You are here

Microphone went dead after supper...

For current or would-be users of Apple Mac computers, with answers to many FAQs.

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby CS70 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:45 am

James Perrett wrote:
CS70 wrote:Crossposted with Sam.

One more thing that may help: it’s called “phantom power” but it’s not “power” in the technical sense

Erm - phantom power IS power but just not very much as the current is limited to 14mA (7mA in each leg). The maximum power that could be delivered to a mic would be just under 170mW although most condenser mics should require less.

I was wondering whether you might be confusing this with the polarising voltage needed by standard condenser capsules? This requires virtually no current but it also requires the use of a preamp with a very high input impedance placed close to the microphone capsule. This preamp will require a certain amount of current (and therefore power).

Er, no? In technical terms power is the rate of energy itransfer per unit of time. It’s measured in watts, which is joules per second. Phantom “power” indicates the presence of a voltage differential - which is measured in volts. You can get power out if it, but it’s no power by itself.

The distinction is not particularly interesting for a mic user, which is why the loose usage is fine (and my comment). The OP seems to favor rather precise definition and that’s what physics is there for..
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4057
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video  and the FB page

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby blinddrew » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:16 am

audio_jungle wrote:
James Perrett wrote:I'm with Sam - you probably don't need the Cloudlifter. Don't be afraid to turn the gain up to 50 or 60dB - you'll probably hear a little hiss if you listen carefully but the results should still be usable.

First off, based on what I said above, do you think my Cloudlifter is toast?

Or is my SM7B toast?


I just took the Cloudlifter out of the "chain", and did "Take 1,000,000".

It sounds okay, but I have to crank up the Gain to near max, and the signal is really weak.

BTW, when the Gain is cranked up, what exactly are you hearing?

Is that room noise or is it from your electronic components?


Here is what "Take 04" with my SM7B, hand-held, and no Cloudlifter looks like...

Image

It doesn't sound too bad for a newbie voiceover guy, but the signal is so wickedly low I am blow away!!

Can I even work with a signal that small?

(It doesn't help that I am still without a broadcast arm, which is why some more preamp would help!)
Apologies if this is an egg-sucking post but it can be tricky to work out how much someone has picked up when they're new...
Is it the size of the visual waveform that's bothering you here? You say it doesn't sound too bad but you're obviously still concerned about how it's appearing.
I don't know Audacity, but in Reaper, if you've recorded at a sensible level (peaks at minus 12) and you're at the default zoom setting, then the waveform will look similarly small. That's fine, just zoom in to whatever size allows you to do your editing. The key thing is the level not visual. Once you've done all your tweaking and you're ready to raise your levels for distribution you can just zoom out again.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7857
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby Sam Inglis » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:44 am

audio_jungle wrote: since I ultimately want to use my NT2A condenser mic, I will need more amplication that my Onyx puts out.

No, this isn't the case -- the NT2A requires much less preamplification than the Shure SM7B.

The NT2A is a capacitor mic and thus has an active preamp circuit built into it (you could think of it as having a built-in Cloudlifter). This circuit requires 48V phantom power.

Having said that, there's no guarantee that you'll prefer the results from the NT2A for voiceover -- the SM7B is a classic mic for this sort of application and can be used up close, which will help to minimise the amount of room sound that gets captured.
Sam Inglis
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 1:00 am

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby James Perrett » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:51 pm

audio_jungle wrote:Without the Cloudlifter, I have been running the Gain around 4-5 o'clock. I turn it up until I hear hum, and then back it off until it goes away.

Do you mean 60Hz mains hum? If you hear mains hum you have a cable problem as you should normally just hear the background sounds of the room and maybe just a little hiss from the preamp. I would also suggest setting your gain to give you the right voice level and ignore the background noise - it will still be at the same level relative to the voice with the gain turned down but you could be adding more noise from the later stages of your interface.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 8343
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby audio_jungle » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:02 pm

blinddrew wrote:Apologies if this is an egg-sucking post but it can be tricky to work out how much someone has picked up when they're new...

