Hello, I am completely new to audio interfaces and audio equipment, but this is an issue I have only seen a few times after extensive research. I have a Subzero SZ-AI2 audio interface connected to a usb hub with a Sony ECM-PCV80U Compressor mic connected with XLR. I have the drivers installed from the company’s website, but even after installation nothing changed. When I record, my voice is extremely quiet and can barely be heard. So then I turn on the 48V phantom power and all it did was put EXTREMELY noisy white noise in the background. Turning the gain up more than halfway sounds like I’m recording a storm or hurricane. Also, before this I bought the Behringer UM2 but that had the EXACT same issues as this one. I’ve tried almost every course of action, please help!
- Windows 10 Home 10.0.17134
- Audacity 18.104.22.168
Is that the one with a TRS (tip, ring sleeve) mini-jack plug?
And that’s got 3 pin XLR microphone connectors?
I think the problem is that the Sony ECM-PCV80U microphone requires a 3 to 5v bias voltage.
The Subzero SZ-AI2 audio interface with phantom power off provides no bias voltage.
The Subzero SZ-AI2 audio interface with phantom power on, depending on how the XLR to mini-jack connector or lead is wired up, will either provide no bias voltage, or 48 v (enough to fry the JFet transistor in the microphone).
What does the datasheet / information on the microphone box say about what to plug the mic into? (this info does not appear to be available on-line).
Yeah… Computer microphones and stage/studio mics are not interchangeable.
Have you tried plugging the mic directly into your laptop or your computer’s regular soundcard? That will probably work better if you haven’t fried the mic. Or, you can get a better mic with a XLR connector.
There are two different kinds of computer microphone connections. A combination mic/headphone jack requires a different plug than separate mic & headphone jacks. But, in this case a simple adapter will work. (Regular headphones will work with either one.)
Stage/studio mics are balanced (3-wire) connections and computer mics are unbalanced (2-wire). Studio condenser mics require 48V phantom power. Electret condenser computer mics run off of 5V power from the soundcard. Some stage electret mics have a built-in battery.
Dynamic mics (like the famous Shure SM57/58) don’t require power and they can be “adapted” to work with a regular soundcard. The same goes if you have an electret mic with a battery. But, it’s not ideal and you won’t get the best quality (plus the preamps built-into consumer soundcards are usually low-quality).
The microphone originally had the mini jack to USB adapter that allowed it to connect straight to my laptop, which works perfectly. However, I swapped the XLR to mini jack for an XLR to XLR and the problems occur. Unfortunately, I bought the product while abroad so I don’t know where it is. But, I also tried to plug a guitar in through the guitar lead input, and I got the exact same unbearably quiet audio recorded. I am slightly confused on my microphone type - so because my mic is an electret microphone, it doesn’t work with the audio interface due to not supporting the phantom power? Should I get a different microphone and if so what type? Thanks
The microphone originally had the mini jack to USB adapter that allowed it to connect straight to my laptop, which works perfectly. However, I swapped the XLR to mini jack for an XLR to XLR and the problems occur.
What kind of connector does the microphone have? If it has a mini-plug it’s a computer microphone. If it has an XLR plug it should be used with an interface that has an XLR connection.
The microphone originally had the mini jack to USB adapter
like [u]this[/u]? That should be no different than plugging the mic directly into your laptop, except one may have better quality than the other. (You can ignore the false “5.1 channel” claim… It’s regular 2-channel stereo. You can play a 5.1 or 7.1 channel file but Windows will down-mix it to stereo.)
Should I get a different microphone and if so what type?
What are you recording and what kind of quality do you want? If you want “professional quality” get a [u]studio condenser mic[/u]. A “large diaphragm condenser” mic is used for almost everything in pro studios.
Or, you can get a [u]studio-style USB mic[/u], but some of these have a reputation of being noisy.
But, I also tried to plug a guitar in through the guitar lead input, and I got the exact same unbearably quiet audio recorded.
On the Behringer interface? The instrument input should work. Plug your headphones into the Behringer and switch to “direct monitoring” to check the analog guitar signal.
The guitar probably comes-in on the right channel if you record in stereo. (If you convert to mono later, a true-mono recording will play-back through both speakers.)
https://www.amazon.com/Electret-Condenser-Microphone-ECM-PCV80U-Japanese/dp/B005M2HDA6 is the mic that I use, but the cable connected to the mic on the picture is an XLR to 3.5mm cable. I just swapped that cable for an XLR(Male) to XLR(Female) so that it could connect to the interface https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-and-Computers/SubZero-AI2-USB-Audio-Interface/25KZ. Also the mic can only record mono so I have no idea if stereo works. The Behringer one was the previous interface that I bought but then immediately returned because of these issues. i thought it was broken - no one else seemed to have these issues. Currently, I have the Subzero SZ-AI2 interface but this one has the exact same issues… Should I buy another interface or is this solely a microphone issue? Thanks
I couldn’t find the manufacture’s websites for the mic or the interface so I couldn’t find the “real” specifications or the user manuals…
Google found an “unboxing” video for the mic and it looks like a standard computer mic with a non-standard XLR connection. It says 5V on the box, and you can’t buy a 5 Volt battery so that’s a soundcard connection. Plus, I assume there’s no place to put a battery and I assume there is no power supply…
The USB adapter appears to be an everyday “USB soundcard”, which you shouldn’t need since virtually every computer has a mic input.
bought the product while abroad so I don’t know where it is.
What is “it”? The adapter-cable? or the USB device? I’m not sure if you can find a similar cable… You could “assemble” a series of adapters but you might not get the same-exact wiring-connections and XLR cables/adapters aren’t cheap so it might not be worth the gamble.
The Subzero interface has combination XLR and 1/4" jacks and (apparently) a high-impedance switch so your guitar should work but it won’t work with a computer mic.