Hello guys and team audacity, for a few weeks i have been struggling with my microphone and audacity software. Basically i have all the home studio equipments like my condensor microphone : AT2020, Interface/Soundcard with phantom power built in and also the XLR cable. I plug it all in together exactly the way everybody does it, i go to audacity and also follow the tutorials exactly the same like editing my preferences in audacity. So, i connected my microphone in without the xlr cable in my audio interface and i connected the usb in my pc and it worked well but then when i plugged my xlr cable in the microphone with the audio interface it didn’t work. I thought the xlr cable wasn’t functioning so i went to swap the cable, i bought a brand new one and tried it it still wasn’t working. I now need help from professionals using audacity with my microphone. I will appreciate and be grateful if you could help.

Audio Technica 2020 Condenser Microphone(NOT USB)
Behringer Xenyx 302 audio interface(Phantom Power Included)
XLR Mic Cable

[Note]: My microphone works but only when i directly plug it in the interface without the xlr cable, i want it to work with the XLR cable now.
Thank you :slight_smile:

I’m not with you. The Audio Technica 2020 Condenser Microphone has an XLR connection and requires phantom power, so how do you connect that without an XLR cable?

Do you mean the “Behringer XENYX 302USB
Is that what you mean when you say “audio interface”?

Hello, I do have phantom power on my audio interface and yes it is the one you said “Behringer XENYX 302USB” i also have the XLR cable but the only problem is that it only works if i connect my microphone head on the audio interface mic in section. I want to put my mic with the xlr cable to connect it in the 302usb audio interface but also on my mic stand. It does work without needing of xlr cable on the audio interface also it is phantom powered :slight_smile:. If you can help please reply back.

Sorry, I still don’t understand what you mean.

“I do have phantom power on my audio interface”
Do you mean:
“The Behringer Xenyx 302 USB has phantom power switched on”

“i connect my microphone head on the audio interface mic in section.”
Do you mean:
“You connect the Audio Technica 2020 to the XLR microphone input on the Behringer Xenyx 302 USB using an XLR microphone cable”

“I want to put my mic with the xlr cable to connect it in the 302usb audio interface but also on my mic stand.”
Other than putting the Audio Technica 2020 onto a microphone stand, how is that different to what you just said?

Do you have a second audio interface that you’ve not told me about?
Does your “XLR” lead have ends like this:

One of the nice things about XLR cables (see illustration above) is that you can run them very long distances. You can put the mixer and microphones almost anywhere in your house and connect them with increasingly longer XLR cables as needed. You can plug XLR cables into each other to make them longer, so you can get to 60 feet with three 20 foot cables.

This is very different from USB cables generally limited to about six feet and RCA and other HiFi cables which do not do well over long distances.

Make sure you have the mixer volume controls turned down when you plug and unplug your phantom power microphone. Changing cables can produce a very powerful pop in the audio system.


Here’s my interpretation, for what it’s worth…

The Behringer Xenyx 302 does not have a switch for phantom power. Phantom power is always on. (I googled for that.)

I think nicholashrai is actually connecting the microphone head directly to the mixer, without using a cable. As you can see, its XLR connector is quite narrow, so it’s possible to plug it into the mixer input directly.

Again, I think nicholashrai just wants to be able to use an XLR cable in order to place the microphone on a stand.
As I understand it the microphone works when plugged directly into the mixer, but not when using an XLR cable.
If that is the case, I would start looking for physical damage in the XLR connectors.


The Behringer Xenyx 302 does not have a switch for phantom power. Phantom power is always on. (I googled for that.)

That is insanely dangerous. I understand why they did that. In theory, it shouldn’t make any difference. Phantom Power is designed to disappear in normal operation, but if you plug a ribbon microphone into that connection through an adapter, you could reduce the ribbon to brightly coloured confetti. Go ahead, ask me how I know that.

It should be possible to plug any correctly wired XLR cable between the mixer and the bottom of the microphone. If you have a bad or miswired cable, then that’s not going to work.



Is a condensor microphone different than a ribbon microphone cause i have a condensor and sorry im new to this i don’t have much experience or knowledge yet. And what you mean by dangerous what happens to cause the danger? does that mean it could explode my audio interface then?

Ragnar, Thank you for understanding what i meant :slight_smile:. I did mean that the at2020 without the xlr cable works properly with the mixer but then i can’t do the same using the xlr cables :confused: also i have two xlr cables but still it doesn’t function but i am still not sure if both the [NEW]xlr cables[NEW] are faulty :/. Can you guys tell me the dangers of the mixer ?
Thank you
Mini G

Yes they are different.

A condenser microphone requires power to operate. This is usually provided by “phantom” power which is a voltage provided by the pre-amp or mixing desk and sent to the microphone through the microphone cable. This requires a 3 pin XLR cable that is correctly wired (a “microphone” cable). 1/4" jack cables do not carry phantom power so cannot be used with microphones that require phantom power.

Ribbon microphones typically do not require phantom power and will often be destroyed if they are connected to phantom power. The “ribbon” in a ribbon mic is very fragile and can be vaporised by phantom power. That’s what Koz means by “dangerous”.

To check your XLR cables you will need an Ohm meter (available on most “multimeters”) or an “XLR cable tester”.
To test an XLR cable with a meter, there should be very low resistance (less than 1 Ohm) between corresponding pins at each end of the cable:
Pin 1 → 1
Pin 2 → 2
Pin 3 → 3

1 must not connect to 2 or 3.
2 must not connect to 1 or 3
3 must not connect to 1 or 2

Check in particular that pins 1 and 3 are not connected to each other at either end of the cable.


Can this cable work cause i have it. and if it doesn’t can you tell me which one works for my microphone
XLR Cable.jpg

No that cable cannot supply phantom power. For phantom power the lead must have 3 connections at each end - the 1/4" jack has only 2 connections so it cannot work for the Audio Technica 2020.

You need a lead that has 3 pins on one end and 3 holes on the other:

GO TO THIS LINK:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykBvBzQ-MCI&feature=youtu.be WATCH THE WHOLE VID AND I GURANTEE YOU WILL UNDERSTAND IT

I couldn’t post a reply to the video as comments seem to be disabled.

The AT-2020 microphone requires “phantom power”. Phantom power is a direct current applied through the two signal lines of a balanced audio connector. The third pin of an XLR plug connects to the “shield” of the microphone cable.

With 1/4" jack plugs the tip of the plug is connected to one of the signal leads and the body of the plug is connected to both the second wire and the shield. A 1/4" mono jack plug does not provide a separate connection to the second signal lead - it is shorted to the shield. 1/4" mono jack plugs are not able to connect the phantom power from the mixer to to the microphone.

You need a microphone cable that has 3 connections on both ends. 3 holes on the microphone end and 3 pins on the mixing desk end.

The correct (standard) wiring for an XLR microphone cable is:
Pin 1 to hole 1
Pin 2 to hole 2
Pin 3 to hole 3