Jump to content


Photo

Sound recording to Laptop


  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1 Scott Bryant

Scott Bryant
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 151 posts
  • Other
  • Nevada

Posted 20 March 2009 - 09:24 PM

I plan on using a Lexicon Lambda Audio interface and garageband or ableton live to record sound. On preliminary tests it seems like the sound levels are pretty low even when I turn up the gain on the audio interface. I'm using an azden sgm-1x microphone (which i know is far from the best), but is this normal in terms of recording for film? Just the fact that it's always a struggle to get the best sound or is this just not a viable way of recording for film?
  • 0

#2 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11939 posts
  • Other

Posted 21 March 2009 - 12:03 AM

I suspect you will have problems with the amount of noise the laptop itself makes, and also electrical noise caused by its power supply if you run it from the mains - although a competent external USB audio device should be built to avoid that.

Does the mic require phantom power, and if so, can the audio interface supply it, and is that option switched on? Without this I'd expect dead silence, but check. You have, of course, got it connected to a microphone level input rather than a line input - daft but I have to ask.

With any shotgun mic, you should have more than enough control to completely saturate the input if you speak into it at a normal level from a couple of feet away. If that's not the case, something is wrong.

The level to aim for is dependent on a few things. The letter of the rules indicates that you should aim for an average signal level of -20dBFS on a computer, which is, by the standards of things like mp3 files and CD-audio discs, extremely low. This is the level to which broadcast tapes and the like are mastered. However, almost nobody actually works at that level because it makes waveforms tiny on the display and you end up with meters bouncing around at the bottom. It also wastes a lot of bit resolution in the signal chain, especially if you are recording 16bit audio rather than 24. Personally I work at -8 or -12dBFS and reduce levels to normal as a final step, and I have seen production sound people do the same, although of course you take responsibility for avoiding overloading things.

P
  • 0

#3 Aman Sahi

Aman Sahi

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Sound Department

Posted 07 April 2009 - 01:20 PM

The audio being low can mean many different things. It can be an equipment issue, your monitoring environment, or it can be an illusion based of perceived loudness. I would have to hear what is going on to advise you better though. If you can post a clip that would help.
  • 0


Willys Widgets

Opal

Metropolis Post

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Visual Products

Glidecam

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

The Slider

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Opal

Abel Cine

CineTape

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc