My voice does not separate from the background music

Hi! I need your help.

I am running Audacity 3.02 on Windows 10 on my PC desktop computer.
My setup is as follows. My Shure SM 58 mic is connected to my Soundcraft Notepad 12 FX. The Soundcraft power is connected to the mains. My AKG headphone is connected to the Soundcraft. The stereo cables from the mixer is connected to the desktop’s green audio port. The Soundcraft USB cable is connected to the desktop audio USB port. Audacity’s Audio Host is WASAPI; MIc Line In 01/02 (Soundcraft Noepad 12 FX); Recording Channels Stereo; and Speakers (2-Dolby Premium).

This is my problem.
I have downloaded and imported the background music file into Audacity. I have recorded my voice (singing) on a separate track. On playback however, with the background music muted, I could still hear my voice mixed with the background music instead of my voice alone. What did I miss?
Thank you all in advance.

Several possibilities:

When you were recording, the microphone may have picked up sound from your headphones / speakers. This is MUCH more likely to be a problem if the backing tracks were playing through speakers. “Enclosed” (“Closed back”) headphones tend to have the least amount of sound leaking out.

The “Recording” setting in the Device Toolbar may have been wrong. It needs to be set to your microphone.

“Headsets” (combined headphones + mic) can cause this problem due to leakage between the headphone wires and the microphone wires, and / or sound conduction between headphones and mic.

Hi Steve!
I am using an AKG K92 which is a closed headphone. My Shure SM 58 mic is connected to Line 1/2 of the Soundcraft Notepad 12 FX. The Recording Device toolbar reads it as Mic/line In 01/02(soundcraft Notepad 12FX). I tried several combinations to no avail. :frowning:

As a test, set Audacity’s playback device as the computer’s sound card and plug your headphones into the computer. Does the background music still get into the vocal track?

I tried setting the computer sound card as my playback device. However, the background voice comes out of the desktop speakers. I also tried connecting my headphones direct to the computer. With this setup, I could not hear my voice thru the headphones when I talk or sing over the mic connected to the soundcraft Notepad. I even tried disattaching the stereo cables from the Soundcraft to the computer but then I could not hear any background music thru my headphones. I wish that I could hear my voice and background music thru my headphones and have them as separate tracks in Audacity. Thanks Steve for bearing with me.

I couldn’t work out if you answered my question:

With Audacity’s playback device set to computer’s sound card, and headphones plugged into the computer, does the background music still get into the vocal track?
(I know this will not work in the way that you want it to, but it’s just a test to find out where the “leak” is happening.)

Hi Steve! I did as you said…connected my headphones to the computer audio input and set my Playback Device to Speakers (2-Dolby Audio Premium).
It’s all good now! My voice only is now on audio track 2 without the background music. Music does not come out of the desktop speakers anymore. I hear both the music and my voice on playback on my headphones though I can’t hear my voice thru my microphone when recording. I hope it’s OK with you for me to ask for help if I encounter some more problems. Thank you Steve for helping me out!

That indicates that the playback sound was going to the mixer, getting added to (mixed) the microphone input, and sent back to Audacity to be recorded in the new track.

Ideally you do want your headphones plugged into the mixer so that you can monitor both playback and your live (mic) input, but you do NOT want the playback to be routed through to the main (USB) output of the mixer. Most larger USB mixers enable you to do that, but I’ve seen that some small USB mixers always mix the USB input with the live input and send it to the USB output (which is NOT what you want, because that’s what causes the original problem).

It may be worth playing with the mixer (and scouring the mixer’s manual) to see if it is possible to monitor through the mixer without the USB input being fed through to the USB output. If that is not possible with your mixer, then you will need to work around the issue.

I appreciate the explanation Steve. Can you recommend a mixer (not that expensive) that doesn’t mix the USB input with the live input? This is just a hobby of mine and I don’t even intend to post my covers anywhere.
Will play around with the unit again and see what comes out… Thanks again . Mabuhay Ka! from the Philippines. :smiley:

From a quick look at the Soundcraft Notepad 12 FX manual, it looks like it should be possible to get this working properly with that mixer.
You need to configure it so that USB input goes to the “headphones”, but NOT to “master”.
(This thread may help: