Author Topic: USB mic  (Read 586 times)

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Offline SgtColon

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USB mic
« on: November 25, 2021, 08:26:05 am »
I'm not sure if this is the right section, so sorry if it's not.

I tried to do a recording last night for the AVOYP section and had a couple of problems.

I tried on my laptop using OBS studio and the audio kept dipping and at times I sounded like Norman Collier. So that was a no go. I then tried on my mobile, but I have this strange issue on there where the screen does what can only be described as a refresh and I would get about halfway through the song and the screen would refresh and the recording would stop (maybe my phone is trying to tell me something  ??? ).

Anyway, after all that waffle, my question is, would a USB mic be better than the mic that comes inbuilt with the laptop? Would it be okay for my playing and singing?

Also, if it is a yes then please could someone recommend one?

Thank you. 
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Offline Majik

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2021, 08:47:30 am »
I'm not sure why the mic is dropping in and out; it shouldn't do that.

But an external mic should be much better quality.

Take a look at the Audio Technica ATR2100-USB as one option. It's a USB mic and will be great for general purpose use. And the nice thing about this particular model is that it has both USB and XLR so it can be used into an external audio interface if you get one in future.

It also has a headphone connection for monitoring. It'#s a decent, flexible mic at a decent price.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline DavidP

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2021, 09:00:13 am »
Stefan,

My first suggestion would be to investigate what caused your phone to misbehave in the midst of the recording. Not totally sure I know what you mean by "refresh". That aside, I assume it is some kind of config setting that causes that, perhaps about how apps behave in the background, or powersave modes, or something akin to that.  I can't imagine any reason why you should not be able to make a video recording with your phone.

Similarly you ought to be able to make a recording with OBS using the laptop mic. Again not sure what you mean by "dipping". I can't comment on the audio quality from a tonal sense, but it ought to be at a consistent level based on the level of your playing and singing.  Again, this could be a case with either some applications running concurrently or config settings.

Of the two, probably a video made with the phone and then easily uploaded to either YT or a shared folder would be a better option, both visual and audio, than the laptop.

Adding a better external webcam and mic may well deliver a better result than the phone on the laptop.

My phone delivers a better quality video than my webcam. If I recall a thread posted by Gordon aka sairfingers, he explored external mic for a phone and found the cost to out way the benefit for the simple use case of making videos for AVOYP.

So perhaps at this stage adding a USB mic, which would improve the audio quality on the laptop, is also not worth the money. Perhaps something to consider later when you want to start getting into home recording in a more serious way.

This assumes that you can figure out the issue on the phone.  Perhaps share more details on that and somebody can make suggestions as to what may need to be fixed.
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Offline SgtColon

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2021, 09:10:53 am »
Thank you both for the replies.

Keith, that mic looks pretty good. I had added it to my Amazon wish list. Maybe someone, when I say someone I mean a family member, will see it on my list and well, Christmas and my birthday are coming up so you never know.

David, I agree with the phone that it shouldn't be doing that. I have reset it all once and it was fine for a couple of weeks and then started doing it again.

If when you're on your computer, if you minimise everything so you can just see your desktop and then press F5 or fn F5, depending on how you have things setup and you will see your screen refresh. Well this is what is happening on my phone. If I'm recording, it stops the recording or when I was using Justin's app and I was playing along to a song, the song would pause. It's a right pain in the bum but I don't seem to have the inclination to try and find out what is causing it and sort it out.
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Offline brianlarsen

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2021, 09:12:11 am »
As one of the resident techno-dinos, I shall refrain from casting pearls before this Peppa, but have a  downpayment of vibes for deciding to take the plunge  :)
My only advice: Try to post something representative of where your really are, as opposed to a lucky take with post-production polishing. You'll find it easier to see your improvement if you don't set the bar too high  ;)

Offline J.W.C.

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2021, 09:26:47 am »
I tried on my laptop using OBS studio and the audio kept dipping and at times I sounded like Norman Collier.

You mean like the "faulty microphone" routine he did? I wonder if your laptop was struggling with the audio processing. Hard to say for certain. You might need to dig into the config options and find the best balance of sample rate, buffer size, buffer periods, etc. for your hardware.

I then tried on my mobile, but I have this strange issue on there where the screen does what can only be described as a refresh and I would get about halfway through the song and the screen would refresh and the recording would stop (maybe my phone is trying to tell me something  ??? ).

To me, that sounds like the app you're using to record crashed or reset.

Anyway, after all that waffle, my question is, would a USB mic be better than the mic that comes inbuilt with the laptop? Would it be okay for my playing and singing?

An external mic would definitely have better audio quality than the laptop's built-in mic. However, it's not guaranteed to solve the recording issue you experienced on your laptop. It depends on what was causing the issue in the first place.

I'll second Majik's recommendation. That's a solid option, especially since it supports XLR and gives you some "room to grow" if you end up getting a dedicated audio interface at some point.

Offline DavidP

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2021, 09:58:21 am »
It's a right pain in the bum but I don't seem to have the inclination to try and find out what is causing it and sort it out.

However, it's not guaranteed to solve the recording issue you experienced on your laptop. It depends on what was causing the issue in the first place.

Stefan, however much pain this may generate in the posterior, which ever route you choose to go, you are going to need to resolve the issues on either phone or laptop.