No apologies needed. I'm as green as they come, and this may be the friendliest and most helpful forum on the Internet, so know that I'm happy to be here and learn!! :thumbup:


blinddrew wrote:Is it the size of the visual waveform that's bothering you here? You say it doesn't sound too bad but you're obviously still concerned about how it's appearing.

I don't know Audacity, but in Reaper, if you've recorded at a sensible level (peaks at minus 12) and you're at the default zoom setting, then the waveform will look similarly small. That's fine, just zoom in to whatever size allows you to do your editing. The key thing is the level not visual. Once you've done all your tweaking and you're ready to raise your levels for distribution you can just zoom out again.

Yes, I equate the visual waveform with what has been captured. (Not sure how that isn't the case, but that is for another thread.)

I was able to record all of my voice-over tracks for my various IVR systems.

This morning I need to listen to them all and pick the best ones.

Then I am going to set up an account with AudioJungle and get some music for a soundbed on some of my IVRs.

Oh, btw, last night I plugged in my Rode NT2-A and had it hooked up directly to my Onyx. (Rather scary hand-holding a condenser microphone?!) :o

It *appears* that I can use a MACBOOK ==> ONYX ==> SM7B/NT2-A configuration for now and be okay.

This week I will have to see if I can get any warranty support for my failed Cloudlifter... :roll:

So, until I can get a replacement Cloudlifter or a a more sophisticated audio interface with a beefier preamp, I guess what I have will do for my basic needs.

To steer the conversation back to its original intent...

Would you all agree at this point that my Cloudlifter did indeed die?


(I think I have pretty much proven that with all of my testing, although I am sure there are people out there who would say, "That could never happen!")
audio_jungle
Regular
Posts: 188
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:20 pm

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby audio_jungle » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:09 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:
audio_jungle wrote: since I ultimately want to use my NT2A condenser mic, I will need more amplication that my Onyx puts out.

No, this isn't the case -- the NT2A requires much less preamplification than the Shure SM7B.

The NT2A is a capacitor mic and thus has an active preamp circuit built into it (you could think of it as having a built-in Cloudlifter). This circuit requires 48V phantom power.

Oh, okay, I stand corrected. (And thanks for the explanation!) :thumbup:


Sam Inglis wrote:Having said that, there's no guarantee that you'll prefer the results from the NT2A for voiceover -- the SM7B is a classic mic for this sort of application and can be used up close, which will help to minimise the amount of room sound that gets captured.

Funny you mention that, because I hung up my NT2-A after a few test runs last night, and ended up finishing out my voiceovers using my SM7B!

Once I either go back to my PortaBooth Pro (or set up a similar, smaller encasement with my Auralex foam), maybe I will have better luck with my NT2-A, but I honestly preferred how my SM7B sounds.

I think if I had a deeper, richer, more "manly" sounding voice, then the NT2-A would be a better choice, but I like how I can get right up on the SM7B and get consistent results.

And, yes, I think the SM7B will be much easier to work with in my hotel room.

On a side-note, I must say that I was surprised that I got as good of results with both mics as I did hand-holding them?! 8-)

The good news is that I ordered a hopefully better broadcast arm (Rode) last night from B&H and should have it by next Friday, so that will help a lot!
audio_jungle
Regular
Posts: 188
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:20 pm

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby audio_jungle » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:23 pm

James Perrett wrote:
audio_jungle wrote:Without the Cloudlifter, I have been running the Gain around 4-5 o'clock. I turn it up until I hear hum, and then back it off until it goes away.

Do you mean 60Hz mains hum? If you hear mains hum you have a cable problem as you should normally just hear the background sounds of the room and maybe just a little hiss from the preamp.

I probably used the wrong adjective, and, no, I don't think I have a cable or setup problem with all of my experimenting and swapping things out and simplifying things.

Hmmm.... How to explain...

If I crank up the Gain to past 60 on the outside scale (i.e. +45dB on the inside scale), then I don't hear a hum per say, but it just sounds like "life on steroids"?! I mean because the microphone sensitivity is so high, you can hear EVERYTHING in the Universe! Like I heard a loud cracking and realized it was the saliva in my mouth slapping around?! :o

Am doing a test now as I type, and my refrigerator which is 2 feet from me just shut off...

I hear some noise in the background... Not sure how to describe it... Kind of a white noise sounding things like an air conditioner or something...

