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Microphone Problems

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Mike_157, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. Mike_157


    Nov 4, 2010
    When I play I usually plug the Pod X3 Live into the computer so I can play along with songs and also sometimes for recording. I recently bought a cheap microphone to use for recording things too, but it's not working too good. If I record something theres so much hiss and scratching I can barely pick out what I've recorded, I know it's only a cheap microphone but it should work better than it does. Anyone got any ideas what could be causing it? Also anyone know of any decent, free recording programs? it seems like everyone I download has a limit on the amount of time I can record or expires after a month.

    thanks in advance
  2. Samsound


    Sep 28, 2010
    I think the free one most folks use is Audacity. As for the mic, define cheap. $89 SM57 cheap, or $14.96 Radio Shack TS cheap? And how is it connected? Unbalanced mikes with a TS to XLR adapter can get noisy or worse when you have phantom power turned on. OTOH there's no reason an SM57 shouldn't sound great on just about anything.
  3. Mike_157


    Nov 4, 2010
    $19.99 cheap, lol the brand is phillips. I just plugged it into the mic jack on the computer(1/8, 3.5mm) plug
  4. Samsound


    Sep 28, 2010
    Ahh I see. Okay well first off in the volume control mixer, under options I think, you can activate the additional controls. Make sure MIC is selected. In the mixer you can adjust the input gain, as well as apply a boost. Play around with those until it sounds better.
    You still might get garbage due to crappy mic, SPL level hitting the mic, crappy converters in the soundcard.
  5. It's probably either your cable or your mic that's sucking balls
  6. That's your problem right there, my man.

    Well, both problems, actually.

    First of all, you need to spend a bit more cash on a mike - yeah, I agree that your Phillips should work better than it does, but doesn't surprise me at all that it's not performing well.

    Secondly, the mike jack on on your PC is not designed for recording. You'll also need to invest in some sort of audio interface if you want to record with any kind of quality at all.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    +1 for r. on all counts. cheap mic, no preamp...you're lucky to get sound at all. there's a reason you never see $20 mics in studios or on pro stages...they suck.
  8. But I know the kind of horribly "crappy sound" he's probably talking about and I'd bet it's mostly due to a crappy interface and improper signal level for the mic. The cheapest of mics and cables can be made to sound at least acceptable.
  9. oerk


    Oct 16, 2009
    Doesn't the X3 have an XLR connector? Can't you use that for recording? Or plug your microphone into the guitar input, if you can't use XLR. It won't make any difference with the mic you're using.

    Don't use Audacity for multitrack recording. Download Reaper - you can use it as long as you want, despite the 30 day trial period (though you really should buy it at some point).
  10. James Judson

    James Judson

    Jul 16, 2009
    All good advice so far. One more hint that got touched on. Your symptom sounds like a poor signal to noise ratio. It happens a lot on pa systems. It goes like this. The imput signal gets turned down to the point that the amp gets turned up. Noise is inherent everywhere so the amp is now amplifying that noise. If you can adjust the input level higher you will then have to turn down the amp and the noise gets turned down as well.
  11. The X3 Live doesn't have a Mic input!

    As R. Laevinus Said you need some kind of Pre amplifier to record to your computer. If the Mic you bought has a TS (Phone Plug) Connector, then connect it to the X3 Live guitar input and then go via USB to the Computer
  12. jkramer5


    Jul 14, 2008
    Fairfield, CA
    "The X3 Live doesn't have a Mic input! "

    It has an XLR input with a trim labled "Microphone", It also has a ton of presets for vocals. It does not however supply phantom power to that input. I use it all the time with an inexpensive mic pre (with Phantom Power) to run my bass and a mic at the same time
  13. I stand Corrected.

    I find however really odd that they decided to make that input a Male connector.
  14. Mike_157


    Nov 4, 2010
    The mic only has a 1/4'' cable and I don't have an adaptor to connect it to the XLR input on the X3. I can get by just recording direct on to the computer, I guess sometime in the future I'll buy a decent mic. Any more suggestions on a recording program?
  15. For free, you're looking at Reaper or Audacity for PC. For Mac, some guys use Garageband with decent results. There's also a bunch of open-source DAWs for Linux, but that's neither here nor there.

    Definitely plan on upgrading your mike. For general-purpose use, a Shure SM57 is a good bet, and seldom runs more than $120. Also, for your interface, you might want to consider something like the Blue Icicle, which is a single-channel unit that plugs into a USB jack.
  16. adamb1026


    Nov 6, 2010
    Using your PC's soundcard and converting it to a 3.5mm jack is causing the problem.
  17. jkramer5


    Jul 14, 2008
    Fairfield, CA

    Not to bust your stones, but why? The XLR in on the X3 Live is the same as any XLR in on a mixing console or anything else. Maybe your confusing it with the 2 XLR outs, donno.

    To the OP, you can connect the 1/4 to the other input on the X3 live if you want to. Depending on the mic your using it still may sound bad but the X3live can indeed process 2 completely different virtual amp chains.

    You can set up 1 input to do your instrument amp and tone, and the other to do the mic. You also have a ton of options on how to them output those to signals. Either thru the USB or the analog outs.

  18. The Only x3 I've seen personally looked like this


    And I think it is odd, maybe they changed that, I don't know :/
  19. Mike_157


    Nov 4, 2010
    That's exactly what the back of mine looks like, I've decided to scrap the microphone for now until I get around to buying a decent quality one. I downloaded that Reaper program that was suggested and just plugged the X3 into the computer and went that route. I recorded some good ol' Motorhead to give it a try and it came out sounding great.

    Tell me what you think.


  20. jkramer5


    Jul 14, 2008
    Fairfield, CA
    That's really strange, the only one I've ever seen is mine ( purchased almost exactly a year ago) and it looks like this; (man it's dusty lol it lives under my desk most of the time)


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