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Old 03-04-2008, 10:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Simple Microphone PreAmplifier

I am an aspiring singer/keyboardist who wishes to go pro, but I'm having some technical difficulties with my equipment. I just bought a Sennheiser e845-s microphone (which depleted most of my funds) and a Hosa MIT-156 line-matching transformer (XLR to 3.5mm for PC recording). However, I made a grave error: I have no amplifier/preamp. When I hooked the mic up to my PC and tested the recording, the playback was barely audible, my voice a whispered ghost of itself against a hazy background of static when I cranked up the volume to barely get these results.

I have searched for a preamplifier, but nearly all are very expensive, often costing thousands of dollars with too many bells and whistles I don't need (for now). All I need is just a simple preamp to amplify the signal around 40dB (more or less) without all the accessories.

So for now, I would be satisfied with a single-channel mono preamplifier. Typically, I favor quality over price, but I'm willing to temporarily bite the bullet and get a stand-in cheapy piece of equipment that will do the job. Does anyone have suggestions for what I can use?


Edit: Damn I posted this in the wrong section. Sorry.

Last edited by Slayden; 03-04-2008 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you sure its a preamp you need? A good preamp will bring the mic up to line level, but it sounds like you might need an outboard mixer. What are you exactly plugging your mic into on the PC, and what software are you using to facilitate the whole thing?
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I haven't reached the 15 post limit to post images so I had to screw with the URL code, removing a single "t" from the http part and a single "w" from the www part for the post to go through.

I have this:

Code:
htp://ww.sennheiserusa.com/media/hiresImages/E845_hires.jpg
connected to this:

Code:
htp://ww.hosatech.com/hosa/images/MIT-156.gif
connected to this:

Code:
htp://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31K75BD4RPL._AA280_.jpg
I'm not kidding this is exactly what I have for the hardware. That specific mic, that specific cable, that specific PC. No more. No less.

As for the software, I used Windows Sound Recorder to test it out, but I was barely audible. I also have Adobe Audition 3.0 for some mixing, but I'm just now starting to familiarize myself with it so I don't know the full extent of its abilities. You might realize by now that I haven't been doing this long... I am determined, however, and I want to share my voice with the world.

I just did some tweaking to my sound card settings and the quality and volume has improved somewhat, but I'm still not getting the full volume I want. I still have to turn up my stereo up loud to hear my voice (about twice as loud as it should be). I'm also still getting light buzzing and some static.
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