Mixer/Microphone Problem

Discussion in 'Consoles / Control Surfaces' started by Frank44145, May 13, 2009.

  1. Frank44145

    Frank44145 Member

    May 13, 2009
    What type of db level is normal for talking into a microphone/mixer while talking normal, about 4-6 inches away from the mic?

    I recently bought an Audio-Technica AT2020 microphone and an Alesis Multimix 8 USB 1.1 mixer. I am new to this but it seems to me that the audio is too low. I can not believe that I would have to turn the level and mic gain knobs up to around 3/4 of the way to get some usable sound. And even then its still low and sounds muffled with not a good tone.

    I just recorded myself talking in a normal conversation loudness, about 4-6 inches away from the microphone. I had my Mic input level, mic gain, and main mix level all set 1/2 way at the 12 o'clock position. The recording software Audacity ( I know I'm a newbie and poor) only showed an audio level of about -30db. Way too low. I noticed that the waveform was shifted partially downward into the negative area.

    Guitar center said everything is working. So I don't know what to check in the computer, even if that is a problem. Or, should I consider altogether a different mixer and mic?

    Frank Weber
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    I'll ask a silly question...

    Is the phantom power on?
    (I guess it is as you're getting something albeit very little)

    Also, are you speaking into the correct part of the mic?
    (I don't own one but I can tell from the image I just looked at that it's not meant to be used the way a handheld mic would be)
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Many folks don't know what a "side address" microphone means. It means that the microphone does not pickup from the end of the grill but from the side. Generally in the direction of the company's insignia. This is a common mistake many folks make with these types of side address condenser microphones. This is not unusual. But when you are at a right angle to the capsule it's not unusual for a muffled muddy nondescript sound.

    And for spoken word recording you should be approximately 3" to 6" from capsule. Depending upon your speech patterns you may also need a pop filter. The pantyhose lollipop types are quite popular but I actually prefer the foam pop filters. Those will actually knock off 1/2 DB or so at 15kHz and beyond. That actually can be beneficial for spoken word recording and/or singing. And you can get from Pop filters in numerous different colors. This can actually improving performance if you have the right color Pop filter. I mean if a woman is singing and she likes red and you give her a blue Pop filter, you might not get as good a performance as if you gave her a red Pop filter. Personally, I like the purple ones and the tie-dye ones. They're awesome.

    But then again you might just want to get yourself a SM58. You'll sound better. It'll work better. You can use the condenser microphone on other stuff. Really.

    SM58 lover
    Ms. Remy Ann David

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