Rode Procaster dynamic mic loud hiss

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Ani365
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Rode Procaster dynamic mic loud hiss

Post by Ani365 » Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:40 am

Hi all,
I just purchased a Rode Procaster, hoping the dynamic mic would solve some mouth sounds that my condenser mic was picking up. However, there is a very loud hiss in the background that is still super loud even with noise reduction.

Here is my setup:
I have a fethead to boost the mic, using phantom power 48v on my focusrite scarlett solo, connected via XLR cable. I tried turning the gain all the way down and all the way up, tried every possible setting just to see what would provide the best results. At one point there was some clipping, I think the gain was up too loud, but strangely when it was turned absolutely all the way down the hiss actually got even louder. The quietest I could get it was about 11 o'clock, so not all the way down but fairly low. Still, at that setting the hiss is extremely loud compared to other mics I've used.
I also tried getting really close to the mic and farther away and it didn't make a difference.
It must be something to do with my setup but from my research it looks like I have everything I need (mic, fethead, audio interface). I tried switching two different XLR cables. I tried attaching the fethead directly to the mic, and then also directly into the scarlett solo, same problem.

This hiss is definitely not room noise. If I keep my headphones on while direct monitoring and unplug the XLR cable the hissing stops.

Any help?

Thanks!

kozikowski
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Re: Rode Procaster dynamic mic loud hiss

Post by kozikowski » Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:04 am

Place the Procaster so the end is pointing toward you and use oblique placement (B).

Image

Use half a shaka spacing. Get close. I know that's the wrong type of microphone. Yours is end-fire not side-fire.

Image

Plug the Procaster into the Lifter/Fethead and the Lifter/Fethead into the Solo. Doesn't matter if it's at the beginning or the end of the XLR cable.

Turn the second channel of the Solo all the way down and switch it to Line. If it's a 3rd Gen, switch AIR off.

48V on. Adjust the Solo so the knob turns green but not so loud that it turns red. Note: Can you make the knob turn red without screaming into the Procaster? Just by getting close and turning the knob all the way up (don't run it that way)?

Record in Audacity according to this formula and post the results on the forum.

https://www.kozco.com/tech/audacity/Tes ... _Clip.html

Read down the blue links. They're very short. No effects or filters. Do not change anything.

We're not after Academy Awards®. If the words don't fit, just cut them off so the clip is 10 seconds. That silent stretch at the beginning is super important.

Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Rode Procaster dynamic mic loud hiss

Post by kozikowski » Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:12 am

the dynamic mic would solve some mouth sounds that my condenser mic was picking up.
I know how that works. That's how I failed my ACX audition. Nice voice, perfect sound file, noisy mouth.

Koz

Ani365
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Operating System: macOS 10.14 Mojave

Re: Rode Procaster dynamic mic loud hiss

Post by Ani365 » Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:50 am

kozikowski wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:04 am
Place the Procaster so the end is pointing toward you and use oblique placement (B).
Hi koz!
Olay, so, I did have the mic pointed towards me like in ex. A, but I didn't have it off to the side like B. I will try that next time. Not sure that will help with the hiss fully but I will definitely make sure it's setup like that.
Use half a shaka spacing. Get close. I know that's the wrong type of microphone. Yours is end-fire not side-fire.
Got it. I think I was around/about that close.

Plug the Procaster into the Lifter/Fethead and the Lifter/Fethead into the Solo. Doesn't matter if it's at the beginning or the end of the XLR cable.
Turn the second channel of the Solo all the way down and switch it to Line. If it's a 3rd Gen, switch AIR off
Done and done, my set up was just as you described, so I think I had everything right (3rd gen, was on 48v, air was off etc)
Adjust the Solo so the knob turns green but not so loud that it turns red. Note: Can you make the knob turn red without screaming into the Procaster? Just by getting close and turning the knob all the way up (don't run it that way)?
This is where you lose me... my solo will flash green when i first plug the xlr cables and everything in but after that initial flicker the color never turns on again (red or green...) ... Interesting.. The part that says director monitor glows green the entire time once I turn it on but the actual knob only flashes green on turn on. I wonder what that's about??
Record in Audacity according to this formula and post the results on the forum.

https://www.kozco.com/tech/audacity/Tes ... _Clip.html

Read down the blue links. They're very short. No effects or filters. Do not change anything.
Will do this as soon as I get a chance. Thanks for the assist.


Koz

kozikowski
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Re: Rode Procaster dynamic mic loud hiss

Post by kozikowski » Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:34 am

Will do this ... [sound test] ... as soon as I get a chance.
That's super important right now. This will likely tell us where the noise is coming from.
director monitor glows green
Direct Monitor. That's the one that lets you hear yourself 'direct' from the Solo instead of listening to Audacity which will have a delay or echo.
my solo will flash green when i first plug the xlr cables and everything in but after that initial flicker the color never turns on again (red or green...)
You're not loud enough. The knob turns green when you're in comfortable recording range. If you never get any lights, then something may be broken. Next time you're in front of the microphone, just turn the knob all the way up and yell. Any colors? Yelling is OK. Never blow into a microphone.

Koz

Ani365
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Re: Rode Procaster dynamic mic loud hiss

Post by Ani365 » Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:56 pm

Hi Koz,
I attached the test. Keeping in mind my room is untreated right now and I usually record at night to avoid cars/ other noises, there may also be some background noise picked up. I didn't edit the test sample at all.
I did turn up the gain until the light started flashing green as I spoke, so that's the setting I recorded on just now.

