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Thread: Reducing Background Noise

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    jb2004 is offline Newbie
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    Reducing Background Noise

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    This question, I know, has come up many times before, with many other users. I have read some of the threads, but was hoping someone could help me to reduce the background noise from MY system. I will provide as much info. as possible:

    -The only problem I am experieriencing is with background noise through my mic.
    -I am using a Marshall MXL 2003 condenser mic into a Behringer MX602A mixer
    -My computer is a safe distance away, and is covered with towels while recording (to reduce noise)

    I use a gate for vocals when I record, but that still does not get rid of the background noise. This is very apparent if you listen closely (ie. with headphones) to the tracks Running Away and Beginning Of The Road by Travis Reid:

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=425378

    I figure the problem is "possibly" due to crappy mic cables, but before getting new ones, I thought I'd try some other stuff.

    -Microphone: my mic has a -10dB setting. Should I use this? Or will I lose quality
    -Mixer: each channel has a volume level and a gain level. Should I be leaving the gain levels low (or even zero) when recording vocals? Is there an optimum, or standard gain level when using a condensor mic for vocals?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

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    thane1200's Avatar
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    Is the "background noise" like a hum/buzz/white or pink noise or is it actually BACKGROUND ie. cars on the street outside, or fans and such?
    "See ya on the flip-side"

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    jb2004 is offline Newbie
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    I don't know what color it is, but it's more of a hum/hiss. It is definitely not cars, fans. etc. Any type of "outside" noise that I can control, I have done so. I figure it's either cables, the mixer, the mic, or a combination of the three. That's why I want to see if I can solve the problem with the mic and mixer WITHOUT compromising sound clarity/quality.

    Thanks

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    The -10 setting is mostly for when you want to cloce mic at high volume or if you want to reduce some bleedover, it cuts the sensitivity of the mic. The gain on your mixer will increase mic sensitivity and will sometimes cause a hiss if turned up. Pushing the treble will also cause hiss while too much bass will cause hum. If your mixer has an EQ, try setting it as flat as possible. Cables can and do often cause both hum and hiss so if all else fails you might need new ones. Hope this helps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dani Pace
    Cables can and do often cause both hum and hiss so if all else fails you might need new ones.
    Also remember to make sure you run signal and power wires seperately.
    "See ya on the flip-side"

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    Turn up and listen to the mic pres one at a time. The Behringer's are known for having noisy pre's.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuoKaerf
    Turn up and listen to the mic pres one at a time. The Behringer's are known for having noisy pre's.
    yup, those behri mixer pres are hissy, especially as you turn them up. As far as the gain staging, you should have each mixer channel gain at unity (the '0' detente where there is no boost or cut) and adjust the preamp input gain to the desired level. Like I said, though, those preamps are quite noisy. Unplug the mic and listen just to the preamp as you turn up the gain. If that's the hiss you're hearing, it's coming from the preamp.
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    I've actually tried unplugging the mic completely and turning up the mixer. Through headphones, I can hear a hiss, but it is actually quite low, and is not the same hiss I'm picking up from the mic.

    Everything else on the mixer is at zero, and the only time I ever get a hiss through my setup is when I am using the mic. The hiss (to my limited knowledge) doesn't really remind me of a cable hiss, but I"m starting to think it could be after all. I think I'm using really crappy XLR cables from Radio Shack, so maybe this is the problem. EQs on the mixer aren't solving the problem either, and after reading reviews of my mic (Marshall MXL 2003) I've come to the conclusion that the mic is NOT the problem either. So I guess I'll have to go out and spend some cash on a decent XLR cable. I just hope that helps!

    thanks everyone

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    Have you tried more than one mic?
    "See ya on the flip-side"

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    I haven't tried a different mic, but I"m convinced that the mic is not the cause of the noise. I'm thinking maybe I"ll try a Rapco XLR cable. They are the only onese they have at the closest music store to me, and their guitar patch cords have never failed me.

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