VO Possible Clipping Issue/Adobe Audition Presets

Hey MRC,

I could really use any of your suggestions or help with a very specific issue I’m having.

I have a screaming video game VO script I need to get done (a lot of reactions, emoting) and I’m having issues with clipping…or at least the potential to clip. Here’s my setup:

-Full vocal booth
-Sennheiser 416 mic
-Mogami XLR cables
-CEntrance mic port pro
-Macbook OSX with Adobe Audition CC

Ok, so the CEntrance has the gain knob on it and I’ve turned it all the way down but my audio still is at/near clipping. I can adjust the volume in Audition but all that does is lower the whole project (think zooming out) as opposed to stopping the clipping (it looks ok when I record but once I’ve finished and go to edit, the audio reverts back to near peak levels). I’ve tried adjusting my sound from my MacBook but nothing is applicable because the CEntrance is handling it all (it’s all greyed out)…which brings me back to the beginning…sigh.

I can adjust things in post but it’s kinda pointless if it’s already clipped at that point. I’ve tried backing away from the mic more but that introduces reverb/more room tone that’s not usable.

Is there a way you know of to preset the gain/limiter in Audition so that I can record the screaming at a close® distance but not clip? Every supposed answer I find is all about adjusting gain in post and it’s so frustrating. I want to limit my input PRIOR to recording so there’s no chance of clipping!

Thanks for any help in advance!

-Andy

Don’t use a shotgun.

Hey Tone,

Thanks but that’s not an option currently. Is there no way to preset or gain limit prior to recording?

Andy

You could buy an in-line attenuator (-20db) or use a heavy pop/sock shield or just go and borrow/hire a SM58.

The 416 is the industry standard for close micing a VO. Mine goes through processing first via an Avalon 737 for some EQ and Compression or through “the dogsbody” dbx 286s before going into an audio interface.

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The preset or gain limit you mention can’t deal with source overload.
You’re running too hot as they say.
The mic is simply not designed to operate outside it’s specs.

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Thanks for the info, Tone. I appreciate it.

Without buying hardware your best option is to move further away from the mic and record the script however that will lose the proximity effect of the mic and also allow more background noise to be sucked into the audio.

What I would suggest may help is a microphone processor with a compressor set on it. The compressor, if set aggressively enough, would tackle the clipping at source, reducing the volume of the clipped audio to a non-clipped level. Equally, if using a DBX 286s you have a gain control on the input and on the output which would also reduce the signal level.

The issue you have is that the audio you’re recording has analogue clipping which basically destroys it. Yes, you can reduce the volume in post processing and you could add a compressor or even the speech volume leveller but you’d still be working with audio containing analogue clipping.

To have usable audio you need to eradicate the analogue clipping (at source) by either moving further away from the mic you have, buying / hiring a large diaphragm condenser mic, buying / hiring a Shure SM58 or SM7b (which are known as less hot mics) or getting a dbx286s (or similar) to lower the volume recorded and add heavy compression at source which would lower the louder parts (and remove dynamic range).

Hope this helps

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+1 for using a mic preamp/processor like the dbx286s or any peak limiter unit will help in this use case.