Need Advice for Heil PR30 Setup

bdwilcox

New member
I'm going to be doing some voice-over work in a not-ideal environment so I'm choosing to use a dynamic mic, in this case, the Heil PR30. (A condenser mic would be nice but the environment simply has too much extraneous noise.) My question relates to the interface since I know there are challenges with other dynamic mics and interfaces. The one that comes to mind is the need for a Cloudlifter pre-amp if you run a Shure SM7B into a Focusrite Scarlett Solo. I was going to use the Audient iD4 Mk2 as the interface for the PR30 but my question revolves around whether such a setup will need a Cloudlifter and how you can tell from the specs of the mic and interface. Do you think the Heil PR30 and Audient iD4 Mk2 will play nice together without the need for a Cloudlifter or will I need to crank the gain enough that I start causing clipping and distortion unless I spring for the Cloudlifter?

Thanks for any insight!
 

keith.rogers

Well-known member
The Heil has pretty high output for a dynamic mic: -51dB (or -52.9dB I saw on a different site), and that Audient is spec’d at 58dB of gain, so I don’t see the need for a CL-1. If you whisper, any dynamic mic will present some problems.
 

bdwilcox

New member
Thanks, Keith. I apologize as I'm not that familiar with audio equipment, but you measure the output of the mic against the gain of the interface to see if it needs a pre-amp, correct? How do those numbers relate as the mic has a negative db number and the interface's gain is a positive db number? Basically, when does the relationship between the numbers indicate a pre-amp is necessary? For example, if the mic was spec'd at -44db and the Audient was spec'd at 61db or if the mic was spec'd at -57 and the Audient was spec'd at 51db, which would require a pre-amp?

Thanks for the info!
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Don’t forget that condenser mics of the same polar pattern pick up the same noise as a dynamic. The difference is how close your voice is to the mic compared to the noise, that’s it. If the background noise is all hf, that’s a good reason for a dynamic, but other than that, it’s the same problem. I have a cloudlifter, bought two years ago. The first time I ever needed one in forty years, when I had a very low output mic and could not get close enough to it!
 

keith.rogers

Well-known member
Thanks, Keith. I apologize as I'm not that familiar with audio equipment, but you measure the output of the mic against the gain of the interface to see if it needs a pre-amp, correct? How do those numbers relate as the mic has a negative db number and the interface's gain is a positive db number? Basically, when does the relationship between the numbers indicate a pre-amp is necessary? For example, if the mic was spec'd at -44db and the Audient was spec'd at 61db or if the mic was spec'd at -57 and the Audient was spec'd at 51db, which would require a pre-amp?

Thanks for the info!
Because the microphone sensitivity is a negative number, the bigger the number, the lower the output level, e.g., output given as -58dB is less (lower) than -53dB, so the latter number will require less gain to achieve the same level on a recorded track. (All things being equal, of course.)

Rob's answer is important to understand, because if you effectively boost the sensitivity/output of a dynamic mic to match that of a condenser, it will "hear" essentially the same thing as the condenser mic. There are differences in actual sensitivity across the audio spectrum based on a microphone's specific type of construction and electronics, as well as mechanical construction/components, so in that case all things are not ever going to be exactly equal, but it is somewhat of a misconception that condenser mics pick up more background noise. Yes, at the same preamp gain setting, you'll get more of everything, but with "gain staging" set to match a dynamic and condenser, then the difference is basically how the individual microphones capture sound across all frequencies (including those ones transmitted up mic stands and cables).

It is a simplification, but if the preamp's max gain exceeds the mic's sensitivity, you should be able to record a track in a range that allows easy mixing without adding any audible noise. At that point, it depends on the volume of the source vs. background noise, how it sounds. (Keep in mind that your *digital* audio signal needs to be recorded with peaks well below 0dBFS to avoid clipping, unlike the old analog/tape thinking where watching needles occasionally bounce even slightly into the red.)

Here's one article - don't know if it helps or not.
 
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