Things are so sensitive that I can hear the cleaning people talking down the hall occassionally...

I guess it is "white noise" and NOT a "hum", if that helps?


James Perrett wrote:I would also suggest setting your gain to give you the right voice level and ignore the background noise - it will still be at the same level relative to the voice with the gain turned down but you could be adding more noise from the later stages of your interface.

So to repeat, it is better to get a stronger voice signal knowing there could be some minimal background/white noise, and then potentially edit that out later versus having no noticeable background/white noise in the recording, but then when I "amp it up" that could introduce new distortion that is worse than what you are proposing??

BTW... All things considered, I think I have a pretty decent recording environment. Once I can get my webserver set up and post things for you all to listen to, then I might find out differently. But normally my room is pretty quiet, and once I get this pre-amp/broadcast arm/foam around mic/ etc figured out, I think I will have a good environment for my needs.

Of course I am a newbie, so what do I know?!
audio_jungle
Regular
Posts: 188
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:20 pm

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby CS70 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:59 pm

maybe I will have better luck with my NT2-A, but I honestly preferred how my SM7B sounds.

You aren’t the only one. I wouldn’t touch the NT2A with a pole. The 7B sounds way better.
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4057
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video  and the FB page

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby audio_jungle » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:10 pm

CS70 wrote:You aren’t the only one. I wouldn’t touch the NT2A with a pole. The 7B sounds way better.

:lol:
audio_jungle
Regular
Posts: 188
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:20 pm

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:25 pm

audio_jungle wrote: (Rather scary hand-holding a condenser microphone?!) :o

There's nothing to be scared off! There might be a few rumbles if you hand-hold a large capacitor mic, but that's all. I routinely test capacitor mics while handling them...

It *appears* that I can use a MACBOOK ==> ONYX ==> SM7B/NT2-A configuration for now and be okay.

Hurrah! Getting somewhere -- although the signal flow is actually, SM7 => Onyx => MacBook, of course..

[quoute]This week I will have to see if I can get any warranty support for my failed Cloudlifter... :roll: [/quote]

While it is possible for the cloudlifter to fail, it's not very likely - they are pretty robust devices generally. I'd want to check the XLR cables and phantom power thoroughly before condemning it as faulty.

Would you all agree at this point that my Cloudlifter did indeed die?

I remain to be convinced. It's possible, of course, but it's much more likely that you have one or more broken XLR cables. Your mention of hum suggests to me that at least one of your cables has a broken screen connection. That would result in hum with the SM7, and no phantom power reaching the cloud lifter or NT2.

I'd recommend investing in a simple cable tester and using it...

(I think I have pretty much proven that with all of my testing, although I am sure there are people out there who would say, "That could never happen!")

I'm not convinced that all of your testing has been sufficiently logical or consistent to prove tha at all...
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24280
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby audio_jungle » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:53 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
It *appears* that I can use a MACBOOK ==> ONYX ==> SM7B/NT2-A configuration for now and be okay.

Hurrah! Getting somewhere -- although the signal flow is actually, SM7 => Onyx => MacBook, of course..

I'm a computer guy, so I think the other way, but yeah! :lol:


Hugh Robjohns wrote:
This week I will have to see if I can get any warranty support for my failed Cloudlifter... :roll:

While it is possible for the cloudlifter to fail, it's not very likely - they are pretty robust devices generally. I'd want to check the XLR cables and phantom power thoroughly before condemning it as faulty.

I have 4 XLR cables all with less than 5 hours on them.

Replaced the ones that were on the rig when things failed.

Tried the new cables and had the same issue.

Also, if my audio interface was bad, then my NT2-A condenser mic wouldn't have worked, right?

When I got out my NT2-A, I plugged it in with phantom off, and it didn't work. Then I turned on the phantom power and it did work, although the signal is week.

If I hook up the Cloudlifter, I get the issues I described earlier.

Seems like all roads are pointing to the Cloudlifter, although I don't have any tools to test.


Hugh Robjohns wrote:I remain to be convinced. It's possible, of course, but it's much more likely that you have one or more broken XLR cables. Your mention of hum suggests to me that at least one of your cables has a broken screen connection. That would result in hum with the SM7, and no phantom power reaching the cloud lifter or NT2.

