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Audio clipping

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Steve Topper
Audio clipping
on Jun 25, 2011 at 3:28:41 am

I have a marantz pmd 661 and I have done a few recordings where the audio clips even though the meters never hit 0db. I tried putting on -6 attenuation,(I was under the impression that this will reduce the incoming signal by 6db, but maybe it just clips everything at 6?), at any rate this didn't help the problem.

At any rate I don't know why it would be clipping, and I'm curious if anyone could enlighten me. I've been through several recorders now, and I'm getting ridiculously frustated with each one having some kind of issue.


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Steve Topper
Re: Audio clipping
on Jun 25, 2011 at 4:52:51 am

Also worth noting, I'm using a baby bottle, and maybe it's the mic that's clipping. I'm standing about 8 in away, and there is a pop filter. Granted I'm singing loudly and trying to get a lot of power, but I thought the baby bottle was supposed to stand up to some pretty loud sounds.


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Ty Ford
Re: Audio clipping
on Jun 25, 2011 at 3:07:37 pm

Hello Steve and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Does the mic work with another recorder?

Does the Marantz work with other mics?

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Alain Koffi Sessi
Re: Audio clipping
on Jun 25, 2011 at 10:16:47 pm

Hi Steve,

In addition to Ty's questions, here are a few more to think about.

Are you recording indoors or outdoors? What kind of source are you dealing with? Do you have access to other mics? Are you monitoring the signal with headphones?

The baby bottle is perfect for studio applications. However, it's not the best choice in outdoor situations. If turning the levels further down does not correct the problem, then perhaps it's time to replace the mic.

Alain Koffi Sessi
Sound Designer


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Steve Topper
Re: Audio clipping
on Jun 26, 2011 at 4:23:44 am

I was using it indoors, in a home-made studio booth. Obviously this is not the ideal situation for a field recorder, but whatever.

It seems like by turning the attenuation on the marantz to -12, the clipping is much better but it still exists.
Perhaps baby bottle was sending too hot of a signal to the preamps so they were clipping regardless of the levels. This still doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me because wouldn't turning down the gain knob also keep the pre-amp from clipping from a hot mic signal?

I'm also going to try sending the baby bottle in through an external phantom power supply and let you know how that works


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Alain Koffi Sessi
Re: Audio clipping
on Jun 26, 2011 at 5:12:41 am

Turning the gain nob on the mic-pre down will effectively prevent clipping. The question is how many decibels down? There is a 4-way relationship to keep in mind here: the loudness of the source, the sensitivity of the mic, The mic's placement in relation to the source, and the mic-pre.

Alain Koffi Sessi
Sound Designer


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Steve Topper
Re: Audio clipping
on Jun 26, 2011 at 2:31:57 pm

See, what's happening is that turning the gain down, will reduce the overall loudness of the recording so the levels never get anywhere near 0 db, but they still clip at the peaks. So, the loudes part of the recording might barely hit -12, but it still clips.

Ty, I am recording vocals for a song. I know this is better with an audio interface, but I'm doing this just to try to figure out why the heck it's clipping.


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Ty Ford
Re: Audio clipping
on Jun 26, 2011 at 2:36:41 pm

Steve,

I doubt it's the mic overloading.

Try different mics with that recorder to see if they also cause the problem.

Try that mic on a different system to see if it's something wrong with the mic.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Ty Ford
Re: Audio clipping
on Jun 26, 2011 at 12:16:23 pm

Steve,

What were you recording?

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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