Basic use of mic functions question.

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by ThirdBird, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Dec 4, 2007
    Toms River, NJ
    I just bought my first mic, a AT2035 ldc. It has a bass rolloff and -10pad.

    When and where would I use those separate functions?

  2. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Bass rolloff is for vocals where the person's voice is coming over too muddy. It just chops off some of the bass before it hits any of your equipment. -10dB pad is for loud sound sources so it doesn't send a signal that is too hot.
  3. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    Guitarfreak is close.

    The bass roll-off acts like an EQ that "rolls off" the lower frequencies picked up by the mic. It can vary from 80Hz to 200Hz. Check the mic's specs to see exactly what frequencies it attenuates ("rolls off"), and how drastically it does so (db per octave).

    The -10db pad (sometimes pads are more, like -20), is a gain reduction in case the signal going into your preamp is too hot (clips the preamp). It's especially useful on loud vocals, amps, or percussion - it gives you a little extra dynamic range to work with at the next stage.

    In some cases, if my preamp has an additional pad, I'll engage that as well, to make sure I don't clip the ADCs in the interface.

    In general, use the bass roll-off on any source that doesn't require bass frequencies.
    Use the pad for gain staging to make sure the next piece of equipment has enough headroom to do its job.

    Hope that helps.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    soapfloats is still a little wet behind the ears & a little too foamy.

    The pad found on condenser microphones actually attenuates the output of the capsule/diaphragm before it has the chance to overload be internal electronics of the condenser microphones. It does not attenuates the microphones output.

    Because condenser microphones are active devices, they can output much higher levels than passive dynamic & ribbon microphones. In this situation, you might find that the microphone preamp may in fact be overloaded by the active microphones output. There are generally two kinds of microphone preamp's. Those that have fully adjustable gain with a resistive input pad. And those that have a fixed microphone preamp gain, with no pad and an adjustable secondary buffer amplifier. With a condenser microphones & a loud sound source, with the fully adjustable preamp & pad, engage the pad. Obviously, not necessary on a mixer/preamp with no pad. Those you simply adjust the level trim. High output dynamic microphones on drums frequently will require the preamp input pad or if one is available. Mackie for example, utilizes a fixed gain microphone preamp of 20 DB. So it can't be overloaded nor distorted. So, it's virtually goof proof. Quite smart considering the people he designed it for. Old-school engineers know how to deal with old-school microphone preamps. The use of the pad, in conjunction with the preamps capability of enormous amplification capabilities changes the character of the sound of the preamps. The Mackie way makes for much greater consistency. So goof proof for less experienced types.

    Don't pick up the soap unless you're watching your backside.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  5. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Dec 4, 2007
    Toms River, NJ
    Thanks guys, I appreciate it!

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