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Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

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Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:05 pm
by Gideon26
I just received my first audio interface in the mail yesterday. It is the Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD. I was going to hook up my mic (Excelvan BM-800) and do a quick test recording today, but when I had everything ready and plugged in I never got a signal from mic and wasn't recording anything. I am new to this sorta thing so I think it's a user error :tongue: and I must have done something wrong while setting up even tho I've tried to find the problem countless times. Is there certain steps I must take for it to work? Am I connecting things right? I am using Garageband on Mac OS (Mojave). I will try to give more detail but not sure what people need to know. I am 15 and just starting out, so I would greatly appreciate any help I can get.

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:39 pm
by Sam Spoons
Have you switched phantom power on? It's the switch marked +48V on the back. Can you play anything back through the interface? Can you play something from Garage Band through the interface (a virtual instrument maybe)?

edit :- welcome to the forum BTW :thumbup:

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:51 pm
by Wonks
Hi and welcome to the forum.

Two main point to check:

1) The microphone requires 48v 'phantom power' to work. It is a capacitor mic, which has electronics inside to amplify the signal from the diaphragm. This is done by supplying 48v dc along two of the wires inside the XLR cable to the mic, with the 0v return connected to the cable screen.

(Dynamic mics don't need phantom power but have a lower output)

There is a switch on the back of the UMC to turn on the 48v dc power. This turns on the 48v phantom power to all 4 mic channels. Turn the input gain right down, connect up the mic, then turn on the phantom power, then turn up the mic gain. Turning on (and off) the 48v always gives a loud 'pop' so have the headphone and/or monitor sound turned down as well when you do this. Always best to have the 48v turned off when connecting or disconnecting mics. There is a small LED on the front of the UMC to indicate when the 48v power is on.

2) The mic is a 'side address' mic, that is, you speak/sing into the side, not the end, of the mic (as the Excelevan picturse imply). You also have to speak.sing into the correct side of the mic, and this is normally the side with the mic name on.

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:58 pm
by ef37a
Sam Spoons wrote:Have you switched phantom power on? It's the switch marked +48V on the back. Can you play anything back through the interface? Can you play something from Garage Band through the interface (a virtual instrument maybe)?

edit :- welcome to the forum BTW :thumbup:

Now, I say this with the greatest respect..You have bought an XLR to XLR microphone cable?

I ask because the BM-800 (had 2) does not come with one, it comes with an XLR to 3.5mm (1/8th inch) stereo jack plug. That will not work with the Behringer interface.

You should however be able to prove the mic out by using the supplied cable on the mac. I am sorry but I am not familiar with the mac's sound setup but many here will be.

Dave.

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:01 pm
by Wonks
Also, what cable are you using to connect the mic to the UMC? The mic seems to come with a (basically useless) XLR to TRS 3.5mm jack cable.

You'll need a male to female XLR cable to get the mic to work with the interface. Something similar to one of these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/C2G-Pro-Audio- ... LR+5m+-DMX

If you've tried using the supplied cable with a 3.5mm to 1/4" adapter (often supplied with headphones) plugged into a 'combi' input (combined XLR and jack socket), then it won't work because 48v power is only provided to the XLR connections in the connector. The jack is meant for instruments or line level inputs, and they really don't like being given 48v, so the connections for the jack input part don't have 48v on regardless of switch position.

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:51 pm
by G-Doubleyou
Have you selected your interface in System Preferences/ Sound preference pane?

:?:

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:29 am
by Gideon26
Sam Spoons wrote:Have you switched phantom power on? It's the switch marked +48V on the back. Can you play anything back through the interface? Can you play something from Garage Band through the interface (a virtual instrument maybe)?

edit :- welcome to the forum BTW :thumbup:

Yes. I had it on, but before I connected the mic.
I wasn't able to playback anything. I had my headphones plugged into the interface and could hear things from my computer but when I switched it to monitor sound from mic, it was just some static (not loud).
I don't have an instrument to play through it . I'm using it for recording audio dramas, doing voice overs, etc. So I only will be using mics.

