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Using Phantom Power through a Yamaha Q2031 analog EQ

Hello, I need help figuring out if I can do something or not without breaking anything. I got my nephew an M-Audio AIR 192|4 audio interface that came with a condenser mic that requires phantom power to work. He uses to produce some decent stuff, and I'm getting him a Yamaha Q2031 31 band analog EQ to use with it this year. I know he can use it for the 1/4" guitar input no problem but I'm worried that using the XLR connection for the mic with the phantom power input enabled will hurt the equalizer, audio interface or mic. I was hoping somebody knew if that would work or not and also if the mic will still work with the required phantom power through the Yamaha Q2031 EQ. Thanks.

Comments

Profile picture for user bouldersound

bouldersound Sat, 11/28/2020 - 10:51

The eq will block the phantom power from the mic. I'm not sure if the phantom will hurt the eq, but I'd not risk it. And eqs are made for line level signal, not mic level signal. It's really not the right tool for the job. As stated, the software will have plenty of more appropriate tools for shaping the recorded sound.

Profile picture for user Boswell

Boswell Sat, 11/28/2020 - 11:06

Warning! You will seriously damage the Yamaha EQ box if you connect its output to the XLR microphone input of the interface with phantom power switched on.

Additionally, external EQs of that type (1/3 octave) are used in live sound reinforcement, as Kurt indicated, and are not suited for connecting at microphone level for home recording. In electrical terms, you could safely connect an external in-line phantom power supply supply (they are quite cheap) between the microphone and the EQ box, and you would get output from the microphone without causing any damage. However, if the output was put through the Yamaha EQ unit, you would find it noisy, as it's meant for line-level signals. In addition, the way those 1/3 octave units work is by screwing around with the phase of the signals, which can cause unpleasant effects when used on single channels, especially vocals. It's simply not the right piece of gear for this purpose.

The recommended way of dealing with EQ on microphone signals is to use only the high-pass filter on the mixer or interface during recording, then apply parametric EQ (not 1/3-octave) when mixing the vocal track with other instrument tracks. If you are (he is) using a DAW to mix, the EQ functions there are usually adequate for straightforward use. Otherwise, use the interface to send the recorded track out through a proper parametric EQ box before returning via the interface to the DAW.

An exception to that method is to use a quality "channel strip" while recording. These are combined pre-amps with parametric EQ and sometimes a compressor, and produce a line-level output. Nice-sounding channel strips are not particularly cheap. Come back to us if you need more help or information about this method.

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bouldersound Sat, 11/28/2020 - 12:15

molton, post: 466129, member: 52131 wrote: cool, thanks a lot, I personally find it awesome for messing with guitar tone control, I'll just tell him to never use it with the mic.

If it's after a preamp of some sort it's probably okay, but a guitar plugged directly into it has a pretty low signal that will probably be vulnerable to excess added noise. I had one of those and it's an "okay" eq, but really nothing special. I agree with Boswell, a parametric would be more useful. Perhaps this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Alesis-Micro-EQ-Parametric/174532948086

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molton Sat, 11/28/2020 - 13:08

the noise actually sounded pretty low from my tests and it was a lot of fun to use, you can pretty much make a flangery effect with it by boosting certain frequencies, which i feel like generally sound better adjusted lower than other frequencies. I use this eq all the time in between my dac and my amplifier and I really love the sound for a lot of music, it's a really cool piece of hardware imo. If it sucks I'll look into that parametric style, thanks.

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molton Sun, 11/29/2020 - 05:59

thanks for all the helpful info. When I got into recording I was all about the best way to record and everything, probably because I have no talent, my nephew on the other hand has talent, just not much interest in messing with the way his sound is recorded as much. It seems to me like he likes the physical knobs and hardware a lot more than the software stuff that he usually doesn't bother with, I'm hoping this EQ will kind of work like an intro to all this for him, it took him a little while to switch from his laptop soundcard to the m-audio interface I got for him.

Profile picture for user paulears

paulears Tue, 12/01/2020 - 00:12

I’ve got lots of my old pa EQs in a pile, no use for them there nowadays in PA let alone recording. All my eq has been inside the machines for years. They’re wonderful devices but just a bit pointless because software ones have memories, and few hardware ones had recallable systems well designed. Recalling them always needed multiple button presses, so changing during a song for effect was damn awkward.

pcrecord Tue, 12/01/2020 - 07:18

paulears, post: 466150, member: 47782 wrote: All my eq has been inside the machines for years.

A mic + an audio interface + an 31band EQ.. this is some weird idea.. I would choose another gift as this would only give him headaches.

The M-Audio AIR 192 only has 2 ins / 2 outs.. if it was 4 I could say go out of 2 outputs to the EQ and back and use it that way.. but this ain't a good idea as most EQ included in softwares are cleaner than this 2031...
The only way I can see him use it is live on a big venue if he does DJ work.. then you send the outputs of the M-Audio AIR 192 to the EQ then to the PA..

