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Debby
02-06-2015, 03:26 PM
I would like to use my webcam to make my Seasons videos, instead of the phone camera. My issue is that things sound so loud and distorted when I make vids with my webcam. I can't seem to find settings that will let me adjust the way it sounds. Even when I turn the volume down, it still sounds distorted. Is there a way to fix this? My computer is an HP laptop that has windows vista. I have tried using YouCam. I figured I'd ask here before I give up on it. It may be a lost cause but I really would like to fix this without spending any money, if possible. Thanks in advance.

itsme
02-06-2015, 09:10 PM
You haven't given us much to go on here. Is this a built-in webcam? I'm going to guess that if it runs Vista it's an older laptop, so probably not built-in?

So, the make/model of your webcam and/or laptop might help.

Booli
02-06-2015, 10:01 PM
You should not give up so easy, as this is easily solveable, but you have to do some legwork to get the exact instructions.

Regardless of what software you use, you are going to have to adjust your system-wide audio properties, independently of any camera software, IN addtion to the audio functions of the webcam software. Windows is like that.

You have to go into the Windows Control Panel and adjust your microphone input gain settings (it's under SOUND or AUDIO, I forget the label on it), and probably TURN it down and also turn off AGC (automatic gain control) but I would not expect awesome audio fidelity from neither a mic built-in to a webcam, nor a mic built-in to the laptop.

Those mic elements are typically tiny electret mics, with limited frequency response, and the mic in your smartphone is actually going to be a better piece of electronics than either.

If you cannot find the settings yourself, maybe it's worth doing a google.com search for

'windows vista' 'hp laptop webcam audio settings'

(in quotes as shown, and if you get no results, remove the quotes and search again) and see if there are any instructions with screen shots or youtube videos

Aside from that you can check the Microsoft forums and/or support pages as well as the HP forums and/or support pages, and failing those you can also call the tech support number for either/both Microsoft and HP.

It's been ages since I used Windows (XP at the time) myself, having switched to the Mac for 8 yrs, and now moving over to Linux, so I do not have a Windows box in front of me to give the step-by-step instructions, but I am sure they are out there, as this is a common question.

Debby
02-07-2015, 02:49 PM
Thanks for the replies and suggestions!! My computer is an HP G60-445DX. It has a built in webcam.

I'm going to work with these suggestions. I've tinkered shortly with it, tonight (I wasn't home most of the day). I'm tired and will commit more time to it, tomorrow. Thanks again, and I look forward to trying these suggestions.

Debby
02-09-2015, 12:21 PM
You should not give up so easy, as this is easily solveable, but you have to do some legwork to get the exact instructions.

Regardless of what software you use, you are going to have to adjust your system-wide audio properties, independently of any camera software, IN addtion to the audio functions of the webcam software. Windows is like that.

You have to go into the Windows Control Panel and adjust your microphone input gain settings (it's under SOUND or AUDIO, I forget the label on it), and probably TURN it down and also turn off AGC (automatic gain control) but I would not expect awesome audio fidelity from neither a mic built-in to a webcam, nor a mic built-in to the laptop.

Those mic elements are typically tiny electret mics, with limited frequency response, and the mic in your smartphone is actually going to be a better piece of electronics than either.

If you cannot find the settings yourself, maybe it's worth doing a google.com search for

'windows vista' 'hp laptop webcam audio settings'

(in quotes as shown, and if you get no results, remove the quotes and search again) and see if there are any instructions with screen shots or youtube videos

Aside from that you can check the Microsoft forums and/or support pages as well as the HP forums and/or support pages, and failing those you can also call the tech support number for either/both Microsoft and HP.

It's been ages since I used Windows (XP at the time) myself, having switched to the Mac for 8 yrs, and now moving over to Linux, so I do not have a Windows box in front of me to give the step-by-step instructions, but I am sure they are out there, as this is a common question.

Hey thanks! Your suggestions worked!! I knew it had to be in the settings somewhere. I just couldn't find it. I have it working much better!

Booli
02-09-2015, 12:38 PM
Hey thanks! Your suggestions worked!! I knew it had to be in the settings somewhere. I just couldn't find it. I have it working much better!

