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Online J.W.C.

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2021, 11:56:55 am »
@J.W.C:
could you explain a little bit more please? I  didn't get all that. Where does latency come in?

Here's an explanation from my interface's manual:

Quote from: Interface Manual
You will frequently hear the term “latency” used in connection with digital audio systems. In the case of the simple DAW recording application described above, latency will be the time it takes for your input signals to pass through your computer and audio software, and back out again via your audio interface. While not an issue for most simple recording situations, under some circumstances, latency can be a problem for a performer who wishes to record while monitoring their input signals. This might be the case if you need to increase the size of your DAW’s recording buffer, which could be necessary when you record overdubs on a particularly large project using many DAW tracks, software instruments and FX plug-ins. Common symptoms of too low a buffer setting include audio glitching (clicks and pops) or an unusually high CPU overhead within your DAW (most DAWs show current CPU usage). Buffer size may be increased on Macs from within the DAW application itself, while on PCs it is usually accessed on the DAW Setup Preferences page.

The Scarlett 18i8, in conjunction with Focusrite Control, allows “low latency monitoring”, which overcomes this problem. You can route your input signals directly to the Scarlett 18i8’s headphone outputs. This enables the musicians to hear themselves with ultra-low latency – i.e., effectively in “real time” – along with the computer playback. The input signals to the computer are not affected in any way by this setting. However, note that any effects being added to the live instruments by software plug-ins will not be heard in the headphones in this case, although the FX will still be present on the recording.

So basically, if you have a USB mic plugged into your computer, there will be some degree of latency imposed by going into the computer, the computer processing the audio, and the computer routing it back out (e.g., ultimately to your headphones). Such latency is usually measured in milliseconds, but it can be noticeable in some recording situations.

If you use a mic plugged directly into the interface (e.g., an XLR mic) along with headphones plugged into the interface, you can take advantage of lower-latency input monitoring that effectively eliminates the possible issue. And if you have an interface, anyway, I don't see any reason to prefer a USB mic. Just my opinion, of course. YMMV.

Quote
What is a  large diaphragm condenser mic and why would it be the preffered mic?

Well, first there's the difference between dynamic and condenser mics. In general, dynamic mics are more durable and can usually handle higher volumes without clipping (which are reasons they're a go-to choice for live performances and mic'ing loud guitar amps). Condenser mics have a clearer and smoother and (usually) wider frequency response. They usually "sound better." They also usually require "phantom power" from your interface or mixer (which isn't a problem -- almost all interfaces can provide phantom power). Dynamic mics are excellent for live vocals and for mic'ing loud instruments like drums and guitar amplifiers. Condenser mics tend to be more sensitive, and are excellent for "studio/recording" vocals, acoustic guitars, et cetera. A single condenser mic is also sensitive enough to capture both guitar and vocal at the same time, if you want.

Large vs. small diameter has to do with the size of the diaphragm within the mic, but there's more to it than that. Small diameter condensers are good microphones. They usually have a better frequency response (especially at the high end), and usually a more consistent polar pattern across frequencies. Consequently, they sound very "natural." They're often used for recording classical instruments, for example. And I think they're frequently used for things like drums recorded in the studio, as well.

The main "on paper" advantage of large diaphragm condenser mics is that they tend to have better noise floor characteristics than small diaphragm condensers. They also tend to have a reduced proximity effect compared to small diaphragm condensers. The technical "shortcomings" of a large diaphragm condenser kind of add up to give it a certain "lush" or "rich" sound. They work really well for vocals, and for acoustic guitar (or other solo instruments), and for recording a guitar + vocal performance. For a "home studio," I think the combination of good noise characteristics and lush/rich sound is a very solid combination.

As a side note, most large diaphragm condensers are "side addressed" (you record into the side of the mic), and most small diaphragm condensers are "end addressed" (you record into the end of the microphone).

