H4 as an audio interface

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Member Since: Apr 07, 2009

I hate to start a new thread about something that may have already been addressed in the past... but I *have* searched around in the forums and can't find a comprehendable answer to my problem. So here I am.

First off, I'm new--to HRC and to home recording in general and I have very little technical knowledge of functions or terms related to recording and the like. So bear with me.

I currently have a song recorded as a song file on my Yamaha Stage Piano CP300. I have the keyboard plugged into the inputs of my H4 recorder, which I am using as a audio interface. So I'm recording the song file through the H4 and into Cubase AI 4 as an audio file. The problem is that, while the song itself is beautiful and clear on the keyboard and if I play it back in Cubase just as a midi file, but when I go through the H4, the quality seems inferior and I have a huge problem of static in the louder portions of the song. Why is this, and how can I fix it?

There is probably a very simple answer to this; I'm sorry if I am wasting your time!

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Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

Apr 07, 2009 11:56 am

The static on louder portions is most likely your input clipping on the H4, meaning it's simply turned up too loud. If using mics turn em down, if using direct ins see if it has a pad switch or simply turn down your piano.

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Apr 07, 2009 08:30 pm

The H4 is capable of running in interface mode. I do believe you need to switch it into interface mode either via the screen or a switch. I've not seen one up close so am not certain on the switch thing.

You may simply be clipping the inputs as Tripps stated. I would suggest looking to see if you can adjust the input level of the H4 while in interface mode. As well it could be clipping on output as well, but not as likely.

It should have a section in the manual on setting the line input gain for use as an interface.

Oh, just thought as well. It might be you need to switch the inputs from mic mode to line input mode as it can accept external XLR connected mic's as well as using the on board ones.

Welcome to HRC by the way.

Since: Apr 07, 2009

Apr 10, 2009 11:53 am

Ok; sorry it has taken me a bit to get back here.

I adjusted the H4 input level which helped a little, and then I turned down the keyboard a little, and that solved the static problem. But now the audio track seems a bit quiet, and there is a good deal of noise (that sort of static humming sound in the background that one gets when they turn a quiet song up very loud), if you know what I mean. Also, when I export the audio track from Cubase as a WAV file and then play it in Windows Media Player, the track sounds a little garbled and not very clear. Does that make sense? Any suggestions?

Thanks for your time (and patience!)

Czar of Turd Polish
Since: Jun 20, 2006

Apr 10, 2009 12:08 pm

Sounds like your getting little signal and alot of noise.

Perhaps try turning the H4 all the way down and crank your piano. Then turn the H4 up until you get a strong signal with no clipping (static on hard hits). The clipping is most likely being introduced at the pre-amp (H4) as I doubt your your piano crackles when you turn it up.

The song under my profile called "human resources" has a keyboard that I tracked the same way. He had it about 3/4 volume to get a strong signal.

If the keyboard output is too quiet I could easily see that being very airy(hissy, noisy).

Same with most instruments really, we crank them loud so we don't have to drive the pre's as hard to get a strong signal.

On the garbled sound, i wish I could help but have no idea.

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