Confirm that the preamp you are plugging your microphone into has phantom power and it is turned on (see more about phantom power below). Check the cable you are using; there is a chance that the cable is bad or you are using the wrong type of cable to transmit phantom power. If you are plugging your microphone into a computer via an audio interface, make sure you have the correct input settings.
What is phantom power?
Phantom power is DC power, typically in the form of a 48 volt signal (though phantom power can range from 9V - 52V). This power is supplied to condenser microphones by either a dedicated preamplifier, a preamplifier built into an audio mixer's input channel, or a computer interface with a built-in preamp. Phantom power enables condenser microphones to operate.
Check the owner's manual of the equipment you are plugging your microphone into. Typically preamps have a button labeled 48V which you can push to activate the phantom power.
What if I don't have phantom power?
You can obtain phantom power by purchasing a stand-alone 48V phantom power supply box, a microphone pre-amplifier with phantom power, or a 48 volt phantom power-equipped audio mixer.
How many volts of phantom power do I need?
MXL microphones require 48 volts +/- 4V of phantom power to operate correctly (unless stated otherwise in the owner's manual). Some devices provide 15 volts, and although most MXL microphones will work at this voltage, it will not operate at maximum efficiency.
What kind of cable do I need to use with phantom power?
You must use an XLR cable. An XLR cable uses a 3-pin connector on both ends of the cable. Phantom power will not work with a cable that has an XLR connector on one end and a quarter-inch phone plug connector on the other end.
Is phantom power bad for my other microphones?
Phantom power is typically not harmful to microphones that do not require it. Most microphones that do not require phantom power will ignore the unneeded voltage; however, some ribbon microphones can be damaged by phantom power. Please read your microphone's owner's manual for specific instructions about using phantom power with your microphone.
My microphone has an undesired noise in the audio signal. What should I do?
Check the source you are plugging your microphone into. Try using a different mic cable; there is a chance your cable is bad. Plug in a different mic and see if you get the same noise.
Is there a warranty on my microphone?
What is the best microphone for vocals?
Choosing the best microphone is very subjective. It depends on many variables such as the style of music, the characteristics of the voice, or the specific sound the engineer and band is going for. The best way to select a microphone is to audition the microphone. If you can not audition a microphone, we have a new feature on our website to sort the microphones by application. This is just a general recommendation for which microphone to use on vocals, instruments, ensemble, broadcast, and percussion. We will also be adding audio samples to our website so continue to check for updates.
What is a shockmount and why would I use it?
Shockmounts de-couple or "separate" the microphone from the mic stand and the environment. The shockmount will minimize floor noise as well as any noise induced by people handling the microphone stand. Shockmounts should be considered "standard equipment" for all recording applications.
What is a -10 dB pad?
A -10 dB pad is a switch or knob that lowers the level of an incoming signal (such as a microphone) before it reaches the rest of the circuitry. If you are recording something very loud (such as a guitar amp) and the signal is overpowering your recorder, you would select the -10 dB pad. This will lower the volume of the microphone, making the input signal more manageable.
What is a low-cut filter?
A low-cut filter is an electronic filter that allows only the frequencies higher than a given point to pass, eliminating all frequencies below this point. In actual use, it has an effect similar to that of using a shockmount, in that it eliminates low-end rumble and similar noise. Low-cut can be used when recording acoustic guitar and, sometimes, vocals to alleviate low frequency noise that can seep into your recording.
How does a USB microphones work?
A USB microphone makes recording to the computer simple. All of the necessary preamps and A/D converters have been built into the microphone to reduce the amount of gear and hassle typically required to record high quality into a computer. It is simple plug and play, and there are no extra drivers to install.
Are MXL's USB mics compatible with Vista?
Yes. If you are having difficulties getting the mic to work with Vista, it is a matter of configuring the correct settings within the control panel or the software you are using. There are no additional drivers required for Vista. (Please note that the MXL 990 Soft Pre Software is not compatible with Vista. This Soft Pre is not necessary on Vista and the 990 USB microphone will work just fine without it.)
Is recording software included?
No. However, you can download our free MXL Recording Software from our MXL website which only works for the MXLUSB.006, USB.007, USB.008, and the MXL Mic Mates. We also recommend a free program called Audacity. For those tracking MIDI and live instruments along with their vocal tracks, we recommend a program called Reaper. This is shareware that you can also download for free and get incredible results.
When I plug in my USB microphone, all my sound disables and I cannot hear anything. What should I do?
It's possible that you have the sound playback defaulted as the USB Audio. Follow these steps to correct this:1. Go into your control panel 2. Go into your sound and audio devices 3. Click on the Audio Tab 4. Default your sound recording to the USB Audio Codec 5. Default your sound playback to the sound card you are using. (These steps are also in the owner's manual.)
Why can't I hear myself when I am recording with my USB microphone?
To monitor your performance with a USB microphone, the audio must go from the microphone to the computer and then back out of the speakers or headphones. Windows and Mac computers do not currently support active play-through or direct monitoring, so the process of getting the audio out of the computer is left up to your computer recording software. Please refer to your recording software's owner's manual for the proper settings to accomplish this.
When I am using my USB mic, I get a delayed signal (latency). What should I do?
To reduce latency, make sure the USB mic is the only USB device plugged into your computer. Using multiple devices (connected) can slow down your computer.
Some recording software will let you reduce the buffer size which will help reduce latency. Audio programs typically use a lot of computer memory so be sure to have plenty of RAM to speed up your computer's performance. If you are on a PC, you can also download an ASIO4ALL driver. This driver reduces the latency in your computer.
My USB mic is cutting in and out. How can I stop this?
First, make sure the USB Mic is plugged into its own USB port and not a hub or USB insert on a keyboard. Second, if possible try using a different USB cable. This will help determine if the mic is faulty or not. Third, be sure you do not have too many USB devices plugged in simultaneously.
What is the difference between the USB.006, USB.007 & USB.008?
The .006 and .008 are both mono microphones. The difference between the two is the .008 has a larger 32mm capsule instead of the 22mm capsule found in the .006. This gives the .008 a bigger sound and full frequency response 20Hz-20kHz. The .007 is different from the other two because it is a stereo microphone. There are two 22mm capsules in an XY pattern for direct stereo recording.
Who can I contact if I need additional help?
If you are still in need of help, you can contact Tech Support. firstname.lastname@example.org
When contacting tech support, please include the following information to make the process as helpful and quick as possible.
1. MXL Product Name and/or model number
2. Date the product was purchased
3. A detailed description of the problem.
4. If the problem is a noise in the signal, please describe the sound to the best of your abilities or include a few second long sound file of the noise
(All sound files must be less than 1MB.)
5. If the problem is related to computer recording, please include the operating system you are using and the software you are recording with.
6. Please describe any other audio equipment you are using with your MXL mic: preamp, mixer, audio interface, etc.
7. When the problem started.
8. Any other details that can help us help you.
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