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Jim

Why is my audio track recording level so low?

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I'm pretty much a newbie, although I used Cakewalk Home Studio a little bit about 15 years ago. I'm trying record an audio track (saxophone) along with a rhythm track a friend sent me, but when I record the track, the level/signal is very low for the saxophone and I can't seem to figure out how to increase the gain. I'm playing right into the mic. When I go to console view I have to turn the rhythm track way down and the audio sax track I made way up to try to get a mix.  I've watched some videos but can't find the answer.  I'm using Cakewalk Bandlab on a Lenovo pc with an Onyx Blackjack interface and a Shure SM58 mic. I'm a professional musician and have recorded in some great studios but I'm a self-recording ignoramous. Thank you.

Edited by Jim

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In general, the recording level is set by the interface.  I'm not familiar with the Onyx, but interfaces typically have an on screen mixer where the  record level is set, if the interface doesn't have a knob on it for that reason.  If you continue to have a problem, check your manual or the Mackie website.

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Ok. Now I feel like an idiot. I didn't even notice the gain knob on the interface. I kept thinking it was onscreen on cakewalk. I'll try that. Thank you! 

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50 minutes ago, Jim said:

Ok. Now I feel like an idiot. I didn't even notice the gain knob on the interface. I kept thinking it was onscreen on cakewalk. I'll try that. Thank you! 

Simple mistake when first diving into digital audio. The gain is always set by the Audio interface itself not Cakewalk.

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The SM58 has a fairly weak output. Don't be surprised if you need to turn the gain up very high.

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For future reference, the Gain control in an audio track controls the input level to the track from playback of an existing, recorded or imported audio clip, but has no effect on live input signal as noted.

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Also, just a heads up, you do not need 48v phantom power engaged with that mic, that button on your interface is used for condenser and active ribbon mics.  Not that it would ruin the mic if you did have it on. If using  that mic without a pre-amp,  youll need to crank the gain to around 90% and add gain after the fact..

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