A few noobie questions

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Stevencc, May 24, 2009.

  1. Stevencc

    Stevencc Guest

    Hi everyone,

    Basically I joined this forum today because I am having problems with recording some music that I have written. I have a few questions, if anyone could answer them that'd be great.

    My music has electric guitar, drums and vocals etc so the recording has to be as good as I can get it from my own home.

    I attempted to record some stuff today and to be honest the quality isnt great, when I use too many layers everything distorts, clips and the volume levels fluctuate. I am using search engines this mic, do you know if it is the mic or the soundcard that is causing the problems? I am basically just micing the guitar amp and singing into it for the vocals.

    Another problem is that I am not using a mixer, but am using Fruity Loops for the volume and effects etc. Do I need a mixer?

    My soundcard, by the way, is whatever the standard soundcard for a dell pc circa 2000.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    OK Steve, first, welcome to Recording.org.

    Here's the problem. Your sound card is actually really out of the loop for recording. You have a condenser USB microphone the meaning that it has its own microphone preamp & analog to digital converter with a USB output that also powers the microphone. And it's a great Bang for the buck. But here are your problem factors.

    I can't find any "pad" built into his microphone. This means, that inordinately loud signals may have the capability of overloading the microphone's internal circuit? That means you would be given no choice but to just distance to control overloading.

    In another instance, this USB microphone may very well utilize Microsoft's internal playback/record mixer for level control? Now it's easy to get to your Microsoft mixer as it is available through the start menu for programs, to entertainment. That mixer past two modes of operation's. When it first comes up, it's what you're listening to that Levine controls are adjusting. If you drop down the file menu, you'll find that there is a separate mixer for recording purposes. Choose that one. From there, you should see your USB microphone, likely under their microphone volume control. This controls the amount of level you will be recording into your chosen software. This software itself, its volume controls are only used for final mixing. So it's probably that Microsoft recording mixer you need to use to control your microphones volumes. Otherwise it's a decent large diaphragm Chinese condenser microphone and a good band for the buck. There's nothing wrong with the microphone. It's operator error. But now that you are better informed, you are going to be making some decent recordings.

    Remember however, this particular microphone is only capable of 16-bit, 44.1kHz/48kHz. So don't even bother trying to record at 24-bit level depths. But maybe you should? If your computers audio card is High Definition, 24-bit, 96kHz capable, you otherwise shouldn't bother with 24-bit recording. The microphone is only going to give you 16-bit. Chances are you're cheap computers sound card is only good for 16-bit operation. Some are capable of better playback as opposed to recording capabilities also. If your computer is set up to play DVDs? Chances are it can play 24-bit files and 48kHz sampling. If not? Stick with 16-bit. Lots of people don't agree with me about this but what do they know? They're just other misinformed professionals like myself.

    Any other questions? You can always PM me.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    No. No mixer.
    Mixers take a lot of inputs and create a smaller amount of outputs.

    Your input in this case is the USB connection on that mic, right?

    Without hearing your sound, I think you should check your gain structure.

    By way of example - and this is by no means technically accurate, just demonstrates a point:
    You can have an amp set between 1 and 10. If you set it to 3, you have a single amp totalling 3.
    If you add a second amp, set to 2, you then have 2 amps totalling 5.
    If you have 2 amps both set to 6, you then have a total of 2 amps pushing 12 - but amps only go to 10, right? This is where your distortion comes from.

    (2nd example)
    If you have a bowl, and add 100g of something, then 100g of something else, and again, etc. ... you end up with an increasing amount of stuff in the bowl - you need to add less of individual things in order to fit everything into the bowl.

    Get the drift?

    Also, at some point you'll want to upgrade to more quality gear - but until then, don't think about it. It's money and chasing your tail trying to get a "better sound".
  4. Stevencc

    Stevencc Guest

    Thanks for your replys guys.

    I must admit that I am a little over my head here, as some of the wisdom you shared is barely understandable to me.

    So do you guys think that I should perhaps get a new mic, or maybe buy a new soundcard for my pc? Or stick with what I have?

    I recently got a laptop which is also a Dell, but a 2009 model, which may have a better soundcard, would this be true?

    To highlight my problems I will link this very rough demo I recorded today in a few minutes. Keep in mind that I have many different layers to add etc. Also consider that this is just a 4 or 5 track recording, when I add to this things begin to crackle and get lost in eachother. Perhaps this is a volue problem with my mixing?

    Also, Im sure if that I am utilising effects properly or anything. I am truly a newbie to all this.

    So any advice, no matter how basic or patronising you may think it to be, would be very helpful!

    Thanks again.

    EDIT: Here is the track http://rapidshare.com/files/236850118/sofar.mp3.html

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