Microphone scratches in Cubase, fine in Windows

I have a microphone and if I try to record with it in Cubase, I do get sound, but it has a lot of scratching on it (the scratching is louder than the actual recording).

If I turn off Cubase and try Windows’ Sound Recorder, it sounds completely fine. So the microphone itself is not the problem, very probably something I need to set or tweak in Cubase. However, I cannot find any settings for the microphone. The only thing I have found is that I can set the microphone in the panel for VST Connection - Input. But I cannot find any further settings whatsoever.

It sounds a bit like extreme clipping and only occurs when there is actually any sound: if the microphone records silence, then there is also no scratching. However, in the waveform I see in Cubase of my recording, the volume is way below the maximum, so clipping should not occur. Also, decreasing the output volume of the microphone in the Windows driver settings does decrease the total volume, but the scratching remains relatively the same volume compared to the cello I am recording.

The microphone is a USB Samsung C01U, and I am running Windows 7 64bit with Cubase Elements 6 32bit.

What do I need to set to fix the scratching?

Thanks in advance! :slight_smile:

Read this> http://www.steinberg.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=8824

Following that guide, you will probably find that increasing the buffer size in the asio4all driver control panel gets rid of the noises you hear.

Actually, just following that guide already fixed it! It works fine now! Thank you very much! :smiley:

Hmm, now that I have worked with it a bit, it turns out that the Asio4all driver introduces a new problem.

The microphone works fine now, but after about ten minutes of working with Cubase, I now get ticks and scratches throughout normal playback. If I then open the Asio4all driver and drag the buffer size around a bit, it goes away for ten minutes. I tried setting the buffer size to 2048 (the maximum) and the only thing this does is that it takes longer before the scratches start, but they do still come after a while.

How can I fix this new issue?

What are your PC specs? (CPU, ram etc)

Windows 7 64bit
CPU: Intel Core i5 760 2.80GHz 2.5GT/s 8MB Box (quadcore)
RAM: 8.00gb (Corsair 4x2GB DDR3 PC10666 CL9.0 XMS3 ref. A)
Motherboard: MSI P55-CD53 iP55, SATA2 RAID, GLAN
GPU: Point Of View PCI-e GeForce GTX480 1536MB 2xDVI/HDMI

Thanks. Your speakers are connected to the onboard soundcard?

Yes they are. :slight_smile: Note that everything else sounds fine, only Cubase with Asio4all goes wrong after a while.

The symptoms you describe are indicative of ASIO overload, and seeing as your system is pretty powerful, the most likely problem is that your onboard soundcard can’t keep up with Cubase.
Onboard soundcards are nice for media playback, but they are not built for more demanding tasks than that. Increasing the buffersize in the driver gives the soundcard more time to compute everything, but if even the maximum buffer isn’t enough, then I really don’t know what else to suggest other than finding a nice audio interface that is made for tasks like this. :frowning:

I can see how this is not a good soundcard, but I don’t have this problem with its own drivers. I only have this problem since I switched to the Asio4all driver to get my USB microphone to work. So this cannot really be a hardware issue: with different software drivers, it works fine.

Is there maybe some other solution for the microphone than using Asio4all?

You have a problem because just about every USB mic is designed for plug and play and use no specific ASIO driver.

For good near real time monitoring you will need to use an ASIO driver usually written specifically for your sound card.

As you are using the built in soundcard of your computer with a USB mic the only choice you have for Cubase to see the mic and have useful latency is to use the ASIO4ALL driver.

If you want to take your system a up a peg or two you will most likely need a good soundcard with dedicated ASIO driver and use a “normal” mic.

Thems the facts!

I don’t want to spend a hundred euro on more hardware right now, I already just bought Cubase and a Midi keyboard. I totally understand I am not going to get ideal latency and timings with an onboard soundcard. However: the microphone works fine outside Cubase, so why won’t Cubase record it correctly when even the most basic Windows application can? Also, Cubase works fine with the default sound driver (instead of Asio4all), so the scratches problem with Asio4all is not in the hardware either. Since Windows can run this microphone without trouble, there must be a software solution for this, without requiring me to spend a hundred euro.

Unfortunately Cubase will probably not see your usb mic without ASIO4ALL

Most USB mics are mainly for pod casting and the like, regardless of the blurb that Samson print.

It’s a plug and play device without a dedicated ASIO driver.

You will just have to deal with it. Maybe you can squeeze some better performance from your system before ASIO overload. A lot depends on how much you stress your system.

The article you were referred to was written by one of the mods because of the problems that people with USB mics were having, they are by far from ideal for running with a DAW.

But Cubase does see my mic without Asio4all! It records and everything, it just adds horrible scratching to it.

Well there you go.