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Line In input vs Mic In input

Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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I'm learning Audition 2020 on a Windows 10 machine, 1TB M.2, 32GB RAM, i-7700 Intel cpu. I also have a Creative Soundblaster AE-5 Plus. When I channel map the input to the Line In source (using ASIO), audio cassettes only record in mono. If I change it to Mic In, it sounds like garbage, but records in stereo. I feel like I'm missing something basic but can't seem to find the answer. I'm recording in multitrack. Thanks in advance and I'm sorry if I left out any info, happy to provide screen grabs or whatever else may help. 

Cin 

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Audio hardware , How to

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

As long as it's a stereo cable, it should be fine. So it needs two RCA plugs for left and right, and a tip-ring-sleeve 3.5mm plug. If it's only a single plug, then you'll only get mono. If it's stereo and you are still getting only one channel, then it's possible that the lead is faulty - this is far from being unknown! 

 

If it's none of the above, then I'd certainly look very suspiciously at that Creative Labs device. And this may well be the case, as you've said that using it as a mic input,

...

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Community Expert ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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Is the input you are using in Audition a stereo one? If it is, what exactly does this SoundBlaster do? Just a single channel of a two channel file, or what? My understanding is the the mic and line inputs share a socket, so in theory it ought to work - but in the same breath I'm going to mention that we have a significant bias* against anything that Creative Labs produce, and I wouldn't put it past them screwing this up. Yes, a screen-grab of your multitrack input selection would possibly help...

 

*ever since they told massive lies about an earlier product, which resulted in a class action against them. Their hardware, and especially their software, leaves a lot to be desired. And they are the undisputed kings of bloatware...

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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Hi Steve,

Thanks for getting back so quickly. 

1. I wish I'd asked before purchasing...but I may still be in the return window. If so, recommendations?

2. I can only guess that the input is stereo since I recorded in stereo the one time it was set to Mic In.

3. The line in/mic is the same physical socket, there is a software switch in the Soundblaster settings to choose between them. Screen grabs of my multitrack and audio hardware setup included; taken after I converted the waveform to stereo. I appreciate your knowledge and patience!

Screenshot 2020-10-27 135713.pngScreenshot 2020-10-27 135850.pngScreenshot 2020-10-27 135928.pngScreenshot 2020-10-27 140002.png

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Community Expert ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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Have you tried selecting Line In L/R 2? That should be the stereo one. You appear to have L/R 1 selected, and there's a good chance that since this is designated as the mono feed, that's all that is getting out through it. Initially, try that. If that gets you nowhere, then it's time for a refund from Creative, although that's what I'd go for, regardless. Almost any USB-connected interface will be more than adequate, but what's good value rather depends upon your budget and what you ultimately wish to achieve with it.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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Well, it just seems to get stranger and stranger. Thank you SteveG for your response and continued support. No matter what combination of Device and File Channels, I'm only able to record in mono. Is this a Creative thing? I'm basically converting old cassettes to digital files (archival) so I don't need anything super high end, but functional would be great. 

As a thought, I'm running an RCA female/ 3.5mm audio male cable from the cassette player to the sound card. Is this the source of the problem? (Other than latency, quality, etc. This is a low-budget enterprise to start with.)

Thanks again for your responses!

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Community Expert ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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As long as it's a stereo cable, it should be fine. So it needs two RCA plugs for left and right, and a tip-ring-sleeve 3.5mm plug. If it's only a single plug, then you'll only get mono. If it's stereo and you are still getting only one channel, then it's possible that the lead is faulty - this is far from being unknown! 

 

If it's none of the above, then I'd certainly look very suspiciously at that Creative Labs device. And this may well be the case, as you've said that using it as a mic input, it's (overloaded) stereo. Does this device have any sort of a control panel? Anything interesting to see there?

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 09, 2020 Nov 09, 2020

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Hi Steve,

Apologies for the radio silence. I've been experimenting with the (limited) settings available in the Creative control panel. I have not been able to record in stereo, no matter what. Some settings allow me to monitor the sound in both earcups, but it's still mono in Audition. As of today, Audition randomly reports that the device is unavailable, so I've pulled the sound card and have boxed it back up for return. I'll do more research on my next card and will get back to you if I have further trouble. As is, I'm marking your last comment as Correct, since it appears to be hardware related.

Thank you again for your time!

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