I am setting up my first home studio for doing some personal singer/songwriter hobby-oriented stuff and recently received my first audio interface and serious mic in the mail. I'm having trouble and am trying to determine whether something is defective, so I can return it in time, or if the poor quality is just the way it is. I'm plugging my Sennheiser e835 dynamic mic into the XLR mic premap on the Saffire Pro 24 audio interface and sending that in through Firewire to my Macbook Pro running Mac OS 10.6. When trying to record vocals in Garage Band with no effects, my mic signal is low and sounds--how to describe it-- artificial. I have the phantom power turned on and I get fairly low signal until I hit around 8.5 - 10 on the mic gain knob on the Saffire. Then the sensitivity gets hard to handle, with the signal going from fairly low to in the red in short order. This seems to be the case on the audio interface before it even gets to the computer, based on what I get when I plug my headphones into the Saffire. I'd heard the Focusrite preamps were supposed to be great. Is this one defective? Thanks for any help you can give me.