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PerczeL
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Nov 28 2021 10:33am
Hello fellow musicians.

I'd like to record a few songs with my singing and my acoustic guitar. I've already got a decent condensator mic and a preamp that's from the previous century and barely even works (Line 6 UX2). When I try to record anyything I basically have a loud background noise and very very quiet vocals. I've tried messing with the gain and the settings in podfarm 2 (software for the preamp) but it won't work.

I guess I'm better off investing in a proper preamp right? Could you please recommend something? I also need a reliable and user friendly software for the recording.

I'd appreciate any help. :)

Cheers
iampj
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Nov 29 2021 11:57am
What mic do you have? How old is it? What is the condition?
When you say your ux2 barely works, what do you mean? My backup interface is also 15 years old and the converters and preamps are just fine. The analog technology hasn’t improved all that much since then, the converters maybe, but theoretically this interface should be fine for your needs.

There isn’t enough info here to really diagnose what’s going on. Assuming there is no hardware malfunction, you need to properly gain stage your signal chain (google it).
Background noise could mean a lot of different things. Do you literally just ambient sounds from sources around you? Or like, a hiss or static-y noise.
Condenser mics are very sensitive compared to dynamics. We (edit: generally) use these to capture the sound of a source in a room. Proper studios have treated rooms which ensure reflections are managed. If it is self noise, better gear can fix it, maybe make sure your power is clean too.

Are you placing the microphone correctly?

Quickest fix? Get a dynamic mic for vocals and piezo contact mic for your acoustic. Pro fix? Treat your room, ensure your gear is in working order, and research gain staging.

This post was edited by iampj on Nov 29 2021 11:59am
PerczeL
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Joined: Nov 23 2021
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Nov 29 2021 01:42pm
Quote (iampj @ Nov 29 2021 06:57pm)
What mic do you have? How old is it? What is the condition?
When you say your ux2 barely works, what do you mean? My backup interface is also 15 years old and the converters and preamps are just fine. The analog technology hasn’t improved all that much since then, the converters maybe, but theoretically this interface should be fine for your needs.

There isn’t enough info here to really diagnose what’s going on. Assuming there is no hardware malfunction, you need to properly gain stage your signal chain (google it).
Background noise could mean a lot of different things. Do you literally just ambient sounds from sources around you? Or like, a hiss or static-y noise.
Condenser mics are very sensitive compared to dynamics. We (edit: generally) use these to capture the sound of a source in a room. Proper studios have treated rooms which ensure reflections are managed. If it is self noise, better gear can fix it, maybe make sure your power is clean too.

Are you placing the microphone correctly?

Quickest fix? Get a dynamic mic for vocals and piezo contact mic for your acoustic. Pro fix? Treat your room, ensure your gear is in working order, and research gain staging.


First of all, thanks a lot for the reply. The UX2 probably has some sort of hardware malfunction. The usb on it seems to have contact problems for one... I purchased it second hand and first I was able to record with it in abysmally crap quality. I got a Hiteq Audio Fat Three mic which is an Austrian made model. This is supposed to be of higher quality. (cost ~160 euros new) When I record it has a static noise and my vocals are super queit in comparison. The room has a little echo though, but I don't think that could cause all of this...
WOuld you be able to recommend some products to look at perhaps? Looking for a preamp for roughly 400-500 eur and perhaps a mic too for like 200-300 eur. Thanks a lot in advance really appreciate it. :hail:
iampj
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Joined: Oct 15 2021
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Nov 29 2021 04:00pm


If you want to diagnose your current setup, send me an audio sample

As for what I would do with 600-800 euros depends on exactly what you want to do, but generally you can get a focusrite scarlet with your needed number of inputs (assuming 2) for about 100-150 eur. I have the 18i20 and can attest to their preamp and converters assuming they’re the same. If you want something you won’t grow out of quite as fast, the new Universal Audio Volt series interfaces look incredible. Onboard dsp, hardware compressor/limiter…and still way affordable.

