recording issue (instrument vs. line level)


Hi guys

Ive been trying to record some drums and I've run into a problem

Im recording 6 mics (1 condenser, 4 dynamic, and 1 akg kick drum mic) into a yamaha aw16g mixer, to a usb interface, to a mac (using audacity or garage band).

the first two tracks on the mixer are xlr inputs and tracks 3 through 8 are 1/4 inch input. obviously im using the condenser mic xlr to xlr for track 1 and this requires phantom power. then im using xlr to xlr on track 2 for akg kick drum. then im using xlr to 1/4 inch input on tracks 3-6 for my dynamic mics.

im having trouble recording tracks 4 through 6. the phantom power is on and tracks 1-3 are all working fine.

the cables all work, the mics are new and and do work as well.

i cant figure out why im having this problem, are the inputs to the mixer not working? am i overloading the system? are there settings i need to change for the dynamic mics while the phantom power is on? is there something im missing?


Platinum Member
Re: recording issue

Your problem is that the 1/4" inputs are meant to be instrument or line level inputs; as such they do not have enough gain for your mics. Depending on your mics, the difference between mic level and line level can be 30-40 dB. That is a LOT. Not even getting into the impedance differences...

Doesn't matter what cables or adapters you use, you need mic preamps for your mics, it's that simple. You could rent/buy/borrow/steal an eight channel mic pre and connect its analog line outputs to your existing interface...or you could use an interface with 8 mic pres.

Oh and yes your condensers need phantom but your dynamic mics won't care one way or another if there's phantom on those lines. Doesn't hurt them or make any difference.


Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Re: recording issue

A cool solution would be to find a second-hand Mackie 1604VLZ mixer. Plug your mics into that, and the Mackie has eight direct outs. You can then plug those outs into the eight inputs on your Yamaha. I was doing this going into my Zoom R16 recorder with very good results. The mic pres on the Mackie make the ones on my Zoom pale.