And I think with an appropriate adapter that mic could also be used as an external mic into the phone, which I think is still the better video-recording option, once you've solved the reset problem.
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Offline DarrellW

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2021, 10:41:55 am »
If your laptop is struggling with resources this could be the reason why this is happening; your computer would prioritise what it sees as being the most critical functions, I don’t think that running a recording input would be high on that list!
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Offline sairfingers

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2021, 11:10:19 am »
My phone delivers a better quality video than my webcam. If I recall a thread posted by Gordon aka sairfingers, he explored external mic for a phone and found the cost to out way the benefit for the simple use case of making videos for AVOYP.
Yes, I explored the use of an external mic to use in conjunction with my phone. It wasn’t so much a recording quality issue I had, it was the fact that when you get the video framed where you want it you are then of course stuck with that as the mic position. It can then be difficult to get the sound balance between your vocal, your guitar and an external backing track if you’re using one.

I decided it wasn’t worth the cost and indeed I’m still not sure if it would improve things as you would still have to juggle the mic position to balance voice, guitar and backing track. 
To get all these things balanced properly you really need to go down the line of a DAW with mics, interfaces and all that ‘techie stuff’.
I only record for feedback on AVoYP so my phone is perfectly good for that.

My only advice: Try to post something representative of where your really are, as opposed to a lucky take with post-production polishing. You'll find it easier to see your improvement if you don't set the bar too high  ;)
I second this from Brian. I see my AVoYPs as lines in the sand. If I was to wait until ‘take 29’ I’d never post anything!

Of course we want to be seen and heard playing well and that ties into another current forum thread of ‘honest feedback on my singing’. Funny how we all go round in circles.
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Offline SgtColon

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2021, 11:46:55 am »
Thank you everyone for your feedback.  :)

I'll stop being lazy and look into the issues I have. My laptop has an i7 processor and 16gb of ram. It was running nothing other then OBS Studio, so maybe a faulty mic?

Anyway this is a test I was doing to see what the quality was like but didn't think the quality was good enough to put in the AVOYP as even the guitar doesn't sound good (might be my playing though).



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Don't take life to seriously, no one gets out alive.

Offline sairfingers

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2021, 12:05:37 pm »
Well you needn’t worry. Your singing and playing are both really good. Smooth chord changes, steady strumming and a great vocal.

I agree with you that the recording quality isn’t that great however. Have you tried simply using the audio/video of the phone without using OBS studio?
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Offline SgtColon

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2021, 12:07:31 pm »
Thanks Gordon. :)

I have and the recording on my phone is a lot better but it just doesn't let me record a whole song without it doing it's silly screen thing and stopping my recording. I want to give you guys a whole song.  ;D
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Don't take life to seriously, no one gets out alive.

Offline DavidP

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2021, 12:09:36 pm »
As Gordon says, Stefan, that was sounding really good, not withstanding whatever was going on with the laptop mic into OBS.

Based on the laptop spec there is no reason why you should not be able to make a simple recording. So either a faulty mic or perhaps something in the device settings. I'm not an expert.

All I'd suggest is get the Task Manager up next time you try and record to see what else might be going on.
Began the adventure Dec 2016 expecting little, achieved more than I imagined, and now I'm a happy advancing beginner
Road Case: https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=41958.0
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Offline DarrellW

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2021, 12:25:14 pm »
Based on the laptop spec there is no reason why you should not be able to make a simple recording. So either a faulty mic or perhaps something in the device settings. I'm not an expert.
Agreed, the spec of the laptop should be ok, maybe some more ram would be better but not essential. Make sure that the latest drivers are on and try recording something else to see if it does the same thing.
You could try this, it’s a tool that I’ve used in the past!
https://www.onlinemictest.com/
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Offline SgtColon

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2021, 12:49:19 pm »
Thanks David. :)

I'll check out the setting and see if there is anything I can tinker with.

Thanks Darrell. :)

I'll give the link a try when I get in from work.
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Don't take life to seriously, no one gets out alive.

Offline DavidP

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2021, 02:36:40 pm »
Agreed, the spec of the laptop should be ok, maybe some more ram would be better but not essential.

I'm currently running Reaper on 8GB of RAM  :o

The original song made use of two Digital Instrument plugins, plus guitar pedal, amp, and cabinet sim, plus fx on the various tracks, including a number of Izotope plug-ins on the master.  And as long as I didn't open too many plug interfaces concurrently it coped.  I am now planning to upgrade to 16GM. 

Stefan, for what you are doing I'd say 16GB should be ample. But worth opening Task Manager and looking at memory utilisation just to be sure

I wonder if there is a conflict on the sound card, have you disabled the mic on the laptop ? I have found if there is more than once source of input (recording) then there is likely to be interference. I am not sure if its mandatory but make sure your USB mic is the only device available for recording.

Jumping the gun there, Toby, at this stage Stefan is only recording using the laptop built-in mic.
Began the adventure Dec 2016 expecting little, achieved more than I imagined, and now I'm a happy advancing beginner
Road Case: https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=41958.0
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Offline tobyjenner

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2021, 02:56:41 pm »
David

I've deleted, rather than cloud the waters. Looks like I'm on a roll today, so I will get back in to box.

Cheers

Toby
 :-[
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Offline DavidP

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2021, 03:16:45 pm »
David

I've deleted, rather than cloud the waters. Looks like I'm on a roll today, so I will get back in to box.

Cheers

Toby
 :-[

Happens, easy peasy.  Now delete that one and I'll delete this one and it'll have never happened.
Began the adventure Dec 2016 expecting little, achieved more than I imagined, and now I'm a happy advancing beginner
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Offline SgtColon

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2021, 06:09:08 pm »
It's like the Daleks have arrived.  ;D
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Offline DarrellW

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Re: USB mic
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2021, 06:55:05 pm »
Still here, still learning and still a monumentally stubborn old f4rt 😂

 

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