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Mic not working Please help!

I plan to make a low budget home recording studio. just bought a new pc.

PROBLEM: I can't seem to record any form of sound to my computer through my mic.

Microphone is tested, Volume/Microphone Settings are not muted,

I think the cause of my problem is that when you go to
"Sound and Audio Devices" in "Control Panel", the "Audio" tab shows that my recording device is "Sigmatel Audio" which seems to be the cause.

What would be a good recording device? Where can I download it?

I also need advice with what's a good SOFTWARE/Program for home recording MUSIC using what i have now.

Here's the specs as far as music is concerned

System Information
Time of this report: 11/12/2006, 14:14:53

Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 2 (2600.xpsp.060411-1541)
Langauge: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: INTEL_
System Model: DP965LT_
BIOS: Default System BIOS
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory: 2030MB RAM
Page File: 401MB used, 3520MB available
Windows Dir: C:WINDOWS
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.2180 32bit Unicode

Sound Devices

Description: SigmaTel Audio
Default Sound Playback: Yes
Default Voice Playback: Yes
Hardware ID: HDAUDIOFUNC_01&VEN_8384&DEV_7618&SUBSYS_80862111&REV_1002
Manufacturer ID: 1
Product ID: 100
Type: WDM
Driver Name: sthda.sys
Driver Version: 5.10.5067.0000 (English)
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
WHQL Logo'd: n/a
Date and Size: 5/25/2006 23:59:12, 1177032 bytes
Other Files:
Driver Provider: SigmaTel
HW Accel Level: Full
Cap Flags: 0x0
Min/Max Sample Rate: 0, 0
Static/Strm HW Mix Bufs: 0, 0
Static/Strm HW 3D Bufs: 0, 0
HW Memory: 0
Voice Management: No
EAX(tm) 2.0 Listen/Src: No, No
I3DL2(tm) Listen/Src: No, No
Sensaura(tm) ZoomFX(tm): No
Registry: OK
Sound Test Result: Not run

Sound Capture Devices
Description: SigmaTel Audio
Default Sound Capture: Yes
Default Voice Capture: Yes
Driver Name: sthda.sys
Driver Version: 5.10.5067.0000 (English)
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
Date and Size: 5/25/2006 23:59:12, 1177032 bytes
Cap Flags: 0x0
Format Flags: 0x0
THANKS! Please I really need your help music buffS!


dementedchord Tue, 11/14/2006 - 22:38
Only 4.5$, looks waaaay better than a 57, and you can plug DIRECTLY into your soundcart, bypassing any need for additional connectors, outboard mixers, preamps, giving you the cleanest signal chain possible! Heck, you can get 22 of these for the price of a 57! Start multitracking and recording your own band! Who needs a 57....?
what's a 57??? and will it be the best for rap???

mark_van_j Wed, 11/15/2006 - 15:50
dementedchord wrote:

what's a 57??? and will it be the best for rap???

Sorry. What I said was:

Looks waaaay betta tizzy a 57, n you can plizzug DIRECTLY into yo soundcart, bypass'n any need fo` additional connectors, outboard gangsta preamps, spendin' you tha cleanest signal chain possible yeah yeah baby! Hizneck, you can git 22 of these fo` tha price of a 57 with my hoes on my side, and my strap on my back! Start multitrack'n n spendin' yo own band!

RemyRAD Wed, 11/15/2006 - 18:58
Mark, Ju ne sa pah parlee France'

Back in 1978, the studio I was working for in Baltimore, had a contract to record all the conferences at a huge medical convention in Montréal at one of the big hotels. In the evening after we were done, the bosses son (my friend) and I wanted to go to one of those wonderful Montréal nightclubs. We were both dressed very nicely but when we got to the front door the nice French-Canadian maitre d' looked at us and said something in French to us. We responded with a similar response to what I posted above, when he looked at us and told us that we were not welcomed! When I protested and asked why? He told us in his lovely French-Canadian English accent, that we were not dressed appropriately. ???? Funny since we had seen a couple of other folks go in in sloppy clothing before us? We knew then it was strictly a French-Canadian nightclub and we had just experienced some friendly French-Canadian discrimination and my friend got disgusted and went back to the hotel. I walked around for a few more blocks but couldn't find anything else comparable. I walked back towards that nightclub on the way back to the hotel, when I saw a group of other young people like myself heading to the door. I tagged right behind them quickly, chuckling along with their incomprehensible conversation and as I came up on the same maitre d' who had turned me and my friend away earlier , he again said something to me of an incomprehensible nature. It appeared he did not recognize me from 15 minutes earlier? I just looked at him and responded with a smile and said "OUI" (pronounced as "we" in English for the other people here who are just as clueless as I am). He then proceeded to escort me in to the bar! He then, introduced (?) me to the coat check person first, who also said something of an incomprehensible nature to me. So I nodded my head and said "OUI", handing him my coat. The maitre d' then proceeded to walk me into the main area of the club and up to the bartender. I think he actually introduced me to the bartender who looked at me, with both of them standing there looking at me, expecting me to request my order and I responded with "I think I'll have a whiskey sour?" At which time, they both looked shocked and began to argue with each other. I was the only English-speaking person in the club! I could not seem to begin to even have a conversation with anybody in there at the bar. I thought it was quite funny actually but I still had a good time.

