Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Fuzziness/scratchy - me or microphone?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    US
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Fuzziness/scratchy - me or microphone?

    Sign in to disable this ad
    Hello! I am still very new to recording and music production, learning as I go. I am using an Audio-Technica AT2020 condenser microphone, and the gain is set fairly low. At the loudest point in this dry clip (attached to this post, I hope) it reaches -12db on the meter, not close to the red zone. But on the louder parts, it sounds fuzzy/raspy/kind of distorted. I hear it at other places too. I'm not sure if that's the microphone or my voice. I've had this microphone for a year and a half, it was the first one I purchased. I haven't looked into others yet. I read it could possibly be moisture? I'm also reading more about how to get the best sound in a home studio! Thank you for listening and offering suggestions! ~Aaralyn

    Waterfall.mp3

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Texas USA
    Posts
    2,118
    Thanks
    185
    Thanked 396 Times in 360 Posts
    Rep Power
    2298480
    I only noticed something obvious right around 10.5s+ and that sounded like your voice losing some focus. Maybe be more specific about exactly where you're hearing this, and how you are listening? Have you tried listening on different devices, to rule out components in the playback chain?

    Are you using a pop screen and staying away from the mic itself? If you're inside and have a decent amount of working distance it shouldn't be getting affected by moisture, IME.
    "... 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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    essex
    Posts
    2,880
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 418 Times in 382 Posts
    Rep Power
    4008612
    This is a good one - and I suspect not your voice or probably the mic. What is the chain of kit - the mic I suspect we discount - although there is a possibility that your voice at that point was overloading the preamp. It's a strange sound in the background - couldn't hear it on my laptop but in the studio it's absolutely there.

    EDIT
    this suddenly made me think. I dug out a 2020 and replicated what you sounded like you were doing - singing quite loud, and quite close - and recorded me doing some oooh-oohs like yours (but not so tuneful!) Levels wise I had tones of headroom and the preamp was not distorting but I also got that strange sort of noise on the loud bits - not quite distortion, but a sort of coloration. I think all I did was overload the microphones internal pre-amp and as it has no built in pads, it was just crushing the signal internally. To prove this - move the mic further away - how close were you? A few inches? Move back to a foot. The tonality will of course change but see if the distortion/strange noise vanishes or reduces. I've never heard this before on a 2020, and it's good to know how it responds to over level sound sources.

    Move back and let us know the result.

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to rob aylestone For This Useful Post:


  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Texas USA
    Posts
    2,118
    Thanks
    185
    Thanked 396 Times in 360 Posts
    Rep Power
    2298480
    I did not think about overloading the mic, as @rob aylestone suggests. Of course you could be doing that and still have a low recording if your gain is incorrect for the volume of what you're pushing into the mic.
    "... 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

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    US
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    Yes, I was close, I was trying to get a fuller sound, but I do have a pop filter. My room isn't great, all I have is a heavy moving blanket on the wall. to absorb some of the room sound. Need to do more there. Thank you for the suggestions, I will play around with the gain and how close I am! I appreciate the direction and insight, it's really helpful to have something specific sometimes, rather than watching a ton of youtube videos or reading everything, trying to figure out what I'm specifically doing wrong!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    essex
    Posts
    2,880
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 418 Times in 382 Posts
    Rep Power
    4008612
    That's where the light came on in my head - you've got a 'proper' voice and I'd bet that close in, it's pretty loud. I had no idea how a 2020 would cope. To be honest, I thought it would be blasty and horrible, but it wasn't - it coped pretty well but it suddenly had that strange 'tone' extra component. Not even really distortion but a weird thickening?

    Love to hear the response and see if I guessed right 'cus it's a new one and one to remember.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to rob aylestone For This Useful Post:


  9. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    US
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    A few more tests

    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    That's where the light came on in my head - you've got a 'proper' voice and I'd bet that close in, it's pretty loud. I had no idea how a 2020 would cope. To be honest, I thought it would be blasty and horrible, but it wasn't - it coped pretty well but it suddenly had that strange 'tone' extra component. Not even really distortion but a weird thickening?

