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 Post subject: microphone question
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:07 pm 
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Okay, for the moment I'm unable to record, until I get this dilemma figured out.

Somebody here suggested I go get a refurbished laptop, which I have done. I was able to get a fairly decent Thinkpad for a fairly decent price. This thing comes with an internal mic, which is kind of turning out to be a bummer. When I put an external microphone on the machine, what I get is the external mic mixed with the internal mic. The internal has all SORTS of hissing, and everything sounds horrible.

Has anyone here ever had a Thinkpad? If so, how do you disable your internal mic and not the external? Ever tried it?

Anxious to record!!

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 2:07 pm 
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Depending on how they installed Windows and how they did settings you may have to go to Control Panel, Sounds, and then configure the mics for separate use. Also under Volume you have recording controls, check there too. I will research a little more on my laptop when I have access to it and see what I find. You can do it once you get all the settings right. We may have to do a chat later and walk through it together, but I am wiling to help if I can.

Peace,
Micheal

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 7:08 pm 
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it should be somewhere under control panel where you can choose which input device you want. I was able to disable the oboard one on my laptop but it has been so long I can;t recall what I did.


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 9:00 am 
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I'll throw one extra oar in the water here... sometimes, the internal soundcard of laptops are just plain stinky. If no matter what you do, it never improves, consider an outboard audio interface - either USB or Firewire, depending on what your computer has. I use one to record to my laptop, as well as for playback of my tracks at gigs, and it improves things quite a bit.

Thought it was worth a mention... :D

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 9:32 am 
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Any suggestions on a decent external? I can use Firewire.

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 10:20 am 
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for a microphone? what all are you trying to record? I record whistles and vocals often on my USB headset . currently a logitech but I have also used the plantronics gamecom pro for a log time as well to do the same thing.


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 11:44 am 
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As far as an external Firewire interface, I know M-Audio and Presonus both make decent ones. One that just dropped in price is the Mackie Onyx Satellite - You can leave it plugged in at home, then grab the pod and take it with you. I use an M-Audio, but USB so I don't have direct experience with Firewire interfaces. A number of mixers have either USB or Firewire built in, so you'd get a mixer along with the interface.

One place that gives a lot of great help in picking pro audio stuff is Sweetwater Sound - http://www.sweetwater.com . They're excellent for recommending what you need, not just what they want to sell you.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 10:19 am 
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Thanks. I'll go take a look.

Basically what I want is to record to an external device where sound card is no issue, with smooth transfer to laptop. With audio, I can't imagine why firewire would be necessary. USB should be able to handle a transfer like that.

I also want it to be portable. I also want it to be clean and hiss-free.

Oh, and it can't be too expensive.

Maybe I want too much. :)

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 11:49 am 
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I'm kind of looking at this unit. It's a little expensive, but I saw it down close to my price range on ebay.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/H4/

Here's a recording where somebody took his H4 to a symphony concert and set it on his lap. Could somebody with good speakers please listen to it and tell me if they're hearing any hiss? I don't hear any on my PC speakers.

http://www.gearwire.com/media/zoom-h4-locationtest.wav

All I want is clean whistle and guitar tracks, and maybe to record some clean instrumental playing from my music students.

Thanks for the help!

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 1:09 pm 
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Connie...check out Epinions and do a GOOGLE search on reviews for the ZOOM, there are definitely groups that love or hate that unit.

Next look at mini-disc recorders on Ebay. I have seen a couple mentioned here (I think Jim even has one) and they do a good job. The advantage is the discs are re-recordable, excellent battery life and small enough you could carry everything in your purse. Find the model(s) on Ebay and again read opinions, some are better than others.

If you are going to be taking the laptop anyway, check out a few things already mentioned. M-Audio makes some good devices that are USB and allow different recording devices to be attached (mics, guitars, keyboards, ect). The devices themselves are small, it is the included software that makes the difference. They are also compatible with Pro-Tools should you decide to make a great portable studio in the future.

As always, your mileage may vary. I know I can be too picky about a lot of the new things.... Just give me a good soundcard and a Shure 58 and I am happy. I don't mind a little hiss if a recording has a true sound to it....sometimes digital misses the warmth that we all grew up hearing when everything was recorded on analog equipment.

Keep asking questions and fell free to PM me if I can help.

