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Who's the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

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Who's the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby Lekhan » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:39 pm

Hey guys !

Recently I bought a Samson C01 condenser mic , I already had a M Audio Mtrack plus audio interface (http://www.m-audio.com/products/view/m-track-plus) which I was using with Shure dynamic mic.

Now the problem I am facing is after I connect Samson C01 mic , I ve to gain up in audio interface for upto 75% to get an ideal signal level.
I ve a pop-up filter in btw and am standing or rather want to stand more or less 30 cms from mic.

And I am turning on phantom power (+48v).

Why do I ve to turn the gain so much for a condenser mic ? Is it a faulty mic or is the in built pre amp in the interface not enough or is the mic itself a fancy dynamic mic with condenser look a like .?
I am confused because I expected the condenser mic to be very sensitive and pick up lot of small sounds/noises .. but couldn't hear a damn low frequency noises /sounds it was as though it was a dynamic mic .Now with 75% gain setting and about 10 cms from mic I am able to get a clean recording without any noise !! eventhough the gain is 75%.surely there must be some rumbling noise or sound or a lip smack or whatever annoying small thing that usually gets picked up by condenser mic in a non acoustic proof environment , Am totally confused with this behavior .

My guess is latter one (interface pre amp not being sufficient ) , but wanted ur inputs as well.
How do I pin point the problem ..


If the problem is interface pre amp , what is the signal flow, if I have to buy an external mic pre amp only (not looking to buy a new interface now) and what are some of your suggestions for new mic pre amp (not looking for very expensive ones , should be decent enough ).
Or am I better off buying a mixer with a good pre amp considering future expanding capabilities..
Am also looking for alternate approaches , pls do let me know ..

Thanks !
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Re: Who s the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby molecular » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:50 pm

Lekhan wrote:Hey guys !

I ve to gain up in audio interface for upto 75% to get an ideal signal level.
I ve a pop-up filter in btw and am standing or rather want to stand more or less 30 cms from mic.

And I am turning on phantom power (+48v).


This all sounds quite normal to me.

If by 75% you mean you have the preamp turned to 75% of it's max gain then I often find myself doing that with vocals. Many preamps provide very little useful gain until you reach the top of the dials, then it goes up very quickly.

You will certainly get a better balance between room and voice at 10cm but I have (since being helped on here!) had much better results at 30cm or more sometimes.

Is the sound you are recording actually bad in some way? If not, then I would say you don't have a problem :)
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Re: Who s the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby CS70 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:55 pm

Lekhan wrote:Hey guys !

Recently I bought a Samson C01 condenser mic ,I already had a M audio Mtrack plus audio interface (http://www.m-audio.com/products/view/m-track-plus) which I was using with Shure dynamic mic.

Now the problem I am facing is after I connect Samson C01 mic , I ve to gain up in audio interface for upto 75% to get an ideal signal level.

I haven't used either but the Samnson is quoted to 22.5mV/Pa, which is respectable. There's nothing wrong in using 75% of the available gain, so long you don't hear too much noise. If the 75% refers to the gain knob rotation, it's pretty common the much of the gain is found in the last part of the knob rotation.

So long your signal is fine, I wouldn't worry.
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Re: Who s the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby Kwackman » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:55 pm

Please don't be offended by this, but it's not the first time it's happened.

You ARE singing into the side of the mic, facing the "Samson" writing on the mic body and not into the front or top- as you would with a SM58?
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Re: Who s the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby Lekhan » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:58 pm

molecular wrote:
Lekhan wrote:Hey guys !

I ve to gain up in audio interface for upto 75% to get an ideal signal level.
I ve a pop-up filter in btw and am standing or rather want to stand more or less 30 cms from mic.

And I am turning on phantom power (+48v).


This all sounds quite normal to me.

If by 75% you mean you have the preamp turned to 75% of it's max gain then I often find myself doing that with vocals. Many preamps provide very little useful gain until you reach the top of the dials, then it goes up very quickly.

You will certainly get a better balance between room and voice at 10cm but I have (since being helped on here!) had much better results at 30cm or more sometimes.

