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Recording into MacBook Pro extremely quiet

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by AcridSaint, Oct 18, 2012.


  1. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint ベーシスト Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Disclosures:
    I don't play well.
    Hi Folks,

    I've been recording into the mic-in on my MacBook via a 1/4" stereo adaptor and a Male-Male 1/8" cable. I have tried recording off of the headphone out on my ME-20B as well as the headphone out on my MB200 with poor results.

    The software I'm using is Audacity.

    If I run out of the GK I can easily get the volume so high that the recordings break up and sound terrible, but the recorded volume is still super low, like the tracks are barely audible at full volume on my Mac, even though they are breaking up because of the high input volume.

    I have checked the external mic input volume, etc. I'm at a loss as to how to get louder recordings. Any suggestions?
     
  2. echoSE7EN

    echoSE7EN

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Location:
    Balto., MD
    Get a dedicated I/O such as the MOTU Microbook.
     
  3. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint ベーシスト Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Disclosures:
    I don't play well.
    Any less expensive suggestions? $200+ is out of my range.

    I'm just an amateur and not recording for anything other than checking my playing and comparing tones.
     
  4. Ender_rpm

    Ender_rpm

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis MO
    How are you monitoring your recordings? The speakers in most laptops are gonna suck for hearing any bass.

    That being said, the "mic inputs" on most laptops were designed for skype chats, VOIP, etc, not music recording. You're going to be better off with a 1/4" to USB adapter or a proper interface. You can usually find 2 channel USB interfaces on Craigslist for pretty cheap as people upgrade to larger/newer systems.
     
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  6. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint ベーシスト Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
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    Disclosures:
    I don't play well.
    Hi - yes, understood about reproducing bass on laptop speakers. I run the laptop through my cabinet via the headphone out. Obviously I can get them audible with enough volume, but if I were to take any MP3, youtube video etc and run it at the same vol I'd have to leave the room.

    I borrowed an M-Audio FireWiare 410 from a coworker just now, so I'll give it a go tonight.
     
  7. uhdinator

    uhdinator

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    quality of sound cards are not great. That's why there's a market for interfaces that are 24bit and better quality.
     
  8. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint ベーシスト Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
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    Disclosures:
    I don't play well.
    Hey folks, just an update here. I bought an M-Audio Fast Track to try and get some better recordings and seem to have the exact same issue of recordings being very quiet. I can't figure any way to get the recordings to any decent sound level without hitting distortion.

    Any idea what I'm missing here?
     
  9. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    I just trying to understand the problem.

    Sounds like you can get enough gain into the interface, but play back is too low?

    I would check your soundcard/ device settings in the software.
    and also check the output levels in your daw and sound output devices. Somewhere their should be a master mixer in the daw and maybe the levels are set really low.

    also now that your using the maudio. Playback might still be going through the built in soundcard, so check input/output soundcard settings and make sure its set to maudio or full duplex
    some audio driver software will still automatically reroute through the built in soundcard, so its better to set them yourself to the proper soundcard.

    Also if there is some sort of indication of latency in mili secs in the software. that will somewhat clue you in if your on the right soundcard. the built in soundcard would have high latency like around 30 to 40 mili secs. And the maudio would be much lower like around 6 to 20 mili secs.

    otherwise record at a decent level without cliping/distortion and then normalize the track. have you ever normalized tracks with your software? should be available somewhere in a audio function menu of some sort, or even a pulldown menu if you highlight the whole track and then select normalize. I dont know audicity but many daws have similar functions. But after you normalize the track playback should be much louder.
     
  10. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

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    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Weird. I record in through the mic input on my MBP.

    Bass > pedal board (pretty much unity gain) > cheap mixer > mic input of MBP > Garageband

    Never had a problem.
     
  11. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint ベーシスト Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
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    Hi - I'm new to recording myself, never normalized or otherwise mixed anything. I am monitoring over the built-in sound card, yes.

    What I'm seeing as a "problem" is that the recording is just very low volume. When I play clips off of here, play youtube videos, etc. they are totally audible over even with the built-in speakers and sound card, even if it's not a great monitor. With my recordings, even with the volume maxed, it's just very quiet.

    Is this just the norm and then you have to go in and increase the volume after recording?
     
  12. sigmafloyd

    sigmafloyd

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    If you're trying to play a passive bass straight into the audio input it will be way too low of a signal to get a decent sound out of.

    The lowest barrier to entry is picking up one of these: http://www.americanmusical.com/Item...2G00SRCHCAPN&gclid=CMjX_YOasbMCFUKd4Aod52gAHA

    That will get your bass signal up there to compete. I still have to max the audio track in GarageBand unless I play through one of the guitar amp simulators, but it's doable.
     
  13. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

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  14. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint ベーシスト Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    I don't play well.
    Hi - I looked at the Behringer stuff before I bought the M-Audio. What is it about the mixer or guitar interface that would make them louder than the M-Audio interface? It also has a "guitar" input setting.

    Also, for what it's worth, I've gone direct from the bass as well as from the "line out" on my MB 200 with no noticeable difference in volume, although I -can- make it clip if I crank the volume on my amp.

    This is what makes me think it's me doing something wrong, not the recorder.

    I'm borrowing an XLR cable tonight to go from the direct out on my amp into the recording interface to see if that changes anything.
     
  15. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint ベーシスト Supporting Member

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    I like the song, by the way.
     
  16. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

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    I have no idea! I just got the mixer and a couple of cables... whatever ones seemed necessary..and it worked like a charm. No idea what's going wrong for you.
     
  17. northernmonkey

    northernmonkey

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    Oct 20, 2012
    Location:
    Newcastle, England
    I use an irig into my iPad. I read somewhere that this will also work on the latest generation of MacBooks. They cost a lot less than $200
     
  18. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint ベーシスト Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately, no iPad :( I'll have a new macbook pro Monday, so I'll give it a shot on the new one with this recording interface. I tried it with an XLR cable, my recordings just come out so darn quiet.
     
  19. tommysalami

    tommysalami

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    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
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    Is there an input level adjustment in Audacity? Try searching audacityteam.org
     
  20. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint ベーシスト Supporting Member

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    Jan 30, 2012
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    Yeah, I have the input level all the way up in Audacity and System Settings. It's really annoying. I tried garage band and got basically the same levels.
     
  21. northernmonkey

    northernmonkey

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    Oct 20, 2012
    Location:
    Newcastle, England
    The irig contains a preamp. You'll need something with a preamp to host your signal. No cable will do this
     

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