French fried
Ms. Remy Ann David

mark_van_j Wed, 11/15/2006 - 21:33
HAHA!! That is one funny story! You know you are now part of a handful of people on this planet who have managed to sneak into a french-canadian club, without speaking a word of french. :D I'm not french-canadian (thank GOD) but I can speak french pretty well. I can ASSURE you that my previous post was in english. Et non pas en francais. :D That was also a year after Bill 101 was passed.

Wrong place at the wrong time. Great job Remy!

RemyRAD Sun, 11/12/2006 - 09:52
You are hopelessly confused. If this is a preconfigured computer, your sound card drivers have already been installed. What has not been installed, is your knowledge of Windows, the applets called the Microsoft mixer and the sound chip manufacturers own mixer application.

If your computer can play back any sound file, including the start of sound for Windows, there's nothing wrong with the drivers for the sound card on the motherboard. What is the problem is that you do not realize that Windows own operating system includes 2 mixers! The first when you see is the playback monitor mixer and should not be confused with the recording mixer. The recording mixer is available from the playback monitor mixer, by dropping down the options menu, selecting recording. There you'll find all of your input recording controls

In no way, should you plug a standard dynamic microphone into that microphone input! It has DC power on it for a standard crappy multimedia condenser microphone and can damage or destroy a dynamic microphone is connected directly. You do not even want to use a radio shack transform. You don't want to use the microphone input on a standard crappy computer soundcard! You want to use the line input only! You must feed that line input from a stand alone outboard microphone preamplifier. That's it. There are no other good ways to feed a crappy microphone input on a crappy soundcard.

You might want to investigate a reasonable but low-cost external USB audio device with balanced microphone inputs such as the ones that M Audio and other manufacturers make. This would be the most appropriate thing for you.

If you choose to pursue the microphone input, you can only use a three dollars multimedia condenser microphone which will sound like a three dollars of the media microphone and that's all.

Try reading up a little bit more about what you're trying to do.

Some people just don't get it
Ms. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Thu, 11/16/2006 - 00:08
Merci Mark! Very interesting about Bill 101 indeed. It's also very funny having a French first name like I have, since nobody in my family is French. When I was at that convention with my name tag on which indicated "Remy David - Baltimore Maryland", people would see my name and adjust their speaking to me in French and when I would tell them in my broken French and I couldn't speak French I would get a reaction like "UGH!" and they would immediately turn and walk away. Just like people here at do to me what I'm talking about my experience trash. But I really do believe that is one of the best audio informational sites on the net!

Ms. Remy Ann David (not the French version)

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 11/16/2006 - 03:55
sorry for the late reply, but let me clarify things a bit more clearly.

A4 Tech webcam with built in mic has 2 plugs, one is for usb connection (video) one is the 1/8 RED plug, the one you plug into the red socket at the back of the CPU.

ok, forget the recording software, forget the amateur recording things i want.

lets simplify my concern. my main concern is... before i was able to make things work with 2 other computers in the house. one is a laptop. the other is another pc.... software of the a4tech is installed. and it works...

using 'Windows Sound Recorder', the a4 tech works. so does the Sony-i-dont-know-what-model microphone with 1/8 plug works.

maybe you were right the first time... maybe its the hardware. Assuming i'm not stupid enough, applying the same thing with a different computer to this computer that i'm using, may indeed reduce the cause of the problem solely to the hardware, and not the device, and not the software, and especially not the microphones.... am i right?

my only MAIN concern is to record sound, don't really care what the quality is anymore.... jst want to make it work.

peace to all. thanks!

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 11/13/2006 - 05:22
Thanks for the very insulting reply, but i hate to admit i am a noobie when it comes to these things, although i am not THAT DUMB as you think.

I've tried the plug and play microphone and have tested it, it didn't work. the microphones i'm using are the same one's i've used in the dell PRECONFIGURED laptop which worked perfectly fine.

Instead of insulting me, would you please kindly help in lay man's terms how to fix this problem. i've been searching a lot of forums about this, and have asked my computer-geek friend about this problem and he doesnt know how to solve this issue. that is why i'm relying on you guys.

thanks a bunch.

and yes! i don't get it. thats why i'm asking

RemyRAD Mon, 11/13/2006 - 11:43
I'm sorry about my curt reply. Please forgive my rudeness.

