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Thread: Time for a new mic?

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmys69 View Post
    ...I must ask why you have issue with the 58. It should not need as much input gain as a SM7b.
    Found this on GS:


    "In addition, all three intended uses of the "combo"jacks are clearly explained in the Scarlett 2i2 Manual.
    The issue of insufficient Scarlett 2i2 mic pre gain using a SM57, SM58 or SM7B comes up at least once a month on this forum, so a search of posts will turn up the same information and advice. It has not changed in years since the 2i2 was released.

    Having stated all of the above, the actual mic input gain of the Scarlett 2i2 using the XLR input is very low for use with a Shure SM57. The SM57 output, for a quite loud sound pressure level of 94 dB SPL, is only -56dBV.

    That means that is someone is speaking into a SM57 at a relatively loud sound level of 94dB SPL, and the mic is connected to a Scarlett 2i2 Mic input set to maximum gain, the digital recording level will not exceed -10dB(FS). Also, the Scarlett 2i2 Mic pres are fairly noisy when operated at full gain.

    They can work acceptable with with a high-output, phantom-powered condenser mic, but really don't have enough gain for a low-output dynamic like a SM57 or SM58, unless you are only recording very loud sounds. A loud drum set or a close-miced guitar amp producing a SPL of 105-110 dB SPL is fine, but many other potential sound sources are simply not loud enough.

    Most people who need to record using s SM57/58 using a Scarlett 2i2 interface wind up adding a Triton FetHead or Cloud Cloudlifter CL-1 pre-pre amp (sometimes also called a "head-amp") ahead of the Scarlett 2i2 Mic input. A FetHead or Cloudlifter CL-1 adds 20dB or more additional gain to the 2i2 Mic input signal path.

    For most recording applications, a SM57 or SM58 really need a mic pre with 60 to 65 dB gain., as well as a very low input noise figure. The Scarlett 2i2 gain is simply not enough for those mics, and it's too noisy. It's a poor match for a SM57/58.

    The oft-repeated solutions for this situation are:

    1. Use your SM57 with the Scarlett 2i2 Mic input, but add a FetHed to boost the gain and reduce the input noise to reasonable levels.

    2. Change to a phantom-powered condenser mic with a sensitivity of at least [email protected] 1PA (like a AT 2020 or similar).

    3. Dump the Scarlett 2i2 and switch to a interface with higher gain internal mic pres (look for at least 60dB gain, but 65 dB gain is better).

    4. Add an external Mic pre ahead of the Scarlett 2i2 and connect its "line-level" output to the 2i2 "line-level" 1/4-inch TRS input using a balanced TRS/TRS cable.
    Again look for an external mic pre with 60 or 65dB of gain."

    Scarlett 2i2 and Shure sm57 gain problems - Gearslutz Pro Audio Community

  2. #42
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    That's all accurate. The other option instead of using a fethead is getting a good preamp (or you can build one from a kit for like $350)and then using the 2i2 simply for A/D conversion, by passing it's preamps. Fethead is a much cheaper solution. I don't like cloudlifters because they need their own cables, and that gets messy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nola View Post
    That's all accurate. The other option instead of using a fethead is getting a good preamp (or you can build one from a kit for like $350)and then using the 2i2 simply for A/D conversion, by passing it's preamps. Fethead is a much cheaper solution. I don't like cloudlifters because they need their own cables, and that gets messy.
    Now, I have a Micro-DI that I use in front of my Gibson Studio - without it, the interface clips at the lowest volume. We've talked about that before though, think I made a thread on it a long time ago. But that Micro-DI can both add and subtract 15db of gain. I'll check that article out again to see how much I'd need, but I wonder if that would work if I all need is pure gain.

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    Those pickups must be so hot to clip at the lowest volume. Makes me wonder: In the Focusrite (i.e. Scarlette Mixcontrol) software do you make sure to have it on 'instrument level' and/or use the pad built into that software? I have the i818, but I'd think they work the same in that regard.

