View Full Version : Anyone using Condenser microphones? Advice

07-01-2010, 12:48 AM
Hey all, I've always used dynamic mics, but thought I'd try a condensor to see it will improve sound.

Got an extremely good deal on an Audio-Technica AT2035 which are supposed to be very good CM's (its a large diaphragm model).

I've tried it out and these things are insanely hot litrally any slight noises in the house are picked up, finger/plectrum noises. Just wondering if anyone had any advice on setting up CM's, technical set up or otherwise to kill all these noises, I've seen recordings using CM's and have noticed people get a really clean sound with no little noises in the background.

Also as these are phantom powered is it still recommended to get a mic pre-amp (bearing in mind its going through a toneport UX2 already)? and advantages of doing so.

Your advice is much appreciated. Cheers

07-01-2010, 05:18 AM
Dynamics aren't better or worse than dynamic mics - just different. Which mic you use will depend on the environment and what you are trying to accomplish.

Treating a room with sound proofing will help control ambient sound with a dynamic mic. Things like a pop filter in front of the mic, foam on the walls, making sure the mic isn't under an air vent, baffles behind the mic to reduce computer noise, etc.

Isn't the Toneport UX2 essentially a mic pre-amp with +48v phantom power?

07-01-2010, 05:33 AM
Ideal thanks,

I get confused about the whole mic pre-amp thing. Yep the UX2 has a 48V phantom power but I'm a bit confused whether that makes it a pre-amp or if a pre-amp would still be advised.

07-01-2010, 06:05 AM
I believe the settings you use in GearBox software are your preamp. The advice about keeping things quiet is good. Also consider playing with the noise gate effect built into GearBox; used properly a noise gate can filter out those quieter noises while still capturing the nuances of your acoustic instruments.

07-01-2010, 06:20 AM
...I get confused about the whole mic pre-amp thing. Yep the UX2 has a 48V phantom power but I'm a bit confused whether that makes it a pre-amp or if a pre-amp would still be advised.

You may need to check the specs that came with the product. It should list the gain in dB from XLR input to USB output.

According to Line6's website, one of the key features of the TonePort UX2 is that it has 2 XLR inputs with mic pre-amps and +48v power.

If UX2 didn't have mic pre-amps you wouldn't get sound from the condenser mic when plugged into your computer. Even with phantom power the mic doesn't have the volume to produce sound without amplification. The phantom power just activates the circuitry in the mic's capsule to make it sensitive to quiet sounds.

Mics use air pressure against a diaphragm to generate an electric pulse that is heard as sound.

A condenser mic has a powered mic capsule so the air pressure doesn't not have to be as great to generate that electric pulse. This is why it is so sensitive.

A dynamic mic is not powered. It relies strictly upon air pressure to create/generate the pulse in the mic. Because the mic capsule is not powered it requires a higher amount of pressure for a dynamic mic to create a sound signal. This is one reason they work well in loud environments - background noise in the distance usually has too little pressure to register. Dynamic mics can usually handle louder environments (greater sound pressure) than condenser mics.

Regardless of the mic used, once that sound signal is created it is at a very low volume - it is a weak signal. The volume/signal needs to be boosted to a "line level" volume so recording devices can hear it. This is what the mic pre-amp does.

07-01-2010, 08:20 AM
Ideal cheers guys, thats very good info.

07-01-2010, 10:43 AM
I have experience with only a few mics, but it seems to me the large condenser mics are good for vocal and wind instruments, whereas small condensers are better for guitar and uke. I think the large diaphragm gives a fuller, but slower response, and the small diaphragm a quicker response with slightly less information.

I had some trouble with strumming sounding too noisy, like rattling, with the large condensers. With both kinds it is possible to get too close and overwhelm the diaphragm. They sure sound great though.