I just got an m-box firewire solo and I've been recording vocals with an SM58 (not a condenser mic). The recording volume basically HAS to be all the way up to get loud enough recordings, will using a condenser mic solve this problem? Also, in most cases would it be better to direct record guitar, or mic the amp? Your help would be much appreciated .
Well the SM58 doesn't require Phantom Power as far as I can remember...and I'm assuming that the M-Audio Firewire Solo has mic preamps...soooo, did you make sure that the recording volume is up on BOTH the physical unit and the recording program itself? If so check whether you have software limiting on in either, assuming they have those capabilities, sometimes that can cause the program to cut off more of the signal than is intended.
what program are you using?
A dynamic mic should work without having to max out the preamp and is suggested for higher volume inputs such as metal type singers or amp micing.

Condensers are for quiet instruments and some vocals that are not too loud.

What levels are you getting even when you max the preamp?
It could be a bad interface in which case you should get it replaced...but try replacing the cables first.

Im guessing you are micing a guitar amp. In this case a dynamic is good to use. Turn down your amp gain and up the volume some. Its best to mic an amp rather than DI.
I'm using garageband. My computers input volume is maxed, as well as the input volume in garageband. When the preamp is all the way up I get normal volume recordings at normal distance from the mic, its just that any less than that and I have to be really close to the mic and sing very loud for it to pick up. I can get way-too-loud recordings w/ the preamp at max if Im eating the mic, but if I'm not I get just-barely-loud-enough recordings usually, when it seems like at that volume anything should be way louder than the rest of the mix. The guitar preamp is great, it stays around 50% most of the time when plugged directly in.
Ok, quick question: when direct recording vocals, should I be going mic directly to audio interface, or should I run it through an amp? Because I still have to have the interface volume maxed out to get loud enough recordings, going mic to interface.
The mic should go straight into the interface. Keep in mind this IS a dynamic mic, so you'll need to be within 6" or so while singing for it to work properly.
Hm alright. Im always within 6" of the mic...but I was wondering, could my cable be the problem? It's some double-cable thing (with 2 inputs and 2 outputs) that I got a lot of with some audio/video equipment. I figured it would work as 2 seperate cables, but could it be a stereo cable or something that would reduce the volume?

Hmm...that shouldn't be the case since each wire would be separate from each other. Have you tried other microphones/wires?
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Unfortunately thats the only type I have access to right now. Tomorrow I'll be able to try a normal cable and mic.
The only thing I can think it would be is a bad mic and/or cable or a bad interface.

The only way to rule out problems is to try different components such as mics and XLR cables

I use the 57 from time to time with vocals and you have to turn the preamp on my yamaha mixer up to about 8 of 10 and stay close to the mic just to get fair levels out of it.

If you have your preamp pinned you should be able to get some fair levels unless you are singing really quiet...but I think its a hardware problem TBH.
Last edited by moody07747 at May 28, 2008,
pretty much what everyone has been saying is correct that the sm58/57's need to be super duper closely miced up... perhaps meaning the preamp would need to be maxed out. be away that if u get too close the 'proximity effect' happens and u will receive more bass from the input.