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White Noise When Mic Recording

Posted: Sun May 01, 2011 12:04 pm
by voclizr
I did a search on this topic and didn't find anything, so I'll go ahead and ask.

When I record vocals using the Pod Studio, frequently if the song has low volume level instrumentation (like just a piano) there is much 'white noise" that kicks in with the voice. One thing I can't stand is when I'm hearing a song like this with a quiet intro and as soon as the voice comes in the hiss factor goes up with it. This screams "THE VOCAL WAS TRACKED SEPARATELY"!!! Of course, that's the case most of the time, but it shouldn't have to be so obvious.

I have enough input level on the mic when I record. Compression doesn't help much. I tried using the gate, but I don't like that sound because it also has a kind of "effect" with it that I don't want. Any suggestions for a solution?

Thanks

:D John B.

Re: White Noise When Mic Recording

Posted: Mon May 02, 2011 5:10 pm
by manzana
try out other/low input levels (mic input, amp simulation drive/volume and mixer levels of the Toneport), try to sing louder or get as near as possible to the microphone. Most microphones have a steady hiss, especially on high input levels. try other/better microphones if you can.
i always record the vocals from the beginning of the song, so that the hiss is over the whole song. sounds better than the short and hard upcoming hiss before the vocals.

Re: White Noise When Mic Recording

Posted: Tue May 03, 2011 1:24 am
by voclizr
manzana wrote: i always record the vocals from the beginning of the song, so that the hiss is over the whole song. sounds better than the short and hard upcoming hiss before the vocals.
That's true. I've added artificial "hiss" to tunes like this already to do just that, but I'd rather have a nice quiet track from the git-go, if I can.

Thanks for your suggestions, Der Manz.

:D JB

Re: White Noise When Mic Recording

Posted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:46 am
by gwood
Every track I record has some level of noise, ambient and what I call "machine hiss" in it. I always leave a few seconds of silence at the beginning of the first track, and start each overdub at the same point. Then I sample the silence (which isn't silent, because it contains the ambient noise and machine hiss) in the Noise Reduction function of my DAW, Adobe Audition, and take that crud right outta there. Don't all DAWs have a function similar to Noise Reduction? Is that what you mean by "Gate?"

Caution: If you sample even a tiny bit of instrument sound, like the little tones you make with your fingers touching the guitar strings, it takes those tones out too, and changes the sound of the instrument on the track.

Re: White Noise When Mic Recording

Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 10:06 pm
by Sungodv
Dynamics have a high SNR....best to keep the gain down and yer mouth close.
Or just buy a condenser.

Re: White Noise When Mic Recording

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:17 pm
by m24p
If you've had problems with dynamics it may be that your preamp sucks because typically dynamics need more gain than condensers, and a lower quality preamp will easily contribute its own noise floor.

You can look at the specifications of mics and see what kind of self noise they have etc... or maybe the noise is just the mic picking up the computer fan or other noise in the house, in which case a condenser may be even worse if it has a broader pickup pattern.

Re: White Noise When Mic Recording

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:12 pm
by Sungodv
Hey, how's maceman gonna see my post now?......... :evil:
Condensers are a lot more sensitive. A Cardiod pattern is pretty much the same regardless of what type of Mic one has. I do agree that dyn's need more gain than a con, but many record with their gain way too high.
The preamp is from either a Line 6 UX2 or a Zoom product and I'll stand firm on my SNR of dynamics comment. The OP (original poster) can always try both ways....you would think this would have happened by now and we would have a report back. :look:
If anyone wants a quiet LDC Mic then look into Audio Technica. The AT2020 semi-LDC is fairly priced and somewhat pooopular here, but it won't have a shock mount.
All of this said, it could just be that the cable is causing the problem.

Re: White Noise When Mic Recording

Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:20 pm
by voclizr
Thanks for all of your suggestions on this. I know it's been awhile, but I've been so busy I almost forgot I posted this. Not much time for music recently. Hope that changes soon. Making settlement on the house tomorrow (8/15).

BTW-Hiss levels seemed to increase with the UX2. Never was an issue with the Zoom802.

8) JB

Re: White Noise When Mic Recording

Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:07 pm
by lucas
voclizr wrote:BTW-Hiss levels seemed to increase with the UX2. Never was an issue with the Zoom802.
My MRS-8 also seemed quieter than the UX2 or the Firebox.
You might try using noise reduction. There should be one Audacity, just use it on a copy of the track or..

I had pretty good results removing noise from vocal tracks with the ReaFIR plugin.
Download the Reaplugs installer,
http://www.reaper.fm/reaplugs/index.php
http://www.reaper.fm/reaplugs/reaplugs20-install.exe

use a ZIP tool like 7-zip or WinRAR or Win 7's built in zip tool to expand like an archive.
find the reafir_standalone.dll and copy it to your VST folder.

Use it like this:
Set Reafir to "subtract" mode.
Tell it to automatically build profile.
Play a short part of the track that has silence.

Or like this:
Build the profile during a recording session.
Put ReaFir on the track which is record armed.
Turn up the volume.
(First you can try it with the volume turned down.
Maybe there's already enough noise which you want to get rid off without the volume turned up)
In ReaFir chose mode "Subtract" and enable "Automatically build noise profile (enable during noise)"
Wait until the noise has gone.
Disable the profile building.
While recording you don't need to have ReaFir being enabled.
You can enable it again when you play back the just recorded track.

either way, you need to play with it a bit to be smooth without the alien squeaks or artifacts.
If you set it up right, the noise will be reduced to at least a tolerable level without the pumping you get from using a noise gate.

Re: White Noise When Mic Recording

Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:15 pm
by Sungodv
...or just use the Dehisser in SMS14. :lol:
It works in much the same way. There's also the Denoisser.
I'm of a mind to get it right in the first place, however.

That said, there might be some plugs in there you like. :yes: And that was a helpful post, lucas. :D

Re: White Noise When Mic Recording

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:19 pm
by gofishduo
Hi JB.....sounds like good advice from everybody so far.........what I would do, is examine the track in question on the daw in close-up, by zooming in on the drawn wave file beggining and end point......you can apply a suitable length fade (as short as poss..)quite upclose to the starting point, and then apply similar to the rear, taking into account the natural fade of the tone....of course you will have to apply this technique inbetween tones as well if you wish to salvage the 'whole' track...this could take quite a bit of time...if the track was recorded dry, then adding reverb afterwards will help disguise the edits.....now we've established all of that, all we have to do is figure out wether a re-take with improved knowledge, is a better option than an hours worth of editing......your call.

IMHO, recording vocals with compression applied, amplifies the noise floor artificially, and is a bitch if you want to add compression on the over-all mix at a later date, the vocals have already been treated...so, I guess it's best to keep your initial tracks as dry as toast, One thing I have learn't in this life is..."there is a reason for everything"..............Sideshow bob

Re: White Noise When Mic Recording

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:44 am
by lucas
...is a better option than an hours worth of editing.
I've done both.
I've only used ReaFir for noise reduction, but is much faster since it only takes a few minutes to set up.
It can also be applied to the entire track if it's not having an adverse or noticeable affect on the vocal, guitar, etc.
This means the noise is reduced or removed from both the active or 'non-silent' part of the track as well as the non-active or 'silent' part.
The trick is to not go for 'total silence' on the track. Doing that will usually produce noticeable, unwanted artifacts during the active part of the track.