There's not a single "best" choice. It's more of a right tool for the job kind of thing. But if you only have one or two mics, a large diaphragm condenser is a solid choice. If I had one mic (for recording), it would be a large diaphragm condenser. Again, opinions can vary and there isn't a single "correct" answer.

Offline Lord_Gigabyte

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2021, 12:35:35 pm »
Allright. Thank you for the explanation.

Now i think i know what i need to get started if i want to do some recording.
I think i can get 2 birds with one stone here. (i think).

So i have this question: if i was to plug in a mic (large diaphragm condenser) into the UMC202HD, i could hear myself/guitar, on headphones, without latency AND have it recorded (either "dry" or with effects) in Ardour?

Would that be correct? Again, thank you all for the help!

I'll get it in the end. Just don't give up, that's the key....

Offline Majik

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2021, 12:39:53 pm »
To follow up on what J.W.C. said...

If you already have a USB microphone, by all means use it, try it out, and see what you can do with it.

If you don't already have one, and you are considering buying an audio interface, like the UMC202HD, which has XLR inputs and phantom power, then I would recommend you don't buy a USB mic.

USB mics have their merits but, for many reasons, a traditional analogue mic into an AI will be better. One of those reasons is to enable low-latency monitoring, as J.W.C. mentioned (although some USB mics, like the ATR2100x I have do support low-latency monitoring).

One of the other key reasons is that a USB Mic will present itself as a separate USB audio device. By default, on Linux (and some other OSs), you cannot use two separate audio interfaces at the same time. This means you could not easily, for instance, record from both your AI and the USB mic at the same time. You would need to switch between them and use them one at a time by, effectively, restarting the audio system each time. Now this isn't difficult, but it's an additional faff-factor, especially if the audio devices need slightly different buffer configuration.

Now there are ways around this, but they are a bit tricky on Linux, and it's much better to just have a single audio device.

The technical reason for it, if you care:
USB audio devices will have an analogue to digital converter in them which "samples" the analogue signal to convert it to digital data. This is done at regular intervals controlled by a "clock" which is set to the given sample rate (e..g. 44.1kHz) or a multiple thereof. However, different audio devices will have separate, independent clocks and these clocks will all run at slightly different rates. Therefore, the audio data stream created by different audio devices will not be in sync with each other, which causes problems. In the worst case this can cause occasional "clicks" in the resulting audio as the two audio streams resync.

There are ways to re-write the streams using a technique called "asynchronous rate conversion", but this actually alters (and distorts) the original audio streams slightly. Whether or not this is acceptable, or audible, is debatable, but most setups which aim to offer "pro" audio avoid doing this. The only way to avoid it with most USB audio interfaces is to limit the user to using one device at a time.

Many professional (and expensive) audio interfaces have a "word clock" connection which lets you directly connect two audio interfaces so they can sync the clocks for just this reason.

But the bottom line is: you should aim to get an audio interface which supports the number of simultaneous connections you want to record. You can "hack" it to use multiple devices at once, but it's not recommended.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Majik

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2021, 12:41:28 pm »
So i have this question: if i was to plug in a mic (large diaphragm condenser) into the UMC202HD, i could hear myself/guitar, on headphones, without latency AND have it recorded (either "dry" or with effects) in Ardour?

Yes, but the zero-latency monitoring would not have any effects on it (it would be the dry sound). That's probably not a big issue for acoustic guitar.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Majik

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2021, 12:45:01 pm »

Offline Lord_Gigabyte

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2021, 06:57:55 am »
Awesome feedback! Thank you guys for all the information.

I haven't bought anything yet. I wanted to have as much information as possible first.
That way, i can make a purchase to fit my needs.

Having read all the information, i'll go and order this here:

Interface:
https://www.bax-shop.be/nl/externe-audio-interface/behringer-u-phoria-umc202hd-audio-interface
and this microphone;
https://www.bax-shop.be/nl/grootmembraan-condensatormicrofoons/devine-m-mic-pro-xlr-bk-grootmembraan-condensatormicrofoon-zwart

Would this be a good combo for a beginner?

