Podcast setup with Behringer C-1s

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Member Since: Oct 07, 2008

Hi folks,

I'm setting up a three- to four-person podcast. I have four Behringer C-1 condenser mics going into a Mackie CR-1604 mixer, running into the input on my Creative Labs X-Fi sound card. Alternatively I can run it through a Digidesign M-box 2 Mini, but it doesn't seem to make a big difference either way.

It seems like I really have to be extremely up close to the mic to get it to register much at all, and even with the channel and output levels maxed, the actual volume of the voice recording is quite low. Meanwhile, ambient noise (or noise introduced somewhere else along the chain, I don't really know) is quite audible--no surprise there, since all the levels are up so high. The signal to noise ratio is pretty bad.

Are there some basic recording principles I may be neglecting? Is my equipment ill-suited to this task? I did some research on the mics and I read a number of guides and posts indicating they're a pretty good compromise for the price--I couldn't afford to go much higher.

Thanks for any help.

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Ne'er ate 'er
Since: Apr 05, 2006

Oct 07, 2008 07:30 am

Do you have the Mackie's 48V phantom power switched on?

Since: Oct 07, 2008

Oct 07, 2008 12:20 pm

Yep, and the indicator lights on the mics are on.

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Oct 07, 2008 04:46 pm

At the top of each channel on the mixer should be a 'gain' or 'trim' knob. Be sure that those knobs (for each mic) is turned up to a level that's proper for the amount of signal.

Gain staging, is setting the amount of gain for a preamp (or subsequent device). Make signal into the mic, to the highest level that you anticipate receiving during normal recording. Now turn the gain up (during signal) until the clip light comes on occasionally. Now turn down the gain so the clip light does not light up anymore. You should be getting a level that's pretty decent, but not getting up to the clip level.

If that's not it, and you're gain staging the mixer correctly, then I'd look at the mic or line inputs in the sound applet(s) of your PC. The mic / line level input may be turned down. Same idea on level applies here: turn up the gain (digitally) in the PC applet until it gets phat signal, but doesn't clip. Then you should be able to record a nice juicy signal, with proper volume.

Output is somewhat similar, only going in the other direction.

basically, start from the mic, and test each step, making sure the signal is in good shape before you move on to the next step.


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