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Thread: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

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    Default Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    Good day,

    What's the highest generally accepted, db-A/self-noise for microphones used in the studio?

    Thanks

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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    Depends on the microphone. Dynamics like SM57s can take an awful lot of volume. Condensers tend to be a little more sensitive and thus handle a bit less sound pressure. I have no experience with ribbon mics.
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    Default Re: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    I think generally you want less than 10db. Good studio mics are typically 5-7db. Usually tube mics are 7-12db, others 5-7db.
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    Default Re: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOz View Post
    Good day,

    What's the highest generally accepted, db-A/self-noise for microphones used in the studio?

    Thanks
    Also slightly related, For dynamic and ribbon mics, a cloud lifter is a handy way to hit a pre harder and keep noise down from maxing out a pre

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    Understatmentologist ginormous's Avatar
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    Default Re: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    Good question, and good answers. Moving to Tips & Clips.

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    Default Re: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    Yeah, this really belongs in Tips and Tricks.

    A friend of mine let me borrow a mic that I really like the sound of for my specific voice has a self-noise of 20 db-A, which I was wondering would be too loud...

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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOz View Post
    Good day,

    What's the highest generally accepted, db-A/self-noise for microphones used in the studio?

    Thanks
    Virtually any decent, modern microphone will have low enough self noise as to be a non-issue unless you are doing field recordings. Then you want something with laboratory-grade specs.
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    Default Re: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    Virtually any decent, modern microphone will have low enough self noise as to be a non-issue unless you are doing field recordings. Then you want something with laboratory-grade specs.
    It's a fair point that literally any basic prosumer or pro mic from a major company -Shure, EV, AKG, Audix, Sennheiser etc etc is going to have acceptable S/N ratio for most any application as long as you are using the type of mic you buy (dynamic/condensors etc) in the more preferred applications (examples would be use dynamics for medium to high SPL and close miking, use condensors for low to med volume SPL and extra detail -or high SPL only if rated) (use back electric style condensers for faster songs, room mics or percussion) -there are no hard rules -but get educated on the product application suggested by the maker

    -and unless you are studio recording wind or the sound of a butterfly with a dynamic mic -then you might find the S/N ratio issue in a quality mic.

    But the preamp in your mixer or your interface is where I contend where S/N ratio could become more of a concern if you are using cheaper pres or not hitting the pre with enough level.
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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    Quote Originally Posted by NegativeEase View Post
    But the preamp in your mixer or your interface is where I contend where S/N ratio could become more of a concern if you are using cheaper pres or not hitting the pre with enough level.
    Agreed, the preamp is probably a bigger issue, if one exists. One of the things I like about the SSL is that it has a separate input and output gain paths, so you can hit the preamp nice and hard and get all that juicy 2nd order harmonic goodness, and then attenuate it before it goes into your interface and kills it lol.

    Your post also reminded me: make sure you are recording with at least 24bit depth, that also has a bearing on how clean the recording will come out, as well as how fine a resolution you will have overall, especially at lower dbU levels.
    Last edited by TwilightOdyssey; 06-02-2020 at 03:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOz View Post
    Yeah, this really belongs in Tips and Tricks.

    A friend of mine let me borrow a mic that I really like the sound of for my specific voice has a self-noise of 20 db-A, which I was wondering would be too loud...
    I have a Russian Octavia that sounds like a vintage U47 but has self noise of 20db or more. It sounds really good but I canít use it. One of the big problems is build up from multiple tracks. Itís bad enough on its own, but that noise just starts to add up with multiple tracks mixed together. Add compression and itís not tolerable.
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    I am currently using Skullcandy headphones I found in the garbage.
    I did find the DS-1 in the garbage.
    I once found a guitar amp in the garbage, a Peavey Studio 110. It caught fire at the first gig I played it at.. But it was at the end of it, thank god.

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    Default Re: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    Quote Originally Posted by beaubrummels View Post
    I have a Russian Octavia that sounds like a vintage U47 but has self noise of 20db or more. It sounds really good but I can’t use it. One of the big problems is build up from multiple tracks. It’s bad enough on its own, but that noise just starts to add up with multiple tracks mixed together. Add compression and it’s not tolerable.
    I'll keep that in mind, if it's too loud in my recordings, I will likely not use it.

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    Default Re: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    Quote Originally Posted by beaubrummels View Post
    I have a Russian Octavia that sounds like a vintage U47 but has self noise of 20db or more.
    Which model is it? I have two side-address Octavia LDCs that are very quiet.
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    Default Re: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    Which model is it? I have two side-address Octavia LDCs that are very quiet.
    Mine is an old MK-012. Even though itís a small diaphragm pencil mic, itís sound/frequency response is like my U47. But itís got a hiss to it just plugging in. I donít have Octaviaís large diaphragm mics. They may be much better. Havenít really looked into them, since I have some standard studio mics now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Demanic
    Incompetence is widespread in a world that rewards mediocrity while punishing excellence.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarFanatic
    I am currently using Skullcandy headphones I found in the garbage.
    I did find the DS-1 in the garbage.
    I once found a guitar amp in the garbage, a Peavey Studio 110. It caught fire at the first gig I played it at.. But it was at the end of it, thank god.

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    Default Re: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    Thanks for the info!
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    Default Re: Max db-A on a microphone for studio work?

    Thanks for the detailed description.

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