View Full Version : mic monitoring?

03-29-2011, 06:43 AM
does anyone know of a program i can use to monitor and control the recording levels for a mic? specifically im looking to reduce noise while recording. i have the software to record and edit after the fact, but i was just curious if there is a way to control the mic during recording. ....someday i'll be able to afford a nice mic.... hmmm.....

03-29-2011, 08:53 AM
There are lot of different kinds of mics, and several ways of connecting them to the recording device (presumably your computer?). What kind of mic do you have?

03-29-2011, 05:48 PM
right now i am using a cheap computer usb mic, it is all i have around until i can afford a proper mic. it picks up alot of extra noise, so i was just curious if there was an way to make it bearable until i can afford a zoom, they seem pretty impressive, or something comparable.

03-29-2011, 11:26 PM
I had a serious problem with my Logitech 9000 webcam's USB microphone in Windows Movie Maker, Sony Vegas etc. I thought the microphone was just a piece of crap, but it turns out it was just that Logitech software was crap. When my son reclaimed his H4 again, I tried again to make it work and discovered the thread below. I installed the standard Windows USB sound drivers, over the Logitech sound drivers and it works like a champ. No more pops and I can control the volume now. I may have also done the Asio4All thing, but can't remember now. You may be able to do something similar. They have to sensitivity of these mics set way too high, which is what causes the problems. After correcting the drivers, I usually have to set mic volume (in Windows control panel under sound devices) to the lowest setting.


03-30-2011, 05:42 AM
If you are just recording audio...

Monitoring and adjusting the mic is done through a combination of software and hardware, and getting the setting/preferences of the recording program correct.

What operating system are you using?

To monitor you should be able to use the headphone jack on any computer. A lot of recording programs will have a selection to "play while recording". This lets you hear real time what you are recording. Sometimes there can be a delay (latency) when doing this.

If you run into a delay while real time monitoring, without getting into purchasing hardware, the best way to work with the mic is just to record a short track, listen, adjust, record, listen, adjust. It's a pain but it's free. Once you get it right, write down the settings.

In terms of recording software...

Both audio drivers and recording software make a difference. The ASIO4All drivers mentioned earlier are better quality audio drivers than the standard Windows drivers.

Under Windows, Kristal Audio Engine works with ASIO4All drivers. I believe the latest version of Audacity can also.

In Linux and Mac OSX, Ardour will work with ASIO drivers.

Kristal Audio Engine also has the ability to work with VST plugins in real time (Audacity uses them after you have recorded). This means that with Kristal you run the recording through the plug-in while recording. So if you are using a "de-esser" VST (removes the harsh "S" sounds) it will help knock those down as you record as opposed to doing it after the fact (though you can do post recording clean-up also in Kristal).

03-30-2011, 07:25 AM
Good information above. I'll add that there are a lot of places noise can creep in, especially with a USB mic. The physical interior of a computer is not the friendliest place for audio.

Try to track down the source of the noise methodically. Is it still present when you plug the mic into a different computer? If so, it's probably the mic. If you move the whole setup to a different room and the noise goes away, you could be dealing with some electromagnetic interference. If the noise is only with your current computer, it could be hardware (the USB or your sound card), or it could be software (driver or application).

In the long run, I humbly suggest that you'll want to upgrade to a non-USB mic and a decent preamp or mixer. Such an arrangement will give you greater control over the sound and much more flexibility.


03-30-2011, 07:00 PM
thanks for the help everyone! the cheap mic thing just wasnt working out for me, so i went out today and got a usb interface, a lexicon alpha studio. it came with cubase le4 software which, so far is pretty great. i am still figuring out what all is here, and how to work it, but so far it works great with my riptide, and once i get a mic, should work great recording whatever i want. someday i will get a video made, once i figure everything out!