For a mic, if you want a cardioid condenser, the AT2020 or 4040 are the usual budget kings IMO. Plenty of exam and reviews, punches way above its weight. The 2020 should be less than or about 100 euros. In reality though I usually recommend dynamic mics to musicians without treated spaces though. Look at the RODE pod mic or whatever it’s called. It’s basically a SM7B for 100 instead of 350+. With all this money you saved, you can get an sm57 which is without a doubt the most versatile mic on the planet.
For guitar you can also find cheap piezo contact mics for 10ish euros, Ive bought enough to know they’re mostly all the same. You can do cool stuff like blend the piezo and a micd sound for interesting result. If not, I tend to mic acoustics at the port hole with a cardioid condenser and at the 12th fret with a sm57 or equivalent. and blend to taste, gives you the full bodied resonance of the port cavity and the tasty crispy top end finger slidey goodness with a “blend knob” 😎

Forgot the most important part. It might sound obvious but make sure your environment is suitable for recording. Get a carpet, some bookshelves, etc. make sure your fridge or fan isn’t ruining the recording. There is a psychological effect when you can actually hear all the sounds our brains normally filter out

This post was edited by iampj on Nov 29 2021 04:05pm
iampj
Group: Member
Posts: 783
Joined: Oct 15 2021
Gold: 12,540.00
Nov 29 2021 04:35pm
Quote (PerczeL @ Nov 28 2021 08:33am)
Hello fellow musicians.

I'd like to record a few songs with my singing and my acoustic guitar. I've already got a decent condensator mic and a preamp that's from the previous century and barely even works (Line 6 UX2). When I try to record anyything I basically have a loud background noise and very very quiet vocals. I've tried messing with the gain and the settings in podfarm 2 (software for the preamp) but it won't work.

I guess I'm better off investing in a proper preamp right? Could you please recommend something? I also need a reliable and user friendly software for the recording.

I'd appreciate any help. :)

Cheers



Also forgot to mention that Reaper has an unlimited and unrestricted trial. Until you get a user made skin for it, it’s not the most visually impressive, yet neither is Pro Tools so there is that :) when you want to stop seeing the startup message it’s also only $60 (dunno in eur) instead of hundreds or some subscription model
PerczeL
Group: Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Nov 23 2021
Gold: 0.00
Dec 1 2021 09:33am
Quote (iampj @ Nov 29 2021 11:00pm)
^PerczeL

If you want to diagnose your current setup, send me an audio sample

As for what I would do with 600-800 euros depends on exactly what you want to do, but generally you can get a focusrite scarlet with your needed number of inputs (assuming 2) for about 100-150 eur. I have the 18i20 and can attest to their preamp and converters assuming they’re the same. If you want something you won’t grow out of quite as fast, the new Universal Audio Volt series interfaces look incredible. Onboard dsp, hardware compressor/limiter…and still way affordable.

For a mic, if you want a cardioid condenser, the AT2020 or 4040 are the usual budget kings IMO. Plenty of exam and reviews, punches way above its weight. The 2020 should be less than or about 100 euros. In reality though I usually recommend dynamic mics to musicians without treated spaces though. Look at the RODE pod mic or whatever it’s called. It’s basically a SM7B for 100 instead of 350+. With all this money you saved, you can get an sm57 which is without a doubt the most versatile mic on the planet.
For guitar you can also find cheap piezo contact mics for 10ish euros, Ive bought enough to know they’re mostly all the same. You can do cool stuff like blend the piezo and a micd sound for interesting result. If not, I tend to mic acoustics at the port hole with a cardioid condenser and at the 12th fret with a sm57 or equivalent. and blend to taste, gives you the full bodied resonance of the port cavity and the tasty crispy top end finger slidey goodness with a “blend knob” 😎

Forgot the most important part. It might sound obvious but make sure your environment is suitable for recording. Get a carpet, some bookshelves, etc. make sure your fridge or fan isn’t ruining the recording. There is a psychological effect when you can actually hear all the sounds our brains normally filter out


Thanks a lot for your input. I've taken notes this will be useful for sure.
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