volume not high enough [SOLVED]

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DorisRego
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Post by DorisRego » September 21st, 2019, 2:35 pm

So I have always been known for my voice that carries far away lol. This is the first time I have ever had a volume issue - I cannot get volume to go above 84 db when checking with checker I know I am talking loud enough. Any suggestions? I have checked all volume settings - they are at max - gain is at 3/4 on my interface still no change

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Post by KevinS » September 21st, 2019, 2:40 pm

DorisRego wrote:
September 21st, 2019, 2:35 pm
So I have always been known for my voice that carries far away lol. This is the first time I have ever had a volume issue - I cannot get volume to go above 84 db when checking with checker I know I am talking loud enough. Any suggestions? I have checked all volume settings - they are at max - gain is at 3/4 on my interface still no change
I think to answer the question we will need to know more about what equipment and programs you are using.
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Post by tovarisch » September 21st, 2019, 2:58 pm

DorisRego wrote:
September 21st, 2019, 2:35 pm
So I have always been known for my voice that carries far away lol. This is the first time I have ever had a volume issue - I cannot get volume to go above 84 db when checking with checker I know I am talking loud enough. Any suggestions? I have checked all volume settings - they are at max - gain is at 3/4 on my interface still no change
I think that can be treated with a dose of the Amplify effect. Take one Amplify whenever Checker tells you it's lower than needed. Don't forget to select the entire track before applying the Amplify. Follow it up with a project save and another export. :thumbs:
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Post by DaleInTexas » September 21st, 2019, 7:38 pm

DorisRego wrote:
September 21st, 2019, 2:35 pm
Any suggestions? I have checked all volume settings - they are at max - gain is at 3/4 on my interface still no change
You said that you had the gain turned up on your interface. Assuming you have a mic that connects via XLR cable, and the mic is a condensor mic, did you turn the 48v Phantom Power on?

Dynamic mics do not use phantom power. If you have a dynamic mic, you may need to push that gain up more than 3/4... If the mic is gain-hungry. The higher gain may impart a Hiss. Find the sweet spot that provides more gain, without the hiss.

Last check is to make sure you are speaking into the correct side of the mic. Most condensors are Side-address, while dynamics are end-fired. This is not meant to be a condescending statement... many of us, including me, have hastily thrown a condensor mic into the shock mount and talked into the backside.
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tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » September 22nd, 2019, 5:42 am

Just to clarify... Different recording software can behave differently as far as gain is concerned. I used to have my gain at about 70% in Audacity, and it recorded at approximately the correct (LV specification) volume level. I've updated to 2.3 at some point, and it does not anymore, even with the slider all the way up. The Reaper records fine, though. All the same hardware.

It is not a concern to me, really. If it records slightly lower (and I mean, slightly, like at 84-85 dB by Checker's calculation), there is plenty of detail in it, and I simply amplify. It would be much worse if it recorded at 70 dB - some detail is lost then.

As far as shouting... When you do, it's harder to control the range, so some parts are going to be loud and some not loud enough. Of course, there is the compressor effect for that... Just speak normally, and tweak the volume afterwards. Trust me, it works.
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    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

DorisRego
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Post by DorisRego » September 22nd, 2019, 8:30 am

Yup to all. Xlr cable condenser mic. Focusrite interface. Gain at 3/4. Right side of mic
Usually use normalize. Didnt try amplify. That will be next. Watch for my test should I ever get this working lol

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Post by TriciaG » September 22nd, 2019, 9:55 am

To what level/number were you normalizing?

In general, normalizing will bring the total volume up or down so that the biggest peak in your wave form will be the specified # of dB from maximum/clipping. So if, say, you have a quiet overall file with one big spike in it and you normalize to -3, it'll only go up so that that spike is at 3 dB from maximum - which will still leave the rest of the file pretty quiet because you're not changing the overall volume much.

Amplifying brings the total volume up or down by the amount you specify. If you have a big spike in this case, it may not let you amplify much because you'll end up hitting maximum on that spike again, but at least you know how much you're bringing up the file. If you file is 82 dB before amplifying and it lets you amplify 6 dB before the big spike clips/hits maximum, then your overall volume will be 88 dB.

In my example above, the normalizing to -3 dB would only amplify the file 3 dB. If you normalize to 0 dB, it'll amplify by 6 dB.

Hope this makes sense. :?

DorisRego
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Post by DorisRego » September 23rd, 2019, 7:33 am

So if I were to use amplify to bring it up a few db then what would amp db setting be and new peak setting be? Still learning

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Post by TriciaG » September 23rd, 2019, 7:40 am

I don't know what the new peak setting would be, because that will vary by recording - what is the highest peak on that particular recording.

If your recordings are all consistently around 84 dB, then they need to be amplified 5 dB ideally (to get it to the ideal of 89 dB), or at least 3 dB (to get it in the acceptable range). If Audacity (or your recording program) doesn't allow 5 dB amplification because it'll max out before then, amplify as much as you can from 3-5 dB.