I'll get it in the end. Just don't give up, that's the key....

Offline Majik

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2021, 12:36:17 pm »
Having read all the information, i'll go and order this here:

and this microphone;
https://www.bax-shop.be/nl/grootmembraan-condensatormicrofoons/devine-m-mic-pro-xlr-bk-grootmembraan-condensatormicrofoon-zwart

Would this be a good combo for a beginner?

It will work. My only concern would be the microphone, simply because I've never used one or seen much about it. Some of the reviews on bax-shop.co.uk were variable, but for the price it looks like a good option. I also found this:





So I would say it's probably a good option to start out with.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Lord_Gigabyte

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2021, 07:45:46 am »
Thank you for posting that review.

The recorded guitar sounded great afaik. I don't know if mine will sound just as good as in the video, but it's a start. (so much to learn).

I think this mic will do the job for the time being. Since this is my first foray into recording etc, i don't think i'll be needing high end recording materials. The basics will do for now.

I'll get it in the end. Just don't give up, that's the key....

Offline Lord_Gigabyte

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2021, 01:38:05 pm »
Yay!!

I just ordered the hardware. I'm expecting it to be delivered by tuesday, but with bax shop, you never know. Might be wednesday or thursday.

But it's underway! Can't wait to give it all a go.
I'll get it in the end. Just don't give up, that's the key....

Offline DavidP

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2021, 01:57:48 pm »
Sounds great, LG, look forward to following progress as you learn and discover

Offline Lord_Gigabyte

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2021, 03:35:17 pm »
Thank you.

My first reaction was: "Ooh, this will be a laugh." The sort of greenish type i suppose, but hey, that's learning.

I'm really looking forward to recording myself and sharing whatever comes out of my guitar, with the community.
I'm not saying it will be any good, but at least it'll be something.

Having honest feedback will do me some good, i think. I'll help progress, i think.

I'll get it in the end. Just don't give up, that's the key....

Offline Lord_Gigabyte

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2021, 03:53:33 pm »
Hardware came in this week. It seems i forgot to order a headphone. So that's on it's way too.

I had a look at Ardour, hooking up the UMC202 and (ofcourse) i have a question. (There will be more).

What do you use, ALSA or JACK? And why?
Ardour uses Alsa as a "standard", but it can use jack too.
This is somewhat confusing, because when selecting jack, there's jack as the audio system, but there's alsa as a driver.

I'd like to record audio via ai/mic, or via ai/guitar/headphones, but when i play the recording (in ardour), i'd like to have the sound going through my speakers. (hooked up to my pc).

Edit:
I just noticed that when i plug in the umc202, there's no sound playing from the speakers anymore. Youtube, for instance will stop playing and there's no sound.
I'm missing something, but what?

Thanks for the help!


« Last Edit: April 07, 2021, 07:32:22 pm by Lord_Gigabyte »
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Offline Lord_Gigabyte

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2021, 07:36:13 pm »
Hardware came in this week. It seems i forgot to order a headphone. So that's on it's way too.

I had a look at Ardour, hooking up the UMC202 and (ofcourse) i have a question. (There will be more).

What do you use, ALSA or JACK? And why?
Ardour uses Alsa as a "standard", but it can use jack too.
This is somewhat confusing, because when selecting jack, there's jack as the audio system, but there's alsa as a driver.

I'd like to record audio via ai/mic, or via ai/guitar/headphones, but when i play the recording (in ardour), i'd like to have the sound going through my speakers. (hooked up to my pc).

Edit 1:
I just noticed that when i plug in the umc202, there's no sound playing from the speakers anymore. Youtube, for instance will stop playing and there's no sound.
I'm missing something, but what?

Edit 2:
I've just read that this would be called pass through and would amount to a ton of feedback.

Thanks for the help!
I'll get it in the end. Just don't give up, that's the key....

