Microphone Nonsense

Oct 27, 2007 at 2:47pm

Microphone Nonsense

Dear Esteemed Max MSP Gurus,

So being the party animal I am, I’m spending my saturday night in the comp lab programming for my school project. I have a problem though, involving the USB microphone, and I was hopeing one of you might have some advice.

My USB Microphone (The Samson Q1U) works perfectly roughly 50% of the time, but the other 50% when I turn on the sound, it gives me an ugly distorted, echoey sound. There doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to it, and it has nothing to do with the patch itself.

Any insight? Thank you!

SM

#34344
Oct 28, 2007 at 2:22pm

From the way you describe it, it might be a feedback issue. What
happens if you listen back to the sound over headphones instead, or
record and play back later? Is it still distorted?

Best,
Trond

Brent Huras wrote:
> Dear Esteemed Max MSP Gurus,
>
> So being the party animal I am, I’m spending my saturday night in the comp lab programming for my school project. I have a problem though, involving the USB microphone, and I was hopeing one of you might have some advice.
>
> My USB Microphone (The Samson Q1U) works perfectly roughly 50% of the time, but the other 50% when I turn on the sound, it gives me an ugly distorted, echoey sound. There doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to it, and it has nothing to do with the patch itself.

#115721
Oct 28, 2007 at 2:28pm

Hey there,

No, it’s not feedback. With earphones on, it will often start off okay and after a half hour or so, it’ll start distorting. Sometimes it will get good again, but only for a little while. Thanks again!

Brent

#115722
Oct 28, 2007 at 3:15pm

I’ve experienced this breakup when using small values for vector sizes.
Sound gets crackly. I have been using the shorter vectors (32-64) to reduce
the latency in microphone input.

It seems to be some kind of “fatigue” that is some accumulated problem in
keeping up with I/O. I don’t recall it happening with larger vectors
256-512. Can’t remember whether it happened at 128.

Turning audio off then on again always works for me. My work around is to
restart Max just before I perform a piece and I’ve been lucky so far. Of
course, none of my pieces is longer than about 15 minutes.

Cheers
Gary Lee Nelson
Oberlin College
http://www.timara.oberlin.edu/GaryLeeNelson

On 10/28/07 10:28 AM, “Brent Huras” wrote:

>
> Hey there,
>
> No, it’s not feedback. With earphones on, it will often start off okay and
> after a half hour or so, it’ll start distorting. Sometimes it will get good
> again, but only for a little while. Thanks again!
>
> Brent
> –
> Love (But Just as Friends),
> Stealth Maestro

#115723
Oct 29, 2007 at 9:21am

Hello,

Does it also happen with a non-USB microphone ? Isn’t there a problem between the latency setting of the USB microphone and the one of Max/MSP ?

And how is it if you replace the microphone input by a sample player ?

#115724
Oct 29, 2007 at 4:56pm

Hey there!

Thanks for your replies – unfortunately, turning it on and off doesn’t work for me.

To Julien – it does not happen with a non-usb microphone (but unfortunately i don’t have one anymore :p) And the sound is just fine when replacing it with sample player. What do you mean, however, by latency?

Keep in mind that the microphone works perfectly 50% of the time, but whenever I switch off the audio for a second, it runs the risk of being distorted/clipping and echoey. Thanks for your help so far, i really appreciate this!

SM

#115725
Oct 29, 2007 at 9:39pm

I had a quick look at the Samson page and they say you can use the microphone with or without the “SoftPre” application. By “microphone latency”, I meant the latency you can (perhaps, and only on Windows) set in this SoftPre application, as any USB audio device has a latency. I didn’t get any interesting information about this software on their page. Maybe there is no tunable setting; in this case, you should try different latencies for your sound card as Gary said. If you don’t use SoftPre, I imagine there is still a driver that handles the microphone but the documentation link does not work on the Samson page so I don’t know. Sorry, I know absolutely nothing about USB microphones. Especially, I don’t understand if it’s considered as a separate audio device (as if you had two sound cards, one for the input and one for the output) or if it’s managed differently. How do you get this microphone as input in Max/MSP ? (for example: in the DSP Status window ?)

A good test is trying your microphone with another audio software, and see if you have the same problems.

#115726

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