My voice recording too faint, no words can be deciphered

I’m using Audacity 2.4.2
MacBook Air (MacOS High Sierra 10.13.6)
Tascam 102i
Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Microphone

I’m recording my voice speaking. Something is recording but the sound is so faint none of the words can be deciphered
Even turning the volume up to the max is insufficient.

Is there a way to hear as I go through the Tascam (or disconnect it and through the computer speakers?)

I bought Sony MDR-7506 headphones as advised by a podcast tutorial I watched, can’t hear anything through them either

The Rode Procaster is an “end-address” mic. That means, talk into the end of the mic, not into the side.

Are you using a mic cable with 3-pin connectors at both ends (male at one end, female at the other)?

When you speak into the mic and turn the recording level up on the Tascam 102i, does the signal light illuminate? By turning the level further up and speaking louder, are you able to get the “peak” light to flicker on?

The Tascam USB and power lights should be on.

The Tascam has two different ways to tell if it’s working right. The lights on the front and the headphone socket.

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The microphone doesn’t take +48 volts. Leave the switch on the front in MIC/LINE.

Never blow into a microphone, but yell into yours and turn the GAIN knob all the way up. Can you see both the green SIG lights and the Yellow PEAK lights? That means your voice is getting at least that far. Turn the GAIN knob down.

Plug your 7506’s into the Tascam. The headphones should have come with both big and little plugs. Turn the GAIN knob up and announce until you get the green light. On the right, turn VOL and BALANCE half-way. Turn up PHONES until you can hear yourself.

Got it so far?


Let’s find out what your levels actually are…

You can quickly check the peak level after recording by running the Amplify effect. Audacity has pre-scanned the file and Amplify will default to whatever gain is needed for “maximized” 0dB peaks. For example, if Amplify defaults to +20dB, your peaks are currently -20dB. (The maximum in one-pass is +50dB so if you are below -50 this won’t work perfectly but it will still confirm a “serious problem”.)

That is a dynamic mic and like most dynamic mics it has a low output compared to a condenser mic. Condenser mics “typically” put-out 20dB more than a dynamic or ribbon mic… I couldn’t find a gain spec for your TASCAM interface but since most people use condenser mics for “studio recording” it might not have enough gain.

Have you tried both inputs on the interface? Maybe one input is defective?

Is there a way to hear as I go through the Tascam (or disconnect it and through the computer speakers?)

If you plug your headphones into the interface you should be able to hear yourself without going through the computer. I found something that says"

Headphone outputs with individual volume control provide zero-latency monitoring while you record

…Zero latency (zero delay) means the signal isn’t going through the computer. BTW - That’s a nice feature to have on an interface.