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:47 am
by Gideon26
Wonks wrote:Hi and welcome to the forum.

Two main point to check:

1) The microphone requires 48v 'phantom power' to work. It is a capacitor mic, which has electronics inside to amplify the signal from the diaphragm. This is done by supplying 48v dc along two of the wires inside the XLR cable to the mic, with the 0v return connected to the cable screen.

(Dynamic mics don't need phantom power but have a lower output)

There is a switch on the back of the UMC to turn on the 48v dc power. This turns on the 48v phantom power to all 4 mic channels. Turn the input gain right down, connect up the mic, then turn on the phantom power, then turn up the mic gain. Turning on (and off) the 48v always gives a loud 'pop' so have the headphone and/or monitor sound turned down as well when you do this. Always best to have the 48v turned off when connecting or disconnecting mics. There is a small LED on the front of the UMC to indicate when the 48v power is on.

2) The mic is a 'side address' mic, that is, you speak/sing into the side, not the end, of the mic (as the Excelevan picturse imply). You also have to speak.sing into the correct side of the mic, and this is normally the side with the mic name on.


I had phantom power on, but I was very random in setting up my mic... meaning i had 48v on before connecting my mic, and the gain was probably up too :headbang:

My interface isn't even getting a signal from the mic, so whichever direction i speak into the mic, i will get nothing.

Image

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:53 am
by Gideon26
ef37a wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:Have you switched phantom power on? It's the switch marked +48V on the back. Can you play anything back through the interface? Can you play something from Garage Band through the interface (a virtual instrument maybe)?

edit :- welcome to the forum BTW :thumbup:

Now, I say this with the greatest respect..You have bought an XLR to XLR microphone cable?

I ask because the BM-800 (had 2) does not come with one, it comes with an XLR to 3.5mm (1/8th inch) stereo jack plug. That will not work with the Behringer interface.

You should however be able to prove the mic out by using the supplied cable on the mac. I am sorry but I am not familiar with the mac's sound setup but many here will be.

Dave.

Yes. I have an XLR female to XLR male. (from my mic to the input on the interface.) I also have on on my mic boom arm (whatever you call it :P )
I used the mic (with a small power box that came with the set, I have the excelvan BM-800 kareoke set.) a week or two ago and it was fine, but it seems to have trouble with the UMC404.

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:57 am
by Gideon26
Wonks wrote:Also, what cable are you using to connect the mic to the UMC? The mic seems to come with a (basically useless) XLR to TRS 3.5mm jack cable.

You'll need a male to female XLR cable to get the mic to work with the interface. Something similar to one of these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/C2G-Pro-Audio- ... LR+5m+-DMX

If you've tried using the supplied cable with a 3.5mm to 1/4" adapter (often supplied with headphones) plugged into a 'combi' input (combined XLR and jack socket), then it won't work because 48v power is only provided to the XLR connections in the connector. The jack is meant for instruments or line level inputs, and they really don't like being given 48v, so the connections for the jack input part don't have 48v on regardless of switch position.


I'm using a male to female XLR cable. I didn't even think about connecting it with the TRS lol

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:58 am
by Gideon26
G-Doubleyou wrote:Have you selected your interface in System Preferences/ Sound preference pane?

:?:

Yes. I've set it up on both input and output.

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:13 am
by Martin Walker
Hi Gideon26, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

Your image above didn't originally make it successfully into the SOS Forums, because you inserted an imgur link between our two Img tags, so I edited your post for you so it appeared properly.

What you need to do in future is right-click on your desired image, choose the 'Copy image address' option, and then paste that between our two Img tags.


Martin

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:44 am
by Gideon26
Martin Walker wrote:Hi Gideon26, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

Your image above didn't originally make it successfully into the SOS Forums, because you inserted an imgur link between our two Img tags, so I edited your post for you so it appeared properly.

What you need to do in future is right-click on your desired image, choose the 'Copy image address' option, and then paste that between our two Img tags.