    Love to hear the response and see if I guessed right 'cus it's a new one and one to remember.

    Thank you! Yes, it doesn't really sound like distortion, but just a strange tone that I really don't hear coming from my voice. So, I recorded some random stuff with the gain knob at 30% singing about 1 ft away from the mic and then right after in this same clip, the gain is at 25%, I tried to be about the same distance from the mic. I turned up the volume 3dB in my DAW. At the 30% level, I still hear this fuzziness in the first five seconds right before the note changes, which would be the peak of the wave, and then there is some clipping around 8 seconds. The 25% gain starts around 16 seconds in, I don't really hear the fuzziness, but it sounds so far away. I assume the more I learn about EQ and mixing, I can probably fix this?

    I've been playing around with recording my voice for awhile, and haven't taken the time to look into why it was clipping. I like to sing a lot with the higher notes, sometimes I record singing with crystal singing bowls, or just the bowls on their own. It sounds like I've been overloading the microphone when things get too loud and into higher frequencies. I just have the Scarlett Solo for my audio interface. The microphone goes directly into that, interface directly into the computer. Is there a different microphone or audio interface that I can look into that might work better when I want to sing in the higher register? Or something more capable of handling the full range, or perhaps I just need to learn to move myself while I'm recording, to or away from the mic. And play around more with this one. It seems to work well if I'm singing in a lower range.

    Also, the reason I was singing so close to the mic is because I read/learned somewhere that being closer could help minimize the echo/sound of the room, too.

    Since you're being so kind to help me identify what's going on, I attached a short clip of another song (Eyes of Love) in my lower register. This was a higher gain level, probably 50%, and I was really close to the mic. I hear fuzziness/breathiness/lack of clarity here, too, but it might be different, and this might actually be my voice. I think it's happening because the sound is going too far back in the my throat, so it's losing clarity? I can hear it while I'm singing. But I don't think that's happening when I sing higher, as that has always been the stronger and clearer part of my range.

    GainTests.mp3

    Eyes of Love_Short.mp3
    Last edited by Aaralyn; 02-11-2019 at 13:43. Reason: Added another clip

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    HOUSTON, TEXAS
    Posts
    898
    Thanks
    62
    Thanked 150 Times in 133 Posts
    Rep Power
    798998
    Try turning the mic slightly off axis and also try singing below the diaphragm. Oft times that will allow a loud enough signal and reduce unwanted resonances.
    Win 7 Ult Dell i7 4core 6700ghz 32 GB, 1,2x2, 4 Tb Barracuda HD's running Pro tools 2019 through Allen&Heath Qu-32

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    essex
    Posts
    2,880
    Thanks
    13
    Thanked 418 Times in 382 Posts
    Rep Power
    4008612
    I suspect the warmth you want in your voice is simple to get very close in, but you are 100% right = move away and the room sound (all to do with ratios of wanted/unwanted) creeps up. You could find that with some heavy weight drapes immediately around the rear of the mic in a horseshoe shape you can back off and then use GENTLE eq to sort the sound. However, the real problem is just that your mic doesn't;t have a pad switch, which lets them work with louder sources. I guess changing the mic is out, so it's really distance - but if you experiment, you may find the noise vanishes with only a little movement - the inverse square law means that doubling the distance drops the volume to a quarter - so small movements go down quickly. Once you find this 'limit' use your pop shield to prevent you going closer. Good luck.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Scratchy ole fiddle?
    By lo beam in forum Microphones
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-12-2007, 14:38
  2. Scratchy line in??
    By KingChuvas in forum Newbies
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-29-2007, 14:13
  3. Line Out Fuzziness
    By ido1957 in forum Guitars and Basses
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-06-2007, 11:59
  4. scratchy noise?
    By kaibil1 in forum Newbies
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-15-2006, 18:54
  5. Scratchy Vocals
    By joedirt in forum Recording Techniques
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-16-2002, 08:13

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •