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Recording Vocals - The volume is too low during playback.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Dirk Parker's Avatar
Recording Vocals - The volume is too low during playback.

Chain:
stellar cm-6 (tube mic) --> Gap Pre-73 --> Yamaha Audiogram6 ---> Laptop

I have the Gap Pre-73 set to 30 db gain and then the output (volume) set to max...

While I sing I can hear it at the perfect level but when I play it back the wave is really thin and the sound is just LOW...

The volume on my computer and everything is turned up to a good enough level when I play it back too...

Any suggestions of what to do/ideas of what is wrong?

Thanks
Old 2nd May 2011
  #2
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euphoria89's Avatar
 

Are you playing back the track with faders at unity?

Check the level going into your DAW. As long as your averaging around -18dBFS, you should have a half decent waveform appear.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #3
Gear Head
 
B.A.R.F's Avatar
 

The Wave is thin and it sounds very low.... sounds like you've recorded at a very low level. Check your chain.....use your meters. I always line up everything with a 1K Tone.. helps me find any mis-matching.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
Recording Vocals - The volume is too low during playback.

What are the "meters" in the DAW showing during tracking?
Old 3rd May 2011
  #5
Gear Nut
 
Dirk Parker's Avatar
The wave is showing up... and you can see the wavyness :P - But not as thick or big as I'd like.



If I increase the master volume on my interface while I record will it increase the volume going into the daw at all?

The line input on my interface is set to max already. The Preamp is set to max already too.
Old 3rd May 2011
  #6
Gear Head
 
B.A.R.F's Avatar
 

What DAW are you using? When your recording what do the Meters show you? You said you have your interface input cranked..... but what are you recording Line or mic level? is the signal padded? if your recording a mic signal and have it padded then your level will be very low.
Old 3rd May 2011
  #7
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RTFM perhaps?
Old 3rd May 2011
  #8
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B.A.R.F's Avatar
 

RTFM ....Yes, That was going to be my next suggestion.
Old 3rd May 2011
  #9
Gear Head
 
Michael Lee's Avatar
 

Are you sure you have everything set to record MONO?
Old 3rd May 2011
  #10
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Need help but can't get any?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisc_o View Post
RTFM perhaps?
Quote:
Originally Posted by B.A.R.F View Post
RTFM ....Yes, That was going to be my next suggestion.
WOW! What a helpful crew we got here thumbsup

The guy is only asking for suggestions and it's quite apparent that he's just beginning. While you or I may feel at home with a cup of hot chocolate, fur slippers and a user manual...some folks have a hard time wading through technical jargon.


To answer one of your questions: No. Turning up the master volume on your interface will not help. Your problem is at some stage of the input. Try checking the output of your mic pre for nominal levels. Also check that the pad is not engaged as another poster suggested. Then have a look at the interface to see if you have it set to +4 or -10 at the inputs. It should be set to +4. Hope this helps. Have a look in the manual for these specific terms to see how they are adjusted, (that is) if you can't figure them out just by looking at the gear.


Good luck!

Last edited by Funny Cat; 3rd May 2011 at 07:16 PM.. Reason: addition
Old 3rd May 2011
  #11
Gear Nut
 
Dirk Parker's Avatar
I'm recording line not mic - I'm using Sonar Producer 8 - The meters are fine. - The computer volume is up high. - The signal is not padded - The preamp mic output is set to max - the gain is set to thirty. - I am recording in mono.

It's odd...

And Thanks for the "rtfm" advice - but I did read the manual and I can't find my answer.

FunnyCat - You said my input will either have -10 or +4 ... the line input on my interface has volume and gain knobs.
My gain is set to zero and my volume to max.
Old 3rd May 2011
  #12
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stella645's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Parker View Post
My gain is set to zero and my volume to max.
It's possible (don't know specifics of this interface) that the gain is to control the level you send to Sonar & the output is just for direct monitoring.

Did you try more gain & less volume?

