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Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

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Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby Trackside » 06 Feb 2012 14:26

When I try to record from the USB connection on my E-MU 0404 usb into a windows 7 64 machine the signal level seems to be digitaly amplified before it goes to my recording software (Adobe Audition). The level meters on the 0404 are normal and if I record using SPDIF it's OK so it's obviously recieving a normal level. I can set the levels slider down to minimum but the distortion is horrendous so it's obviously digitaly atenuating the level at some stage????
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Re: Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby David.D » 07 Feb 2012 00:20

I'm too new to the recording side of things to be able to pass any comment, but I will be following this with interest.
I have a different setup for recording in that I use a Quad 44 pre amp between the deck and the ADC (I use a Behringer) in order to control clipping, also my Win 7 is 32 and I'm using Audacity.
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Re: Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby Trackside » 07 Feb 2012 09:47

I just tried Audacity and get the same input overload. Just to recap - the analogue signal into the ADC is not too high - it's some digital amplification once Windows 7 gets hold of the USB end :evil:
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Re: Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby JaS » 07 Feb 2012 10:25

Trackside wrote:I just tried Audacity and get the same input overload. Just to recap - the analogue signal into the ADC is not too high - it's some digital amplification once Windows 7 gets hold of the USB end :evil:

Does E-MU have a support forum? To be honest it sounds like a driver or setup issue? It's not normal behaviour for Windows 7 64bit as I've used it with my Edirol UA-5 in this OS with no issues.

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Re: Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby Trackside » 07 Feb 2012 10:44

I've found the problem :? - the Windows Recording panel only recognises the 0404 as a 'mirophone' and not a 'line' source in USB mode. As Mic's have a lower signal than line in it's therefore boosting the signal by default. There doesn't seem to be any way of selecting line in as the source other than using the SPDIF. I can do this on my desktop PC but want to use my laptop for recording so I can minimise noise by using battery power. I was heading for an ultra quiet recording envoronment with the phono stage run from a battery, the laptop on battery power and all other electrical divices and PSU's off.
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Re: Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby Werner » 07 Feb 2012 11:41

FWIW I once measured this and the laptop-on-battery was the noisiest combination of them all.

Using a mains-fed computer is not that bad at all, provided it sees the same ground connection as the rest of the system. But that is immaterial if your phono pre is battery operated.
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Re: Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby Trackside » 07 Feb 2012 11:57

Setting the mic level manualy seems to be a workaround for now. I suspect setting it to 1 may be no digital gain (0 turns it off). I'll compare frequency analysis between this and SPDIF. I can however concur with Werner that the laptop is very noisey on battery power - infact it's slightly quieter when on the charger. Looks like the mains hum is breaking through with harmonics all the way up the frequency range. Could this be due to there being no 'ground' via the laptop for the 0404?
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Re: Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby Trackside » 07 Feb 2012 14:03

Looks like it's definatley windoze problem and no solution as yet;
http://www.ecalpemos.org/2011/02/usb-mi ... gh-in.html
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Re: Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby JaS » 07 Feb 2012 14:34

Trackside wrote:Looks like it's definatley windoze problem and no solution as yet;
http://www.ecalpemos.org/2011/02/usb-mi ... gh-in.html

Isn't that a different problem? I thought the issue with your device is that the line input is being recognised as a MIC input (or did I read it wrong?). That still sounds like the driver isn't installed properly, if at all 8-[

Have you downloaded and installed the latest driver for the device? I understand the 0404 has been discontinued, but Creative do a Windows 7 64bit compatible driver. It's only a Beta driver so there may still be problems (scroll to the bottom for USB drivers)...

http://support.creative.com/kb/ShowArti ... ?sid=95146

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Re: Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby Trackside » 07 Feb 2012 15:10

Yes the 0404 is being treated as a microphone and not a line level source when used as an input device using USB. I have the latest Beta driver from Creative and that's the only USB input device available. I've reinstalled it numerous times - nothing else shows. The 0404 has been discontinued and Creative seem to have washed their hands of any further support. They have a replacement the 0406 due for iminent release so maybe they will fix it for this. The problem for me is academic now as I'm using SPDIF from the 0404 to feed my M-Audio 2496 and this works perfectly up the sample rates I need and as recently discovered there are serious noise issues with the laptop so it's not needed on there. Bottom line though is that how difficult would it be for Mirosoft to give the user a line level option :roll:
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Re: Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby Dimal » 07 Feb 2012 15:27

Trackside wrote:Looks like it's definatley windoze problem and no solution as yet;
http://www.ecalpemos.org/2011/02/usb-mi ... gh-in.html

I s'pose you tested this work-around mate....

"SoundBloke said...

I have discovered a work-around for the win7 generic USB sound device running at mic level, not line level (thus overloading):
Go to properties for the sound card:
(right click volume icon/select recording device/double click your USB sound device (or select it and hit properties),/then in Advanced tab, select |Set Default| and |Apply| or |OK|.
Now do it again and select |2 channel 48k| (or whatever you want) and hit |OK|.
NOW IMPORTANT BIT!!!DO NOT CLOSE THE SOUND CONTROL PANEL. it is now set to line level as long as you don't close it, just move it out of the way!!! open your sound app and you will see that the input is at line level, and you can leave the levels tab at 100% and not have distorted/clipped sound!
If you close your application and close the control panel and open your application again the input will be overloading again."


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Re: Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby Trackside » 07 Feb 2012 15:36

Yep - doesn't work on either of my systems. I'm happy with SPDIF via the M-Audio card as I can be pretty sure Windows is not messing with the signal via this route.
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Re: Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby JaS » 07 Feb 2012 16:23

Trackside wrote:Bottom line though is that how difficult would it be for Mirosoft to give the user a line level option

LOL there's no point blaming Microsoft for a dodgy driver/installation :wink: The fact is that your soundcard isn't on the Windows 7 compatibility list, it's a discontinued model and the manufacturer hasn't bothered to release a fully tested driver for Win 7. If you've installed the USB driver correctly (unplug soundcard/uninstall old driver/restart computer/install new driver/plug in soundcard) and the OS sees a MIC input, then it's a driver problem.

Maybe an option to choose 'line' as the input would help in your situation, but why would Microsoft have included one when the hardware/driver is telling it that it's a USB Microphone :-s It's not even Creative's fault as Windows 7 wasn't released when the soundcard came out. To be honest I'm surprised they released a Beta driver as they aren't known for their product support. The lesson here is always to check driver compatibility :|

The problem for me is academic now as I'm using SPDIF from the 0404 to feed my M-Audio 2496 and this works perfectly

Where there's a will there's a way :)

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Re: Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby Trackside » 07 Feb 2012 19:24

Seems that setting the windows mic level to 3 near enough matches the SPDIF recording level (4 is too much and 2 is too little). Running a frequency analysis in Adobe Audition over noisefloor and 30 seconds of pink noise on a test record and the plots are identical right through the frequency range at this setting.
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Re: Problem with USB sound recording on Windows 7

Postby jiiteepee » 08 Feb 2012 05:41

Are you using ASIO with Audition?

I use Reaper and WaveLab Lite (bundled with 0404 USB) for recordings and not having this problem.

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