so i've a wee bit of a problem here...
i've been recording vocals this week and noticed that every time i record vocals they're slightly distorted regardless of wether they're 'dry' or with fx. i've turned down the gain on my interface, stepped back from the microphone and switched to -10dB and this is still happening. the 'distortion' is heard in both sets of my headphones and through my speakers. there is no 'clipping' taking place as far as i'm aware.
i usually use an m-audio firewire interface with a behringer b2 condensor microphone. but i've borrowed a mates edirol ua-25 and behringer b1 and it is still happening.
i only just noticed it but it seems to have been happening for a while. for vocals that are single tracked it isn't so bad, but when i start doubling them up and adding harmonies it becomes a real problem.
i record with Logic 8 and it's all done in my bedroom. it's a residential area, but there's minimal external noise.
does anybody have any thoughts as to what could be distorting my vocals?
it's becoming an absolute melt. so any thoughts would be much appreciated.
If you're sure you're not overloading the mic, input, or output,
or any plug ins/busses in the chain then:
Swap the mic/cable/input. you should get to the bottom of it quickly.
Just keep swapping out until the problem disappears,
can you test the mic in something else?
Is it just the vocals distorting? nothing else (like tracks) distorting on output?
I've had mics that were shot sound distorted and weird,
but it could be anything from a bad connection on your interface,
to the cable, potentially right to the output.
Try also recording in another piece of software, perhaps you have fiddled with something in Logic and forgot about it. I once put a compressor on the master channel, forgot I had and wondered why everything sounded so different. Just identify the source of the problem, as Rocky was suggesting and you were alreaady doing. I assume your using a Mac, just try vocals out Garageband or if you don't have Garageband try vocals out on Reaper which is free to download. You could maybe try out a different firewire or USB port as well, perhaps there is a problem with it. Hope you get it sorted dude.
Just check it's not the output distorting...the vocals might just be the loudest thing in the mix. Would make sense as to why its worse when double tracked.
Good advice above; judging from your descriptions I'd say it's probably the mic capsule not being able to handle the high sound pressure level (assuming it might be a dodgy mic?).....
it turns out it was effects on the master channel causing the problem. i mixed beats for a gig the other week and completely forgot the master channel had comp, lim, etc on it - that's probably why only vocals were distorting. i can honestly say i would have never thought of that.
cheers for all the tips!!! they'll come in handy the next time i fuck something up
i'm so relieved that it was such a simple and easily rectifiable problem. was freakin' there a bit