When you say the meters are fine.....you mean the Sonar input metering?
Old 3rd May 2011
  #13
Gear Nut
 
Dirk Parker's Avatar
I'll try that. If the gain is between the signal and sonar that might help. - And yes it seems like the meters in sonar during recording and even playback are fine... ?
Old 3rd May 2011
  #14
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hgen's Avatar
 

You can also 'normalise' he waveform as a last resort after you've recorded it. Look up normalise in your plugins. Try turning up the gain on the GAP73 as well, shouldn't overload it it as it had a big transformer on the input.
Old 3rd May 2011
  #15
Lives for gear
You have gain on PRE-73 set to 30dB.
As far as I'm concerned, it has a maximum of 80dB.
Just increase gain.
Old 3rd May 2011
  #16
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Parker View Post

FunnyCat - You said my input will either have -10 or +4 ... the line input on my interface has volume and gain knobs.
My gain is set to zero and my volume to max.
OK. Just had a quick peek at the manual for the unit. Disregard the +4, -10 statement. This is a mixer/interface and not a pure interface. In any event it looks like you have three places to adjust the volume for your signal on your interface (provided your gain structure is correct on your pre-amp fiirst):




1. The Gain knob on the interface

2. The Level knob on the interface

3. The (Level) Master knob on the interface.



The manual says to start with the Gain knob (this is on pg.9 of the manual) until you get a peak led and then back off a little so try that 1st. In analog consoles we usually put the fader at unity 1st but follow the manual in this case just for giggles. After you have a good signal, raise your Level knob. And then lastly, raise the (Level) Master knob. Make sure you are in record Arm in your DAW so you can monitor the input level.

In your case, I stand corrected, your (Level) Master will affect the output of the mixer into your interface. Try those steps and tell us how it goes.



Good luck! thumbsup

Last edited by Funny Cat; 3rd May 2011 at 10:41 PM.. Reason: small change
Old 4th May 2011
  #17
Gear Nut
 
Dirk Parker's Avatar
FunnyCat - thanks - this interface kinda sucks so I'd like to bypass it as much as I possibly can - I'll try the gain and then the master volume and see which distorts the signal less I guess.

--- Question ---

The sound I've been getting has been workable with some boosting itb ... I use the included "boost 11" plugin and it seems fine.

Any good plugins for that anyone?

I figure it's like dragging and enlarging a picture though... you lose the detail a little. idk...?
Old 4th May 2011
  #18
Lives for gear
When recording with the GAP at about 40db gain and output at 3 o'clock, I end up with peaks around -10 to -14. This is with fairly loud (not screaming) vocals. On quieter phrases, I up the output all the way right.

Unless your screaming, why not up the gain a couple notches?
Old 4th May 2011
  #19
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Parker View Post
FunnyCat - thanks - this interface kinda sucks so I'd like to bypass it as much as I possibly can - I'll try the gain and then the master volume and see which distorts the signal less I guess.

--- Question ---

The sound I've been getting has been workable with some boosting itb ... I use the included "boost 11" plugin and it seems fine.

Any good plugins for that anyone?

I figure it's like dragging and enlarging a picture though... you lose the detail a little. idk...?

Hey Dirk, I hear ya on the interface. If you've got more headroom on the GAP-pre I'd definitely boost the pre (precluding the interface) until it starts to sound harsh. Let us know how it works out. Gain structure when tracking is one of the most overlooked but important aspects of engineering. Once you get a feel for the sweet spots on your gear, you'll be golden. Good luck wit' it!

Last edited by Funny Cat; 4th May 2011 at 03:28 AM.. Reason: grammar
Old 4th May 2011
  #20
Quote:
Any good plugins for that anyone?
Thats not a fix, that a band aid and a bad one at that! Get your levels recorded correclty and dont use the line in. You need to use a mic pre amp. Your vocal is not line level, so you the line input shoudl not be used. yuo need to boost the level to line level with a mic pre.

Plugins are not your fix. Education and knowledge on how to record vocals are!!
Old 4th May 2011
  #21
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
Thats not a fix, that a band aid and a bad one at that! Get your levels recorded correclty and dont use the line in. You need to use a mic pre amp. Your vocal is not line level, so you the line input shoudl not be used. yuo need to boost the level to line level with a mic pre.

Plugins are not your fix. Education and knowledge on how to record vocals are!!

I have to agree with you on the "band-aid" statement.

