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Recording Help!

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Recording Help!

Postby G18ALG » Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:37 pm

Hello,

I have a Behringer Xenyx 1222USB mixer that I use for podcasting with my five friends (there’s six of us in total). We each use a condenser microphone, which is used with an XLR cable and we record using Audacity as we only have a PC. When we do mic checks prior to recording, the first one or two mics sound great but mic three or five, for example, sound like they lack power and the gain has to get to almost max before the clipping light shows. This obviously sounds terrible when we listen back to edit. We’ve resorted to the six of us huddled around an iPhone to record but given how much we’ve spent on equipment, we’d quite like to use it!

The mics are all the same and the mixer has phantom power built in.

Not sure if anyone has any ideas but we are open to them all! :headbang:

Thanks,
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby The Elf » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:08 pm

Welcome!

Before anyone else asks... make/model of mic's?
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby Ariosto » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:19 pm

Is the phantom power up to running 6 mics? (Might be a daft question ...)
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby Wonks » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:26 pm

My thoughts as well, especially if the mics used take a lot of current.

Have you tried seeing how many mics you can plug in before you start having gain issues? And what happens if you start doing the same thing, but plugging in from channel 6 backwards instead of from channel 1? (i.e. does it matter about the channel of does it just rely on the number of mics).
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:27 pm

Two obvious differences between channels 1-4 and 5-6, 1-4 have a compressor and +60dB gain available, 5 & 6 have no compressor and only +40dB max gain.

The other thought is can the phantom power supply provide enough juice for all 6 mics? I've heard of budget mixers with under specced spook power on the basis that few people would use a capacitor in every channel (though I'd expect that to affect all channels the same).

Ariosto wrote:Is the phantom power up to running 6 mics? (Might be a daft question ...)

According to the manual it is available on all 6 mic inputs.

edit :- my thoughts too Wonky :thumbup:
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby The Elf » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:35 pm

I know nothing of that mixer, but as soon as the 'B' name is involved then such thoughts as 'can it deliver to spec?' do enter the mind...

When we know which mic's are involved then maybe the maths will tell us what we need to know?
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:23 pm

The manual doesn't seem to say how much spook juice it can supply......
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby G18ALG » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:14 pm

The Elf wrote:Welcome!

Before anyone else asks... make/model of mic's?

Errr, good question! They’re not branded and were purchased off eBay so probably on par with the mixer for quality :lol: That said, if they work OK on two of the channels then they should, in theory, be good for all six.
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby G18ALG » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:15 pm

Wonks wrote:My thoughts as well, especially if the mics used take a lot of current.

Have you tried seeing how many mics you can plug in before you start having gain issues? And what happens if you start doing the same thing, but plugging in from channel 6 backwards instead of from channel 1? (i.e. does it matter about the channel of does it just rely on the number of mics).

It’s usually about 2-3 mics before the issues happen but I’ve not tried the 6 backwards theory so will try it out.
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby G18ALG » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:17 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Two obvious differences between channels 1-4 and 5-6, 1-4 have a compressor and +60dB gain available, 5 & 6 have no compressor and only +40dB max gain.

The other thought is can the phantom power supply provide enough juice for all 6 mics? I've heard of budget mixers with under specced spook power on the basis that few people would use a capacitor in every channel (though I'd expect that to affect all channels the same).

Ariosto wrote:Is the phantom power up to running 6 mics? (Might be a daft question ...)

According to the manual it is available on all 6 mic inputs.

edit :- my thoughts too Wonky :thumbup:

I did consider ditching the condenser mics and getting dynamics instead, therefore not requiring the phantom power at all. Anyone ever used both and if so, would you recommend the switch? It’s only for podcasting after all so all we want is a clear and crisp vocal
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:43 pm

I've got a couple of x-series berry mixers and I'm wracking my brain to try and remember if I've ever used phantom on more than a couple of inputs at once. According to my session plan I used phantom on 4 channels of my X2222 but I recall making some changes during the session so that might not be accurate. :(
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby hobbyist » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:31 pm

G18ALG wrote:
The Elf wrote:Welcome!

Before anyone else asks... make/model of mic's?

Errr, good question! They’re not branded and were purchased off eBay so probably on par with the mixer for quality :lol: That said, if they work OK on two of the channels then they should, in theory, be good for all six.

Behringer is not as bad as the internet claims.
Chinese mikes can be good or bad but rarely just so so.
Do all of the mikes work when used separately by itself?

The Amazon specs says the 1222 has FOUR phantom powered inputs.
What does your manual say? Can you measure the voltage on each of the 6 inputs to verify you have phantom power?

If something is bad I suggest you might want to swap out two or more of them for cheap SM58 knockoffs from orange county speaker repair now GLS audio. They may be selling on amazon in UK as well as USA. Typically 40usd each.
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:36 pm

The manual says all 6 mic inputs have spook but 1-4 have compressors and +60dB gain while 5&6 have no comp and +40dB.
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:55 pm

Just checked with the Behringer site and the quick-start guide.

Says that phantom is available on all 6 mic inputs.

Are the mics either BM-800s or Neewer NW800s?

