How to adjust for optimal recording quality

This topic is listed in Recording Help & Tips. It has been viewed 182,035 times and 510 replies have been made.

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peachygurlLEVEL 62

Post by peachygurlGOLD

The following descriptions and information apply to a PC's not a MAC and for Windows XP. Some information will apply to ALL computers. For additional assistance, one may post questions in the forums or contact support at SingSnap.

Microphone Connection:
The first thing one needs to be sure of is that your microphone is connected to the computer. Most people will connect their microphone directly to their sound card. Many computers now have color coded connections and the microphone connection is PINK.

The connection to the sound card requires a 1/8 inch phone plug. Adapters to change from a 1/4 inch plug to the 1/8 inch plug are available at stores like Radio Shack. Some more advanced sound cards allow for direction connection of the 1/4 inch plugs.

Flash Player:
SingSnap needs permission to access the microphone to record. This does NOT give access to ones' computer. It only permits the microphone to record ones voice on the Adobe Flash Player. Similarly, granting permission for their webcam ONLY grants SingSnap permission to capture the video during recording. The first time a recording is made, a popup window will appear asking for permission. Click "Allow” and check the box for "Remember” and this will not need to be reset again. Click on the "Close” button and this step is complete.

The only other setting one may need is to check the "echo” box if the speakers hiss with feedback. The way to do this is to RIGHT click on the recorder window and a popup box will appear. Select Settings and a new box will appear. Click on the little microphone picture at the bottom and then check the "Reduce Echo” box. Then click on the "Close” button and one is ready to adjust the volumes.

Volume Controls:
Setting the sound card for volume controls permits one to control many aspects of recording and listening quality. Unfortunately, not all karaoke tracks supplied are at the same volume level. This requires adjustments to EVERY track for optimal sound quality after recording.

There are TWO parts to controlling volumes on the computer. One is "Playback” and the other is "Recording”. Confusing as it sounds, some of the controls in "Playback” impact the volume and sound quality during recording. How to set the options necessary for both "Playback” and "Recording” as well as a troubleshooting guide are described below.

The way to verify or set these controls is to access "Volume Control”. The easiest way to do this is to double click on the speaker icon in your taskbar.

This will open the Master Volume Control panel. Normally, this is in "Playback” view. The way to tell if it is "Playback” is the farthest left column will be labeled either "Master Volume” or simply "Volume”. Select "Options” and then "Properties” on the top menu bar.

Clicking on "Properties” opens a new window on top of this one. Click on "Recording” because that is where one chooses the inputs for volume. To be able to simultaneously record both microphone and music, we need to use a "Stereo Mix” as the input. Sometimes this is called "What U Hear” or "WAV OUT”. Make sure there is a check in the box for this selection. The box for Yes, it seems one would want to choose microphone but that is not the case. The Windows Recording Control is acting like a mixer. It adds the singing to the music track when you record.

Click on "OK” and this box closes and a new box appears with sliders. The very top of this window should read "Recording Control”.

Notice how low the slider in that panel is? The higher "Stereo Mix” is set, the louder the overall volume is. When a recording has buzz, hiss, or fuzzy sounding vocals, this normally indicates the "Stereo Mix” is too high. Each computer will be different so it takes a bit of trial and error to get this set properly. The little box for "Select” in the column for "Stereo Mix” also should be checked. "Stereo Mix” should be set as high as possible without getting that fuzzy vocal distortion that sounds like one shouted into the microphone. The control on the SingSnap recording window is a fine tune adjustment for "Stereo Mix”. The bars should reach the red but now stay in the red. If they stay in the red, this will result in distortion.

I have other columns showing that are not needed for recording on SingSnap because I use them for other sound recording functions. One does not need these other selections to record on SingSnap. I happen to not want to continually reset the sound card each time I use it for a different function. PLEASE do not be confused by these extra columns. They do not hurt anything being there but they are unnecessary.

Amazing as it seems, to obtain the best quality recording, there are still more adjustments required. Now comes the fussy part that each and every song will need. There are three volume controls that have to be balanced to achieve recordings that are not too loud, too soft but just right. Yes, "Goldilocks” has lessons even for on-line karaoke.?

The combination of "Master Volume”, "Wave” and "Microphone” is the heart and soul of obtaining a well mixed recording. The "Master Volume” controls the overall sound volume whether that is a CD you play on the computer, an MP3 or any kind of sound including songs on SingSnap. "Wave” is the volume control for the music tracks on SingSnap. "Microphone” controls the volume from your microphone. All three of these MUST be available to adjust to get an optimal recording. Let's start with the basic settings before describing how to use these controls to optimize sound.

