Noise Reduction

The master control on this mixer doesnt affect the output into the computer..only the 1/4 inch line into amp or PA...the level lights do turn on if I turn it up but it doest affect the signal into the computer at all…I have to keep the individual level and gain controls down to between 1/4 and 1/2 or it maxes out the waveform unless I turn the recording imput down to 10% or less…I`ve been confused about that since the beginning as to what the recording level in Audacity should be set at.

Now something very new has happened…Ive been recording with this mixer for about two years..as I remember initially it seemed like I wasnt getting much background noise then a couple of months ago it started creeping in…I assumed it had something to do with this computer…we all know what happens when we assume…all at once just now I plugged in and it went away…everything is set exactly as before…the only thing I`ve done differently is turn the master up then back down again to see if the lights were working.

Im confused..if I send you something should it be a WAV file? I didnt think I could do that.

Thanks

I fixed it…I had the mixer set down too low and Audacity set too high.

Im planning on doing a substantial amount of recording and will probably be asking for more help..I hope thats allright.
Thanks for the information.

Doug

I don’t see anything obvious wrong with the mixer. My mixer is an LPV-6, even though it will only manage four microphones and two really well.

I was all set to cloud up and rain all over everything about powering the mixer from the USB connection, but it doesn’t, does it? The mixer has its own wall power brick and the mixer will run perfectly with no computer. That’s a good thing.

if I send you something should it be a WAV file?

Yes. WAV is an acceptable attachment file type. Mono 20 seconds tops, Stereo 10.

That’s usually best because even though MP3 will allow you to post tons of music, it all comes with MP3 distortion. When we look at a post, we never know if we’re looking at the music or the MP3 distortion.

People one jump down the food chain from you—the ones using home-style USB microphones—can have USB data buzz and whine leaking into their microphones. Listen after I stop talking.

http://kozco.com/tech/audacity/clips/FryingMosquitoes3.wav

Sound familiar? That’s usually not a problem with higher end stuff like your mixer, but you’re getting that noise from somewhere and it sounds awfully suspicious. How new is your USB cable and how long is it? Three or four feet, or did you get one of those long ones that you can drape across the floor?

I’m not shocked that you can plug up the USB many times and have the noise come and go. Your USB connections may be just about shot. That’s not good news. That doesn’t matter much when you plug in a keyboard or mouse, but it can be a real problem with sound.

It’s possible to eliminate a lot of sound problems by not using the computer. Are you picking up on that?

The blue waves down the middle left and right are sound waveforms and tell you the vibration of the air around the microphone. That’s 12 in this manual page.

http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/

The sound meters just turn those waves into numbers and bouncing lights. The sound meters will show you stuff a lot quieter than the blue waves (unless you have custom settings). It may be hard to see the blue waves when you get the noise, but the bouncing light sound meters are still a quarter or a third up from the left. They have a long way to go before they bottom out.

I’m assuming you have Audacity 2.1.2. I forget what you said earlier. The older sound meters were tiny and a lot harder to use.

There should not be a huge difference between the mixer meters and Audacity meters. There usually is some, but it’s usually not anything to write the papers about. If you have a volume split like that, maybe Windows is trying to help you.

Go into Windows setups and make sure none of the “Mic-Boost” and Windows Enhanced Services is turned on.

I’m not a Windows elf, so you’re on your own there.

I also note your mixer has built-in effects controlled by that knob on the right. That should probably live in bypass until we resolve this. Also the blue Ho/Hi Equalizers should be middle/neutral. Red FX knobs should be all be off. Turn off or neutralize anything that’s not part of your show.

As a general, fuzzy rule, record live performances with tips and peaks around -6 on the bouncing sound meters and 50% on the blue waves.

If you like to be expressive and nuts, that may not be enough. DO NOT max either one out. Record lower if you need to.

Overload distortion is obvious, serious, permanent and fatal.

I gotta go for a while.

Can you play the backing track to “Kansas City?” The jump/dance, hand-clap version, not the ballad. If we start shooting longer clips around, my email will handle clips up to 25MB.

