While interviewing a friend tonight, for some reason no matter how we positioned the mic or how much closer or farther he or I were to it, my voice was instantly louder - as if I was right up front in a professional studio - and his sounded far away. The weirdest part is that I’m using a single Behringer mic on a one track M-Audio Fast Track USB mixer, so our voices are on the same mic on the same track but at completely different volumes instantaneously - there’s no delay or spike in volume as if it’s adapting to our voices (kinda spooky actually). I thought that maybe it had something to do with sampling my voice like in the Noise Reduction effect but I wasn’t able to find any settings that allowed me to alter the right kind of levels during playback. It’s as if while testing things before my friend arrived, I tweaked some setting to prioritize my specific intonation and to treat any other sound profile as background and reduce its volume. Is there any setting that is capable of doing that?
I can’t find any other similar type of issue online and I’m really hoping to fix this as soon as possible. ANY help is appreciated and I’ll gladly answer any technical specs to better figure out this problem.
one track M-Audio Fast Track USB mixer
Again, which one? M-Audio makes about a million different USB adapters. If it’s single channel USB, then it’s not a mixer. Single channel is a little unusual.
Point to a web page?
There is an Avid Fast Track Solo, but that’s designed to work with ProTools and Avid software. It’s not a generic microphone adapter. Did you get special driver software with it?
The literal make of the product is “M-Audio Fast Track.” There’s no other defining model number but if I remember correctly I think it’s a Mk II.
The Mic is a Behringer C-1. Mic goes into the Fast Track and that goes into the laptop. I really don’t think it has anything to do with the hardware, I’m pretty sure it’s a software issue within Audacity. But I’m going to go into “Sound” from the Control Panel today and “Configure” the mic to see if maybe that’s the culprit.
The weirdest part is that I’m using a single Behringer mic
Is it a directional mic? Could that explain the difference?
I thought that might be the issue which is why my friend and I repositioned ourselves around the mic multiple times to see if there was a sweet spot but almost no matter where he or I were, the issue remained the same.
The Behringer C-1 is a condenser mic apparently.
That makes sense. That’s a cousin to the one I have.
The C1 is a condenser microphone, it takes 48volts phantom power from the MicPre or interface to run it and it has a directional characteristic much like this, except from the side instead of the top like the illustration.
Do you have the 48v light on?
If it didn’t make any difference where you put the microphone, you were being recorded on the laptop built-in microphone, not the C1.
Of course, this has never happened to me.
Try the scratch test. Start recording and scratch the C1 with your fingernail and then scratch the grill where your laptop microphone is. Announce what you’re doing as you go.
Did I hit it?
Make sure your interface USB is connected and the 48v is turned on. The lights on the front of the interface should bounce when you speak. Then Launch Audacity fresh and use the device toolbar to find the USB interface. It could say anything. Maybe “USB Audio CODEC?”
If you just can’t get it to connect, you may be a victim of the Avid Driver Software. Again, this is not a generic audio interface. It’s an Avid Protools device and may need special software.
I thought that might be the issue which is why my friend and I repositioned ourselves around the mic multiple times
Like most studio condenser mics, that’s a “side address directional mic”. You talk (or sing) into the front-side where the LED and logo are, not from the end or back-side.
The back side should be strongly attenuated. I’m not sure what you’d get from the end (i.e. the top of the mic when it’s sitting upright) but I’d expect some attenuation and poor quality.
You can experiment with distance, but you shouldn’t need to experiment with angle/direction… It’s intended to pick-up sound from the front. (Directional mics also have a characteristic called the proximity effect that boosts the bass when you get close to the mic.)
I really don’t think it has anything to do with the hardware, I’m pretty sure it’s a software issue within Audacity.
Windows has some optional [u]“enhancements”[/u] that can mess-up the sound, but if that’s the problem, both voices should be affected in the same way.
Audacity can’t change the sound while recording. It simply “captures” the digital audio stream and sends it to your hard drive. Any effects have to be applied intentionally after recording.
Windows has some optional “enhancements” that can mess-up the sound, but if that’s the problem, both voices should be affected in the same way.
Between that and using the laptop microphone, the laptop would have assumed you were the valuable voice and the guest was not valuable background noise and to be suppressed. You are describing how the laptop is supposed to work without the C1.
This is the same technology that allows you to talk facing the cellphone in your hand in a crowd.