Once again, the "Volume Control” panel must be opened. If one is following this step-by-step, the "Volume Control” will be in "Recording Control” view. That needs to be changed to "Playback” view. Once again, go to "Option” and then "Properties”.

peachygurlLEVEL 62

Reply by peachygurlGOLD

The window that pops up is the same one as when selected earlier. However, this time, the "Playback” radio button needs to be checked. A different list will appear in the section for showing volume controls. Here is where one selects, "Master Volume”, "Wave” and "Microphone”. Make sure there is a green check mark in each of these boxes. Click on "Okay” and the window with sliders to control these volumes appears.

There is one more preliminary thing that has to be done before the real art of mixing begins. Most microphones do not have enough signal strength to for a computer's sound card. Thankfully, there is a way to partially compensate for this fact without needing more equipment. Windows can boost the signal from the microphone. This comes at a price. Applying boost to the microphone results in more distortion and hiss. However, if the microphone is not boosted, the vocals will be so soft they cannot be heard.

To accomplish this, one clicks on the "Advanced” button in the "Microphone” column. Then click on "Microphone Boost” so a green check is in that box. Then close the window. The "Volume Control” window will remain open.

To troubleshoot which of the volume controls need adjusting is somewhat an art. Some general guidelines are if there is fuzzy sound on the vocals, then lower the microphone. I prefer to keep the microphone set as high as possible without it distorting. A good starting point for the "Wave” volume is mid-way of the slider. If the music is too loud, increase the "Wave”. Conversely, if the music is too soft, increase the "Wave”. Normally, the "Master Volume” is set at maximum. I happen to use a powered subwoofer and that is why mine is lower. Occasionally, lowering the "Wave” slider will not be enough to reduce the overall volume. The music will still be too loud. This is the only time one will want to lower the "Master Volume”. The tricky part is when one previews the recording; remember to reset the volumes on "Wave” and "Master Volume”. Otherwise, the playback will be at a lower volume than what one hears when the song is saved and played.

The last tip for obtaining optimal sound is to use headphones when recording. If the computer speakers are too close to the microphone, this results in a buzzing or screeching sound called feedback.

Most of all have fun. This process is not as difficult as it may first seem. After a few songs, having the "Volume Control” open will be second nature and one will have a good feel for what adjustments are necessary.

WebAndNetLEVEL 1

Reply by WebAndNet



Reply by JetGOLD

Hi,!!! SingSnap is very lucky to have you and so are we! A million thanks to you!

ShyLynnLEVEL 3

Reply by ShyLynn

Wow Peachy, this is the best explaination I have seen so far! I am going to give it a try and see if I can now record normally and not have to press my face up against my speakers to record!

ShyLynnLEVEL 3

Reply by ShyLynn

Awww sugar, this didn't work for me. Bummer. I still can't hear music on my recordings if I use headphones. I guess I will have to put up with going back to the way I've been recording. Shucks.

LadyMatikaLEVEL 2

Reply by LadyMatika

didnt' work for me either still makes my music sound loud when I had it just like they showed it and it still made like it was too loud , great last week I couldn't get it to go loud now I can't get it off of being loud i even have the microphone turned down almost off that's how low I have my mic

LocustthornLEVEL 22

Reply by LocustthornGOLD

I had a lot of problems on how to get the music and mike at the same level. To correct this I use a Y connector going into the Mike imput and have one mike set at the speakers and the other set for vocals. This seems to correct the problems that I have had in the past. Oh yes I do have a vol. control that comes with my speakers. Let me know how it workes for you.
Member locustthorn


Reply by angelfire07GOLD

Conflict cannot survive without your participation~smile makes others happy! :)

Hi great in depth instructions however, when I open my volume comtrol I don't have 5 line boxes with master volume, wave, cd audio, line in, and microphone. I have master volume, wace, sw Synth and cd player. Also on my sounds and devices in my control panel in the sound tab I only have one choice and that is HD Audio render and for sound recording I have 2 choices
HD Audio front microphone or HD Audio Capture. I have read all most all of the posts and nobody has talked on this topic. Could you help please? thanks much angelfire07

peachygurlLEVEL 62

Reply by peachygurlGOLD

Angelfire07, when you open your Volume Control by clicking on the little speaker icon, it doesn't matter how many line boxes you have. I gave the screen shot for mine.

When you click on the word "Options" then "Properties", a new box should open where you can choose which things you want. Try following step by step from after the little speaker icon in this tutorial. You should not need to go to your Control Panel at all.

If this does not help, if you have Yahoo or MSN, I will try to help you walk through how to set up your computer.


