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Go Back   Avid Pro Audio Community > Legacy Products > 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Win)

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  #1  
Old 06-08-2009, 01:09 PM
Visceral Visceral is offline
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Default Problem With Recording Vocals in Pro Tools

Hi everyone. I'm new to the forum and new to home recording. I have a Mbox Mini 2. This weekend I wanted to record a song with some of my vocals on it. I imported a midi file into Pro Tools and was able to pick the instruments through Reason and got all the instruments on the track.

When it came time to record my vocals, I set up my microphone (MXL 990) in my closet and attempted to sing. When I listened to the track, it sounded really thin and it didn't capture any of the low end in my voice. It also sounded grated, distorted, and scratchy, and frankly my laptop microphone sounds much better than the recording with the MXL 990. I have a full baritone voice, and the recording I made basically destroyed all the fullness of my natural voice and turned it into something very thin and weak sounding. I must be doing something wrong, because the reviews I've read on the internet about the MXL 990 make it seem like it's a decent starter microphone.

I'm running a 15 foot XLR cable from the microphone into the input 1 on the back of the Mbox Mini 2. I have the Mic/DI and Pad buttons out, and the 48V button is pushed in. I tried pushing the Mic/DI button in, and nothing recorded. The same thing happened when I pushed the 48V button out. This mic requires phantom power, so I believe that pushing the 48V button in engages that power. From there I am recording right on to a Pro Tools Audio Track.

I tried switching the microphone to an SM58. This sounded better and more full, but I know that you are supposed to use condenser microphones for vocals on recordings.

Please help me with recording vocals through my MXL 990.
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2009, 01:57 PM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
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Default Re: Problem With Recording Vocals in Pro Tools

Well, if the 57 sounded OK thru the same setup, then about the only two possible culprits I can think of are 1) the MXL is defective, 2) the mbox phantom power is weak, voltage dropping too low. Recording in a closet isn't necessarily the best idea, either, unless it's a pretty good sized walk-in. You might do better in your room. All those clothes can swallow up a lot of the sound and make things sound lifeless.
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  #3  
Old 06-08-2009, 03:31 PM
Visceral Visceral is offline
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Default Re: Problem With Recording Vocals in Pro Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by daeron80 View Post
Well, if the 57 sounded OK thru the same setup, then about the only two possible culprits I can think of are 1) the MXL is defective, 2) the mbox phantom power is weak, voltage dropping too low. Recording in a closet isn't necessarily the best idea, either, unless it's a pretty good sized walk-in. You might do better in your room. All those clothes can swallow up a lot of the sound and make things sound lifeless.
I wonder if the MXL is defective...I bought it from Guitar Center along with a MXL 991 for $49. The original price was $70, but I always lowball them at Guitar Center, and I was surprised that my price was accepted. I suppose I will get in touch with MXL to see if I can get a replacement.

Thanks for your comments.
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  #4  
Old 06-08-2009, 04:31 PM
TheRealJayP TheRealJayP is offline
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Default Re: Problem With Recording Vocals in Pro Tools

Did you ever stop to think that maybe the 40$ mic you purchased is the reason it sounds thin? I had the MXL and I've since upgraded thru a few different choices and the difference is night and day. The mxl will be very thin w/ not much low end. Might wanna check into a nicer condenser
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:37 PM
Visceral Visceral is offline
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Default Re: Problem With Recording Vocals in Pro Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealJayP View Post
Did you ever stop to think that maybe the 40$ mic you purchased is the reason it sounds thin? I had the MXL and I've since upgraded thru a few different choices and the difference is night and day. The mxl will be very thin w/ not much low end. Might wanna check into a nicer condenser
Obviously I have considered that. But the majority of the reviews I have read on the internet are positive for the MXL 990. From what I have read, it seems like there is another problem.
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:50 PM
rqstudio rqstudio is offline
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Default Re: Problem With Recording Vocals in Pro Tools

Yeah, I agree with my bros, you're gonna have to shell out more than 50 bucks for a good sounding vocal mic. But on the other hand MXL does make some good sounding microphones. I have one of their tube mics that sounds like a $1000 . But this is for your vocal, you wouldn't buy a 49 dollar guitar would you? Take it back, check out the Rhodes, AKG C 3000, (my favorite $300 mic) or at least the MXL 4000. You'll be glad you did.
Oh and BTW, a good cord can make a HUGE difference!
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2009, 06:48 PM
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TOM@METRO TOM@METRO is offline
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Default Re: Problem With Recording Vocals in Pro Tools

I prefer a 57 over a low-end condenser like the MXL 990.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:08 PM
pianosound pianosound is offline
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Default Re: Problem With Recording Vocals in Pro Tools

Quite a few years ago, I bought my 1st mic/tube pre amp combo from Guitar C. (cheap single tube)(which with the 003 I found the pre amp to not do anything to the sound, so dumped it).,, The mic though (paid around 80.00 for the combo) is an Oktava MK 319 large diaphram, still blows my mind!! what goes in, is what you hear coming out!! Not sure you can even buy them anymore???? But I've recorded everything from voice to violin, flute and guitar ect.. Amazing sound, use it in the same room as my PC (facing away of coarse) and you have to turn up the volume quite a bit to hear any room noise (in silent parts of the track). Add a touch of reverb and maybe a little eq, and the CD results are as good as any CD I have purchased. Can't believe I got so lucky since I had know idea what to get. (and no,,, I'm not deaf,,,,,,, YET!!)

Mike
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:23 AM
Murt Murt is offline
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Default Re: Problem With Recording Vocals in Pro Tools

Quote:
because the reviews I've read on the internet about the MXL 990 make it seem like it's a decent starter microphone.
True, according to this review http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug05/articles/mxl.htm
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:44 AM
Wango Wango is offline
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Default Re: Problem With Recording Vocals in Pro Tools

Try plugging the mic into other inputs on the M-Box.
I would do that to rule out an issue with a defective input.

Not sure how the M-BOX is set up, but on my 003, the phantom power applies to pairs of inputs, not each one. If this is the case with the M-BOX, try another input with a different phantom power button.

I agree that a $49 mic ain't gonna sound that great.
But, if you have the same issue with the 58, it might be something else.
A 58 should work reasonably well, but will not give you the richness of a good condenser.
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