I don't know the GAP-Pre but I'm assuming it has a balanced line output?... hence the reason he is using the line input on the interface/mixer.

Dirk also mentioned that he wanted to preclude the sound of the mixer as much as he could, which is a smart recording strategy. The mic + the GAP should give him a nice signal with plenty of gain. Not quite sure what's going on with his rig. Might just be as simple as raising the gain on the GAP and then turning up the Master (level) knob on his interface to raise the signal level going into his DAW.

This is a great learning experience for him though, for what it's worth. What he takes away from this experience about gain staging, he can carry with him to any system he'll work on in the future.
Old 4th May 2011
  #22
Gear Nut
 

good advices already given

gainstaging, repeat and repeat til you get the right level into the DAW

btw, did you check to see if you've got the right cables?
Old 5th May 2011
  #23
Lives for gear
Recording Vocals - The volume is too low during playback.

Is there some sort of clip indicator on the mixer/interface? Try turning up the "output" on the GAP until it lights then backing off a taste. That will ensure enough signal is getting in. Then work your way down the signal path to see how each level control is metered. You mention distortion. So something is cranked at some stage and then severely attenuated later down the road.
Old 5th May 2011
  #24
Gear Nut
 
Dirk Parker's Avatar
Thanks everyone for your responses - I've been playing with the preamp and I've found some sweet spots (with workable waveforms in the end).

It's really weird that my MASTER volume on my interface can affect the signal going INTO sonar... but it works well --- I'm only going to use that if i feel like 40 or 45 gain is giving me some unwanted distortion... It starts (pleasant) distortion it seems at 45 ish... But sometimes it's not what I want... even though it IS pretty subtle.

But yeah - it seems like we've solved my problems

oh and yes, there IS a peak indicator on my interface --- even though it's not the most intuitive one it works.

All I have to do now is experiment and find what sounds the best for each song!

thanks a bunch!
Old 5th May 2011
  #25
Gear Nut
 
Dirk Parker's Avatar
sq1ne - cables... I am using a regular male to female xlr to go INTO the preamp and then a trs cable going OUT of it to the line input on my interface.
Old 5th May 2011
  #26
Gear Nut
 

glad you've found the way

on the yamaha's page, here's what they have on the feature page:

Quote:
Set The Input And Output Levels And You're Ready To Go!

Even if you're a newcomer to the world of audio recording, setting up your own computerbased studio couldn't be easier with the AUDIOGRAM6. The audio interface has been designed with ease-of-use as a prime requirement, and you only need to set the input sensitivity and output volume before you can start recording. Using the GAIN knobs, simply adjust the sensitivity of the input channel to a level at which its PEAK lamp does not come on. In the same way, you set the master output volume using the MASTER knob, making sure that the left and right PEAK lamps do not light.
Old 5th May 2011
  #27
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Parker View Post
Thanks everyone for your responses - I've been playing with the preamp and I've found some sweet spots (with workable waveforms in the end).

It's really weird that my MASTER volume on my interface can affect the signal going INTO sonar... but it works well --- I'm only going to use that if i feel like 40 or 45 gain is giving me some unwanted distortion... It starts (pleasant) distortion it seems at 45 ish... But sometimes it's not what I want... even though it IS pretty subtle.

But yeah - it seems like we've solved my problems
Hi Dirk

Very glad to hear that you're rolling now

The reason your Master volume changes the signal going into your DAW is b/c it's functioning as a mixer and not solely as an interface. If this was a pure interface (a la Steinberg or MOTU etc.) the Master knob would only control the volume going to your monitors and/or headphone output and your Pre-amp would control the signal feeding your DAW.

Anyway, it's all good now so go and make some sweet music!
Old 30th April 2019
  #28
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
Thats not a fix, that a band aid and a bad one at that! Get your levels recorded correclty and dont use the line in. You need to use a mic pre amp. Your vocal is not line level, so you the line input shoudl not be used. yuo need to boost the level to line level with a mic pre.

Plugins are not your fix. Education and knowledge on how to record vocals are!!

Hey, I think I may be having a similar issue as OP. Could you explain what you mean by, "don't use the line in?"

I run my mic into an Apogee Duet 2, and than that runs directly into my Mac. Am I doing something wrong?
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