Recording Device Volume & Audacity Input Device Volume

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Willsax
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Post by Willsax » January 31st, 2007, 1:28 pm

I've got an interesting problem. I just got a new mic (Yes, its the Blue Snowball :)) I'm using it on a PC laptop with Windows XP.

My problem is odd. I can go into the audio device settings in Windows and set the recording device and device volume to maximum. Then I can start Audacity and set the input volume on the slider at the top to maximum. But when I do that, the Windows Recording Device volume I just set mutes itself. So then, obviously, I get nothing when I go to record.

I can watch this happen. I can have both windows open and then when I move Audacity's input volume slider to anything other than zero, a check suddenly appears in the check box on Windows input volume. I can go and uncheck the box and then the slider on Audacity immediately sets itself back to zero. Its very odd.

Its not the greatest of problems and can be worked around. I would just like to fix it, if possible, and would like to know whats going on.
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Stephan
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Post by Stephan » January 31st, 2007, 1:52 pm

if all easy ways to find a solution to this problem fail, you can uninstall the audiodriver (perhaps in addition to uninstalling the audiosoftware) and re-install the whole thing.
Somehow i am pretty sure this would fix it.
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Chrisczech
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Post by Chrisczech » January 31st, 2007, 2:20 pm

I know this might sound silly, (but I occasionally have a similar problem when I connect my H4), but have you checked the Audio I/O in the Audacity preferences is set to the device you are using?
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Willsax
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Post by Willsax » January 31st, 2007, 2:31 pm

Chrisczech wrote:I know this might sound silly, (but I occasionally have a similar problem when I connect my H4), but have you checked the Audio I/O in the Audacity preferences is set to the device you are using?
Yes I did. If I dont do that then I get nothing.

Something interesting though is if I change it to my headset, which is plugged into my external sound card (Not USB like the Snowball), then I can turn up Audacity's input volume without a problem.
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Le Marteau
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Post by Le Marteau » January 31st, 2007, 3:12 pm

Does the same thing on my installation. Makes the input sliders in Audacity useless.

So I just keep the input slider maxed, and alter the input volume at the source (which is a mic pre-amp). Thankfully, I have that option.
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Starlite
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Post by Starlite » January 31st, 2007, 3:12 pm

I have a USB mic and found that happened to me as well a few times. I noticed that moving the slider in audacity did't do anything till I actualy hit "record" well it behaved funny. (ok so I'm not a tech geek)

Try hitting record first and see if the slider moves.

Esther
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Willsax
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Post by Willsax » January 31st, 2007, 3:39 pm

Starlite wrote:I have a USB mic and found that happened to me as well a few times. I noticed that moving the slider in audacity did't do anything till I actualy hit "record" well it behaved funny. (ok so I'm not a tech geek)

Try hitting record first and see if the slider moves.

Esther
Good try, but nope. I can move the slider after I start recording but the Windows volume mutes itself, just like before.
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Starlite
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Post by Starlite » January 31st, 2007, 3:48 pm

Well, At least I tried. :P

I can't wait to hear the new mic with Scottish readings tee hee....

Esther :)
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fae
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Post by fae » January 31st, 2007, 4:35 pm

Have you tried looking online for an update to your driver? I had problems with mine too (not the sliding and muting though, just random loss of volume and no advanced settings in the control panels for the volume or mic.) I did a search at my laptop's manufacturers site and found that my Realtek drive needed to be updated. Also, I found this out through looking at the Logitech Forums (my mic) so maybe there's a Snowball Forum that could help?

Willsax
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Post by Willsax » January 31st, 2007, 5:20 pm

Starlite wrote:Well, At least I tried. Razz

I can't wait to hear the new mic with Scottish readings tee hee....

Esther Smile
Yeah.. I've been holding off on that til I got this mic, I'm upset its giving me trouble.
fae wrote:Have you tried looking online for an update to your driver? I had problems with mine too (not the sliding and muting though, just random loss of volume and no advanced settings in the control panels for the volume or mic.) I did a search at my laptop's manufacturers site and found that my Realtek drive needed to be updated. Also, I found this out through looking at the Logitech Forums (my mic) so maybe there's a Snowball Forum that could help?
I'll try that, thanks.
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kristin
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Post by kristin » January 31st, 2007, 6:30 pm

I've now had 2 usb mics and the volume sliders in audacity had no effect on the finished volume. Mine is actually set all the way to minus even when recording (by it's own choice, not mine, I don't mess with it anymore) and my recording volume is fine. Now I notice you seem to be trying to turn all your volume all the way up. Is this because recording with the snowball results in low volume? If so there is a patch you can get on their website to boost the gain internally, I added it to good effect. (Yes, I've got a snowball.)

Willsax
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Post by Willsax » January 31st, 2007, 7:14 pm

kristin wrote:I've now had 2 usb mics and the volume sliders in audacity had no effect on the finished volume. Mine is actually set all the way to minus even when recording (by it's own choice, not mine, I don't mess with it anymore) and my recording volume is fine. Now I notice you seem to be trying to turn all your volume all the way up. Is this because recording with the snowball results in low volume? If so there is a patch you can get on their website to boost the gain internally, I added it to good effect. (Yes, I've got a snowball.)
I've browsed their forums and found the high gain firmware update, and it has helped, but still its too soft. Not only that but its picking up quite a bit of background noise, more than I think it ought. Truth be told, I have it in the first setting to help pick me up, which also picks up more of my computer noise. To tell the truth again, my computer is kinda loud but didnt think it would be a problem with the snowball.

Trying to fix my problem I've downloaded v1.3 beta version of Audacity and now I dont have the Windows-muting-itself problem anymore but now its just a too-soft-with-too-much-noise problem.

What I woul really like are adjustable gain and volume controls. So I could turn the gain down enough for the noise to go away and the volume up so I could be heard reasonably. Is there a way to do that with Audacity? Just tell it to ignore noise X dB or less?
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kristin
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Post by kristin » January 31st, 2007, 9:37 pm

How close are you speaking to the microphone? They recommend 2 inches. I probably read about 3-4 inches away with the patch (which is an improvement on eating the mic, which I had to do without the patch.)

I use setting three because I think it sounds better with my voice than one but gives more background noise, so I am still cleaning my files but not as much for the background noise which is much quieter than my previous mics. I clean for breathing because at that proximity it sounds like an improper phone call. :wink:

Willsax
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Post by Willsax » January 31st, 2007, 10:00 pm

kristin wrote:How close are you speaking to the microphone? They recommend 2 inches. I probably read about 3-4 inches away with the patch (which is an improvement on eating the mic, which I had to do without the patch.)

I use setting three because I think it sounds better with my voice than one but gives more background noise, so I am still cleaning my files but not as much for the background noise which is much quieter than my previous mics. I clean for breathing because at that proximity it sounds like an improper phone call. :wink:
I can do that and I get loud enough. Its not all that prtaical for how my desk is arranged. But I have been expierementing with putting it in odd places. The only problem is that I have to keep it at the gain its at and get close to be loud enough. And this means that I'm loud enough but the background noise is still too loud. But I can mess with it, I have been.
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