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2021, 07:39:29 pm »
Is there a main mix/phones button ? That should be selected.  8)
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Offline Majik

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2021, 07:50:47 pm »


What do you use, ALSA or JACK? And why?
Ardour uses Alsa as a "standard", but it can use jack too.
This is somewhat confusing, because when selecting jack, there's jack as the audio system, but there's alsa as a driver.

Use ALSA unless you have a good reason to need JACK. You probably don't.

JACK is a layer over ALSA that adds some capabilities, but you probably don't need them, and it adds complexity.

I would leave exploring that for the future.

Quote
I'd like to record audio via ai/mic, or via ai/guitar/headphones, but when i play the recording (in ardour), i'd like to have the sound going through my speakers. (hooked up to my pc).

Iow you want to use two separate, instances audio devices. That's not an out-of-the-box supported setup for either ALSA or JACK. There's ways to do it but it's a bit tricky. If you want this, it's probably best to use Pulse audio.

If you can connect your speakers into your UMC202 then that will normally be the best solution.

Quote
Edit:
I just noticed that when i plug in the umc202, there's no sound playing from the speakers anymore. Youtube, for instance will stop playing and there's no sound.
I'm missing something, but what?

Probably because Pulseaudio (assuming you are using that, you probably are) has switched to the new audio device. Look for an app called "pulseaudo volume control" to give you the ability to switch between the external audio device and the built-in one on your PC.

But, as I said before, you will normally be better in all respects if you try to use the UMC202 for everything.

Cheers,

Keith



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Offline Lord_Gigabyte

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2021, 08:29:57 pm »
Thank you for the explanation.

And you were right! I lacked pavucontrol to see what is going on.

But, i will follow your advice. Which leads me to another question. (and probably an overstretched budget...)
Saying that i'd better leave everything to the umc202, would that mean buying 2 speakers to plug into the a.i.?
If so, what would you suggest for a beginner?

I'll get it in the end. Just don't give up, that's the key....

Offline Majik

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #41 on: April 07, 2021, 10:42:57 pm »
Do the speakers you currently have on your PC not connect to the UMC202?

If not, I would look at getting something moderately priced, but good, like the Behringer MS-16.

They are not professional standard, but are good.for the price and a step over laptop speakers and many cheap PC speakers.

Cheers,

Keith



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Offline AzureJasper

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #42 on: April 07, 2021, 10:58:26 pm »
I’ve been looking into this myself this week, and think I might settle on the behringer clone of the sure sm57 mic (called the SL 75 C). It’s cheap and has lots of great reviews. So this mike paired with either a cheap behringer interface or the scarlet for about twice the price, and use Gararge band on my laptop for the DAW. For just home recording of myself I don’t want to spend too much, and $30 Aussie dollars isn’t much for a well reviewed mic. Currently I use the voice memo function on my phone to record myself, and place the phones mic close and inline with the speaker which sounds quite terrible...

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #43 on: April 07, 2021, 11:54:24 pm »
Jasper

Ok its 5 x the cost Behringer but consider this and look at the reviews.

https://www.thomann.de/fr/mackie_em_91c.htm

Its great and I've used on my last 4-5 recordings.

Cheers

Toby
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Online J.W.C.

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2021, 05:01:49 am »
What do you use, ALSA or JACK? And why?

I use JACK. The main reason is because I like the tools for controlling everything. I want to be able to control sound from pulseaudio apps, MIDI, my DAW, etc. all at the same time. I run JACK all the time, and run the various JACK "bridges" for ALSA audio, ALSA MIDI, and PulseAudio. Everything is routed through JACK.

It's more complicated, but it gives me the control I want. Once it's set up it works great. Setting it all up is the trick (and can be a pain in the butt).

For basic recording you're probably fine just using ALSA directly. There's time to play with JACK, later, if you want or need to.

Quote
I'd like to record audio via ai/mic, or via ai/guitar/headphones, but when i play the recording (in ardour), i'd like to have the sound going through my speakers. (hooked up to my pc).

I'd recommend connecting speakers to the interface rather than the PC.

