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Studio Condeser sound problem?

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by technostein, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. technostein

    technostein Active Member

    First of all, Please forgive me for any errors, pretty new to this forum!

    I own a behringer C1 studio condenser, I also own a Phantom power supply.

    I have a XLR female that plugs into the Microphone with a male ending that goes into the phantom power supply.

    I also have a Female XLR to a quarter jack cable, the Female XLR goes into the other end of the phantom power supply and the quarter jack I put a 3.5 mm jack adapter on the end to plug into my computer.

    It picks up the mic and the sound.BUT the playback of the recorded sound is very quiet and makes my voice sound high pitched.

    If someone would PLEASE help me rectify this, I would be very very grateful!
  2. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome,

    Do yourself a favor and buy a proper recording interface that connects to the computer via USB, or firewire (for example: Focusrite Scarlett or Saffire / PreSonus MobileStudio or Firebox / Avid M-Box / M-Audio).

    Having the ability to go XLR from the mic straight to the interface (most have phantom power built-in) will eliminate your connectivity problems. As far as making your "voice sound high pitched". Connections shouldn't have any effect on pitch. Tone, YES, it could sound weak, thin, "tinny" - but it will not have altered the pitch unless your software is set to record at one sample-rate and playback at another.

    Good luck.
  3. technostein

    technostein Active Member

    Thanks, Can't really afford anything like that as Christmas set me back a lot. Thanks anyway.
  4. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I completely understand budget constraints, but you'll need to rein in your expectations. Very few people (even with the right connectors & cables) will ever get high-quality results going directly into the mini input on a typical sound card. But since you already own the phantom power supply and condenser mic, let's start there and deal with where you are right now. (We could also have a conversation about whether or not you'd be better served by a decent dynamic mic instead).

    But first things first:

    If you can, please give us more details about the XLR --> ¼" --> ⅛" (3.5mm) cables and adapters.

    Is the male ¼" TRS (3-conductor), or TS (2-conductor)? It would matter.

    Same is true of the ¼" to 3.5mm. It is important to know how many contacts are inside the ¼" female and whether the resulting 3.5mm male is TRS or TS.

    Lastly, what does your sound card want? TS mono, TRS stereo, or TRS balanced mono?

    All 4 of those interconnects matter in terms of TRS or TS.

    If you're not clear on the difference between TRS and TS, the nice folks at Rane have provided a very valuable connector reference page.
  5. rmburrow

    rmburrow Active Member

    Technostein: Dvdhawk has the long term answer. A temporary solution is a microphone input transformer. Dvdhawk is correct that internal, unbalanced input sound cards don't have the quality of a good USB interface. However, an input transformer can get you out of a jam. Sowter (UK) makes some good ones. Typically, the input transformer converts the 200 ohm low impedance mic to a 15 k (or higher) unbalanced high impedance output. This works satisfactory, and the turns ratio gets you a few db of passive gain as well. Look around for a good used one...some new ones are expensive.
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The 1/8" microphone jack inputs on a computer will be either unbalanced TS mono or TRS stereo, never balanced mono.

    If it's TS (unbalanced) mono and you feed it with a balanced mono signal via your phantom power unit, it's likely that the -ve signal is being grounded at the jack input. The effect this would have on the microphone is unknown, but it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that it would cause the sonic problems that you describe.

    If the computer jack input is TRS unbalanced stereo, the result will depend on how the microphone and PP unit are wired. A centre-gounded arrangement will give half-amplitude signals to each of the L and R inputs, but they will be out of phase, and this could be the reason for your thin-sounding vocals. A test for this is to switch to mono inside your DAW and see if the microphone channel all but disappears. A floating output from the PP unit resulting in the + and - microphone signals being connected to the L and R signal inputs with no ground reference will give an undefined result, but it will certainly not be the full normal microphone output.

    I think that you should hold off getting a microphone transformer until you have found out how the microphone jack on the computer is wired. I would back the suggestion of getting a proper audio interface.

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