serious recording problems -- huge amounts of hiss and white noise please help

#1
Ok, first off, if this is in the wrong forum please move it, dont close it. I'm strapped on time, and if the device Im using is broken I have 30 days to return it, I'd like to get help quickly and closing it would seriously hinder that.

Im using a lexicon alpha interface and a SHS Audio OM-50 Mic.

Just go the interface today, and I tried setting it up/recording but my first hint that something was wrong was when I plugged into the XLR input, immediately I was greeted by loud hissing -- so much so that everything picked up by the mic is distorted into it. The hissing gets worse when the mic is turned off. this is both heard through recorded tests, and the monitor out

I then tried plugging the mic into the instrument in jack in the front instead of the XLR (I have an XLR-instrument cable), and there I didnt get enough volume. Although I didnt get enough volume this way, I heard no audible noise through the monitor. Although when I amplified the signal digitally in audacity, I was greeted by some similar noise.

so then I decided to test it with absolutely nothing. I maxed the channel volumes on the Lexicon and listened through the monitor -- nothing. Then I tried a recording, at first, there was nothing audible, but after amplifying the signal in audacity several times (over 50 to 100 decibles louder) instead of silence I got the same hum -- thats with NOTHING plugged into the alpha at all, just straight to USB.

the noise is FAR WORSE when I plug into the XLR input in the back of the alpha, I just get crazy hiss and high pitched squealing.

is it my gear thats causing this, or just the lexicon, or is it some sort of interference?

I tried moving to a different room of the house to no avail, the hissing is everywhere.

any ideas whats causing this? at first I thought it was the XLR cable or the mic, but I've used the mic before with no hiss, and the hiss is still there if I amplify the signal I get from the lexicon no matter what should I return the lexicon (got it at guitar center) or what?
Gear:

Jackson dk2m
MIM strat
peavey jsx 2x12 combo
Recording King RDC-26
Digitch RP1000
Crybaby 535Q
#2
I checked the SHS. It's a microphone that needs to be plugged in the instrument input since it's a high-Z output. The massive hum is from the massive differences in volume...XLR mic signals are very weak compared to guitar/that mike signal. To be honest, I'd get a Behringer XM8500 and work with that instead. It's a terrific microphone for $20.

And the second hiss you got after amplifying the signal in Audacity is normal.
Quote by keiron_d
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Recording Guitar Amps 101
#3
thanks a lot. I'm looking into other mics now.

the behringer you mentioned is a vocal mic -- how will that work for miking up amps and recording guitar, drums and bass? I'm actually far more concerned with instruments than vocals, and Im not sure how it would affect me.
Gear:

Jackson dk2m
MIM strat
peavey jsx 2x12 combo
Recording King RDC-26
Digitch RP1000
Crybaby 535Q
#4
It'll be a bit dark on most anything you'll use. If you want versatility, you may want to look into Shure's PG and SM57. The Alpha doesn't have phantom power, so condensers are out.
Quote by keiron_d
thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!


True love exists in UG. Can you feel it?

Recording Guitar Amps 101
#5
either way, I can't afford to do this right now, I cant afford a good mic nor a cheaper condenser mic and more expensive unit.

either way its $100 more than I have and I just cant . I have $30 left after buying this unit on sale.

so I guess I'm going to return the unit and save more money. Maybe in a couple of months or so I can afford to do this with some decent quality.

thanks for your help though, I really didn't know much of anything about the problems I was having, and probably would've stumbled around in the dark without your help.
Gear:

Jackson dk2m
MIM strat
peavey jsx 2x12 combo
Recording King RDC-26
Digitch RP1000
Crybaby 535Q
#6
Really? The PG57's around $60...you'd be a bit over budget ($20 or so), but that's it. The mike even comes with a cable and shipping's free.
Quote by keiron_d
thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!


True love exists in UG. Can you feel it?

Recording Guitar Amps 101
#7
yeah, I kind of have access to some better recording rigs anyway, so I really want to wait until I can afford something nice at home.

I am probably coming into some money by the end of june ($4000+) so I'll probably use some of that for a nice $1000-$2000 guitar and a multitrack recorder, mics, and the like. I could get a new amp instead of the recording stuff, (or both, but Id like to save for a car too).

but yeah, I returned it. The money is better off in my hands, and i feel less guilty this way anyway. I really need to hold onto some money for awhile anyway, and besides, I still have it, so nothing lost really.
Gear:

Jackson dk2m
MIM strat
peavey jsx 2x12 combo
Recording King RDC-26
Digitch RP1000
Crybaby 535Q
#8
Ah, it's fine then. If you want to set up the studio, just post back describing your budget. If you want details on a guitar amp, check the Guitar Gear & Accessories. Otherwise, we can take care of you here.
Quote by keiron_d
thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!


True love exists in UG. Can you feel it?

Recording Guitar Amps 101