How do I turn down headphone volume?

Hi, everyone:

I record narration for online learning modules, and have just started wearing headphones as I record. I’ve got a TubePre preamp, and have got my headphones plugged into the UNBALANCED OUTPUT jack. Problem is, the headphone volume is connected to the GAIN level, which is to say is freakin’ loud.

Question 1. Anyway I can keep the gain level where it is, while decreasing the amount of signal going to my headphones? Perhaps I need additional equipment to do this.

Question 2: I’m purposely recording in mono, and getting sound in only one of the headphones. I assume that’s the way it is when you record in mono?

Thanks, in advance, for your help. --Daniel

The unbalanced line output from a “Presonus Tube Pre” is not designed for plugging headphones into.
Ideally you would plug it into a mixing desk and then monitor from the mixing desk headphone output.
How is the pre-amp connected to your computer?

Thanks for the help, Steve. I run the balanced output line from the preamp into the mic jack of my Mac. Got a adaptor piece so it fits into that small hole. By the way, what’s the unbalanced output for?

So it sounds as if I need a mixing desk. Any recommendations for a simple one appropriate for straightforward voiceover? Thanks, again. --Daniel

For plugging into an unbalanced line input. For example, if you wanted to plug into a keyboard amp (“combo” or “combination amplifier and speaker”) then you would probably use the unbalanced line out.

Not necessarily. It depends on what you are doing and what other equipment you are using. Give us some details and we’ll see what we can come up with.

Hi, Steve:

So as far as the equipment is concerned, here’s what I got:
-relatively new iMac
-Presonus TubePre preamp
-Audio Spectrum OSM 800 Condenser mic

You could, with a suitable lead, connect the unbalanced line out from the pre-amp to the left input of a Behringer UCA-202 (or similar). The UCA 202 is a simple, no-frills line level USB interface with a headphone socket on it (around $30). Use the controls on the pre-amp to set the recording level. Use the volume control on the UCA-202 to control the headphone level. Set Audacity to record “1 channel mono” from the USB input in the Device Toolbar.

I’ll give that a shot, thanks so much, Steve. --Daniel

Oh, and if I get that Behringer equipment and record in mono, will both left and right headphones give sound? Or will it just come out of one side? Thanks, again

If you are monitoring the input (the live microphone) you will hear in just one ear because the sound is only in the left channel (unless you make up an adaptor to send the signal to both ears).

When you listen back to the recorded track you will hear the sound in both ears.

If you are able to solder (or know someone that can) it would be very easy to make up a suitable adaptor.