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Tracking Vocals With ART Pro Channel- What am I doing wrong?
Old 11th September 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Tracking Vocals With ART Pro Channel- What am I doing wrong?

Hey guys,

So I had a pretty good singer in my studio yesterday laying down a vocal track. I used a AKG C414 XLS mic with a fethead, plugged into my new ART Pro Channel (Tube preamp/compressor/EQ) XLR out into channel 2 of my Line 6 UX8 interface with the gain all the way down, USB out into Cubase on my iMac. For some reason, the signal was all distorted. Here is a chunk of the vocal track:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/q59q3vuce8...s%20Conrad.mp3

Does this sound terrible to you guys? This track is completely dry. It sounds like it is clipping on the louder parts to me. But the preamp wasn't clipping on the ART Pro Channel, the compressor on the Pro Channel wasn't clipping, I was bypassing the EQ, there was no clipping on the UX8 or on Cubase either. I don't get what I did wrong... :/ This is my first time using outboard rack gear other than my UX8 interface, so I am really unconfident.

I have another singer coming in this afternoon and I don't want to make the same mistake, so any help you guys can give me is urgently appreciated!

Pax Caritas et lol,
-Clark
Old 11th September 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
How do you know that nothing in your signal chain was clipping? I wouldn't trust the meters on the Pro Channel. The output of the Pro Channel might be clipping the input of your UXB without it showing up on the meters.
Old 13th September 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Does the Ux8 have line In capability?
Or did you run into another preamp which would give you distortion.

Ux8 has 1/4 line ins on the back but they are not balanced.
Old 13th September 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Howie J's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Were you using the original Fethead?? The one for giving things a 20 dB boost?? or were you using the Fethead filter.

If you're using the boost....why? The 414 isn't a weak mic like a ribbon signal is. Plus, there is a 20 dB boost on the ART. (Even though the Fethead is cleaner gain than the ART)
Old 13th September 2012
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
przemak's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
1. XLR inputs in your intrerface are mic inputs. Even if you somehow manage to set levels, input stages still will distort, and in the same time your preamp wil distort a little as well because of low load impedance. Use jack line input instead - proper levels and impedances.
2. Don't use fethead (if this is 20dB preamp). What for?
Old 13th September 2012
  #6
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Jazz Noise's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Dumped the Fethead. The pre's input stage expects a signal in the region of, say, 50mVs. 20 dB will be approaching half a volt. That's nearly a line level signal and such a hot signal may simple act as a bottleneck on the Pre. Your lovely 414 has plenty of output already, have faith in it - the FetHead will have its uses another day!
Old 17th September 2012 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Yeah, I didn't realize at the time that going through the XLR input of the UX8 would run the signal through the preamp, even withtout any gain. Ooops. :/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazz Noise ➡️
Dumped the Fethead. The pre's input stage expects a signal in the region of, say, 50mVs. 20 dB will be approaching half a volt. That's nearly a line level signal and such a hot signal may simple act as a bottleneck on the Pre. . . . the FetHead will have its uses another day!
Thanks for your help. How do I learn about the voltages of different signals, and when to use a fethead?
Old 18th September 2012
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
przemak's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Use Fethead with ribbon or dynamic mics. Condenser mics have enough "juice", especially when recording close miked vocals. How can fethead work with condenser mic BTW - strange, it passes fantom through? They say: "FetHead's circuit uses Phantom power but shields it from its input (and the microphone's output), as a result it offers effective protection to the microphone." - so condenser mic should not work with it at all...
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #9
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basmartin's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClarkJaman ➡️
Yeah, I didn't realize at the time that going through the XLR input of the UX8 would run the signal through the preamp, even withtout any gain. Ooops. :/



Thanks for your help. How do I learn about the voltages of different signals, and when to use a fethead?

Use the fethead when the mic amp gain doesn´t give you a strong enough signal without reasonable amount of noise. As previously mention, ribbon mics and dynamic mics like Shure SM7b could be used togehter with fethead. A condenser mic is hot enough.
Old 19th September 2012
  #10
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
There are different types of fetheads, including Phantom fetheads, and the "regular" ones. The ones I have are phantom. They are specifically built for condenser mics:

FetHead - tritonaudio - scroll down to the part about phantom fetheads. According to this page, fetheads should be good with a mic like a 414. But maybe more for distance mic'ing applications? Like recording a flute, choir or room micing?
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
przemak's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClarkJaman ➡️
There are different types of fetheads, including Phantom fetheads, and the "regular" ones. The ones I have are phantom. They are specifically built for condenser mics:

FetHead - tritonaudio - scroll down to the part about phantom fetheads. According to this page, fetheads should be good with a mic like a 414. But maybe more for distance mic'ing applications? Like recording a flute, choir or room micing?
OK, now I understand, however I wonder how did they do it
Anyway, dont use it for vocals
IMO the biggest problem with pre-amps and vocal recordings is too much gain when additional gain is not needed. It can be useful in distant miking, but not for close vocals. This is really strange - there are preamps with such minimal gain, that it is impossible to record anything close (VO or rap for example) with tlm103 or similiar mic, and instrument inputs are also useless...
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