I can barely hear my new XLR mic audio.

Hey all! I wanna start this off by saying this is my first experience with an XLR mic, and an audio interface. I only have experience with USB mics that just work (plug and play), so I’m an absolute beginner here. I am using a Rode NT1 through a Steinberg UR12. I have set up the drivers on the audio interface, plugged in my mic, and the interface is showing that the mic is being powered through +48V phantom power (the little red light indicator is on.) Every time I go and test the mic, its extremely quiet. And when I say quiet, my voice may as well have been nonexistent. My audio is so low that it doesn’t even make a blip on audacity. I have tried recording in mono and stereo. Nothing seems to make a difference.

my gain is at 55% and its still really quiet. The mic imput level in audacity is actually at 100% haha rip.

The imput device on audacity is set to my audio interface, but I did what you said and made sure that my imput device on my os was the same. I tested it right now and man, its a lot worse. I have no idea what’s going on lol but its not only quieter, it sounds like shit.

If I turn up my gain to 100% on the audio interface, sure I’m not quiet anymore but there’s an extremely loud hiss and humming background noise. Bought this mic to eliminate background noise. Watched about 20 youtube videos and read through 10 discussion threads now. only one other person has had this problem, and it didn’t get fixed. every other video or thread i saw, everyone had their gain at 35% and with no background noise, and it sounded great. really not sure what im doing wrong here, and i cant even contact rode nor steinberg, since both companies are out of office for the holidays. I have deadlines I gotta meet soon, so im seriously panicing here

I feel like I’m missing something obvious, but a point in the right direction would be appreciated so I can figure this thing out. Thanks in advance everyone.

I have deadlines I gotta meet soon, so im seriously panicing here

How did you meet deadlines before?

The UR12 can be powered one of two different ways (on the back). A separate wall power supply (recommended) or getting its operating juice down the USB cable. The USB path works most of the time, but one of the USB failures is a whiny, noisy voice.

Talk into the microphone and advance Input 1 Gain. The +48v light should be on. Never blow into a microphone, but talk (or even yell) into the microphone and push Input 1 Gain up. Don’t worry about the numbers. Can you get loud enough to light up the PEAK light? That’s important because if you can’t do that, then there may be something broken.

Post how it goes. Ignore Audacity for a while.


Turn Input 2 Gain all the way down.

Do you have good quality wired headphones that will fit in the UR12? That’s the next test.


Rode NT1

Where did it come from? Really NT1 or a newer NT1-A? eBay? They’re different enough to have discussion podcasts and arguments.


I know you’re looking for a “push this button” and everything will be fine. But if you haven’t been able to get anything to work so far, step-by-step troubleshooting is good. If you can’t get good sound out of the UR12, then you could go all week trying to fix it later.

Also, there are lists of Windows problems to contend with. Audacity generally records everything that comes in, but Windows and other applications can change both the recording and playback quality.

You don’t have to go through the computer, either. I like stand-alone sound recorders and I can get reasonable sound quality from my phone.



Could it be that the Steinberg interface has the same issue as the Focusrite Scarlett - sending a stereo signal even if you are using one channel and one mic? If so, the solution might be the same.