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JWD

record levels too low

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When recording from a tape using sound editor (EMC7), I can never get the recording level high enough. I connect from the deck (or the receiver tape out) output to the line-in on the computer, and set the volume control next to the little microphone in the sound editor to max. I can record, but the levels don't get even into the yellow, let alone red.

And, yes, I have the sound card levels for "Line in" set to max as well (accessories>entertainment>vol control>options>properties>adjust vol for "Recording">check "Line in" box> set vol to max).

I have tried using the mic input, but there seems to be a low buzz or hum, although I can get the levels right if I fiddle. Should I use the deck headphone output fed into the computer line in? Then I assume I could get levels right. But would I lose quality? Why doesn't straight "Line in" allow me to get higher levels? This happens with commercial tapes, so their output shouldn't be an issue.

Also, if I "Normalize" after recording at low levels, do I end up with the same quality as I would have if I had recorded with proper levels in the first place?

Any help greatly appreciated. I'm pretty new to digital recording.

-JWD

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If you're feeding directly from the deck (not using the headphone socket) you will get a low audio level. It would need some form or pre-amp to boost the intrinsically low audio level. Line in doesn't have any pre-amp where mic does (hence the buzz you get when feeding the signal through it). The impedance of a mic is different to that of a standard line feed and you're getting a mismatch. If you ever set up a CB radio you'll understand if I say that the SWR is wrong.

 

Headphone socket - should be fine (but experiment with levels first before committing to a burn) and again with normalisation - it's subjective - try it and play around to get the levels and quality you like

Edited by gi7omy

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If you're feeding directly from the deck (not using the headphone socket) you will get a low audio level. It would need some form or pre-amp to boost the intrinsically low audio level. Line in doesn't have any pre-amp where mic does (hence the buzz you get when feeding the signal through it). The impedance of a mic is different to that of a standard line feed and you're getting a mismatch. If you ever set up a CB radio you'll understand if I say that the SWR is wrong.

 

Headphone socket - should be fine (but experiment with levels first before committing to a burn) and again with normalisation - it's subjective - try it and play around to get the levels and quality you like

 

 

Thanks gi7omy!

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No problem - let us know how it turns out

 

 

Works fine using headphone jack output. Sounds good. Can also easily fix balance.

 

I don't recommend clicking "normalize" after selecting an album's worth of music, however.

Took about 20 minutes, with 'puter completely frozen during the process. No cancel option.

Even control>alt>delete wouldn't stop it (that window froze).

Finally finished though.

 

(Win XP SP2 Pentium 2.53 GHz, 1 GB RAM)

Thanks again, JWD

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Probably normalise was eating huge chunks of RAM and CPU time

 

Glad it worked out in the end tho - now get all that old stuff digitised :lol:

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Probably normalise was eating huge chunks of RAM and CPU time

 

Glad it worked out in the end tho - now get all that old stuff digitised :lol:

 

 

We had a low level sound issue with a mic.

 

We wanted to do some singing.

 

Well the music store sold us this handy little

adaptor it says super sound impedance matching transformer MT-50

now we get a great sound level.

 

It has a big to little adaptor which plugs into my mic

input on my pc.

 

Maybe there is some kind of xlr cable and adaptor

for output and inputs of tape players.

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If you're feeding directly from the deck (not using the headphone socket) you will get a low audio level. It would need some form or pre-amp to boost the intrinsically low audio level. Line in doesn't have any pre-amp where mic does (hence the buzz you get when feeding the signal through it). The impedance of a mic is different to that of a standard line feed and you're getting a mismatch. If you ever set up a CB radio you'll understand if I say that the SWR is wrong.

