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recording properly with an AT2020 and a Beringer Xenyx Q802

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recording properly with an AT2020 and a Beringer Xenyx Q802

Postby saylor_twift » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:16 pm

Hiya lads and lasses
I'm here to ask for help because I can't find anything on Google.
I bought a setup for voiceover recordings and I can't seem to get it to work properly. Keep in mind that I am a total audio recording noob.

My setup is this:
An AT-2020 microphone running through a Beringer Xenyx Q802 mixer whose MAIN OUT is plugged into the input of my computer's mainboard. The sound chip is some Realtek chip or another.

I followed a tutorial that explained I should set the level of the mic channel and the main mix to 0 and then turn up the gain until my regular speech just goes into the 0dB range. I did that but when I launch audacity and try to record, my audio clips horribly.

Can you give me some pointers as to what I can do to make this work?
Thank you. If you need any more info, I'll be happy to provide it.
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Re: recording properly with an AT2020 and a Beringer Xenyx Q802

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:33 pm

Is this the Xenyx Q802USB? If so then you need to plug the USB connection into the computer. The onboard audio inputs on laptops are almost always very poor and the combination of the (semi) professional level outputs from your mixer and the consumer inputs on the computer are most likely what is causing your problem.

Welcome to the forum BTW :thumbup:
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Re: recording properly with an AT2020 and a Beringer Xenyx Q802

Postby hobbyist » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:42 pm

saylor_twift wrote:Hiya lads and lasses
I'm here to ask for help because I can't find anything on Google.
I bought a setup for voiceover recordings and I can't seem to get it to work properly. Keep in mind that I am a total audio recording noob.

My setup is this:
An AT-2020 microphone running through a Beringer Xenyx Q802 mixer whose MAIN OUT is plugged into the input of my computer's mainboard. The sound chip is some Realtek chip or another.

I followed a tutorial that explained I should set the level of the mic channel and the main mix to 0 and then turn up the gain until my regular speech just goes into the 0dB range. I did that but when I launch audacity and try to record, my audio clips horribly.

Can you give me some pointers as to what I can do to make this work?
Thank you. If you need any more info, I'll be happy to provide it.


Turn them down! You NEVER want to touch 0dBFS.

Set Audacity to about 50% and then lower the gain on the interface until things look better but you do not want the interface signal to be too low.
Then tweak audacity up/down so you peak at -18dBFS maximum.
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Re: recording properly with an AT2020 and a Beringer Xenyx Q802

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:13 pm

hobbyist wrote:Turn them down! You NEVER want to touch 0dBFS.

Er... the zero references relate to setting up the analogue mixer regarding the channel and main fader positions (unity) and to the meter zero (0VU). Not the encoded digital level in the computer 0dBFS... :wave:

Sam is probably on the right lines here -- the problem almost certainly arises from trying to connect a balanced mono line level output from the mixer to an unbalanced consumer-level stereo input on the computer's sound card.

H
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Re: recording properly with an AT2020 and a Beringer Xenyx Q802

Postby CS70 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:26 pm

- edit: others have already replied :D
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Re: recording properly with an AT2020 and a Beringer Xenyx Q802

Postby hobbyist » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:57 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
hobbyist wrote:Turn them down! You NEVER want to touch 0dBFS.

Er... the zero references relate to setting up the analogue mixer regarding the channel and main fader positions (unity) and to the meter zero (0VU). Not the encoded digital level in the computer 0dBFS... :wave:

Sam is probably on the right lines here -- the problem almost certainly arises from trying to connect a balanced mono line level output from the mixer to an unbalanced consumer-level stereo input on the computer's sound card.

H

I agree there is too much signal whether analog or digital.
If 0VU analog is causing overs in audacity then it needs to be turned down andor the level in audacity needs to come down.

I agree that going into the stereo input on the computer MB is not good.
Best to have an outboard audio interface going to USB with the right drivers delivering signal to audacity.
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Re: recording properly with an AT2020 and a Beringer Xenyx Q802

Postby blinddrew » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:30 pm

Hi Saylor, just to clear up a couple of things (and apologies if this is teaching egg-sucking to a senior citizen ;) )
1) what kind of cable are you using to take the output of the mixer into the pc?

