Audacity not recognizing pre-amplifier and microphone


I am setting up my voice over studio for the first time and am working with the following:

  • Audacity 2.1.2
    MacBook Air, OS X El Capitan Version 10.11.2
    VO-1 Harlan Hogan Microphone
    Aphex Voice Master Channel 230 (pre-amplifier)
    Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface
    AKG k240 headphones
    Presonus 4.5"; 2-way Monitors

I have everything I need and it should work!

Before I got the Aphex Voice Master Channel 230 pre-amplifier, I had the microphone connected through the audio interface into my laptop and my noise floor was too high (-45 db). I want to get it down to -60db, so I was told that the Aphex Voice Master Channel 230 pre-amplifier will really clean up that noise floor and do lots of other things for which I watched a YouTube video and it made sense. I was able to find a used one, so it wasn’t as expensive as new.

So then, my microphone was connected to the Aphex Voice Master Channel 230 pre-amp and an XLR cable connected the pre-amp to the audio interface into my laptop. My noise floor was even higher (-25db), so the next step was to cut out the interface and connect directly from the pre-amp to my computer via an optical cable to cut out the supposedly dirty USB connection.

With optical cable in the chain now, I have my mic going into the pre-amp and the pre-amp connected to my laptop via the 1/8 inch headphone jack, but now the mic is not being pic by Audacity… I’m so confused. This should be straightforward. The pre-amplifier picks up my taps on the microphone, but it doesn’t translate into the software. All I can get on Audacity is my built-in mic from the laptop. No matter what I do, I am not getting the signal from my connected VO-1 mic to come into my software. It’s as if the signal stops with the pre-amp…how do I get Audacity or my mac to read this mic and equipment? I’m extremely frustrated, so any help would be great!


my noise floor was too high (-45 db).

How did you measure that? Did everything else work out OK? Could you make volume and peak numbers? Did your recordings look something like this? (One blue wave is OK)

Aphex Voice Master Channel 230

Post a web address for this device. I’m pretty sure the one I found and the one you’re using are different.

I have everything I need and it should work!

You would think, wouldn’t you? There is a conflict between being a newbie performer/engineer and the complexity of the equipment. Nobody wants to get good at shooting live sound with a classic sound mixer and digital interface.

So everyone looks for shortcuts.

One very serious voice recording problem is volume overload. If your performance gets a bit too loud it can kill the recording, so people build home equipment with “restrained volume” instead of full normal volume. Problem solved! Except that artificially boosts the noise and that puts you in the corrections death spiral.

I’m very interested in hearing a test clip done with the straight microphone plugged into the 2i2. No fancy pre-amps and do not apply any effects, filters or corrections. Record the clip, Stop, and export the sound file.