Ok, I'm breaking down and asking for help.
I run an open mic night that records audio of the performers. I go:
2 SM57s and 2 SM58s into
Behringer Ultragain Pro MIC2200 (Channels 1 & 2) and M-Audio Audio Buddy (Channels 3 & 4) into
M-Audio Delta 44 (4-input) soundcard breakout box into
Sonar Producer on a Windows 7 PC
Then I run the Left and Right outs of the Dela 44 into
A Peavey 400sc mixer and speakers.
I'm getting a distortion coming from the mics. Instead of loud clear volume, they are distorting when they get louder than the most moderate volume. To explain, I've been able to crank them up in the past, but now there is a gritty (limited-sounding - which makes me think the problem is digital - distortion).
The problem is not (stuff I've tested):
The Delta 44 ins or outs
The Peavey mixer on its own
For example, I plugged the mics into the mixer and they sound fine.
The recordings going from the mics to preamps to Delta to computer sound fine.
Line outs from the Delta (music from itunes, etc.) sound fine.
It is something really amateur, I'm sure, where the signal is screwed up when going from preamp into Delta, into computer, out of Delta, into mixer. Like the sound card setting isn't matching the inputs' signal or something. Or my gain-matching is all wrong.
Thanks a million.
P.S. Please don't make fun of my gear.
I somehow still manage to make great recordings with it...