distorted sound in W7 mike recording


J

Jeff

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
When I use my laptop's external mike input to record from a DVR, the
recorded sound plays back very distorted.
I do notice that when recording (using Debut video recording software),
the sound meter seems to be constantly in the red but I do not know
where to change that.

If I record the sound just using the built in screen mike (not the mike
input port) the recorded sound is clear. But I need to use the mike
*port* to record directly from the DVR)

In Device manager, under Sound, video and game controllers I find 2 entries:
a) IDT High Definition Audio CODEC
Device driver is IDT, 3/23/10, version 6.10.6276.0

b) Intel(R) Hi Definition Audio HDMI
(probably irrelevant) Intel(R), 7/1-/09, version 6.10.1.2077

Not sure where to find the external mike driver. I believe it must be (a).

Thanks for any help. Jeff
 
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P

Paul

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
When I use my laptop's external mike input to record from a DVR, the
recorded sound plays back very distorted.
I do notice that when recording (using Debut video recording software),
the sound meter seems to be constantly in the red but I do not know
where to change that.

If I record the sound just using the built in screen mike (not the mike
input port) the recorded sound is clear. But I need to use the mike
*port* to record directly from the DVR)

In Device manager, under Sound, video and game controllers I find 2
entries:
a) IDT High Definition Audio CODEC
Device driver is IDT, 3/23/10, version 6.10.6276.0

b) Intel(R) Hi Definition Audio HDMI
(probably irrelevant) Intel(R), 7/1-/09, version 6.10.1.2077

Not sure where to find the external mike driver. I believe it must be (a).

Thanks for any help. Jeff
A lot of HDaudio chips, support "retasking". The hardware
widget, can in principle be run at "microphone" amplification
level or "line" level. For recording from a DVR, you want
"line" level. Otherwise, there may be sufficient gain
involved, to introduce clipping and distortion.

When I plug a microphone into my SoundMax, a dialog pops up
asking me what it is. I tested this just now. I plugged
a microphone into one of the Speaker ports on the SoundMax
faceplate. A dialog box popped up, with options such as
"Speakers", "Microphone", "Line Input", so in fact the
dialog is asking me whether it is an output or an input,
and via the last two options, what level of amplification
it requires. With the "Microphone" option, it'll be
applying an unstated amount of boost (maybe 20dB).

The IDT is what you want (the Intel is just an output),
and either there will be a popup dialog box, of if jack
detection didn't exist, you'd need whatever IDT/Sigmatel
offers as a control panel.

(An IDT control panel - no idea what functions hide in here)

http://mallow.wakcdn.com/screenshots/2384/big.png

Paul
 
J

Jeff

A lot of HDaudio chips, support "retasking". The hardware
widget, can in principle be run at "microphone" amplification
level or "line" level. For recording from a DVR, you want
"line" level. Otherwise, there may be sufficient gain
involved, to introduce clipping and distortion.

When I plug a microphone into my SoundMax, a dialog pops up
asking me what it is. I tested this just now. I plugged
a microphone into one of the Speaker ports on the SoundMax
faceplate. A dialog box popped up, with options such as
"Speakers", "Microphone", "Line Input", so in fact the
dialog is asking me whether it is an output or an input,
and via the last two options, what level of amplification
it requires. With the "Microphone" option, it'll be
applying an unstated amount of boost (maybe 20dB).

The IDT is what you want (the Intel is just an output),
and either there will be a popup dialog box, of if jack
detection didn't exist, you'd need whatever IDT/Sigmatel
offers as a control panel.

(An IDT control panel - no idea what functions hide in here)

http://mallow.wakcdn.com/screenshots/2384/big.png

Paul
Thanks for replying mike.

Excuse the newbie questions, but I am new to recording.

I am using a unmodified HP dv6-1375 laptop. No access to the sound card
other than the mike port in the front.

I do not know where to change the microphone amp level to line input
instead of microphone level. I get no such helpful popup. On checking my
system I noticed that in Control Panel/Sound under the recording tab I
have 3 entries:
a) External Mic (which is what I am using)
b) Integrated Microphone array (not sure what that is)
c) Stereo Mix (IDT High Definition Audio CODEC) which is "currently
unavailable.

If I check (a)'s Levels I see they are both set at their midranges:
- External Mic 55
- Microphone Boost +10.0 db

I am guessing that one or the other is too high but am not sure.

Finally how do I get something like this panel:
http://mallow.wakcdn.com/screenshots/2384/big.png

Thanks for helping.
 
