mixer only work with the usb output, because the rca out gives me such an insanely quiet signal; so when it all comes down to it, I can either use the rca output and have to jack up all my channel sliders, or use the usb output and get this crazy annoying and obvious background noise.

    I need help if anybody can offer it. The reason I got this mixer was because of the usb output and the preamps... I just want to record. I can send anybody an mp3 of what this usb output exactly sounds like; keeping in mind this should be a totally clean signal, everything is muted.
     
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    You don't need to send us the MP3 - it's inadequately filtered USB noise that you are hearing. I'm sorry to say it may be what you have to expect from that particular manufacturer.

    The RCA output should give you sufficient level. Is it the line input of the computer you are taking it in to? You don't say what type of computer you have or which operating system you are running, but have you tried adjusting the level in the sound control panel?
     
  3. JohnCellar

    JohnCellar Active Member

    I'm using a pc I recently built that's running Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. It's not the line input of the computer, that's up all the way. I'm able to get a louder signal, but only after putting the gain at nearly 75% and the channel slider and master sliders nearly all the way up. I just figured that a mixer with preamps wouldn't need that...

    So you're saying the usb output is basically just shitty? Because it's pretty crazy how blatant and present this loud noise actually is. I thought Behringer was a good company.
     
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Hi there John. John... your problem is... you got a ground issue. You don't know what you're doing. You don't know how to properly adjust your mixer. You don't want to be plugging into the audio card of your computer but only the USB. Just the USB and no audio going into your computer. This is where your confusion and noise issues are occurring. It's not the mixer. It's the operator of the computer whose playing with the mixer. You're going to have to do some reading.

    Most of our electronic products today like what you have such as computers and inexpensive audio equipment, all used today what's known as a switching power supply. These things are great and extremely lightweight. But they can cause some awful interference hash all over the place. It infects everything, it gets into everything, it causes noise and buzz in audio and nasty lines and hum bars on display screens and TVs. And you end up with a full kitty box. The more stuff you plug-in, the bigger the box gets. And then it's time to clean it. That's what you need to do now.

    You're talking about getting a louder signal. That's like saying I could make my thumb bigger by simply hitting it with a hammer. It gets louder when you learn how to adjust your mixer. It gets louder when you eliminate ground problems that cause additional noise and interference. It gets louder when you pick up a book or a magazine a few times. I get louder when people don't read their instruction manuals that came with the product.

    Does that answer your question? If not? Try dialing 911.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The RCA outputs on that mixer are specified at +22dBu, in other words, well above what would be expected as a "domestic" level output designed to feed an analog recorder of some sort. That level is also well above what the audio line inputs on a computer motherboard would expect to receive. So there is something wrong: the mixer output, the cable you are using or the computer line input.

    You should try splitting the problem up. Do you have another domestic-level device such as a hi-fi system that you try taking the RCA outputs of the mixer into? Similarly, try taking the "tape" outputs of a hi-fi unit directly into the line input of the computer, as that should give respectable levels.
     
  6. JohnCellar

    JohnCellar Active Member

    First and foremost; I don't appreciate the way you chose to respond to me. I'm obviously no expert. I was simply looking for some assistance from a person who could give it, so I don't understand why you have to be so condescending and rude to me. If you can't offer your advice without making me feel like complete garbage, please just move along and don't respond at all.

    To address what you've said, I'll start by telling you that I've tried to looking into this problem. I've read every manual I have front to back countless times, and you should know that a consumer mixer like the Behringer x2222 isn't going to come with any manuals that address issues even close to what I'm having; they're very basic. Also, this is NOT a ground loop problem. I've made multiple attempts to confirm this, and everything I have done as told me that grounding issues are not to blame. So before you start making accusations and implying that I "don't know what I'm doing", please at least let me explain myself. Again, I DO NOT have a ground issue, and I'm well aware of how to adjust my mixer and properly set levels, and I have done hours of research on this whole problem.

    If anybody out there can offer me legitimate advice without being a total ass wipe, I'd be quite appreciative. I apologize if I didn't initially offer enough information, I normally don't seek help from forums. I also apologize if I'm not an electrician or recording engineer, I do this as a hobby.
     
  7. JohnCellar

    JohnCellar Active Member

    Thanks for your response. It does make sense that the rca outputs should offer a more than adequate signal; I just wasn't sure. I've used the mixer with my power amp as a pa system, and if I remember correctly I was able to get a pretty beefy signal. I'm going to try that setup again to make sure, but I'm pretty certain whatever is going on here has to do with the computer.
     
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    There's no problem with your computer. This is all pure operator error. You just don't like getting balled out by a real engineer that knows what's going on. Your questions like how do I get toothpaste out of the toothpaste tube. I can tell you it's not at the rear of the tube. No matter whether you think it should be or not. I don't care what you've read if you've read anything at all. You're the expert so why are you asking? Who's stupid? You know it's not a ground loop but you don't get sound out of the thing properly, indicating plainly, operator error.

    Ya know this is a piece of entry level beginner equipment. You don't know how to plug the thing in. You don't know what's coming out of it or what it means. You don't understand about grounding and then you say there's no ground loop BS. You've installed, fixed, designed and maintain major control room and broadcast facilities right? So why are you asking the question? Then get it and have it fixed so they can tell you there's nothing wrong with it. And we can't help you with a doctor it hurts when I do this question. You're getting angry angry about free and useful information that you didn't have to pay for. Because you want the right information immediately for free. And that's my information to you learn what you're doing. It's so easy to blame your equipment. That's all novices do.

    Now we can step you through what needs to be done without being corrected by the likes of yourself that doesn't know what they're doing. You're telling your doctor you don't feel good. When the doctor wants to give you a shot with a syringe you don't wanna shot with a syringe. Because they hurt. And so you know volume I have an infection don't feel good the problem is with the syringe because it hurts. So you're not going to take a syringe but you want to be fixed now because you know that the syringe hurts so it can't do any good because you have confirmed it. Great. That's real helpful. So we wave our hands in the air and sprinkle magic fairy dust while Santa comes down your chimney and all will be better.

    Jesus Christ has something to do with this?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    If you're handing that out, can I get a little? LOL :)

    On second thought, maybe not. There was that lost year around '86 or so... duh

    -d.
     
  10. JohnCellar

    JohnCellar Active Member

    Wow. Okay... Again, I'm not an expert, at all. Nowhere did I claim to be one, nowhere did I attempt to correct you, and nowhere did I express anger. I posted on a forum for beginners, and I'm getting $*^t for being a beginner. I apologize if I've somehow insulted you or your credibility. I was simply a little perplexed about your attitude.

    Back onto the subject though... could you please at least tell me what I'm doing wrong; no matter how apparently obvious it may be to you? I fail to pull any usable information or advice out of your responses, all I see is insult. You told me I don't know "how to plug the thing in"... elaborate. If you're under the impression I don't understand anything I'm doing, then I'm clearly in need of help, and you're in the position to give it.

    I'm NOT an expert. I'm a high school student. This is a field I'm interested in, and I figured this was a good place to seek reliable advice, but this is a little off putting. I don't want to sound unappreciative or anything, because I truly am. But I'm not going to sit here and let you treat me like $*^t when I haven't done anything to you. I don't mind you being straightforward, and my feelings aren't easily hurt, but for the love of god, give me something I can use here.
     
  11. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    OK, that's better. Let's begin.

    As to some of your previous questions. All eight microphone preamps are actually quite good. I've used them. They are all available, individually and independently at the insert jacks on the back. These insert jacks serve a double purpose. They allow you to use analog and digital audio processors that you can dedicate to that single input. This is important for things like a lead vocal or an announcer, to have a dynamic range compressor or limiter inserted by only their channel. This can be accomplished after-the-fact, and software, or, in real time, for recording or live podcast/broadcast style purposes. But it can also be used as an independent microphone preamp output to say, feed another multi-track recorder's inputs.