Reply by singlow

Thanks a mil for the help! It was kinda reassuring , especially about having the mix vol setting so low, i thought i was doing something wrong there . Like you said all computers are different but this definitely gives you somewhere to work from !


Reply by angelfire07GOLD

Conflict cannot survive without your participation~smile makes others happy! :)

Well did all of that step by step and I have music and still cannot hear myself singing and now when I try to preview my recording it takes me to that window however I push play and nothing happens. Before I could listen to the recording however all I could here was myself singing and no music. Yes, I do have msn and yahoo so set me up that would be great! I don't understand as my computer is fairly new 6 months old so looking forward to hearing from ya...Thanks angelfire07

OzJamesLEVEL 5

Reply by OzJames

Hi Peachy.Each time I tick stereomix I get the music but very faintly my voice,If I tick mike I get voice but very faint music..The mike is ticked on boost but still is very faint if stereomix is onI have followed the steps and same result.I only use a mike plugged direct into the pc...ozjames

Wayne_kyLEVEL 29

Reply by Wayne_ky

One problem I've found is that the songs aren't consistent on here.. When they're right, I don't have to touch anything.. I can bounce around a record with the same settings and all is well.. On others, no matter what I do, there's still distortion..

peachygurlLEVEL 62

Reply by peachygurlGOLD

James, that sounds like you have to lower you Wave and maybe even your Master Volume when you record while your mic is set high.

For example, today I recorded a duet with Lani and I had to set my Wave slider so low I could barely hear the music in my headphones while recording. Then when I previewed it, I had to raise that wave slider back up to its normal level to see if the voices were right. Even in spite of tinkering with it for several takes, I still ended up with some distortion.

It is almost as much art as science to balance the volumes for a decent mix. Sadly that is going to happen with all the different song volumes. Just like Wayne-ky points out. Some of them, no matter what you do, you are still going to get distortion because the backing track is just simply too loud for you to properly compensate.

karaokeangelLEVEL 17

Reply by karaokeangel

I understand this alot better maybe now I can get this thing to work right

CharliLEVEL 21

Reply by Charli

When I right click the flash player box I get nothing. I can't set it to remember to give permission. I have to give permission every time and also I can't reduce the echo with that either because I get no options. Any ideas on how to bypass this and do it all another way? Thanks.

AkaraokeloverLEVEL 36

Reply by Akaraokelover

Just a note to anyone having problems with volume. I have my volume control for playback set to full volume. Try that if you are having problems and see if it works for you.

AkaraokeloverLEVEL 36

Reply by Akaraokelover

That's the Master Volume Control

OzJamesLEVEL 5

Reply by OzJames

Ozjams.Help Peachy.Everthing was going fine till I went to record next morn and no playback!!!!!
Ive checked for muted boxes etc all well,I can replay posted songs but not the currant one i'm singing,The colour bars respond to mike and music??????

peachygurlLEVEL 62

Reply by peachygurlGOLD

James, I think SingSnap had a severe case of the bellyache earlier. I have seen other postings that peeps couldn't preview a song. Personally, I'm sick and have no idea. Try it again. If it doesn't work, email Per. He is great at figuring out what is broken. Sorry for the delay in responding but I just crawled out of bed to feed my SingSnap addiction and how I am headed back there.

George-IIILEVEL 27

Reply by George-IIIPATRON

Hi. I can not get the volumn up on music and also I can not adjust the volumn on bass and trebel.

peachygurlLEVEL 62

Reply by peachygurlGOLD

George, your comment is not clear to me exactly what your problems are. If your backing track music is low, you most likely need to raise your WAVE setting. Individual adjustments for base and trebel are not available on my sound card so I cannot help you with that part. Sorry. :o(

George-IIILEVEL 27

Reply by George-IIIPATRON

help me!!!my master volumn has audio and line in MUTED. I can not access this panel. could this be why I am not getting any volumn on my background. The next one is advanced mic controls to adjust base and trebal. Help anyone. Tks

George-IIILEVEL 27

Reply by George-IIIPATRON

help me!!!my master volumn has audio and line in MUTED. I can not access this panel. could this be why I am not getting any volumn on my background. The next one is advanced mic controls to adjust base and trebal. Help anyone. Tks

peachygurlLEVEL 62

Reply by peachygurlGOLD

Yes George, you have to have the audio unclicked so it is NOT muted. You should be able to just click that little box and it will unclick so it is not muted.

