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Where is my mic hiss coming from?

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Funfa, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. Funfa

    Funfa Active Member

    I'm running Reaper on a MacBook Pro (OSX 10.11.6). I have a Behringer C1 plugged into my Q502USB mixer (no cable, no interface). The hiss is too loud to record anything properly. Any ideas on how to get rid of it?
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The C1 requires 48V phantom power. The phantom power on your model of mixer is 15V and not 48V, a fact not specifically given in the advertising literature or the data sheet. Ask for your money back.
    pcrecord and dvdhawk like this.
  3. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    It's not Reaper, or the MacBook. The way Behringer hits the low price-point where they sell their products, is by using the least expensive electronic components available. The knobs look fine, and the housing looks nice, but the semi-conductors inside are all bare-minimum performance parts. Low-noise electronic parts cost more, so they don't use them. The mic signal (which is probably noisy to begin with) is passing through several noisy op-amp chips in the mixer - each adding a little more hiss.

    Until you can afford something better, you might want to record the levels on the cold side, and use Reaper to increase the track level after it's been recorded. Another alternative would be noise reduction plug-ins in Reaper.
  4. Funfa

    Funfa Active Member

    What? Seriously? What would I even need 15V for?
    Thank you anyway!
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Although 48V is widely assumed to be the only phantom power voltage, 15V is one of the lesser phantom power standards, and is used in relatively well-regarded systems such as the Yamaha Stagepas 500. Most electret and some other types of condenser microphones that use PP only for their output buffers and not for plate polarization will run happily on 15V, perhaps with a lowering of their maximum acoustic levels. At least Yamaha states clearly what their products' PP voltages are.
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member


    Further to what Hawk mentioned, most beginner/novice users don't look to the details of the gear they buy - and far fewer would actually know what those particular specs/ details would mean even if they did take the time to read the product's specs ...
    ( I'm not implying that you are one of these users, you may or may not be), generally, they only look at the price, and they figure that "all pres and i/o's are the same". You've found out - in not the easiest way, unfortunately - that this is far from true.

    The other unfortunate facet of this, is that far too few sales people at "Big Box" music vendors are knowledgeable enough to know the details of the products they sell... and many of them wouldn't know what the specs meant even if they did read the product info; so, you have to do your own research.

    You can't trust some 20 year old kid, who's been hired into GC at minimum wage, to know what's best for you, or, to even know much at all about the gear they sell. There are exceptions of course, but generally, the former is true.

    That's a valid question. And Bos's response was the best answer:
    My own response would be that while there are some mics that would run on 15v PP, that these types of 15v PP mics are too few and too far between. You need something that you know is going to be sufficient for all your mics.

    So... I agree with my esteemed colleagues... Get a refund, then look to a better pre/i-o; something with a solid amount of gain ( so you can optimally use lower output dynamics and ribbons as well), and a model with true 48 v PP for your condensers.

    For "budget" level preamp/ i-o models, I suggest models by either Focusrite or Presonus.

    Your recording life is gonna be a lot easier - and sound a lot better - with a higher quality pre/i-o.

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