Peace,
Micheal

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 1:41 pm 
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Micheal wrote:
Next look at mini-disc recorders on Ebay. I have seen a couple mentioned here (I think Jim even has one) and they do a good job. The advantage is the discs are re-recordable, excellent battery life and small enough you could carry everything in your purse. Find the model(s) on Ebay and again read opinions, some are better than others.


Adrian and Susan use them as well.


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 2:14 pm 
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I don't mind a little hiss, but THIS is ridiculous!

http://praisewhistlers.org/exchange/son ... onnies.mp3


The old laptop had a little hiss, but at more acceptable levels. I was going to eventually upgrade to a little more professional sound.

Mini-disc? My husband uses mds to transfer work from home to his radio show. Nobody else at the station uses them. Flash memory (SD cards and such) always seemed more convenient to me. I'll go look, though. If they're cheaper maybe I'll go that route.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 5:46 pm 
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Mini Disc is a great technology. (I have both portable and a "stay at home" unit in my studio. The only niggle is having to transfer audio in real time. (yes - the Net MD stuff transfers faster, but still slower than flash memory) A flash recorder or somesuch gets great sound, and transfers fast. So, for standalone convenience, that might be your best route. Then you can dump the tracks into your software at home and go from there.

I'm actually looking at the Korg D888 for working on my next album - it's simple (like using a mixer), lets me grab audio on location (like recording our drummer at church, and adding it to my mix at home), and transfer it to my DAW when I get back to my studio. The reason I'd go to something this big is being able to record 8 tracks at the same time - lets me play with the balance of the drum kit for adding to my project. BUT, it's probably a little much for you. :D

I didn't know your hubby is a radio guy!! Where does he work? What show? I still keep my hand in it, and miss it a bit but when the Lord moves you on, you move on. 8)

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 6:09 pm 
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His wife's a radio gal, too! :D

He teaches broadcasting at WIU so he took a job in local radio to keep his hand in the business.

I used to be full time in radio in the Peoria IL market. I'm now part time in a small market. He does a classic rock show and I'm the weather & public service announcer for the local affiliate of the True Oldies Channel.

You're keeping your hand in the radio business? What did you do? What are you doing to keep yourself in the business? :)

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 6:12 pm 
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Korg D888--that's a mean-looking machine. Looks nice, but you're right. It's more than I need. May be looking that far some day, but not today.

Let us know when that new CD is out.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 7:34 pm 
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I used to work for WCSG at Cornerstone University, then I was PD of His Kids Radio - Cornerstone's full-time radio network for kids. (http://www.hiskids.net)

In January of '06, I was laid off. The powers that be decided to reduce our department from 4.5 positions to 2. So, after almost 20 years, I was done. That's when Vicki saw the plan of having me do creative persuits instead of a full-time gig. So, I make jewelry, I play music live and record CDs (hopefully the next one will be out in November - it's going to be a Christmas album), and I'm a storyteller and magician. I refer to myself as a "Jack of A FEW Trades." :lol:

I still do weekend voice work for His Kids, and I have a weekly Christian Kid's radio program called Toonz! Music for HIS Kids. (http://www.toonzradio.net0.

It's been over a year of figuring out what life looks like now, and even though I don't understand it, God continues to reveal Himself and His plan.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 2:09 am 
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ConnieS wrote:
I don't mind a little hiss, but THIS is ridiculous!

http://praisewhistlers.org/exchange/son ... onnies.mp3


The old laptop had a little hiss, but at more acceptable levels. I was going to eventually upgrade to a little more professional sound.

Mini-disc? My husband uses mds to transfer work from home to his radio show. Nobody else at the station uses them. Flash memory (SD cards and such) always seemed more convenient to me. I'll go look, though. If they're cheaper maybe I'll go that route.


Hey, bad speakers have a plus side ... I can't hear any hiss on this, Connie. :laughing:

Well, my laptop has a lot of 'help' blocking things -- there's a window AC unit going and Mom's oxygen machine is noisy, too. (We have her room set up with a monitoring system - video & audio.)


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 4:49 pm 
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Judy K wrote:
Hey, bad speakers have a plus side ... I can't hear any hiss on this, Connie. :laughing:



DOH!!! #-o Why didn't I think of that? I'll just save some money by listening to the laptop speakers. :D

Thanks for the help, everyone.

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