Your goal is 89 dB, but getting it to about 87 or higher is acceptable. :)

DorisRego
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Post by DorisRego » September 23rd, 2019, 10:14 am

wow still cannot get to 89 db managed to get to 87 once - unsure what to do at this point. All volume levels are on 100%

knotyouraveragejo
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Post by knotyouraveragejo » September 23rd, 2019, 11:16 am

Maybe someone has already suggested this, but you might try a mild pass of dynamic compression before amplifying. That is one way to even out the peaks and allow more room for amplification.
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Post by lurcherlover » September 24th, 2019, 12:57 am

knotyouraveragejo wrote:
September 23rd, 2019, 11:16 am
Maybe someone has already suggested this, but you might try a mild pass of dynamic compression before amplifying. That is one way to even out the peaks and allow more room for amplification.
Yes, this will work.

However what I do is to check out the waveform and if there are one or two or more peaks I will cut either side and mark them, and bring the peak(s) down closer to the average of the waveform. In reaper it's just a case of dragging down a line on the waveform, but in Audacity you will need to go to amplify and reduce by a dB amount (say for example -6dB). You can of course mark all the high peaks by selecting them and bring them down in one go by a suitable average amount ... The art though is to have little if any high peaks and this is a voice thing and good use of mic technique such as facing away from the mic if you are going to say something with authority (or for a better word, blast it out). Or the suggestion by Tovarisch that he made to keep it at the same level and amplify those word(s) a little in post production.

Just an idea or two that will be met by the usual silence that most of my suggestions often get ...

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Post by annise » September 24th, 2019, 2:47 am

The difficulty with questions in the forum is the people replying don't go back to the person who asked. Someone who has recorded little needs to know the easiest way to make a recording that can be used, Once they can do that they can get the experience under their belts and be able to see other ways , Not every newbie is an expert in sound, not everyone has heaps of money to spend on expensive equipment - and the same equipment may not work for different voices.
So the simple things, like is your microphone working? Is the software recognizing your microphone ? Are you too far away from the microphone? Move closer and keep your head still. Do you have really high peaks ? Try to keep the sound more level by watching the peaks ? If that doesn't work try compressing etc etc will get people reading and then they can fiddle and see how it goes. The most useful instruction on Audacity is undo - you can try things , listen and see if you like it.

Anne

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Post by lurcherlover » September 24th, 2019, 4:41 am

DorisRego wrote:
September 23rd, 2019, 10:14 am
wow still cannot get to 89 db managed to get to 87 once - unsure what to do at this point. All volume levels are on 100%
There is something wrong if all volume levels are on 100% and you are getting low level recordings.

Can you tell us what mic you are using and if it requires phantom power, and if that Phantom power is switched on and getting to the mic.

IF the mic is a "dynamic mic" then it won't require Phantom and in that case the output power of the mic (to put it simply) may not be anough to give a reasonable recording level.

What audio input do you have? Is it a stand alone or something already built into the computer? If it is just the computer sound card then are the settings correct? It may be that the input volume level is set low, in which case you need to find the appropriate program on the computer (PC or Mac?) and push this up (It's usually a slider you can move) or along as the case may be.

So tell us about your computer, the audio input, the mic - and so on. The more information you give us the more we can help.

Sorry for the emphasis but it may help!

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Post by lurcherlover » September 24th, 2019, 4:51 am

lurcherlover wrote:
September 24th, 2019, 4:41 am
DorisRego wrote:
September 23rd, 2019, 10:14 am
wow still cannot get to 89 db managed to get to 87 once - unsure what to do at this point. All volume levels are on 100%
There is something wrong if all volume levels are on 100% and you are getting low level recordings.

Can you tell us what mic you are using and if it requires phantom power, and if that Phantom power is switched on and getting to the mic.

IF the mic is a "dynamic mic" then it won't require Phantom and in that case the output power of the mic (to put it simply) may not be anough to give a reasonable recording level.

What audio input do you have? Is it a stand alone or something already built into the computer? If it is just the computer sound card then are the settings correct? It may be that the input volume level is set low, in which case you need to find the appropriate program on the computer (PC or Mac?) and push this up (It's usually a slider you can move) or along as the case may be.

So tell us about your computer, the audio input, the mic - and so on. The more information you give us the more we can help.

Sorry for the emphasis but it may help!
I see now that you said this -
Yup to all. Xlr cable condenser mic. Focusrite interface. Gain at 3/4. Right side of mic
Usually use normalize. Didnt try amplify. That will be next. Watch for my test should I ever get this working lol


So regarding the Focusrite interface - check that Phantom is turned on. Also check in the appropriate program on the computer that there is nothing working against the Focusrite which may be impeding the level from the Focusrite. Check the XLR cable and try another cable, it may be a faulty one with a dry solder joint. Also take out and wipe the connections at each end of the cable and push them in and out a few times to make a good contact.

If you are using Audacity check the volume levels on the at the top end of the screen - they should be at about 70% of the way up with the slider. (This mic input level is at the top right of the screen and you can slide it to the right to get more volume from the mic).

I'll come back with any new ideas ...

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