Recording to Soundcard

indeepdoodoo
indeepdoodoo used Ask the Experts™
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Need some ideas.  We record a lot of live events using the Livestream procast software.  Procaster essentially allows us to do a screen capture real time of our powerpoints.  For the audio we take the output from our amp (we use a wireless lavalier mike that feeds into this amp) directly into the soundcard jack on the pc we use for the presentation.  Works great but the audio sucks.  Sounds like too much signal.  Almost as if the sound settings were set way too high.  Any ideas on how to optimize this for the highest quaility?  thanks
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The typical sound card expects a mic-level input.  You either need to sound card that takes line-in level and use that jack, or you need a line out to mic transformer like the one at http://www.roundalab.org/Tech-New/Matching%20Transformer.pdf in between the line-out source and the mic jack.

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Commented:
Do yo think playing around with the microphone setting on the screen shot is sufficient.  it was maxed out when i first opened it up.
microphone.png
Maybe.  Some soundcards also have an "Advanced" function to turn on/off a mic boost.

http://www.spellquizzer.com/MicrophoneBoost.htm

If you can disable mic boost that may help.  You will still be stuck with an impedance mismatch, though,  That may still kill sound quality without an isolation transformer.
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Author

Commented:
OK...how would you connect one of these transformer to both the laptop microphpne imnput and the little jack that plugs into the laptop?
transformer.png
Well, unless that is the sort of thing you do, you should get a pre-made one.

But, if you are already spending money you will probably get better results with a USB soundcard that is designed to take line level input, like http://www.zzounds.com/item--BEHUCA202

As a bonus, you are freed from the electrical noise of the laptop.

The clue to the over driven signal is that the feed to the sound card is coming from an amp.  This type of input should not be fed into the sound card mic input, but rather the line in input.  Even the least expensive sound cards I've seen have mic, line in, and line out jacks (pink, blue, and green respectively.)  If you sound card doesn't have a line in jack, you will need to turn off mic-boost as suggested by blue-screen, but this alone will not be enough to drop the input  to an acceptable level.  Matching transformers are a bit of an overkill solution; a simple restive attenuator will work fine in a circumstance like yours.  Back when Radio Shack was still a parts store, they sold an attenuating patch cable.  Perhaps you can still find one.  If not, the next easiest solution would be to replace your computer's sound card with one that does have the necessary inputs.

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