#1
I bought a Shure SM57 microphone, cable, and some adapters so that I can stick it straight into the microphone port on my sound card.It works but the problem is that it records about 35dB too quietly.

So I did some searching and it turns out I should have also bought a preamp. I don't feel like buying a preamp for another $50 because the microphone was already a little more than I wanted to spend.

So some questions before I actually do go an buy a preamp.

1) What the preamp will do is amplify the signal from my microphone to be loud enough for normal recording. Is it gonna be able to do more than 35dB amplification?

2) Is something wrong with my mic? I used cheapo $5 mics in videogames and they are loud enough without any external preamps. Does anyone know why this happens?

3) I got this cunning idea that I could use my guitar amps preamp. I haven't had the time to test this and my roommate is sleeping so I dont want to make noises to test right now. But I would plug my mic right where you normally plug in your guitar, then I have a headphone-out 1/4, and I would stick a cable in there and put it in my computer through the 1/4 -> 1/8 converter.

Would this work? And is it going to screw with the sound quality?


Or if anyone else knows what is wrong please let me know.
#2
1) If you're using windows you, in volume control go file; properties, and then there might be a microphone boost somewhere there.

2) I don't think anything's wrong with your mic it's just that your fancy shure mic is really designed for preamps and PA system rather then soundlbaster sound cards so there's a slight difference in output.

3) You could use your guitar amps preamp depending on what guitar amp you have, it's going to colour the tone a little bit but if you've got a Cube amp just set the COSM to vocals, or any other amp try and get it as clean as you can and with teh EQ settings all in the middle and then tweak it a bit till it sounds right. You might lose a bit of quality because you're using a preamp and then converting the signal back to analogue and sending it to your computer that converts the signal back to digital, so not as good as a USB powered preamp, but still semi decent.

I've used the preamp on my microcube and it sounded pretty dull and lifeless but for what it was it wasn't bad. Start with the amp and then migrate to the cheap usb preamp when you're ready to be a bit more serious about your recordings.
Marty
#3
After doing a little reading, what I got was that generally if you are recording something soft and quiet like an acoustic guitar or voice, you need a preamp. If your are recording out of a halfstack, you should be fine the way it is. Is the pretty much correct?
#4
yeah, go thru ur amp. 1/4 headphone out to 1/8" input into computer.
Jenneh

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#5
I heard you can use an effects pedal as a preamp too. Any truth to this?
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#6
well not for vocals unless u want that effect on it.

but yeah, u can plug ur guitar thru a pedal to get ur volume up.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

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#8
mics like the SM57 need alot of gain to get to get to what we would call 'normal' recording levels. To do this you need a 'Preamp' this takes the sound from the mic and basically makes it louder, from the preamp you then go into your computer.

I think the best choice for you is a small firewire interface if you have a firewire port on your computer, this will not only amplify the signal but will actually get you a better recording quality that what you soundcard probably has. If you dont want to buy that then you could just buy a small and cheap mixer with built in preamps but these can often be the same price as a small firewire interface and you will still have to go into your computers soundcard which may sound poor.

As for your 3rd idea - where would you plug in your guitar if you microphone is in the Input of your amp?
#9
i think because he's recording acoustic and voice. captured with the mic, boosted thru the amp into the computer.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A/GB&C WTLT Lists 2011
#10
He could just get a cheap $30 mini-mixer from behringer and run that into his line in. I do that and my tone ins't too bad. Chances are the mic preamp in your sound card is crappy anyway, I know mine is.
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#11
^+1

there is a guy on here, Corgan33, who uses a Behringer mixer and a shure57 to mic his setup. He has some of the best sounding home recordings I've heard.
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