Bad noise problem.

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by skrie, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. skrie

    skrie Guest

    I bought a brand new sE-X1 large diaphragm mic.
    I'm using it with my M-Audio MobilePre to record piano.

    But the piano barely makes it over the buzzing noise in the recording.
    Even though I almost pushed it into the soundboard to boost the signal.

    This clearly isn't amplified background noise if you ask me.

    But I'm at wits end at to what this could be.
    Here's a recording: (the problem is pretty clear with headphones)

    I wonder what could cause this distortion.
    I can't imagine it's the microphone tbh.
    Could it be a faulty pre-amp?
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    tell us more.

    what are you monitoring on? do you have the payback settings correct?

    sounds like it was recorded really hot. maybe pre amp clip?
  3. skrie

    skrie Guest

    Sorry, there's indeed cliping cause I wasn't paying attention to my levels.
    I had been previously, but I now was just tinkering with everything to get that damn noise lower.
    Clipping didn't cause the noise. Turning down gain obviously lowered it, but it was still abnormal.

    The setup is pretty straight forward:

    A Laptop (running pro-tools) connected by USB to the Mic-Amp/Interface
    (M-audio mobilepre, it's USB powered).

    The usb cable is about 1.5 meters. The sE-X1 is connected to the interface
    with a 2 meter XLR cable. I have 48V phantom power turned ON at the pre-amp.

    The pre-amp had about 60% gain set on the input channel I used. (there's no values on the knobs)
    What surprised me was that even with the mic disconnected, the pre-amp
    produces about -60db's of noise when the Gain is turned up to 100%.
    Is this normal?

    The microphone was aimed at the back of an upright Piano
    about 30 centimeters from the soundboard.
    (I had build a sort of chamber behind the piano that should have kept most environment noise out.
    Cause regretably my piano is not in a quiet place )

    I record in Pro-Tools. on one mono channel.
    I added 1 shelving EQ to cut below 300hz.
    One parametric EQ to add little high boost of 6dB around 3500hz.
    (I realize this increases the noise, but turning off all these EQ's didn't make a much difference.
    And I really want that high boost because my piano is pretty dull.)

    I was monitoring with headphones.

    I don't know what you mean by payback settings.
  4. Jenson

    Jenson Active Member

    Apr 9, 2012
    Wow! I must have an unseen static filter. The linked MP3 sounds pretty clear on my Intel iMac through headphones. All I can hear is a hint of what I might attribute to some low-end pre-amp artifacts. New equipment can highlight any weakness in the audio chain, but based on what I'm hearing, you don't have much of a problem.

    Do you have the gain turned up on an unused channel?
    Have you tried a different mic cable?
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    That is one of the best and cleanest awful piano recordings I've ever heard. There wasn't any noise. There isn't any noise. Tin can quality maybe? Please tell me you added some kind of peculiar equalization to this? Because this is one of the strangest piano recordings I've heard yet. Crappy sounding but no additional noise of any kind. Condenser microphones close to pianos really don't need much gain. And many of us have frequently put microphones extremely close to the hammers, strings and soundboard. No problem there. I'd be very interested to know what kind of headphones or monitor system you're trying to use? Nevertheless, there is something very not right sounding about this particular piano recording? 2 inches from the hammers or 2 feet, shouldn't make any recording sound like yours.

    In another curious question I have for you, you indicated the purchase of a sE-X1 large diaphragm mic. So how the hell did you get this stereo recording with your single microphone? What was the other microphone? Is there another microphone? This is certainly not the raw recording from a single microphone. So maybe, you actually don't have your mobile-pre, directed in your software properly and you are recording from the microphones built into your laptop? Because it really sounds like it's coming from a pair of $.98 extremely small diaphragm condenser type microphones made in Taiwan? And this would be a simple software operator error. The computer will always default first to its internal sound card thingy. You have to assign the Mobile-Pre, to the tracks in your timeline you want to record it in. Many of these laptops have crappy little microphones built into them. And that's what I think I'm hearing? Otherwise you have added some kind of software gobbledygook to make this sound like a stereo recording coming from a single microphone? And that's not what we want to hear. Your noise problems to me sound like a monitoring issue, more than anything else other than this crappy sounding recording. Nothing is buzzing, nothing is blatantly overloaded, it just sounds like ya recorded your piano with a small diaphragm tin can?

    Ya have to learn a little sleight-of-hand.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  6. skrie

    skrie Guest

    Heh, I wasn't expecting a wall of text, but thx much for your input!

    In my defense... I wasn't mixing or even recording yet...
    It's just me playing a few notes and a quick tune to display my issue.
    (which apparently isn't as bad as I though)

    So, YES there is indeed horrible EQ-ing going on. My piano doesn't sound like that.
    I've turned away all the Bass and Mid range frequencies with Equilizers. It will not stay this way.
    Any serious recording will go into my mancave where I have KRK's to EQ it on for real... this is indeed garbage.

    (I forgot that I did indeed use that AIR plugin to create a stereo image out of a mono signal.
    There's no recording going on from my laptop microphone. I'm not that daft....
    Please remember I was just playing with that mic I just unboxxed just that morning.
    Obviously I'm going to add my other small-diaphragm pencil condenser to create a propper
    stereo recording of my piano in the future. I was just trying out my new goodies. )

    I might have been a bit too hard on that noise.
    It's not that loud... but I'm hitting that piano pretty hard in this exsample.
    I'm afraid if I'd play something a little more gentle... it'd definitelly be noticable.
    Especially if additional channels in the mix all contain the same noise...
    (they'll just layer untill it's a mess right?)

    Please take a closer listen to the softer tail ends of the notes.
    It doesn't seem right to me. But if it's okay with you sound-guru's...
    I'll just let the noise be, and move on to fixing the other issues you correctly identified.

    So, long story short. I'll lower the gain and forget about the noise for now.
    And thanks for your help.
  7. purecountry70

    purecountry70 Active Member

    Nov 14, 2009
    Buffalo ny
    How do I register to win this preamp, I'd sure love this
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    besides the gain setting, misused compression could bring that hiss up, cuz it dissapears during when playing.
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    You really can't expect us to hear any thing wrong with this when it's already so screwed up from the equalization you have gone willy-nilly Bonzo on. We need it like the orange juice they sell from Florida, un-fooled around with. Plain, just the way it went in. It's like Curly in the Three Stooges yelling he can't see, he can't see! Because he had his eyes closed. And then Moe made sure of that. BOINK! Ouch! Why you... so what really is the problem?

    He tinks he's a comedian?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  10. skrie

    skrie Guest

    I believe you are just trying to piss me off...
    So, shut up or ban me already you big bad moderator.
  11. Jenson

    Jenson Active Member

    Apr 9, 2012
    Oh good! 'Food fight. Can I watch?
  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    LMAO, I think you're misinterpreting what I'm trying to help you with? I'm serious. You're telling us you're hearing distortion, new ways or something peculiar. Then you equalize it, do something different in both channels, and then ask us what's wrong? Please understand that the first thing wrong is doing anything to the recording other than the way it goes in direct from the microphone. We cannot troubleshoot sonic peculiarities and aberrations you believe you are hearing without giving us the base source first to evaluate. So I'm really trying to help ya. So are you mentally impaired or do you understand what I'm saying? You might think I'm trying to aggravate you since your response was that of an emotionally questionable response? I'm not. What I can tell you is that I am a high-level technician and right now you sir are the one sounding like the child. Nobody wants to moderate you off this site WTF with that attitude? I mean if you don't want our help, you could just go to the bathroom and get it off your mind.

    Your turn.
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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