15 Replies Latest reply: Jun 5, 2012 4:13 AM by SteveG(AudioMasters) RSS

    sound is tinny

    SavvyEd Community Member

      I'm trying to record voice overs and no matter what I do, I get a thin, tinny sound that almost sounds like it has some effect applied. I am recording with a Samson C01U mic. I've tried changing the distance to the mic and the input levels. The bit depth is set at 32. Is there something simple I am missing here to get a more rounded sound? Can I set the levels somehow to pick up more deep tones?

       

      Here are my files

       

      https://dl.dropbox.com/u/9538727/test.pkf

      https://dl.dropbox.com/u/9538727/test.wav

        • 1. Re: sound is tinny
          SteveG(AudioMasters) Community Member

          Interesting. I can't actually hear very much at all of what you are talking about in your file, which makes me wonder whether it's a replay issue you are having here. I certainly can't hear a tinny echo... I mean, Samson mics are cheap and cheerful, but they aren't that bad!

           

          What generally causes this sort of problem is the output being added back to the input, with a bit of latency (aka time delay). So you get partial phase cancellation, which causes the 'tinny' sound, and the echo is the whole thing going round and round in circles. Sort-of digital feedback, if you like.

           

          What I'm not so sure about is how a Samson USB mic actually makes this happen, because it shouldn't. So initially, we need to know a bit more about how you have this set up, and are using it with Audition, I think.

          • 2. Re: sound is tinny
            ryclark Community Member

            Likewise, it sounds fine to me.

            • 3. Re: sound is tinny
              SavvyEd Community Member

              Well, if it sounds good to you, it must be my playback. I just got a new Alienware computer. Maybe the sound is at some gaming setting that makes other stuff sound weird. I'll just trust that it's OK.

               

              Thank you for taking the time to listen and respond. These forums are amazing.

              • 4. Re: sound is tinny
                Bob Howes MVP

                Sounds like you're using just the built in sound interface rather than a proper specialist one for audio recording.  If this is the case, go to the menu for the interface--many of them have "enhancements" to improve your audio which, actually, just add things like unwanted reverb or silly EQ.

                 

                The longer term solution if you want to do proper audio work is to invest in a "real" interface (and probably a better mic with XLR output as well).

                • 5. Re: sound is tinny
                  SavvyEd Community Member

                  Thanks for your advice, Bob.

                   

                  Are you talking about the "Radio Production" view?

                   

                  I'm not sure what you mean by "real" interface.

                   

                  I thought the mic I got was a pretty good one without going into the hundreds or thousands of dollars. I guess Amazon reviews can only get you so far, huh? So, you recomemmend and XLR mic with a USB preamp?

                  • 6. Re: sound is tinny
                    Bob Howes MVP

                    By "real" I mean just about any interface designed for serious recording and monitoring rather than Youtube playback, gaming and Skype calls.

                     

                    How about a mic like this:  http://www.thomann.de/gb/se_electronics_x1_rf_projectstudio_bundle.htm   I had a chance to play with one of them last month and was extremely impressed for the money.  The package with the Reflexion filter will also go a long way towards improving your noise problem from the other topc.

                     

                    Couple the mic with one of these:  http://www.thomann.de/gb/maudio_fast_track.htm  It'll be streets ahead of a USB mic and built in sound card for monitoring.

                     

                    (Sorry about the European supplier--I happened to have the Thomann page open when your replies popped up!)

                    • 7. Re: sound is tinny
                      SteveG(AudioMasters) Community Member

                      I don't know about the X1 reflexion filter, but its more expensive brother is an amazing device, all things considered. I spent 10 minutes playing with one, and then bought it. If you are careful about the mic placement, and follow their guidelines closely, you can eliminate a staggering amount of reflected sound in a typical live-ish room using a typical cardioid mic. I'm thinking of getting another one as well, because they also work very well as a replacement for isolation screens around instruments like acoustic basses, etc.

                      • 8. Re: sound is tinny
                        emmrecs Community Member

                        Completely agree about the SE Reflexion Filter; its ability to prevent reflected sound entering a mic is pretty remarkable.

