recordings now scratchy and hollow...and I've changed nothing

Community Beginner ,
May 07, 2021 May 07, 2021

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Audition 13.0

Likely not an Adobe-related problem, but you guys are wizards. So I'm reaching out.

2 days ago, just fine. Though recordings have had ocassional static once or twice for about a month.

Rode NT1 mic. Rode interface. 3 years.

Recently got new PC. Recordings fine so far.

New AKG mic. Haven't tried yet.

2 days ago, recordings suddenly lifeless. I use a baritone for narration. Voice now has no resonance.

Tried the old computer. Same bad sound.

New XLR cable. No change.

New USB cord from interface. No change.

Tried the AKG mic. No change.

Only thing I haven't changed is the interface. Do they just die out?

Help.

Sample of normal and bad attached.
Thanks in advance.

 

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Audio hardware , Playback

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 07, 2021 May 07, 2021

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Which interface is it? All that sounds like is bass roll-off...

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Community Beginner ,
May 07, 2021 May 07, 2021

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It's a Rode AI-1. I haven't touched or adjusted anything. This was all out of the blue.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2021 May 08, 2021

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It's a bit odd. Neither the mic nor the preamp appears to have anything in the way of a bass roll-off switch attached to it, and it doesn't sound at all as though there's anything wrong with the preamp. Listening to your mic tests on some expensive monitors left me with the feeling though that the one you say is faulty sounds about correct. and the ones you like are bass-heavy! What I can't see (considering all of the tests you've done) is why - unless there's a bass roll-off switch somewhere either on the mic (the most likely place) or preamp that Rode forgot to mention? I'm assuming that as the preamp is a class-compliant device, the signals from it are passing through Microsoft's sound controls, so that would be the next place to look to see if anything weird has happened - like a sample rate conversion you weren't aware was happening...

 

As for dying-out preamps, I can only think of one possibility, considering that it isn't distorted. And that would be that one of the coupling capacitors inside it has dried out significantly, and lost a lot of its capacitance value. This would certainly cause the results to suddenly become bass-light. Generally though when that happens, other things start to happen as a consequence, and anyway, it would be a gradual failure rather than an overnight one. So if you can, then try it with another preamp, although I must say that I'm not too hopeful of a result...

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Community Beginner ,
May 08, 2021 May 08, 2021

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Steve, thanks so much for your concise and very detailed answer. I am completely baffled. I went ahead and finally swapped out the interface and am still having the problem. Many years and many mics and have never encountered something like this. The recordings that I don't like just sound thin and somewhat scratchy compared to my normal clean, warm sound.

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