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Voice Recording - Volume Too Low!
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Padawan
Picture of Victoria Mielke
posted
Not a music question per se, but regarding digital audio recording.

I am trying to get my newest "toys" to work, a Grffin iMic and GarageBand cable. I hooked them up to my computer and tried to record my voice. I tried in GarageBand, and the recording was way too low, and I couldn't figure out how to raise the volume. Using the master silder didn't bring the volume up.

I also have Audio Hijack Pro. I tried quick record, with Hijack set to "Griffin iMic USB input." I hit record, and the audio indicator was moving as if picking up my voice. But ... when I played back the MP3 ... silence.

How can I get loud and clear recordings with either GarageBand or Audio Hijack?

Notes on system preferences. Sound input was set to"iMic USB audio system." For output I'm not sure whether to use built-in output or Soundflower 2 channel, which is a plug-in with Audio Hijack.

Also this is a MacBook Pro running Tiger.


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We are no longer the Knights Who Say Ni ... We are now the Knights Who Say Ecky Ecky Ecky Ptang Zoop Boing Z'nourrrwringnmmm!
 
Posts: 54 | Location: Sterling Heights, MI USA | Registered: February 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
posted Hide Post
Make sure the switch on the iMic is set to "mic" and not "line". If you have an older one, there's no indicator, so I'd try switching it from where it is now. The newer ones have markings.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Padawan
Picture of Victoria Mielke
posted Hide Post
The switch was toward "mic." That was part of the troubleshooting I found online at Griffin Technology. Any other reasons why volume is so low?


---
We are no longer the Knights Who Say Ni ... We are now the Knights Who Say Ecky Ecky Ecky Ptang Zoop Boing Z'nourrrwringnmmm!
 
Posts: 54 | Location: Sterling Heights, MI USA | Registered: February 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
posted Hide Post
What kind of mic are you using? If it requires power from the audio jack, I don't think you'll get that from the iMic.

Does the built-in mic work OK?


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Padawan
Picture of Victoria Mielke
posted Hide Post
It is a regular audio mike, AKG brand, used by musicians. It's from my husband's music room, in fact. I have it attached to the GarageBand cable, which has a three-prong end to hook up to an audio mike like this one.

Also, I can record adequately with the built-in mike, but I seek better fidelity. I am doing recordings in church of pastor sermons, for instance, and have to stay in the back of the sanctuary. I thought I would get better recording quality with a pro-level mike.


---
We are no longer the Knights Who Say Ni ... We are now the Knights Who Say Ecky Ecky Ecky Ptang Zoop Boing Z'nourrrwringnmmm!
 
Posts: 54 | Location: Sterling Heights, MI USA | Registered: February 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
posted Hide Post
I don't know a lot about mics - maybe someone else here knows if there are some power requirements not being met?


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Linda
posted Hide Post
Victoria,

How does the "garageband cable" plug into the machine?

USB or the analogue audio in port?

Linda


If you’re not completely appalled, you’re not paying attention.
 
Posts: 602 | Location: Birmingham, MI USA | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Master
Picture of Chuck Reti
posted Hide Post
You haven't mentioned if you have checked incoming audio at the at the Mac's System Preferences>Sound>Input pref pane.
Make sure you've chosen either the Griffin iMic USB device or the analog Line In port (if you try going analog) as your input source, and also make sure the Input Level slider control is turned up at least halfway to see a visible input level reading. If the audio getting into the Mac is too low, you won't see useful level in GarageBand or Audacity.
Also, if your AKG is a condenser mike, it will need a preamp and likely also "phantom" power from it. In his music room, your husband may have the needed preamp/power or if he has a mixing console, take an output from it, then use the "Line" level input switch setting on the iMic interface.
 
Posts: 1103 | Location: Detroit | Registered: June 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Padawan
Picture of Victoria Mielke
posted Hide Post
In response to Linda's question, the GarageBand cable plugs into the microphone jack on the Griffin iMic. It is a 3.5 mm jack on that end and a three-prong mike jack on the other. Griffin iMic plugs into a USB port.

To Chuck: I did check System Preferences>Sound>Input. Please see my first post. I selected "Griffin iMic USB input" under input. The input slider is all the way to the right!!

I don't know if the mikes are condenser ones, and my husband doesn't know either. But they are commonly used by pro and amateur musicians for smaller concerts.

Griffin claimed that you could simply attach a mike to the GarageBand cable and attach that to iMic, plug it into your USB port and voila -- you can record with a mic right into your computer using a favorite sound recording software, such as Audio Hijack Pro or Audacity for Mac.


---
We are no longer the Knights Who Say Ni ... We are now the Knights Who Say Ecky Ecky Ecky Ptang Zoop Boing Z'nourrrwringnmmm!
 