2) if you don't have the USB version of the 802 then you've got a bit of a weak point in your chain where you're going into the pc. How weak that is depends on a couple of things but the main one is whether that input is a 'line' input or a 'mic' input. If it's the latter then that will be adding another chunk of gain to the input because it's expecting a much lower signal than the line level that the mixer is kicking out. If it's a line input then have a look at the mixer panel in Windows and see how hot things are coming in there, it might default to a maximum - try bringing that level down and see if that helps.

3) the potentially confusing comments about whether you should be hitting 0 on the meters is down to the difference between the analogue and digital parts of the process. From the microphone to the mixer to the input to the computer* is all analogue domain. Here it is fine to have your meters bouncing off 0 because if anything goes over the distortion is generally less obvious and fairly benign in nature.
Once the signal gets into the computer it gets converted to digital audio and the situation changes. Digital distortion is neither subtle nor benign so in this world the general advice is to have your levels bouncing along at about -18 and peaking at about -12/-10. This leaves plenty of headroom for any sudden transients that go above the normal level.
So in Audacity it shouldn't be anywhere near zero on the input side.

Oh, and final point, have you got some headphones that you can plug directly into the mixer and check that it sounds ok there?


* Assuming we are talking about the non-usb version of the 802.
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Re: recording properly with an AT2020 and a Beringer Xenyx Q802

Postby ef37a » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:18 am

If the mixer is without USB then the best option would be to trade it in for a modest Audio Interface. The next best option is to buy a Behringer UCA 202/222.

The main problem with virtually all of these budget USB mixers is that they employ 16bit only converters. That in itself would not be so bad but they all also come it seems with an inherent "whine" a signal imprinted at a low level on recordings. This cannot be gotten rid of but if Sounds in Windows is adjuted for a very low recording gain, from 100% to 5% (yes! FIVE) the resultant noise is pushed into the noise floor and is not noticable on most recordings. However, if the aim is very quiet background voice overs, I am not sure it will be good enough? If you do have the USB version I can walk you through the setup procedure.

The UCA 202 is still a 16 bit device but does not suffer the whine for some reason. The same process applies, get the Windows sound gain right down.

So long as all is wanted is a straight VO recording a mixer and Audacity will suffice. The setup is not however very useful for instrument track building.

And yes, Audacity has a level mark at -18dB, that is where the signal should sit and peaks absolutely no higher than -6dB.

Dave.
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Re: recording properly with an AT2020 and a Beringer Xenyx Q802

Postby Arpangel » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:48 am

I've got one of these Q series mixers, and you never go anywhere near 0db, they clip and distort very badly, very low headroom, try keeping things down around -12db, or a bit lower,
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Re: recording properly with an AT2020 and a Beringer Xenyx Q802

Postby ef37a » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:22 am

Arpangel wrote:I've got one of these Q series mixers, and you never go anywhere near 0db, they clip and distort very badly, very low headroom, try keeping things down around -12db, or a bit lower,

Is that the USB circuit that clips Arpanget or are you saying the mixer has genrally bad analogue headroom?

I assume the Q802 is based on the analogue parts of the Xenyx 802 and I have one of those and always found it quite good for signal handling. Not up my A&H zed 10 but since I only needed +4dBu or so to fully drive the MA 2496 card I was using, neither mixer was hardly pressed!

If the OP does go for the UCA 202 solution they are neg ten devices and will clip for an input much above a volt rms. Even so, with care the wee boxes can give very acceptable results but maybe, as I said before, a quiet background VO might be pushing things a bit?

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Re: recording properly with an AT2020 and a Beringer Xenyx Q802

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:54 am

Just FYI... the OP has returned only once to the site, just two hours after their first post, but hasn't been back since...

H
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Re: recording properly with an AT2020 and a Beringer Xenyx Q802

Postby blinddrew » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:14 pm

Heavy dose of buyer's remorse possibly. :(
Hopefully traded in the mixer for an interface and now up and running.
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Re: recording properly with an AT2020 and a Beringer Xenyx Q802

Postby Wonks » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:16 pm

They may simply have not bothered logging in to view the replies. One just doesn't know.
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