    This particular device while it is geared toward the home recording and podcast enthusiast does not necessarily offer multi-track recording capabilities from the USB output. But instead, only offers up what's coming out of the stereo mix outputs or the master left and right outputs. So it's the same signal coming out the USB interface and going to your computer as those analog three pin XLR and/or balanced/unbalanced 1/4 inch available outputs. While the RCA outputs on the top are of a much lower output levels still to feed consumer oriented equipment so as not to overload the inputs. The RCA outputs however are still capable of +22 but may still in fact be able to feed a consumer unit just fine. But ya have to know how to precisely set the gain structure to make us all function properly together. It's really not geared toward multi-track recording in and by itself as it really can only feed those stereo outputs to your computer. Other mixers with similar interfaces however do offer multi-tracks streaming to the computer. This isn't one of those. This is more like your sound card inside your computer but it outside your computer and integrated within this analog mixer that has a digital effects processor as an added bonus. All of which can be used to record with or simply to use as a standalone mixer for your band PA system. They're trying to make this a Swiss Army knife for a person like yourself. And while it offers this kind of versatility, there is of course this confusion that comes from marketing rhetoric that could confuse James Bond.

    So one of the problems that you are battling here is that your onboard computers sound card keeps wanting to take control. So to reduce confusion, I might suggest, that if you know how to go into your computer BIOS that you should perhaps disable its onboard sound card. This will keep the operating system from ever knowing that the computer has an onboard soundcard. It will tell you it can't play any sound files because you have no hardware to play but with. At least not until you plug the mixer in via the USB.

    Now what this gives you is in a sense, a complete control room facility, designed for live broadcasting, recording and mixing for PA use along with all of the monitoring features you will need in a complete control room. So this mixer then becomes the central audio figure of your computer. Any sound file you play on your computer be it a download, a ripped CD of your own, a live concert broadcast stream you paid for, it will all play through the Behringer and out the studio output jacks. The studio output jacks are what you plug your into your stereo system, powered monitors, powered computer speakers, analog input to tape recorders of the studio variety, of a consumer variety, another audio computer interface input, etc..

    In a sense, we are electronically throwing out the computer's internal sound card. Now ya don't have to do this but I feel it's adding to your confusion and poorer if not peculiar results. So you act like the soundcard does not exist in your computer and therefore none of the audio inputs nor outputs will also be functional, on the computer itself. If you don't know how to get into your computer BIOS? It will require a deeper understanding of the software in which you are planning to use.

    The software originally included with this mixer was Audacity. This is a nice piece of open source software. Very versatile, quite capable, not exactly originally intended for multi-track oriented production however. It's not much different than a simple stereo cassette recorder in the realms of what you can accomplish with the free software. And if they computer audio card has been disabled in the BIOS, that software will only see your Behringer x2222usb. But if ya can't disable it, the software will frequently default to the computers onboard soundcard. So there are settings within the software, which you must learn, will I. you to select which audio device you want to use. And the first automatic choice that you will see that is displayed as a computer audio soundcard. This is usually a drop-down menu and you should find your Behringer x2222usb prominently indicated as a selectable source. This will then direct anything coming from that mixer into the software directly. But then, if you want to hear what your doing, you're going to have to monitor, through headphones or through the studio output jacks into speakers from the mixer. Then you will likely hear everything through your headphones. But when you play something back, it will come out the computer audio soundcard until ya go back into the settings of the software and tell the software to direct the playback to the Behringer x2222usb from the drop-down menu of which device to use, where the computer audio soundcard will be the highlighted first choice.

    The caveat here is that by not disabling the computer audio soundcard, you can use it, simultaneously, with the mixer, to effectively be able to provide for yourself, 4 simultaneous independent input channels to the computer and into the software through the selection procedure described above. But that does not also go without its own problems. The Behringer x2222usb, wants to think, it's the only thing on your computer. So anything that you are feeding from say insert jacks 3 & 4 outputs into your soundcard input via a special patch cord you can get from Radio Shaft or your local music store. And which, while you may be recording channels 3 and 4 from the inserts directed to the computer audio sound card inputs, you will not be able to monitor those two sources except through the mixer head phone or control room studio outputs. It will however be coming out the computer audio soundcard outputs from whatever is going into it. Which can then make for some very extremely confusing monitoring problems without an additional secondary sidecar style mixer. Which is beyond the scope of this instructive session to a layperson. If the Geary Larson cartoon Fido. Nevertheless, it still opens up greater versatility and opportunity provided that the right software is also paired with that. And I don't think you have that software?

    So if you don't have that really cool multi-track recording software that allows for so much more than just simple stereo recordings, many folks here have recommended that you search and look for REAPER. Now this software is quite deep and comprehensive for multi-track musical audio recording and production purposes. It's equivalent to much of the software that other professionals like myself use of cost anywhere from 400-$1500 for a single chunk of software. This stuff is free with a reminder nag that it is extremely expensive and they would love for you to help support their cause and efforts. You can choose not to which makes it absolutely free. Professionals just don't like having client sitting next to them when they launched their software and it's asking them to pay for it. And if you do? It's worth every penny. It is there where you'll be able to make actual multi-track recordings.

    Now this USB interface means that it is bidirectional. So anything that the computer is playing, is coming through the Behringer. As long as that is dictated to the software. Otherwise it's out the computer sound card again. So this can cause many frustrations for a lot of people including myself over the years.

    Now ya have to be confident enough in understanding that this make server and your computer is a superduper enhanced computer audio soundcard connected via a USB hose. And it is in all likelihood USB 1.1 and not 2.0. There are others though that have USB 2.0 and they offer multi-track output to the computer, directly via a single cord USB 2.0. But this ain't that. Which really restricts the capabilities to not much more than two inputs and two outputs. And that's fine if you're the average guy with the microphone on your acoustic guitar and one on your vocal. Above and beyond that, you could record an entire drum set. But you see this is misleading.

    For instance, you put 8 microphones on the drums. No problem. Those eight however will only go to two channels of the software. And that's quite limiting. But you see, it wasn't really intended to be used quite like that in that application of anything other than stereo. Because it cannot send those eight microphones out via the USB to eight channels of software tracks. And you may have been confused by that when you purchase this device? It's a nice device and they tell you what the smile on their face as they mislead you. But for the home recording enthusiast it offers up numerous gratifying and fun opportunities with a high degree of versatility up to a point. Not sure if you're at that point? Not really sure what you want or are trying to record?

    There are plenty of people that pooh-pooh the Behringer line for numerous reasons. And while I have the really good and high-end, top shelf expensive stuff, I've used that stuff plenty. And they perform quite well. So the biggest issue here isn't all likelihood the directions of the internal computer routing. It may also be interesting to note that there are some pretty cool players one can download today. They do all sorts of cool things. They also keep forcing your computer to talk to that software and not to any other software. And I don't know if you have something like that on your computer I'm not there.

    So understanding how to use this mixer and what you want to monitor when using it provides for even greater confusion. That's because, when plugged into the computer, the computer also has software sound controls. Controls for the speakers, the microphones and sometimes even a line level input source. So the software of Windows has its own built-in mixer that usually works with the onboard sound card. And that mixer may come with its own specialized software that may allow for a certain specialized configurations of the internal special effects processor that you don't have to rely upon software to do? This device can be really deep. And deep is confusing to anyone. As to the precise adjustments and what's plugged in correctly and what's not, I have no way of knowing from your description. And while I don't like the quality control of most Chinese equipment because I do not think that quality control is in their vocabulary, the Behringer stuff works well until it starts dying. A friend of mine has one of their PA mixers and has beat this thing to death and it's not dead. It still works great. As an engineer, I know that the piece turns on and can pass the signal, I'll use it. It might be a horrible but I'm getting paid to run it, no problem.

    Now let's presume that you have looked into the software that you want to use and have appropriately selected the Behringer x2222usb mixer driver as your preferred recording and playback device for the software. Some software but not all will remember what audio device you last used with it. Otherwise, if the audio device has been unplugged, the software will then recognize the computer sound card again. And if you plug the mixer in, even if the computer recognizes the mixer it will not change the default playback to the mixer but to the computer audio soundcard output. And that's why I recommend just disabling the computer audio soundcard from the BIOS in the startup of your computer.

