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Viewing topic "Boosting Mike input newbie question"

     
Posted on: September 27, 2017 @ 01:41 AM
Pablos544
Total Posts:  10
Joined  06-15-2014
status: Newcomer

Hi,

I’m trying to get input into the Motif XF’s Audio IN ports.

Atm I’m finding the sound is too quiet to even register if I plug it in directly.

I’m using a non-amplify Cardio Mike

Could someone recommend me a cheap/convenient way to make the signal boost?

Cheers,
Pablo.

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Posted on: September 27, 2017 @ 03:55 AM
5pinDIN
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Total Posts:  9584
Joined  09-16-2010
status: Guru

A cardioid microphone has a particular polar response pattern…
https://ehomerecordingstudio.com/microphone-polar-patterns/
...but that doesn’t tell us the type of mic you’re using.

A dynamic mic can be directly connected to the XF, via a TS (Tip, Sleeve) plug. A condenser mic can’t be used directly with the XF, since it requires a phantom power source. Any mic having a TRS (Tip, Ring, Sleeve) plug will not work with the XF.

Is the mic you’re trying to use a dynamic type, or a condenser type? What’s the model? (If it’s a condenser, we can provide additional information.)

If it’s a dynamic with TS plug, perhaps you’re not setting up the XF correctly. The Utility mode “mic/line” setting has to be “mic”, and the rear panel GAIN control (next to the A/D Inputs) has to be turned up.

See http://www.motifator.com/index.php/support/view/setting_up_a_microphone_motif_xf

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Posted on: September 27, 2017 @ 08:01 AM
Pablos544
Total Posts:  10
Joined  06-15-2014
status: Newcomer

Hi, it sounds like I’m pretty confused as to the type of MIC I’m using :(

Ok basically it’s the model featured in the following video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSVSUxcfKac

it’s as I bought it Incorporated with the Scarlett Focusrite 2i2 Home Studio Solution.  It’s called CM25.

I think it’s a condenser Mike.
Definitely NOT a Dynamic Mike - so that might be my problem

I’m really not clear on what the difference between them is but sounds like my basic confusion seems in that I’m not understanding clearly what is the difference between a passive mike and an active one. 

I was told at the Yamaha Music London shop that Condenser is more common so that’s why I bought it.

Either way the guide you mention sounds very good :)

Thanks for your help my friend!! -Pablo.

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Posted on: September 27, 2017 @ 09:26 AM
zpink
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Joined  08-02-2014
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Hi there

One major difference is that a condenser mic needs phantom power and won’t work without it. The audio interface that your mic normally comes bundled with will probably be able to provide that. The MoXF will not.

If you intend to do any recordings directly through your audio interface, it may well be worth to hold on to the mic though since condenser mics DO have their advantages making the need for phantom power worth it. :-)

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Posted on: September 27, 2017 @ 09:30 AM
5pinDIN
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Total Posts:  9584
Joined  09-16-2010
status: Guru
Pablos544 - 27 September 2017 08:01 AM

Hi, it sounds like I’m pretty confused as to the type of MIC I’m using :(

This might help: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microphone

 

Pablos544 -

Ok basically it’s the model featured in the following video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSVSUxcfKac

it’s as I bought it Incorporated with the Scarlett Focusrite 2i2 Home Studio Solution.  It’s called CM25.

I think it’s a condenser Mike.
Definitely NOT a Dynamic Mike - so that might be my problem

Yes, the CM25 is a condenser mic, and it requires 48 volt phantom power to operate. The XF A/D Inputs don’t provide phantom power.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is an audio interface, and can provide 48 volt phantom power for a condenser mic. The 2i2 is usually meant to be used with a DAW, and connected via USB to the computer.

If you want to use the CM25 with the XF A/D Inputs, it can be done. The mic should be connected to the 2i2, and the 48 volts turned on. The 2i2 Line Outputs would then be connected to the XF A/D Inputs using cables with 1/4” TS plugs at both ends. The XF’s Utility mode “line/mic” parameter should be set to “line”.

Be sure to read the manual for the 2i2.

  

Pablos544 -

Thanks for your help my friend!! -Pablo.

You’re welcome. Good luck.

By the way, which model do you have? (I checked your member profile, but you didn’t indicate.) You posted in the MOXF forum, but you referred to the Motif XF - they are different models. For this topic, that shouldn’t matter - however, for some questions it will. If you have a Motif XF, in the future please post here:
http://www.motifator.com/index.php/forum/index.php/viewforum/161/

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Posted on: September 28, 2017 @ 05:07 AM
Pablos544
Total Posts:  10
Joined  06-15-2014
status: Newcomer

First of all let me say a big thank you to all the people who have replied.  It’s people like you who keep the love <3

Now I gonna reply to specific people:

first up, zpink

what you're saying about 48 volts of Phantom power is spot on.  I learned this going through Wikepedia.  I think it's easy to explain as the difference between a light bulb and a flourescent tube.  The light bulb just plugs straight in the maind whereas the tube requires two entirely separate components to work.  The starter motor and the light element.  Both need to be powered separately.

This loosely maps on to why you need 48 volts of phantom power for the Condenser mike.

The analogy even works I think for the environments in which you might want to use the Condenser mikes in.  The flo gives a load of choice of colours, powers, sizes etc.. whereas the domestic light/dynamic has a limited choice.

