hiss with cheap condenser mic- avoidable?

Peeb

Member
Messages
4,832
OK- I've got a very cheap behringer c1 condenser mic mounted without a shockmount onto a straight mic stand (pic in the soundcloud link below). Mixed a quick acoustic recording with and without noise reduction so you can see what I'm talking about.

1) Normal? :huh
2) Would a shockmount (other than a beanbag zebra) help? :eek:
3) Is the room the problem? :hide
4) Do I just need to buy a better mic? :wave
5) Should I just apply noise reduction and be happy? :tapedshut
6) Why am I asking so many questions??:huh

WITHOUT NOISE REDUCTION: https://soundcloud.com/peeb13/sample-without-noise-reduction

WITH NOISE REDUCTION: https://soundcloud.com/peeb13/sample-with-noise-reduction

This is my first venture away from my SM57, so I will need to learn a little more in order to be clueless. Thanks for any input!
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,316
For miking acoustic guitar, there's no way it should be noisier than a 57.

What mixer or preamp are you using?
 

dporto

Member
Messages
760
A shockmout won't do anything to reduce "hiss" - only low end rumble and/or mechanical noise. I'm not able to listen your track (got a error message from soundcloud) so I can't comment directly on it. Careful gain staging should enable you to reduce any hiss to acceptable levels. Just about any LDC should be sensitive enough to get good record levels without having to crank the pre-amp up so high as to hear audible hiss (unless there's something wrong with the mic). How far is the mic away from the guitar? You shouldn't have to get it closer than a foot or so...Good luck
 

amphog

Member
Messages
4,305
Some low cost condensers are noisy, send it back if you can, you may get a good one. I have gone through a couple of MXL's before a good one arrived.
 

Peeb

Member
Messages
4,832
A shockmout won't do anything to reduce "hiss" - only low end rumble and/or mechanical noise. I'm not able to listen your track (got a error message from soundcloud) so I can't comment directly on it. Careful gain staging should enable you to reduce any hiss to acceptable levels. Just about any LDC should be sensitive enough to get good record levels without having to crank the pre-amp up so high as to hear audible hiss (unless there's something wrong with the mic). How far is the mic away from the guitar? You shouldn't have to get it closer than a foot or so...Good luck
So in this case, the focusrite 2i2 is the preamp?
 

Sendrith

Member
Messages
165
I've had this problem with my Audio Technica 2020. When I was having problems was when I was using a Tascam Us-144MkII as an interface. It is a USB interface, and the phantom power on it is noisy. I'm not sure if that is because of being powered via USB or what, but on my new interface (Mackie Blackbird) it isn't a problem at all.

Just throwing that option out there.
 

Peeb

Member
Messages
4,832
I've had this problem with my Audio Technica 2020. When I was having problems was when I was using a Tascam Us-144MkII as an interface. It is a USB interface, and the phantom power on it is noisy. I'm not sure if that is because of being powered via USB or what, but on my new interface (Mackie Blackbird) it isn't a problem at all.

Just throwing that option out there.
Good info! Yeah, the C1 takes phantom power, and gets it from the focusrite. Would not have considered that!

Wonder if plugging it into a powered hub would help?
 

Sendrith

Member
Messages
165
Can't offer a solution, but I doubt that a powered bus would much of a difference.

How it works (as far as I see it):

USB ports only put out 5v. Phantom power is 48v. So there is a capacitor and/or circuit in your Focusrite (as with my tascam) that bumps the voltage up to proper 48v for phantom power. I am guessing that this is what is causing the noise.

As I see it, the white noise/background noise is electrical noise, so it is coming from something electronic. Go ahead and rule out power conditioning because the power is being regulated by your computer into the interface at 5v via USB port.

*Please note that I do not actually know anything.

Two options for you:

1. Try a different condenser mic: It could just be that the mic is noisy. Either try a different condenser, and if its still noisy it could be your focusrite's phantom power. OR try your mic on another interface that is mains powered and not usb powered and see if the amount of noise is dramatically different.

2. Get a decent dynamic. A SM57 or SM58 would be enough to get fairly good acoustic guitar recordings. When I was having this problem with my Tascam, I was fortunate to have my SM58 with me as well and I ended up using it to record acoustic guitar and found the tone/recordings very usable. If you're doing a solo guitar thing or classical or whatever you might want something with a bit more low end than a SM57/58, but if you're doing it as part of a mix it might surprise you how well it can work.

Cheers.

*I like to record acoustic guitar with a single mic 12-16" away pointed around the 12th fret. Soundhole is too much bass for me.
 




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