Koz


That was a lot of information and as I said Im really not a technical person just a musician but everything seems to be working pretty well..Im almost positive I just had the mixer levels too low…as I turned them up and reduced the recording slider in Audacity I could see the noise disappear in the wave form…the cable is about 3 feet long…not brand new but a year or 2 old.
Yes it is powered externally.

I always see activity of some kind on the Audacity recording meter when its turned on..I guess thats normal but obviously I`d like to get that as low as possible.

The example was about as long as I could get it to attach…I`ve only listened to it once but it seems acceptable here.

What did you mean about Kansas City? Did you want me to record something specific?
I am familiar with the song.

I’ve listened to some of your songs on your website and to test1.wav…

Nice music! I like it a lot.

Your’re a good recordist too. Good tone. But the low output of the SM57 combined with the noisiness of the Alesis mixer give a -50 dB noise floor. At high gain, these mixers tend to get noisy.

You’ll have to use noise reduction a lot.

An affordable condenser like the Behringer B5 (70$) would do a lot to the noise floor, I think, because they require less gain.

A remark about the songs on your site: the stereo image is too wide. I’m listening on headphones and everything is either totally left, or totally right. Try to have something in the middle too. That will sound even better. And the songs are definitely worth the effort!

Thanks…this is a long slow process for me but I am in it for the long haul…I think Im getting the noise issue under control..Im experimenting with different settings and it seems to be getting better…I appreciate the positive comments regarding the site but Im not happy with any of it actually..Im hoping for a significant improvement soon once I get a few more songs recorded and edited.

I was aware of the stereo separation problem…Im pretty much on my own here and generally recording individual tracks by myself and really havent put any time into trying to figure out how to blend them together…eventually Im trying to create a 4 channel sound with bass drums guitar and vocals coming out of individual speakers...I actually prefer listening to music that way...however...Im strange.

condenser like the Behringer B5 (70$)

Do you have such a microphone?

Koz

Have you gotten overdubbing to work? Your mixer has, or claims to have connections and management for “zero latency monitoring.” So you can, if you wish, do Perfect Overdubbing with the equipment you have. Each instrument will appear on its own track as you play it and you can mix down to whatever you want.

http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/tutorial_recording_multi_track_overdubs.html

I actually prefer listening to music that way…however…I`m strange.

Just so you’re clear that most people think that sounds a little odd, particularly if you’re listening on headphones or earbuds.

Multi-channel can be a problem, too. There are not a lot of native multi-channel file formats. You may be stuck with the movie surround systems, Dolby AC3 and DTS. Audacity will not play surround. Stereo only.

All that will reduce your audience to almost zero which makes me wonder why you’re posting it?

Koz

The Shure is the only mic Im using atm..lately Ive been miking the acoustic guitar…it has a pickup on it and sometimes I run it through the mixer…I havent had any trouble overdubbing for the most part..latency hasnt been a problem as long as I listen to what Im playing over thru the mixing headphones not the computer...otherwise its all over the place…currently Im trying to overdub an electric guitar part over a rhythm track..eventually Ill probably add some bass and a drum.

I understand I need to learn how to mix stereo…I just havent gotten that far yet..some of the songs on the website are me and another person on acoustic but Im only able to record in mono or stereo and I wasn`t able to keep the guitars separate and record the vocal at the same time.

So you’re not a wet-paint newbie. You just need to polish up your overdubbing performance skills. Yes, that’s exactly how your mixer is supposed to work.

I was going to ask you if all the work on the web site was you, or some combination of you and others.

Have you found yourself arguing with your audience?

Audience: “That’s pretty good stuff. Got any more of that around?”
LP: “That’s all trash and I’m going to do them over.”

Koz

I’m just now reading that again.

I wasn`t able to keep the guitars separate and record the vocal at the same time.

We expect you to be able to record single, isolated tracks for each pass of the performance.

Guide Track
Guitar 1
Guitar 2
Vocal 1
Vocal 2.

Mix and match, filter and throw away as you see fit. MUTE and SOLO to hear the ones you want. Audacity defaults to playing them all at once.

