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Hi. I'm new to recording and had a few basic questions. At least... I imagine they're basic.

1. I have a mic that requires phantom power - does anyone have any suggestions on a simple, good "clean" phantom power unit? Are there some features I should look for aside from just power?

2. I have an MXL 990 and I was wondering what the purpose of the secondary plastic mount was? The primary one has the elastic and is suspended. What application would you use the plastic mount for?

3. I would like to build a home studio http://recording.or… which I mentioned here[/]="http://recording.or… which I mentioned here[/], but my first goal is to be able to record better audio for screencast tutorial videos for clients. As you can see my audio quality is lacking quite a bit...


I think that could be done with the condenser mic, phantom power... and then what else?

Thanks very much for any and all help!
I sincerely appreciate it.


KurtFoster Tue, 10/21/2014 - 10:58

click on [[url=http://[/URL]="…"]this link[/]="…"]this link[/] for phantom power answer.

the extra piece you got with the mic is a mic clip for use if you don't want to go to the trouble of setting up the shock mount but i'm thinking it was included to increase the amount of crap you throw into the landfill in the long run.

yes what you are thinking will go a long way to increasing quality. you are going to need an interface of some kind and a mic preamp. you can get an all in one solution for all your needs. presonus, focusrite and many others manufacture low cost solutions.

pcrecord Tue, 10/21/2014 - 18:06

haus, post: 420348, member: 46299 wrote: I think that could be done with the condenser mic, phantom power... and then what else?

Well, if I listen to your video, I hear a lot of the room. A condenser mic won't help and may even get the room noise/reverb worst.
Some accoustic threatment to reduce the reflections, a vocal booth or a hypercardioid dynamic mic would be the choices to go to.
Something like this could be of help :

But, it's nothing like a tune room.

+1 on getting a quality audio interface.. ;)

haus Wed, 10/22/2014 - 08:46

Hey thanks guys!
I do currently have the smallest PreSonus USB interface ( so I have a condenser mic set up - I guess I was just wondering if there was a better option to power the mic. The room noise is also a definite problem - I was considering hanging blankets everywhere to dampen that. I do these vids while sitting right in front of a computer, so with the condenser mic I seem to get less drop off if I move my head while talking. You think there is another mic option that would work better that's not extremely directional?

Ok, so next question: what is a mic preamp? Aside from the mic, and then the power for the mic - where would you recommend I start to begin learning how to "color" these vocal tracks and make them richer?

Thank you guys again, much appreciated.

Boswell Wed, 10/22/2014 - 09:39

That Presonus interface is perfectly adequate for what you are trying to do - your problems stem from the type of microphone used and the acoustic environment you are recording in. Audio interfaces of that type include one or more microphone pre-amps, so you don't need to worry about sourcing a different one, at least, not at this stage.

A dynamic microphone would be more forgiving of your environment than a condenser microphone. Do you have the option of borrowing or even renting a Shure SM58 or (better) an EV RE20 or a Heil PR40 to show what sort of improvement you could get just by changing the microphone?

pcrecord Wed, 10/22/2014 - 11:12

Aside from threating the room, the directionnality of a mic is the only thing that can help room spills. So when you ask it not to be too directional, you in fact inforce the problem you have.
So blankets is a thing to try. Just know that any material affect reflection of certain frequencies, not all of them. You may end up with a room were every recording sound nasal or having other defects or being perfect. You need to try the blankets and hear by your self.. If it's not helping. Room threatment or a directionnal (dynamic) are the only ways.. ;)

MarkF48 Wed, 10/22/2014 - 16:29

How close are you to the mic? Wondering if you can get in a bit closer (8"-10") with the mic directly in front of you or perhaps just slightly to the side if it blocks your view of the monitor (don't forget a pop filter between you and the mic). By being closer you might be able to turn down the gain of the interface which may also help in reducing the amount of room sound picked up. One consequence of being closer is your voice may sound more "bassy" due to what is called "proximity effect", which may or may not be what you want. Play with the mouth to mic distance a bit and see what sounds best.

Josh Conley Thu, 10/23/2014 - 12:22

i wouldnt hang blankets as a solution, they arent going to help you.
Do you have the budget to put up bass traps or any other broadband treatments? I would start there, always there.

If the budget does not permit, you're going to see a nice jump in quality just by getting the nicer preamp and perhaps one of these

However, make trapping a priority. Bass traps, as many as possible.

Space Fri, 10/31/2014 - 17:14

"Hi. I'm new to recording and had a few basic questions. At least... I imagine they're basic."

You are at the best place to start and finish Haus. But before I tell you why let me address a few things.

First, welcome to the Internet and all the information that it has to offer...some correct some not so much.

Pcrecord said "So blankets is a thing to try. Just know that any material affect reflection of certain frequencies, not all of them."

This is good information, not for the reasons given, but because you want to address flutter echo. Flutter echo is the product of parallel hard boundaries like a typical room will have.

