A few "newbie" questions about mics

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by floydssound, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. floydssound

    floydssound Guest

    Hello, I am new to recording in general. I have been able to figure out most things on my own after throwing hours on the problems, but I have been having some trouble recording vocals. I am using a DPO1 (because of my tight budget). As you may know if you are familiar with this recorder there are no XLR type inputs. So I have been got a cable that could go directly into my DPO1. The mic I am using is a cheap dynamic (its all I have to work with at the moment). I believe the fact I am not using some sort of pre amp is making the volume level ridiculously low. The only way I can get the volume up is by turning the input volume all the way up. When I do that I get alot of hum/buzz/something I believe could be used to torture people (60hz hum?). Could it be that I am not getting enough Phantom Power to the mic? Or none at all (would not using a XRL cable and preamp be the cause of this?).

    My second guess would be that I need a new mic all togeather. Well I know I need to do this eventuly, but I am curious if there is another another solution. While I am talking about mics for recording vocals this brings up another question. Some people say I need to get large diaphragm condenser mic for recording. Others say I need to get a dynamic mic like a sm58. I am stuck having no clue on earth what to get. After all, I just want to capture my songs liseten to them, and see how I can improve musicaly.........


    Post Script: You are free to call me an idiot. It would be true when it comes to recording. Allthough I would value constructive criticism alot more. Thank you.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Dynamic microphones do not need phantom power! Only condenser microphones (and a couple of specialty ribbon microphones) use phantom power.

    It sounds like you are using a 1/4" input for your microphone or perhaps even a 1/8" input?

    Yes, you should get a Shure SM58. One of the greatest all-purpose microphones ever made! Now once you get that microphone, it will have a " balanced" 3 pin "XLR" connector on the back of it. You should then purchase a " matching transformer". This transformer will take the 150 ohm output of the microphone and step it up to 10,000 ohms. (these are average values and can't change depending on transformer manufacturer) Now this " step up" transformer will give you " free gain" in that it will increase the microphones volume by approximately 10 DB! And in the process it will allow you to run microphone cables that are balanced with 3 conductors for hundreds of feet! The transformer adapter must be close to your input, within 10 feet to prevent the hum, buzz that you are currently experiencing with an " unbalanced" input.

    A nice condenser microphone would sound significantly different from a SM58 and would require either phantom power or an internal battery. There are some reasonably priced Russian and Chinese condenser microphones available that may actually cost less than the American-made SM58.

    Happy recording!

    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. floydssound

    floydssound Guest

    Thanks for the help. And yes, I am using a 1/4 input for my mic microphone.
  4. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    What is a DPO1?

    What mic are you using??

    Make sure your mic is plugged into the "mic input", not the "line input".

    Maybe knowing a bit about your stuff would help us???

    Teddy G.
  5. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Welcome to RO and good luck with your DP01. Tascam makes great home recording gear. Many, I dare say most, of the "pros" here started out on Teac/ Tascam stuff in the beginning. You are not stupid, nor were your questions. Ms. Remy was right- you need an SM58 and a "matching transformer" to get going. Don't scrimp and get a "wannabe" 58...buy the real thing. Half a million catalog and online stores sell it for <$100.00. Get that and a decent boom stand, a cable, and that darned transformer and you'll be rockin'. You might also get an Alesis Nanoverb to sweeten the tracks, cause it looks like you didn't get the DP01FX version...
  6. GCPA845

    GCPA845 Guest

    The DP01FX... Doesn't that have XLR inputs as well as 1/4 inch? Maybe selling the standard 01 and stepping up to the FX edition. You can even go to the 01FX/CD which has a a CD burner built in. I like my Multimix 16 USB a little more than the DP01's just b/c I have more control and able to use my home computer to do any type of recording. It was a little more than the DP01 Standard. I got it off of Ebay for 349.00 and since I did BIN, I got free shipping! AWESOME PRODUCT! I got a preamp for it, since I wanted a warmer tone from the mics, but other than that, it is great for a home use mixer.
  7. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Yes, that is another plus for the DP01FX...it does have a pair of XLR inputs. My nephew got 1 for Christmas, and now he's a total maniac!
    Great bang-for-the-buck!
  8. floydssound

    floydssound Guest

    For 200 dallars more for the DP01 thought I would just buy an effect processor later.

    I have been looking around for transformers. I havn't had alot of luck. Does anyone have a link for one? Thanks everyone I appreciate the help.

    Edit: I would allso like a link to a good preamp if you would be so kind.
  9. Newton

    Newton Guest

    As for the transformer, your local Radio Shack or even music store should have one. Something like this is what you're looking for:


    I still have to use one when plugging a low imp. mic into my old Yamaha MD4 recorder.
  10. floydssound

    floydssound Guest

    I was talking to someone who has done some recording who said a SM57 is a better mic for vocals? How does it stack up to th SM58 in your eyes..... ears.
  11. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    If you want to stay within that "less than 100 bucks" thing and want to try the Shure line, buy either the 57 or 58, then later add the one you didn't buy first..! You'll find many uses for both for years to come, no matter what other mics you, eventually, acquire.

    The 58 may be a better "close-talk" "stage" mic, with it's built-in "pop/blast/wind" filter. It may better reject non-intended sounds, by allowing the vocalist to get closer to it(Often physically touching the thing to one's lips!), without alot of "mouth noises". Mostly used on stage for vocalists to keep the guitar amps out of the vocal mics(Though most mics can "reject" to a degree by just turning down their inputs, as one does easily on the 58, and putting them closer to the intended sound source.).

    The 57, I mostly use, as more of a "distance" mic, for micing said guitar amps or accoustic instruments from stand-up bass to drums. Also, the 57 can be a fine vocal mic(I often add a 3 dollar foam "pop filter", though even this isn't always neccessary for a "pro" singer who "knows".). All around I'd say the 57, for me, is the more versatile of the two, certainly more heard in studios than the 58. It has been said that the 58 IS "just a 57 with a filter"? If so, the built-in filter on the 58, can (For me), for a variety of reasons "get in the way"... On the other hand an "add-on" filter, sometimes of value for the 57, can be problematic(And get lost) as well......

    Neither mic, today, is much-used for "serious" (Read expensive!) vocals in studio OR on stage(You won't see Mariah Carey using one often - on purpose. Though if that's what's there, she'll still sound like an angel on either one! Talent and experience(Along with her latest designer outfit!) will out and neither SM will "get in the way"(Of the song or the view), too much..!).

    All told, the SM's were(And still are) well-designed, rugged, inexpensive, absolutely professional microphones. Here in 2006, neither are likely any better than any number of choices you might make - making those choices? Ay, there's the rub......


    A tiny bit more on the SM's:

    I think I'm out on a fairly solid limb by saying that ANY sound reinforcement person of experience(Yeah, that probably means "no kid anymore"... "armed" with ONLY SM57's and 58's, could stage an excellent show, of any magnitude, very quickly, with a minimum of fuss and fine quality. That might not be so with ANY other mics irrespective of their quality! Likely, ONLY a l-o-n-g HISTORY makes this so. When one's life depends on intimate knowledge of such gadgets, the gadgets chosen tend to remain chosen(Object at rest, etc...) - the argument can be made that some remain chosen for alot longer than they should be..? Just don't try to show up with a "new" gadget(Of ANY sort!) and attempt that argument 10 minutes before the show starts!
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