Very soft recording

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by purplefish, Aug 4, 2005.

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  1. purplefish

    purplefish Guest

    Sorry I am just a beginner in home recording.

    I am using a SM57 connected to my cheapo mAudio sound card. Whenever I tried to record anything on my acoustic guitar, the result is extremely soft recording. I can only hear it by increasing the volume by 400%, which produced a lot of hissing.

    Is it the position of my mic? I've tried almost all placement, and the recording is still very soft even when my mic is like 1cm away from the soundhole or the 12th fret.

    Vocal sounds loud and clear with it.

    Does it matter if I connect the mic to the sound card's "mic" input or "line in" input?

    Any input would be very very helpful. Thank you very much.
  2. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    You need a preamp. The output of a mic is very weak and needs gain before it hits the recorder (the soundcard's analog to digital conterter, in this case). Get a preamp, then plug the mic into the preamp, connect the preamp to the line in of your soundcard, and turn up the gain on the preamp until your recordings are loud enough.

    A decent cheap pre for you would be the M-Audio Audiobuddy. It's two channels (for two mics) for about $80, and it has inputs for electric guitars and basses well. There are even cheaper one channel pres available like the ART TubeMP for $50.

    Also, try micing about a foot away from the point where the neck meets the body for a good general sound. Also, experiment with placement.. it's fun! :)
  3. purplefish

    purplefish Guest

    Thanks a lot for the really fast reply!

    Will I be needing anything else other than a preamp?
  4. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Well, there's always other things, but it sonds like with a preamp you will have enough to start with.

    What soundcard do you have?
  5. purplefish

    purplefish Guest

    Also, I have a DIY PIMETA and a PPA for my er4, I think the op-amp used is OPA627. Does a mic pre-amp differs significantly from these headphone amplifiers?

  6. purplefish

    purplefish Guest

    I am using a maudio revolution 7.1. So far is not bad for playable, just starting using it for recording...
  7. Fozzy

    Fozzy Guest

    The basic function is similar in that both produce gain and other desirables such as low distortion are also similar, but the other requirements are different and may require different design compromises.

    A headphone amp is a kind of power amp albeit a not particularly powerful one. The signal level is relatively high and headphones typically have low impedances so the primary design constraint on this kind of amp is to deliver enough current to drive the headphones.

    A mic pre-amp is working a much lower signal levels so low self noise is a major consideration. To achieve this usually requires careful design and quality components. Mic pre-amps also frequently perform balanced to unbalanced conversion and may be required to provide phantom power (for true condenser mics).

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