mic input signal is too low

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dolumy
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:42 pm

mic input signal is too low

Post by dolumy » Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:22 pm

hey,

mic: shure sm7b
audio interface: focusrite scarlett 2i2

when i connect everything i get a signal but its really low.. no matter how high i turn the volume, nothing changes (i also activated the "48V").

the only thing that helps is to turn up the gain (then the signal seems to be on a good level, but when i record and wanna listen afterwards, i can hear nothing), and as you can imagine there are disturbing noises when i do this..

could it be that the mic and the audio interface dont function well together cause the mic is more high quality stuff? (i know that its actually way too professional for my level but i wanted to start with good stuff)

could a pre amp help/do i need one?

i wanted to lower the sample size but i cant change it in my programm.. (i use the trial vesion)

would be really thankful for some advice.. im pretty sure that i didnt do something essential in the configuration settings.. but im a bit lost tbh

dsu
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:22 pm
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Re: mic input signal is too low

Post by dsu » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:47 pm

I don't think the problem is that your microphone is too good for the audio interface.

To troubleshoot this problem it is helpful to break the signal path down into smaller sections.

First thing to check is whether Live is connected to the focusrite scarlett 2i2 interface. Can you listen to the output of Ableton through the scarlett?
If not, then this is the first place to start looking a little deeper.

If this is working the next thing is to check if the inputs are selected in both the preferences in Live and that the channel in live is set to the input you are plugging the mic into. Set the record arm button on for this channel.

Your post suggests that when you plug the mic into the scarlett you can see the LED around the gain knob flash when there is sound. If you set the Direct Monitor switch to on and listen on the headphone jack on the scarlett. If you hear a clear sound there is a good chance that the mic and scarlett are providing an adequate signal.

If after this Live is not getting a good signal more investigation will be required.

Have you checked out this tutorial https://youtu.be/6quoJTMAmzs

waveswinger
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:19 pm

Re: mic input signal is too low

Post by waveswinger » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:22 pm

Hi,
Shure SM7B micrphones usually require a "Cloudlifter" to boost the mic up to proper recording levels. They are fantastic mics, but notoriously low in volume. There are probably some advantages to that, but it definitely throws people for a loop.
Here's the website for the products: https://www.cloudmicrophones.com/cloudlifter-cl-1

there are several options / configurations with them, but this is the #1 solution with that particular mic. You shouldn't have any issues with your 2i2 if you get your hands on a CL-1 (or whichever).

Hope that helps!

jlgrimes
Posts: 1449
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:55 am
Location: Atlanta, Ga

Re: mic input signal is too low

Post by jlgrimes » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:51 pm

waveswinger wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:22 pm
Hi,
Shure SM7B micrphones usually require a "Cloudlifter" to boost the mic up to proper recording levels. They are fantastic mics, but notoriously low in volume. There are probably some advantages to that, but it definitely throws people for a loop.
Here's the website for the products: https://www.cloudmicrophones.com/cloudlifter-cl-1

there are several options / configurations with them, but this is the #1 solution with that particular mic. You shouldn't have any issues with your 2i2 if you get your hands on a CL-1 (or whichever).

Hope that helps!


I second this.

Although you might be able to get by by setting your gain close to max.

Some preamps might get noisier near max. I'm using the Clarett like this which is still pretty quiet.

The Apollo I had was very noisy near max (which is shameful for the price you pay for that).

The Cloudlifter is a savior though for most typical Audio interface preamps as they typically have a low gain range which is suitable for condensers. But for dynamics or ribbons a mic pre with 60db or more gain range is recommended unless you are recording a loud source like drums (wouldn't want to record loud sources with a ribbon though but that is another story).

You could alternatively record lower, peaking from like -30 to -20 Dbfs and turn up gain digitally. This will also lower you SNR, but as long as it isnt too low usually isnt a big deal.

TLW
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: mic input signal is too low

Post by TLW » Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:35 pm

dolumy wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:22 pm
when i connect everything i get a signal but its really low.. no matter how high i turn the volume, nothing changes (i also activated the "48V").
I guess one question is what you mean by “really low”. For recording multiple tracks at 24 bit -12dB is a perfectly healthy level, or even a bit less. Otherwise the problem becomes overload at the master fader (or interface out) as the track count builds up and overall volume along with it.

If the signal/noise is acceptable then the utility plugin (and many others) can be used to add gain. I’d run it after any compression though, otherwise the compressor is likely to really boost the noise floor in any silences.
Live 10 Suite, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

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