PC headset setup - high background noise

ag5rr
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:44 pm

PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby ag5rr » Thu May 07, 2020 9:37 pm

Struggling to setup my PC connected mic input for decent TX audio. I've tried with both a Plantronics USB headset and a Koss SB-45 with an electret element.

I've been thru WU2O's VAC tutorial, and W1AEX's CFC guide but think my issue is more fundamental. Issue is that to get anywhere near 0db on the EQ or MIC meters, I need to run a stack of TX gain under Setup > Audio. So when I TX with MON on (PS off) there is a huge level of background noise/hiss. Sound card is an mobo integrated Realtek ALC892 (easy upgrade if needed) - i have all the Windows sound device levels set per the guides, enhancements off etc. Any ideas?

Cheers - Chris
ea3aqr
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:50 pm
Location: BCN

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby ea3aqr » Fri May 08, 2020 7:10 am

Using here a headset with an electret mic.

When I set it up for a "very" powerful and strong modulation (+23 TX gain in Thetis and 85% at soundcard) I'm unable to monitor myself because of heavy coupling noises, but I always get outstanding on the air audio reports about how powerful and clear my modulation is.

So... I don't care about audio monitoring coupling and noises, simply I don't use it.
User avatar
w-u-2-o
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:47 pm

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby w-u-2-o » Fri May 08, 2020 1:43 pm

You should not have to run a "stack of gain" in VAC setup. That's a sure sign that something is wrong with your Windows sound configuration.

Go into the Windows Sound Control Panel and look specifically at the Levels and Advanced tabs. Make certain the device is running at 48KHz (if that's an available option for your device) and that gain is maximum. After that, speak into the microphone and make certain that you are getting full scale on the level meter in the sound control panel.
ea3aqr
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:50 pm
Location: BCN

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby ea3aqr » Fri May 08, 2020 2:47 pm

w-u-2-o wrote:You should not have to run a "stack of gain" in VAC setup. That's a sure sign that something is wrong with your Windows sound configuration.

Go into the Windows Sound Control Panel and look specifically at the Levels and Advanced tabs. Make certain the device is running at 48KHz (if that's an available option for your device) and that gain is maximum. After that, speak into the microphone and make certain that you are getting full scale on the level meter in the sound control panel.



One question about the 48KHz sample rate value at Windows... this rule also aplies when using 96KHz sample rate at Theti's audio setup page?
ag5rr
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:44 pm

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby ag5rr » Fri May 08, 2020 3:41 pm

Thanks Scott

w-u-2-o wrote:Go into the Windows Sound Control Panel and look specifically at the Levels and Advanced tabs. Make certain the device is running at 48KHz (if that's an available option for your device) and that gain is maximum. After that, speak into the microphone and make certain that you are getting full scale on the level meter in the sound control panel.


With full gain on the mic slider, I'm only able to get full scale on the control panel sound meter by using the Mic Boost slider at 3/4 scale, which makes the problem worse.
User avatar
w-u-2-o
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:47 pm

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby w-u-2-o » Fri May 08, 2020 3:58 pm

Let's take the radio right out of the equation. Back in the sound control panel, go to the Listen tab, plug some headphones into your PC, and set it up to listen to the mic through the headphones (you will have to click "Apply" to have the settings take effect).

If it still sounds like crap then it's your mic and/or sound card.

As for the other question, microphone sampling rate and VAC sampling rate should match.
ea3aqr
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:50 pm
Location: BCN

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby ea3aqr » Fri May 08, 2020 4:00 pm

ag5rr wrote:Thanks Scott

w-u-2-o wrote:Go into the Windows Sound Control Panel and look specifically at the Levels and Advanced tabs. Make certain the device is running at 48KHz (if that's an available option for your device) and that gain is maximum. After that, speak into the microphone and make certain that you are getting full scale on the level meter in the sound control panel.


With full gain on the mic slider, I'm only able to get full scale on the control panel sound meter by using the Mic Boost slider at 3/4 scale, which makes the problem worse.


The MIC Gain slider located on the main screen doesn't work when using VAC.

I suggest to the developers to gray it out when using VAC...
ag5rr
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:44 pm

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby ag5rr » Fri May 08, 2020 4:51 pm

w-u-2-o wrote:If it still sounds like crap then it's your mic and/or sound card.


Sounds fairly crap - lots of background hiss unless i turn on the noise cancellation enhancement. I did just find a $7 usb soundcard in a draw, and it actually seems better, so I might go and buy a better sound card to try. I'm not chasing latency, so assume one of the low-to-mid range Creative USB units should be ok?
User avatar
w-u-2-o
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:47 pm

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby w-u-2-o » Fri May 08, 2020 5:41 pm

I really don't know much about sound cards because I don't use them. However, I can recommend the Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000 USB headset. I use one when operating remotely and it works quite well.
ag5rr
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:44 pm

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby ag5rr » Sat May 09, 2020 9:40 pm

Progress. I moved to a Motu Audio Interface, condenser mic and Asio drivers. Seems a whole lot better based on some quick testing.

Cheers
User avatar
Tony EI7BMB
Posts: 382
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:31 pm
Location: Dublin
Contact:

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Sat May 09, 2020 10:28 pm

Which Motu unit did you go for ?
User avatar
w-u-2-o
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:47 pm

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat May 09, 2020 10:32 pm

And which microphone? :)
ag5rr
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:44 pm

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby ag5rr » Sat May 09, 2020 11:58 pm

Motu M2.

Mic is a Samson CL7e. I was planning on the AKG P120 or Audio Technica AT2020 but the place I went didn't have them in stock and Guitar Center had a huge social distancing queue out the front. Also picked up a set of Samson SR850 open ear studio headphones.
User avatar
w-u-2-o
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:47 pm

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby w-u-2-o » Sun May 10, 2020 12:26 am

All good microphones. Consider also the Behringer B1 and the MXL series of mic's. And the Presonus HD7 headphones.
ag5rr
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:44 pm

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby ag5rr » Sun May 10, 2020 12:49 am

Cheers Scott - your station setup page was a huge help generally. Actually wanted the HD7s but again, out of stock (annoying when the website says they have them). Never used semi open ones - think i like them.

Gotta say - I'm not a contester by any stretch, but testing the new setup out on the AR qso party today. Dont think I've ever received a compliment on my audio ever, and have had several today so this new setup (inc. Anan and amp) must have something going for it!

Cheers
User avatar
w-u-2-o
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:47 pm

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby w-u-2-o » Sun May 10, 2020 1:08 am

Great news! :)

Are you also running PureSignal?
ag5rr
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:44 pm

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby ag5rr » Sun May 10, 2020 3:13 am

w-u-2-o wrote:Are you also running PureSignal?


I am, but think I'm getting more out of it now I'm driving the audio properly, Who'd have thought reading the stickies/guides would help. ;)
User avatar
w-u-2-o
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:47 pm

Re: PC headset setup - high background noise

Postby w-u-2-o » Sun May 10, 2020 10:30 am

Bet you sound like a million bucks now :)

Return to “Microphones, Speakers & Audio Hardware”