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Windows 7: Problem: 16 bit USB microphone into 24 bit sound system

02 Feb 2015   #1

Win 7 Pro 64 bit
Problem: 16 bit USB microphone into 24 bit sound system

Hello the Forum, I have installed Dragon Naturally speaking dictation software. I am using a wireless headset H800 / with USB transceiver dongle. Have a 24 bit sound card (Creative SoundBlaster Z) which is working fine (except I do have this problem).

1) Dragon speaking software indicates it senses sound from the microphone.
2) Dragon speaking software reports the sound is too weak. (when it is learning mode.)

Of course I can not really hear what is going on from within Dragon Speaking.
So, I try it with Gold Wave (an excellent audio processor with spectrum and Oscope type displays).
The scope display showed the 16 bit audio stream in the lower 16 of the 24 bits.

What I see is (I believe) is the 16 bit microphone audio being put into the lower 16 of the
displayed 24 bit audio as seen from Gold Wave. I have seen a similar problem once on another
fellow's system, had a 33 rpm turn table with a USB interface into his Windows Vista system.
There also the sound was WEAK, real weak.

Does not seem to be an option anywhere to allow (or force) the 16 bit audio data into the upper
16 bits of audio stream.

Anyone run into this problem, and even found a workaround. Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2015   #2
society misfit

Windows 7 Professional

Not sure I understand what you mean by forcing the 16bit audio into the upper 16bit audio stream?

Your Sound Blaster card is capable of up to 24bit. This does not mean it is segregated to 24bits only. However, when using USB audio (be it wireless or wired), you are going through the USB Audio layer and not the sound card. You could remove the sound card all together and the USB audio would still work.

Not familiar with the H800 headset, but make sure the headset is active as both your playback andrecording audio device within your control panel and your application (be it Goldwave or Dragon). You can also set the microphone gain within the control panel as well. Open your sound properties within the control panel click the recording tab and choose your recording device. Click properties and then levels. There you should be able to adjust the microphone gain. The Advanced tab is where you can adjust the bit length and sample frequency but 16bit 44.1khz is more than adequate for what you want to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2015   #3

Windows 10 64 bit

16 bits is the CD audio standard. 24 bits can get you more resolution but in the end, especially for voice speaking 24 bits will not get you anything. I have a recording studio and record at 24 bits but in the end when I mix down to standard wav audio, it is 16 bits 44.1Khz.

And, as society misfit points out, with USB you are going digital and bypassing the PC's sound card.

I have a full (paid) version of Goldwave. When I record with Goldwave it is 16 bits/44,1Khz.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Feb 2015   #4

Win 7 Pro 64 bit

Thanks for the responses,
Sorry to delay, I have read and digested your response. Life is a fast pace but with low energy.

Society misfit: Not sure I understand what you mean by forcing the 16bit audio into the upper 16bit audio stream?

That's not a complete quote of what I said. "The scope display showed the 16 bit audio stream in the lower 16 of the 24 bits."
The mic is a 16 bit device. I am supposing that Dragon speaking reads the 24 bit stream. Because I can control the digital audio stream from the Creative Mixer screen. It IS 24 bit. So how (or where) do you stuff a 16 bit audio stream in a 24 bit stream. On the low end or the high end ?? Dragon reports it can detect audio but it is too weak.

Hello Fireberd. Thanks. Yes, I agree 16 bits is enough for Dragon Speaking to use effectively. But there is Creatives Mixer panel. I get great volume when recording to GoldWave when recording to 16 bit format than I do when recording to 24 bit format.

I will keep digging. Dragon Speaking will not enter voice training, because it states voice signal is too weak. It headset is on their approved list. Something is causing a problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2015   #5
society misfit

Windows 7 Professional

Perhaps you can post a screen shot for I am still not understanding what you mean by the 16bit audio streams shows up in the lower 16 of the 24 bit file. (sorry I miss quoted)

When you make a recording on Goldwave you set the default resolution, be it 8bit, 16, 24 or even 32bit. If the recording device you are using supports a lower bit rate than your recording file, Goldwave will upconvert it to the bit rate of the file. So a 16bit USB microphone will be upconverted to 24bits should your recording be set at that resolution.

No experience with the Dragon software but the web site does state support for a 16bit sound card. However, as mentioned when using a USB microphone, you are using the USB Audio layer and not the sound card. Saying that, perhaps the Dragon software is set to accept signal from your Creative and not your USB microphone. Again, not knowing the software I am just speculating.

When you plug in your USB headset/mic, what is set as the default recording device within the Windows sound properties?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Problem: 16 bit USB microphone into 24 bit sound system

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