    Edit: NM Just saw this thread: Line/Instrument

    IMO, yes line will give a poor tone. I'd re-track any parts that were recorded that way using instrument level. That software should have a build in pad if it's still too hot.
    Last edited by Nola; 1 Week Ago at 00:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrushkiwt View Post
    Now, I have a Micro-DI that I use in front of my Gibson Studio - without it, the interface clips at the lowest volume. We've talked about that before though, think I made a thread on it a long time ago. But that Micro-DI can both add and subtract 15db of gain. I'll check that article out again to see how much I'd need, but I wonder if that would work if I all need is pure gain.
    15DBs of gain in either direction should be plenty. Some ribbons need a lot more but for that Shure I think that would be enough.
    Sometimes adding an in-line preamp will change the impedance a bit and thus the tone of the mic. This is something to watch out for with them. Personally I went with a better preamp and use my focusrite now as an A/D convertor and emergency/backup if I need 4 inputs or need to transfer from tape. This was a better solution, imo. Though I kept the in-line pre (fethead) for certain situations.

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    Here's some mics to check out

    Quote Originally Posted by andrushkiwt View Post
    If you guys heard my music, then all the better. I have new monitors, which I'm loving, and I think the weak link now is my $99 condenser mic. I believe I've made good use of it, and I usually get comp's on my vocals, but I wonder if a better mic would make it all the better.

    I'm thinking SM7B...? Untreated room, though I use heavy padding in my walk-in closet...lots of blankets/comforters, pillows, and stuffing things into corners and on walls, when I sing in there.

    Thoughts?
    What is your budget for a new mic?
    Let's assume your budget is about $350
    An SM7b is a dynamic mic, but a darn good one at that. It is used extensively for spoken word vocals.
    In the same range and also a great dynamic mic is the Electrovoice RE-50.
    I have never used those mics for singing so I am not a good reference for them.
    Generally speaking, condenser mics are considered better choices for vocals than dynamic mics.

    You might want to consider some of these mics:
    CAD e100s or e300s condenser
    CAD A77R Ribbon microphone
    Audio Technica 4040
    Rode NT1
    AKG C214

    Regards
    Rory McDonald

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrushkiwt View Post
    Now, I have a Micro-DI that I use in front of my Gibson Studio - without it, the interface clips at the lowest volume. We've talked about that before though, think I made a thread on it a long time ago. But that Micro-DI can both add and subtract 15db of gain. I'll check that article out again to see how much I'd need, but I wonder if that would work if I all need is pure gain.
    That micro DI wants to see an unbalanced instrument input.
    If you're suggesting using it with a microphone, I'd go another way.
    A: High output microphone
    B: Low output mic and new preamp
    C: Low output mic and fethead or cloudlifter.
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nola View Post
    In the Focusrite (i.e. Scarlette Mixcontrol) software ...
    We've discussed this before. I don't have the MixControl. It only comes with the next level interface and up. Not the 2i2 alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrushkiwt View Post
    We've discussed this before. I don't have the MixControl. It only comes with the next level interface and up. Not the 2i2 alone.
    Just throwing this out here.... Upgrade interface maybe?

    You obviously have the talent. Make the gear as worthy as you are man.
    PC Win7-64-24G i7-4790k/Cubase 9 Pro 64-bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/ADAM A7x/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne 4 Studio/Other things that don't mean anything if a client shows up not knowing what it wants.

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    A good preamp for a mic will often have a nice DI input as well, so you'll be able to just plug your guitar and bass into that box as well, and get the benefit of dollars spent there for all your inputs. I've used mine for bass (but mic the amp for electric guitar these days).

    I wouldn't want anything less than 65dB gain, in case you look at one of those big diaphragm dynamics, like the SM7b or RE-20 down the road. You don't want to have to peg the preamp either for those lower gain dynamics, either, and 60dB is borderline if you're not a screamer (IMO).

    But, here's the dead horse again - get a preamp, get a cloudlifter, and order a mic or two, etc., etc.. Test, send stuff back. You cannot tell any other way. Or, make friends with someone that has all this stuff .
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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