    So there's basically multiple ways to solve your issues pick one. I don't know what your level of knowledge or skills are? This is why we are specialists. This is not all easy stuff no matter what the advertising hype says. It requires that you have some working knowledge how to set this stuff up. If you are a complete and total novice with a computer, this is not going to be easy. It requires work. It's not drive through even though that's how they advertise it. I'm not trying to make you feel stupid. But I sure as heck would not allow you to do the brain surgery I had done on me seven years ago just because you could save me some money on the doctors Fee or got a good deal on some Chinese scalpels. So please don't get frustrated and angry. This takes years to learn to do wrong. Or something like that? LOL

    Once you have selected the appropriate device you want to record with as indicated in the software drop-down menu system, you will be ready to record. There may however be additional catches that go along with this. And here's what they are.

    This is a combo use device. And everything that we have and that we use is still partially analog in nature. Yet today, computers are a big part of our lives and our careers, jobs, you name it. Because of this, you have to be concerned with two different sets of level or volume settings. Both on the mixer itself and in the computer. The computer has its own internal mixer. So that you could control the input recording or output playback levels coming from computer source tracks. So this is two sets of volume controls both mechanical ones on the mixer and one's deep inside the software that have to be juggled just right.

    Volume settings on the mixer are fairly clear and straightforward. Slide volume controls have what is known as a indicated unity gain position. Frequently expressed as a zero which is not all the way to the top of the faders excursion. On rotary controls this was usually around the two o'clock position. The same with the master stereo volume output controls. And on some mixers those particular output controls may have the zero all the way at the top? Others don't.

    Those slide faders, for the most part, should always be in those positions. These particular types of I'm controls are what we call an audio taper. Were volume changes are smaller at the top of the excursion and larger at the bottom of the excursion. This is more natural when physically mixing music or events. And so when they are in that unity gain position of zero, two thirds of the way from the top, you have another known 12 DB level you can ride up. Because that's what we used to do we used to ride our levels and you need an audio taper to do that.

    OK the faders are set. Time to plug-in the first microphone into channel 1. Now this mixer has a rotary volume control known as gain trim. This setting will be different, quite different, depending upon how loud or soft the sound source is to the microphone. The mixer has a feature that helps you figure this out -- it's called a solo button. When this button is depressed, it causes the mixer to switch its internal monitor signal to only that for which a solo button has been depressed. And it will also change the metering. The meters will cease functioning as the master outputs stereo left right meters and will instead, show you whether you need to turn up that rotary gain trim control or turn it down, according to the meters. This will vary with your sound source. So your gain trim control will be nearly full down with a condenser microphone on a snare drum. It's going to be cranked balls to the wall to hear your stomach growling on a SHURE SM58. Which will also obviously include a lot more noise or hiss. So you either move the microphone closer or use a microphone known for its high output level. Then you can turn the gain trim down a little and thus lowering the noise while getting a better sounding recording. Of course this works in the inverse on loud signal items like snare drums. But the idea is to maintain that slide fader@unity gain position of zero two thirds of the way from the top. When you can juggle everything into that operating condition on the mixer, the mixer will have its lowest practical noise and highest practical freedom from the peak distortion providing for a professional recording. But that's just the mixer. Now onto the computer and all of that other gobbledygook.

    So it's plugged in and you assigned your software to see the Behringer x2222usb as its primary input and output source. Now you're ready to start recording but only two channels. Only stereo or a single monaural track. Now you're ready to play that TrackBack and see how it sounds. You first name the project and save the file with the name specifying what it is. Once you've done that, press play in the software. It should play out your headphones from the Behringer x2222usb mixer headphone output or the studio speaker outputs. But with that mixer, you have greater control over what you get to hear or listen to. Which might require that you press a button to listen to playback and maybe not? Because once you start using multi-track audio software and not Audacity but instead, Reaper, you'll have even far more control over sophisticated routing schemes to make your work go smoothly. And routing is sort of like trying to memorize Georgia roadmaps. It's mind warping. It's abstract. You sort of have to know in your head where you want your audio to go and how you want it to go. If you cannot answer those questions yourself and you are unfamiliar with your equipment, it's like rearranging the living room of a blind person as a joke. Only funny to the ones pulling the joke.

    Control room audio consoles, monitor sections, provided for a source of different monitoring options and from what sources you get them from. Even on the smallest level here, there is frequently a return stereo tape to monitor button to press? Though not necessarily because it is now the computer audio sound card? And these things are what we call duplex. We are talking data and not analog. Yet we're dealing with analog connecting to digital. So, the multi-tracks software of Reaper also offers its own set of volume controls for how you want to tracks to playback.

    In many ways what is going on here is kind of similar to our really older traditional recording studios were conceived and designed. And this is the whole concept here as well let me explain.

    In a time long ago and far away (I thought that opening would give this some class) recording studio consoles were split. And that's what they were called, split consoles. Usually the biggest section, the one that you would sit behind during recording, it also sit behind during mixing. However, when you're using the console for recording, you still needed to hear everything on your multi-track 24 channel analog 2 inch tape recorder. And that was done from a separate 24 channel mixer built in the same frame as that big section you were recording and mixing from behind but it's not that part. It was actually a separate section on the older consoles. One side was the recording/mixing section and the other side was the monitor mixing section. Were not just talking about a couple of buttons here. There was sophisticated signal routing to both.

    This mixer serves as two mixers in and by itself. But then ya have the mixer in the software and in addition to the mixer in the software, you frequently have some kind of incoming and outgoing mixer in the operating system. And all of these interact. But even in the software mixer level setting, generally the same rule has been built into the software as it was the mixer itself and levels are rarely set outside the 1-2 o'clock position in rotary settings even in software or two thirds of the way up a linear fader at the zero unity gain position. But when the computer is playing back through the Behringer, none of those failures make any difference as it is only playing back, in a sense, a simple stereo tape recording for which you must press a button to hear through the monitor system of the Behringer x2222usb. Otherwise you will hear nothing from any spigot.

    Everything here can be easily verified when ya look at the waveforms you've recorded. Puny small waveforms generally indicate one of the mixers, one of the many mixers, in the software or on the desktop, on your TV or in your backyard hasn't been set properly. And that was part of your recording procedure. Some of this you can recover from in the simple normal mixing process and no harm is done. But if it's really teeny tiny, it will be low in resolution and lackluster sounding no matter what you do to it because you can not put back that which is not there. Requiring a second take proper recording levels. Not to be too overblown but occasional small peaks are usually quite livable. But when peak lights come on that too confuses people because peak can frequently mean at your best. That's not what this means. It's like running a red light and you're the wrong car in the intersection. The good thing is, you're allowed to run a few red lights and get away scot free with a good recording.

    You also need to understand where the limitations are here. This is that left-hand section of the console that you record with. Which is usually the same section of the Council you use for mixed down after multitrack recording. Not here. This is not going to do that. That makes down must be done in that monitor section that just happens to be the recorder, which is the computer and associated multitrack software. And that mixer output in the software feeds its stereo output back to the Behringer x2222usb, so you can hear it playing back as that is your new soundcard and your headphones and/or speakers are plugged into the Behringer x2222usb. I hope this is making some sense? Because my life sure doesn't this Christmas Eve.

    I'm single again that was my Christmas present. A 19 year relationship and dumped on Christmas Eve.

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight except for me.
    Remy
     
  12. JohnCellar

    JohnCellar Active Member

    I think we got off on the wrong foot somehow, Remy. I have sat down and read your entire response and taken it all in. I couldn't possibly be more appreciative of your advice here; but perhaps you have the wrong perception of me. While I'm certainly no expert, I thinks it's save to say I have the basics down at least. I've been using and loving Audacity for around four years now, and I've actually been able to use it pretty successfully. While I might not be able to reiterate it, I'm fairly knowledgeable in most of the information you provided. I know how to select audio sources and outputs in the software, and can use the mixer to record music to my computer. Don't get me wrong though, some of what you've said is totally new; like audio tapers or split consoles.

