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Recording Help!

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

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.

Dave.
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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?

Dave.
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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.

Dave.
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby Wonks » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:25 am

Or you could simply test all the mics, one at a time, into the same mic channel on the mixer.
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby ef37a » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:33 am

Wonks wrote:Or you could simply test all the mics, one at a time, into the same mic channel on the mixer.

Many ways to case this moggy Wonks but I think there is an opinion that the Berry mixer cannot supply full phantom power to all six mics? (OP's post is not clear on that though)

I have my doubts since I think the mics draw very little current (will check mine shortly) and I have never read of these mixers having such a problem and they have sold SO many we surely would have! People LOVE
Behrry bashing.

Spook volts inside the mic read 32.8 per pin so the current draw is 2.2mA per leg, 4.4mA overall. That is more than many capacitor mics but I would think well within the capabilities of the X1222?
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby cyrano.mac » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:53 am

Forget phantom power. It's limited by it's tech concept, not by brand.

Test the mics. I've bought a few of these Neewer BM800's (to use as a housing for DIY mic projects. Some early ones were too good to use as simply a housing. Some later ones were junk and perfect for the job...
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby G18ALG » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:53 am

Morning folks,

Once again, thank you all so much for your input. I’m an absolute novice when getting this techie on sound production and your advice has proven invaluable so far.

So, here’s the latest update. I have tested all of the mics, one at a time per channel and they are each fine however when you plug them all in at the same time, this is where the problems start.

My personal opinion is that each mic requires phantom power as they’re condenser mics and the more mics you use at one time, the more the power is split (I know I’m staying the obvious here!). I’m not sure the mixer has enough “juice” to provide adequate power to all six mics in one go and therefore it prioritises some channels over others which creates the unbalanced sounds.

I think in this particular instance, channels 4 and 5 are the worse performing ones (which Sam Spoons has mentioned, has less dB than channels 1-4):

Sam Spoons wrote: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.


As I stated earlier, this then means that to be heard on those two channels, I have to whack the gain up to pretty much max to be create the same recording level as mics 1-4 but that means lots of “white noise” being heard.

I think my only, and probably easiest, option is to take the phantom power out of the equation and just use dynamic mics. Given we’re six friends who create a podcast, I want a good, clean sound but I don’t think we’ll be giving our day jobs up anytime soon! :lol:

If you have experience of using dynamics and can recommend one at a good price, do let me know.

Thanks again,
G
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby The Elf » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:37 am

Looks like Behringer bashing is still justified with some of their gear.

Do you really need six mic's?...
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:06 am

See my earlier post about the Rode M3.

Capacitor (Condenser) mic quality, but can be battery-powered. Punches above its weight.

The problem with many dynamic mics into that mixer is that you'll be struggling with gain on spoken voice. They're designed for on-stage singers, not conversation. (Been there, done that...!)

Or... you could write it all off to experience and start again with the RodecasterPro. Not sure if it'll give you six mics though...
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby G18ALG » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:10 am

The Elf wrote:Looks like Behringer bashing is still justified with some of their gear.

Do you really need six mic's?...

Ideally yes because some of the guys are softer spoken than others so sharing a mic wouldn’t really work.
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby G18ALG » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:19 am

Mike Stranks wrote:See my earlier post about the Rode M3.

Capacitor (Condenser) mic quality, but can be battery-powered. Punches above its weight.

The problem with many dynamic mics into that mixer is that you'll be struggling with gain on spoken voice. They're designed for on-stage singers, not conversation. (Been there, done that...!)

Or... you could write it all off to experience and start again with the RodecasterPro. Not sure if it'll give you six mics though...

When you say:

“The problem with many dynamic mics into that mixer is that you'll be struggling with gain on spoken voice. They're designed for on-stage singers, not conversation”

Do you mean we’d have to really shout/project our voices to be heard?
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:03 am

G18ALG wrote:
When you say:

“The problem with many dynamic mics into that mixer is that you'll be struggling with gain on spoken voice. They're designed for on-stage singers, not conversation”

Do you mean we’d have to really shout/project our voices to be heard?

Well that's the gist of it! :)

What usually happens with mixers in this class - and there are very many with similiar preamp specs ; it's not a Behringer thing - is that to get decent level on conversational discussion and comment when using dynamic mics you have to crank the gain quite high. And then you run the risk of introducing preamp noise into the situation.

I really wouldn't recommend cheaper or stage dynamic mics into that mixer if you have some quiet voices that you need to record.

A couple of years ago I advised a community radio station that was having similar issues with semi-decent stage mics into a Yamaha mixer of similar spec to yours. They upgraded to Rode M3s (but not six!) and did a few other tweaks and it was smiles all round.

Oh; and where are you based? If not too far from me in Cirencester I'd be happy to meet and have a chat...

Mike
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Re: Recording Help!

Postby ef37a » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:10 am

My experience with Behringer pre amps is limited to the Xenyx 802 and those in the brilliant concept but poorly implememented BCA2000 but both were very good.

It is also my experience with two interfaces, the 8i6 and my KA6 that yes, you need the gain at max to get a f'picked acoustic guitar to say -20dBfs but even in leafy, Npton suburbia at 2am, external noise dominates the electronic noise. The best I can get is around -70dBfs whereas the circuit noise (from the KA6 say) is around -80dB fs.
I also have an A&H ZED10 and that has I would guess the best pre amps for noise/gain but the improvement over the X802 is in fact marginal at best. Certainly will have higher headroom.

In other words, unless OP has a particularly bad sample, that mixer should be usable with dynamics in a normal room in the daytime/early evening. I agree, capacitors should make life easier but noises off can be even more of a problem.

OP may gather from all this that this audio lark is FAR from simple!

In the past I have had a Fast track Pro and a Tascam US 122. Both WERE noisy buggers!

Dave.
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