Recording Vocal - problem?

I have a good microphone and a good computer. I’m recording vocals. I let the vocals into audacity, no noise, that’s good. But deep tones are heard from my voice. The microphone is a Yenkee 1030. I chose the studio quality music card. Maybe I should get away from the microphone? Or try using an equalizer to reduce ‘humming’. I tried, but then I get noise on the sections where I don’t sing. Do you have any advice?

I found the manual online and it’s a directional microphone and the logo should be pointed toward the sound source. The photo on the website shows the end of the microphone pointed toward the pop screen and I’m assume that’s wrong and the label isn’t on the end… The drawing looks more like that I’d expect from this “style” of mic but it doesn’t look exactly right either…

Directional mics also have “proximity” effect which boosts the bass when you get very close. (Some male announcers & singers sometimes like to take advantage of that). At 6-inches or more the proximity effect shouldn’t be a problem and if you get some slight bass-boost you can correct it with EQ.

Of course, when you back-away from the mic you have to turn-up the gain and that boosts the room noise (and any preamp noise). Singing/speaking with a “strong confident” voice can help to overcome that but it’s hard to get professional results without a soundproof studio and good equipment.

Or try using an equalizer to reduce ‘humming’. I tried, but then I get noise on the sections where I don’t sing. Do you have any advice?

Cutting the bass shouldn’t boost the noise but it might make it more apparent. If this is an acapella recording, that’s “tough”… The same goes with solo acoustic guitar or any time there are quiet or silent parts. With a “dense” recording the noise is more easily masked (drowned out).

Can you tell if the main problem is electrical noise or room noise?

There is always some of both, even in a pro studio.

For a few hundred dollars you can get near-professional equipment to bring-down the electrical noise (unless you are mult-track recording).

And there are some easy things (free or low-cost) things you can do to reduce acoustic noise… Choose a quiet time of day and a quiet room, add some sound-absorbing materials, turn off your heating/air conditioning and your refrigerator, etc. But getting anything close to a professional studio gets VERY expensive.

You can also use Audacity’s noise reduction and/or noise gate effects (after recording). But if the noise is bad you can get artifacts (side effects) and “the cure can be worse than the disease”.

I have a good microphone and a good computer.

“Good” is relative. :wink: Your set-up may be good enough… But, a good home studio setup typically has a “studio condenser” mic ([u]example[/u]) which has an XLR connection and requires 48V phantom power (incompatible with a laptop or regular-consume soundcard) and an audio interface ([u]example[/u]) which has the balanced XLR input and provides phantom power.

Or there are some good “studio style” USB microphones (“podcast mics”) which have the soundcard/interface built-in.

A better hardware setup (microphone & interface) can reduce the electrical noise (from the preamp) but does NOT help with acoustic noise, except that a directional mic (which you already have) helps to reduce noise from behind and to the sides. Some people might say that a “more sensitive” mic picks-up too much noise, but it also picks-up more signal so it doesn’t make the signal-to-noise ratio worse, and in fact a “hotter” signal into the preamp/interface helps to overcome electrical noise.

Here I am trying to catch my voice, I have changed the position of the microphone and the distance, and as you say, I have to sing a little louder so that everything turns out as it should.

Noise is also acoustic: computer fans, my speakers are on, so my power supply makes noise, and that’s mostly it.

I mute the electric noise quite nicely with audacity. All I have to do is sing louder and turn off the speakers. And for now, I don’t have a solution for computers and fans.

Unfortunately I don’t have the money for something more professional. This microphone works quite well because it takes 1.5 volts from the computer, maybe it would be better with a phantom power supply and another microphone, but for now it’s like this.

Thanks anyway. I see that this program has a lot of options so we ‘meet’.

I’m still interested in how to analyze the whole recording and capture the frequency at which I’m humming. There really are some low frequencies. Like the sound of an airplane over long distances.

I record the voice really well, but with some words that sound breaks through the speakers.

