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Phantom power and condenser mics


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I've long enjoyed and gained from lurking on this forum. I now have a problem irksome enough that I've crawled out from my hiding place and I'm hoping that someone here can help me. Last March I got a Sound Chaser 800 MHz PIII with 512 Mb RAM, 2 ATA 100 hard drives (20 Gb system and 100 Gb audio), M Audio/Midiman Delta 66 sound card and Omni I/O box (integrated mic pres and A/D conversion). I run Cubase 5.0r3, WaveLab 3, and some other stuff in Win 98SE. The mic I use most frequently is a Rode NT1. Everything worked fine (with the requisite tweaking and monkeying about) until the Omni I/O box seemed to fry. No more XLR input on either input channel and no line level input on one (the other still allows me to record guitar, bass, etc.). The input level LED doesn't even flicker. Midiman/M Audio interrogated me for a while and then sent me a replacement Omni I/O box which worked fine for a day with the currently installed Delta sound card etc. Then it began exhibiting the same symtoms. I've sent it back to Midiman for an autopsy and continue to be unable to record anything requiring an XLR connector (i.e., anything miked) which severely hampers my recording activities. Everyone (Midiman, Sound Chaser, me) is mystified. It just occurred to me that in both cases the problems began while I was frequently plugging and unplugging mic cables (with the NT1 plugged in at the other end) on the Omni with phantom power on. While I don't recall ever hearing a warning against [un]plugging a condenser mic with phantom power turned on, could it be that I fried the mic pres by doing that? Thanks for any info you may be able to provide. -Steve
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