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USB Mic Levels

Specific to Premiere Elements version 2018

USB Mic Levels

Postby John Walker » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:42 am

Another query for any of you who are not yet fed up with all my questions .... :hyst:

I have tried three Mid range USB mics.

The gain is set at 100% in Win10 and the gain slider in the PRE Narration window is on full. Unless I speak very close to the mic, the levels are peaking around -15db. Very close to the mic and it peaks at around -6db

I need to push the gain up on each sound clip to achieve a good playback volume.

Am I missing a gain control somewhere (or more likely doing something stupid) ? Any advice appreciated.

John
[1] Sony RX100 M6 (PAL)
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Re: USB Mic Levels

Postby Steve Grisetti » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:25 am

Depends on the microphone.

If it's a dynamic microphone, as most low-end mikes are, it could just lack the power to do a good job.

If you're working at your desk (and I assume you are, since it's a USB microphone) make sure you get a condenser microphone. They include a little pre-amp and give you a much better dynamic range. Some condenser mikes have a little battery inside. Most USB mikes get their power from your computer.
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Re: USB Mic Levels

Postby John Walker » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:33 am

Apologies, I should have given more info. This is one of the mics I tried.

https://www.getinthemix.com/accessories/microphones/citronic-ccu2-usb-powered-studio-condenser-microphone.htm
[1] Sony RX100 M6 (PAL)
[2] Panasonic HC-X920 (PAL)
Software:
Elements 2018
Sonicfire Pro 6.0
Intel i5 3.5 Ghz
Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H
C: 500Gb SSD, 2 x 1Tb internal SATA drives, 3 x 2Tb Back Up Drives
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Re: USB Mic Levels

Postby sidd finch » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:27 am

You might consider checking to see if there are any drivers that need to be installed. Many times this is automatic or just plug and play but you might double check. Also do you have another mic you can check to see if that also has the same issues.

Another query for any of you who are not yet fed up with all my questions .... :hyst:


You sound like a great candidate for some of Steve's great books.... :)

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Re: USB Mic Levels

Postby Steve Grisetti » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:49 am

That's a very nice looking microphone!

I assume the blue pilot light comes on when you've it to plugged it, indicating that it's getting power.

Otherwise, I second Sidd's suggestion. A microphone like that should be so sensitive you'll need to turn the gain down to its lowest levels when you record.
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Re: USB Mic Levels

Postby John Walker » Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:53 pm

Thanks,

Yes the blue light is on and I can't find any drivers. The blurb states plug and play and no drivers required.

I've had the chance to try 3 different mics all with similar specs and have had to wind all settings up and even then, I need to speak fairly close to the mic (6") .

I thought I was missing a setting somewhere but there doesn't appear to be anything else that I can find.

However, the resulting audio quality is excellent but I'd rather find out what the levels problem is so that I can speak from a bit further back.

Cheers

John
[1] Sony RX100 M6 (PAL)
[2] Panasonic HC-X920 (PAL)
Software:
Elements 2018
Sonicfire Pro 6.0
Intel i5 3.5 Ghz
Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H
C: 500Gb SSD, 2 x 1Tb internal SATA drives, 3 x 2Tb Back Up Drives
32 Gb Ram
Radeon HD5450 1Gb
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Re: USB Mic Levels

Postby sidd finch » Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:38 pm

If it is a windows 10 machine in the device settings check the app volume and device preferences. You might have a master mic input level that is low. Prior to win 10 I think it was called mixer.

It might be set lower than you want

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Re: USB Mic Levels

Postby John Walker » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:08 am

sidd finch wrote:If it is a windows 10 machine in the device settings check the app volume and device preferences. You might have a master mic input level that is low. Prior to win 10 I think it was called mixer.

It might be set lower than you want

Sidd


Thanks Sidd, Yes, I have that control cranked all the way up. I've even tried different USB inputs - on the hub and direct to the PC.

I can manage with it as it is but there is little room for adjustment.

You mention me being a candidate for one of Steve's great books. I do have the PRE book and it's helped me a great deal. Unfortunately, I seem to have developed the amazing ability to come up with unique problems that are not covered in the book - or even on this forum. :)

John
[1] Sony RX100 M6 (PAL)
[2] Panasonic HC-X920 (PAL)
Software:
Elements 2018
Sonicfire Pro 6.0
Intel i5 3.5 Ghz
Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H
C: 500Gb SSD, 2 x 1Tb internal SATA drives, 3 x 2Tb Back Up Drives
32 Gb Ram
Radeon HD5450 1Gb
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Re: USB Mic Levels

Postby Steve Grisetti » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:35 am

And of course that's why we HAVE this forum, John!
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Re: USB Mic Levels

Postby Bob » Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:20 am

In device properties, does the levels panel show a microphone boost control as shown here?
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Re: USB Mic Levels

Postby John Walker » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:29 am

Bob wrote:In device properties, does the levels panel show a microphone boost control as shown here?


Thanks Bob.

I've checked that but as far as I can find I only get a single bar 0 - 100 but no boost bar. Is it because I'm using a USB mic rather than a 'XLR' mic. The do not appear to be drivers for USB mics.

John
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[1] Sony RX100 M6 (PAL)
[2] Panasonic HC-X920 (PAL)
Software:
Elements 2018
Sonicfire Pro 6.0
Intel i5 3.5 Ghz
Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H
C: 500Gb SSD, 2 x 1Tb internal SATA drives, 3 x 2Tb Back Up Drives
32 Gb Ram
Radeon HD5450 1Gb
Based in Canterbury, UK
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Re: USB Mic Levels

Postby Chuck Engels » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:09 am

Hi John,

On the "Advanced" tab uncheck the option to allow applications to take control of the mic. Also,

Microphone Boost option not available

Audio features depend on the chipset and drivers installed. If you do not see the Boost option, you may try the following:

Change the port to connect the Microphone

Run the Recording Audio troubleshooter

Update Drivers: Updating Sound, Microphone & Audio drivers will help. If it is a Realtek chipset, you can get the updated drivers from Realtek.
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Re: USB Mic Levels

Postby Chuck Engels » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:12 am

This is also a very good video regarding software that will help with this issue, you are not alone ...

There are a number of tutorials on YouTube that recommend the same software as seen below.

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Re: USB Mic Levels

Postby Bob » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:59 pm

That software solution should work.

Interestingly enough, I am using Windows 10 and I am not experiencing the low volume problem with USB mics described in the video. Back when I was using Windows 7, I bought a USB mic which turned out to be the same one Steve was using at the time. I'm still using that same mic. In fact I used it last week and I don't have a volume issue. I also have a professional grade XLR Shure microphone that works great with studio audio systems, but has always had too low a volume when used with a USB preamp for connection to my computer. That's actually the reason I bought the USB mic.

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Re: USB Mic Levels

Postby John Walker » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:11 am

That software you suggest Chuck, looks to be the answer. I'll be downloading it later today.

It's also the first time I've heard that there is a problem with Win10 and USB mic levels. I'm relieved it isn't just me as I was was beginning to think I had a problem with my PC. I had no idea where to start as I went through every setting I could find and followed all the advice on this thread.

Do any of you 'old hands' use any form of auto-level software when doing your commentary's ?

John
[1] Sony RX100 M6 (PAL)
[2] Panasonic HC-X920 (PAL)
Software:
Elements 2018
Sonicfire Pro 6.0
Intel i5 3.5 Ghz
Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H
C: 500Gb SSD, 2 x 1Tb internal SATA drives, 3 x 2Tb Back Up Drives
32 Gb Ram
Radeon HD5450 1Gb
Based in Canterbury, UK
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