Over to 5pinDIN:

You're right I somehow managed to post on the MOXF forum.  I updated my Profile a bit now.  It's got the stuff that I'm actually using.  Luckily on this occassion it didn't really matter :P

That link you gave me on
http://www.motifator.com/index.php/support/view/setting_up_a_microphone_motif_xf

was really good.  I spent ages looking at that.  Only problem is the time it takes a lot of menu navigation setting it all up.  I’m very impressed that the Motif XF has so many INSERT EFFECTS.  Should definitely help later on down the line!

The Scarlett Focusrite 2i2
I did actually have a go at using the Scartlett 2i2’s abilities to phantom power the mike prior to plugging in to the Motif.

This is a little song I recorded.
https://youtu.be/SgrKh_ShIeg

It’s not intended to be serious.  What you can see is there is something of an electromagnetic noise in the background.  it’s coming because I plugged the Scarlett 2i2 into the USB TO DEVICE connector on the back of the keyboard.

It’s a simple little song but I just intend it to demonstrate that there is a little electromagnetic type noise going on in the backgrund.

My Adventures with Scarlett 2i2 Background Noise
https://youtu.be/y6v_PgXZ_3E
https://youtu.be/9adNxf4pcqY
https://youtu.be/3rHZFir6Ye4

I think the fundamental issue here is I got confused with what the Scarlett 2i2’s was designed for. 

My first cry for help was with a man in Yamaha Music London.  Told the man I needed a Mike input to my Motif XF and I wasn’t sure how.  Originally I had been trying to use a cheap Dynamic mike which worked kind of ok but wasn’t really that high quality and I just found that the output from it was too quiet - needed constantly amplify the waveform.  A tad tiring after a while :(

And so he told that if I was looking for Quality I was looking to have a Condenser Mike.  He then told me however you need a thing called a PreAmp to get this work as the signal neends to be boosted.  Kind of true but not really the entire picture!

He should have told me the Condenser Mike need power because otherwise it won’t work full stop.  And plus then on top of that you might need to amplify it a little as well.  Anyway to this end he sells me this Scarlett Focusrite 2i2 Home Studio.  He showed me how favourably this compares “for the price point bla bla...” to other fancy looking devices by Steinberg which basically do the same thing.

So basically he sent me barking up the wrong tree. 
He should have noted that the Scarlett Focusrite 2i2 was more than just merely a PreAmp.  It was designed to be used with a DAW software and it even gives you a Free Cubase LE AI Elements 8 64-bit you can download.  Also you get this Phantom 48v voltage button.  It’s a little red LED toggle button that lights up saying +48v.

The Laptop is requirement because if you connect to a PC or even the Motif itself you get Background Noise.  This is immediately eliminated if you use a laptop. Also if you don’t connect it to an intelligent device such as a PC the Scarlett 2i2 doesn’t even power up.

And just to be clear I am very happy with the Scarlett Focusrit 2i2 it’s very if I ever want to use it with a DAW.

The problem is knowing what sort of questions you should be asking. :|

As luck would have it I next went to a man in Wunjo Guitars in SOHO London who understood a little about keyboards and was able to run through the issue with me and able to suggest something that might do the job.  It turns out all I was looking for was a cheap and very simple little mixer. 

I ended up buying the Alto Professional Zephyr series ZMX52 Compact 5-channel mixer.  It’s working a treat with that CM25 Condenser mike

Hopefully this helps :)

Pablo.

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Posted on: September 28, 2017 @ 08:34 AM
5pinDIN
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Total Posts:  9584
Joined  09-16-2010
status: Guru
Pablos544 - 28 September 2017 05:07 AM

I ended up buying the Alto Professional Zephyr series ZMX52 Compact 5-channel mixer.  It’s working a treat with that CM25 Condenser mike

I’m glad that’s working for you. However, to prevent any misunderstanding about phantom power by anyone else reading this thread…

Specs I’ve seen for the Alto Zephyr ZMX52 indicate it has +18V phantom power. The spec for the Focusrite CM25 states that it should be run on +48V phantom power. The CM25 is an electret condenser mic - the electret type can be tolerant of running on lower than the specified phantom power voltage. Therefore, the CM25 might run without compromise on the ZMX52.

However, in general it isn’t a good idea to run a condenser mic on significantly lower phantom voltage than the manufacturer recommends. This is especially true for vacuum tube type condenser mics.

I would suggest asking Focusrite if running the CM25 on 18 volt phantom power will have any effect on its performance.

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Posted on: October 03, 2017 @ 02:38 AM
Pablos544
Total Posts:  10
Joined  06-15-2014
status: Newcomer

alright mate :D I’ve got in touch re. the thing with the +48V Phantom Voltage --is it only +48V for the CM25 Focusrite’s mike or is it ok with other voltages got an acknowledgement from Focusrite’s Technical Support hopefully should be in touch soon

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Posted on: October 04, 2017 @ 03:44 AM
Pablos544
Total Posts:  10
Joined  06-15-2014
status: Newcomer

Success!! I’ve heard back from the Focusrite Support expert.

From his email:

Yes, the CM25 mic is a condenser mic and so requires phatom power to work - whilst I was under the impression the mic required slightly more voltage than +18 (which seems quite low), if everything seems to be sounding OK, this won’t be causing any problems and I would continue using the mix and mixer as you currently are.

Ben Dandy
Focusrite Technical Support

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