Quality control on those is very unreliable; seems something like a 50% failure rate.

To be sure of what's going on I'd try each mic individually on the same channel with no other mics connected. Do all the mics perform the same on the same channel? If so your mics are OK and your mixer isn't delivering sufficient phantom. If you get different results with different mics then you have some faulty mics.

As has been said, you could try dynamic mics, but if it's spoken word you may struggle to get enough gain.

If mic replacements are on the cards I'd go for Rode M3s. Good mics and if phantom's not up to snuff you can battery-power them.
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby hobbyist » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:54 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:Just checked with the Behringer site and the quick-start guide.

Says that phantom is available on all 6 mic inputs.


Quality control on those is very unreliable; seems something like a 50% failure rate.

To be sure of what's going on I'd try each mic individually on the same channel with no other mics connected. Do all the mics perform the same on the same channel? If so your mics are OK and your mixer isn't delivering sufficient phantom. If you get different results with different mics then you have some faulty mics.

Available at 6 mikes does not mean enough voltage/current for all 6 at the same time?

QC is iffy but nearly that bad. I guess closer to 10% DOA.

Definitely try one mike at a time to make sure they are okay and rule them out.
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby ef37a » Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:14 am

Hi G, first of all, get yourself a $20 digital multimeter. I really don't know how people cope with cables and batteries for audio without one!

You can then plug in 5 of the mics and check the phantom power voltage from pin 1, common negative to pins 2 and 3 of the sixth XLR , it should be 48V + or - 4V.

But I don't think you have a phantom power problem? I think I deduce from your post that even with only 3 mics in use, some inputs are very low gain? As others have said, you need to be systematic and pug a known good mic into each XLR in turn. Yes, the X1222USB has 6 mic channels (according to the manual I have) and yes, chs 5 and 6 have only 40dB max gain but that should be enough with almost any capacitor microphone.

Yes again, if the mics are of the BM 800 stamp you could have a couple of duffers. I was lucky with my two and although the sensitivity is down compared to my Sontronics LDC it is well above a dynamic. Behringer actually sell a dynamic for around 15 quid! Not that bad, quite hefty and although their site gives the very low sensitivity of -70dBV/Pa that is a b'up, they are comparable to an SM57 or indeed my Prodpe TT-1.

I also used a Xenyx mixer (into a 2496 PCI card) the 802 and they are easily capable of handling a dynamic in terms of gain and noise (on the 6odB inputs in your case)

I also note you write "...need the gain near to max to get the clip LED to light" No! You should not be anywhere near the clip point on each channel. If you are not getting a good recording level via USB there is something wrongly set in Audacity or/and Windows Sounds.

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Re: Recording Help!

Postby G18ALG » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:01 am

Mike Stranks wrote:Just checked with the Behringer site and the quick-start guide.

Says that phantom is available on all 6 mic inputs.

Are the mics either BM-800s or Neewer NW800s?

Quality control on those is very unreliable; seems something like a 50% failure rate.

To be sure of what's going on I'd try each mic individually on the same channel with no other mics connected. Do all the mics perform the same on the same channel? If so your mics are OK and your mixer isn't delivering sufficient phantom. If you get different results with different mics then you have some faulty mics.

As has been said, you could try dynamic mics, but if it's spoken word you may struggle to get enough gain.

If mic replacements are on the cards I'd go for Rode M3s. Good mics and if phantom's not up to snuff you can battery-power them.

Hi all,

Thanks for the fantastic advice so far, seriously appreciated!

The mics are indeed BM-800 models do it could be that I have some duff mics in there. I’ll do some systematic testing this evening and will report back.

G
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby ef37a » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:21 am

Great, don't forget that you can test the mics directly into a laptop mic jack with the supplied XLR to 3.5mm jack plug cable?

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Re: Recording Help!

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:10 am

ef37a wrote:Great, don't forget that you can test the mics directly into a laptop mic jack with the supplied XLR to 3.5mm jack plug cable?

Dave.

Yes Dave you can, but that'll be a sideshow to the issue at hand - ie apparent problems with these mics on phantom in the Behringer mixer. The OP needs to use the mics into the Behringer; establishing that they work (or don't) in another context and not using phantom won't advance his investigations or solve his problems.
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby ef37a » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:22 am

Mike Stranks wrote:
ef37a wrote:Great, don't forget that you can test the mics directly into a laptop mic jack with the supplied XLR to 3.5mm jack plug cable?

Dave.

Yes Dave you can, but that'll be a sideshow to the issue at hand - ie apparent problems with these mics on phantom in the Behringer mixer. The OP needs to use the mics into the Behringer; establishing that they work (or don't) in another context and not using phantom won't advance his investigations or solve his problems.

Mike, they are electret mics so if they are faulty the most likely cause is the capsule or the impedance converter amplifier, both of which will be shown to be faulty on the laptop test which MIGHT be a more convenient way to quickly eliminate a faulty sample.

I suppose the fault could be in the 48V voltage regulator circuit but since that is a very simple R+zener+ cap rather unlikely. My money is on the capsules!
Then, if all mics pass the XLR cables come under suspicion.

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