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Thread: Noise Problem During Vocal Recording

  1. #1
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    Noise Problem During Vocal Recording

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    Hello everyone,

    I am quite new to this forum. However, whenever I have a problem, I always find good suggestions. I hope, this time won't be exception and you can help me with what I am going through.

    I also have seen a lot of posts regarding the same issue, however, I decided to post, as I want to hear your suggestions regarding the particular audio interface and microphone.

    So, my audio recording setup is:

    1. MacBook Pro [A1278];
    2. Large diaphragm condenser mic - MXL V67g HE [Heritage Edition];
    2. Audio Interface - Focusrite 8i6 3rd Gen;
    3. Two headphones: Audio Technica ATH-M50x and Sony MDR7506;
    4. Studio Monitors: Pair of Adam Audios T7v;
    5. Midi Keyboards: Akai Mpk25 and Alesis V25;

    I am typically focused on 1. Hip-Hop Beat-making, 2. Recording Rap Vocals and 3. Mixing/Mastering.

    I basically make beats in Logic Pro X. As for recording mixing and mastering, I basically use Adobe Audition. However, I have tried Logic Pro X for recording, mixing and mastering of vocals as well.

    As I made a lot of web-research, this type of gear was the best I could afford with my financial resources and plus I have read and watched a lot of positive reviews.

    Now, to the point. What I am struggling with is proper mic gain staging and headphones output leveling. Why? Simply because, there is a lot of noise in my headphones (in the both of them) which also is being recorded, if I put gain knob of AI more than 40-45%. Now you could tell me to keep it down, but there is a problem. If I keep gain down than 50-55% percent, I can't really monitor my vocals during recording - it gets very quiet.

    WHAT I HAVE ALREADY DONE:

    1. I put mic gain to 70-80% with 48V switched on but mic unplugged - noise is very low comparing to mic plugged.
    2. I played around with Focusrite Control - not much of a help.
    3. I tried both XLR ports of my AI - results are the same.
    4. I have put LEVEL and Loudness Measurement plugins to the recording channel in Logic Pro X, and when I record with about 60-65% of Gain up but won's make any sound - I hear "shhhhhh" sound in headphones, however, those plugins show signal below 60-70% dbs. But it is loud in headphones and is very very annoying and I can hear it after I listen to what I have recorded.
    5. Watched a lot of videos, but couldn't find anything about this particular setup.

    I would like to hear your suggestions and maybe someone has or had same gear, and could tell how it works?

    Because I want also to figure out my problem, if the problem I have is about mic? or is about AI? or is it normal? And if there is any way I can troubleshoot this problem?

    Or maybe, I should sell my AI and buy something else? on this point, I just want you guys to know, that I chose this particular model of Scarlett as it had two headphones output and two monitor outputs. I need this preferences.

    Just for now, I use noise gate plugins which solves my problem of noise, however, it also takes some live feelings from vocals.

    So, any suggestions?

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    It would be useful to know what kind of noise you are hearing. For example, does it sound like background noises from the room and the environment. Or does it sound more like system noise, hissing from the interface or from the mike?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    It would be useful to know what kind of noise you are hearing. For example, does it sound like background noises from the room and the environment. Or does it sound more like system noise, hissing from the interface or from the mike?
    +1 to that.
    The two main types of noise you're likely to encounter are background noise in the environment, like nearby traffic, air conditioning, computer fans, etc,
    and the internal noise of the equipment.

    The latter is going to sound like hiss/white noise and is going to be more audible with less sensitive sources like dynamic microphones.

    With your gear and settings I suspect you're dealing with background noise in the environment but it's important to know for sure.
    Tell us more or, better yet, post a short clip demonstrating the noise.
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    What the others said - put a track of just the mic in your normal recording spot, maybe start with the gain at "zero" and go to 9:00, 12:00, 3:00, "all the way" and say something in approximately your normal singing/rapping voice at the intermediate spots. No FX, nothing else. That will help try to identify the type/source of noise you hear. Just grab the non-lossy, raw audio file from the project media, and don't bounce, would be my suggestion.

    You can put a track in dropbox, google drive, etc., and post the URL with spaces between the https://<domain/path> parts so we can put them together and download the file.

    As to hearing yourself, when you record against a backing track/beats, you can always dial that background way down using the fader for that track, and you can even adjust the *fader* for your own track. Doesn't mean you have to leave them there for the final mix, but for tracking your own voice, you should be able to get a balance between your voice and background so you hear both in your headphones. If you can't get the headphones loud enough, a headphone amp might be the next piece of gear to consider.
    "... 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

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    And what do you mean by "60-70% dbs"? dB scales are negative ('0' being the point where things go into the red and clipping starts).
    I've got plenty of headphone volume out my 8i6. When you listen to your loops, how is the volume on them and what dB are they? Maybe you just need to turn them down in order to monitor your vocals?
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

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    First of all, thanks for your response.

    Okey, I will record several clips at several stage and I will post the link as you suggested.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjbphotos View Post
    And what do you mean by "60-70% dbs"? dB scales are negative ('0' being the point where things go into the red and clipping starts).
    I've got plenty of headphone volume out my 8i6. When you listen to your loops, how is the volume on them and what dB are they? Maybe you just need to turn them down in order to monitor your vocals?
    By percentage I mean 9/12/3 o'clock of the gain knob not exact dB scales.

    I just really want it to be a background noise - as I am planning to make diy booth, or even worst scenario, I would prefer to have a mic problem rather than Focusrite. I want very much this AI to be good.

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    I usually have the channel gain for a mic at around 11 o'clock on my 8i6. DI-ed guitar at about 10.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

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    A clip of the sound would be good but I also would like to ask...

    Why do you turn up the gain on the mic instead of the level of the headphones?

    3 o'clock or 75% on the mic gain is really hot for a condenser mic.

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    I too will be very interested in an audio clip but I hope the OP does it right? Ten seconds or so of waffle at -20dB fs or so then shut TF up for 20 so we call just hear the residual noise.

    But, them as know me here know I am a speccy nerd and looking at the specs' of that mic do not impress for an LDC? Sensitivity at 15mV/Pa is 3-4dB below the average I would say for a big, side address capacitor and the self noise at 20dBA is on a par with a mid priced SDC I would expect an LDC to be at least 10dB quieter. However, those figures should be adequate for rap etc but anyone using the mic for speech, especially in a very quiet space would I think start to hear a touch of noise?

    The lack of headphone welly is a common complaint, my KA6 is a bit feeble for neg 20 stuff but I have read that the Focusrites are better in this respect now? In any case the issue is easily fixed with an external headphone amp. The Behringer HA400 is remarkable good.

    Dave.

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    Hello guys!

    I am trying to post links with uploaded clips but its says:

    "You are not allowed to post any kinds of links, images or videos until you post a few times."

    So, how can I show them to you?

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