    The way I record drums, guitar, bass, vocals, or whatever is by plugging mics into my mixer, utilizing the RCA output on the x2222, inserting that into my PC's sound card, selecting the sound card's line input as the source in Audacity, and using the mixer to send each microphone's mono signal to Audacity and record each instrument separately and as a separate track. With drums, I just send every mic's channel to the PC as one mono signal through the RCA outs, because that's all I really need. It may not be the best way to do it, but at the end of the day I'm able to create a multitrack recording in the sense that each instrument has its own individual track that's mixed with all the others to become one stereo mp3.

    So when I said that I know how to properly adjust my mixer's levels, that's what I meant. With all due respect, I still believe I have been properly adjusting levels. I pay close attention to my PC's integrated mixing, and the physical mixer that sits next to it. Again, I'm super grateful of all the information you've provided here. I just don't feel like you've addressed my problem. I want to use the USB output instead of the RCA output for a couple reasons: it gives me a louder signal, and it gives me the option to have a two-way system between the PC and mixer. My issue is that whenever I attempt to use the USB output, I get a hideous background noise.

    Please just trust that I've properly adjusted my computer's mixer and the x2222 itself. The only two suggested culprits that have been identified are as follows: Behringer sucks and they USB output simply has inferior quality; or grounding issues.

    I think that it's reasonable to throw out the first assumption because you said it yourself, Behringer isn't really a bad company. I would have to think the company was complete trash in order to make that kind of conclusion. As for the second theory, this is the one you presented yourself. You've got me. I know next to nothing about electricity and the science behind it. My father however took multiple college courses on the topic, and although he may not be an expert, he's offered his advice on the topic of ground with me multiple times. That paired with the hours and hours of accumulated time spent browsing the internet and forums such as this one have managed to give me a, slightly pathetic I'll be it, but existing knowledge on it.

    The most common grounding issue, "ground loops" as I've found them to be referred to as, occur between two or more pieces of audio equipment that are both separately grounded and both connected by some audio cable. In this case, my PC and my mixer; both connected via a USB cable. From what I've read, a ground loop cannot exist if there is no ground, (imagine that). So I lifted ground on my mixer by literally tearing the ground pin off its power cable. I know that was a bad idea, but I was desperate. That was only one of the things I did to attempt to eradicate the issue, but I won't list them all for fear of humiliation.

    Needless to say, my desperate attempts didn't work, so nearly one year later, I come to this forum. When I was met with hostility, I was a little taken back. Perhaps you didn't mean to come off that way, but I was a little offended. Never angry, but offended. I now understand that perhaps the end of your relationship could have affected your mood, and I'm truly sorry about that. It's a pretty cruddy thing to have happened, on Christmas Eve nonetheless. I'm very thankful for the help you've provided so far, and look forward to anymore if you're comfortable giving it and can put up with me any longer. I know it can be frustrating explaining this kind of stuff to somebody you might view as a little handicapped in the subject. Please, have a very merry Christmas, and don't let anything ruin it for you.
     
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I apologize for my terse nature. It's tough when ya get to be a 40+ year veteran and become an old curmudgeon hard-nosed engineer that has had to deal with innumerable problems similar to yours, and broadcast applications, where things have to go on the air in three minutes. Problems have to be solved in that period of time.

    While ya indicated lifting the ground of the electrical AC mains on your mixer, did it occur to you that perhaps you should have done that to the computer and not the mixer? And I'm sorry, an act of desperation? So you ruin the AC plug when the simple little 3 pin to 2 pin AC lift adapter is only one dollar? Sorry, I'd fire your ass for doing that. Another one of my terse comments I'm sorry. That's not desperation, that's laziness. And the only way to recover from that is putting a new AC plug on that mixer. And then buy the adapter for your computer. You're talking to someone who has been a professional broadcast and recording studio maintenance technician, designer, installer for over 35 years. So I really don't care what kind of electronic courses your father took. He's never worked in the industry he doesn't know what needs to be known, sorry another terse comment. This is why there are engineers and end-users. This is why there are doctors. This is why there are lawyers. This is why there are police and fire EMT specialists. No one without the proper training takes on these kinds of positions. Audio is one of those. At least nobody gets killed, in our line of the business (except on rare occasions) no matter how bad the mix or the sound might be. So we can be a little more freeform like you are being. And that's great. That's thinking outside the box. And you're finding very quickly that troubleshooting is not an easy thing to do.

    It's good that you understand the operation of the mixer. And of course taking those RCA outputs are the logical analog output to take into a nonprofessional computer sound card input. This is no different than what we did in the days of analog and it still pertains here. I'm really surprised that using your computers internal sound card is not providing for some audible clocking noise interference in the background? This is usually the case with these devices and the reason for using external devices like the USB on your mixer.

    Now you indicate that you get better recording levels using the USB but there is a hideous noise along with it. I find this a curious comment and observation? Can you post a sample of this hideous noise? This hideous noise may be due to some kind of improper patching on your mixer in regards to how you are monitoring the computer through the mixer, when the USB cable is attached? I mean how about a line/block diagram drawing of how everything that you have is patched in. Leave nothing out. You might be listening to secondary analog outputs when the USB is plugged in or not active or pertinent? It's amazing how many times this happens with well seasoned experienced professionals, when they sit down behind a new and very complex and comprehensive console, even if they're familiar with it, sometimes, the depth of the patch problem was not found. These can be daunting troubleshooting tasks. Even was as simple as what you're having.

    This is a perfectly marvelous good working mixer and integrated USB audio device. There is also an onboard 24-bit stereo digital effects generator. When nothing is feeding the generator, it usually has some kind of clock noise if it is left enabled and turned up with no input source. And it might feed the USB outputs through internal patching that may in fact be turned down at the analog outputs? This is why I think you should ditch the onboard computer sound card in the computer startup BIOS. This eliminates a source of possible clock timing aberrations and internal routing issues. So we have to eliminate that which is not needed. Troubleshooting is an article, mind numbing and boring process and one has to take the proper steps, through a highly experienced procedural way of going about things. It cannot necessarily be done in the way in which you are approaching it? And as a professional, this is what I have to offer up. You can choose to follow it or not. Obviously, in all your efforts, you can't make that damned USB interface work properly and it does work properly I can assure you. And only in a rare case of catastrophic component failure within the unit, will it not work. And if you believe that to be the truth, I would recommend you have it professionally serviced so that you can use it and stop playing around with the crappy piece of crap computer built-in soundcard for Christ's sake! I'm sorry I am so terse but if you're working in mine maintenance shop, under my jurisdiction, this is the way we would go about it. Not your way. Because I don't want you using the God damned internal computer sound card get it? Good. Sorry about the terse response. But if you're not going to follow direction, I and no one else can help you with this problem. Because hideous sound simply means Dr. I don't feel good without explaining what doesn't feel good. Hideous sound can take an numerous meetings and from the sound of the sample, we can better determine what this hideous sound is and where it's coming from. Then we can come up with a plan to solve the hideous sound interference.
    .
    And yes you will get better recording levels if you weren't watching your recording levels on the computer audio soundcard by adjusting the onboard mixer in the software. That's operator error. Every device can provide as much sound as you want to record all the way up to pure unadulterated unlistenable and unusable distortion and everything in between where the sweet spot lies underneath that the noise the grunge and what makes digital horrible down at low recording volume levels. So while you have a basic understanding how to run a PA system, this ain't a PA system we're running here. And things have to be more precise or you end up with gobbledygook that no one will want to listen to including yourself. So don't tell us how to make a recording and how you're doing it. We need to tell you. And you don't seem to be absorbing that concept? Recording and PA are similar in the equipment in which we use. That's about it. Whatever you do for PA is generally not so much applicable to recording. Though much of it is. And this all comes under learning how to make a quality recording to begin with. So, are all of your recordings quality recordings that you have made with the computer audio soundcard and are you happy with it? If the answer is yes, then this is a simple computer interface problem and nothing more.