There are numerous factors in play here. Let me ask you a couple of other questions? The microphone you're trying to use is of a multimedia variety? It previously functioned for your Dell laptop? Now, all of these multimedia microphones are condenser microphones which are externally powered from the sound card microphone input jack. It's not phantom power. That is a different way of powering condenser microphones. Now here is the dilemma. I have seen some of these multimedia microphones on those 1/8" plugs with both TRS (tip ring sleeve) and some with just TS (Tip and sleeve). Here is the problem, the DC voltage that makes the microphone work may be supplied from a separate connection (the ring or tip) or may be supplied on top of the microphone signal itself (just tip). The Taiwanese have no standard's and so, one multimedia microphone might work in one computer whereas it may not work in another computer? My obvious question now is, have you contacted the manufacturer of your new computer and inquired as to what brand or type of multimedia microphone do they recommend?

You kept mentioning "drivers". My question again to you is, does the computer produce any sound output? If it does, the drivers are installed and are fine. So it would not be the drivers. Since multimedia microphones typically are under $20, have you tried any other multimedia microphones in that computer? I'm not clear on that? My next question to you is, have you been able to verify that the line inputs are functioning and able to record? If you can record from the line inputs, the card is functioning normally. If you still can not get the microphone input to work, do you have a DC volt meter? You'll also need a 1/8" TRS plug from Radio Shaft. Set the DC volt meter, to the lowest voltage scale. Insert the plug and connect the black meter lead to the ground or sleeve connection and the red meter lead first on the ring connection and then the tip. See if there is any DC voltage appearing on either the tip or ring? Is working properly, you should see between 1 1/2 to 3 volts. If you do not see a DC voltage, you could have a defective soundcard? Just because it's new doesn't mean it's functional. Besides, why on earth would you want to use a multimedia microphone for music recording?? Because it has a microphone input? That's not a good reason. Most of us professionals here would never think of using those soundcard microphone inputs, nor multimedia microphones. Never. They are worse than awful, I don't care if they work. So you're now learning, all that glitters is not gold. It's not even copper! It's possible that the connection that carries the DC current and the connection that carries the microphone signal on a 1/8" TRS connector may be reversed? Taiwanese inconsistencies. That would certainly cause the problem you're describing?

Again, I'm going to ask you about the sound card mixer. Microsoft has always had in its operating system a generic mixer application. It's part of the operating system and has been present in every form of Windows since 95. However, every sound card/audio chip manufacturer usually includes some kind of mixer software of their own. This is important as they can be both incredibly confusing. What works for one sound card or mixer application does not necessarily work the same way for another manufacturer's mixer application. But the Microsoft mixer application will work on all generic sound cards (that are not USB or FireWire) and works in tandem with the manufacturer's mixer application. You can actually have both applications open on your desktop, move one fader and you will see the other mixer application fader move also. Like moving fader automation on a professional console. In the Microsoft mixer application, the playback monitor mixer is a separate window from the recording mixer. I've seen some other soundcard manufacturers mixer applications include both playback and recording functions, in the same window. This is important because that is confusing. Can you elaborate further in greater detail, with each step that you take with this particular sound card?

Awaiting your response
Ms. Remy Ann David

TeddyG Mon, 11/13/2006 - 14:19
I would ask if ANY of us knows what's going on here?

1. What microphone do you have?

2. What soundcard do you have(I suspect an on motherboard, but?)?

3. How are you testing it with no recording software? Are you just plugging it into the mic input on your soundcard and plugging your headphones into the speaker output and listening? Are you talking into the mic with the computer speakers on? How are you turning it on/off or regulating the volume? Windows mixer?

4. Have you tried recording something using Windows built-in Sound Recorder? Start/Programs/Accessories/Entertainment/Sound Recorder.

5. Did you read the instructions for the plug n' play microphone, for instance.

6.You seem to be stuck on "drivers"? What drivers? Why?

7. What in the world is a PRECONFIGURED LAPTOP??? Preconfigured to do what?

Indeed, Berzelius, you may not be as dumb as I think you are, but your questions, list of computer specs, etc.(Why?), have not, thus far, proven otherwise to me - you did, rather, beg for the insults......

"DUMB", in this instance, meaning not even cognizant of the facts enough to even begin to try to give an explanation to any actual problem you may have. For instance -- What is a plug n' play microphone? One of those USB things? Seriously, this is no way to start a "recording studio", even a "kid type" first effort. And, if it doesn't work, what does that even mean??? Work to do what??? To hear it??? Hear it where??? See..? So many questions, so few valid responses from you!

Sort've like me going on an auto mechanics forum and asking how do I rebuild my transmission, when I don't even know what a transmission is, what it does or where it is in my car, or whether I even OWN a car! What would the mechanics on the forum tell me??? Bet it would be "insulting"..?

