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Lots of equipment.. How do I set it up?! Podcasting question.
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pmkurtz81
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#1
8th February 2013
Old 8th February 2013
  #1
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Lots of equipment.. How do I set it up?! Podcasting question.

I recently came into some equipment and actually have an interest in learning how to use it and record on it. I'd really like to get into podcasting.

I am trying to figure out what order I put things in from a connection perspective and what wires I may need.

The equipment I have:
1 - Shure SM7B
Which I believe has an xlr that plugs into
Cloudlifter CL-1
That uses an XLR cable (?) and plugs into
DBX 286a Preamp
with plugs using an XLR cable (?) into
Mackie 1402-VLZ Pro Mixing Console
which plugs using an XLR (?) into
Mackie Onyx Blackjack
which uses a USB that plugs into my computer
and runs through (right now) Audacity -- but hopefully Audition in the future.

Again... clearly I have no idea what I'm doing but am certainly willing to learn.

Any other tips for what may or may not be needed is welcomed. Is this a good setup?
#2
8th February 2013
Old 8th February 2013
  #2
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Joined: Jun 2012
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 360

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Here's the chain that you want for that gear:

SM7 > XLR-XLR lead > DBX 286a > TRS Jack-TRS Jack > Mackie Onyx (Use the line button on the front panel) > USB

With your current chain, you have three preamps which are amplifying the mics signal and there's really no need for this.

The DBX looks like a decent preamp with some cool features, so run your SM7 into that. If you can't get your signal loud enough (aim for the -10 level light on the DBX) then put the cloud lifter between the SM7 and DBX to increase the gain.

Using the Mackie console has no real use, apart from it's EQ section but you can do this more easily (and cleanly) in your DAW so there's no need for it in the chain.

Make sure to use the 'line' button on the Mackie Blackjack as this removes its own preamp from the signal and decreases the added noise/gain that you don't need.

Also, check out 'Reaper'. It's a lot cheaper than Audition and does everything you will need.

Hope this helps!
#3
9th February 2013
Old 9th February 2013
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Joined: Jul 2011
Location: Astoria NY

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZombieMorg View Post
Here's the chain that you want for that gear:

SM7 > XLR-XLR lead > DBX 286a > TRS Jack-TRS Jack > Mackie Onyx (Use the line button on the front panel) > USB

With your current chain, you have three preamps which are amplifying the mics signal and there's really no need for this.

The DBX looks like a decent preamp with some cool features, so run your SM7 into that. If you can't get your signal loud enough (aim for the -10 level light on the DBX) then put the cloud lifter between the SM7 and DBX to increase the gain.

Using the Mackie console has no real use, apart from it's EQ section but you can do this more easily (and cleanly) in your DAW so there's no need for it in the chain.

Make sure to use the 'line' button on the Mackie Blackjack as this removes its own preamp from the signal and decreases the added noise/gain that you don't need.

Also, check out 'Reaper'. It's a lot cheaper than Audition and does everything you will need.

Hope this helps!
The one nice thing about EQing before you get to the DAW is that for 90% of material you don't need anything under 75Hz so you can use a HPF to cut that out which frees up headroom. Meaning you have a more detailed signal at that target -10dB mark. This is my novice understanding, but the big boys DO use an EQ on their mics before it hits the "tape."

One really cheap investment that will make all your audio sound better is some acoustic absorption.

Either buy something like this:
RealTraps - Portable Vocal Booth

or make it yourself from some breathable fabric and Owens Corning 703.

Have fun!
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