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Old December 29th, 2009, 09:08 AM   #16
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I know what these connector are, I just didn't understand the rest of it :)
Those articles also describe what the function of each pin and contact within the connector is. You said you don't understand all that tip/ring/pin stuff but whether you realize it or not, you do need to understand it. What wire connects to what contact is not arbitrary. Those articles explain what the standard assignments are.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 09:29 AM   #17
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Ok. I'll read it.
BTW, everybody says "buy a quality XLR cable" - but how can I recognize quality cable from low quality cable?
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Old December 29th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #18
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Ok. I'll read it.
BTW, everybody says "buy a quality XLR cable" - but how can I recognize quality cable from low quality cable?
Quality cables aren't cheap but they're not the most expensive either. Sounds weird to say that but there are a lot of "audiophile" cables out there like Monster Cable that are all marketing hype and cost a number of times more than good quality professional cables do. I mainly use cables made by Remote Audio, available from Trew Audio and B&H but I also have some music store cables that are just fine. Just don't get the cheapest on the shelf - look for connectors made by Switchcraft or Neutrik and cable from Canare, Mogami, or Belden. Other brands I hear good things about include Planet Waves, Whirlwind or ProCo
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Old December 29th, 2009, 10:46 AM   #19
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Cheap cable is stiff, has a memory - so kinks tend to stay in it and don't drop out. Mostly physical things. Cheap rubbish cable can sound good. After a few flexes, then poor solder joints can fail, or the actual plastic can crack. Some cheap brands are ok inside, but are not UV proof - and get harder as the sun attacks the plastic. Some types retain their flexibility in low temperatures. Some types have better screening - handy if you use them in electrical environments where interference can be a problem. I have never, ever heard a cable that makes the quality of sound better or worse. I have seen and heard plenty electrically fail, or physically fail. I've seen cheap connectors met when soldered, I've seen them squashed when somebody stands on them. Do mine have gold pins? They might have, I suspect I have some kicking around somewhere. Do the gold ones sound better - of course not!

I have my favourite brands, but this is just down to the fact they terminate quickly and simply and are tough and I can stand the cost. I like Neutrik connectors - we like them in Europe, but I'd be happy with Switchcraft too.

The sound card mentioned in this topic is pretty typical - designed for output, not really input. You can always tell when the manufacturers web site has no specs for input - apart from mic/line - audio professionals and hobbyists use card where the actual input sensitivity is detailed. If you think about it, the average user of these cards has a headset for shouting at the on-line games players - so the mic level is probably expecting a very 'hot' signal - far more than you are giving it. If you are serious about recording then external devices are by far the way forward - although if you want internal, then maya cards are pretty good, and some have balanced audio and phantom power capability too.

I've a Maya44e sitting in one machine, and an external Lexicon Omega on another - and these work really well.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 11:32 AM   #20
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Yeah, those SB cards are for the average consumer.
Lexicon makes a good product. Been using their products since the "Prime Time". (back in the dark ages)
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Old December 29th, 2009, 11:40 AM   #21
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Thanks for explanation!
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Old December 31st, 2009, 10:51 PM   #22
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So far have been quite happy with the Lynx L-22 card.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 11:03 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Peter Berger View Post
When I'm recording to computer, my recording is very quiet and full of some noise.
What microphone? What cable? What computer?

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Originally Posted by Peter Berger View Post
The strange thing is I hear some noise even when the microphone is unplugged - I just enable microphone and "monitor (of mic)" in my soundcard settings and I hear noise. And then if I connect the microphone, that noise is louder.
Are are you sure you aren't hearing sound from a built-in microphone in your computer? Since we don't know what computer you are using, we don't know whether this is a possibility?

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When I press "Arm for record" in Sony Vegas (with no microphone connected) I see something around -64db in recording volume! Wherefrom the noise come from? Where could be the problem?
The integrated sound cards in computers (ALL of them Mac and PC) are quite poor. They are good enough for simple communications (like Skype telephone, etc.) but they are not intended for any serious audio recording. The "Sound Blaster" products are made for mass consumer sales to people playing games. They are not designed for serious recording.

An external USB-connected audio device of some kind would probably be the least expensive way of getting decent audio quality. There are a variety of products available depending on your needs, budget, and what is available in your area.
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