I would submit that when you get your gear together do not treat the room, whatever shape it is in, and here is why. When you record the room will make an acoustical "stamp" on the recording. I think you need to hear that. When you hear your mixes and start questioning why it sounds like a bedroom then you will be at a better position to advance and make attempts to remove the room from your recordings.

Josh Conley, post: 420386, member: 47953 wrote: i wouldnt hang blankets as a solution, they arent going to help you.
Do you have the budget to put up bass traps or any other broadband treatments? I would start there, always there.

However, make trapping a priority. Bass traps, as many as possible.

The above quote is from someone who reads to many advertisements....and has no idea what it is that needs to be done to correct a room that we have never discussed before :) And is an attempt, in my opinion, to make his self look smarter while derailing the topic, since room issues are not a concern as of yet.

Hanging a soft cloth, as Pcrecord suggested, is comparable to a gobo and that practice has been in use since the days of the Beatles. It attenuates flutter echo and that exists in any room so it must be addressed.

Bass trapping is a phrase coined by Tom Hidley a world renowned acoustic space designer that much of what we do today in respect to control rooms is designed after his work. That said, his bass trapping had to do with low frequency, At or below 20Hz, and not the broadband type pseudo bass trapping that is often referred to in today's acoustic home climate by well meaning but ill educated persons.

The only reason anyone would say or repeat the phrase "Bass traps, as many as possible" is due to one of two things.

1. The speaker has something to gain...meaning they sale acoustic treatments.
2. The speaker has no idea what it is they are talking about.

Did we talk about your room? No we did not.
Did you ask about your room? No you did not.

So welcome to the world of myths and true education. Your goal, if you should decide to accept it, is to learn the difference between the two before it is too late.

That will take effort on your part my friend.

Good luck with getting your gear in place, and I look forward to seeing you in the acoustic construction forum.

pcrecord Fri, 10/31/2014 - 19:41

Space thanks for quoting me and correcting me when I'm wrong.
In fact, I should have taken the time to explain further the reasons I said what I said.
Let me re-phrase and correct me if I'm still unclear or mistaken :
I listened to the video and heard many problems, one being the room reverb and flutter echo (as Space well said) and also some frequency shift that may come from the room (or I'm wrong and it's the mic, placement, preamp, converter, etc... ) ;)
I said to try the blankets and see if it works because I feel it won't be enough for it to be optimal. I think that any time you put something new in a room, you can fix some of the problems but you can also create new problems. If I buy 24 24x24x2 inch foam and put them in a small room. I might reduce the reverb and flutter echo but I'm damping some frequencies in the room (around 800hz to 2k depending on the density of the foam)
So by fixing one problem I create another.

I don't have any scientific knowledge in acoustics. All I've done is by trial and errors and by following some good suggestions here.

Thanks space for staying at the forum and cope with some of us trying to grasp room acoustics :)

anonymous Sat, 11/01/2014 - 02:40

Addressing the gear side of things - you'll want to get into a good preamp audio/I/O... as Kurt mentioned, PreSonus, Focusrite and some others offer decent quality options. Microphones also matter.

Pre's and I/O's will run in both price and quality... anywhere from $50 to $5000...and up. The differences between the lower entry level audio I/O's and the professional grade gear is the build and the components. Pro gear uses great converters and pre amps. There are some that are Class A, Class B, Tube and Solid State. Cheaper preamps - I/O's use cheaper components, all of which will effect the sound to one degree or another.

If you are wanting to do this as a hobby, then there are several decent models to choose from. If you are wanting to go pro, then be prepared to pay for it. Although, to be honest - and at risk of sounding abrasive - your post reads as someone who is not a pro, but on the entry level end of things, and you have a long way to go in terms of knowledge and experience, before you should be investing large amounts of cash on gear and hanging out a shingle that says " audio recording services, open for business".


Chris Perra Sun, 11/02/2014 - 06:00

Mic sounds fine... All you need to remember is that any sound a mic picks up is a combination of the source, IE: your voice and the environment. Also the closer you get to the mic the more bottom end you will get due to proximity effect. It sounds like the mic is at least a foot away from you so it's picking up alot of the room. Try setting it up closer, you'll get a less mid rangey tone and a clearer sound. You might not even have to do blankets that way. Treating your room with blankets would give you more distance form the mic options though.

paulears Sun, 11/02/2014 - 06:58

Did we get an answer to the distance from mic question? As to soft stuff on the room, sound on sound magazines roving studio acoustics team are very keen on hanging duvets to identify problems and they do seem to really help troublesome rooms which once controlled can then have appropriate permanent and pretty solutions fitted. I don't wish to disagree to be awkward but rooms with lots of bass trapping are quite difficult to work in as it's difficult to get any impact from bass or luck drum and even male voices sound more lightweight than they are. Great for boomy rooms but too much is horrible.


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