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Thread: Behringer XM8500, noise and how to amp

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    Behringer XM8500, noise and how to amp

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    G'day fellas, I hope I'm right here with my question, please don't kill me if I'm not.

    Recently I started up buying some equipment (most of it cheapest stuff you could find on amazon) for the sole reason of recording my voice (Youtube, Twitch streaming, Skype, etc...).

    A lot of stuff added up because things never seemed to have worked properly, and for the love of me I can't figure out why, and I'm in serious need of professional help at this point.

    The problem in general: static noise as I have to crank up the amp to the maximum levels as I otherwise wouldn't get any noticable volume out of the mic.

    I started out with a Behringer XM8500 MIC and a Behringer Xenyx 502 interface.
    The connections were this:
    - Mic -> Interface to line 1 via XLR -> 1/4 (I had that lying around because at first I thought I could directly plug the mic in to the PC soundcard via the cable, but oh god no, it doesn't even register sounds without an amp)
    - Interface -> PC soundcard (Sonar dgx) via RCA cable

    Now with that setup I get minimal sound out of line in on PC with a minimal amount of noise -> unusable.
    With the microphone port I get a good amount of volume as well with a ridiculous amount of noise -> definitely unusable.
    To get a comfortable volume out of the mic I'd have to turn the "Gain" slider up to max (~40-45DB) and keep about 10-15 cm distance of my mouth to the mic. Resulting in horrendous noise as well though.

    I've tried another option of course by buying a different piece of equipment: a dedicated amp, a "Stage Line MPR-1". Cost more than twice of the Xenyx, so I'd assumed I'd get better results.
    No.
    Did not.

    Same problem persists.
    Mic -> AMP via XLR 1/4 jack
    AMP -> Sonar dgx soundcard 1/4 -> 3.5mm jack.
    Literally same issue.
    Line in gives very low volumes at max gain, while microphone port delivers a good volume but same amount of static noise.
    For science reasons (which I'm hilariously bad at) I also attempted to daisy chain those 2 things up, maybe 2 pieces at 50% gain each would give better results than one at 100%.... Nope. Not a chance.

    Btw, all of this has been tried with the internal onboard soundcard as well, the ALC1150. Same issues.
    And all of the noise comes from the AMPs themselves, the mic is clean, as I've unplugged it at times when cranking up the gain as well. Always noticably appearing at around 60% gain and reaching ridiculous levels of it at 100% (which I need to get a comfortable volume out of this mic)

    For anyone still reading, my big questions would be:

    What is the big mistake I'm committing?
    Does Mic XLR -> Interface XLR reduce the gain requirement for my mic, thus lowering the noise levels?
    Is the mic itself not suited for the things I attend to do with it (I read somewhere about it having -70Db sensitivity, unfortunately not quite sure what that means and whether that is good or bad in this case).
    Are the pieces of equipment I'm using (Xenyx 502 and Stage Line MPR-1) known to be "bad" products in that respect?

    I'd really appreciate help in that regard, as recording is a completely new territory to me.

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    Yep, first thing to do is get a proper XLR-XLR mic cable.

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    Is there such a significant difference in gain-level requirements between XLR -> XLR and XLR -> 1/4? As in, decreasing the required amp I need right now of ~90% - 100% down to ~50% just by using XLR?
    After all, the mic itself isn't delivering any static noise at all, so the only issue is really with the gain levels required themselves.

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    Using the XLR to 1/4" you'll have less gain. The 1/4" jack on the mixer is intended for line level inputs and per the spec has a maximum of +40db of gain (This may be less than +40db if using a TS(tip-sleeve) type plug rather than a TRS(tip-ring-sleeve)). The XLR mic input has a max gain of +60db. It's sort of noted near the gain knob on the mixer, but perhaps new to this you may not know that.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 502-jpg  
    Mark.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aki View Post
    Is there such a significant difference in gain-level requirements between XLR -> XLR and XLR -> 1/4? As in, decreasing the required amp I need right now of ~90% - 100% down to ~50% just by using XLR?
    After all, the mic itself isn't delivering any static noise at all, so the only issue is really with the gain levels required themselves.
    It's most likely a combination of several things, but step 1 is to get the correct cable. The probable next step is to look at the connection from the preamp or mixer to the sound card, with the usual best solution being a proper audio interface that combines the mic preamp, input monitoring and playback into a single, probably USB, device.

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    So just as a follow up to this story, I've ordered a XLR->XLR cable, plugged it in (still not expecting much of a difference at this point, but) oh. my. god.
    It's a darn cable but the difference is night and day. I have to put the gain slider to 50% at best at this stage, but the noise at this level is... gone. At least for the stage line MPR1; the Xenyx quality has significantly increased as well, but it still has some sort of noise as well as some.... high pitched noise? Don't know, but at this point don't care either, because the stage line MPR 1 delivers everything I wanted it to, with exceptional results.

    Anyways, as simple as the solution was in the end, I still thank you both very, very much for the help you've given me.

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