 

Headphone socket - should be fine (but experiment with levels first before committing to a burn) and again with normalisation - it's subjective - try it and play around to get the levels and quality you like

Actually, I'll disagree (late as this answer may be). The output of a tape deck is considered a "line level" and is the proper, high impedence level for going into a line-in jack on a sound card. At least it's worked for me for these many years. :rolleyes: It's the same level that comes out of the "tape-out" jacks on the back of a stereo. The signals that usually need boosting are those from a turntable, which need a preamp to get up to "line" level, and also apply the RIAA equalization curve.

 

In this case, it sounds like the higher level headphone output worked, which is great, but I suspect maybe the original problem was a case of not using the correct volume controls on the sound cards mixer.

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I was trying to keep it simple Dave - I know about the impedance matching but have had too many customers in the past moan about distortion - they had the vol control on the play back machine up full whack and overloaded the input on the recording end :lol:

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I'm having the same issue as the original poster. I have my tape deck connected to the line in on the computer and I don't think the sound quality is good. If anyone know of a site where I can upload the sound clip I'll do it. It's only a minute long since i was doing my first song as a test. However here are some screen prints of some of my settings. Hope someone can help. Thanks.

 

Edit: I found a site to upload the clip. Here's the link. http://boomp3.com/m/fa19261a9c0d

 

Wy

 

roxio1.jpg

roxio2.jpg

roxio4.jpg

Edited by wgrant

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I'm having the same issue as the original poster. I have my tape deck connected to the line in on the computer and I don't think the sound quality is good. If anyone know of a site where I can upload the sound clip I'll do it. It's only a minute long since i was doing my first song as a test. However here are some screen prints of some of my settings. Hope someone can help. Thanks.

 

Edit: I found a site to upload the clip. Here's the link. http://boomp3.com/m/fa19261a9c0d

 

Wy

I'm not sure which "version" of the song you uploaded, but I don't hear any horrible clipping. The first image simply shows that the input to your sound card is "hot" (a fairly high level) so you have to set the recording volume down to keep the digitized level reasonable. You could also try turning down the "Line Volume" control, or the "Rear Blue In" level. It's very possible that both are controlling your incoming recording level.

 

But, just because you need to set the controls down low doesn't indicate a problem. You definitely don't want the "clip" indicator to come on. (There's a caveat... if I'm digitizing an LP, then I'll let it clip if there are some noisy "pops" and "clicks".)

 

Hope that helps!

Edited by d_deweywright

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I'm not sure which "version" of the song you uploaded, but I don't hear any horrible clipping. The first image simply shows that the input to your sound card is "hot" (a fairly high level) so you have to set the recording volume down to keep the digitized level reasonable. You could also try turning down the "Line Volume" control, or the "Rear Blue In" level. It's very possible that both are controlling your incoming recording level.

 

But, just because you need to set the controls down low doesn't indicate a problem. You definitely don't want the "clip" indicator to come on. (There's a caveat... if I'm digitizing an LP, then I'll let it clip if there are some noisy "pops" and "clicks".)

 

Hope that helps!

Hi Dewey - thanks for your reply. In the first pic, the recording level indicator is really low. However in the 2nd pic, it was increased a tad which caused the clipping. For some reason, I can't adjust the volume of the Line In control. I can adjust the recording and Rear Blue In levels. How can adjust the Line In if it's not letting me? I don't have a separate sound card. I'm using the inputs from the motherboard.

 

Wy

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Hi Dewey - thanks for your reply. In the first pic, the recording level indicator is really low. However in the 2nd pic, it was increased a tad which caused the clipping. For some reason, I can't adjust the volume of the Line In control. I can adjust the recording and Rear Blue In levels. How can adjust the Line In if it's not letting me? I don't have a separate sound card. I'm using the inputs from the motherboard.

 

Wy

Well, you can only adjust the controls that the mixer lets you adjust. One other thing you may find is that mouse control of the sliders is much coarser than cursor movement control. That is, once you've selected a control, if you move it one visible "click" with the mouse, you can actually move it up and down using the up and down cursor keys where four cursor key clicks equals one visible mouse movement position. So you can get much finer control that way.

 

Hope that helps!

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