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need help from the pros

Discussion in 'Recording' started by medusa, Jun 19, 2003.

  1. medusa

    medusa Guest

    hi there!
    i'm using samplitude on a p4-3.06 with 1gb ddr machine with RME hammerfall
    multiface, an AKG C414-BTL-II microphone, and a custom made mic pre-amp (i'm
    not rich, i have funding from a record company :) )

    now here's the problem-
    when i record stuff that are not very loud- like an acoustic guitar or
    classical guitar, I get a very low signal with a lot of background hiss. I
    tried all 4 polarity patterns on the mic. I double checked i'm using +4db
    balanced cables both on the outputs and the inputs. and still, only on the
    max +55db on the preamp I get a normal signal from an acoustic guitar.

    where might be my problem?
    thanks in advance,
  2. jslator

    jslator Guest

    Custom made by whom? My guess is that this is where the problem lies.
  3. medusa

    medusa Guest

    designed by Signal Audio. i know at least 3 big studios in my country that use his pre-amps and are quite satisfied.

    I will check with him tommorow. thanks!
  4. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    This may be completly stupid to say, but have you checked the mic cable? Have you tried another condenser mic? If neither of these two solves the issue, I too would suspect the pre. Or, is it possible the pre does not have a phantom power supply? Perhaps you need to purchase an external phantom power supply.
    Check to see if there is phantom power first.(+48v)
    Then change the cable.
    Then change the mic.

    Also with respect to the humming. Do you have power conditioning? That will help with noise.
  5. medusa

    medusa Guest

    first, yeah i'm sure it has a phantom power supply, cuz the mic only works when the switch labeled "+48v" is on :) )- only on maximum (+55db) gain i get a normal level.

    i guess i'll have to check the preamp.

    i wanted to ask- did you have experience with other pre-amps? when trying to record something like an acoustic guitar- on what level was the gain knob?

    thanks! yoni.
  6. jslator

    jslator Guest

    Doesn't mean that yours is necessarily working properly though. Do you have another pre that you can try swapping into it's place?
  7. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    Medusa: Just because an sm58 worked and the 414 didnt doesn't mean the pre is at fault. You may know this but just in case you don't consider this.
    Xlr cables are three conductor, only two of which carry signal to microphone. The third pin carries voltage. On a dynamic mic this pin is not used, therefore an irrelevant test when trying to find your problem.
    If you place another condenser on this pre, and find that, with a good, tested cable you have the same problem, THAT is pointing a finger at the pre. If not, then suspect the mic. A dynamic will work with or without phantom power.

    Best of luck!
  8. tonio

    tonio Guest

    Is the pad on the 414 set properly?
    e.g.is it at -10db or more?

    Just shooting in the dark.
  9. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    :) Tonio, set the pad at zero.

  10. medusa

    medusa Guest

    took the pre-amp back to the lab where he added me 6dB of gain. Now everything works like a charm!
    thanks for all the help :)

  11. jslator

    jslator Guest


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