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If background the gain acceptably is so important, why dont mic preamplifiers have meters? - music


When you first learn how to use a amalgamation console, you will be shown how to set the gain. Your mentor - any in audio drill or in the bureau - will highlight the magnitude of this and kick your ass every time you get it wrong, until you can't do whatever thing other than get it right.

Setting the gain appropriately optimizes the gesture level for advance doling out in the amalgamation console. EQ, inserts, secondary sends, routing, fading, solo and addition all depend on having the right gesture level for optimum performance, and the gain be in charge of is exactly so where you set that.

But outboard microphone preamplifiers frequently only have elementary metering conveniences - perchance only a definite 'clip' LED - or no metering at all! So how can you maybe set the gain correctly?

The come back with is that initially the preamplifier needs to be exactly deliberate with a load of production level available. For example, the Manley Labs Mono and Dual Mono microphone preamplifiers can contribute up to 30 dBV of harvest ahead of clipping. That is one hell of a voltage in audio terms - about 30 volts, compared to average in use level of about one volt.

It's maybe fair to say that there is no way you are ever going to clip this brute of a preamp, anything you are driving. So if there is no odds of clipping, there is no need for metering.

Where you do need metering is in the gear you are forceful with the preamp, in all probability your cassette system. So the formula for background the gain with the Manley preamp is to desire the buck locale of gain, and also set the 'input attenuate' check to its buck locale (the attenuator reins the level of gesture going into the preamp circuit). Then bring down the sum of decrease while inspection the meter on your recorder. When you are receiving a good, beneficial gesticulate level with a acceptable margin ahead of clipping on your recording, you have the right settings.

If if the level from the mic is too low to reach a good clue on your recorder's meter, augment the gain as far as basic but no further.

Setting the attenuator and gain joystick in this way will optimize the noise and distortion accomplishment of the preamp.

Now since this is a tube preamp with capricious 'character' according to the gain backdrop chosen, then once you have mastered backdrop the gain in the technically acceptable way, you are free to break the rules. . .

When you see smoke appearance from your recorder, that's when to stop!

David Mellor, Record-Producer. com


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