Mic levels & gain


Hello and welcome to the computers with ease podcast where we talk about all things related audio and video.

Hello everyone in today’s podcast I want to talk about mic levels and gain. This is been one of the issues that I’ve struggled with ever since I’ve been doing a podcast and am still struggling with. Even though I’ve changed my equipment over time, as I’m sure many of you have.

The first thing I’m gonna briefly talk about is the equipment that I’m currently using. I’ve got a Rodecaster Pro, I’m using a Podmic also from Rode. What I use, as far as editing software is a program called Wave pad and I’ll put a link to that software in the notes.

One of the problems that I’m finding at the moment is that my gain settings on the Rodecaster Pro for the mic is at 35 to 40, so I’m driving the preamps significantly hard. This is leading to a high noise floor in my recordings, meaning that there’s a lot of background noise in the recording, which I have to try and edit out later in this is not necessarily always easy thing to do.

Now next let me give you some statistics as to my set up in terms of the settings before I tell you how I managed to fix this series were of problems. As I said before, the mic levels on the Rodecaster were between 35 and 40 and the maximum for the Rodecaster is 55.

My noise floor on a recording within my wave pad software was – 39 DB and that’s after trying various adjustments in the settings within the Rodecaster itself to try and eliminate or cut down the noise floor that I started with.

Upon doing some research I found that I basically had two choices, either go with a Cloudlifter or a Fethead. Both of these devices are designed to give you more gain or boost into your microphone while not increasing the noise that is generated significantly.

Upon deciding to go with the Fethead simply because it was one device you plug-in and there’s no additional cables, no additional set up required. Just plug it in, turn on phantom power and let it do its thing.

Upon doing that I found a significant change in the noise floor the Fethead website said that the Fethead would give you approximately 27 DB of gain. Now once I plugged this in I was able to turn my levels down on my Rodecaster from between 35 and 40, down to 15.

So that means that on working the preamps, much less that I was before, and upon doing a test recording my noise floor went down to approximately -45 to -48 DB from, -39, so this has made it significantly easier to edit. There’s a lot less noise that I have to try and eliminate and overall the recording is much cleaner.

The other thing that I’ve done is gotten a better XLR cable in case that was part of the problem as well. I’m very pleased with the results and would love to hear what other people have done to make their recordings with the Rodecaster cleaner, or any specific settings that you’ve been able to adjust that have made a difference for your podcasts and your recordings.

I’d love to hear your comments and questions email me at info@computerswith ease.com If you like to be notified when I release a new podcast episode sign up for my email list. I look forward to hearing from you


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