garageband question - MICs

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by rush313, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. rush313 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #1
    Hi there. I have a macbook and have been recording vocals with the built-in microphone. Recently I purchased a Shure condenser mic to record on. I've been having trouble , though, because it doesn't seem to pick up the music very well. I've just been recording one track of me playing guitar and singing, and before it worked fine. Since I switched, though, the recording is very low. I have to turn the recording level up really loud and then that creates a lot of hissing in the background. I have the mic running on phantom power and it plugs from that directly into the space next to the headphone input.

    does anyone have any suggestions on how to get this (admittedly better than the built-in) mic to do as good of job?
     
  2. Mashiach macrumors regular

    Mashiach

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    In a House Near the Sea
    #2
    first of all I am assuming that you are using an external phantom power unit if it is a condenser and plugging that straight into the record in of your MB. if not is it usb microphone you are using.
    Secondly I would highly reccoment buying an external sound card you can pick these up relatively cheap now for you purposes of single input recording. I say this because you are trying to record into a device that will have very sub quality componants for more than basic recording needs. This is why you are getting the hiss. It is the sound of the elctronics produced inside the MB.

    Going back to my original assumption. The microphone ayou are using what is its model ( a shure what?) if its a standard condenser microphone you must be then using an xlr cable into a phantom power unit try turning the phantom power unit up if this is possible and turning your computer level down. If the componants in the phantom power unit are good enough then this should eliminate some of the hiss.
    Again i am making too many assumptions here so if you can give me some more details I will try and help you more.
     
  3. pooryou macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #3
    You have to make sure the mic is in the right place, and the levels are set right. Experiment!
    You also may need to run that mic into a preamp....in fact I can guarantee it.
     
  4. rush313 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #4
    Hi there,
    it is a Shure cartioid condenser mic. ksm27.

    there is nowhere on the phantom power box to turn it up. the thing is, if I get really close to the mic it sounds great. i am just used to sitting back and playing and the Macbook's mic picking it up, so I was wondering why this Mic I spent a (relatively) good chunk of change on isn't doing a better job.
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #5
    as mentioned, it needs phantom power. you need to get some kind of interface that has 1) mic pre's, and 2) can throw phantom power.
     
  6. rush313 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 14, 2008
    #6
    it is running into a phantom power box, but you're saying I ALSO need a pre-amp to power it?
     
  7. ophidean macrumors member

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    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #7
    Are you using any hardware with the Mic? How are you plugging it into the Mac.
     
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #8
    Yes. The input of the MacBook is a line level in, not a mic level in. The signal from the mic (or almost any mic) is too low to record well, it needs to be preamplified.

    You have a choice of using a preamp or a mixer, and running the output into the MacBook, or buying a USB or Firewire audio interface that includes 1 or more preamps plus a higher quality A/D - D/A conversion circuit to get better quality sound than your built in converters will do.

    Please read the sticky threads at the top of the Digital Audio sub forum, where many of these basics are explained.
     
  9. ophidean macrumors member

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    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
  10. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    Jun 14, 2006
  11. rush313 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #11
  12. Greenone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    #12
    Hey -

    I hope you don't mind my butting in here but i've been researching too, being in the exact same boat as you are, and I'd be cautious about getting m-audio since they're not very compatible with macs from what i'm reading. pretty awful in fact. Do a search on here and elsewhere and you'll find lots of problems (or google m-audio and mac).

    Here's just one example, right here!:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=292746

    The most mac-friendly brand I've found so far is PreSonus (e.g. the FireBox).

    At any rate, good luck (to me too...I need to hurry up and make a decision)!
     
  13. mannix87 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    in the southeast
    #13
    ^i have a couple of M-Audio products, (Firewire Solo, MobilePreUSB and a midi controller) & I haven't had any problems with them. I use them for both GB and Logic Express recordings, even Live works fine with them.
     
  14. rush313 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #14
    I ended up getting a really good deal on an m-audio interface and have had really good luck with it. Works like a charm.
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #15
    digi (and, hence, m-audio) ensure their software is working w/ different versions of osx before either giving the okay or releasing a compatible version.

    if you're trying to install a version of the software on a version of osx with which it's not compatible, of course you're going to have problems. but to say, "it's not very compatible" is misleading. when versions are correctly matched, PT is very stable.
     
  16. Tedfive macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    #16
    Shure mic easy use with GarageBand without preamps etc...

    GarageBand (or Ipad/phone/ Mac/PC) wants mic's of 2.2 kohm and Shure ones are generally 600.
    That's why the output seems low.
    Rather than messing about with expensive preamps, power, etc simply use one of the many Guitar Amp inputs in GarageBand. They expect a low input.
    You will then have more controls with the amp than you had with the mic input (such as eq & presence etc).
    The only thing I had to buy is one of those inline filter/ transformers (it's not really a transformer it's an unpowered filter or resister with a single switch for low or high impedance). I actually then found my Shure mic a bit high giving a slight buzz so the filter is set to LOW and it's absolutely fine...

    _____________
    The filter is a short cylindrical stick, not much bigger than a guitar plug with an XLR plug moulded on one end and a very short bit of cable from the other end to a jack plug. There's a switch in the middle with either LOW or HIGH positions and you simply connect it inline from your mic and set it to low.
    Try tests. You might not need one....
    ______________

    I hope this helps...
     
  17. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #17
    Of course you have a preamp. There is one built into the mac. But what you need a s a GOOD (or even just "fair") preamp and that is NOT built into the Mac.

    Any decent USB audio interface like say the Presonus "Audio box" and the same from some other brand will be a world above what you are using now.

    The next jump inquality comes froma real, dedicated microphone preamp with some analog compressors, limitors and so on. But that is a bit "nuts" for home recording to spend $5K on a rack fullof gear. the simple $150 "audio box" is 95% as good. (It is that last 5% to costs the four digit price..)

    I'm actually a little surprised you are getting usable results at all. I'd hiss and poor dynamic range.
     
  18. Tedfive macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    #18
    The guitar input requires much less resistance.
    Take your pills...
     

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