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Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

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Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby BroadbridgeMIke » Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:24 pm

Hi Everyone - new user here. Experienced musician but novice home recorder.

I recently got a LIne 6 UX2 interface, which obviously comes with Pod Farm. I also bought a Rode NT1-A. Both items brand new.

I plug the mic into the UX2, phantom power on, and fire up pod farm and the preset male lead vocal tone. However, I can get virtually no sound from the mic in my headphones (the headphones are fine) unless I increase either the mic gain on the UX2 unit or the DI level in the mixer view of Pod Farm to the point where there is so much white noise and static that the sound is unusable.

I'm trying to figure out if I am missing a simple set up trick, or if there is a problem with either piece of hardware. I have managed to record some guitar through the UX2 and it's fine, although it's quieter than I expected it to be in terms of monitor (headphones) output.

Sometimes I fire up pod farm and I can see the mic is registering some noise but I get nothing at all through the headphones. PF seems a bit flaky generally.

The only thing I've been able to swap out is the XLR cable and it makes no difference.

I'm using a pretty much brand new Dell Inspiron 15 7000 laptop. The other thing I wondered was whether it could be something to do wtih the fan?

If anyone has advice or similar experiences I would love to hear about it!

Thanks!
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Re: Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:34 pm

Which DAW are you using? Can you get a clean recording going straight into the DAW? If not how are you seeing that you are getting signal into the computer?

WRT the quiet signal when recording guitar, getting the gain structure through the system is important but it is normal for the recorded signal to be fairly quiet or showing a small waveform in the DAW as, if set correctly, you should have peaks no higher than -10 dBFS and an average level of around -18 dBFS. After recording and mixing it is normal to have to increase the level quite a lot to match that of commercial recordings.
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Re: Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby wdsteele » Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:24 pm

As I understand it , the LIne 6 applies phantom power using 2 x switches - one for inputs 1-4 , one for 5-8 - assuming the correct input is selected , just wondering if there's enough juice for the Rode ; I'm unsure how the power is shared between all four/eight inputs even though only one input being utilised.

Do you have a dynamic microphone you can try without the need for phantom power - will need more gain but should still work as expected and allow signal to pass through to the phones .

Can you try without using a preset - perhaps there is a noise gate as part of the preset with an incorrect threshold setting .
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Re: Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby BroadbridgeMIke » Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:48 pm

Thanks for your replies.

So I tried using my 58 Beta A and it works absolutely fine. No weird background noise with or without the preset. Loud and clear. So that's progress.

Does this suggest the Rode is faulty? This Line 6 unit has two mic inputs and two instrument, and claims 48v phantom power. The problem with the Rode is the same in both mic inputs.
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Re: Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby Murray B » Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:26 pm

Have you got access to a mixing desk that can supply phantom power so you can test the mic? Might help work out if it's the mic or the interface.

Or vice-versa can you get hold of another mic that requires phantom power?

Ideally both :-)

And finally do you have a volt meter to measure how much juice the line 6 is putting out?

Apologies if this is patronising- just taking you through how I'd go about initial fault finding.
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Re: Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby BroadbridgeMIke » Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:43 pm

Thanks Murray - no apology needed. I may be able to get hold of another mic to test.

Would insufficient phantom power manifest as lots of white noise?

Thanks

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Re: Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby wdsteele » Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:03 pm

For some reason I read UX2 as UX8 , dunno why ...,sorry for confusion.

But same principal , may not be enough power , phantom power not working or the Rode could be faulty.
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Re: Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby Kwackman » Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:41 pm

just to be clear - have you switched the phantom power on using the little switch on the back?
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Re: Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby BroadbridgeMIke » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:36 pm

Kwackman wrote:just to be clear - have you switched the phantom power on using the little switch on the back?

Hi - yes the problem happens when Phantom power is on. When PP is off, the mic generates no signal.
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Re: Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby shufflebeat » Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:00 pm

Do you have acces to a local musician, DJ or radio person who might have some other gear to plug the nt1a into?
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Re: Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby Aural Reject » Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:54 pm

Apologies for this incredibly basic question...but I went through a similar diagnostic with someone a few weeks ago...you are using the correct side of the mic?
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Re: Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby BroadbridgeMIke » Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:04 pm

Aural Reject wrote:Apologies for this incredibly basic question...but I went through a similar diagnostic with someone a few weeks ago...you are using the correct side of the mic?

Ha, no problem. I was, but without realising it was a requirement. Discovered in my first Google search trying to solve the issue.
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Re: Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby BroadbridgeMIke » Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:07 pm

shufflebeat wrote:Do you have acces to a local musician, DJ or radio person who might have some other gear to plug the nt1a into?

Off on that quest tomorrow morning. Tricky in lockdown but there is a guy I know who has some gear I can test. Seems clear there is a fault in one bit of hardware.
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Re: Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby BroadbridgeMIke » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:54 am

I tried an AKG Perception through the UX2 and it worked absolutely fine.

Looking like the Rode is at fault.

thanks for your comments.

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Re: Vocal recording problem Rode NT1-A and Line 6 UX2

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:17 pm

I think you might be suffering from the occasional curse of buying a capacitor mic in winter. I've had it a couple of times.

A mic is despatched from a cool/cold warehouse and goes through lots of cold transport processes, ending up in the back of a cold delivery van for a few hours. Then it's brought into a nice warm house... and bingo! condensation forms on the capsule.

It could be that, but it could just be a duff one. The usual recommendation is to put the mic in an airing cupboard in an open-ended plastic bag to cover it and leave it there for a couple of days. Sometimes sorts it; I've had some success putting suspect mics in our boiler-cupboard!

Jus' a thought...
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