Condenser mics are extremely useful and versatile in the way they improve audio quality. However, regardless of what you’re using your Condenser Mic for an amplifier for it is a must have. So lets answer an important question, can you amplify a condenser mic?
Yes, the simple and perhaps most effective answer. Many amplifiers exist currently on the market that can amplify your condenser mic. By using an amplifier you not only increase the volume of your recordings but improve their overall sound quality as well.
There are numerous ways in which you can amplify the results that you obtain from your condenser mic. We’ll be going into each of those ways in much detail throughout, and hopefully by the end you have a greater understanding of this scenario.
How to Connect an Amplifier to a Condenser Mic?
The best way to amplify a condenser mic and improve its audio quality, as well as volume, is to use an amplifier. An amplifier is nothing but an electronic device, whose main purpose is to increase either the input or output signal of an audio device.
By connecting an amplifier to a Condenser mic we hope that the signals received and sent by the mic will be vastly improved. This would then allow the condenser mic to realize its full capabilities as an audio recording device.
So, you must be wondering. How can I connect my amplifier to a condenser mic, well the answers are fairly simple, and we explain them in the following section:
- Begin this process by first ensuring that you have the prerequisite components
- The items you will need are a condenser mic, a Pre-amp with Phantom power, and a cable
- Next, make sure that you unplug your amplifier and pre-amplifier from their wall outlets.
- Plug your condenser microphone’s XLR cable into an XLR input on your preamplifier.
- Select an input that is designed for a condenser mic and provides a “phantom power” feed to energize its capacitor.
- Plug an audio patch cable into your pre-amplifier’s output.
- The output will be a one-quarter inch jack.
- Plug the patch cable into an input on your amplifier.
- Plug the preamplifier and amplifier into their wall outlets.
- The microphone is now connected.
That’s all there is to it. If your goal was to primarily amplify the sound, music and volume of a song then now with this method that has just been described, you can do just that.
A condenser mic vastly benefits from having an amplifier present, and the above-mentioned steps highlight precisely how they can be connected and used.
Alternative Ways to Amplify a Condenser Mic
Even though obtaining and setting up a Preamp with Phantom power is perhaps the most efficient way to increase the performance of your condenser mic. It is not the only way to achieve this result. Numerous other ways can improve or amplify the quality of your condenser mic
We have a multitude of methods that can severely improve the quality of your condenser mic, and these include the following:
1. Turn Up the Gain Input on Your Preamp
There are of course many advantages of using a PreAmp, and this particular method is very economical. Most Preamps function primarily to help make microphones immensely increase the auditory fidelity of your condenser mic.
If you own a mixer or other interface for your microphone then you might find that it already has an in-built PreAmp. However, sometimes you need to manually increase the gain input to properly feel the effects of the PreAmp on your Condenser Mics audio output.
If you find a gain knob on your mixer or interface then that means that there is a PreAmp already pre-built into your device. The best option then is to set the knob such that you raise the gain, and thus increase the audio output of your condenser mic.
However, if you don’t own a mixer or interface then we suggest getting a PreAmp which can alternatively amplify your condenser mic without you needing a proper Amplifier for your Condenser Mic.
The VU meter on your device, either the mixer, interface, or your separate PreAmp, should give you a green signal when you reach an optimal level.
2. Check your input connections
If a PreAmp or gain input does not help increase the volume of your condenser mic then you can check whether your input connection wires are not incorrectly connected or crossed. If so then don’t distress because it’ll be easily fixed if you check those connections out.
It’s always a good idea to double-check the inputs that your cables are connected to. If your lines are entered into improper inputs, it could distort the microphone’s audio quality. In order to check your wires follow these steps:
- First, recognize your three main input options for your condenser microphone set-up.
- Second, check your Microphone level input, instrument-level input and Line-level input.
You need to understand that the line and instrument inputs are specifically designed to absorb audio and sound. Your condenser microphone should be connected to the mic level input. The mic-level input is the only input that is constructed to output.
Mic-level input may be marked as XLR input on your audio interface. So what you need to do is make sure that your connections are correct, but also check whether the connection is done by using the proper cables.
3. Turn off the Pad Switch
An attenuation pad or pad switch has the particular job of reducing the volume levels of audio produced from your microphone before it’s amplified by the audio interface. This means that the pad switch maintains the sound produced by your mic and interface from being distorted.
A pad switch can do this by putting the same input signal at different and usually lower frequencies, this preserves the signal-to-noise ratio. In the instance that the volume of your condenser mic seems to be far too quiet then we suggest trying to turn off your pad switch.
The sensitivity of your microphone will increase once you disengage your pad switch.
4. Use a Silicone Condenser Mic
If you have persistent problems with the audio level of your condenser microphone even after carrying out all of the different methods mentioned above. Then another way in which you can increase the volume is by using a different type of condenser mic.
This is because we believe that sometimes the best solution to volume issues is to use a new design. In recent years, there have been many condenser microphone producers that have been creating a new variant of conder microphones with silicon.
Many of these new microphone variants have a far improved diaphragm, which could particularly benefit the audio output in the condenser microphone. Small high-sensitivity silicon condenser microphones are important as they provide a significant volume boost if that’s the issue that you’re facing.
The design difference between a silicone condenser mic and a regular condenser mic is that the former has concave lateral sides and a vastly different diaphragm. Eventually, both cause to increase and improve the sensitivity of the device that you are using.
5. Get new audio cables
Our final recommendation might seem pretty intuitive, but you’ll be surprised how many people continue to use the same old wires for years on end without ever thinking of changing them.
We believe you can attempt to significantly increase the volume of your condenser microphone if it is supported by brand new audio cables that you purchase. We discussed many alternative methods to increase the volume of your condenser microphone above, however, without the right cables all of those changes will not have the impact you wish.
So like we mentioned above if your cables are connected and within their appropriate places, yet the volume of your condenser microphone is still too low then that could be a result of using faulty or problematic cables within your setup.
Faulty cables might not be a result of buying the wrong cables, but can also be caused by degeneration of the materials overtime. Hence, even if you bought original and good quality items, nonetheless, these cables can also lose their power and ability overtime.
Our recommendation then is that you purchase new wires regularly in order to maintain a stable stock of wires that do not cause any loss of volume or power amplification. To help you know what you should be looking for we recommend purchasing new low-cost cables from Amazon.com.
The RFAdapter RCA Cables particularly are a great option. These cables are very handy and come within a pack for your convenience. They are also very versatile and can help you to amplify your condenser microphones, but can also be used to connect to cameras and any other audio device that you might be using or that you might have.
And there you have it. Those were 6 different ways in which you can Amplify your Condenser Microphone. We hope the entire article was informative and provided you with the information you need to make an informed decision regarding your device.
If you have any further questions or queries then let us know. Till next time! Ciao.