Is the sound you are recording actually bad in some way? If not, then I would say you don't have a problem :)

Thanks for the feedback.
Sound quality is good at 75% gain, but I am surprised it is not picking up any small subtle noises /sounds in a non sound proof environment. Am surprised about the sensitivity of mic .. bcos ve use other condenser mics but of course little better than this one but I didn't expect the sensitivity difference to be night and day.!
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Re: Who s the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby Lekhan » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:04 pm

Kwackman wrote:Please don't be offended by this, but it's not the first time it's happened.

You ARE singing into the side of the mic, facing the "Samson" writing on the mic body and not into the front or top- as you would with a SM58?

No offence taken , am aware of polar pattern of this mic and from where mic picks up signal well..

Thanks for the feedback!
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Re: Who s the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby Lekhan » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:07 pm

CS70 wrote:
Lekhan wrote:Hey guys !

Recently I bought a Samson C01 condenser mic ,I already had a M audio Mtrack plus audio interface (http://www.m-audio.com/products/view/m-track-plus) which I was using with Shure dynamic mic.

Now the problem I am facing is after I connect Samson C01 mic , I ve to gain up in audio interface for upto 75% to get an ideal signal level.

I haven't used either but the Samnson is quoted to 22.5mV/Pa, which is respectable. There's nothing wrong in using 75% of the available gain, so long you don't hear too much noise. If the 75% refers to the gain knob rotation, it's pretty common the much of the gain is found in the last part of the knob rotation.

So long your signal is fine, I wouldn't worry.
Ok , that's re assuring !
Thanks for the feedback !
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Re: Who s the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby molecular » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:07 pm

If it is *very* different from the overall level from another cardioid condenser, then that is interesting, but if you have a good quality recording of the thing you want to record then I don't think you have anything to worry about. Different mics put out different levels, as mentioned.

Other mics will also pick up background sounds and room ambience in very different ways depending on their frequency response and polar pattern and if you are in a different room from where you tried the last mic then really anything could be happening!
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Re: Who s the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby Lekhan » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:15 pm

So far all the replies re assures me that it's ok to have an entry level interface pre amp gain to be at 75% as long as the signal is good.

However pls do share ur thoughts on why the mic is not being sensitive , as I said earlier I cannot hear any small /subtle details being picked up by mic . Its as though it's a dynamic mic. I ve used a blue yeti mic that used to pick up even a gentle knock on other side of wall.

Is it the limited sensitivity of this mic ? Or ?
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Re: Who s the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby molecular » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:43 am

I'm not sure what you mean by "sensitive" in this context...

Is the mic failing to pick up detail/subtleties in your voice?

or is the mic recording the voice how you want it, but seems less sensitive to - as you mentioned - things like quiet noises on the other side of the room?

It sounds like you mean the second, in which case I'd say that would be a good outcome in a vocal mic, and is likely a result of lots of different factors (perhaps it has a fairly tight polar pattern, perhaps it does not have a very hyped "presence" boost, perhaps you've got it in a good position in your room.

Perhaps it marks it out as a bad choice for drum overheads in the future...
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Re: Who s the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby CS70 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:59 am

Lekhan wrote:So far all the replies re assures me that it's ok to have an entry level interface pre amp gain to be at 75% as long as the signal is good.

However pls do share ur thoughts on why the mic is not being sensitive , as I said earlier I cannot hear any small /subtle details being picked up by mic . Its as though it's a dynamic mic. I ve used a blue yeti mic that used to pick up even a gentle knock on other side of wall.

Is it the limited sensitivity of this mic ? Or ?

The blue yeti (I read) seems to have 4mV/Pascal sensitivity, far less than than the Samson's 22mV/Pascal. However, it has many different polar patterns, while the Samson is cardioid only. Perhaps you were using a not-cardioid pattern when trying the yeti?
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Re: Who s the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby Lekhan » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:08 am

molecular wrote: in which case I'd say that would be a good outcome in a vocal mic, and is likely a result of lots of different factors (perhaps it has a fairly tight polar pattern, perhaps it does not have a very hyped "presence" boost

Quite possible!! Thanks for the feedback
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Re: Who s the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby Lekhan » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:21 am

CS70 wrote:The blue yeti (I read) seems to have 4mV/Pascal sensitivity, far less than than the Samson's 22mV/Pascal. However, it has many different polar patterns, while the Samson is cardioid only. Perhaps you were using a not-cardioid pattern when trying the yeti?