George-IIILEVEL 27

Reply by George-IIIPATRON

Peachie-- idid that but can not get it to unclick. help

George-IIILEVEL 27

Reply by George-IIIPATRON

peachie tks for trying -I'm going back over to KSolo for a while. I know it's me being dumb. I will try tomorrow Thank you again George

MysteriLEVEL 35

Reply by MysteriGOLD

If you have a lot of trouble with your on-board sound card, do what I did, go to the nearest computer store and buy a new SoundBlaster Audigy 2 soundcard for like 30$. Load the software, install the card, and you get every control you could possibly want for online karaoke. Mysteri


Reply by azia

volume control


Reply by mpd1909

My mic works fine on ksolo and when I test it using sound recorder. But when I try to record here, it does not pick up any of my voice. I can hear the music fine through my speakers, and the colored bar moves when it tap the mic, but it puts no voice through to the speakers and it does not record anything. Any ideas why it works on Ksolo, but not here. I have clicked the allow button everytime I am asked when I try to start recording.

deedlerockLEVEL 37

Reply by deedlerockGOLD

Hi there peachygurl. This is a great tutorial...I feel I may be a 'bit' closer to being able to record. Thus far, it's of such poor quality that I've resorted to recording at another karaoke site, but I like the set-up and song choices....and the sense of community here at SingSnap darn it all!

My mic is connected into my little pink mic port as instructed. When I follow the instructions to click on 'stereo mix' instead of mic, I lose my mic altogether. Then, of course, when I record on mic...I get very faint music coming through my mic...sigh. What oh what am I doing wrong?? I have followed this tutorial several times and always the same results. Please help! Thanks so much in advance!

LaNellLEVEL 33

Reply by LaNellGOLD

Just to let you know....peachygurl is out of town
for the holidays..and won't be back until after the first of the year.
Hopefully, someone else may be able to help you.

alcolyLEVEL 3

Reply by alcoly


Pinoy48LEVEL 93

Reply by Pinoy48GOLD +4

My Flash player just dissappered????? How do I get them back?


ojibawayprincessLEVEL 2

Reply by ojibawayprincess

Ty Peach for all the help now if I could just get my web cam going Im a dumb red head and dont no how to work it hugs Linda

TattooBunnyLEVEL 13

Reply by TattooBunny

Thanks cant wait to see if it works


Reply by cornponious

The funny thing is that on other singing websites I don't have to adjust ANYTHING. The recordings always sound perfect. On this website, I can hear my voice just fine through my mic, but can't hear the music at all, except for what little comes in through the mic. I shouldn't have to adjust anything. It should just work. Anybody have any suggestions, because I haven't seen anything on this discussion that addresses the fact that the music isn't coming in on the recordings.

LadyMatikaLEVEL 2

Reply by LadyMatika

me either except maybe on singshot and after I updated my internet explorer, lol I can't get on that now it won't let me use their player what so ever don't know what's up with that ,lol


Reply by NeutrongirlGOLD

hello ! can anybody tell me how to solve this, I recorded a song then play , no music but voice is there. record volume is not moving when i recorded its just full recording . :((


Reply by Lani

Neuttrongirl.. make sure that in recording volume.. either "what you hear" or "Stereo mix" is checked..


Reply by docsinger

i use a macintosh os X and have the same problems many of you are describing. My voice is recorded very loudly, but i can't figure out how to adjust the background music to match...i've gone to my sound adjustment icon, increased the output volume all the way, and still no improvement. are there any other adjustments i can make?

whistlegirl7LEVEL 2

Reply by whistlegirl7

well i liked your selection of songs but i can't get the music loud enough on my recording..,so I'll go back to the other sight..if you ever fix this problem let me know,,


Reply by Kayce

at first it would only record my voice and not the music, now it won't record either..Kayce

just_another_voiceLEVEL 2

Reply by just_another_voice

Kayce, what soundcard do you use?


Reply by melodylynn

hi 2 things one The music volume is too low and my voice is too loud how do I fix
two when I try to login chatroom comes up as this site does not allow URL login



Reply by KimD

Thanks so much!!! I'll give it a try in the morning!


Reply by Jaytvocalz2007

The problem is .....when i record with headphones on....and play back my recording it only lets me hear my music is heard on the do i get it to where both music and vocals don't have to be heard through the mic? how do you get the music file to play regularly during playblack? this is very frusterating...if any one helps me...i'll be truly grateful!!


Reply by acacek

I am still not able to adjust my voice volume vs my music volume. I haved done everything posted with no luck.

MandaLEVEL 10

Reply by Manda

Just wondering if you know how to get ride of the static that plays back on your recordings?


Reply by Sadie_

I am still super confused , Our Voice is still way to HIGH and the music is way to low

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