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Can't get mic input (Migrated from community.research.microsoft.com)

    Question

  • Alistair S posted on 01-16-2009 6:42 AM

    This is frustrating. I'm clearly doing something wrong.

    I'm using XP. I have 2 soundcards (an onboard soundcard I don't use for anything, and an RME Fireface). I also have a logitech headset, which also has a mic input. I'm using ASIO drivers on the Fireface.

    Whatever I select, I get no input in Songsmith. What I change in the mic config doesn't seem to affect anything. I can get mic input easily in my DAW, but not in this programme. All seems to work fine elsewhere. I've adjusted the gain settings - I've adjusted just about everything I can find. I've tried at different sample rates. I'm foxed.

     Any ideas? Also, does the colour coding on the mic config applet mean anything? (Red and blue).

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:24 PM
    Owner

Answers

  • Alistair S replied on 03-11-2009 7:35 PM

    So, it should work on DirectSound? Ok, that could be good enough - though the latency will be awful, I can live with that.

    I don't understand why it is so difficult to configure inputs within the app itself, though. Everyone else seems to manage it - but MS can't? OK!

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:24 PM
    Owner

All replies

  • Alistair S replied on 01-16-2009 6:51 AM

    Update: I can now get something out of my logitech headset.. still struggling with the RME Fireface. Are the ASIO drivers a problem?

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:24 PM
    Owner
  • sumitb replied on 01-16-2009 10:53 AM

    Hi Alistair, we don't have ASIO support (we use DirectSound), and in my experience, a lot of fantastic ASIO devices (like my much loved M-Audio Ozone) don't even *have* MME/DirectSound drivers, and if they do, they're often not super solid/stable since this isn't the primary purpose for such devices.  I'd suggest either using your headset for Songsmith or preamping your pro-audio mics via a physical mixer and sending the mixer output to your line input on your PC's soundcard.  

    It sounds like you've got some music experience, and as such, keep in mind that you'll often want to do at least post production in an audio host anyway, so if you want to use your pro mics (which I'm guessing you have!) with your Songsmith songs, I'd suggest (1) work out the chords and accompaniment in Songsmith using your headset, (2) export WAV and/or MIDI of your tracks into the audio host of your choice (Sonar, Live, etc.), then (3) rerecord your vocals (and real instruments, if you have them!) in that environment with your ASIO device.  That's what I do for my own songs; I'm working on a video right now that demonstrates this process.

     -Sumit 

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:24 PM
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  • Alistair S replied on 01-16-2009 12:02 PM

    Thanks for that.

    I had come to pretty much the same conclusion. I can use DirectSound, but this works fine as an ideas scratchpad as-is.

     

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:24 PM
    Owner
  • geetarman replied on 03-09-2009 2:59 PM

    I was wondering about using line input.  I have a small 6-channel sound mixer.  It sounds like I can run the mic through the mixer and into the line in.  Will that work?  I haven't downloaded Songsmith (yet), but if the line in thing works I want to try the demo version and probably upgrade to the full version.  I aleady use some sound mixing software that allow me to "track" different instraments on multiple passes.

     

    Thanks

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:24 PM
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  • Alistair S replied on 03-09-2009 4:29 PM

    To be honest, if you can get ANYTHING to work, I'd be interested in knowing how. I have had zero luck with anything except the mic on a USB headset.

    If I could get any other way of getting audio into this clunky software, possibilities open up (like using a guitar instead of a vocal..). Even getting the mic on the USB headset to be recognised appears to be pot luck. I have to manage all sorts of windows setup utilities outside of Songsmith itself .. and then find my setup is screwed elsewhere. Even a simple piece of software such as Skype is more flexible than this.

    For now, I've discarded Songsmith as almost useless. I'm hoping it improves in this regard.

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:24 PM
    Owner
  • dmorris replied on 03-10-2009 3:15 PM

    Geetarman:

    Songsmith will be able to use whatever audio input devices Windows knows about.  So if your sound card has a line in, that will work fine. 

