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Thread: Mic problems: high-pitched hum!

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    Edict2508 is offline Newbie
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    Mic problems: high-pitched hum!

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    Hello!

    I am trying to record some vocals and every time I record, the vocals are a) too low, even though I have repeatedly made sure nothing is muted in the audio control panel and all volume controls are way up (both in playback and recording), and b) there is an incredibly annoying high-pitched hum above it.

    At first I thought it might have been the mic itself, as I was using something really old and useless, so a friend gave me a better one (on it it says: Audio Technica ATM41HE Hi-Energy Hypercardioid Lo-Z Dynamic). I tried recording with it but the hum is still there!

    I have also tried recording with different software, in case I was messing up the settings, so I've tried with Sony ACID Music Studio 5.0 and Audacity 1.2.1. Same results with both.

    I've recorded a test so anyone can hear the high-pitched hum if it might be helpful. You can download it here:

    http://www.angelfire.com/ny3/darkestdays/test.mp3 (56kb)

    Thanks so much for any help. I don't know what else to do.

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    AlexW is offline Force of Nature
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    What are you plugging the microphone into? Are you using a preamp? What type of cable are you using?

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    Edict2508 is offline Newbie
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    Hi, Alex.

    No pre-amp, I am plugging the microphone straight into the 1/4 inch microphone jack in the back of the computer tower (I use a plug for the microphone cord's 1/4 jack which has an 1/8 inch end).

    I am looking at the cable for information and all it says on it is, "low noise instrument cable." It looks and feels like a typical guitar cord cable, if that helps.

    I should point out that when I tried to record earlier with the old "microphone" (which was really a headset such as you'd use to talk on the phone, with a thin little cord) I had the same high-pitched hum still.

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    AlexW is offline Force of Nature
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    Yep, the cable you're using isn't shielded. This could be a source of noise, particularly around your computer. See if you can pick up a balanced cable to use (one with TRS connectors).

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    tangerine's Avatar
    tangerine is offline grumpy bastard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edict2508
    Hi, Alex.

    No pre-amp, I am plugging the microphone straight into the 1/4 inch microphone jack in the back of the computer tower (I use a plug for the microphone cord's 1/4 jack which has an 1/8 inch end).

    I am looking at the cable for information and all it says on it is, "low noise instrument cable." It looks and feels like a typical guitar cord cable, if that helps.

    I should point out that when I tried to record earlier with the old "microphone" (which was really a headset such as you'd use to talk on the phone, with a thin little cord) I had the same high-pitched hum still.
    Your not getting proximity feedback cause your mic's so close to your speakers, try moving your speakers

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    mattamatta is offline Force of Nature
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    A balanced cable wont do much if you're not running between two balanced connections, which I doubht it is.

    Where exactly is a 1/4" instrument cable being hooked u between a mic and a sound card?

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    Edict2508 is offline Newbie
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    Alex,

    Sorry to sound slow, but could you perhaps recommend me a place online where I can find a balanced cable with TRS connectors like you're describing? Thank you for the suggestion.

    What is a TRS connector? Something like this? If so, this cord already is that way, i.e. it has to be clicked into the microphone, it's not connected to it. If you disconnect the cord from the microphone, it reveals a three-pronged scheme.

    I hope I'm making sense here! If anything, I can grab a picture of the microphone and post it to avoid confusion.

    Tangerine,

    Thanks for the help. I stepped further from the speakers and tried it again but there was no difference at all, either in recorded sound volume or hum-wise.

    Mattamatta,

    This is going to sound slow again but could you perhaps rephrase your question for me? If it helps, the connections go exactly like this: microphone > cable > back of your computer (1/4" jack). Does that answer your question?

    Thank you, everyone.

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    tangerine's Avatar
    tangerine is offline grumpy bastard
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    Go to your sound card control panel and mute every channel except for mic in and master and see if this works. Failing that it might be the P C musicians curse "SYSTEM NOISE". Close down any other programs apart from the one you are recording on. You could also try setting the program to record then minimise it and do your vocal I once had this problem many moons ago with cool edit pro and believe it or not this worked until I got a new P C.

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    Edict2508 is offline Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangerine
    Close down any other programs apart from the one you are recording on.
    Good point. I did that, but no improvement.

    You could also try setting the program to record then minimise it and do your vocal I once had this problem many moons ago with cool edit pro and believe it or not this worked until I got a new P C.
    It seems like a weird solution but yeah, you're right, sometimes little things like that can fix a very annoying problem out of nowhere. It didn't make any difference in this case, though.

    I've used two different mics and two different programs with which to record, tinkered with the sound control panel, tried to record at a distance from the speakers.. hm.. if the problem is not the microphone cord itself, then maybe it's just a crappy soundcard? Hopefully there's a way I can fix this.

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    AlexW is offline Force of Nature
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    That's the type of cable you want (the one you linked). Odd that yours says it's an instrument cable rather than a microphone cable.

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