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Low vocal volume

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I am using an AKG P220 condenser mic (w/phantom power), TC-Helicon Perform V, and Focusrite Scarlet interface, connected to an iPad Pro.  It's been an amazing combination for several years.  Today, I noticed that my vocal volume is very low.  None of my settings have changed.  A week ago, everything was fine.  The Smule settings for volume all show normal (recording volume 100%, save volume 0.0)

It's possible that something has gone wrong with my equipment, but figure I'd ask here to see if anyone else has experienced similar behavior.

 

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UPDATE:  I removed the Perform V from the chain and connected directly to the Scarlet.  That resolved the problem, so it appears there is something up with the Perform V.  I swapped out the cable, with no improvement.  It'll be a bummer if I have to replace the Perform V.

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32 minutes ago, MrGrynch said:

  I removed the Perform V from the chain and connected directly to the Scarlet.  That resolved the problem

Perfect! I would have also suggested to go through the parts in the chain and narrow down the problem. 

Being not as loud doesn’t sound like the device is broken though. Hard to say from a distance what is going on though. If nothing else works, try a factory reset. 

 

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45 minutes ago, opentype said:

Perfect! I would have also suggested to go through the parts in the chain and narrow down the problem. 

Being not as loud doesn’t sound like the device is broken though. Hard to say from a distance what is going on though. If nothing else works, try a factory reset. 

I may go that route next.  When I first set it up, I set the gain on the Perform V very low, just to get the effects signal to the Scarlett, then used the gain on the Scarlett to do the heavy lifting.  Plus, the preamp on the Scarlett is better.  After figuring out the problem, I decided to pose the question to ChatGPT.  It suggested I boost the gain on the Perform V first, since that is the first device in the chain, and only use the Scarlett to tweak it.  Might try that too.  I fear it may introduce more noise though.

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UPDATE:  I finally figured out what is going on, and it's weird.  I noticed that the song I was trying to join said "No Filter", but I know there was a filter used on the song.  There was clearly reverb applied to the vocals.  I know the person I was singing with, and know he's not using any external equipment to provide reverb.  This got me thinking that this happened once before, but I didn't make the connection.  The last time, it was when trying to join a group song.  It seems that sometimes, Smule gets confused and loses the fact there was a filter applied to the original song.  When this happens, the join volume gets muted very low.

I do not know why removing my vocal processor made such a big difference, but now I am wondering if this has something to do with recent changes to the software in support of no headphones recording.  It's possible my vocal processor is adding "noise" to the signal that Smule is filtering out, resulting in very low volume.  This is just a guess on my part since it's only supposed to affect Android devices right now.  Maybe this can happen of one of the people on the song is recording on an Android device?  In any case, the original determination of "No Filter" was wrong, and all bets were off at that point.

I've submitted a ticket to Smule to ask them to look into it.

Thanks!

 

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1 hour ago, MrGrynch said:

It's possible my vocal processor is adding "noise" to the signal that Smule is filtering out, resulting in very low volume. 

I don’t know. The various filters that Smule applies certainly affect the sound in all sorts of ways, but I can’t imagine what would cause low volume. The biggest concern with adding anything between a mic and Smule would be the output gain, but I’m sure you know that already. I would take great care to find the optimum value.

Another issue could be mixing stereo and mono while routing the audio to Smule. 

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1 hour ago, opentype said:

I don’t know. The various filters that Smule applies certainly affect the sound in all sorts of ways, but I can’t imagine what would cause low volume. The biggest concern with adding anything between a mic and Smule would be the output gain, but I’m sure you know that already. I would take great care to find the optimum value.

Another issue could be mixing stereo and mono while routing the audio to Smule. 

I agree with you.  It makes no sense, but I can only report on what I'm actually seeing.  If I join a song that does not have the "no filter" issue, my existing setup works just fine as it's been doing for the past several years.  Of course, I've spent a lot of time optimizing my settings up to this point.  What further confounds the issue is that even with the "no filter" issue, removing the vocal processor from the chain resolves the volume issue, but it still has the "flat" sound due to no Smule filter being applied.

BTW, very good point re: stereo/mono.  The output from the Perform V is always stereo.

Edited by MrGrynch
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