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Preamp Gain vs Pad

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Studdy, Jun 27, 2015.

  1. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    Question for you guys, let's use this scenario.

    Your recording something that is fairly loud and your go to mic preamp is fairly hot so the mic preamp needs little to 0 gain to bring the source to proper recording levels.

    Do you prefer to use a pad on the mic or inline and at least have the preamp turned up a bit or do you leave the preamp on very low gain and not use a pad?I've been experimenting with both, just curious to hear some opinions or experiences. Cheers
     
  2. abt

    abt BT

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    I don't know what gear you're using but I always go with the boost early cut late idea. The further down the chain you start boosting the higher the noise floor will be. Having said that it depends on what happens to the sound when you start doing any cutting or boosting. If it's hitting the pre to hard then use the mic pad, it's there for a reason, don't be afraid to use it, other than that I'd probably work at the pre because it usually sounds better.

    Edit: Also keep in mind if your pre gain is super low and it a colourful pre then you'll probably lose the colour you get from having the pre gain up.
     
  3. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    I guess a simpler question could have been "do built in mic pads ever affect the microphone in a negative way, do they impart something?" Or is a pad simple with absolutely nothing but gain reduced? I know very little about mic pads, built in or additional inline ones.
     
  4. anotherpaul

    anotherpaul Member

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    Same question. I guess it's subjective, but I found that with loud singer my oktava mk-220 sounds less harsh with built-in pad on and compensated with preamp gain.
     
  5. Kohugaly

    Kohugaly Member

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    A little on how condenser mics work: The charged diaphragm works as a capacitor - when it moves it changes (capacity which changes) the voltage. This signal is very weak, so all condenser mics have an internal preamp (usually FET or a tube). If the diaphragm moves too much (loud sound) it may clip the internal preamp. That's why some mics have a pad, which is basically on-off-switchable resistor between diaphragm and the preamp and reduces the voltage before it hits it.

    @ anotherpaul - great example - loud singer probably clips the internal preamp of the mic = it sounds harsher. With pad on and compesated on the preamp gain, there's no clipping. However it may rise the noise-floor.
     

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