Condenser microphones have become popular all over the world among people who professionally record audio. In this day and age, there is a desire to get absolutely the best output from recordings. This is responsible for the increased popularity of condenser microphones. They can capture sound with a larger frequency and at a dynamic range. The overall effect is that they produce better sounding and louder audio than regular microphones.
But if we are to be entirely honest, this is not always the case. At times, the recording may be quiet. For most people, when this happens, it can often be a confusing thing. If you are one such person, you are probably wondering why. Even the very best condenser microphones can have this issue. So why is your condenser mic so quiet?
In most cases, the common issue is usually insufficient power supply to your condenser mic. This results in the mic picking up the signal at low volume. This may make your recording quiet.
Other reasons why your mic may be quiet include a low mic volume level on Windows, a faulty/damaged microphone, or improper mic positioning.
In this article, we will discuss why your condenser mic may be quiet, how to make it sound louder, why your condenser mic is still quiet with phantom power, and how to make your mic sound better. So stick around and read on to find out more. This will surely be an eye-opener for you!
Why Is My Condenser Mic So Quiet?
There are several reasons why your condenser mic may be quiet. These are:
1. Low power supply to the mic
This is the most common reason. Condenser microphones have a diaphragm that vibrates when it’s hit by sound. It is located between two conductive metal plates that transform the sound waves received into electrical signals.
The problem is that these plates cannot store energy for long. So a constant supply of power is required for them to work optimally. If your mic doesn’t have this power, the recording is usually quiet.
2. A faulty/damaged mic
If your condenser mic is damaged, especially the diaphragm, the sound signal that is received by your mic may be too low. This means that the output will also have a low volume.
3. A low mic level on Windows
Recent versions of Windows have the mic volume starting below full capacity. As a result, if you have a low powered mic, the output you get may be too quiet. To get the best sound volume and quality, you will have to raise this volume level on Windows.
4. Improper mic positioning
When recording, you should be about 3-6 inches away from the mic so that you get the best output volume. The front of the mic should also be facing you. If you don’t adhere to these, you may get low volume output.
How Can I Make My Condenser Mic Sound Louder
So now that we’ve had a look at some of the reasons why your mic may be quiet, it’s time to discuss how you can solve this.
Sadly, there really isn’t that much that can be done to fix a broken mic. The best you can do is toss it out and get a replacement.
That being said, here are some of the ways you can make your mic sound louder.
1. Get a 48V Phantom Power Supply
A 48V phantom power supply is the best way you can supply your mic with enough power so that it picks up even the faintest of sound signals and produces louder output. Alternatively, you can also get an audio interface that comes with an inbuilt phantom power supply.
2. Increase the mic volume in Windows
The issue may be that your Windows 10 has a low volume level. So to make your mic sound louder, you can follow these steps to fix it:
● Go to Windows Settings. Go to System > Sound > Input.
● Select the input device i.e. your mic.
● Click on Device Properties. This will open Microphone Properties.
● Click on the Levels tab. Increase the microphone volume level. This is usually between 0 and 100.
3. Adjust your mic positioning
To get louder volume from your condenser mic, you should make sure that the recording end, with the diaphragm, is facing you. Make sure you are positioned 3-6 inches away from the mic.
4. Use a compressor
A compressor will enable you to crank the gain, so the sound signal’s loudest parts are compressed. The output will be loud and also be devoid of clipping, which can be annoying.
5. Use a preamp
You can use a preamp with a short run of cable. This will help increase the volume output of your condenser microphone and make it sound louder.
You can try the above to get a louder volume from your condenser microphone. For most people, getting a phantom power may be just the solution.
Condenser Mic Quiet With Phantom Power
As we have already mentioned, in most cases getting a phantom power may fix the problem of having a quiet volume. But for some people, this will not always work. Yes, it does sound quite baffling.
One reason for this may be that you don’t have sufficient gain on your mic. This will make your mic produce low volume output even with the phantom power connected. So to rectify this, you will need to raise the gain.
Another reason may be that you did not turn on your phantom power, which is a common mistake most people make. If your phantom power is off, then your mic will produce low volume output.
There may also be a problem with the mic volume level on Windows. Even if you have a phantom power connected and the volume level on Windows is still low, your mic will sound quiet.
A bad connection is another possibility. If you don’t properly connect your cables to your devices, or your cables are faulty, then even with your phantom power connected, you may still get low volume output.
So how can you make your mic louder in this case?
1. Make sure your phantom power is turned on.
2. Make sure your XLR cables are in proper working condition and that they are properly connected.
3. Increase the mic volume level on Windows (see steps discussed above).
4. Use a preamp to increase your mic’s gain, so you record crisp and loud sound.
How Can I Make My Condenser Mic Sound Better?
There are several ways you can get your condenser microphone to sound better and produce quality recordings. These are:
1. Install soundproofing in your recording room
Soundproofing will reduce echo and reverb and help you get the best quality audio from your mic.
2. Position yourself 3-6 inches away from the mic
3-6 inches is the recommended distance you should be from the mic to get the best quality audio.
3. Set your mic input level to 75%
With mics, less is usually more. So to get your mic to sound better, lower the input set to about 3/4of its original level. A more technical measurement would be -12db. This will make your mic sound better.
4. Use a pop filter
Pop filter will reduce the breathy sounds of hard consonants such as b and t. It should be 2-3 inches away from the mic. It will reduce the “pop” sounds, making your mic sound better.
When all is said and done, you should probably invest in a quality condenser mic if you’d like top-notch audio recordings. If such a mic is supplied with sufficient power, then it will produce quality sound. Try out the tips in this article and see how well they work for you!