J

Jeff

A lot of HDaudio chips, support "retasking". The hardware
widget, can in principle be run at "microphone" amplification
level or "line" level. For recording from a DVR, you want
"line" level. Otherwise, there may be sufficient gain
involved, to introduce clipping and distortion.

When I plug a microphone into my SoundMax, a dialog pops up
asking me what it is. I tested this just now. I plugged
a microphone into one of the Speaker ports on the SoundMax
faceplate. A dialog box popped up, with options such as
"Speakers", "Microphone", "Line Input", so in fact the
dialog is asking me whether it is an output or an input,
and via the last two options, what level of amplification
it requires. With the "Microphone" option, it'll be
applying an unstated amount of boost (maybe 20dB).

The IDT is what you want (the Intel is just an output),
and either there will be a popup dialog box, of if jack
detection didn't exist, you'd need whatever IDT/Sigmatel
offers as a control panel.

(An IDT control panel - no idea what functions hide in here)

http://mallow.wakcdn.com/screenshots/2384/big.png

Paul
Found mine:
http://www.orthohelp.com/example/IDT panel.JPG

What do I now do with it?

Jeff
 
P

Paul

Found mine:
http://www.orthohelp.com/example/IDT panel.JPG

What do I now do with it?

Jeff
If possible, turn down the microphone boost.

Microphone boosts work two ways.

In the "old days", it was "fixed boost" plus "slider" for
the volume. You turned off the "fixed boost", and the
gain would drop 20dB.

On the newer HD audio codecs, the gain may effectively
be like "two sliders". That's at the hardware level.
But for semi-consistency with what people may have
seen in the past, the control panel may have a "coarse"
control, changing boost in fairly large chunks,
or simply stating that you can turn the 20dB boost
on and off if you want.

You need "less gain", to bring your input signal
back within the dynamic headroom of the hardware.
That will stop the clipping and distortion.

A recording application, one with a "VU meter", can
show clipping graphically. I use "Audacity" from
sourceforge, as an example of such a tool, which
happens to have a VU meter, and turns red when there
is clipping. Maybe there is something in Windows
that can show that info, but I don't remember
it right off hand.

I've tried using Windows Sound Recorder in the past,
and it worked, but it wasn't exactly the most friendly
or flexible software. I use Sound Recorder, in situations
where Audacity is already doing "Playback", and I need
to simultaneously run a recording function. In some
situations then, I use two applications to do what
needs doing. I would "calibrate" my recording setup
with Audacity, make sure the controls are all set
right, before using an application like Sound
Recorder, which might not have a VU meter.

HTH,
Paul
 
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J

Jeff

Turn the mic boost down with the slider

Does anything happen if you click the icon of the front panel mic jack?
Will do. Is it just trial and error?
The mike is not connected now, so it just says "unconnected"
 
J

Jeff

If possible, turn down the microphone boost.

Microphone boosts work two ways.

In the "old days", it was "fixed boost" plus "slider" for
the volume. You turned off the "fixed boost", and the
gain would drop 20dB.

On the newer HD audio codecs, the gain may effectively
be like "two sliders". That's at the hardware level.
But for semi-consistency with what people may have
seen in the past, the control panel may have a "coarse"
control, changing boost in fairly large chunks,
or simply stating that you can turn the 20dB boost
on and off if you want.

You need "less gain", to bring your input signal
back within the dynamic headroom of the hardware.
That will stop the clipping and distortion.

A recording application, one with a "VU meter", can
show clipping graphically. I use "Audacity" from
sourceforge, as an example of such a tool, which
happens to have a VU meter, and turns red when there
is clipping. Maybe there is something in Windows
that can show that info, but I don't remember
it right off hand.

I've tried using Windows Sound Recorder in the past,
and it worked, but it wasn't exactly the most friendly
or flexible software. I use Sound Recorder, in situations
where Audacity is already doing "Playback", and I need
to simultaneously run a recording function. In some
situations then, I use two applications to do what
needs doing. I would "calibrate" my recording setup
with Audacity, make sure the controls are all set
right, before using an application like Sound
Recorder, which might not have a VU meter.

HTH,
Paul
Thank you very much. Again!
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
When I use my laptop's external mike input to record from a DVR, the
recorded sound plays back very distorted.
What does DVR stand for? If it's something digital, why are you going
via an analogue input anyway?
I do notice that when recording (using Debut video recording software),
the sound meter seems to be constantly in the red but I do not know
where to change that.

