Poor Quality Vocals

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by destinyangel, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. destinyangel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    #1
    We are using Garageband and getting poor quality vocals using an external mic. We are hearing the sound of comp iMac g5 on mic as background noise and the signal quality in comp to instruments in gb is poor. The vocal is not even being heard, please help! Can it be overcome by using a preamp or usb hub as we need to boost vocal levels to be heard over the instruments.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Please see our additional comments below!
     
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #2
    What quality microphone are you using?

    If you're using something that cost ledd than a couple of hundred dollars along with a USB or firewire box to connect it to the computer, you're going to have noticable noise.
     
  3. MrBond macrumors newbie

    MrBond

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #3
    I have had the same problem when recording the spoken word into GB. The signal being sent into the program is often too weak to register at all in the equalizer. And even though there are ways to get around this i.e. turn up all of the knobs on one's mbox, this does'nt seem to be a good solution because of the extra hiss and noise associated with this action. I am using a SE Electronics SE2200a microphone, mBox and GB. Is this a good set up?
     
  4. hesitaliandad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #4
    to record any kind of vocals in a studio situation you really should use a condenser microphone with a preamp. standard mics are great live, but you're not going to get a full sound out of one in a studio situation. the combo of CAD GXL2200 and the ART Tube MP is a very cost effective solution to poor vocals. it's what i use, and i get great sounding vocals. you can spend a ton more money on stuff like that, but this will serve you well. hope that helps.
     
  5. destinyangel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    #5
    Poor Quality Vocals

    Thanks so far to those who have replied. We really need some advice, here, the music side is done and sounds great but the vocal side is just not loud enough.
     
  6. destinyangel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    #6
    Poor Quality Vocals

    And just to let you know, we are working from a room at home, simply using Garageband on the Imac G5...........
     
  7. nicorojas macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2003
    Location:
    Chile
    #7
    vocals on garage band

    A mic signal is too low for the line input in the iMac. Guitars, keyboards and others have signal at line level, which is fine, but a mic needs a preamp.

    First, you've got to hook up the mic to a device with preamp that have a line out, and then connect it to your Mac.

    My band (music.download.com/pezblanco) use a small yamaha mixer (MG 10/2), and before we use a Tascam cassette portastudio, both cases with no problems.

    Google "tweaks guide". It is a great site to learn about recording at home.
     
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #8
    If you want quality advice, you must provide much more detail about your setup.

    What Microphone?
    How is it hooked up to the Mac?
    Do you have a mixer or a preamplifier available?
    Where is the microphone positioned relative to the iMac?
    Does your vocalist know about mic technique?


    The first most obvious thing is to move the mic position to somewhere isolated from the sound of the computer (and other background noise). GB will only record what you send it.

    Second is to figure out if you need to preamplify your mic signal... we don't know 'cause you haven't told us your setup.
    Note: A USB hub won't have anything to do with the quality of the microphone signal.

    Third: You may want to hit the library or bookstore and look for some books on the fundamentals of recording. There are several excellent titles available, some of which focus on computer recording, but that's not necessary. All of your present problems are in the analog realm. The classic is "Home Recording for Musicians" by Craig Anderton. Also see magazines like Recording, Electronic Musician, Sound on Sound, Future Music, etc. They often run articles on microphone technique.
     
  9. destinyangel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    #9
    poor quality vocals

    if I can find out which interface is best...ie which interface will block the sound of the imac fan or bypass the imac internal mic.....(the internal mic records things whichever way you plug anything in though......)
     
  10. destinyangel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    #10
    poor quality vocals

    what I need to find out is which is the best method for connecting an external mic to my imac g5 in order to NOT hear the imac fan on the recording? I currently plugged in a mic using a USB pre-amp and the sound of the imac is the most prominent feature. I was told by apple dupport that the internal mic still records everything even though an external mic was plugged in.
    Is a firewire interface (pre-amp) better to allow garageband to record only the vocal on the mic without the imac fan? If not, which interface works best? Is there a recommended mic, pre-amp etc which Apple can safely say will work so that garageband will record a clear vocal that is not drowned by either the sound of the computer itself nor other instruments on garageband?
     
  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #11
    To block the internal mic, go to System Preferences, Sound, Input, and choose something other than the internal mic - like Line In.

    >which interface will block the sound of the imac fan

    There isn't any interface that will block a selective portion of the sound that the microphone sends it, mate. Garbage in - garbage out. The solution is to have the mic where the other sounds aren't.

    Read the previous replies, and if you want help, don't let us guess our way through your problems. That gets old real fast.
     
  12. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #12
    the audio input on macs is crap, at least for mic usage. you need an external mic pre, there are a million choices (okay, i'm exaggerating) and quality depends on budget. but i suspect all will be better than the built-in.

    when using the built-in, you're also using the built-in a/d (analog to digital) converter. again, not very good.

    for your beginner purposes, you might want to look in the direction of M-Audio. they make combo mic-pre / converter packages, several in the sub-$500 range. figure out how many simultaneous input channels you need and go from there.

    for a mic, start out w/ a shure sm-57 ($80). i'm not a fan of any condensor mic in the cheaper ranges (say, sub $300), but you might be happy with the Studio Project condensors, if you insist on a condensor.
     

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