Glad to hear it's working for you now.

Which suggestion exactly helped?

Sharing the solution can help other folks who might later find this thread while having the same kind of problem.

Of course, a demo video would be great to see, and you can show off your newfound technical computer ability as well as your playing :)

Debby
02-09-2015, 02:11 PM
Glad to hear it's working for you now.

Which suggestion exactly helped?

Sharing the solution can help other folks who might later find this thread while having the same kind of problem.

Of course, a demo video would be great to see, and you can show off your newfound technical computer ability as well as your playing :)


I went to Settings, Control Panel, Sound, and then I went to the Recording tab. In that tab, there is the Microphone. I double clicked that, and went to the Recording tab. Then, I went to the Levels tab. and I lowered the volume and boost. I sat the volume to 24, I may adjust that some, tomorrow. I sat the boost to +10.0 dB.

I can't really make a demo, right now, but I plan on making a video tomorrow and posting it over on the Seasons 156 thread. If I don't get one good enough to post tomorrow, it will be sometime this week. But trust me, it won't be anything too great. I just do this for fun and to document my progress with the ukulele. It's a ton of fun. Thanks for the help!

Booli
02-09-2015, 05:41 PM
I went to Settings, Control Panel, Sound, and then I went to the Recording tab. In that tab, there is the Microphone. I double clicked that, and went to the Recording tab. Then, I went to the Levels tab. and I lowered the volume and boost. I sat the volume to 24, I may adjust that some, tomorrow. I sat the boost to +10.0 dB.

I can't really make a demo, right now, but I plan on making a video tomorrow and posting it over on the Seasons 156 thread. If I don't get one good enough to post tomorrow, it will be sometime this week. But trust me, it won't be anything too great. I just do this for fun and to document my progress with the ukulele. It's a ton of fun. Thanks for the help!

Thanks for posting the details.

Making the sound work properly in your videos is a great success for you, and something to be proud of now.

YAY!!!

Season 156 will be glad for your participation, and I hope you add something to this week (or any week). They need your support. :)

Debby
02-09-2015, 05:52 PM
Thanks for posting the details.

Making the sound work properly in your videos is a great success for you, and something to be proud of now.

YAY!!!

Season 156 will be glad for your participation, and I hope you add something to this week (or any week). They need your support. :)

Yeah, I haven't posted a video over there for a couple weeks now. I have worked up songs for the last two seasons but was not able to get a decent video. The Seasons that I have participated in were recorded by my husband and daughter, using a cell phone. They did a great job, but doing multiple takes wasn't fun for them... So I needed to find a way to do this independently.

Debby
02-13-2015, 11:57 AM
Thanks for posting the details.

Making the sound work properly in your videos is a great success for you, and something to be proud of now.

YAY!!!

Season 156 will be glad for your participation, and I hope you add something to this week (or any week). They need your support. :)

I'm still having issues. It sounds normal, now, when it works. What I mean is that it no longer sounds all distorted. However, it seems to go in and out. One minute you can hear me. Then it starts going out... and you can hear a little static. I have no clue how to fix this. I may just have to go buy a webcam.

Booli
02-13-2015, 12:40 PM
I'm still having issues. It sounds normal, now, when it works. What I mean is that it no longer sounds all distorted. However, it seems to go in and out. One minute you can hear me. Then it starts going out... and you can hear a little static. I have no clue how to fix this. I may just have to go buy a webcam.

You may want to check the audio settings again and either disable or enable the 'AGC' or 'Automatic Gain Control', and see if that function makes a difference either way.

AGC 'listens' and ramps the recording input volume up or down based on the detected sound level, and this can monkey with the sound. Most times it's better just the leave it off for music recording.

Aside from that, if you are happy with the video quality and function of the built-in webcam, you can get a USB mic and use that to capture the audio. All you have to do is tell the video recording software to use the USB mic for audio input (instead of any other input, should be in the 'recording sources' section of whatever video software you are using).

There are many options for USB mics, from Samson, Blue Microphones up to the top end Apogee MIC.

Problem is that if you want great audio, you are likely to still be dissatisfied with the mic that is built-in to any webcam.