    Unfortunately the issue also remains that not all computers are all created exactly equal. Different production methods and varying design concepts around common computer interface ports varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. While they still must maintain a certain type of connectivity and data protocol. Not everything always plays well with everything. And that compounds a lot of us. That's why God created system integrators to do nothing more than match pieces of equipment together to make sure that everything is completely and totally 100% integrated and compatible. That's a specialty unto itself. Just like your regular mechanic who works on your car engine and can rebuild your whole car engine doesn't do transmission work. And similarities apply here in the land of consumer versus professional recording. Consumer recording usually have some kind of technical limitations built-in, with a design concept by the manufacturer thought to work well for entry level folks? This is not always the case. We experienced the same thing with consoles would cost $50,000 and up. You have to find the right piece of equipment that speaks to your logical brain. And if it doesn't, if it is awkward and frustrating, you look into another piece of equipment and figure out how to recoup your loss on your current gear.

    Bottom line, if this thing did not work the way it was supposed to work, as advertised, you would have heard about it. But you didn't because they work. There could be a faulty component through poor quality control? This is always possible. This is why we will check it against another computer perhaps. You also indicated I think that a friend of yours had a similar or like mixer? And no problems there? Have you taken your mixer to his place and plug it into his computer in place of his mixer? This is all part of the troubleshooting procedure and why it is so mindnumbing, boring and extremely time-consuming. And not always with a happy outcome. So generally, your problem is most likely some minor simple overlooked error? If this happens to seasoned experienced professionals when they are on the air doing a network television show and the maintenance person has to be called in only to find that a button is either depressed or should be and isn't? So don't feel bad. This happens to everyone. And it makes you tear your freakin' hair out.

    Conversely a secondary way to go would be to get a relatively inexpensive external professional USB audio interface. This will provide far better input sound to your computer. It's playback capabilities are also quite superior. And it shouldn't cost you more than $150. I like that PreSonus Audio Box. Which is available as USB 1.1 or for an extra $100, USB 2.0 with all sorts of extra cool features. It also comes with a blazingly incredible multi-tracks software package nearly second to none. I know you like using audacity. This is the real deal I'm talking about. And perhaps some of your poor sounding productions are because of the way you are using Audacity? So if you want to do multi-track recording, you really should do it in a piece of multi-tracks software. If you don't want to take that suggestion, again all bets are off, you're not absorbing what the problem may actually be? And Reaper, is free. So you can download it. Experiment with it. Get a feeling of real actual professional software. Nobody mixes down to an MP3 file, no one. And if you did that, working for me, I'd fire your ass. Again sorry for the terse commentary and editorializing. You just don't do that. That's inexperienced entry-level beginner BS another reason why people like yourself are unhappy with their outcome.

    You must first mix down to an uncompressed file format such as 24-bit, 44.1 kHz " .wav ", file format. Once your mix is complete, you save it that way. Then you can take that uncompressed file and downconvert it to an MP3 for personal listening enjoyment, posting on the web but certainly not for professional release that way. So don't tell me what you think you know because you are expressing all the wrong things. You came here for information. You're getting a free education. You don't even have to pay for it. Either digest it or spit it out, flush the toilet, get up and leave.

    I mean when you get old and fat and start to experience health problems, you run to your doctor. Doctor tells you, you need to exercise, you need to stop eating high cholesterol food, need to cut down on your coffee, cut down on your salt. And so instead, you change from eating a steak every Friday night to a pork chop and wonder why you still don't feel well? I mean ya cut down on the cigarettes. You've changed from butter to half margarine half butter and you don't salt your food is much. Will ya still didn't do what the doctor told you to do. And then ya have no one to blame but yourself. So why let it get to that? And ya not only have to pay the doctor, you'll pay for it with your life. Thank God recording isn't like that.

    Take two suggestions and call me in the morning. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Don't tell your dad what I said LOL.

    The lovely and most inappropriate
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  14. JohnCellar

    JohnCellar Active Member

    Alright. Where to start...

    As for my attempted ground issue fix. I didn't think to lift ground on the PC because I was under the impression only one piece of gear needed to be lifted, and it didn't matter which; but you're right, it was probably stupid to bypass that. I tore the ground pin off of the cable because I must have nearly 30 of these standard power cables lying around and it really wasn't any loss fore me, but I can understand why that would annoy you... lol. I never said my dad was a genius or anything, I was just using him as a reference for my basic electrical knowledge. I get the feeling everything I say comes off in some kind of smart-ass tone or something, because it seems like you keep feeling the need to assert the fact you know what you're talking about and I don't. Please don't fret here... I'm well aware.

    My brief description of how I chose to record was simply for reference; I know it isn't the professional way to get things done, and I certainly wasn't saying that was the way things should be done. I don't mind you correcting me, but please keep in mind I know my place here.

    Now. The "hideous noise" I mentioned was described in my first post in this forum, and I also offered to send an mp3 of exactly what it sounds like. Here's a nifty link to an mp3:



    When I recorded this, I used Audacity and had every channel muted and all effects off. I'm hoping it isn't something too obvious that makes me look stupid, but at the same time... maybe I do so I can just fix this whole thing and be on my way! Also, I know how small the chances of this being a manufacturer defect are, as I said in my last post. I accept and understand that this could very possibly be a simple and obvious mistake on my part, but I cannot locate the source of the noise with my limited knowledge, so I came here.

    Finally, let me see if I understand where you stand on helping me resolve my problem; I must continue to troubleshoot the issue, and possibly provide you with more details so you can better understand exactly what's going on? I'm sorry. It's just that I'm sort of on an information overload, and it's hard to pull out specific information that can help me solve the root problem. I'm loving the advice and information, it's just mixing me up because I'm a simpleton. I'm trying as hard as I can to digest everything though, I swear.

    Thanks again.
     
  15. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Well you are going to have a swell extended Christmas here. Today is your lucky day. Now sit down and hold on to your chair. This is going to hurt LOL.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong. This is simple thermal amplifier noise. It comes from all electronics. The key here is understanding what you're working operating level is supposed to be. You'll then find that this noise will virtually vanish with proper recording levels tweaked in.

    No electronics are without noise. Of courses you might surmise, the more expensive stuff is usually lower in noise than the general-purpose affordable equipment normally is. Though there is not that much difference. Nothing that would impede your ability to make a quality, low noise recording.

    It's hard to get a handle on just how loud you may be monitoring with headphones? In fact you want to hear a little bit of that soft pink noise. It's not real hissy like analog tape is. It sounds like a soft summer rain and that's pink noise not white noise. White noise is more predominant in less expensive equipment but should still not be an impairment to quality digital recording. What you're listening to is actually 96 DD before your peak light comes on and you really can't ask for better than that. Analog tape noise was in order of 30 DB more noise than what you are currently listening to.

    So the question now is how do you know what level your headphones should actually be at when you are monitoring a track through your software? This will be easy enough to ascertain and I think you'll have fun doing it?

    All of this audio software has the ability to rip a commercially purchased, major label, CD by an artist of your choosing. The software must rip the songs in to the computer, which then can be imported into your software. The songs must be ripped digitally. Meaning that you will not be using the mixer playback controls in the software, on the mixer or anywhere. Because a digital rip is simply a data file, there is nothing to turn up or to turn down.

    Once you have ripped a song or songs from the CD, you will import them into a single stereo track in the software. Whether it's Audacity or any other. And this waveform is going to look thick as a brick in your software. Now hit play.

    If the computer is talking to your Behringer mixer via USB, you will be able to monitor that track through your headphones, through the mixer. Now put your headphones on and adjust for comfortable no distortion listening level. If you hear distortion? You're turned up too loud I'm sorry to say. That mixer has plenty of headphone drive for virtually any and all headphones. Now hit stop. And listen to your noise. You're likely not to hear any.

    Doing this will also give you a good idea of how some of your recording levels should appear. You do not mix tracks during recording because the recording level would drop too low. You need to keep your recording level as high as possible while providing a window for geeks that could extend +15 to +18 peeks over an average operating recording level. So your recording level should always be around that above figure of -15 to around -18 of average overall recording volume levels. This gives you that 15-18 DB cushion to properly capture transient peaks. Of course if you are not at the very peak, your noise level of the amplification circuitry, will be 15-18 DB higher in noise than the published rates. That's because you need to record 15-18 DB the low peak on average. And if your noise floor is at -96, which is the 16-bit, 44.1 kHz physical digital specification, your noise floor won't be at -96 but rather, in relationship to that 15-18 DB. That's because your average level can not be at full peak all of the time. So 96 DD down noise floor will still mean that you have an effective working dynamic range with which to work in, on average of, still around almost 80 DB. OMG! Analog tape only provided for 55 DB of working average dynamic range. With the peek cushion 15 D. be above that before you peak. So total working dynamic range from peak 0 DB FS, to that noise you're hearing, is 96 DD.

