Focusrite Clarette w/ Audacity, big problem

I just bought, a 2nd hand Audio Interface (probably my biggest problem). I am attempting to use it with Audacity. I was using a just a cheap USB mic with no problems pr3eviously on Audacity. If anything at all I had a bit of trouble toning settings down so as to prevent clipping which was easy to do. With the Focusrite, I have to turn the gain knob up on the Focusrite all the way, along with turning the microphone gain setting in Audacity up to near 100% in order to record sound at all. Even with the mic 1" from my lips.

If I do this, the red ring led on the Focusrite knob goes on constantly (indicating clipping) yet still, the recording is still faint.

Is there some setting I am missing? Is there a setting on my laptop, I am missing perhaps?

Do you need the 48v option on?

What mic are you using?

Thanks no, I am using SM58 Shure dynamic mic. Almost seems to me the output stage of the AI is broken. But it;s both channels

Hi Mike,
Just thought I would check if you have the Focusrite control software installed?

Or perhaps if you do there is a setting in there that needs tweaked? :thinking:
Also are you Windows or Mac for your laptop? If Windows, what brand?
Cheers :slight_smile:

It’s an HP Laptop. I’m using windows 11 home. The Focusrite is a bit of an older model from 2017. I did install a driver from the Focusrite site that was supposedly for Windows 10 and 11, It comes with little Focusrite Control app. There are just a few things to toggle there and I believe I have them all correct. Its pretty basic.

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I would also try using it with some sound recorder software, and make sure the output is selected correctly to what you are listening too, and any OS level volume mixer is set ok.

can you suggest a sound recorder software? You mean another DAW other than Audacity?

you should just be able to use voice recorder and the focusrite input as mic

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Hi Mike,
Thanks for clarifying.
Do you hear the mic at a good level out of the Clarette’s headphone jack or is it quiet through that too? If the microphone’s input is indicting constant clipping, then the input level from the SM58 can’t be the issue, so I would assume it’s okay through headphones?
On your Windows sound mixer, do you see plenty of level coming through there? (right click speaker icon bottom right of desktop, select open volume mixer)
Also, could be worth opening in the Windows Sounds Panel (right click speaker icon again and select Sounds). Find it under the recording tab, got to properties and check the tabs to ensure no “audio enhancements” or “AGC” settings are enabled.

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Very good idea. I just tried it. MAybe the behavior I’m seeing is typical, I have never attempted to use an AI before. This is the behavior:

The gain knob on the AI channel (mic) input goes from 1 to 10 .

On the Y axis (volume) of the Sound Recorder graph, If the knob is on 10, I can easily reach full amplitude on the Sound Recorder, I can also easily clip my voice when talking into the mic if I try to, If I drop the gain knob to 9, the best I can do is about 1/2 the full amplitude. If I drop the gain knob to 8 I get about 1/2 again etc etc. In other words it appears the gain knob numbers are logarithmic (which of course makes sense, it is “gain”).
What surprises me though is that I need the knob to be at 10 (turned all or nearly all the way up to record with Audacity. Is this normal??

I dont mic myself but that does not sound normal.

Gain shouldnt be logarithmic ?

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I need the gain knob on the AI and the gain control on Audacity mic control to both be nearly all the way up of what gets recorded is a tiny bump on the Audacity graph. All or nothing. Weird thing is the difference between 9 and 10 (lets say is huge).

Good suggestion. Unfortunately I don’t have a headphone to try. I’ll see if I can round one up. I’m going to try your other suggestion. But it;ll have to wait till tomorrow, been at this wayyy to long today so far. Thanks.

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" Due to this, if you have a dynamic mic and are not getting enough level , it is often a popular choice to add an in-line preamp to the chain"

Thanks for looking that up. If that is the problem my wife is going to love my throwing another 100$ at this. The mic is also brand new. I was wondering if it could be defective. Unfortunately I have no way to test it.

Do you have a guitar? Plug that in and see if the AI works.

Only an acoustic. The plan was to get the SM58 for my vocals, then get the SM57 or perhaps go a guitar pickup route. But unfortunately, nothing else to try.

Hopefully someone on here with a 2i2 or something and an SM58 can help

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I use a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 with an SM58 mic for vocals and have no problem getting level. I do have the input gain knob up about 3/4s of the way but then the level in Reaper is left at the default. From what I can see there isn’t a huge difference between the Scarletts and the Clarettes, other than the latter being a bit of a step up, so I could do a test with Audacity when I get home and let you know the results (assuming no one else has solved the mystery before then :wink: ).

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Much appreciate.