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Preamp? Phantom Power?

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Hello all! I'm looking at purchasing my first big boy (non-USB) microphone. I don't understand exactly what phantom power or a pre-amp is. The mic I'm looking at says something in the specifications likee: "P48 (48V), P24 (24V) phantom supply." What does this mean?


If someone could help me out with the following questions, I'd really appreciate it.


1. When I buy a regular studio condensor microphone (that needs a phantom power source), what else do I need to connect it with my mac?


2. What are some recommended pre-amps/phantom power sources that I should look at?


Thanks so much!

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I'm looking to record only solo vocals, and spend under 300 dollars on the non-microphone setup. Any pre-amp recommendations?


You're welcome!


The Audio Interface that I recommended will suit your purpose perfectly. I use the older Firebox (Firestudio Mobile replaced the Firebox). No additional pre-amp needed (the FSM has two Mic pre-amps built in)....and it's in your price range :D .

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There are many options. It depends on what you want to accomplish and how much you want to spend.

The example Scott gave is an "Audio Interface", it is an all in one type box, that incorporates: mic pre-amps, mix interface, AD/DA section, and other I/Os, dependent on the specific product or maker, for ether USB, Firewire, PCI, and soon to be Thunderbolt hookups (attaching into the computer).


It is a good beginning level acquisition, as pricing is mostly under $500, and their acoustic quality, unit dependent, varies as being acceptably good, and user friendly.


The alternative is to get into individual units (ie. pre-amps, AD/DA, etc...) which gets very $$$ expensive, and the quality goes up into the realms of excellence.


There are quite a few threads on LPH that discuss the in's & out's of all such units. So begin by 'searching' the threads here and other places, and you should be able to learn, most, if not all you need to know about them :roll:



Hope that brings some more clarity to the issue :wink:

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some mics (like the one you described) mics need a polarizing voltage in order to work. The most common source of polarizing voltage is the 48V 'phantom' (P48) power source, which is why many mixing consoles have a phantom power supply built in.

there are many interfaces firewire/usb that do this job.

I personally use the TASCAM us-122 USB audio interface, it has phantom power built in and has a dedicated switch to turn it on or off. It works like a diamond with my Behringer condenser microphone. im sure there are loads that do the same sort of thing, check it out (its a pretty decent price!) http://tascam.com/product/us-122mkii/

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