As for the hiss, usually when I recorded on other mics the unmastered audio sounded similar to this sample, however after mastering (filter curve, loudness normalization, limiter, and noise reduction) most of the hiss is usually gone or minimized to an noticeable level. However, with this mic, regardless of how high or low the gain is, the hiss is still incredibly loud. This sample doesn't sound as bad in comparison to other raw samples from other mics (at least without directly comparing them) until I master it.
Just a thought.

Thanks for the help.
Attachments
test.wav
(871.04 KiB) Downloaded 5 times

kozikowski
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Re: Rode Procaster dynamic mic loud hiss

Post by kozikowski » Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:47 am

I did turn up the gain until the light started flashing green as I spoke, so that's the setting I recorded on just now.
And that's just at the quiet end of normal recording volume. The lights are there to get you quickly into the ballpark. Once you record well, the other tools and corrections should work normally. The goal is to get your voice clear and louder than everything else.

How are you listening? You're suppose to roll the file forward and set comfortable listening volume on your voice, and then roll the file back and listen to the room tone without touching the volume controls. It's a new user mistake to crank up the volume on the room tone. That's not how noise is measured.

I didn't hear any loud hissing—and I did look for it. I did hear low pitch noises such as coming from vents, air conditioners, heaters, and computer fans. Can you tell if the computer is on just by listening? External drives? Any other computer doo-dads?

The Mastering tools get rid of some of it, but there's one really sloppy low pitch tone that I can't fix. Fluorescent lights? Compact Fluorescent lamps?

Anyway, that's a job for you when you get the rest of your studio set up.

I processed your clip and got it to pass and sound clean.

Screen Shot 2021-04-18 at 5.31.16 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-04-18 at 5.31.16 PM.png (25.32 KiB) Viewed 190 times

test-Mastered-NR.wav
(871.04 KiB) Downloaded 3 times

I needed stiff noise reduction to get that, 12, 6, 6. Higher settings than that and reduction will start to interfere with your voice.

So, it's working. Use all those settings and add room sound proofing.

We published the Kitchen Table Studio. That's a bunch of hardware store plastic pipes and two heavy furniture moving blankets.

viewtopic.php?p=369938#p369938

Koz

Ani365
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:00 pm
Operating System: macOS 10.14 Mojave

Re: Rode Procaster dynamic mic loud hiss

Post by Ani365 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:16 am

Hmm, so here is a clip from the other night when my room was treated and all of those sounds you might be mentioning (probably my heater and the air filter in other room) are turned off. There should be no room noises and any hiss in this would be just from the equipment. A while back you helped me figure out some of the noise sources in my room on a different thread and I'm pretty sure I've since then identified and turned off everything when I'm ready to record.

I'm attaching a raw clip and a mastered clip.
Let me know if you do hear the hissing noise in this clip without the heater noise taking over.
I'm also attaching a sample from my condesor mic, mastered the same way as the other sample, and you can hear a noticeable difference in the background hiss/hum noise. That mic was so, so much quieter.
Yes, the dynamic mic samples pass ACX, but in comparison to the condenser mic I had (before that annoying beeping started that you were helping me with before), it's incredibly loud. I really want the dynamic mic to work because it picks up so much less mouth noise than the condenser, but the white noise/hiss is too noisy. Is it just that dynamic mics have a much louder hiss to them? Is may pass but not by my standards.
Let me know what you think.
How are you listening? You're suppose to roll the file forward and set comfortable listening volume on your voice, and then roll the file back and listen to the room tone without touching the volume controls.
I do do this actually, usually I'll click to the voice first and make sure it's nice and loud, but not too loud, then start from the beginning.

kozikowski
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Re: Rode Procaster dynamic mic loud hiss

Post by kozikowski » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:01 am

I'm attaching a raw clip and a mastered clip.
So the two clips are where....?
dynamic mics have a much louder hiss to them?
They're lower volume for the same voice, so the natural noise of the preamp or interface (all electronics make some noise) appears that much louder. No matter what you do, your voice has to be boosted enough to pass ACX. The middle standard, RMS, roughly translates to "loudness."

Dynamic Microphone just means your voice pressure is moving a tiny coil of wire next to a magnet. That movement makes a voice signal which then comes out pins 2 and 3 of the connector. That's it. Your voice is doing all the work.

Condenser microphones have a spiderweb-thin piece of metal foil that your voice moves next to another piece of foil that doesn't move. These are made super thin so your voice doesn't have a lot of work to do. Those mics typically are a lot more accurate and clear sounding. Anything your voice does goes right onto that delicate spiderweb.

That makes a terrific voice signal, but it won't go very far. Certainly not down a long wire. So that's why they need Phantom Power (dum dum dummmmm). That drives a tiny transistor whose job it is to stuff your voice down the cable. That's the 48V thing. That's not the only thing 48 Volts does. Condenser microphones are pretty complicated.

So far, so good. Manufacturers are never content to leave things alone, so they took the normally clear, accurate condenser sound and boosted the crispness. They called it The Professional Sound. It makes my ears hurt. That's the "Essing" that everybody complains about. All your SS sounds will cut wood and crack glass. Every mouth noise is magnified. My tongue ticking would scare the cat if I had a cat.

So that brings us up to now and the insane popularity of the Shure SM7b. That's a very well made dynamic microphone and it sounds so much better than the messed up condensers that its popularity took off.

This is Joe Rogan using his.

Image

So you're in good company.

Koz

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Re: Rode Procaster dynamic mic loud hiss

Post by kozikowski » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:15 am

I'll click to the voice first and make sure it's nice and loud
Make sure it's the volume you'd use for the performance. ACX's goal is someone telling you a fascinating story over cups of tea. Not yelling at you.

Koz

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