Offline Lord_Gigabyte

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2021, 12:23:48 pm »
Do the speakers you currently have on your PC not connect to the UMC202?

If not, I would look at getting something moderately priced, but good, like the Behringer MS-16.

They are not professional standard, but are good.for the price and a step over laptop speakers and many cheap PC speakers.

Cheers,

Keith



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Hello Majik.

Sadly, they don't. (They're logitech speakers. 3 speakers with one 3,5mm jack).
But i'll have a look at the speakers you recommended.

I use JACK. The main reason is because I like the tools for controlling everything. I want to be able to control sound from pulseaudio apps, MIDI, my DAW, etc. all at the same time. I run JACK all the time, and run the various JACK "bridges" for ALSA audio, ALSA MIDI, and PulseAudio. Everything is routed through JACK.

It's more complicated, but it gives me the control I want. Once it's set up it works great. Setting it all up is the trick (and can be a pain in the butt).

For basic recording you're probably fine just using ALSA directly. There's time to play with JACK, later, if you want or need to.

I'd recommend connecting speakers to the interface rather than the PC.


That would seem the way to go indeed. I've been looking at JACK yesterday and for now, i think i'll go with ALSA.
But it will be something i'll look into later on. It seems too good not to.

Thank you all for the help!
I'll get it in the end. Just don't give up, that's the key....

Offline Majik

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2021, 12:28:37 pm »
Hello Majik.

Sadly, they don't. (They're logitech speakers. 3 speakers with one 3,5mm jack).
But i'll have a look at the speakers you recommended.

If it's a standard "headphone" style 3.5mm jack plug, you may be able to connect them to the AI with an adapter, like this one:



Cheers,

Keith


Offline Lord_Gigabyte

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2021, 12:45:48 pm »
Yes, that's the one. A standard headphone jack plug.

This plug has one cable that connects the 3 speakers. [url]https://www.alternate.be/Logitech/Speaker-System-Z313-pc-luidspreker/html/product/252306[/url

The umc202 has 2 connections at the back for 6,3mm jack plugs (L&R).
I'm afraid these connectors won't fit.

Wouldn't it be better to have dedicated speakers for the ai? Something like the beringers?
I'll get it in the end. Just don't give up, that's the key....

Offline DavidP

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2021, 12:52:24 pm »
Wouldn't it be better to have dedicated speakers for the ai? Something like the beringers?

I made do with just headphones for quite some time. And now that I have monitors connected to my AI, I still do majority of my listening via headphone in order to manage noise in the house.

Offline Majik

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Re: Recording yourself
« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2021, 01:02:11 pm »
Yes, that's the one. A standard headphone jack plug.

This plug has one cable that connects the 3 speakers. https://www.alternate.be/Logitech/Speaker-System-Z313-pc-luidspreker/html/product/252306

The umc202 has 2 connections at the back for 6,3mm jack plugs (L&R).
I'm afraid these connectors won't fit.

I was thinking about the phono "playback" sockets on the UMC202HD. It looks like you might have the UMC202 (without the HD), which doesn't seem to have these sockets.

If you want to use the "main out" sockets, you would need something like this adaptor



Quote
Wouldn't it be better to have dedicated speakers for the ai? Something like the beringers?

Well, if you unplug the speakers from the PC and plug them into the AI, then they will be dedicated to it  ;)

The point is, you generally wouldn't be using the (usually fairly crappy) sound card built into your PC any more, so you wouldn't need to have speakers connected directly to it.

Depending on what PC speaker system you have, the MS-16s may, or may not be better quality for music production and monitoring. Getting an adaptor and using your existing speakers is a very low cost option which, IMO is worth trying. If you decide to upgrade the speakers to something better in the future, then you can.

I should repeat that the MS-16 are not particularly "high-end" monitor speakers, but they are relatively low cost and good for the money. But if your existing PC speaker setup is good, the MS-16s may not be an upgrade for you.

Cheers,

Keith

 

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