If I record the sound just using the built in screen mike (not the mike
input port) the recorded sound is clear. But I need to use the mike
*port* to record directly from the DVR)

In Device manager, under Sound, video and game controllers I find 2 entries:
a) IDT High Definition Audio CODEC
Device driver is IDT, 3/23/10, version 6.10.6276.0

b) Intel(R) Hi Definition Audio HDMI
(probably irrelevant) Intel(R), 7/1-/09, version 6.10.1.2077

Not sure where to find the external mike driver. I believe it must be (a).

Thanks for any help. Jeff
Unless the port _can_ be persuaded to become a line in port, as others
have suggested, you're stuck; mic inputs (pink sockets) on PCs, which
are often the only input there is on laptops, are (a) mono (b) designed
for a low-level input, as from a mike, and will be overloaded by a
line-level input.

If you can't get it to act as a line in (which might well be impossible;
it might be hardwired. I think line-in sockets are blue), you'll need an
external sound unit. There are plenty around, that connect to a USB
port, though the cheap ones only have line/speaker out (pale green) and
mic in (pink), which won't get you anywhere you aren't already, so make
sure you get one that explicitly includes a line in input.
 
J

Jeff

If possible, turn down the microphone boost.

Microphone boosts work two ways.

In the "old days", it was "fixed boost" plus "slider" for
the volume. You turned off the "fixed boost", and the
gain would drop 20dB.

On the newer HD audio codecs, the gain may effectively
be like "two sliders". That's at the hardware level.
But for semi-consistency with what people may have
seen in the past, the control panel may have a "coarse"
control, changing boost in fairly large chunks,
or simply stating that you can turn the 20dB boost
on and off if you want.

You need "less gain", to bring your input signal
back within the dynamic headroom of the hardware.
That will stop the clipping and distortion.

A recording application, one with a "VU meter", can
show clipping graphically. I use "Audacity" from
sourceforge, as an example of such a tool, which
happens to have a VU meter, and turns red when there
is clipping. Maybe there is something in Windows
that can show that info, but I don't remember
it right off hand.

I've tried using Windows Sound Recorder in the past,
and it worked, but it wasn't exactly the most friendly
or flexible software. I use Sound Recorder, in situations
where Audacity is already doing "Playback", and I need
to simultaneously run a recording function. In some
situations then, I use two applications to do what
needs doing. I would "calibrate" my recording setup
with Audacity, make sure the controls are all set
right, before using an application like Sound
Recorder, which might not have a VU meter.

HTH,
Paul
I think I fixed it!!

On the IDT panel, the boost was either none or 10 (or more). So, setting
the boost to 0 and lowering the mike slider at the bottom I got decent
undistorted and good loud sound.

Thank you so much.
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

In message <[email protected]>, "(e-mail address removed)"
I have 3 entries:
a) External Mic (which is what I am using)
b) Integrated Microphone array (not sure what that is)
Probably the mic(s) that is (are) built into the laptop somewhere: if it
has a webcam, it'll almost certainly have a mic. too. Probably around
the screen somewhere.
c) Stereo Mix (IDT High Definition Audio CODEC) which is "currently
unavailable.
[]
 
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P

Paul

I think I fixed it!!

On the IDT panel, the boost was either none or 10 (or more). So, setting
the boost to 0 and lowering the mike slider at the bottom I got decent
undistorted and good loud sound.

Thank you so much.
No problem.

Paul
 
J

Jeff

What does DVR stand for? If it's something digital, why are you going
via an analogue input anyway?


Unless the port _can_ be persuaded to become a line in port, as others
have suggested, you're stuck; mic inputs (pink sockets) on PCs, which
are often the only input there is on laptops, are (a) mono (b) designed
for a low-level input, as from a mike, and will be overloaded by a
line-level input.

If you can't get it to act as a line in (which might well be impossible;
it might be hardwired. I think line-in sockets are blue), you'll need an
external sound unit. There are plenty around, that connect to a USB
port, though the cheap ones only have line/speaker out (pale green) and
mic in (pink), which won't get you anywhere you aren't already, so make
sure you get one that explicitly includes a line in input.
You might have hit the crux of the problem.

I am working on a laptop and trying to copy saved content from my COX TV
DVR (digital video recorder model Scientific Atlanta 8240HDC) to my HP
laptop dv6-1375).

When I originally saved from the SA 8240HDC to a connected video
recorder (a Toshiba D-R410), the produced DVD will often not play on
another DVD player even though I am using -R DVD blanks and I finish the
recording on the recorder. It plays on the Toshiba recorder.