    So everything you were saying was not indicating that you are a smart ass. Happy to Hear That You're Just Talking about a Standard Computer Style, Audio Style EIAJ Power Connector.

    Confusion abounds around groundings schemes and technique. There is more than one way to do it. Some ways are more acceptable to established building codes and electrical specifications. The rest is audio wiring LOL. Which frequently breaks a lot of rules while it actually doesn't. But it can mine done wrong, it can be very dangerous.

    In the past, one of the techniques I have learned through the years, was to ground at the source. In this case, the source would be your mixer. That is the device that must feed the primary electrical ground. Other items such as your computer, other outboard audio devices such as compressor/limiters, outboard equalizers and special effects devices. These devices should be grounded. But if you experience other types of noise such as raucous sounding hum or a Frankenstein like electrical buzz and/or is strange screeching clock noise may require that you lift the electrical ground of that device. Then it will be a chassis ground through the patch cord. Please understand that the ground wire on the patch cord is not of a gauge like the electrical wiring is. Having multiple glass cords to and from the same devices will effectively increase the overall ability of the ground to be closer to ground. And be able to carry a larger current bloat instead of going through your body, how your sneakers and onto your basement floor. Not fun. Been there, done that. Rubber soled sneakers are not an insurance policy against electric shock. Is generally does not happen with low current electronics such as your mixer and computer. It's a big concern with tube guitar amplifiers. Where the chassis is frequently hot. Hot as an electrically conductive, charged with the full current coming out of your wall outlets. So also having an AC voltmeter is usually a necessity in the studio because a situation such as this. You check between the grounds without touching them with your hands but instead the test probes only. You may see up to 70 V? Though if you see 70 V, this will not generally kill you. Though you will definitely feel it. It is not a high current source. But if you see 100 V or higher, look out! Don't touch anything. You may have an electrical plug wired backwards on a tube guitar amplifier. And this is when people are killed. You are holding a guitar as soon as her lips touched me metal ball of the SM58, they'll be no waiting. You're dead. I worked in television news for NBC for nearly 20 years and every few years, we would report a story like that. And it's so easy to avoid. This is like doing a preflight check if you're a pilot. It doesn't matter if somebody else checked the aircraft out before you are ready to get into it. You have to do your walkaround. And we are talking about doing the same thing here. To protect yourself. To protect your family. To protect your clients.

    Also don't be confused by ground fault interruption electrical outlets. While these prevent those kinds of deadly scenarios, they really don't work well in a recording studio environment. So we cannot use them. There is always going to be a small ground fault difference between everything. The sensing circuitry is extremely sensitive, leading one to believe, that ya may have a serious problem? And you may? Generally ya don't. Nevertheless the voltage will always be there on the order of a few volts. Which is why they don't work in the studio.

    This type of studio grounding scheme is frequently the only option for the home user. These small voltage ground fault differentials between pieces of equipment actually set up a rudimentary radio receiver. And that takes up all sorts of spurious electromagnetic and RFI interference. The computer gives off a lot of that stuff all by itself. And all of that internal clocking can generally only be avoided through the use of external computer audio interface devices. Because they're just not sitting right next to a clock, on a circuit board. Which is why the computer soundcard is basically considered nasty to use since it always picks up this clocking noise. It's unavoidable. Your mixer is the way to avoid it. Which, again, is why would suggest you just disable the internal computer audio soundcard. This simply makes operation more straightforward with less possible variations to cause problems with. And it is in which what I do, when I take out a computer to be used for on location recording purposes. I don't want the motherboard I/O chips suddenly realizing this soundcard is sitting there and doing nothing. Maybe we should dump some data into it? And you don't want that to happen. So disabling it in the startup BIOS is like giving the computer a lobotomy. The lights are on but nobody is home unless you open the door.

    Of course when you start to record, if waveforms appear too large in your clip light comes on too often, you will not be turning anything down in the software. Instead, you will be lowering the volume on that microphone or a stereo left right bus master output volume controls. Again they should always be set at that zero unity gain position. And if the level is too high, you would not necessarily pull those volume controls down. Though that usually is a person's first response. Instead, you will lower the rotary trim control for that particular microphone channel. Remember all faders should remain at the zero indicated, two thirds of the way up, unity gain position.

    Now that's applicable to you when you are recording with no more than two microphones going into a single stereo or 2 mono tracks. If the levels are too low, too high, uneven, you will trim it on the mixer trim controls of that particular microphone channel. Not the long linear slide faders. They remain at zero, which is two thirds of the way up. These settings make sure that the internal electronics in the console are all staged properly. This provides for lowest noise, highest freedom from peak distortion and an overall rather wide working dynamic range. And this type of gain staging is a bit of a juggling act. One that will require that you do this often and learn what's too much and what's too little. This is when you're recording efforts will absolutely start to blow your mind.

    One other item I did not mention of the possible noise that you are describing. This mixer also has a built-in, 24-bit effects device. This device returns to the stereo output mix bus, which is feeding the USB. If this effects device return on the mixer is not in the full counterclockwise off position, you are likely hearing computer-generated effects noise from all of the wacky digital gobbledygook it might be doing with no input signal source to effect. So it just takes all of the low-level amplification noise and adds effects noise, to the already existing noise, yielding in quite a bit more noise. No effects processor like that, is all that low in noise to begin with. They certainly do not want to have the returns turned full up clockwise. Understanding how to null in a console or a mixer, is just as important as wiping yourself after a number 2. Otherwise your audio will stink rest assured. And when you do decide to use the effects in the mixer, you will need to turn up your effects send or auxiliary send on that particular microphone channel so as to get the effect. The only issue here is that you drive the effect hard and return it lightly. Many people do the opposite which makes for nasty nasty sound. They turn up the return to high and they don't send enough to make the mathematical algorithm do its thing. So you want to put those little algorithms to work for a life of hard labor. This is the only way to obtain low noise, decent sounding professional recordings. And I do not necessarily recommend that you use the effects processor for effects while recording. The effects are better utilized during the mix. Most microphone channels should be recorded dry and unaffected by anything. The magic happens in the mix not during recording unless you are doing a live for FM broadcast television and such. Which is a lot of what I do or did. There hasn't really been any business lately, for the past couple of years, which for me, is lately. LOL but nothing to laugh at or about. I'm effectively out of business. This is happening all over not just remaining. It's the times. It's the industry. It's my age. It's what I will and won't work with.

    So I know this is a steep learning curve for you but you're well on your way. You have enough working knowledge to actually be good at this. You have been provided with some very useful information from myself and others. You need to evaluate this information and make your own decisions. Remember of it does not work, and generally a small operator error that can make for huge nightmare audio problems. Most of them are easily, quickly and inexpensively remedied. Though the more complex your home studio becomes, the more issues you will experience. I mean this goes all the way up to the presidential White House level.

    So picture this as an example. I'm one of three audio guys for a Ronnie Reagan presidential press conference, in the East room of the White House. There are also 2 NBC service technicians. There are also 2 military White House audio/video technicians. The NBC engineering manager (not a union engineer/operator) has designed a triple redundant audio system. However, the microphones in front of the president are not set up by the television networks. They are the sole responsibility of the military White House crew. And we must interface our stuff, with their stuff, before we can check out what the other worldwide broadcast news services. Networks take turns providing these White House feeds.

    They been doing stuff like this since the beginning days of broadcast. Of course, every year, something changes, technologically speaking. So what may have worked last year, won't necessarily work properly this year. And in this particular case, that's exactly what occurred. We had an unusable case of, was known as, " crosstalk ".

    Time is running out. NBC technicians along with military technicians, have just spent three hours trying to correct the problem and they can't. NBC producers and directors are getting nervous. The White House military technicians also cannot fix the problem. All the networks are calling in requesting a test. Desperation sets in. Remy knows what the problem is. I tell them I could fix the problem. I receive an untimely response from all of the maintenance technicians both NBC and the military. The producers and directors believed in me and demanded that they let me try.

