Art M-One Condenser Mic clipping like crazy (loud singing)?

Hi, I have an Art M-One Condenser Mic (USB)

And I use it mostly for voiceovers for my Youtube channel, but I’m starting music lessons and need it to record my voice for feedback.

However, when I sing too loud, the audio starts distorting. I have linked a quick 10 second audio clip with the distortion

I’m recording using Audacity on Windows 10, I have my gain on Audacity AND Windows 10 set to as low as possible, and I am also singing into the correct “face” of the microphone. I have tried moving away from the mic when singing louder and it barely improved. Sometimes I’ll have to stand 5 ft (1.5m) away from the mic to prevent distortion then I get the sound of the room which is ugly.

Is this an equipment issue and do I need something new? Or can I fix it without spending money?

According to the specifications, that mic should be able to handle a very loud voice.
Check in the Windows Sound Control Panel to ensure that Windows is not applying “boost” to the recording level.

ensure that Windows is not applying “boost” to the recording level

That’s my guess. Some Windows installs tried to cure the wide-spread complaint that live recording is too quiet by applying a boost.


And no, most modern microphones will handle absurdly loud volumes without significant distortion.


So I just checked and within the Art M-One Mic settings (in Sound Cpl) , and I’ve never seen boost settings. I’m guessing that’s found somewhere else? I can’t find it in that case.

I tried searching for official drivers for this mic but can’t find any.

Have you checked that all Windows “sound enhancements” are off? (see:

Also, in the Windows Sound Control Panel, is the microphone set to record mono or stereo? (if it can be changed, try it both ways).

I don’t have a “sound enhancement” tab for my Art M-One recording device so I couldn’t turn it off. Should I turn off sound enhancements for the rest? I don’t think it will affect the recording since those other devices are disabled…

Microphone is set to stereo, I tried mono but its the same. I also tried messing with recording quality as well but not dice.

I have a Realtek sound chipset in my motherboard, could that be the problem?

I was not able to fix it, however recording using Adobe Audition is actually gets rid of a lot of clipping. Enough for the time being. Do you guys have any idea why? i assumed that its the exact same audio signal coming through, so why would 1 software be able to reduce clipping but the other not?

Inside the mic, the analog signal from the mic capsule is the same, and the conversion from analog to digital is the same, and the conversion from raw digital to USB audio is the same.

The signal then goes to the computer USB port - all the same so far.

Computers use “drivers” to allow software to communicate with hardware. In the case of audio, this part is quite complicated. At the lowest level, there is a USB audio driver that simply grabs incoming data from the USB port, then above that are one or more “layers” that provide an application interface so that applications can communicate with audio hardware, and usually a user interface so that the computer user can communicate with the audio hardware (such as selecting inputs, channels, sample rate, level,…). These “layers” may be collectively called the computer’s “sound system”, and this is where it becomes different between Audacity and Audition.

Audition is closed source commercial software, and like most other closed source audio editing software on Windows, uses the ASIO sound system. ASIO is free to use, but is “closed source” and may not be distributed.

Audacity is open source software, meaning that it’s source code is freely available for all, to use, study, share, modify, distribute, and just about anything else provided that these freedoms are not compromised. Unfortunately, this means that Audacity is unable to use ASIO, because the (GPL v2) open source license of Audacity, and the (Steinberg non-disclosure) license of the ASIO SDK are incompatible. So Audacity uses the native sound systems available from the host operating system. In this case, the “host system” is Windows, and the available sound systems are: MME, DirectSound, and WASAPI.

The news that the problem goes away with Audition is good news, because it means that the problem does not lie with the mic - it’s a matter of getting the sound system (the software between Audacity and the USB device) to stop boosting the signal.

Usually this problem can be fixed by setting the recording level in the Windows Sound Control Panel as low as possible. You say you’ve already tried that, but check again anyway,

If that really is set as low as possible, then try the other “host” options in Audacity’s device toolbar.

Audition doesnt’ get rid of clipping completely, I can still get it to clip if I blast my mic with all I’ve got, but I can sing more freely than with Audacity.
Yes recording level in Windows and Audacity is already set as low as possible. However I will try the other options you mention in Audacity because I don’t like using Audition as much as Audacity.