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Windows 7: Microphone issue (Too quiet, even on max settings)


25 Sep 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit
 
 
Microphone issue (Too quiet, even on max settings)

Hello all.

I've previously come to this forum and found answers for other issues I have been having, but I was unable to find a prior resolution to my current problem.

My issue is that I am trying to record sound from my microphone (I can't test Ventrilo or Skype right now due to being stuck on a terrible, terrible Satellite connection) and while the sound quality is good, and everything gets picked up okay, the input is really quiet. I am using a Razer Carcharias (sp?) headset with Realtek HD Audio integrated into my EVGA x58 SLI LE motherboard. Even with the recording volume (in Windows and the Realtek configuration software both) maxed, and the Mic Boost at +30 db, the recorded audio is maybe a third the volume of any other sound I would normally hear on my computer at the same volume settings.

I've tried both the front and rear ports, I've tried disabling all the other Recording devices in Windows, my audio drivers are up to date (though I have to use the Realtek ones, rather than EVGA, as otherwise my system tends to randomly freeze sometimes when I'm on the audio settings screen, either directly or in a game), and I'm really stumped as to anything else I can do. Once I get a game (and voice-comms) worthy connection again, I know I can individually tweak the audio levels in Ventrilo to boost it more, which will hopefully help. But I also do video recording, and having all the input levels record really quietly kind of hampers that.

I tried it through Stereomix as well, and that didn't actually record my mic input that I could hear, just the sounds playing through my PC. Though it recorded those sounds as quietly as it records my microphone.

Oh, also, I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit.

Any help or suggestions you kind folks could offer would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Sep 2009   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

GH

did the mic work in previous OS'es?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit
 
 

I actually don't know that, unfortunately. I picked up the new headset after I finished building the new rig, so I didn't actually test it out on another OS. I suppose I could test it on my netbook, which is still running XP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Sep 2009   #4

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Grimhowl View Post
I actually don't know that, unfortunately. I picked up the new headset after I finished building the new rig, so I didn't actually test it out on another OS. I suppose I could test it on my netbook, which is still running XP.
It might just be the wrong impedence. triple the resistance, and you have 1/3 the voltage. do you have a line in jack? oor just ths mic in?

ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit
 
 

I'm afraid I don't know quite what you mean. Audio isn't really my specialty, I'm afraid.

My front ports are just normal Mic and Headphones. That was simple enough, mic plug goes in the mic jack, headphones to the headphones jack. The rear panel has either 6 or 8 plugs, of which two were the traditional green and red plugs for headphones and microphone, so I used those. My Realtek software confirmed those were the correct ports, but if you think it would work better in another port (and not completely destroy my headset or audio card. =P), I'm willing to give it a shot.

The audio-out is just fine, by the way. No problems in volume or quality for music or games or anything, and I only run the speaker volume at about 45%.

I'm currently testing the microphone on my netbook, which unfortunately also uses Realtek audio (though it has a different version of the software). I can't find mic boost on my netbook anywhere but in Playback, under microphone. Which is really strange. As a recording device, it doesn't have that option. Though on max volume without mic boost, it's still a bit louder than on my Windows 7 machine with full volume and full mic boost. Not to mention I have my system audio out on my netbook way, way down (less than 10%) because otherwise it blows out my eardrums.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2009   #6

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

GH

Lets say your audio needs 12 volts to give full volume. if it gets 4 volts it gives much less volume. if it gets 24 too much volume. I suspect the mic isnt the correct one for the realtek audio and hence the lower volume. there may be an adjustment in the audio control panel. If you use the snipping tool built into win 7 to take a pic of the control panel and upload it to us we can tell you meor


hope this helps

Ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2009   #7

7600.20510 x86
 
 

Most mic inputs have a box to check to raise the level. It's usually called mic boost on integrated hardware, in properties.


Attached Thumbnails
Microphone issue (Too quiet, even on max settings)-capture.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2009   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit
 
 

The mic boost in 7 is actually on, and Maxed at 30 DB. It's not a check box, it's a slider (I don't have that "Custom" tab) on my mic. This is through my front port, not my rear one.

I know for sure that I have it plugged into the correct port for Microphone in both cases (front and rear, when I tried rear). Are you suggesting that I shouldn't use the Microphone port, but perhaps another of the 6? If so, could you suggest which one?

Thanks.

The pic of my mic settings are attached. If this isn't the right screen you wanted to see, just let me know and I'll try and find the one you meant.

Thanks guys.


Attached Thumbnails
Microphone issue (Too quiet, even on max settings)-microphone-settings-7.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2009   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit
 
 

A minor addendum, while I was sitting here thinking about it.

Some of my initial recordings, I was using Stereomix, which as I mentioned, recorded the game audio (though not the mic for whatever reason). The game audio was reduced as much as my mic currently is, as far as playback volume in the recording.

That seems to imply that it wouldn't be a lack of power to the microphone, or even a faulty microphone as much as it seems like I missed a setting somewhere in my audio configurations, or it's just a bug in the drivers that's not fixed yet.

[EDIT] Tertiary thought: My speakers are actually set at 10%, because that's where music and game audio is comfortable at. Would Windows be basing it's recording or playback on 10% of the projected volume, thus lowering the actual input it receives (or records) by 90%? As I said, I really don't know that much about the audio aspect of computers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2009   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit
 
 

Bigger update:

Due to having to RMA my motherboard (and PSU to be on the safe side, as I've narrowed the problems down to those two, and the system is already down without the mobo...), I've hooked up my old XP Pro system. While I have to use Mic boost to get a satisfactory volume level out of the mic, it actually comes through quite loud and clear, so much so I had to dial the volume back (but leave mic boost on).

Seems to me the quietness issue must just be the habitially craptastic Realtek 7 drivers.

Just figured I'd update in case anyone else out there is having the same problem with the same headset.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Microphone issue (Too quiet, even on max settings)




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