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Thread: Stepping up a bit -- need help.

  1. #1
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    Stepping up a bit -- need help.

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    What I've mainly been doing with my audio equipment is recording books on tape, reading-for-the-blind type stuff. So I've been running a standard crap condenser mic (an old Electrodynamic that cost $70 back in 1989 or something) through an old Fostex X-26 multitracker that no longer records, into a Delta 44 sound card (that I bought a few years ago when I was ... ambitious).

    The Fostex is basically a pre-amp for the el cheapo mic.

    This is the limit of my knowledge.

    Now: I want to upgrade my mic to something decent. I've had the Behringer B-2 and the Audio-Technica AT3035 recommended to me as mics that would be good for my purposes without breaking my bank account like a dried twig.

    And those mics have three pins. ("XLR", right?)

    El Cheapo mic, the Fostex, and the Delta all have 1/4" mono jacks.

    I'm pretty sure I can find a cord that goes from an XLR out on the mic to a male 1/4" mono jack, but this is when the conversation turns to "phantom power" and I start getting scared.

    If I adapt the new mic a 1/4" jack, will the Fostex have the power I need to appease these phantoms? Should I be worried about "balanced" and "unbalanced" signals?

    All help appreciated.
    Buy my comic book! Dead Eyes Open, a different breed of zombie comic ... out now from Slave Labor Graphics!

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    I read a bit before posting, and I keep searching and reading and searching and reading...

    ...and I thhiiiiinnnnkkkk now that all condensors need the same type of power, so the Behringer or the AT will work fine if the first cheap condenser worked fine.

    Yes?
    Buy my comic book! Dead Eyes Open, a different breed of zombie comic ... out now from Slave Labor Graphics!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shepherd
    If I adapt the new mic a 1/4" jack, will the Fostex have the power I need to appease these phantoms?
    No. You need a preamp with phantom power. BTW, it's called "phantom" power because it supplies power to the mic's electronics, but "disappears" (due to reverse-phasing) at the balanced mic input. Regarding balanced vs. unbalanced, your main concern is that you wouldn't want to plug an unbalanced mic into an input with phantom power. The sizzling sound made by the capsule as it fries is most unpleasant.

    Here's a cheap preamp that would do what you want: http://www.zzounds.com/a--2676837/item--ART127

    Don

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shepherd
    ...all condensors need the same type of power...
    Close, but not quite. Some condensors can use battery power. Older "vintage" condensors need a pretty hefty supply of juice to polarize the capsule. Most newer models have a permanently polarized capsule, and just use a tiny bit of power to run a small pre-preamp within the mic case. These can be battery powered, but are usually phantom powered for convenience and reliability. (Who wants to change batteries in the middle of a session?)

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    Thanks for the help, guys.

    Zzounds doesn't ship outside of Canada -- a quick search around at Kelly's (a Canadian company I like) has the Audio Buddy there. A bit more than I'd like to spend (I thought the mic would be my expense, wasn't figuring on $100+ for a pre-amp, but... well, I really want that quality boost). I like the Delta 44 -- is the Audio Buddy a good idea for my needs?
    Buy my comic book! Dead Eyes Open, a different breed of zombie comic ... out now from Slave Labor Graphics!

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    I don't have an Audio Buddy, but I think that will do just fine.

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