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Blue Snowflake Mic Problems

Technique
btimm  
21 Jan 2013 22:21 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Okay, next issue among several in the recording realm for this guy. I have a Blue Snowflake microphone. From what I have read online, this was a good cheap mic, meaning that I should expect it to be a good sounding mic relative to other cheap mics, but obviously it is still a cheap mic. lol Working on a budget here, upgrades will come later.

Anyways, it says I do not need any special drivers. My computer does have ASIO4ALL anyways, so I figure I should be set. Plug it in to the computer, let the computer recognize the hardware, and go from there, it should work fine. However, I can't get it to work. I did some research before posting here, but can't seem to find much for help here. One thing worth mentioning: I notice that when I go to my sound, and look at the recording options, when I have the laptop mic enabled, I can see the little green response, like the picture below:




However, when I disable the laptop mic and try to use the snowflake, I never see any green response at all. If I flick the mic with my finger, I get minimal response. Does this mean that I have a malfunctioning microphone? oh, if it helps, when I go into the microphone properties and look at levels, it is at the maximum volume of 100.

I am at a loss here, any input would be greatly appreciated!
carlsnow  
22 Jan 2013 05:23 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2009
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@btimm

The Mic you are using is a USB Mic. I am the furthest from a computer tech as you will ever find, but ...

a Bassist (and good pal) of mine often records live Gigs w/ a USB mic, and in the beginning he/we had the same problem.

the solution (for him anyways) was/is to look at the USB Mic in the same way you would look at a Firewire-Interface "taking over" the duties of a sound card.

while BOTH "IN's" CAN be, well, "in" at the same time you will need your card/router/etc to recognize only ONE at a time. This may mean (he did) that you have to 'disable" the other device in order to avoid a hardware conflict.
This 'Microphone array' you show, i have no clue what is, perhaps that would help.
but

I would disable ,completely, (...turn back on when needed) the "Microphone array" as it does not appear to be a part of your sound card.
Then ..
Make certain your recording platform (Cubase, Protools , etc) "hears" ONLY the Blue Usb Mic as its input. In Most Audio Programs this is a simple matter of checking it as default in both computer and IN This REC program.
(remember you can easily "switch back" too using the "array" thing, after recording)
I would also Triple Check the DRIVER ... seriously.
I installed new Yamaha Monitors in the Studio yesterday AFTER a horror-show of Driver issues... The Driver for my PreSonus Firestudio's pre-mix mixer(off the firewire -from all the "ins")worked great BUT a newer 'bug fix' (lol what bug?) driver was introduced for w7/64. I snagged it. It screwed me up. I tried again....and again...Finally i noticed some odd "unplug then plug" directive... ah! success.
SOooooo It can (and often is) a driver, or some other simplistic thing that just went wrong for you.

I DO think disabling one device for your Blue usb to be Heard is the first and most basic fix.
(after checking the routing to Rec Program!)
Failing that....Driver.
(and of course a 'Blue Forum')

I run The Firestudio PAST the computers internal card, as i have no use for it; the same screen i see above was what i used to "kill" the internal card in favor of the external ... It worked perfectly.

I also run a Headset Usb mic (Dragon Speak) which i recently purchased, as well as a Logitech Cam, my good friend Phip gave me years ago, I run Cubase/Forge/etc + Dragon(usb headset) and Logitech without any problems at all, simply by using:
the screen you are on
and
making SURE my recording program KNOWS what to listen to and what to discount.

and i am a 48 yr old "computer idiot/fool/dunderhead") LOL

So ..
Dont panic, kill other 'in's'... check drivers, and fauiling that head to a "Blue Forum"

I hope that helps ...
feeling helpless, studio-wise, is a stressful thing Bro, I know.

RAWK!
Cs


PS: a word about BLUE
Blue makes some of the best Mic's in the world, IMO, and have been very good to the consumer by offering quality mics from 50bucks to thousands of bucks. I have a Blue Spark in my collection, a constant collaborator of mine has a Blue Bird, and Purple in his. Great Mics!
I Use Shure, AKG, Sennhauser, Audio-Technica etc etc Mics and am constantly amazed that a Blue Mic will many times out-preform a RODE or __insert name_ Mic that costs twice or more the price. I have never heard a Usb mic BUT feel certain that they (BLUE) keep the same high standards they set with their more expensive mics. GREAT buy!

So if you are (anyone) making a home studio (etc) think BLUE, ya gotta have 'that old (Shure) 58 and 57' (goes w/out saying) but after that..Blue! (best bang for the buck)

btimm  
23 Jan 2013 19:00 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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CS, thanks for the post! I had already tried disabling everything else, the picture I posted was just a screenshot of the screen and showing the green that comes up, showing that the laptop microphone receives a signal and recognizes sound. I didn't take a second screenshot, but when I disable everything else and start playing, I see no green on the Blue mic.