About the sensitivity comparison that's a good piece of info.Thanks!
I was using cardiod in the blue yeti too. Perhaps the built in pre-amp/A-D converters are slightly better/fine tuned for bringing out good levels from blue yeti mic.

Nonetheless i can see same level of details captured in samson at almost 85-90 percent gain. So perhaps in my situation it is boiling down to the in-built pre-amp that i have in my M-Track interface.

Anyway thanks for all the feedback , i have got good piece of advises from many of you guys.I guess the take away from this post is as long is its sounding good nothing much to worry about!! :)
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Re: Who s the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby Lekhan » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:55 am

Lekhan wrote:
CS70 wrote:The blue yeti (I read) seems to have 4mV/Pascal sensitivity, far less than than the Samson's 22mV/Pascal. However, it has many different polar patterns, while the Samson is cardioid only. Perhaps you were using a not-cardioid pattern when trying the yeti?

About the sensitivity comparison that's a good piece of info.Thanks!
I was using cardiod in the blue yeti too. Perhaps the built in pre-amp/A-D converters are slightly better/fine tuned for bringing out good levels from blue yeti mic.

Nonetheless i can see same level of details captured in samson at almost 85-90 percent gain. So perhaps in my situation it is boiling down to the in-built pre-amp that i have in my M-Track interface.

Anyway thanks for all the feedback , i have got good piece of advises from many of you guys.I guess the take away from this post is as long its sounding good nothing much to worry about!! :)
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Re: Who s the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby CS70 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:55 pm

Lekhan wrote:
CS70 wrote:The blue yeti (I read) seems to have 4mV/Pascal sensitivity, far less than than the Samson's 22mV/Pascal. However, it has many different polar patterns, while the Samson is cardioid only. Perhaps you were using a not-cardioid pattern when trying the yeti?

About the sensitivity comparison that's a good piece of info.Thanks!
I was using cardiod in the blue yeti too. Perhaps the built in pre-amp/A-D converters are slightly better/fine tuned for bringing out good levels from blue yeti mic.

Ah, then you're using a different preamp! :D Then all bets are off, comparisons make sense only if the rest of the chain is unchanged.

Nonetheless i can see same level of details captured in samson at almost 85-90 percent gain. So perhaps in my situation it is boiling down to the in-built pre-amp that i have in my M-Track interface.

Anyway thanks for all the feedback , i have got good piece of advises from many of you guys.I guess the take away from this post is as long is its sounding good nothing much to worry about!! :)

That's the holy grail of audio. Don't look at stuff, just listen to them. :D
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Re: Who's the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby Saxum esse et non provolvere » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:02 pm

Ah yes - the Yeti is a USB mic. Doh ! Apples and oranges ...
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Re: Who's the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby Lekhan » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:25 am

Thanks every one for the feedback!

Conclusion:
I started this thread wondering if there was anything faulty with the mic so that i can quickly get a replacement. Based on the feedback received here , it was the interface that was the culprit in this situation which was causing me to gain up a lot.

Cheers :)
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Re: Who's the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby artzmusic » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:19 am

Lekhan, I'm late to the discussion as always but just wanted to share that I've moved over to the Steinberg UR242 from the M-audio Profire. The difference in preamp gain is significant and I am extremely happy about it. In one application I am using a ribbon mic for voice overs for one of my clients and needed the extra gain. (along with the cloudlifter)

So perhaps upgrading the interface would take you where you want to be with the gain.