There really are some low frequencies. Like the sound of an airplane over long distances.

That could be due to a room resonance.
Describe the room you are recording in…dimensions (including ceiling height), furniture, carpeted or not, that kind of thing.

I couldn’t believe it, but the problem was the resonance of the speakers. When I moved them off the table, the buzzing on certain parts of the word stopped. Thanks for now.

By the way, the 4x5 room has a bed, carpet and a desk with a small shelf above. I think it’s a good thing that instead of one wall, I have a so-called leather door, and they cover an entire wall.

Leather is good, especially if it has padded backing, the thicker/denser the better.
Yep, untreated, parallel walls can cause nasty things to sound.

Glad you got the problem sorted and it was a simple one.
BTW, there is carbon loaded foam available, in blocks, especially to place under speakers to
prevent that kind of thing.
You even get sloped foam so that the tweeters are at ear level, especially nice for near field monitors.
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I’ll probably have to buy 2.0 monitor speakers. I currently have a 2.1 system and it is very bad. Its power is buzzing and it doesn’t sound good. So to speak, rubble.

Thanks to all of you. What do you think about these speakers:

I am having an issue with low gain on my vocals. I am going through a voiceover class and was trying to record my demo, it seemed to work ok until I updated to the new version of Audacity 3.2.1. My windows settings have my mic at 100%, the mic is an On Stage AS800, I have a brand new Focusrite 4i4 3rd Gen Scarlett interface. Everything works and I get sound, but the waveforms are really narrow and not wide like a good gain signal would show. I am about to record a demo and the instructors are not happy with that as it will not produce a good recording. In Audacity, I cannot get the mic level to go into clipping when speaking at normal tone so that I can adjust it. I really have to yell for it to clip. It’s like I am trying to talk through a film of molasses and Audacity just isn’t receiving the signal strong enough. Hopefully someone can help me. I was due to record a demo today but so far it isn’t happening. I am trying to find the mic boost setting in Audacity, but it doesn’t seem to be there. I have also attached a couple pics as well and will provide more if needed. My mic is selected correctly in Audacity and so is the output. Any help is GREATLY appreciated.
No gain 1.jpg
Mic is at 100 in settings.jpg

I am trying to find the mic boost setting in Audacity, but it doesn’t seem to be there.

Windows has [u]Microphone Boost[/u] but I don’t know if it works when with a USB interface. And with your setup, you shouldn’t need it.

Also check for [u]Windows “enhancements”[/u] which can lower the volume or otherwise mess-up the sound. (You may not see that for the interface eitherk, but it’s something to check.)

Make sure the interface has phantom power turned-on (condenser mics need phantom power).

That’s a directional mic so make sure you are talking into the front side, not the end or the back.

From looking at a picture of the interface online I see it has a “pad” (attenuator). But I don’t actually see a pad button so that may need to be turned on & off with software.


There is a common somewhat-related issue… If you record in mono from a “stereo” interface, the signals from both channels will be cut in half (so the combined signals don’t exceed 0dB). If you are only using one input, you’ll be limited to -6dB (50%) and you’ll probably want to boost after recording. If you record in stereo with one mic you’ll get the full signal but you’ll get silence on the other side so after recording you’ll need to convert to mono or copy from one channel into the other.

But you are nowhere near 50% so that’s not your only problem.

Yes. Everything DVDdoug says. Note that the Windows and Audacity volume controls are generally ineffective for USB devices. Instead, all of that amplification is done prior to the audio being digitized by your Focusrite. In particular, this means your primary means of controlling input volume is through the gain control on the Focusrite. Once this is set, check the Pad and Instrument (and stereo) controls to make sure they are not lowering your amplification. Some condenser microphones have an additional pad, but I didn’t see one on the AS800.

Thank you gentlemen. I also might look into using a different mic too. Possibly a USB and save the Focusrite for instruments. Who knows. lol