n00b HW issue: Pyle PDMIC58 mike, Behringer UM2, Win 10

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bfeist
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Post by bfeist » July 26th, 2016, 6:49 pm

In order to create better recordings, I've gone out of my comfort zone of cheap speakers/headphones with a built-in mike to buy equipment which I think is still very cheap but capable of better results: a Pyle PDMIC58 microphone, a Behringer U-Phoria UM2 interface, and Sennheiser HD 202 headphones; I just tried to check things out with Audacity, and I have a problem. Recording works, but the sound level is too low, even with the output jacked all the way up.

The headphones don't seem to be an issue; I can hear music from videos on the internet just fine. So, I must be using the mike or interface incorrectly. I don't know where to look.

Here's what's happening on the front panel of the UM2:

The microphone is plugged into the center of the UM2's Mic/Line 1 input. It looks as though the input is intended to accept some kind of shield around the mike cable; mine doesn't have anything to fit in that.

The headphones are plugged into the headphone output from the UM2.

Nothing is plugged into the UM2's "Inst 2" input. The "direct monitor" button is in the out position (presumably that's off). The power LED is on; the +48V LED is off.

As for the controls atop the UM2:

Mic/Line Gain 1 is set to just under the half-way mark.

Inst Gain 2 is in the lowest position (all the way counterclockwise).

Output is on the maximum position (all the way clockwise).

On the back panel of the UM2:

The +48V switch is off.

A USB cable connects the USB port to my computer via a USB hub.

Nothing is plugged into the outputs.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
Bruce
Last edited by bfeist on July 26th, 2016, 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Darvinia
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Post by Darvinia » July 26th, 2016, 6:59 pm

You don't say what operating system you are using. I use Ubuntu so unless you do too I can't help you. But if it's Windows, I've seen advice on setting sound parameters which seem to be quite buried within the OS.

You can edit your subject line to include the operating system info and/or post another note. :) I'm sure somebody more helpful will be along shortly.

EDIT: Excellent choice of headphones! :wink:
Bev

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sjmarky
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Post by sjmarky » July 26th, 2016, 7:05 pm

Turn the input gain way up. Your mic is a dynamic, so it has a low output. Turn your mic gain all the way up, then if it's too loud start turning it down. If it's still too weak with the input gain all the way up, then your interface just doesn't have enough gain for this mic. Also, this mic is designed to hand held (as on a stage) so you have to be VERY close to it. Like a couple of inches. Good luck.
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bfeist
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Post by bfeist » July 26th, 2016, 8:52 pm

That helped considerably -- thanks!

Do you know if there's a reasonable way to adapt the mike to a stand?

sjmarky
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Post by sjmarky » July 26th, 2016, 9:49 pm

bfeist wrote:That helped considerably -- thanks!

Do you know if there's a reasonable way to adapt the mike to a stand?
You need one of these: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MicClip
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pdyer
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Post by pdyer » July 27th, 2016, 4:19 am

You might also find, as I did, that turning the gain all the way up or very high introduces noise. For dynamic mics, I added a Cloud Lifter: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CL1Cloud. It's not cheap and may be out of your budget -- and it requires an interface that supplies 48V, one that also works for condenser microphones -- but it does the trick of increasing microphone volume.
Philip

bfeist
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Post by bfeist » July 27th, 2016, 4:57 am

pdyer wrote:You might also find, as I did, that turning the gain all the way up or very high introduces noise. For dynamic mics, I added a Cloud Lifter: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CL1Cloud. It's not cheap and may be out of your budget -- and it requires an interface that supplies 48V, one that also works for condenser microphones -- but it does the trick of increasing microphone volume.
Thanks for the information. I think if it came down to that I'd probably switch to a different microphone, though; it would be cheaper. Anyway, preliminary tests sound pretty good.

pdyer
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Post by pdyer » July 27th, 2016, 6:08 am

I agree that a new microphone, probably a condenser, would be a more cost effective solution. Your interface does have 48v phantom power and so will support condenser microphones. But increasing the gain gets the right volume level and doesn't add noise, you may be all set.
Philip

bfeist
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Post by bfeist » July 27th, 2016, 6:23 am

pdyer wrote:I agree that a new microphone, probably a condenser, would be a more cost effective solution. Your interface does have 48v phantom power and so will support condenser microphones. But increasing the gain gets the right volume level and doesn't add noise, you may be all set.
Bad news. I tried the 1-minute recording, and my volume was 20 db too low. This is weird; I bought the combination based on a review in which the reviewer it: https://marco.org/podcasting-microphones.

Good news: I'm an idiot. (I guess whether that's good or bad news depends on your point of view.) It's a software issue; I just needed to set the recording level. *face-palms*
Last edited by bfeist on July 29th, 2016, 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bfeist
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Post by bfeist » July 29th, 2016, 2:36 pm

Darvinia wrote: EDIT: Excellent choice of headphones! :wink:
Actually, as of yesterday I've stopped using them. They sound fine and construction is ok, but I have an unusually large head and it's painful to wear them for more than 15 seconds or so -- they're too tight. It's weird -- they make my *jaw* hurt.

So for now, I'm using an ancient pair of Jensen 220 cans (NOT the current something-220 -- very different looking). I've ordered a pair of Audio-Technica ATHM2X. I hope they work out better.

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