    This triple redundant system would have been fine. The problem existed within the SHURE, American made, for input, single output, mixers. Many of these have been wired together for this redundant wiring scheme. These mixers have been in use since the early 1970s and it is the mid-1980s. What nobody knows is what I know. These mixers exhibited a very peculiar problem, never before encountered by anyone else. And it was a bizarre problem due to a simple design flaw, that would never usually be realized.

    Now I'm sure that my engineering manager, likely took most of a couple of days or a week to design this triple redundant system. And interfacing with the military guys was a de rigueur procedure. But, I guess, this particular configuration must have never flown before I got there? They likely use other stuff before? So within 10 minutes time, I completely redesigned the entire, rather complex, wiring scheme from triple redundant to just dual redundant. And enacted a different wiring scheme from the inputs and outputs of those particular mixers so as to avoid this problem. How did I know about this?

    I think it's one of those things I heard on Star Trek? When you tried all of the right stuff and it doesn't work? Then the only way to fix it is to do all of the wrong stuff, that no respectable engineer would do. I'm not a respectable engineer. I'm a genius engineer. So I saved the day in 10 minutes time. And I kind of think that's the mark of a real network broadcast engineer? And in a moment of an emergency with the time on the clock running out. And that's why I used to get paid the big union bucks.

    I don't work for them anymore but today I would imagine, they may likely use Behringer? After all, the United States fired all of those other Nazis after World War II because they know how to make things sound good. It's where God invented microphones and the tape recorder LOL. And the rockets that took us to the moon and back. So why shouldn't they use Behringer? It's certainly not like any $200 toilet seat. Even though at some point you might lose your bowels over it? But it's disposable like diapers and doesn't cost $20,000 like a portable Neve they used to use before this particular job. And this is another reason why companies like NBC-TV only attract the best of the best engineering crews. We have to feed the world the information they need. So, in a way, we are all like airline pilots and we are carrying a precious load of 300 million people. Sometimes more. It can be a little intimidating to think about that. While I've said, no one gets killed in our business, I'm only pertaining that comment to music recorded. In the land of network television, a failure of engineering or equipment could cost lives. And maybe that's why some of my responses and comments have been so brutal and terse? I think once a live network news engineer, always a live network news engineer? And being the primary audio guy, I am second in command in the control room. Should the technical director to kill, I may, in an emergency, have to hop on a huge computerized video switcher, of which I really know nothing about LOL. But I've been put in those kinds of positions before and I know, I would still get it on the air, no matter what.

    Can't wait to hear your successful results!
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  16. JohnCellar

    JohnCellar Active Member

    You were right. Though I suppose I probably didn't need to say that...

    Here's what I've done. I disabled my computer's sound card and set things up to utilize the mixer as an external sound card and mixer (a split console of sorts?) I opened up some Floyd song in Audacity and set my monitor levels to a comfortable level, and hooked up a mic. I set the channel and master sliders to the unity gain position as provided by you, and flipped on solo for channel one. Looking at the LED meter, I turned up the gain rotary dial until she was right at zero. Then I went back to Audacity and hit record and noticed that infamous noise; but of course the waveform was virtually solid blue, so I went to Audacity's built-in mixer and took the input slider down from 1.0 to 0.2, and what did I get? A clear and "loud" signal with no noticeable "hideous" background noise.

    I'm hoping that there wasn't any cringes on your part as you read that. I'm pretty sure I followed your advice correctly, as I've fixed what I considered to be a decently annoying issue that's been bugging me for a bit. The one concern I even kinda have, is that I still had to jack the gain up pretty high, but I'm guessing that's just because my voice is a relatively quiet signal.

    So in short, it looks like you were for the most part correct the whole time. I'm a beginner, and I wasn't properly adjusting my equipment. In my defense, I was pretty damn close though! I've installed Reaper and will be experimenting around with it for a while, put I'll probably be sticking to Audacity for the time being. Despite a rocky start, this was a great experience. As far as I'm concerned, my problem appears to be fixed, and I had a nice collection of information above that I'll likely refer to many times in the future.

    You're straight forward, honest, frank, a little brutal, and don't too much worry about what other people might think or feel. But my god you know what you're doing; and that's an understatement, but you know that. If you don't mind, you'll likely be the first person I'll look for when I have an issue in the future. This was humbling to say the least... Thank you very much for everything you've done.



    Oh, and I'll produce my final projects in an uncompressed format from now on. thumb
     
  17. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    It was my absolute pleasure, to be able to help you. That was my Christmas gift to me and you.

    I'm still a little concerned about something here? And it could be because I don't have your rig? I'm not completely familiar with that particular console/mixer and their USB? It appears, from what you have said, the record level was too hot? And so, you turned it down, in the software mixer? Now, I'm sure that may be possible? Some of these companies, not only in clued software but include highly specialized drivers and software applets for their own particular hardware. If you are using a unit that features USB 1.1? And I believe that mixer USB interface, is one of those answered the not USB 2.0.

    This causes another secondary variable that you don't necessarily want. What happens here with USB 1.1, is that, at USB 1.1 specifications for audio, are already built into the operating system. And you may have master control over that recorded audio coming from the mixer into the software? However, if they included a specialized driver and a specific mixer applet, designed around their mixer, there may be yet, a secondary Behringer software mixer, specifically designed for your mixer? Here's the caveat... the operating system mixer will be able to control the USB 1.1 device attached to the computer. At the same time, they specifically designed mixer applet, will actually mimic the controls of the Microsoft operating system mixer. If you have both windows opened (if that applet even exists?), you could move one mixer fader in one window and see the other fader moving in the other mixer applet window.

    This would mean that either mixer could be used. And you might find one to be more user-friendly than the other?

    In cases of USB 2.0 devices, those all have to have a specifically designed input/output control applet as USB 2.0 while it can be used with the Windows operating system, has no resident audio functions within the operating system, related to USB 2.0 devices. And that's where the Microsoft mixer would not do anything except control the onboard computer soundcard. And he would rely on the secondary specialized mixer applet.

    Either way, you should not have to turn down your recording controls that far. That should not be happening. You indicated you punched the solo button to observe the gain of the preamp of her microphone on your mixer meters. That's the only trimming the gain of the microphone preamp. The solo button should then be disengaged once that trim level has been set.

    With the trim levels set, the resulting output of the master left-right mix output metering, should also indicate normal excursion operating levels. But if you're only looking at the solo level with a solo button depressed, any solo button depressed, you're not looking at the output level. This is only the level of the microphone preamp and has nothing to do with the stereo outputs. It's the stereo outputs that feed the USB. So I really think that while your sole level may have been correctly adjusted, your output levels were too hot? If they are too hot, you do not lower your master levels. You lower the individual fader for that microphone. That's the long and straight one on that particular microphone channel strip. You can slightly lower that level or slightly raise that level but it should only be slightly. Anymore would dictate further trimming of the preamp. While it's OK for the solo level indication to show her growing up to peak, perhaps not really what you want to be looking at. You don't want to see it peak. You want to avoid peaking. So you may need to trim the level down a little bit on the rotary gain trim on her microphone channel? Because when that board/mixer is operating in its proper design parameters, record levels with the software mixer sliders, should also be at that upper two thirds mark. If you have to bring it that far down, there is still a problem.

    I must ask you here, just to be sure, you are actually feeding the USB from the mixer to the computer? You're not feeding the analog outputs, any of them, from the mixer, to the computer soundcard input that's built into the computer? Because, if that is what you are doing, that output level from the mixer, is still too hot to be feeding those analog built-in soundcard inputs. And that is slightly overloading the first input amplification stage in the computer. Something you cannot have control of. So while you end up lowering the volume of the recording level, you are still overloading the inputs to the soundcard. This should not happen with USB plug directly in. In that respect, whatever you see on the mixer left right master outputs, should virtually be recording at the same level in the software.