    When you start Songsmith up, it just uses whatever the default audio input is. So in your case, you'll just need to configure the current input on your sound card to be the line input, and Songsmith will know about it.  This looks a little different in XP and Vista; let me know if you need any more help setting this up.

    Hope that helps... happy Songsmith'ing!

    -Dan

     

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:24 PM
    Owner
  • dmorris replied on 03-10-2009 3:49 PM

    Alistair:

    Can you clarify a couple things?  Are other audio applications on your computer working okay?  The Windows "sound recorder" application is a good app to use as a test to make sure audio input is working.

    When you start up Songsmith, it just uses whatever the default audio input is on your computer, and in fact, Skype has a great page about how to configure the default audio input in Windows, and their instructions will work perfectly for Songsmith as well:

    http://www.skype.com/help/guides/soundsetup_xp.html

    If you're still having trouble, feel free to get in touch again, and let us know (a) whether audio recording is working other programs are working on your computer (so we can figure out whether the problem is specific to Songsmith) and (b) what operating system you're running.

    And absolutely, you can use a guitar as input instead of vocals; here's an example:

    http://research.microsoft.com/songsmith/music.html#instrumentals

    Hope that helps!  Thanks for your interest in Songsmith!

    -Dan

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:24 PM
    Owner
  • Alistair S replied on 03-10-2009 5:33 PM

    Every other audio application works perfectly.

    I am running Windows XP SP3, and my main soundcard is an RME Fireface 400 that I use with RME's ASIO drivers.

    I also have an onboard soundcard (Soundmax) that I don't use for anything. I have a mic on a Logitech camera over USB and another mic on my Logitech USB headset.

    By preference I would use the preamps on my RME unit, or any of its outputs. I have never had any joy on that.

    I HAVE managed to get the logitech usb headset mic working. However, I don't want to set that up as my default device in Windows just to use Songsmith. I assumed I could use the mic selection utility built into Songsmith (in Options). That appears to have no effect.

    Thanks for the Skype link. However, Skype works perfectly, allowing me to choose whatever input and output I want, without changing my default settings that work for everything else. For DAw work and general sound, I use the RME. I only use the headset for Skype (and Songsmith if I can get it to work - even though I'd rather use the RME).

    Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but it's far from intuitive. In Songsmith, I can see the inputs to choose from, but selecting them appears to do nothing at all.

    If you can advise, I'd be grateful.

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:24 PM
    Owner
  • dmorris replied on 03-11-2009 7:11 PM

    In fact I have a really similar setup @ home: I have an Alesis device whose ASIO drivers I use for DAW work.  Unfortunately we've found that for many "pro" devices, the DirectSound support can be a little flaky, which is why I use my plain-old-built-in-sound-card (equivalent to your SoundMax device) as my Windows default and for Songsmith.  I know it's not ideal, but I'd recommend doing the same if it's relatively easy for you to configure.  In fact maybe there's an analog output or an insert output on your RME interface that you can use so you in fact _can_ place the SoundMax device after your RME preamps?

    Unfortunately Songsmith doesn't have a built-in way of selecting among devices, and relies on the Windows system for configuring audio input.  This is actually a pretty significant amount of work for something that Windows does very well already - though it isn't quite ideal for your configuration - so we felt that it made sense not to re-invent the whole device management process, and we help users find the Windows controls for doing this to simplify the process.

    Sorry there's not an ideal solution here... I have great luck using my "simple" device for Windows sound and Songsmith, and my "pro" device for DAW work; hopefully the same will work for you.

    Good luck!

    -Dan

     

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:24 PM
    Owner
  • Alistair S replied on 03-11-2009 7:35 PM

    So, it should work on DirectSound? Ok, that could be good enough - though the latency will be awful, I can live with that.

    I don't understand why it is so difficult to configure inputs within the app itself, though. Everyone else seems to manage it - but MS can't? OK!

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:24 PM
    Owner