Mic signal strength too low

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earwig forever
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:55 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Mic signal strength too low

Post by earwig forever » Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:48 pm

I am using the Firewire Solo to interface the mic into Ableton Live 7 but the results are pretty disappointing. The signal strength is weak, meaning that I have to use saturation to bring it up to the right level for the mix, but this adds distortion. If i increase the input signal strength on the Solo I get feedback from the monitor headphones, as well as clipping. I have read that you need a preamp for vocal recording, but I thought that the Solo handles that? The mic isnt the best quality in the world, but it should be able to handle home recording. Someone said I should increase the buffer in preferences, but this is an input field, and I have no idea what is optimal for buffer settings.
Macbook Pro 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, OSX 10.5.6. Firewire Solo, M-Audio Nova, Ableton Live 7.0.12

966sf
Posts: 114
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:14 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Mic signal strength too low

Post by 966sf » Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:17 pm

FW solo does have a preamp. Too bad it sucks. Yup just buy a good dedicated Mic Pre or better yet a Channel Strip and throw it in line level to your FW Solo. Sure the converters on M-Audio suck balls but at least you'll have a good signal in the preamp stage! But then again if your mic sucks then what's the point of running it through a good pre???

Lesson learned:
Good Mic -> Good Pre -> Good Interface (good converters) = Good Sound!

Your setup is only as good as the weakest part of the signal chain. If one is fucked, they all are.
Macbook Pro 15" Core Duo 2.16ghz 2GB ram; Live 6.0.10; Live 7.0.7; Digi 003 Rack; Novation Remote Zero SL;Faderfox micromodul LC2, Korg Kontrol49; M-Audio Trigger Finger

Superchibisan
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Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2004 7:25 pm

Re: Mic signal strength too low

Post by Superchibisan » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:23 am

what kind of mic?

fishmonkey
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: Mic signal strength too low

Post by fishmonkey » Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:00 am

and what are you trying to record? even if your gear isn't high-end, you still should be able to get a decent level without full-on distortion...

spiral
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Re: Mic signal strength too low

Post by spiral » Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:09 am

earwig forever wrote: The signal strength is weak, meaning that I have to use saturation to bring it up to the right level for the mix, but this adds distortion.
have you tried bringing up the signal with the utility plug in?

capo-wear-i
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:28 pm

Re: Mic signal strength too low

Post by capo-wear-i » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:17 am

It should provide enough gain for close miking - please give more details including the exact make & model of mic, the lead you are using and the socket that you are plugging into on the audio interface. You should be using a microphone plugged into the XLR socket.

Under no circumstances should you be using utility or distortion plug-ins to bring up the level : If the signal enetering your computer is very , very low, you are effectivly only recording 12 or even 8 bits of information.

A utility plug in won't magically make this any better.

earwig forever
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:55 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: Mic signal strength too low

Post by earwig forever » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:29 pm

the mic is crap, as i said, it's a Proel DM200, but it is new at least. I have actually been getting better results by tweaking settings etc but if i turn the volume up to a decent level it starts to clip. It is plugged into the mic socket on my Firewire Solo.
Macbook Pro 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, OSX 10.5.6. Firewire Solo, M-Audio Nova, Ableton Live 7.0.12

fishmonkey
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: Mic signal strength too low

Post by fishmonkey » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:35 pm

what are you trying to record? e.g. vocals, acoustic instruments, atmos???

earwig forever
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:55 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: Mic signal strength too low

Post by earwig forever » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:44 pm

It's vocals mainly, though I was planning on recording some acoustic guitar too
Macbook Pro 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, OSX 10.5.6. Firewire Solo, M-Audio Nova, Ableton Live 7.0.12

rutgermuller
Posts: 290
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 11:27 pm

Re: Mic signal strength too low

Post by rutgermuller » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:33 pm

I see your mic is dynamic. As far as I know condensor mics work better on soft signals and pick up more detail. But correct me when wrong.

Try a bunch of mics at your dealer and see which one work for you and your interface.

earwig forever
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:55 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: Mic signal strength too low

Post by earwig forever » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:39 pm

Ok, thanks, I'll check it out.
Macbook Pro 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, OSX 10.5.6. Firewire Solo, M-Audio Nova, Ableton Live 7.0.12

mihai
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Location: Los Angeles, California

Re: Mic signal strength too low

Post by mihai » Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:57 pm

you need a good condenser mic for that but they do cost a little more. so far i have no issues with recording vocals with my sm57 and lexicon omega. i usually have the gain set to 3 o'clock [on the omega] and my mouth is close to the mic. it doesn't come out too quiet and then i just process with saturator, dynamic tube, and/or whatever else i need. usually i have compressor running last in the chain and that's what i also use to bring up the volume.

then again i don't use vocals often but you should still get good/decent sounding vox with your gear.

earwig forever
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:55 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: Mic signal strength too low

Post by earwig forever » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:39 am

Well, I bit the bullet and bought a M-Audio Nova condenser mic, but thanks for the tip anyway
Macbook Pro 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, OSX 10.5.6. Firewire Solo, M-Audio Nova, Ableton Live 7.0.12

mihai
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Location: Los Angeles, California

Re: Mic signal strength too low

Post by mihai » Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:37 pm

much better.

Firepurge
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:03 pm

Re: Mic signal strength too low

Post by Firepurge » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:40 am

Hi all, so I've just got an M-Audio Vocal Studio mic but I use it for recording acoustic guitar. And I produce using Ableton Live, but the signal is very low, basically the audio I record in is very quiet.
Any thoughts on ways to fix this without buying a pre-amp?

thanks,
David

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