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Recording garbled crackly mess...

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by pie_man_25, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Hey,

    I think I might need some help identifying my current recording issue - I'm recording some stuff with an SM58, a steinberg CI-1, and Audacity. I've been playing with this thing for about 2 hours or so, and that said, it worked perfectly fine for most of that time. Keep in mind I'm recording some guitar lines through a small amp. Up until I decided to start recording the leads. With no change in microphone positioning, nor with any change in volume, the recording for the lead tracks has turned into a garbled up, crackly, and reverby mess. At first I figured it might have been the mic, so I took that apart, and everything looked fine (without opening the cartridge mind you), both the cable and the CI1 are brand new, it might be them it might not, and it could also be my PC - it's getting up there in terms of mileage, but it's got a good 2ghz dual core processor, 4 gb of ram, and plenty of hard disk space, I don't think that the soundcard/audio chipset is probably much good though. Is there something here that I am perhaps not considering?

    A very similar problem occured with the last audio interface that I bought, and ART tube pre, and I figured it was the interface because I had bought it used, but it seems that it may have been the interface. I don't want to be a prude about it, I've got the proper driver for the CI1 installed, and I've done a few google and talkbass searches to no real avail.
  2. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I would put the blame on Audacity. It is freeware after all. Have you tried saving the session, restarting the computer and then re-opening the session? Audacity can be glitchy!
  3. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Is doing that only on playback within the DAW? In other words, if you bounce a WAV/MP3 of the session and play that back with Windows Media Player, QuickTime, iTunes, etc. do you get the same issue?

    If you don't get the same issue, you may be approaching the max of what your computer can handle. To resolve this you'd need to increase your buffer size. You may also need to do a loop-back test and adjust the recording pre-delay to keep things in sync when tracking. I'm not sure if Audacity allows for those settings to be adjusted or not.
  4. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Maybe you just have feedback from your computer's speakers?
    Turn them off while recording.
  5. That IS quite possible.

    I'm not going to lie, the latter paragraph I did not quite get, but I'll get right to troubleshooting this tomorrow - everyone's sleeping right now and I've got lots of work to get to. It looks like I've also got some reading to do.

    It's definitely not the speakers, those were already off, thanks for the help though guys, I'm really appreciating it.
  6. Chromer


    Nov 28, 2012
    Put up a sample, until we hear it we're just guessing.
  7. bass geetarist

    bass geetarist

    Jul 29, 2013
    I'm not familiar with Audacity, but when I use Reason, and start piling on the plug ins, I eventually end up with a lot of crackling and popping as my computer struggles to keep up. Fortunately, when I bounce down the tracks to a single stereo wav, the crackling and popping disappears.

    Are you using a lot of plug ins? If so, try disabling them and see if the excess noise disappears.
  8. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire

    Jun 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Source Audio BETA tester
    What others have said: your asking too much of your computer at your current settings. Install latest drivers for your interface, disable all non-recording apps, then increase audio buffers.
  9. whelp, it turns out it was a buffering issue, I've increased the buffer, and have been recording for about 4 hours without any problems today. Thanks a lot for the help guys, and I'm sorry to bug you guys about it.
  10. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire

    Jun 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Source Audio BETA tester
    Some DAW (Able to at least) have a handy test loop that slams the computer so you can adjust buffers and find the lowest setting for your rig without glitching.

    A lot of it is the quality of the interface and it's drivers.

    I'm sure there's a lot of sites that can help you further optimize.

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