Problems with recording my voice - real crappy audio quality

TDK wrote on 1/18/2020, 5:59 AM

I am trying to record my voic Bolde into my W10 laptop running Vegas Pro 17 using an external active Rode microphone. The sound is as bad as it gets. Huge background noise and like I was recording sitting upside down in a barrel. Using the same mic to record onto my video camera gives me a sound to die for.

I have now pinpointed the problem to be the following. Vegas is not using my Rode but the laptops built in microphone instead. And the screen is folded down so that's probably why the voice sounds so horrible.

However, there is no other option under Record Input other than Microsoft Sound Mapper. Under Help or the web or on YT tutorials there is also no info on a problem like this. Or I cant find it. I try to play around with Audio Buses but there is a new option under Record Input but I find no explanation what these options do. Engaging half of them results in an error message and recording is not possible.

So I go to my Windows 10 to look for possible solutions. Somehow I would need to rout the Rode to Vegas. However, I cant find any such solution. W10 is a nightmare for me. I can turn the microphone on or off but its the internal microphone and since my Rode is not identified by the laptop.

Any thoughts?

Comments

Dexcon wrote on 1/18/2020, 6:18 AM

Audio settings become harder and harder to find in W10 as time goes on. Search 'Control Panel' and then select 'Hardware and Sound' and then 'Sound/Manage Audio Devices'. Select tab 'Recording' where you can select you input device such as your Rode mike - click it as the default

TDK wrote on 1/20/2020, 2:12 AM

Thanks, that was easy to find with your directions. However, my Rode is not on the list. There is only the Realtek built in mic that is now possible to disable and then a Realtek Stereo Mix option that I dont know what is. But my Rode is not on the list. Even if I hooked it up to the computer so that it gave a sound that it clearly identified new HW.

TDK wrote on 1/20/2020, 3:08 AM

When I bought this new Razor Laptop I din't realize it was missing a microphone in. So I went out and bought an USB-C adapter. At the moment I have it connected to a external USB-C Hub but even if I connect the mic directly to the PC it does not show up in the Recording device. Don't know if this could have something to do with it. In both cases the PC gives a sound when the USB-C mic input is connected.

Dexcon wrote on 1/20/2020, 5:22 AM

@TDK ... which Rode mike do you have?

I have an in-built Realtek sound card on my less than 1 year old Dell laptop. I have tried my years old Rode Podcaster (USB connection) on the Dell, and it shows up and records successfully on SoundForge and Vegas Pro without an issue (levels aside). If the mike (Rode or other) has an XLR connection, then an USB interface such as Mic Mate or M-Audio or a Rode USB interface (or many others) is needed to connect to the computer - it works in my case. In both of the above cases, there is no need for USB hubs - just plug the USB mike or USB interface directly into one of the computer's USB ports.

However, if the mike is one of those designed to plug into an iPhone, consumer camera or the like with a mini stereo plug (I can't think of the plug type name right now), then hopefully others might have some suggestions on that situation.

Though perhaps not ideal for you, it might be a workaround to record your VO on your camera and simply import the audio file into Vegas Pro. In my case, I record all VOs/narration on SoundForge Pro, edit in SFP and then import the edited WAV files into Vegas Pro. But then that's the workflow that works well for me.

rraud wrote on 1/20/2020, 9:50 AM

Mics made for smartphones (3.5 mm TRRS analog connector) usually do not work on portable recorders and computers. They are wired totally different, For instance, my iPhone 6s used the sleeve terminal for the audio in.

fr0sty wrote on 1/20/2020, 10:01 AM

Also, unless it is a USB mic, it will not appear in your list of audio inputs, you'll just see it listed as "microphone in" in the audio device list. There is nothing but an analog audio connection going on here, there's no way for it to send your computer data identifying what kind of mic it is and all that.

TDK wrote on 1/20/2020, 11:38 AM

Mics made for smartphones (3.5 mm TRRS analog connector) usually do not work on portable recorders and computers. They are wired totally different, For instance, my iPhone 6s used the sleeve terminal for the audio in.

I think you might be onto something. The salesman handed me this 3.5/USB-C connector made by Apple and said this is the one you need so that's what I went with. Could be it is the wrong connector.

jay-boo wrote on 1/20/2020, 7:07 PM

@TDK – you might want to consider something like the Blue Yeti. I get very nice sounding voiceover recordings straight to the timeline with the Vegas interface.

One caveat though is that if you are using a USB hub to plug the USB Blue Yeti into, you might have some issues as in my experience, the Yeti had to go straight into a USB port directly on the computer (my hub wouldn't work). However, that was using older USB tech. I would imagine (and hope) that with the new USB-C interface you can operate higher bandwidth devices off a hub and have everything work smoothly.

The other option (where you can use a standard mics) would be something like the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen). But like the USB mic option, it might need to go direct to the computer also (no hubs – unless it’s a powered USB-C hub)

Good luck.

TDK wrote on 1/21/2020, 5:54 AM

@TDK – you might want to consider something like the Blue Yeti. I get very nice sounding voiceover recordings straight to the timeline with the Vegas interface.

One caveat though is that if you are using a USB hub to plug the USB Blue Yeti into, you might have some issues as in my experience, the Yeti had to go straight into a USB port directly on the computer (my hub wouldn't work). However, that was using older USB tech. I would imagine (and hope) that with the new USB-C interface you can operate higher bandwidth devices off a hub and have everything work smoothly.

The other option (where you can use a standard mics) would be something like the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen). But like the USB mic option, it might need to go direct to the computer also (no hubs – unless it’s a powered USB-C hub)

Good luck.

Thanks for your reply. Before I read your reply I actually drove to town and bought a Blue Yeti. It plugs either straight into the USB port on the Razer or via the USB HUB. I haven't tried it with the new USB-C HUB but should work I would think. But it took some time before my PC found the Yeti. Main thing is, now it works and wow, what a nice voice over sound I get.

Turns out my old HP was a pretty good laptop for what I'm doing. Tried my Rode with it just to test it out and when I plug the mic into the 3,5 jack it works great and gives a very nice voice over sound as well. There the soundcard had a analogue to digital converter built in. Too expensive I suppose. I might take the HP to service so that they can clean its fans and the interior, change the internal and the removable battery and upgrade to W10. It has a SSD HD and lots of RAM.

Thanks for all of your help and hopefully this discussion will be useful to others having the same challenges I had.