So I thought maybe it was some kind of copy protection and someone
suggested using an analog device to get around it. So I got a EasyCAP
device
http://www.amazon.com/EasyCAP-DC60-Creator-Capture-High-quality/dp/B002H3BSCM
Works perfectly for the video but will not work for the sound except if
sent through the mic port. That is what was advised on its web forums.
So, that is how I ended up recording video through the USB and sound
through the mic.

Being a total newbie at this, I am just trying to get that SA saved
content on a DVD I can play on any DVD player and am not able to.

How do I even try to persuade the the mic to function like a line port?
Did not even know there was a difference. How do I make my W7 USB port
accept the sound from the EasyCAP device?

Any advice welcome. As I said, all I want is to get that SA saved
content on a DVD I can play on any DVD player. One would think that was
a simple thing to do. Maybe the Toshiba recorder I have is a dud.

Jeff
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

In message <[email protected]>, "(e-mail address removed)"
You might have hit the crux of the problem.

I am working on a laptop and trying to copy saved content from my COX
TV DVR (digital video recorder model Scientific Atlanta 8240HDC) to my
HP laptop dv6-1375).

When I originally saved from the SA 8240HDC to a connected video
recorder (a Toshiba D-R410), the produced DVD will often not play on
another DVD player even though I am using -R DVD blanks and I finish
the recording on the recorder. It plays on the Toshiba recorder.
Is that connected digitally, or via analogue connections, between the
DVR and the video recorder (which it sounds as if you mean is something
that produces discs not tapes)?
So I thought maybe it was some kind of copy protection and someone
suggested using an analog device to get around it. So I got a EasyCAP
Ah, so it _was_ digital.
device
http://www.amazon.com/EasyCAP-DC60-Creator-Capture-High-quality/dp/B002H3BSCM
Works perfectly for the video but will not work for the sound except if
sent through the mic port. That is what was advised on its web forums.
If you mean the web forums for the EasyCAP device, then either the
advice is bunkum, or the EasyCAP is dud: its _purpose_ is to capture
(analogue) video and audio.
So, that is how I ended up recording video through the USB and sound
through the mic.

Being a total newbie at this, I am just trying to get that SA saved
content on a DVD I can play on any DVD player and am not able to.

How do I even try to persuade the the mic to function like a line port?
Did not even know there was a difference. How do I make my W7 USB port
There is - a line in port expects signals of a certain level (around 100
mV peak, I think, but not sure about that), via the three-wire connector
- left, right, and ground/earth. The mic port expects a mono signal at a
much lower level (few mV) from a microphone: though it may use the same
three-conductor connector, the third is used to feed voltage out to the
kind of microphone (elecret/condenser) that needs it, not to take an
input. In a _few_ cases there may be clever electronics that can change
the socket function, but I expect it's the exception rather than the
rule.
accept the sound from the EasyCAP device?
Well, once the EasyCAP has taken the video and audio signals, they're
digital and coming in through the USB socket anyway. You need to change
the levels - and possibly unmute some channels - on a sound mixer
application somewhere; this might require you to run a driver disc that
came with the EasyCAP. Once you've got it taking input from those
inputs, you should be able to check by touching the inner (only) of the
red and white plugs (with a screwdriver if necessary - touch the inner
not the outer); you should get a loud buzz on whichever channel you're
trying.

There may be some confusion - make sure when you're playing with a mixer
application that you're using the record or playback one. The playback
one determines what comes out of the PC's speakers, but not what records
to a file you're creating; the record one determines what goes into a
file, but you may not hear it while recording.
Any advice welcome. As I said, all I want is to get that SA saved
content on a DVD I can play on any DVD player. One would think that was
a simple thing to do. Maybe the Toshiba recorder I have is a dud.

Jeff
Could just be an early one; I've had DVD recorders that produced discs
that weren't always playable on other than the machine they were
recorded on. Have you tried playing it in the PC? (Possibly needing
software other than the default that comes with the PC.)
 
P

Paul

You might have hit the crux of the problem.

I am working on a laptop and trying to copy saved content from my COX TV
DVR (digital video recorder model Scientific Atlanta 8240HDC) to my HP
laptop dv6-1375).

When I originally saved from the SA 8240HDC to a connected video
recorder (a Toshiba D-R410), the produced DVD will often not play on
another DVD player even though I am using -R DVD blanks and I finish the
recording on the recorder. It plays on the Toshiba recorder.

So I thought maybe it was some kind of copy protection and someone
suggested using an analog device to get around it. So I got a EasyCAP
device
http://www.amazon.com/EasyCAP-DC60-Creator-Capture-High-quality/dp/B002H3BSCM

Works perfectly for the video but will not work for the sound except if
sent through the mic port. That is what was advised on its web forums.
So, that is how I ended up recording video through the USB and sound
through the mic.

