Distortion? How to stop it?

I’m new at recording. I have a 24 bit Audigy2 soundcard in my PC and a condensor mic. I’m just using the nTrack free download now as I’m just learning. My problem is that when I record, anything remotely loud sounds terribly distorted. Even playing chords on acoustic guitar. Is my recording volume too high? I have the mic about 3 feet from the guitar? Is that too close or too far? What do I need to do? Thanks. When I play electric, it is incredibly distorted.

Are you using some sort of mixer, or preamp in?
Or going directly into the soundcard with the mic, or feeding of the guitar amp? Could be the window line in volume setting ect. ect.

There’s acouple of things that could be causing distortion, but more info would help us diagnose

How are you connecting your mic to your soundcard?
And what socket are you using on the soundcard?

Sounds like you may just be using you “mic” input.
this will have a crappy mic pre-amp suitable for netphone chatting but little else.

If possible connect your mic to a pre-amp (most mixers will have mic pre-amps on some or all channels) and then to the line in on your soundcard.
This should give you a much cleaner signal.

If you can’t do that.
Go into your soundblaster mixer settings and pull the mic level down.
That may help.
You should be abel to record without distortion. But it may not be a very strong level…


Thanks. I do have my mic going into a preamp and then into the mic in on the soundcard. Should I put it in the line in?

the pre-amp will have a line level signal comping out of it so you should plug it into the line in.

At the moment you are basically amplifying hte signal twice (which is how most guitar amps get their distortion).


That would explain it. Thanks for the advice!

Man, I just got home and tried putting in the Line in…and nothing. Doesn’t record a thing. I have no idea what to do now.

You probably need to change your soundcard mixer settings to disable recording from the mic input and record from the line in socket instead. If it’s like most Creative mixers there is probably a check box that you check/uncheck to select the recording source


Yeah and while your in there it probably wouldn’t hurt to turn the line in volume up, tee hee.

FYI… In case you are unsure of ow to do this… in Windows, go to Start>All Programs>Accesories>Entertainmet It is on that list somewhere… Why the heck Did Microsoft have to hide it so well? ???

You can also get to it via
Start > Control Panle > Sounds and Audio Devices

That’s not too hidden and a pretty obvious place for it :)

Also if you are using XP and you adjust your soundcard propreties a lot you can always drag and rop it into your start menu