Here is a screenshot from Reaper when I hook up the Blue mic.




Explanation: The first few frames show me tapping on the mic with my finger. Not hard, but not soft either. It picks up every tap I make. The second part of the track is me yelling and screaming about 3" from the mic - it picks up nothing. Do you think this means I just got a lemon from Blue? It clearly is picking up sound when I tap the microphone, so it seems everything is set up appropriately, but it just refuses to pick up any of my playing or singing (if you can call it that). Thoughts?
btimm  
23 Jan 2013 19:01 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Oh, and I definitely at some point will be picking up the 57 and 58 mics. I have read nothing but great things about them!
btimm  
25 Jan 2013 22:26 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Bumping to see if I can get a response to what I put in response to CS. Does it seem like my mic is likely just a lemon from Blue? Obviously all companies that mass produce anything can and likely will produce some equipment that is defective. It seems strange that it picks up sound when I tap the mic, but not when I scream into it. Thoughts?
carlsnow  
27 Jan 2013 09:23 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2009
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btimm says:
It clearly is picking up sound when I tap the microphone, so it seems everything is set up appropriately, but it just refuses to pick up any of my playing or singing (if you can call it that). Thoughts?


not familiar w/ Reaper BUT

Check the VST-Routing from your Mic-Card-Reaper.
Check (if there) The WDM-Routing from your Mic-Card-Reaper.

sometimes a recording program must be RE-told where to snag its audio.
also
The Busing could be hinky (VST-Routing again)
Its POSS Blue made a Lemon BUT i very much doubt this as you are getting SOME SIGNAL, Dig?
If the Mic had crapped it would have been at the USB-plug or port or another area of sonic transfer.

if all that fails ...
Make BLUE you default IN... then Restart yer PC..]

Hope That Helps...

RAWK!
Cs
btimm  
27 Jan 2013 21:40 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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carlsnow says:
not familiar w/ Reaper BUT

Check the VST-Routing from your Mic-Card-Reaper.
Check (if there) The WDM-Routing from your Mic-Card-Reaper.

sometimes a recording program must be RE-told where to snag its audio.
also
The Busing could be hinky (VST-Routing again)
Its POSS Blue made a Lemon BUT i very much doubt this as you are getting SOME SIGNAL, Dig?
If the Mic had crapped it would have been at the USB-plug or port or another area of sonic transfer.

if all that fails ...
Make BLUE you default IN... then Restart yer PC..]

Hope That Helps...

RAWK!
Cs


What you say makes sense. I mean, if the mic had crapped, it shouldn't produce any sound whatsoever. But this should be VERY easy, it's a plug and play mic and doesn't even come with a CD or anything. It should literally just be used in lieu of the internal laptop mic. I am at a loss as to why this won't work. I will try restarting my PC really quick and see if that helps at all.

FRUSTRATION!
btimm  
27 Jan 2013 22:00 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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I don't even know if I should post this, as the level of stupidity on my part is pretty high. lol

CS made an interesting point that I have used in the past to solve many computer issues: restarting the computer. So I do that, and lo and behold, the microphone functions properly.

*hits self in forehead*

Thanks CS!
carlsnow  
28 Jan 2013 05:34 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2009
United States
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btimm says:
CS made an interesting point that I have used in the past to solve many computer issues: restarting the computer. So I do that, and lo and behold, the microphone functions properly.

*hits self in forehead*

Thanks CS!


Ahhhhh-HA... SO
.. Musta been a Driver issue.
Don't feel stupid, lol, i do this stuff for a living and STILL(ask Phip) forget the "Re-Boot Solution" ... lol

I so glad that helped, being "stuck" drives ya nuts;
and please, call me Carl

RAWK!
Cs
btimm  
9 Feb 2013 21:27 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Argh, tried to use the Snowflake mic after making a drumtrack and recording bass and it fails to work again. Tried restarting my computer 4 times, to no avail. >.< Messed around with the ASIO4ALL driver to make sure Reaper is only recognizing the Blue mic and it doesn't matter, because the computer itself (see Sound jpeg in the original post) doesn't recognize the mic. What am I doing wrong now?!
Guitarslinger124  
10 Feb 2013 20:45 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
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Like Carl, I'm not familiar with Reaper, but I don't think that matters.
I really sounds like a driver priority problem. I know that sometimes, machines will get confused and revert back to their stock or default drivers for certain things.

If you still have all of your registration codes, try uninstalling everything then put all of your setup and data/read-only into one folder. I know it sounds stupid, and I have no knowledge to prove it, but I swear this makes it easier on your computer.

But to me, if you are saying that everything works, then you try to play something, you mess with MIDI, and nothing works, it really seems like drivers and MIDI/AUDIO/SAMPLE paths are getting confused. If I can relate it to programming, it's like doubling your code. It works, sometimes, but it is just bad practice.