We'd all love to help you, but, you've got to help yourself out here, first. Start by answering questions 1 through 6(Maybe Remy and others have a few more?), above and let's see what we can do... Berzilius, we were all DUMB at the start and most of us still are. Let's give this a try.

Here, I'll help clear the air... "Mean ol' Remy Rad!" She can take it! You can too... Just don't insult me, I'll cry...


RemyRAD Mon, 11/13/2006 - 18:12
TeddyG was much more articulate than I was and I was sober! Maybe that's the problem, I'm sober. Something no audio engineer should be.

That was one of the questions that TeddyG articulated better than I did. You're saying "plug-and-play microphone" which to me says USB. If that is the case, then you are correct, that is a completely separate driver and software that can work with your existing on board computer soundcard in an odd sort of way but from what I've been reading in my trade publications from Pro Audio Review, MIX, Pro Sound News, EQ, etc., there has been some problems and incompatibilities with some computers and some of these USB plug-and-play microphones. You might be one of those people? If that's the case, you may have to rethink your system and incompatibilities. I've heard this problem exists with possibly the Snowball, Nady and/or Samson? There is no fix currently indicated for this problem.

One more innocent question, is English your native language? You may be misinterpreting something with your plug-and-play microphones manual and software? We've all gone through that at some point in our careers.

Thanks TeddyG for your more intellectual input! Oh baby!

What's that funny stick used for coming out of the side of my steering wheel?
Ms. Remy Ann "which way did she go" David

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 11/14/2006 - 03:57
in reply to teddy g, yes i did numbers 2 to 7, i explained it all before hand in my first post. soundcard is from motherboard, tested it with software etc.

thanks for all your help, you made things clear for me,

line in: was able to record.

sound works perfectly fine, so ok.. its not the drivers.

possible problem is the configuration of the hardware, or hardware defects.

one of the microphones that i used for testing was an A4 tech Webcam with microphone. That i expect to work.

maybe i'll just by a soundcard or an external soundcard . what do you guys suggest is a good and affordable brand? as long as the record quality is good... its ok with me.

thanks again you guys for all your help.

ps. remy, i forgive you. peace to all! :D :D

RemyRAD Tue, 11/14/2006 - 10:47
You have just explained the problem.

You have indicated that one of the microphones is a "A4 tech Webcam". Honey, that ain't no microphone! It's a WebCam that happens to have an onboard microphone so when you are WebCamming it with friends, you don't just have to watch their mouths move.

It's not a USB microphone. It's not a sound card microphone. It's a USB WebCam. It is an integrated piece of equipment that must be used in combination with the WebCam software included to do WebCam stuff only, which just happens to have audio with the video and there is no relationship between that and its integration within an audio only recording program.

To us, this is not considered a microphone it is a multimedia toy, that has a toy microphone built in. This device will certainly not work with audio only recording software. It won't see the microphone because the audio is part of video whose driver is only enabled when utilizing the WebCam and you're not doing video, so, you won't get audio and so you have discovered a systems integration problem! I think you are ready to go down to Florida to help the people at NASA?

The line input was able to record because it's part of the sound card and the sound card most assuredly has a 1/8" multimedia condenser microphone input. You don't plug a WebCam into that input. You are plugged into the USB input currently and it doesn't matter if it has a microphone built into the WebCam. It only works with your WebCam video program. Not your audio program. You can only plug in a $5 single, specific, multimedia microphone with 1/8" plug, only into that plug on your sound card not your USB port, unless it is a specific USB audio only device and only if that kind of device might have regular studio style microphone inputs. Those multimedia microphones are readily available at any of the big electronics stores. Decent affordable 2 microphone or line input USB audio interfaces are available at places like Best Buy/Circuit City/musician friend catalog /guitar Center. Companies like M-Audio, Presonus, Mark of the Unicorn make some noise and affordable USB audio interfaces.

Then all you need is a real grown-up microphone! And then you have entered into audio adulthood! Grown-up microphones such as Shure SM57 work well and have an appropriate enough phallic appearance, when plugged into the right kind of connector. Now you only have to figure out which end of your body you have to place it closest to?

We're making progress
Ms. Remy Ann David

mark_van_j Tue, 11/14/2006 - 11:15
Only 4.5$, looks waaaay better than a 57, and you can plug DIRECTLY into your soundcart, bypassing any need for additional connectors, outboard mixers, preamps, giving you the cleanest signal chain possible! Heck, you can get 22 of these for the price of a 57! Start multitracking and recording your own band! Who needs a 57....

But seriously, this is the part where you expand on the idea of "record quality good". Do you want to record guitar? Do you want to record vocals? Or do you just want people to hear you on the other end of the www?