Using a audio interface/Samson Q2U in Audacity. Gain question

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crookedmacs
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Using a audio interface/Samson Q2U in Audacity. Gain question

Post by crookedmacs » Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:57 pm

So, I was using this mic as a straight USB mic before ditching that idea and finally getting a cheap audio interface. I bought a M Audio M Track Solo. When using my Samson as a USB I was usually recording my mic volume around 88-90. But with the AI I can't figure out where the gain should be set. Even if I have the mic recording volume set at 100, and the AI gain cranked it seems like my voice is coming in soft and hitting peaks around -24, -30. Or if I have it cranked where I'm peaking more in the -12 range, the interface will red light at spots where I'm clipping. Or.I notice it later when using compression. Any help?

steve
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Re: Using a audio interface/Samson Q2U in Audacity. Gain question

Post by steve » Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:27 pm

crookedmacs wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:57 pm
But with the AI
What is an "AI"?
9/10 questions are answered in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

DVDdoug
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Re: Using a audio interface/Samson Q2U in Audacity. Gain question

Post by DVDdoug » Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:29 pm

Or if I have it cranked where I'm peaking more in the -12 range, the interface will red light at spots where I'm clipping. Or.I notice it later when using compression. Any help?
It will clip when the analog-to-digital converter (in the interface) sees 0dB and you should trust the clipping indicators on the interface.

When you record in mono from a stereo (2-channel) interface both channels are cut in half (-6dB) by the software before mixing so the mix (sum) never tries to go over 0dB. If you are recording in mono without using the guitar input, the recording won't go over -6dB. You should be able to get peaks of -6dB if you push it into clipping but of course you should leave headroom* and 12dB really isn't a problem.)

If you record in stereo you should be able to hit 0dB but you'll get silence in the right/guitar channel. (And again you should leave some headroom).

You can either record in mono and adjust the levels after recording (which you'll probably do anyway) or record in stereo and then delete the silent channel and make a mono file.




* You don't "need" headroom except to avoid clipping from unexpected peaks. Nothing bad happens when you get close to 0dB, only if you try to go over.

DVDdoug
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Re: Using a audio interface/Samson Q2U in Audacity. Gain question

Post by DVDdoug » Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:31 pm

What is an "AI"?
I "guessed" audio interface!

kozikowski
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Re: Using a audio interface/Samson Q2U in Audacity. Gain question

Post by kozikowski » Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:31 pm

Cool. That's a cousin to the Scarlett Solo.

Assuming one XLR microphone.

Turn Input 2 all the way down.

Phantom On assuming your microphone needs it.

Output knob probably controls your headphone volume. I'd be surprised if it affected the Audacity signal.

Adjust Input 1 up until the light just turns red and then back off until it never turns red under normal use. The numbers don't mean anything unless you're forced to run the knob most of the way up or down. Home microphones tend to be quiet, so I expect a high setting—maybe most of the way up. There are announcing techniques that can help with that.

I believe Audacity recording volume controls don't affect a digital interface like this. It just records what shows up.

After you get done with a performance, use the Audacity volume set controls as needed. The Audiobook Mastering tools, for example, will set the volume for you. It was designed to make many of those crazy settings go away.

If you use any of the dynamic tools such as Compression or DeEssing, you may need to take pains to set the volume before you do. Those tools are level sensitive.

The Behringer UM2 (another cousin) doesn't overload at the same place that Audacity does, but the overload volume doesn't change between Stereo and Mono. Again, set the interface lights so you don't get red ones.

Koz

crookedmacs
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Re: Using a audio interface/Samson Q2U in Audacity. Gain question

Post by crookedmacs » Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:27 pm

Yeah I meant audio interface by AI. My bad. I'm new. I don't have all of the audio lingo down

crookedmacs
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Re: Using a audio interface/Samson Q2U in Audacity. Gain question

Post by crookedmacs » Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:29 pm

For more reference. This is lo fi basement hip hop. So, I'm basically rapping over beats. So, the only thing I'm putting in the audio interface is my vocals.

crookedmacs
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Re: Using a audio interface/Samson Q2U in Audacity. Gain question

Post by crookedmacs » Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:43 pm

So, having the audacity mic recording setting at 100 is ok? I was just worried about recording more background noise than I wanted to

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Re: Using a audio interface/Samson Q2U in Audacity. Gain question

Post by DVDdoug » Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:54 pm

So, having the audacity mic recording setting at 100 is ok?
Yes. (Usually the recording level doesn't work with a USB device.) The analog level should be adjusted before it's digitized so that's normally done with a knob on the interface.

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