Microphone Input Level is Too Low and Choppy

I just bought a UR44 interface along with a bunch of new microphones and other gear to start recording a podcast. I thought the whole setup would be as simple as putting the UR44 CD into my computer, installing the drivers, plugging everything in, starting up the recording software (in my case, Hindenburg), hitting “record” and I’d be good to go. But no! I’m having some problems and I need help, please!

Because of issues I’m having with my CD drive on my computer, I had to go to the Steinberg website to download all the drivers for the UR44. No problem, I did that. Once everything was setup, I opened Hindenburg (new recording software created specifically for journalism and podcasts), selected the UR44 as my mic input, and hit record. Here’s where the problems began.

First Problem: the volume level of the tracks I record are too low. Way too low. Unless I crank the gain knob up on the UR44 interface (almost to 100%), I can barely hear my voice on playback of whatever recording I make. Like I said, the UR44 is selected as the microphone input in my recording software, so the input shouldn’t be my laptop mic or anything like that. I tried using Cubase and Reaper in case it was an issue with Hindenburg, but they all had the same problem.

Second Problem: when I DO turn the gain knob up loud enough for my voice to be audible in playback, my voice sounds kind of choppy. It’s not entirely clear, and it’s definitely not pleasant to listen to.

Third Problem: when I plug my headphones into the UR44 interface, I don’t hear ANYTHING. I want to be able to hear my voice as I speak into the microphone (like a legit radio-caster or podcaster), but I can’t hear myself at all. I’ve messed with the volume controls, nothing.

SPECS: I’m using a Gateway gaming laptop I purchased in 2010 (I know, it’s old) with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor P7350 at 2.00 GHz, 4.00 GB of RAM, and Win 7 OS (64-bit operating system), and a Shure SM48 microphone (on the cheaper scale but should still work).

To recap: recording volume is way too low unless I crank up the gain, audio sounds choppy in playback, and I can’t hear myself in my headphones when plugged directly into the UR44 interface.

Help please! What am I doing wrong?

Have you tried to get the included mixer software for the ur44 into your working flow?

I feel when using a dynamic mic you always have to up the gain on the mic channel, dynamic mics have a lower output then condenser mics.
Also read up on how to monitor your signals with the included ur44 mixer software (MixDSP?), this is the area which is meant to get a healthy balance between monitored signal and mix signals.

Cubase has built-in monitor capabilties (asio direct monitoring or in case of the UR44 there is full integration of hardware in cubase), don’t know about hindenburg software.