    Having to bring that fader down that far from 1.0 (I really think it's 10) down to 0.2 (I really think you mean -20) that indicates that the signal you are feeding is actually about 20 DB too hot. 20 DB too hot means that you will be exceeding the input headroom into overload, even though you are recording a lower signal. You are recording a lower distorted signal. We don't want that. So something is still not quite right. These particular level settings I have instructed you to set, is pretty much a de facto way of doing it correctly. Excessive signal indicates there is still a problem. However, we have obviously smoothed over your concerns regarding that excessive noise issue. So we are making progress. We're almost there.

    Thank you very much for your compliments. You are quite correct in everything you have observed about me. And so again, I apologize for my rather peculiar way of responding. Some of those, I can't quite help. I had a severe and deadly brain condition for which I went through brain surgery for, seven years ago. It did affect my personality I have been told by many. The doctor said I would never make a full recovery. I think, while I have made a remarkable recovery, there are still things, just like your level issues, that aren't quite right and I can't fix them. There are no parts to replace. Alcohol seems to help? No it really doesn't. Pot does. LOL but that's only legal in a few states and I'm not in one of those states. In fact I'm not even in a state. Virginia is not a state of the United States. It's part of the United States. It's just not a state even though it's counted as one. It's a commonwealth. That means they have a lot of wealthy people and a lot of commoners and they don't have to follow any of the rules of the United States Constitution. A little bit like those folks in Qu├ębec province Canada. They want to secede as an independent country from the rest of y'all folks up there. Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and I forget what others are also commonwealths. In a small way, (as I laugh under my breath and breasts) audio is a little like that in the professional realm. We all want to make good recordings. However, we all work differently from each other. And most folks want a certain similarity between their own sound and the sound made by others. Though there are those that choose to stand apart and don't follow the pack. I'm one of those. So I guess I'm a little bit like the Commonwealth of Virginia? I'm not interested in making my mixing style, sound like everyone else's. I absolutely don't want to be like that. And I really get a lot of interesting criticisms of monks to my peers and colleagues because of that. You're quite right, I really don't care what they think or what they hear. I only care what I hear and what I want everybody else to hear, the way I hear it. If it is not within the current mixing style sound and parameters of others, I don't care. I've always done my own thing. I even had reservations about joining the AES as I don't believe in joining clubs, associations, churches, synagogues. Why must I join? The Audio Engineering Society, has really been the only cult I have joined in my 42+ years. Probably because they actually had entrance requirements that you were an actual working audio professional. No problem there for sure. Plus they want your money. And they stand for something we believe in so it's a good thing. And it's kind of prestigious to actually belong to a " Society ", as opposed to a club or, an association.

    You folks working with audio on computers today, are so freakin' lucky. There is virtually nothing you can't do that can be done in a $1 million control room with free software. Our control room that I put together, designed, custom fabricated a console and installed, we did on a shoestring budget. We only had a budget for $10,000 for the console. We wanted the consoles that typically at the time, cost between $50,000 to $85,000. Which required me to custom design and build it from scratch to bring it in at $10,000 not including my salary at the time, which was barely above minimum wage in 1978 OMG! And we only had about $20,000 for multitrack machine. I looked at lots of used ones that we didn't want. 24 track was out of our budget. We settled on a brand-new Ampex MM 1200-16 that came in around $23,000? And then there were the microphones. And then there were the mix down machines. And then there were the speaker systems, amplifiers, headphone systems. Then there was the duplication room. The in cassette high-speed duplicator. Then there was the Ampex 3200 reel to reel duplicators. Then there was the Electro-Sound 4000, high speed loop bin, 1/8 inch reel to reel cassette duplicator and automated winder/cutters. So things were a little larger and a little more complex back in the 1970s. And it cost a few dollars more LOL a few, right, check, you bet.

    So you really had to be clear about what levels you are working with. Any misalignment with gain staging only provided for disastrous sounding results. And there is a whole lot more to go through in the above example in order to fix a small problem that is really quite a large problem. Especially because, not everything was in a single computer or a single external device. But not all recording engineers have to be technicians and most are not. Though there are those of us that are quite good with both most folks aren't. You're either good with one thing or the other. You're either a master of one or a jack of all trades. Where we have to be the master of one and Jack everything around to accomplish what we do. So ya have to wear two hats in many cases for many studios. So lucky is the person that can handle both but that's usually not the case. So don't feel bad about any of these mistakes that you are making. They are mistakes that we have all made. Some of us have just had academic education, others learned through mentors, others learned from just doing. I'm pretty good because I had two out of three and that ain't bad. I don't fit in well with academia. While it's important, and I have it in very high regards for those that have accomplished that, I also look at it with quite a bit of disdain. These universities and recording schools, many of them today, are just as bad as Bernie Made-off. You go for these university degrees not only to better yourself and your employment opportunities but you also expect there will be a job out there for you when you graduate. And there really isn't. In fact it's just the opposite today.

    Since I started running my Remote Truck, Crowmobile.com, 21+ years ago, I really thought, after talking to a lot of recordings students going to school for recording arts and sciences, that I would have no problem obtaining interns? I was wrong. I couldn't believe it? What I do involves a lot of heavy physical work to do. And none of these lazy ass students wanted to do anything other than sit down behind a big SSL desk and record hits. And as far as I could tell, most of them have learned very little about the ART of recording. They have learned the science aspect, they know how to play computer games and now they have a degree telling everybody they are a recording engineer. No you're not LOL. They are just educated young dummies that really know nothing about recording. To make matters worse, I've actually had to teach some of those teachers. You wouldn't believe the moronic nonsense I had to endure with some of these halfwit recording school teachers. They only know how to do what they do in the studio and no further. If something isn't just so, they don't know what to do. They have virtually no troubleshooting skills. They believe to be good recordings only studio condenser microphones can be used. So if they can't get the right sound with one condenser microphone, they'll put up another condenser microphone. When that one doesn't work either, they'll put up another condenser microphone. What does this tell you? they haven't learned anything about the art of recording. But they've got degrees from universities and I don't so they can teach and I can't. Really? Somebody really must be kidding? My mother was a Metropolitan Opera star. She only studied with a single person. She didn't go to the Eastman school of Music, like my father did. Her knowledge base is every bit that of his and more.

    She was able to teach at university as an adjunct professor. I can't even get hired as an adjunct professor without a degree today. That's BS! Better to be taught by somebody that doesn't know what they're teaching you. Than to be taught by somebody who's been doing it all their life and with with 3 major music award nominations and 20 years with the leading premier television network in the world. And I can't teach? Really? I didn't know that and neither did any of my private students. I personally enjoy teaching one-on-one but in the recording studio realm, I really think it actually works better, in the control room, with at least half a dozen students present. More? No way. I don't want to preach to an entire congregation. Although that too can be fun for the students and for me. But you really can't get any real work done that way it's just a presentation that way. Good as a primer to get them warmed up for the task at hand. And I don't want 20 people in the control room. If you can get 20 people in the control room? That's a million-dollar control room that you would need for 20 students. And there are only so many of those. Most are not like that.

    My brain is turning to mush, what little there is left of it.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  18. Marcus Neves

    Marcus Neves Active Member

    Hi. Just signed up to say that I'm a total amateur and solved the problem. Search for "ASIO4ALL_2_13_English" driver ;)
    Just use it and the noise goes away.
     
  19. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Hi Marcus,

    Welcome to RO.

    Not sure if you looked at the date of this thread, but its over three years old now, while theres' nothing wrong with posting and bumping an old thread, for the record, the original poster hasn't been back on RO since two weeks after this thread was created, and the other member is no longer here anymore.

    If you had read the Encyclopedia Brittanica of a thread that this is, you would have most likely picked up that it wasn't an issue with the driver at all, more to do with poor gain staging and inherent background noise. ;)
     
  20. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    To add to what Sean said. while the ASIO4ALL driver is solid and stable, and while it can be an answer in some situations, it's not the solution to every driver-based problem. Often. driver issues are caused by outdated versions, having multiple sound devices on a system, etc.

    And in any case, that wasn't the issue her; so your suggestion is a moot point. Please make sure you check the date of a post before replying - and while there's nothing wrong with replying to an older post - please make sure you've read it to see if the solution was found, as was in this case, before offering a suggestion for a fix.
     

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