Rick
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Re: Who's the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby Lekhan » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:36 am

artzmusic wrote:Lekhan, I'm late to the discussion as always but just wanted to share that I've moved over to the Steinberg UR242 from the M-audio Profire. The difference in preamp gain is significant and I am extremely happy about it. In one application I am using a ribbon mic for voice overs for one of my clients and needed the extra gain. (along with the cloudlifter)

So perhaps upgrading the interface would take you where you want to be with the gain.

Rick

Thanks for suggesting and sharing your experience with M-audio, artzmusic !!
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Re: Who's the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby ef37a » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:48 am

There is something odd (naughty? Porkies?) going on here.

The mic amp gain for the M-Track + is quoted as 55dB (and 'sensitivity' as -53dBu. Whatever THAT* means!) . Now, 55dB is about the same max gain as my NI KA6 and I have no trouble getting decent levels from an AKG P150 (-38dB, 14mV) so why is the M-A unit so insensitive ? Have they come up with a way to kludge a gain figure that does not stand scrutiny?

*I have said this before. It would be much more useful for AI manufactures to quote the input voltage (mV, dBu or dBV) needed at max gain for say, 0dBFS . That way we can instantly know what level any particular microphone will record at. Many manfctrs are bad at specifications but AFAIK mic peeps always give a sensitivity?

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Re: Who's the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby molecular » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:23 am

ef37a wrote:There is something odd (naughty? Porkies?) going on here.

The mic amp gain for the M-Track + is quoted as 55dB (and 'sensitivity' as -53dBu. Whatever THAT* means!) . Now, 55dB is about the same max gain as my NI KA6 and I have no trouble getting decent levels from an AKG P150 (-38dB, 14mV) so why is the M-A unit so insensitive ? Have they come up with a way to kludge a gain figure that does not stand scrutiny.

As I understood the OP, the concern was not that they had maxed out the gain, but that the knob was 3/4 of the way around.

I was thinking it was a more straight forward case of all the dBs being gathered in the last third of the actual physical travel, so the overall gain might be fine/as described.

maybe I picked that up wrong though. Do people have difficulty getting a level even when the gain is maxed out?
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Re: Who's the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby ef37a » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:32 pm

molecular wrote:
ef37a wrote:There is something odd (naughty? Porkies?) going on here.

The mic amp gain for the M-Track + is quoted as 55dB (and 'sensitivity' as -53dBu. Whatever THAT* means!) . Now, 55dB is about the same max gain as my NI KA6 and I have no trouble getting decent levels from an AKG P150 (-38dB, 14mV) so why is the M-A unit so insensitive ? Have they come up with a way to kludge a gain figure that does not stand scrutiny.

As I understood the OP, the concern was not that they had maxed out the gain, but that the knob was 3/4 of the way around.

I was thinking it was a more straight forward case of all the dBs being gathered in the last third of the actual physical travel, so the overall gain might be fine/as described.

maybe I picked that up wrong though. Do people have difficulty getting a level even when the gain is maxed out?

I don't think you are wrong Molecular. It does not happen here on SoS forum but I have seen quite a few questions of this type on others. Invariably it is an acoustic guitar or speech that is the problem. The fact is that the two sources are pretty similar in level, i.e. about 70-75dB SPL. That USED to be the sound level for microphone sensititvity specc' but it is now 1 Pascal, around 20dB higher.

Add this lower SPL to the newb's tendency to want DAW meters hitting -1dBfs and you have a recipe for "Can't get enough signal!"

For anyone who remembers tape, it is likely the pre amps had more gain since tape noise would mask any pre amp noise. Even cheap AIs and mixers these days have pre amps we would have KILLED for back in the day, at least in terms of noise performance!

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Re: Who's the culprit ? Samson C01 condenser mic or Mtrack inter

Postby CS70 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:34 pm

ef37a wrote:There is something odd (naughty? Porkies?) going on here.

The mic amp gain for the M-Track + is quoted as 55dB (and 'sensitivity' as -53dBu. Whatever THAT* means!) . Now, 55dB is about the same max gain as my NI KA6 and I have no trouble getting decent levels.

Dave.

The OP is getting decent levels. It's just that he got that turning the knob more than with a different preamp (the Yeti's builtin one). So really nothing to be concerned about :D
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