If your Audacity is forcing a mixdown as you record, it’s set wrong.

Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Recording > [_] Playthrough (de-select)

Koz

Its a Go Daddy website...as they put it "no skills...no problem" its all mine

so far no arguments…Im an ok guitarist..thats about it…the general idea is try to get some decent tunes up and hopefully get a gig of some kind…no real plan other than that…the person Ive been playing music with is an excellent songwriter however the music business doesnt exactly encourage creativity…i`m trying to get him some exposure as well…he needs the money a lot more than I do

I understand that…on my own Im ok with overdubs..with Eric its different…he has health issues and the process with him has to be as natural as possible or its not going to happen..we play and sing the songs live and try to get thru them without making too many mistakes..its not really meant to be perfect…I may add some texture to some of it but the guitar and vocals has to be recorded together or it`s just not going to sound right.

I have 6 working/original ones and 2 that are being repaired and possibly modded.

All the LDC’s, except maybe two are goin’ out the door.

The Shure is the only working mic I have atm…if you think a better mic will make a difference I guess I need to get one…for the most part what I will be recording in the future is going to be guitar instrumentals only…I prefer an acoustic sound for rhythm…my electric sounds pretty good just plugged into the mixer although I have a multi effects unit I was eventually planning on using however for the most part I`m trying to keep everything as simple as possible.

The biggest single issue Im having is space..I dont have a good place to work…I live in an apartment with an elderly lady next door who doesnt appreciate me playing thru an amp..I would prefer to plug in and mic the amp but its not going to happen here.

If you want to sell one of the mics give me a price and a model # so I can read up on it…I didn`t really come here to buy anything but get information…I appreciate the help.

It`s getting late here…time for me to sleep…thanks

Doug

You get less and less Newbie as we go. I don’t think you need a whole lot of help. I think you got most of this nailed.

Two different threads in one stack.

@LP I don’t think that was an offer for sale. Forum sales is not a good idea. I wanted to get a recommendation from someone who actually owned and used the equipment and was happy. Even better if they’re worn out. That’s my joke description of successful tools: There’s no paint left, you can’t read the markings any more and you can’t use it right now because it’s out on a job.

That’s a working mixer. I’m not the original owner and I had to paste a diagram of the knob labels on the bottom.

@cyrano I own a C1 microphone and it has significant shortcomings.

Koz

I’ve never tried those. It’s an SDC in an LDC housing, IIRC. What’s wrong with it?

It’s an SDC in an LDC housing. What’s wrong with it?

I swear I’m going to take it apart.

Plugged into a Behringer UM2 preamp, it produces significantly non-linear waves. I put that down to the UM2, but now I’m not so sure.

The examples…are not on this machine.

So it’s a tiny microphone in a weighted case. Good to know. It has great “hand-feel” when you take it out of the box. As long as all you want to do is lift and touch it, it’s great.

That explains some of the reviews. They said things like, “It’s definitely a microphone.”

Koz

Quality control is or has been a problem with Behringer. You should check for dirt on the wiring of the capsule first. And then the high impedance part of the board. Even some leftover solder flux is enough to cause all kinds of problems.

I would also replace the ceramic disc capacitor with a real good one, as that is the main entry point for the signal. And ceramic caps are a bit microphonic.

It is an SDC (14 mm), I checked recordinghacks.com:

http://recordinghacks.com/microphones/Behringer/C-1

But there are probably several generations…

If you can’t repair it, it’s still a nice body to put another capsule in. Primo, fi. The board should be useable. The J202 FET is a good one, if it’s genuine.

Can’t find schematics, tho…

it has a 16mm diaphragm.
I’ve not used one either, but the reviews are generally good, and it comes with a 3 year manufacturer’s guarantee.

The C-1U is a USB version, and like many other budget USB mics, it has fixed gain, so it’s likely to be noisy for recording quiet voices and may distort with very loud voices.
Also, it does not appear to have a headphone socket, so not suitable for overdub recording with Audacity on Windows (unless you build Audacity from source and enable ASIO support for low latency monitoring).