Profile picture for user paulears

paulears Wed, 12/02/2020 - 00:22

Thinking back, nobody ever seemed to put the very standard and very common insert points on interfaces because that’s just not something people wanted to do? Probably if the recording fraternity had asked for it, they would have done, as design wise, the interface would not even cost very much.

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Boswell Wed, 12/02/2020 - 01:32

paulears, post: 466160, member: 47782 wrote: Thinking back, nobody ever seemed to put the very standard and very common insert points on interfaces because that’s just not something people wanted to do? Probably if the recording fraternity had asked for it, they would have done, as design wise, the interface would not even cost very much.

It's a sore point, Paul. One of the audio interfaces I designed under contract had insert points on the original specification, and they had to be the standard unbalanced -2dBu TRS jacks. Having that condition in the spec constrained the whole design, both in terms of ensuring the insert point in the circuit was at that signal level and that the signal flow had to be single-ended (unbalanced) at that stage. Guess what - the mechanical designers at a late stage decided they couldn't fit the extra row of jacks in the chassis, so the inserts were dropped from the spec. The electronics would have been simpler, better performing and cheaper to manufacture if that decision had been made at the start.

Even in outstanding designs like the Audient ASP880 there is evidence of a clash of constraints when it comes to inserts. The ASP880 has balanced inserts on standard 25-pin D-connectors with a push button on each channel to determine whether the ADC feed for that channel is taken from its pre-amp output or its insert return. But...the analogue outputs have a full-scale level specification of +27.5dBu if simply running as analogue pre-amps, reducing to +18dBu if you are sending that channel to its ADC, since the lower FS level is the spec for the insert returns.

There are always compromises to be made, even in the best designs. Thankfully, in the Audient unit, the signal quality was not compromised; the user just has to bear in mind the two different 0dBFS levels when patching it up in a particular application.

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molton Fri, 12/04/2020 - 11:44

pcrecord, post: 466156, member: 46460 wrote: A mic + an audio interface + an 31band EQ.. this is some weird idea.. I would choose another gift as this would only give him headaches.

The M-Audio AIR 192 only has 2 ins / 2 outs.. if it was 4 I could say go out of 2 outputs to the EQ and back and use it that way.. but this ain't a good idea as most EQ included in softwares are cleaner than this 2031...
The only way I can see him use it is live on a big venue if he does DJ work.. then you send the outputs of the M-Audio AIR 192 to the EQ then to the PA..

The mic usage is was just a thought, just wanted to see if it would blow something up, which it sounds like it would. The EQ has a -20db and +4db setting on the input and the output, it's really nice to use with a guitar, and it's surely a different sound than all the software based EQs out there. I'm going to suggest he uses it for his guitar mostly and it has 2 channels so he can save 1 preset at least. I think he'll like like it, it sounds pretty great imo

currently he just records stuff and sends it to somebody to master it for $100, he really doesn't like messing with software much, I think this might be a good starter for him to just do anything with his sound at all

pcrecord Fri, 12/04/2020 - 12:30

molton, post: 466190, member: 52131 wrote: he really doesn't like messing with software much, I think this might be a good starter for him to just do anything with his sound at all

I get you. Nonetheless, if he ain't going to do live work. I feel this 31band EQ is a waist of money and space. (looks impressive with all the buttons, but pointless in 2020 studios and even becoming pointless live with all the digital mixers around)
There is so many things you could choose to help him learn about audio.
A mic, or a second mic to learn about placement and phase.
An external preamp, (some below 100$) to learn how to gainstage going from a preamp to other units.
A compressor or a limiter to learn about dynamics.
Mic stands, pop filter, good cables, a DI ...
Hope he's going to be happy anyway !! ;)

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Davedog Fri, 12/04/2020 - 16:07

The question of whether it's a quality move to have a graphic eq in the rack is a personal one in my opinion. I have a couple of outboard EQ's that I keep in a portable rack in case I find something that needs a lot of help going in. One is an Ashly 3102 in mint condition. I gotta say there is a marked difference in what the hardware version does to a signal as opposed to a software version of a 31 band.

But then I'm really OLD school with this kind of gear and learned long ago how to use them. AND more importantly which features it should have and how it's controls are implemented that make it a quality unit.

I have a pair of mono White Eq's for years to EQ the mains. When I dissolved the PA I used them in the studio for a while. They never gave me cause not to use them I just got lazy.

Now I will trot the Ashly out for troublesome acoustic guitars. One place it's VERY effective is capturing the electronics of an acoustic guitar. That tone often needs help. Not mine in the pic...Mines way cleaner.

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paulears Sat, 12/05/2020 - 01:06

I’ve always found them good for problems solving, it for tone, the best sounding curves are gentle ones, and the two knobs on older guitar amps had pretty decently selected centre points. To use as an effect is cool, but it’s a big box for an effects, and not too handy live, with no remote in/out. Mine are all quite noisy needing careful matching, and perform pretty poorly when fed lower level inputs that real line.

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