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Old 11-12-2019, 08:48 AM   #1
toleolu
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Default Picking up audio from microphone with interface input set to 0.

Got a guy coming over today to record some vocals so I hooked up my condenser mic and I noticed that even with the input knob on my interface turned all the way down, I still get audio in Reaper, low level, you can see activity in the meters, but you really don't hear anything.

Not a big issue, just curious if this was normal since this is really the first time I'll be using this mic.

Thanks
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:03 AM   #2
serr
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The lowest level on the gain knob of a mic preamp is not "off" like the volume on your hi-fi preamp. It's either 1:1 or still a slight boost.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:34 AM   #3
toleolu
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Cool, thanks brother Serr.

Thought it might have something to do with the 48V Phantom Power since when I have my guitars or my dynamic mic plugged in, I can turn the input down and not see any activity in the meters.

I bought this condenser mic about 6 months or so ago thinking I might take a shot at singing. Tried it a couple of times, I suck, so I put the mic away and haven't used it since.

Along the same lines, all I have to do is turn the input knob up just a bit to get the level I want (around -18 don't want to start a debate on that, ) whereas with my guitars I need to crank the input knobs up around 3/4's or so to get that level even with my volume knobs on the amp, and my guitars, turned up close to max.

Is that to be expected with condenser mics as well??

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Old 11-12-2019, 09:55 AM   #4
serr
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You use the mic preamp to frame the signal into line level. You have a window for the signal as it were. The signal level from the outside world is somewhat unknown. The mic preamp gain lets you put the signal into the window - not too low so it's swimming in the noise floor, not too high that it literally gets clipped off on top and distorted.

This is not a volume or mixing control!

Once you have a signal in your board (or interface), NOW you can mix with it. You can pull a channel fader all the way down to silence something. Channel faders work like volume controls with the bottom being off. Or use the mute buttons. If this is the digital mixer built into your interface that you're using, it might have a mini DAW style app to control it. Simpler interfaces don't have a full mixing board built-in but usually a input/computer balance mix knob.

So, you can grab a mic pre and turn it down in a pinch I suppose. It will work like it always has for you. But the mic preamp gain isn't intended to be used as a volume control like that and the lowest position on the knob is not "off".
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post
The lowest level on the gain knob of a mic preamp is not "off" like the volume on your hi-fi preamp. It's either 1:1 or still a slight boost.
This.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:21 AM   #6
toleolu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post

Once you have a signal in your board (or interface), NOW you can mix with it. You can pull a channel fader all the way down to silence something. Channel faders work like volume controls with the bottom being off. Or use the mute buttons. If this is the digital mixer built into your interface that you're using, it might have a mini DAW style app to control it. Simpler interfaces don't have a full mixing board built-in but usually a input/computer balance mix knob.
To be clear, when you say mic preamp, we're talking about the preamp built into the interface, correct?

Also, as far as the software mixer goes, my old Presonus firewire interface had one, but this new Presonus USB interface does not. I downloaded all the software, at least I think I did, from the Presonus website but there's nothing in there about a mixer or Universal Control application. I kinda liked having that software mixer in my old interface.

Thanks again Serr and Karbo, so much about this stuff I don't know, really appreciate the help.
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