When you do ANYTHING in reaper with MIDI or Audio or Sampling, your computer will create permanent or temporary files and, naturally, paths to these files. Ensure that these files are not one and the same.
btimm  
11 Feb 2013 18:44 | Quote
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I am still lost. Here is a screenshot with everything disabled except for the Blue Mic, which is set to default. At the time of the screenshot, I was talking right into the microphone (volume at 100 in preferences).




I know that MIDI works fine, as the drums I put in place using EXDrummer and Reaper worked perfectly. I also recorded the bass portion, using Guitar Rig 5 and Reaper. But even without anything open at all, I cannot seem to get the microphone to register a sound anymore. I have restarted the computer many times and shut it down, then restarted - to no avail. Do you think maybe it isn't a driver issue, but maybe a hardware issue with the microphone itself? Everything else seems to work fine, so ASIO4ALL seems to be running properly.

I am not sure. I know I tried to research it, and there wasn't much help. I looked for a Blue forum as Carl suggested, but it doesn't seem one exists. I went to the site for troubleshooting, with no help. I'd hate to give up on this mic, if it works properly, because that would likely mean that I would have a similar issue with any other USB mic. But if it might be something wrong with the mic, then messing with it hoping it will function properly, well, that would seem to be stupid as well. lol
btimm  
11 Feb 2013 21:29 | Quote
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Update: I tried to set up the mic on a different computer, with the same problem. It should just plug and play, no big deal, but it failed again. I downloaded ASIO4ALL on that computer, and no help there either. Maybe I am not configuring ASIO4ALL properly? Then again, it isn't even activated without the use something like GRig or Reaper. I am fairly confused here, so any additional input would be much appreciated. What really baffles me is that Blue claims this mic does not in any way need other drivers. Even the factory driver should perform well.
Guitarslinger124  
12 Feb 2013 10:34 | Quote
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You shouldn't be using your mic as an input. Your interface should be the input.

Use your mic just like you would use your guitar.
btimm  
12 Feb 2013 11:22 | Quote
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Guitarslinger124 says:
You shouldn't be using your mic as an input. Your interface should be the input.

Use your mic just like you would use your guitar.


I am confused by this statement. Shouldn't the microphone function in the same manner as the internal laptop mic? Meaning, when I enable the internal microphone, I see it working just fine; it has green going up and down when I open the sound window, like the jpeg above. When I plug in the USB mic (which is set as the default recording device), and disable the internal mic, I get no green in the USB mic, like I think I should. Is this not how it works?

Also, I am not sure what the interface is for the Blue USB mic. With my guitar, using Guitar Rig, I would set the recording and playback to the audio interface, and everything works appropriately. When I use the mic, I am plugging the mic straight into the computer, so is there an interface there? I am confused here.
Guitarslinger124  
12 Feb 2013 12:02 | Quote
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What I mean is, plug your mic into your USB interface just like you would your guitar and "play" through it. Don't send your mic direct to Reaper. Use the interface.

Yes it should and it does function like the laptop mic, but I think that just complicates your setup.
btimm  
12 Feb 2013 12:14 | Quote
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Ah, I see. I would need an adapter to do that. Mu interface only accepts the typical guitar cable input, not USB.
Guitarslinger124  
12 Feb 2013 12:26 | Quote
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They do have adapters for that, and I think that will solve your problem honestly; though you may have some loss in quality using an adapter.
btimm  
12 Feb 2013 13:38 | Quote
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I think you are right, though it feels like I shouldn't NEED to do that. I will look into getting an adapter and tell what happens. It seems like I am missing something here, not understanding some concept, likely related to the drivers, but what the F, if this adapter will work, I don't really care. lol
btimm  
12 Feb 2013 13:57 | Quote
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Actually, this seems like it won't work either. I see tons of 1/4"-USB adapters, but the adapter are all "male" USB, not female like I would need. Because I would need to plug the USB end of the mic into the adapter. Argh.

I remember you mentioning the Lambda interface before. I checked that out, if I would need to save for it, but it seems the same problem would exist there as well - that I cannot plug a USB directly into the interface.
Guitarslinger124  
13 Feb 2013 09:00 | Quote
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I'm at a loss then man. All the mics I've ever owned were either 1/4" or TB3M - I've never used a USB mic.
btimm  
19 Feb 2013 23:11 | Quote
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Problem solved - the mic was defective.
nullnaught  
3 Mar 2013 18:05 | Quote
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Very good you figured it out. :)
macandkanga  
4 Mar 2013 11:05 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
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@btimm, what a pain huh? I'm glad you figured it out. I've gone back to plugging straight into an amp for the time being. I just want to play my guitar these days and not so interested in recording.


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