I got the Apogee MIC on sale back in Nov and am seriously considering getting rid of most, if not all my other mics and mic preamps. It's just much simpler (single USB cable AND it works with iPad, iPhone and Mac/Windows/Linux), and the audio quality is on par with my expensive condenser microphones.

I've been getting weary of the miles of cables and power plugs required to set it all up in order to get a quality recording.

The only caveat for a USB audio input, is that on Windows you'll want to read up on using a free 3rd-party USB-audio sound driver called ASIO4ALL, and probably end up using that instead of the driver and built-in Windows audio controls. One major reason is latency...but that's a deep topic I'll save for another time if you are interested...

Please report back and let me know how you get along as per above.

Debby
02-13-2015, 12:53 PM
You may want to check the audio settings again and either disable or enable the 'AGC' or 'Automatic Gain Control', and see if that function makes a difference either way.

AGC 'listens' and ramps the recording input volume up or down based on the detected sound level, and this can monkey with the sound. Most times it's better just the leave it off for music recording.

Aside from that, if you are happy with the video quality and function of the built-in webcam, you can get a USB mic and use that to capture the audio. All you have to do is tell the video recording software to use the USB mic for audio input (instead of any other input, should be in the 'recording sources' section of whatever video software you are using).

There are many options for USB mics, from Samson, Blue Microphones up to the top end Apogee MIC.

Problem is that if you want great audio, you are likely to still be dissatisfied with the mic that is built-in to any webcam.

I got the Apogee MIC on sale back in Nov and am seriously considering getting rid of most, if not all my other mics and mic preamps. It's just much simpler (single USB cable AND it works with iPad, iPhone and Mac/Windows/Linux), and the audio quality is on par with my expensive condenser microphones.

I've been getting weary of the miles of cables and power plugs required to set it all up in order to get a quality recording.

The only caveat for a USB audio input, is that on Windows you'll want to read up on using a free 3rd-party USB-audio sound driver called ASIO4ALL, and probably end up using that instead of the driver and built-in Windows audio controls. One major reason is latency...but that's a deep topic I'll save for another time if you are interested...

Please report back and let me know how you get along as per above.

Thanks for the quick reply! I will fiddle with it, tomorrow, and report back! I don't desire anything fancy. Just something consistent & reliable.

Booli
02-13-2015, 01:56 PM
Thanks for the quick reply! I will fiddle with it, tomorrow, and report back! I don't desire anything fancy. Just something consistent & reliable.

No prob - I aim to please :)

Samson Meteor Mic and Blue Microphones Snowball both get lots of love in online reviews, but there are other options as well, some of which you can see here:

http://www.sweetwater.com/c981--USB_Microphones/low2high

I've no connection to Sweetwater, but they ship fast (and free), have and a free 2-yr extended warranty on most items, as well as competitive pricing, and many of their products have a demo video to explain how it works.

One thing to remember is that the sound frequency range of the ukulele (~from 300hz up to ~1500) is actually within the same range as the human voice (from ~250hz up to ~2500hz), so using a 'vocal' mic for your uke will usually work very well. What this means is that you dont really 'have to' get an 'instrument' mic, and those labeled as such are more marketing than science.

OTOH, if you go for one of the higher-end webcams, like the Logitech C920 or C930, they are reported to have better mics inside, which are also stereo mics, which should give a more authentic sense of 'space' (at the cost of picking up more background noise). This leaves you with only single device for both audio and video, and a single USB cable, which is a simpler setup in the end, but may not have the highest possible audio quality. Compromises are made in both the imaging sensor/optics and mic element to get down to that price point, but in most cases, this could be 'good enough'.

While I have not used either of these Logitech webcams, I've been doing research online over the past 2 months for a replacement to my aging Apple Firewire iSight camera, and for one that will also work with Linux, and these two Logitech models are at the top of my list. When I am ready, I will probably get one from either Amazon or B&H Photo (both fast/free shipping, but sometimes B&H Photo undercuts even Amazon's price).

Also, last time I looked, Amazon and B&H both sold all the same USB mics that Sweetwater has, so you definitely have some good options for online sellers with a good reputation and for being a legit business...

Debby
02-13-2015, 03:51 PM
Thanks so much. I'll have to look these over.