Volume on mic

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10 posts since 21 Jun, 2021

Post Fri Jul 02, 2021 9:04 am

So I downloaded a free Asio but when I record the mic is barely picking up audio the volume on the mic is turned all the way up and the gain on the recording track is all the way up but it sounds like a whisper what is the issue?

38 posts since 1 Feb, 2021

Post Fri Jul 02, 2021 12:19 pm


This is a common challenge when recording mics, regardless of which DAW is being used. It would be helpful for us if you could give more details about what the chain of connections from your mic to your DAW (MuLab) looks like. For instance, you may say 'I'm recording with a dynamic microphone into an XLR cable, then going into a Scarlett USB interface, then into a USB cable into my PC'. I think there's a couple of places along the line of connection into your DAW which could influence how quiet a signal is.

But even without knowing that, one can make a couple of suggestions:

1) Its important that your mic connects into a port which expects a mic-level signal. So, hopefully you have an XLR cable coming from the mic into an XLR microphone input. That is, you don't want it going into a jack which expects an instrument-level (higer voltage) or line-leve (yet higher voltage) signal.

There's a similar issue, that of impedance mis-matching, which can weaken ('attenuate') your incoming signal. This occurs when a signal crosses over from a high-impedance (impedance is resistance to non-DC electricity so for us its resistance to our audio signal) path to a low-impedance path or vice-versa. Its an important issue, but I'm not qualified to elaborate on it; hopefully another user could take on that discussion.

2) there are of course knobs or 'PAD' switches upon audio interfaces which could be in the wrong position, turning down your input.

3) IF YOU HAVE a 'condenser' mic, your audio interface will likely need to have a 'Phantom Power' switch enabled. This provides 48 V phantom power to the condenser mic without which no audio could be recorded. Though, a dynamic mic needs this not at all.

4) Perhaps there could be other things weakening your signal. I imagine cords which are too long could see the audio signal attenuating too much, etc.

5) So anyways, by the time it gets to a track on MuLab, you could then increase the volume of the level of that track and then, maybe as a last resort, place a plugin upon that track to further increase the volume. For instance I sometimes choose to use Audiority's PreX7 just to crudely boost a volume level, making sure there that a limiter is on and that saturation isn't enabled. Especially with vocals, you want to make sure that no effect from an amplifying plugin is coloring your audio.

Just my ideas - I'm not a pro at all but I've had to wrestle, like you, with low mic levels before.

Oh, also, you may even need to check your operating system's audio input levels; things are turned down there sometimes, too.


Topic Starter

10 posts since 21 Jun, 2021

Post Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:10 am

The microphone cable is clear on mic side and usb on the other it is plugged directly into my laptop and it is the only other thing connected

38 posts since 1 Feb, 2021

Post Mon Jul 05, 2021 10:14 am

OK, I see from your response and from a previous thread which Dakkra responded to that you are not using an audio interface and that you are probably using the ASIO4ALL drivers.

one place to check settings for your ASIO would be a shortcut called 'ASIO4ALL Offline Settings', if you can find it. You will notice there is a wrench icon to give you access to more advanced settings.
Also, you may want to check in MuLab - go to top, left, click on the MULAB button and then check 'Audio Settings'.

However, since it sounds like you are hearing SOME audio, not much, and since i don't see volume sliders on either of those two, I would like to ask: have you tried moving upwards the volume sliders on the master track for MuLab and the volume slider on the rack which you are having your recorded audio come in on. If you hover over those two sliders it should show how much GAIN is being given, some number like '0.81 db' Of course, if both tracks say something like ' -19.21 db' you know there's a problem with gain being too low.

Do be careful not to just crank the db just because I'm suggesting that you slide things up - you don't want a track coming in at normal levels blowing something out because the Master track is super high.

Could you tell us which operating system you are using? That may be of some use, too.

Off the top of my head, I also wonder if the USB cable you're plugging in to your laptop has a special set of drivers or whether is just considered a generic USB Audio device. There's a chance it has its own setting panel with its own volume slider.

Like I said before, mic signals are naturally very low voltage so there have to be one or more stages where we lift up that low level by a large amount, the trick with your setup is finding where the boosting stages are.


Topic Starter

10 posts since 21 Jun, 2021

Post Mon Jul 05, 2021 6:31 pm

I have the gain turned up all the way on the track I’m recording on and still super low audio I’m using windows 10

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