Martin

Oh ok will do. :thumbup:

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:07 am
by ef37a
Gideon26 wrote:
ef37a wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:Have you switched phantom power on? It's the switch marked +48V on the back. Can you play anything back through the interface? Can you play something from Garage Band through the interface (a virtual instrument maybe)?

edit :- welcome to the forum BTW :thumbup:

Now, I say this with the greatest respect..You have bought an XLR to XLR microphone cable?

I ask because the BM-800 (had 2) does not come with one, it comes with an XLR to 3.5mm (1/8th inch) stereo jack plug. That will not work with the Behringer interface.

You should however be able to prove the mic out by using the supplied cable on the mac. I am sorry but I am not familiar with the mac's sound setup but many here will be.

Dave.

Yes. I have an XLR female to XLR male. (from my mic to the input on the interface.) I also have on on my mic boom arm (whatever you call it :P )
I used the mic (with a small power box that came with the set, I have the excelvan BM-800 kareoke set.) a week or two ago and it was fine, but it seems to have trouble with the UMC404.

I cannot find any information on that kareoke set but I suspect it uses the computer's low voltage supply for the microphone, possibly via USB?
If that is the case that leaves three other possibilities. The UMC is not putting out 48V. Unlikely even for a Behringer! The XLR-XLR cable is faulty or the phantom power circuit in the mic is faulty and of the three I would say the last is the most likely.

The BM-800 and related mics ARE remarkable value and quite well made. My two also work well, not as sensitve as my Sontronics LDC but some 10dB hotter than an SM57. They also work ok on 48V or via a laptop jack (and I think are a better bet than many USB mics)
However, the forum pages were rife with other people having problems with the mics. Low levels, no level, noise. The QC it seems is not at all good and so it is very likely IMO that yours is faulty.

Do you own a digital multimeter? If not I strongly urge you to get one. Something around £20/$20 is easily good enough. Thus equipped you can test the cable for continuity and for the presence of 48V.

Or, the BM-800s are SO cheap you could just order another one (just the mic) and use that to test the system and proceed from the results obtained?

Dave.

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:41 am
by blinddrew
Do you have access to (via a friend or in an old box somewhere) another mic and cable you can use to test?
At the moment the problem could be in the mic, the cable, or the interface. The earlier you can shorten that list the quicker you solve your problem. :)

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:46 am
by Gideon26
blinddrew wrote:Do you have access to (via a friend or in an old box somewhere) another mic and cable you can use to test?
At the moment the problem could be in the mic, the cable, or the interface. The earlier you can shorten that list the quicker you solve your problem. :)

I have another cable (brand new blucoil), which I have already tried but got the same results (or lack of results :tongue: )

I have a power box that came with my BM-800 so I will test that soon.

Not sure about testing another mic... I think one of my friends has a mic, I'll have to ask him about it.

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:00 am
by ef37a
"Not sure about testing another mic... I think one of my friends has a mic, I'll have to ask him about it."

Ask if he has a test meter as well! Does not HAVE to be digital. An old Avo 8 or a Simpson would do famously.

Dave.

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:02 am
by Gideon26
ef37a wrote:"Not sure about testing another mic... I think one of my friends has a mic, I'll have to ask him about it."

Ask if he has a test meter as well! Does not HAVE to be digital. An old Avo 8 or a Simpson would do famously.

Dave.

:thumbup: I'll be sure to ask. Thanks

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:23 pm
by Rich Hanson
I might be off base as I am unfamiliar with this mic, but if it comes with an XLR to TRS lead, does that suggest it would be using the computer's 5V supply? If so, could connecting it to 48V phantom power might have done something unfortunate to it?

Re: Help! My new audio interface isn't picking up sig from mic!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:37 pm
by ef37a
Rich Hanson wrote:I might be off base as I am unfamiliar with this mic, but if it comes with an XLR to TRS lead, does that suggest it would be using the computer's 5V supply? If so, could connecting it to 48V phantom power might have done something unfortunate to it?

No, the microphone uses an "Electret" capsule, a pemantly charged capacitor cell (like a magnet but electricakle) and so the only power the mic needs is for the impedance converter amplifier. This can be derived from the 5V at most laptop mic jacks or indeed from 48V spook juice.

Dave.