I retracted that statement above and changed "hum" to "whitenoise"...

(Unless I was sitting next to you and you could show you what I hear, it's hard to say how you describe what I hear. Likewise, unless I was next to you and could see what you classify as a "hum", it's hard for us to share experiences accurately. I'm not sure what to do since we are in an online forum?!)


Hugh Robjohns wrote:I'd recommend investing in a simple cable tester and using it...

Just placed an order with B&H, but maybe next time?

BTW, I ordered a replacement Cloudlifter, so if I get the same issue with the new one, I'd say that points to another component. If it fixes the issue, then it is likely the Cloudlifter.

We shall see...
audio_jungle
Regular
Posts: 188
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:20 pm

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby Ariosto » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:22 pm

Here is a link to a comparison of how a voiceover/narration should sound. Check this against your recordings. How does it differ?

This was recorded with the pre-amp on about 40% of it's potential gain and the recorder (or interface) set at zero gain.

Listen particularly to the background (room sound) on my recording. Does yours sound (more or less) like this? (OK this was recorded with a high quality mic and pre-amp but yours should not be too different to this).

Here is the link ...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ph21bemf6ohvw ... r.mp3?dl=0

(I will only leave it as a live link for a day or two ...)
Ariosto
Frequent Poster
Posts: 805
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 12:00 am
Location: LONDON, UK

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby audio_jungle » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:03 am

Ariosto wrote:Here is a link to a comparison of how a voiceover/narration should sound. Check this against your recordings. How does it differ?

I am starting to think I have a much larger issue which is my hearing loss...

I cannot discern any background noice on your recording, of course you don't stop talking ong enough for anything to jump out at me.

Am going to try and get a server set up this weekend so I can post some samples on it and let you all diagnose what I have so far.

BTW, I listened to this YouTube video, and I had a hard time hearing any real difference between his "good" and 'crappy" recordings...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMajhJfgM7o

With my Sony MDR-7506's on, I can hear some slight differences, but I would be happy if my "good" recordings sounded as bad as his supposed "crappy" voiceovers!
audio_jungle
Regular
Posts: 188
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:20 pm

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby Ariosto » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:38 am

There isn't much difference with the "crappy" youtube recording because he's close miked. But when he was talking normally in his kitchen he was further away and you could hear more room sound and reverb.

I've killed my recording now as it is only a small part of a big project which will be published soon. But it is I think a reasonable example of a dry recording in a reasonably well treated room. Hope it helped.
Ariosto
Frequent Poster
Posts: 805
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 12:00 am
Location: LONDON, UK

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby audio_jungle » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:41 pm

Ariosto wrote:There isn't much difference with the "crappy" youtube recording because he's close miked. But when he was talking normally in his kitchen he was further away and you could hear more room sound and reverb.

I've killed my recording now as it is only a small part of a big project which will be published soon. But it is I think a reasonable example of a dry recording in a reasonably well treated room. Hope it helped.

I will start another thread on this topic soon, as it really deviates from my OP.

BTW, I go to pick up my audio gear tonight after work, including a repalcement broadcast arm and Cloudlifter.

Will give everyone an update this weekend on what I find out, but I am confident that my original Cloudlifter is toast.

Either way, I am strumbling through all of this trying to reach greatness, so wish me luck!
audio_jungle
Regular
Posts: 188
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:20 pm

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby Rich Hanson » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:37 pm

Is there anybody nearby that could possibly come round to give you hands-on help? I got tied up in knots once, many moons ago, and getting somebody in the same room who could see what I couldn't was a great help.
Rich Hanson
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1304
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:00 am
Location: UK

Re: Microphone went dead after supper...

Postby audio_jungle » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:41 pm

Rich Hanson wrote:Is there anybody nearby that could possibly come round to give you hands-on help? I got tied up in knots once, many moons ago, and getting somebody in the same room who could see what I couldn't was a great help.

Sadly, no.

My closest resources are mainly in the UK here on SOS! :D
audio_jungle
Regular
Posts: 188
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:20 pm


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Vaultnaemsae, wdsteele