Help - vocals problem

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Help - vocals problem

Permanent link to this post Posted by Paulwales » Tue May 16, 2017 4:41 pm

Hi im using Scarlett 2i2 with Audacity. Recording guitar and vocals separately. Plugging in guitar and recording fine. When I record the vicals using scarlett mic the vocals are always much quieter and I have to mess around with amplifying the vocal track. The vocal wave is much smaller than the guitar recording wave on Audacity, dont know why. Advice needed and aporeciated. Thanks.
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Re: Help - vocals problem

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue May 16, 2017 5:46 pm

The first dark cloud is the microphone. It's apparently a CM25 but that doesn't make any difference because it's impossible to buy the microphone without the rest of the studio package. Conspiracy Theory has it Scarlett re-purposed another makers microphone just to get a Studio Package out the door. We'll probably never know.

Typically, home recording packages record low volume. As you found, low volume, as long as it's not silly-low, can be fixed in post production. High volume is deadly and will kill your show. Nobody wants to follow the sound meters to record normal volume, so low volume it is.

The microphone takes 48 volt Phantom Power. I don't think it does anything without it, so that's probably OK.

You should be recording somewhere between a fist and a shaka away from the microphone.

Image

You should be speaking into the little kidney-bean picture. It's a side-fire microphone. Did the microphone come with a little tennis racket pop and blast filter? You should use that to help with P popping sounds.

Most Scarlett studios come with a Scarlett Solo USB adapter. Those record naturally in mono. Not so the 2i2. The 2i2 records in stereo. So you have the choice between recording Left channel in a stereo show or Mono at half volume. Which did you pick?

Koz
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Re: Help - vocals problem

Permanent link to this post Posted by Ed_Focusrite » Wed May 17, 2017 8:46 am

Hi Paul,

Just to clear up a few points in order to help you get a good recording with your Scarlett Studio pack.

In order to get the vocal up to a good level you can adjust the gain on the front panel of the 2i2, next to the input that the microphone is connected to. You'll typically want to get a level in your DAW (Audacity) of between -20 and -12dB, this article describes the reasoning behind this in more detail:

https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/208958089-How-high-should-I-set-the-gain-control-on-my-interface-

Kozikowski is correct in that the Scarlett mic is a a side address microphone so you will need to ensure that you are speaking/singing into the side with the kidney bean style image of the polar pattern and the Scarlett logo. Speaking into the back or top of the mic will result in a less detailed, quieter sound.

With regards to recording in stereo with the 2i2, whilst it does have 2 inputs it does not record in stereo unless you have 2 microphones connected to the 2i2 and a stereo channel selected. As you are recording voice, using one input (1 microphone) you will need to use a mono audio track for this purpose.

Best regards,

Ed // Focusrite Technical Support.
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Re: Help - vocals problem

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Wed May 17, 2017 9:41 am

As you are recording voice, using one input (1 microphone) you will need to use a mono audio track for this purpose.

And I would set that in the Focusrite driver? Does it "know" whether or not I have a guitar plugged into the other side at the same time? If I plug a single microphone in Right, does the device know what to do?

Many adapters create mono by summing the two channels and reduce the volume to increase headroom. This also usually causes clipping at -6dB which gets people's attention immediately.

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Re: Help - vocals problem

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Wed May 17, 2017 9:52 am

a Scarlett 2i2 2nd Generation interface has a dynamic range of 106dB (A-weighted),

A side note, last check, ACX Audiobook uses X weighing for noise, not A, so the background noises are more troublesome than it looks from the published specifications.

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Re: Help - vocals problem

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Wed May 17, 2017 12:44 pm

kozikowski wrote:ACX Audiobook uses X weighing for noise

What is "X weighting"? Where do they say that?

If you mean "not weighted", that is more often called "Z-weighting" (Zero weighting), and sometimes written as dB(Z).
9/10 questions are answered in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
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Re: Help - vocals problem

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Wed May 17, 2017 2:02 pm

Sorry, Z.

They don't in spite of multiple requests. However we use flat noise measurements and readers are successful. I expect more crash and burn failures if our weighing didn't match.

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Re: Help - vocals problem

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Wed May 17, 2017 4:36 pm

Much more instructive are the near misses. Someone will post they didn't quite make noise and local analysis of the clip will give -57dB or some such number. That's happened several times, so I'm pretty confident about the tools.

Also, you can occasionally get out of noise trouble with a high pass filter. That doesn't work with A weighing.

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