Do I need a preamp with phantom powered condensors?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by dcdude, Aug 8, 2009.

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  1. dcdude

    dcdude Guest

    Just a little confused as to what the phantom power actually does if I still need a preamp.

    i'm using the cheapo mxl990/991 set of condensors, with a seperate phantom power supply, plugged in to a line 6 pod xt via xlr -> 1/4" adapter

    the pod is plugged in to my macbook via usb

    probably not the best solution, but im on a budget. would plugging straight in to my computers 1/8" adapter be better?

    shouldn't the pod act as the preamp?
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    Phantom power only provides a means for the mic circuits to work.

    You still need a preamp, however a phantom power supply is generally included in a preamp.

    Two general things:
    - connect the mic, THEN turn the phantom on, THEN turn your outputs up
    - turn the outputs down, THEN turn phantom off, THEN disconnect the mic

    This stops massive pops through the speakers that will wreck them.

    Any condenser won't work when plugged directly into the 1/8" jack.
  3. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    Generally Speaking:

    Phantom power provides the voltage necessary to charge the plates inside a condenser mic. The vibrations of the soundwaves cause the charged plates to vibrate and create the signal that your mixer will amplify.

    You're asking a lot of the Pod.

    I don't think the 1/8" plug would be any better.

    If you're considering buying a preamp, I think it would be a better use of your budget to get a bonafide USB or Firewire recording interface first. And honestly, you're probably going to get as good (or better) results from a Shure SM58 or SM57 which don't require phantom power.

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