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#2402442 - 04/09/12 09:32 AM Not enough gain in my preamps
Brilliant Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 684
Loc: Port Arthur, TX, UNITED STATES
I'm just a home hobbyist. I've only got one mic, an SM-57

Recently I've been playing around recording my vocals, however I don't seem to have enough gain on my preamps. In order to get a good signal to my recorder (either an AW4416 or computer DAW) I have to crank the preamp & insert a compressor to boost the gain.

This leads to a lot of his in the recording. I can strip out the silent parts, but the hiss is audible even while I'm singing. I can eq it out, but I'm thinking I shouldn't have to.

I've heard many people rave about the preamps on the AW4416; & I've heard the pres on the mBox Pro 2 ain't bad.

So why am I getting all this hiss?

Yes, I've had this gear for a long time, just never tried to record vocals. Usually mic'ng a guitar amp & I've had plenty of gain for that, even have to use the pad sometimes.

Any ideas?

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#2402490 - 04/09/12 11:56 AM Re: Not enough gain in my preamps [Re: Brilliant]
Griffinator Moderator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
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Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
Quite simply, an SM-57 isn't an ideal mic for recording vocals unless the vocalist is a real screamer and you need the extra headroom a low-output dynamic mic offers versus a condenser mic.

It would be worth your while to invest even the $60-70 in an inexpensive large-diaphragm condenser mic for recording vocals (you'll find it useful on acoustic instruments as well) to go with your 57, which is ideal for micing guitar amps, snares, hi-hats, and other extremely loud sounds.

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#2402492 - 04/09/12 12:00 PM Re: Not enough gain in my preamps [Re: Griffinator]
Brilliant Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 684
Loc: Port Arthur, TX, UNITED STATES
Originally Posted By: Griffinator
... you need the extra headroom a low-output dynamic mic offers versus a condenser mic.



Don't know if I follow.

Isn't the low output of the SM-57 part of the problem?

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#2402566 - 04/09/12 02:36 PM Re: Not enough gain in my preamps [Re: Brilliant]
Griffinator Moderator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
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Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
Originally Posted By: Brilliant
Originally Posted By: Griffinator
... you need the extra headroom a low-output dynamic mic offers versus a condenser mic.



Don't know if I follow.

Isn't the low output of the SM-57 part of the problem?



That's my point.

Unless your vocalist is a screamer, you're using the wrong mic to record vocals.

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#2402696 - 04/10/12 03:19 AM Re: Not enough gain in my preamps [Re: Griffinator]
Brilliant Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 684
Loc: Port Arthur, TX, UNITED STATES
Originally Posted By: Griffinator
Originally Posted By: Brilliant
Originally Posted By: Griffinator
... you need the extra headroom a low-output dynamic mic offers versus a condenser mic.



Don't know if I follow.

Isn't the low output of the SM-57 part of the problem?



That's my point.

Unless your vocalist is a screamer, you're using the wrong mic to record vocals.


Gotcha, I read that wrong.

So condensors provide higher output?

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#2402716 - 04/10/12 05:31 AM Re: Not enough gain in my preamps [Re: Brilliant]
Griffinator Moderator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
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Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
Yes, a condenser mic is more sensitive than a dynamic, and therefore delivers higher output.

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#2402783 - 04/10/12 08:37 AM Re: Not enough gain in my preamps [Re: Griffinator]
Russkull Offline
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Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 648
Loc: So Cal
In case you didn't know, you also usually need phantom power to run condenser mics. Looks like both your AW4416 and Mbox have that option already, so just make sure you use it or the condenser won't work.

Side note: I like Yamaha calling the AW4416 a "Pocket Recorder" on their website. It looks very nice, but it will not fit into any pocket I've ever seen.

_________________________
"Of all the world's bassists, I'm one of them!" - Lug

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#2402894 - 04/10/12 02:18 PM Re: Not enough gain in my preamps [Re: Russkull]
Brilliant Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 684
Loc: Port Arthur, TX, UNITED STATES
Originally Posted By: Russkull


Side note: I like Yamaha calling the AW4416 a "Pocket Recorder" on their website. It looks very nice, but it will not fit into any pocket I've ever seen.



I think they meant "your groove" will sit in the pocket.


Thanks for the input.

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#2403063 - 04/11/12 06:16 AM Re: Not enough gain in my preamps [Re: Brilliant]
Brilliant Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 684
Loc: Port Arthur, TX, UNITED STATES
Just found something out about my SM57..

It's very directional If I'm directly in front of it, with my mouth about an inch or two away, then I can get a good signal from it with just my speaking voice. The signal was coming up to -10 without adding any gain from my compressor.....

So, it's not only that I was using the wrong mic for vocals, I was using it incorrectly.

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#2403071 - 04/11/12 06:33 AM Re: Not enough gain in my preamps [Re: Brilliant]
Griffinator Moderator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
20k Club

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
Originally Posted By: Brilliant
Just found something out about my SM57..

It's very directional If I'm directly in front of it, with my mouth about an inch or two away, then I can get a good signal from it with just my speaking voice. The signal was coming up to -10 without adding any gain from my compressor.....

So, it's not only that I was using the wrong mic for vocals, I was using it incorrectly.



One of the reasons why I use a 57 instead of a 58 on stage for my vocals is because I have a tendency to eat the mic, which typically overdrives most ball mics. The 57 works perfectly for my (lack of) mic technique.

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