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Thread: Dell Dimension E521 Low Microphone Volume

  1. #1

    Dell Dimension E521 Low Microphone Volume6

    • Dell Dimension E52,<
    • Windows XP Media Centre Edition
      Version 2002? Service Pack 3<
    • Dell BTX Motherboard. Part No. CT03 HK980 or UW457<
    • Creative SoundBlaster SB0460<
    I installed a Creative SoundBlaster X fi 0460. It has made a huge improvement in the quality of audio playback. Unfortunately now, the 3.5m microphone and headphone sockets on the front of the PC no longer work. I have learned that this is normal if you change from the integrated audio which comes with Dell PC?s. I have a set of USB headphones and they also have stopped working through the USB sockets on the front panel although my camera is still recognised.

    I am trying set up the PC to do some home recording with voice and guitar. At the moment I am just using a cheap PC microphone which came from Dell. I know that this works properly as I have used it in the past on this PC using Andrea Voice controller which came with the integrated audio from Dell. ?I have also tried a Plantronics PC mic which is working and seems to be a lot better that the mic supplied with the PC.

    The problem is that the recordings are very muffled. I have spent some time Googling the problem. All the control panels that I can find for sound, including the microphone are maxed out including the 20db mic boost.

    I disabled the old integrated audio on the motherboard by pressing F2 just after installing the SoundBlaster Card. I had already downloaded all the software and drivers from Creative but when I tried to install them after fitting the card, the installer went on the Internet and downloaded from Creative again. The whole installation process must have taken about an hour. I am therefore assuming that I have the latest software and drivers installed. I have checked device manager and found no conflicts.

    The strange thing about the situation is that the microphone seems to work normally when it is connected to the PC but I am not recording. However, the gain seems to be far too high because the noise from just handling the mic comes through my speakers very loudly and it is very easy to get a screeching feedback noise if the mic is anywhere near the speakers. I can speak and hear my voice through the computer speakers with the added reverb from the sound card. The mic is connected to the correct socket on the sound card.

    After lots of attempts I managed to make a recording with Creative software in Audio Mode this afternoon just using my voice and the PC mic. This it worked perfectly and I was able to play it back through Media Player and the Creative Audio panel. ?

    Two hours later, I tried to make another recording and, again, the sound is muffled!? I can't understand how it worked once and then stopped. I don?t remember changing any settings between the two recording attempts. With other attempts, if I blow or tap on the mic, it records quite well but when I speak, I need to max out the volume on my speakers to hear my voice which is very muffled!?

    At the moment, all the sound controls on my PC are set so high that when I move my cursor around the screen or click on icons, I can hear various sounds through the speakers ? this has never happened before! ?Yet, again, if I try to record anything, the sound is muffled!?

    I think there might be some kind of conflict in software settings. ?The only other programs I can think of that I am using that might have an effect here are Audacity and WMP. I?m having the same muffled sound problems when I try to record with Audacity.

    I?m sorry for the length of this post but I?m tearing my hair out here!

  2. #2
    Whiz Kid
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Re: Dell Dimension E521 Low Microphone Volume?


    Are you using the current drivers?

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