Being a total newbie at this, I am just trying to get that SA saved
content on a DVD I can play on any DVD player and am not able to.

How do I even try to persuade the the mic to function like a line port?
Did not even know there was a difference. How do I make my W7 USB port
accept the sound from the EasyCAP device?

Any advice welcome. As I said, all I want is to get that SA saved
content on a DVD I can play on any DVD player. One would think that was
a simple thing to do. Maybe the Toshiba recorder I have is a dud.

Jeff
Is your current recording effort working properly ?

That's all that matters at the moment.

*******

There is a recipe for calibrating audio, but the recipe is
long enough, if I wrote it down, you'd never read it. It's
that boring...

Ideally, calibration would include, using a multimeter, and
using one of these for loopback testing of the audio ports
of the computer. That's all I'm going to say :) You use
Line-Out on the computer, to generate a test tone (sine wave)
to test the inputs on the computer. And the multimeter is
there, to relate the results, to the "real world".

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102949

The Line-Out, Line-In on the computer, may work at as high as
1.1 to 1.6 VAC (RMS) or so. The microphone port, with boost
engaged, might detect 0.010 VAC (ten millivolts), which is
sufficient for some dynamic microphones, but is not sufficient
for a record player magnetic cartridge output (which is only
a couple millivolts or so). Those are rough numbers. But
with any luck, on an HDAudio CODEC, there is sufficient adjustment
range, to make that microphone port behave (do duty as a Line-In).

Paul
 
J

Jeff

In message <[email protected]>, "(e-mail address removed)"


Is that connected digitally, or via analogue connections, between the
DVR and the video recorder (which it sounds as if you mean is something
that produces discs not tapes)?

Ah, so it _was_ digital.


If you mean the web forums for the EasyCAP device, then either the
advice is bunkum, or the EasyCAP is dud: its _purpose_ is to capture
(analogue) video and audio.


There is - a line in port expects signals of a certain level (around 100
mV peak, I think, but not sure about that), via the three-wire connector
- left, right, and ground/earth. The mic port expects a mono signal at a
much lower level (few mV) from a microphone: though it may use the same
three-conductor connector, the third is used to feed voltage out to the
kind of microphone (elecret/condenser) that needs it, not to take an
input. In a _few_ cases there may be clever electronics that can change
the socket function, but I expect it's the exception rather than the rule.


Well, once the EasyCAP has taken the video and audio signals, they're
digital and coming in through the USB socket anyway. You need to change
the levels - and possibly unmute some channels - on a sound mixer
application somewhere; this might require you to run a driver disc that
came with the EasyCAP. Once you've got it taking input from those
inputs, you should be able to check by touching the inner (only) of the
red and white plugs (with a screwdriver if necessary - touch the inner
not the outer); you should get a loud buzz on whichever channel you're
trying.

There may be some confusion - make sure when you're playing with a mixer
application that you're using the record or playback one. The playback
one determines what comes out of the PC's speakers, but not what records
to a file you're creating; the record one determines what goes into a
file, but you may not hear it while recording.

Could just be an early one; I've had DVD recorders that produced discs
that weren't always playable on other than the machine they were
recorded on. Have you tried playing it in the PC? (Possibly needing
software other than the default that comes with the PC.)
I now have good sound recording. It was a question of using the IDT
panel to adjust the levels of sound coming in.
 
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J

Jeff

Is your current recording effort working properly ?

That's all that matters at the moment.

*******

There is a recipe for calibrating audio, but the recipe is
long enough, if I wrote it down, you'd never read it. It's
that boring...

Ideally, calibration would include, using a multimeter, and
using one of these for loopback testing of the audio ports
of the computer. That's all I'm going to say :) You use
Line-Out on the computer, to generate a test tone (sine wave)
to test the inputs on the computer. And the multimeter is
there, to relate the results, to the "real world".

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102949

The Line-Out, Line-In on the computer, may work at as high as
1.1 to 1.6 VAC (RMS) or so. The microphone port, with boost
engaged, might detect 0.010 VAC (ten millivolts), which is
sufficient for some dynamic microphones, but is not sufficient
for a record player magnetic cartridge output (which is only
a couple millivolts or so). Those are rough numbers. But
with any luck, on an HDAudio CODEC, there is sufficient adjustment
range, to make that microphone port behave (do duty as a Line-In).

Paul
I now have good sound recording. It was a question of using the IDT
panel to adjust the levels of sound coming in.
 

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