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Thread: my microphone audio is too low and can't be fixed!?!?!?!?

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    my microphone audio is too low and can't be fixed!?!?!?!?

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    Let me try and explain this as best as I can...

    I use a great Rode Podcaster microphone and use Sony Vegas to make and edit videos to put on YouTube. I have top of the line equipment and an amazing setup. The only problem is my audio...

    When I upload videos without tampering with the audio levels, it's too low.

    When I upload videos after raising the audio level on Sony Vegas, it's very distorted when I talk loud or yell.

    I've used compression, equalizers, and tons of tutorials, but they don't work. I can't find that sweet spot where it's perfect combo of loudness and clearness.

    It's not the sound card because this is a USB mic and doesn't need a sound card.

    I've done SOOOOO much research and no one shares the same problem.

    I've tried moving the microphone around, but if anyone has any suggestions for a good angle, let me know.

    And finally, for anyone that's interested, here's a link to a video of mine. GAME WINNING BUZZER BEATER IN OT!!!! + 56 PT TRIPLE DOUBLE - #29 - NBA 2K15 MyGM - YouTube

    You guys be the judge of the audio.

    ANY HELP IS APPRECIATED!!!! Thanks!!!

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    I didn't listen to the whole thing--no interest in the subject--but...

    The two things I hear are first that you have a hollow, echoey quality because you're working in a room without acoustic treatment. Hang a bunch of soft stuff like movers blankets behind you, and you should hear a rapid improvement of that side of things.

    Second, yes, there is some clipping on your voice.

    How are you judging levels and deciding what's right?

    When you record your voice, you should be aiming for the meters (and visible waveforms in Vegas) to be averaging about -18dB with the peaks when you yell at around -10dB. Never go above about -6 even at your most excited.

    Once you have your track recorded, you can use post production tools like compressors and even hard limiting to flatten out the dynamic range and bring the overall level of the whole mix (voice and background music) to just under to 0dB level--probably aim for about -1 since MPEG coders often clip at slightly below zero. Video commentary--particularly for sports--tends to be pretty heavily compressed with a limited dynamic range.

    It's nearly 15 years since I played with Vegas so I can't give specific suggestions but if the dynamics processing there has pre sets named something like "broadcast voice" or similar, go for that. Once you've used the compressor and got the mix with the music how you want, you can normalise or hard limit up to the -1ish distribution level.
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Farzanfar View Post
    Let me try and explain this as best as I can...

    I use a great Rode Podcaster microphone and use Sony Vegas to make and edit videos to put on YouTube. I have top of the line equipment and an amazing setup. The only problem is my audio...

    When I upload videos without tampering with the audio levels, it's too low.

    When I upload videos after raising the audio level on Sony Vegas, it's very distorted when I talk loud or yell.

    I've used compression, equalizers, and tons of tutorials, but they don't work. I can't find that sweet spot where it's perfect combo of loudness and clearness.

    It's not the sound card because this is a USB mic and doesn't need a sound card.

    I've done SOOOOO much research and no one shares the same problem.

    I've tried moving the microphone around, but if anyone has any suggestions for a good angle, let me know.

    And finally, for anyone that's interested, here's a link to a video of mine. GAME WINNING BUZZER BEATER IN OT!!!! + 56 PT TRIPLE DOUBLE - #29 - NBA 2K15 MyGM - YouTube

    You guys be the judge of the audio.

    ANY HELP IS APPRECIATED!!!! Thanks!!!


    Hi,
    First off, the video you linked would annoy me a lot. Not trying to be mean but presumably you want followers.
    I know a lot of people will just wince and search for Chris Smoove. (incidentally, do that if you don't know him)

    Re audio levels.
    When your audio is too low, it probably isn't.
    Your setup is analogous to adding vocals to a karaoke mix, because you've got a backing track there.
    If there backing track is too loud then you'll be trying to compete with it and you'll fail.

    The first step might be to pull the backing track back 10 db and try to balance your voice from there.
    If you do that and things are still distorting then the chances are you're physically overloading the mic so move back a little or calm down a little.

    If you do it and things sound great but it's too quiet over all, that's fine.
    Now use a compressor with makeup gain on the master to find a good final output level.
    Remember, it's youtube - not commercial radio. You don't need to be loud. There's no direct competition with the next guy. People can just turn up their speakers a little.


    Audio input is a series of gain stages and you need to understand how they work, and how to avoid overloading each stage.


    Ambience was mentioned. It doesn't directly relate to your problem but your voice would sound nicer with some deadening in the room. That's just a tip.


    Your final mix is done in vegas right? Game sounds, backing music, effects, V/O?
    Treat it like a studio session - Make sure every track has plenty of room. Ie, the peaks are nowhere near the red, per channel.
    Also, make sure the master fader isn't anywhere close to peaking.
    If anything is close to the red, pull all the faders down.
    (as before, re-record if it's still distorting)

    Use a compressor with a broadcast or VO setting for your voice and don't be scared to be heavy handed.
    Just remember that presets are fine but you ALWAYS need to customise the threshold to suit the volume of your signal.

    Finally, and this shouldn't be necessary, you could use a key-input setup to have your backing music duck when you speak, just like you hear on commercial radio.
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    Thanks for the help! I just don't really understand how I'm supposed to raise the audio. I'm clearly not as tech savvy as you. Can you explain how I can raise the audio after I make my audio stay in the -18 dB range. Thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Farzanfar View Post
    Thanks for the help! I just don't really understand how I'm supposed to raise the audio. I'm clearly not as tech savvy as you. Can you explain how I can raise the audio after I make my audio stay in the -18 dB range. Thanks again!
    Reading about gain staging will help a lot so, please, do that.

    Simply though, if you have a backing track that's mastered, imported, and turned up, it's probably already using up all the 'room' that you have.
    If you try to add your voice to that and be heard, you'll have to turn the voice up so much that it distorts, because there is a limit to how loud anything can be in your DAW.

    For that reason it makes more sense to pull the backing track back, get your voice where you want it without distortion, then think about compressing/limiting raising the master output.


    Basically, if your backing track is as loud as it can be, how can you expect to add a louder thing over the top?


    Like I say, though, this is speculation. You may simply be overloading your mic!
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    Use a limiter on your master bus. It will up your volume with less distortion
    I use a concrete limiter from Sonar.

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