Posts: 54 | Location: Sterling Heights, MI USA | Registered: February 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
posted Hide Post
Some mikes require external power, as Chuck mentioned. You won't get that from the iMic. When that mike is used by a musician it's probably plugged into an amp that supplies the power.

You need to use a mike designed to be plugged into a tape recorder or computer - something that isn't expecting external power.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Padawan
Picture of Victoria Mielke
posted Hide Post
Well then, can I get a computer mike that has the three-prong end like the amplifier/music mike? The only ones I've seen so far have a USB connector on the other end. What on earth kind of mike would Griffin recommend, I wonder?


---
We are no longer the Knights Who Say Ni ... We are now the Knights Who Say Ecky Ecky Ecky Ptang Zoop Boing Z'nourrrwringnmmm!
 
Posts: 54 | Location: Sterling Heights, MI USA | Registered: February 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
posted Hide Post
Why would you want that? Why not get a USB mike or some other mike designed for use with a computer? Why would you care about that connector?


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Padawan
Picture of Victoria Mielke
posted Hide Post
Because I would have WASTED 25 bucks on buying the XLR to 3.5 mm jack GarageBand mike cable if I don't use it! There must be some way to still use the cable!


---
We are no longer the Knights Who Say Ni ... We are now the Knights Who Say Ecky Ecky Ecky Ptang Zoop Boing Z'nourrrwringnmmm!
 
Posts: 54 | Location: Sterling Heights, MI USA | Registered: February 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
posted Hide Post
Ah - I thought the object was to get a clean recording!

Seriously - chalk it up to experience. Or see if you can sell it. But if you actually care about getting the recording right, get the right mike for the job.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Padawan
Picture of Victoria Mielke
posted Hide Post
Eerie ... I was thinking of just selling the Griffin iMic and GarageBand cable on eBay as a combo. I found Microcenter in Madison Heights has a $60 Samson USB hand-held mike that can be used for podcasting, music, etc.

And yes I seek clear recording.

Please watch your snippiness. I am new to the Mac game and have a low tolerance level for any kind of sarcasm from the Mac vets. I almost stopping coming to meetings because one of your Geniuses snapped at me, and I had approached her in a quiet, sincere manner.


---
We are no longer the Knights Who Say Ni ... We are now the Knights Who Say Ecky Ecky Ecky Ptang Zoop Boing Z'nourrrwringnmmm!
 
Posts: 54 | Location: Sterling Heights, MI USA | Registered: February 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
posted Hide Post
Sorry, certainly no "snippiness" intended - some things just don't come across well over the Internet.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Linda
posted Hide Post
One "trick" you can try (if you are getting a recording - albeit low) is to duplicate the garageband track. Do this only after making all of the master track audio improvements mentioned in the earlier posts.

Lay off the audio, when complete, highlight, then duplicate the entire track. It will be in perfect sync.

This will give you twice the audio volume of the original.

I have "semi-pro" podcasters that do this to improve their recordings.

Linda


If you’re not completely appalled, you’re not paying attention.
 
Posts: 602 | Location: Birmingham, MI USA | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Mary Jo Disler
posted Hide Post
Victoria - I haven't dabbled in audio on the Mac, so I don't speak as an experienced user. However it might be interesting for you to go to www.Sweetwater.com and contact their customer service. It's a solid computer music & audio company with an excellent reputation. Located Fort Wayne, Indiana. In business many years.

When you describe your equipment & goals, they would recommend the best gear for your specific computer. - Might be willing to tell you how to set up what you've already purchased. Worth a try.
http://www.sweetwater.com/

Try "Contact Us" at the top of their home page.

They are VERY dedicated to customer service, and will connect you with a rep who becomes YOUR personal rep, and gets to know YOUR system, what gear you have, and what will work in your situation.

I'm hoping their Apple rep will arrange with Terry to do a MacGroup program sometime in the future - potentially on GarageBand.


"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
 
Posts: 2074 | Location: West Bloomfield MI USA | Registered: June 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Padawan
Picture of Victoria Mielke
posted Hide Post
I found the problem, and it's often the simplest things that are wrong, such as the toaster that you wonder why it doesn't work, and you finally, finally realize it wasn't plugged in!

I found further research on the Griffin iMic/GarageBand cable configuration, and the problem was poor labeling on the first version of the iMic. I found this fact in a product review. There are two icons, one showing a mic and the other a speaker. I had it set on mic, but ironically to use the iMic for spoken audio, you must put it toward the SPEAKER icon! I did this, and now I'm recording loud and clear.

Fortunately Griffin has redone the iMic and more clearly labeled the inputs on its 2nd version therof.

Thanks for the input from the Jedi Council, anyhow!


---
We are no longer the Knights Who Say Ni ... We are now the Knights Who Say Ecky Ecky Ecky Ptang Zoop Boing Z'nourrrwringnmmm!
 
Posts: 54 | Location: Sterling Heights, MI USA | Registered: February 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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