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Thread: Help choosing mic for unusual studio setup

  1. #21
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    Thanks a lot for all the info! It all makes perfect sense. I am learning so much so fast.

    I actually really love editing despite my disabilities (for the curious: sensory processing disorder including auditory processing disorder and severe hyperacusis, all from birth and worsening as I get older, plus reactive tinnitus in both ears for 6 years now and chronic tendinitis in both wrists from an injury about 15 years ago so I get inflammation and pain if I use the mouse too much). I get frustrated with the process at work sometimes (the people who write the scripts and check the drafts and final versions of the CDs tend to make a lot of mistakes that cause me extra work, or have requests that are too complex for the time limitations I'm working under) but when I have the time to sit back and really play with it, I really do enjoy it, and learning even just what I've learned from this thread so far gives me some serious inspiration.

    SO, I will certainly switch to 24 bits, that makes perfect sense. Having a greater range of volumes to play with will help a lot. And having a mixer is also a great idea. I used to borrow a friend's to use for VJing back in the days before my ears were too sensitive for concerts, so I'm quite comfortable with the sliders and dials even though I've only used them for video in the past. The Behringer you suggest is easily within my price range.

    When you say USB interface, what does that mean exactly? That it needs USB power (I see a power adapter plug on there) or that it outputs via USB? We have plenty of USB slots available so that's not a problem, and as I've said, the quality really doesn't need to be phenomenal, just clear. I see an output split to L and R channels, and we generally do everything in mono, but presumably I can condense it to mono either in the Lambda or in Reaper itself without a problem. I will just need a cable to go between the mixer and the audio interface, and there's room in the budget for that.

    I also see another Behringer, the BEHRINGER 1202, for a bit cheaper, and that doesn't have a USB interface and does have 2 mic inputs. Would this be good enough, do you think?

    So, once a mixer is chosen, my shopping list would be 2x Shure SM58 microphones, a mixer (to be determined), and I guess a cable to connect the mixer to the lambda?

    Once I know what I'm buying and make the final decision, I should probably make a new thread to ask my other questions about the recording and editing itself. I'm loving the idea that I might be able to make it easier on myself (and my poor ears and wrists). If it were less stressful overall, I'd have time and energy left over to have more fun with the recordings! (The ones I can have the most fun with are "literature" tracks, where we have a custom-drawn comic version of some famous work of literature in our magazines, and do a recorded version for them to listen to while they read. These have evolved over the years from simple readings to full-blown radio plays with music and sound effects - the only tracks that are more than basic dialogue. When I'm stressed, they are a huge hassle, and I dread them, but when I'm not stressed, I can have so much fun with them! If anyone is interested in hearing an example, I'd be happy to send one.)

  2. #22
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    That mixer will be even better than the 802 and you are not paying for a USB facility you don't need.

    The Lambda is a "USB Interface". It takes analogue signals, converts them to digital data and then communicates the data via USB (other ways are Fire wire rare now. Thunderbolt and Ethernet are getting popular but only for massive track counts) . Until a few years ago, mixers were 100% analogue then someone had the bright idea of bolting on an A/D-D/A converter. Trouble was the early ones were dirt cheap and gave poor results. Later USB mixers are 24 bits and very good. But you don't need one!

    Cables: You will need two 1/4"/6.35mm jack plug to jack plug cables, mono (aka Tip Sleeve) the same as a guitar cable but NOT a curly one! These go from the Main Mix output jacks from the mixer to the Lambda line inputs on the rear They can be almost as long as you like and don't pay silly money, I would guess no more than 2Euros per mtr? . You then have the slightly demanding task of setting the relative gains and levels between the mixer and the interface.

    THE most important parameter is the level of signal in the software. I have attached a 1000Hz tone generated at -20dBfs and the level is shown in Samplitude software but all "DAWs" show the same indication for the same level although the pictures will be different.
    Read up on the operation of the mixer by downloading the user manual from Behringer. Once setup you will be able to use the slide fader to smoothly gain ride the signal feeding the AI. Mind you, working at 24 bits you might find you need to do that less than before? This process, that of getting equipment to accept signals properly is called "gain staging".

    Dave.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1-khz-20dbfs-png  

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    Ah, I see, yeah, the Lambda uses USB. We've never had a problem with quality though (at least until the mics started dying). Again, for what we're doing, quality needs are minimal. And in any case, we need a USB connection to the computer. The computer I'm using for recording isn't even mine (it belongs to another editor in the office who has to swap with me for recording sessions - my main job isn't the CDs, I write and edit magazine articles) and it is a terrible computer. It's old, it's slow, and there would be no way other than USB to get the recordings onto it as it doesn't have a sound card. Fortunately it's worked brilliantly so far, so no loss there.

    So my final shopping list to send to my boss is 2x Shure SM58 microphones, 1x Behringer 1202 mixer, and 2x cables (they can be very short, these two devices will be right next to each other on the desk while we record).

    It looks like this cable is sufficient - that's the right type, correct? They extremely cheap, so no issue there. And the total of all those purchases leaves me 689 kč under the max budget, so that's perfect.

    I'm not too worried about getting all the levels right. I can find a time when that computer is free and the office is quiet and set it up and test it out. As long as I'm not stressed out by anything, it will be fun playing around with it until I find the right settings. And if I have trouble, I know where to go for more help.

    Barring any massive revelations between now and then, I'll give my boss the order on Monday (he's doing it for me so the company can pay for it directly). And I'll ask him to throw in a pop filter for my Blue Yeti at home, to save me a little hassle on my videos, too. (I'll offer to pay for it but there's a chance he'll say no need, since I still have some budget left over Here's hoping! Not that they're expensive.)

