Not enough volume on playback
When I record my guitar-tracks in 24 bit unpacked recording and playback format, the playback just is not loud enough! I try to set all the volume meters to the max, but I can still just barely hear my recording. If I switch the playback format to 16, the sound is loud enough, but the quality is not good.
Does anyone know what is wrong?
Please help me! I am itching to record!!
What do your wav files look like, i.e., are the volume levels really low?
Make sure that you’re getting enough input signal to your card. Some cards allow you to set the sensitivity of the input. Perhaps you have it set to +4dBu and it should be at -10dBV?
do you have your monitoring meters up and running?.. that’s a good starting point before you click “record”… if you’re getting a low signal in the meter, try checking your mixer to enure that your line in levels are up…
Right – though, you shouldn’t get a difference in level when switching between 16 bit and 24 bit. Perhaps “24-bit unpacked” isn’t the correct format for your card. (Unfortunately, you have to try all the options and use the one that works best. Usually, wrong ones sound terrible, but it’s conceivable that a wrong format just makes it quiet).
Tell us what your signal chain is. Be sure to turn on recording meters, and see what peak levels you get when you set up to record. Usually you want to be able to peg the meters with the loudest playing and then turn down so that won’t happen. But sometimes, you just can’t get good levels (and that’s yet another case where 24 bits really helps, but it’s not ideal).
For example, when I use my Shure SM57 to record acoustic guitar through my MOTU 828, the peak levels are below -12 dB, maybe a bit lower. This is the fault of the MOTU 828’s preamps, which need a little more juice. But I’m happy with the results nonetheless. As another example, when I use the digital output on my Genesis3 (a POD-like unit), I get low levels for recording. But I know there’s a parameter in the Genesis I can twiddle to fix that, just haven’t got around to it yet (haven’t done much serious electric guitar recording, and if you heard me play it you’d understand why. )
So, let us know what you’re doing and we can help you better.
Thanks for all the replies! My soundcard is M-Audio Delta 66. And the monitors are definatly up and running, but I have to take the track mix volume up all the way until it says “clip” to hear what I have recorded.
It is just so frustrating! I’ll look into it some more now, but still there is no progress…
What are your track’s peak values?
Aha – If you have to peg the output meters to hear much, then you clearly have a problem in the monitoring chain. Also, as I mentioned above, this might be a factor of which 24-bit mode you’re using. Have you tried all 3 modes? I especially suspect this because you say it works fine in 16-bit mode.
Import a commercial wave clip into n-Track and play it while trying different bit modes with your soundcard. When that sounds right, then try recording something and let us know how it goes.
And of course Bubba’s right that if you suspect you have a recording problem, always tell us the levels in the recorded track. To do this, solo the track (if it isn’t the only one), set its fader at zero, set the master fader at zero (if you’ve moved it), and watch the output meters. Tell us the numbers you get at the top (the peak readings).
|Quote (learjeff @ June 08 2005,18:43)|
|And of course Bubba’s right that if you suspect you have a recording problem, always tell us the levels in the recorded track. To do this, solo the track (if it isn’t the only one), set its fader at zero, set the master fader at zero (if you’ve moved it), and watch the output meters. Tell us the numbers you get at the top (the peak readings).|
You can also click the wave file, then go to the Edit menu and select Normalize, then just hit the Scan button. That scans the wave file and tells you the highest peak’s value (and then make sure to hit Cancel!).
|Quote (aikan @ June 08 2005,19:29)|
|You can also click the wave file, then go to the Edit menu and select Normalize, then just hit the Scan button. That scans the wave file and tells you the highest peak's value (and then make sure to hit Cancel!).|
Bah, that's no fun.