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Old July 7th, 2007, 02:12 AM   #1
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Noise when recording into Vegas

Hi. . .I don't know if this is the right place for this thread, but. . .


Sometimes I record directly into Vegas, using the an audio track in a timeline with the "arm for record" function.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I've always got a constant -18dB hiss, no matter what I'm doing. Just for fun, I tried it with Acid and SoundForge, and same deal.

I have a mic going to an XLR cable to my Behringer MXB1002 mixer, from which I take the tape outs (RCA outputs) to stero mini and into my PC. I played with the mic knob, and the fader on the channel with the mic, and the master fader, and even when everything's potted all the way down, there's still that -18dB hiss. Wondering if anyone's dealt with this and if you know an easy fix (by easy, I mean not something like "Behringer sucks! By a new mixer!")
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Old July 7th, 2007, 04:33 AM   #2
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Josh, although Behringer DOES suck :=) it's probably not causing your problem, or at least not ALL of the problem - if you're using the sound card (or integrated sound) that came with your PC, it's not that uncommon for them to have noise problems - I have a Toshiba high end laptop whose internal audio is CRAP - one channel is far worse for noise than the other. My solution was to get an Echo PCMCIA card (the Indigo I/O) which has more choices of sampling rates/bit depths and is a TON quieter.

One thing you might try - if your sound card has AUX or LINE inputs, try boosting the levels at the mixer (input attenuator should be set as loud as it can go without starting to sound distorted) and then control the mixer output to get the (typically) -10 to -30 dB input a computer's aux or line input wants to see. This may or may not help, because some computer sound cards run EVERYTHING through the mic preamp on the card, and use a resistor network to lower the AUX and LINE inputs back down to mic level ??!? and feed that into the cheap $3.89 preamp.

If this is the case with your 'puter, you may need to invest in a USB or Firewire sound card in order to clean up your noise.

'bout the only other thing I could suggest is, if you have Sound Forge with the Noise Reduction plug you could clean up quite a bit of hiss before it starts to sound weird... Steve
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Old July 7th, 2007, 05:04 AM   #3
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Try bypassing the mixer first. If you are only recording one instrument or vocalist at a time, you only need the sound card. If that doesn't help, you may need the USB or Firewire audio inputs that Steve mentioned. Heck, it may even be possible that all you need is a different sound card. Onboard audio can vary greatly from one motherboard to another and maybe throwing in an old soundcard could do the trick.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 03:46 PM   #4
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You can try changing the recording levels control for your sound device.

Start-->Run--> sndvol32
Go to options --> preferences --> click on the recording radio button --> Ok

Play with the level slider for mic input. Also try going into Options --> Advanced,. and going into advanced for mic input turning off mic boost.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 02:52 AM   #5
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Sorry, I didn't see these additional responses 'til recently.

So, yeah, it's not the mixer. I've plugged the mic into the back of the PC directly, or hell, even with nothing plugged into the PC at all, if I open Vegas (or any other software), and set it to record, I get the noise.

Opening the volume control helped. . .I was able to reduce the noise (haven't tried actually recording yet).

I'm guessing "SoundMax Integrated Digital Audio" is my soundcard, and it's crap?
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 07:57 AM   #6
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John, I had problems similar to yours. I tried everything but nothing seemed to work. I ended up getting a Tascam US-122 USB Audio Interface which essentially functions as an external soundcard. It has XLR inputs and solved the problem.

I appreciate that this is not the solution you wanted to hear but on the upside, with a bit of money, the problem can be solved. There are lots of USB external sound card options out there and should be one in your price range.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 01:10 PM   #7
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Ok, so can someone suggest some different models/price ranges?

For instance, a quick search turned up this:

http://www.geeks.com/products_sc.asp?cat=762

Now, are these TOO cheap? Do I need XLRs to get rid of the hiss or is the mini connector OK?
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 03:57 PM   #8
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Do you have the mixer set up properly, i.e. unity gain? FWIW I've used the digital soundmax onboard chip(actually had the volume slider all the way down) with good results, along with a Behringer MX602A mixer. I used the main 1/4" phone plug outs and converted at the line input at the PC.

The mixer will get you up to line level. You need to get the best signal to noise ratio at the mixer first, then move on from there. (again unity gain*). Take a mono signal, since that is what you have, pan the mic channel on the mixer all the way left, and then only record the left channel. if you record both channels but there is only signal on one, you will get hiss.

or you could hire a pro voice talent and get a nice cleanly recorded voiceover audio file to drop into your project. :)

* turn all faders(including trim/gain) down all the way. Bring up the main out to 0, and bring up the mic channel on the mixer up to 0, now start speaking into the mic, as you turn up the trim/gain, until you get a good solid output 0 signal. Take the main mixer output to the line input on the soundcard. (withwhatever adapters you need to get to mini plug I used phone to rca to rac to mini stereo adapter), Mke sure you have the line input selected on the software mixer, turn that all the way down. Start recording, and slowly bring up the input volume on the mixer (if needed). Now you should have the best signal to noise ratio you can for your gear.

Last edited by Bill Mecca; October 22nd, 2007 at 06:32 PM.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 05:17 PM   #9
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But should I be getting hiss if I don't even use a mixer? Or if there's nothing even plugged in?

I've been using the tape outs (RCA) on my Behringer. It doesn't have XLR out, only RCA and 1/4".

Here's a dumb question---when, in the software volume controls for windows, I'm selecting the different devices (Line in, mic, aux, etc), are those all accessed via the same mic port in the back of the PC? In other words, can the mic/mixer be plugged into the same slot on the back of the PC and record into those different devices?


I'll have to mess with the other stuff.

As for just having it recorded elsewhere, I want to do some music recording at home, so if I can solve the issue, that'd be great.
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