                        • 9. Re: sound is tinny
                          Bob Howes MVP

                          I had a chance to play with the baby reflexion filter that's bundled with the X1 and compare it to the original version that I own.  I'd say it's probably about 80% as effective as the original for less than half the price.

                          • 10. Re: sound is tinny
                            SavvyEd Community Member

                            Thank you for this advice. I had looked at the reflection filters, but I don't have the capital right now to invest in one. After this job, I will definitely get one. I did buy two acoustic foam panels to create a little wall for my mic. I recorded with and without and it didn't seem to make much of a difference.

                             

                            Maybe it's the wall behind me I should be concerned with.

                            • 11. Re: sound is tinny
                              SteveG(AudioMasters) Community Member

                              SavvyEd wrote:

                              I did buy two acoustic foam panels to create a little wall for my mic. I recorded with and without and it didn't seem to make much of a difference.

                               

                              Maybe it's the wall behind me I should be concerned with.

                              You certainly should be concerned with the wall, yes. Best thing to do is to get away from anywhere near it, or simply do your recording the other way around; put the foam panels in the corner of the room, and the mic between them, and speak into the corner. I know that this sounds a bit daft, but you'd be surprised how well it works.

                              • 12. Re: sound is tinny
                                Teetow1 Community Member

                                SavvyEd wrote:

                                 

                                Is there something simple I am missing here to get a more rounded sound? Can I set the levels somehow to pick up more deep tones?

                                 

                                 

                                Just echoing others here, but there's absolutely nothing out of the ordinary going on in your recording from what I can hear.

                                 

                                Does it sound weird regardless of which application plays it back? Then it's either your listening environment or your soundcard. Does it sound weird in headphones? That leaves the soundcard. Uncheck any boxes in the soundcard configuration panel that tries to do fake surround, loudness enhancement, reverb, Crystalizers and other sound muddlers. Make sure you have the latest drivers. There's no need to rush to the shop -- any recently made onboard sound card works perfectly fine, if you're willing to accept a little bit of background noise at loud volumes.

                                • 13. Re: sound is tinny
                                  SavvyEd Community Member

                                  Thank you, everyone, for your feedback. It was, indeed, my audio settings. I just got a Alienware computer and the sound profile was set for some super-gamer mode. I just changed it to the "voice" preset and it sounds normal. I'm so glad I opened this discussion. I have so many great ideas for making my home recordings successful.

                                  • 14. Re: sound is tinny
                                    SavvyEd Community Member

                                    For the benefit of anyone reading this thread that is having problems with input quality, I just discovered ASIO4ALL (http://www.asio4all.com/). It's a driver, and it is a miracle-worker. I don't really understand how it works, but it took away all the white noise my mic was making (another frustrating problem I was having). So, if you are having the same kind of troubles I was, take the advice above, but also try the ASIO driver, and try plugging your USB mic into a different port - those things together all finally solved my problems.

                                    • 15. Re: sound is tinny
                                      SteveG(AudioMasters) Community Member

                                      SavvyEd wrote:

                                       

                                      For the benefit of anyone reading this thread that is having problems with input quality, I just discovered ASIO4ALL (http://www.asio4all.com/). It's a driver, and it is a miracle-worker. I don't really understand how it works, but it took away all the white noise my mic was making (another frustrating problem I was having). So, if you are having the same kind of troubles I was, take the advice above, but also try the ASIO driver, and try plugging your USB mic into a different port - those things together all finally solved my problems.

                                      ASIO4ALL is well known here, but it's most emphatically not taking away your mic noise. All ASIO4ALL does is to provide a translation between Audition's ASIO-based output and any sound device that doesn't have an ASIO driver of its own and relies on a basic Windows driver. If you have a device with a badly-implemented ASIO driver of its own that is introducing noise, and a Windows driver that isn't, then all that is happening is that ASIO4ALL is bypassing that driver and using the better one.

                                       

                                      It's not a miracle - nothing in computing is a miracle; some poor sod had to write all of it.