Ken's recordings via a Behringer Xenyx Q802USB Mixer

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Ken's recordings via a Behringer Xenyx Q802USB Mixer

Postby Hugh-AR » 26 Sep 2019 23:27

Ken (ken horton) has been trying to record his Roland organ, in Stereo by recording to Audacity. He has been using a Behringer Xenyx Q802USB Mixer and for some reason his recording has now developed a 'hum' or 'buzz'. He has sent me his resulting MP3 to listen to, which you can click on below. Listen to the 'hum/buzz/drone' at the beginning of the recording (the tune doesn't start for a bit as he wanted a good length of 'buzz' so we could hear it properly). The recording itself is fairly quiet as Ken hasn't 'normalized' the track (the 'buzz' increased in volume when he did that).

Click the LINK below to listen; then click the back-button at any time to get back to this page.
Ken's recording of Samba de Orfue

Here is what I said to him, by email:

Hi Ken,

I have followed all your recording escapades with interest. I have a few thing to say about it all.

1. I had some buzzing (much louder than yours) on a couple of recordings I did. This is when I was using the Mixer (same as the one you have). As I only have one input source .. the AR, with nothing else connected with it, I now use the Behringer UCA 202 audio interface, which only has ONE input (phono .. like the AR) and NO volume control. All my recording are very low on volume in Audacity. Anyway, as far as the buzzing through the Mixer was concerned, I discovered that it was the lead that provides the power for the Mixer that was causing the problem. Not the lead or charger, but the plug that you put into the back of the mixer to power it. I found that if I 'wiggled' this a bit and pushed it in really firmly, the buzzing stopped.

2. When I use Audacity to do a recording, first, I launch Audacity. I then go into the Volumes of the Realtek HD Audio Manager on my laptop and put them up to MAXIMUM. I use Windows 10 and have a little speaker icon bottom right, which I right-click on and I get this:


I click on Volume Control and I see this:


You can see that the overall volumes for the laptop are only about half way. So I grab one of the blue arrows with the mouse and drag it up to the top (all three volumes move up together .. you can't do them individually). And then I get this:


With the laptop now giving me the maximum volume I can get, I click the 'X' in the corner and continue with doing my recording. I would have the recording level up to maximum (not half way), but the headphone volume down to about half way or it will blast my ears off! I personally press the letter 'R' when I want the recording to START; and the SPACEBAR when I want it to STOP.

3. I can hear some 'buzzing/hum' in that recording you sent me .. but not a lot. I can see this from the green bars moving across before the recording starts.


See the waveform of your recording, below. I was very pleased to see that the 'green bars' across the recording level indicator were working independently (and not 'together), showing that your recording is indeed in STEREO.


4. We next need to remove that buzzing, which I will do as in my explanation here:

Do a right-click to open this up in a New Tab

First highlight a bit of the noise ..


.. then click on Effect, Noise Reduction; click on Get Noise Profile; then select ALL the recording (click on Select at the top, then on All in the drop-down box); click on Effect, Noise Reduction again; check the defaults .. and then click OK. You won't see a lot of difference in the waveform, but this is what it looks like after the noise has been removed.


But I can assure you that there is now NO NOISE (buzz/hum/drone) at all.

5. We then need to NORMALIZE your recording. I can never understand why some people on other Forums go on about how 'normalising' is not 'normal' and doesn't give a proper sound result. They would rather 'up' the volumes whilst recording, or AMPLIFY the recording afterwards and get it as close to the 'clip' point as possible. That's nutty! To my way of thinking, NORMALIZING puts all the volumes up in proportion (which 'amplifying' doesn't do) with the Maximum stopping just below the 'clip point' at what you set it. If the waveform is pretty even across the board, then I will set the Maximum to -2. If there are some 'loud bits' I can see as 'spikes' in the waveform, then I will Normalise it to -1, or zero. They gave us the NORMALISE Effect to make it easier for us to make recordings with a perfect volume level. So why not use it? In your recording I have NORMALIZED it to zero as I can see some 'spikes' on the right hand channel. Actually, I can see why the 'experts' would want to use AMPLIFY on the recording. If the recording has 'spikes' in it (as yours has) then 'normalising' it may not bring the overall volume of the track up to the same as others on eg. a CD. So if you AMPLIFY it all you can get the overall volume up to the same level as other pieces .. and don't worry about those couple of 'spikes' that would obviously be 'clipped' now. You would only get a slight distortion for a fraction of a second at that one point where the 'spike' was.



And this is what your final waveform looks like now: Noise Removed; and Normalized.


This is what your recording sounds like now. Keep it going till the music starts .. as I have left the long 'lead in' so you can hear (or rather can't hear) that there is no noise.

Click the LINK below to listen; then click the back-button afterwards to get back to this page.
Ken's recording of Samba de Orfue with the 'buzz' removed and a Normalize carried out

If this was a final recording I would now DELETE some of that long lead in .. by highlighting some of the first section and then using Edit, Delete in the Audacity program. You can't DELETE it by highlighting a section and pressing the DELETE button on the laptop.

Hope this is all of help. It may look complicated (it is to explain it all!) but like anything, if you do it a few times it becomes second nature and only takes a couple of minutes to do.

It's all about the music ♫ ♪ ♫ Organ: Yamaha AR80
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