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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    2

    Dynamic Mic Needs Power?

    Hi,

    First off: thanks for the tutorial - it was both informative and accessible.

    I have a question about sound recording. I'm using a dynamic hypercardioid hand-mic. When I use it to record sound, I usually plug it directly into my macbook's line-in socket. The resultant sound is fine, but often very faint (even when I'm practically eating my mic).

    It's a dynamic mic so I shouldn't need any extra power, right? But I've tried experimenting with hooking up my mic through a guitar amplifier, and the volume is suddenly fine. Is there any way I can increase the volume without putting it through a guitar amp (which, in itself, is not only inconvenient, but also seems risky)?

  2. #2
    I suggest a microphone pre-amp if you're using it for recording. The reason it works when plugged through the guitar amplifier is because that has a pre-amp installed in it. I don't know if there's risk or not with using a guitar pre-amp for your microphone but I wouldn't attempt it personally.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    2
    Thanks. Can you recommend any budget preamps for a newbie like me? Also, what's the difference between a preamp and an audio interface? What does an audio interface do?

  4. #4

    mic into line

    December, hmm? Well, if you're still around...

    A dynamic mic puts out a few millivolts when talking into it normally. A line input expects a good fraction of a volt.

    It's not a matter of the mic needing an external power supply. A condenser mic, with power, would give almost the same results. It's that a mic's output is 1/100th of what you need.

    I guess the Macbook doesn't have a mic input? (Green jack) In that case you have no choice but to get an external preamp or mixer to boost the level.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Riverside, CA
    Posts
    2
    Dynamic mics never need power. In fact, power to them from a computer may cause problems. (Professional phantom power from a mixer, etc. is OK.) The DC power from a computer can "bottom out" the diaphragm of the mic, keeping the diaphragm from moving very much, giving you a very low output.

    If you are truly using the line input as opposed to a mic input, you will need a mic preamp to get a good level.

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