    Thanks so much for all the help so far! I'm truly grateful. You can be sure I'll have all kinds of questions regarding recording and editing in the near future.

  4. #24
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    BESPECO SLJJ100 Instrument Cable

    Dead right cable ^ The other would probably work. I think you are ready to put in the order. That computer sounds ancient! Let me guess XP?

    I am sure people here would be interested in your work so yes, post something. It suits me to get things as MP3 attachments but any way you can.

    Now, don't want to steer you away from your main path but have you investigated Audacity? It is a free and very useful audio editing program.

    Dave.

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    Looks like the same cable, just longer. So I'll probably stick with the shorter one, don't need lots of excess cable hanging around.

    The biggest problem with the computer is that it has Windows 10 on it, but it's not a good enough computer to run Windows 10, so it has problems all the time. In any case, it's not so old that it started with XP - I think it had Windows 7 to begin with. But it was a very low-end office computer even when new. So now when it wants to update (which, being Windows 10, it does constantly and there's little you can do to stop that from happening), it can take hours (we actually had to reschedule a recording session once because the update went straight through several voice actors' scheduled recording times).

    I have Audacity and I use it for a few things but it's not anywhere near powerful enough for the type of editing I'm doing. Reaper is perfection, and very affordable (and can be run for free forever as a fully-functional trial, if someone can't afford even that low price). I've been learning how to use it for a couple of years now, figured out how to adapt the shortcuts to spare my wrist a lot of extra work, etc. I'm really happy with it.

    I'm happy to share a couple of tracks. I hope my boss wouldn't mind. :P

    The Mystery of the Missing Monkey is a year-long mystery I wrote for the kids to solve. It's at an A1-A2 level so it's very slow.

    An Adaptation of The Tempest is one of the literature tracks. It might be a bit confusing just as audio; it's meant to go with a comic page illustrating what's going on. But you can get the idea from this, anyway. (We actually didn't have enough voice actors for this one, so we had to ask a couple of them to try to do different voices. The results are quite mixed. )

  6. #26
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    "Looks like the same cable, just longer. So I'll probably stick with the shorter one, don't need lots of excess cable hanging around."

    Oh, ok I suggested it because it is a mono TS cable whereas the one in your link was stereo TRS. I doubt it will matter.

    Why ever did someone put win 10 on a perfectly good w7 computer? All my machines are w7 and I dread the time when I shall have to change at least one of them, this i3 HP laptop I suppose. The desktop I built for my son's music work, when he was here, does not need to be online so I shall never put 10 on that. I did put 10 on an older DT and hated it but I thought I had better have it to learn? That computer has since gone digitally AWOL on me and I have not yet got back to fixing it.

    I am surprised there are Lambda drivers for W10?

    I shall listen to the Tempest and (if I may?) send it to my son. He is a musician in northern France. Plays the cafes and clubs and teaches guitar a bit. He is dead keen on Shakespear, has been since school (now 46) and I am sure he will find it interesting.

    Dave.

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    Ah, I didn't notice that difference between the cables, thanks. I'll take a closer look and figure out which one is best.

    I don't know why this particular computer got upgraded. I think the boss just likes having the latest versions of things, which drives me insane. I don't like to "fix" things that aren't broken. I also have Win10 on my work computer that started with 7, but in my case it was necessary, as the system was in Czech and I couldn't work well on it (I mean, yes, I could have learned the necessary vocabulary, but I just hated it and wanted to feel comfortable on my own computer), and for 7 you can't change system language without buying an extra license or something, so we had to update to 10 which let me change it to English for free. I hate it so much. So much. (I have 8.1 at home, skinned to look like 7, which is ideal, best of both versions. If Microsoft somehow ever forces 10 onto my home computer I swear I'm switching to Linux!)

    By all means share the track with your son. It's hardly my best work but some of the things I've done, I'm not allowed to post anywhere; this one is based on a public domain work so it should be fine. It's at a B1-B2 English level. Again, it might be a bit confusing without the accompanying comic to give you a visual on what's happening, but in any case it's a decent example of the type of work I do. I could share a better example, but I'd have to send it privately because copyrights are complicated. :P

  8. #28
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    Of course, W10 was free for a time* maybe that was what attracted him as well? I did put 10 on anther PC and hated it so rolled back to W7 but in the meantime it "broke" the drivers for an MAudio 2496 card and I have lost some of the functions.

    I have tried to upload the Tempest but even after 5 minutes nothing is found but then I am having other internet troubles. I am not very computer savvy!

    *still is I am told if you have a spare W7 license,

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    "Looks like the same cable, just longer. So I'll probably stick with the shorter one, don't need lots of excess cable hanging around."

    Oh, ok I suggested it because it is a mono TS cable whereas the one in your link was stereo TRS. I doubt it will matter.

    ....
    It might confuse the Lexicon because it does say the 1/4" line input is balanced or unbalanced, while the Behringer only has unbalanced output. I'd stick with the TS (unbalanced) instrument type cable in this situation. If you had a balanced line out then you'd want the TRS cable to carry the balanced signal. (OP'd have to bump up in mixer cost, like a Mackie 402 VLZ. Likely not an issue with very short cable runs.)
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

  10. #30
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    Yes Keith, my thoughts exactly.
    Rather surprised the Berry outs are unbalanced? Ok, did not expect twin amplifiers with an inverted cold side but an impedance balanced out would only cost an SMT resistor and TRS jack.

    Dave.

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