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Old 10-05-2019, 02:55 AM   #1
sjs94704
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Default I have an sE X1 A Condenser MIC. How to decide on dB setting on MIC itself?

I have the sE X1 A as shown in this link:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...ser-microphone

This MIC is connected to a PreSonus AUDIOBOX USB 96 Interface pictured on this link:
https://www.presonus.com/products/audiobox-usb-96

When facing the MIC, on the left hand side you will see a setting for dB, either 0 dB or -20 dB. It is obviously there for a reason, but, I am an amateur singer and have just never been trained as to when and why I would want to use either setting and would be grateful if someone could give some kind of explanation.

As far as my use of the MIC, I have a small 400 square foot apartment and am doing simple recordings to pre-recorded high quality karaoke music.

If you go to my SoundCloud website listed in my signature below and listen, these songs are recorded with the MIC at -20 dB. The truth is, I only put it that way because of volume, but I do have all sorts of options both on the interface as well as inside Reaper for GAIN and am totally open to the idea that there is a much better way to set this up!

So, in you opinion, what way could I best set up my MIC for best use?
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:44 AM   #2
serr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjs94704 View Post
I have the sE X1 A as shown in this link:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...ser-microphone

This MIC is connected to a PreSonus AUDIOBOX USB 96 Interface pictured on this link:
https://www.presonus.com/products/audiobox-usb-96

When facing the MIC, on the left hand side you will see a setting for dB, either 0 dB or -20 dB. It is obviously there for a reason, but, I am an amateur singer and have just never been trained as to when and why I would want to use either setting and would be grateful if someone could give some kind of explanation.

As far as my use of the MIC, I have a small 400 square foot apartment and am doing simple recordings to pre-recorded high quality karaoke music.

If you go to my SoundCloud website listed in my signature below and listen, these songs are recorded with the MIC at -20 dB. The truth is, I only put it that way because of volume, but I do have all sorts of options both on the interface as well as inside Reaper for GAIN and am totally open to the idea that there is a much better way to set this up!

So, in you opinion, what way could I best set up my MIC for best use?
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It's a common feature to lower the output on the mic itself. It's called a "pad". This one lowers the level 20db.

If you have a loud enough sound in front of the mic to where you clip your preamp even with it dialed all the way down, that's what they give you the pad switch for.

Don't fuss over the -20db number there or think you need to be doing math with anything. Very simply - if you get a red over light on your preamp with the knob all the way down, flip that switch to -20 to bump the mic output down into a lower range.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:50 AM   #3
vdubreeze
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For vocals leave it at 0, not with -20 pad. If the Presonus clips at the loudest parts of singing, bring down the Presonus input. If it still clips at the bottom of the Presonus input back off from the mic a few inches. If it still clips then put the pad on and bring the input back up. But I've only ever needed to use the mic's pad on a singer for music where eating the mic and screaming was part of the genre. Anything else, not really. 20db is a lot and isn't what you'd generally use as a strategic voice pad. If a mic gave me a -10 pad I *might* use it on a screaming vocal if I was in the mood to see where it went on the pre meter.

A -20 db mic pad is generally for much louder sources, like snares, overheads, guitar cabs, etc. where the decibel level is very high when you stick something a few inches from the source, and overloading the mic and pre are not desired. If you're using an inexpensive pre and singing into it isn't driving that into the red when 3/4 up I can almost guarantee it will sound better there than padded 20 db and brought back up 20 db on the pre.
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