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Patching Mics with Phantom Power
Old 29th August 2004
Gear Nut
darwin's Avatar

Patching Mics with Phantom Power

I have ran searches on this forum with regards to this issue, and as a result, I think I have found the answer to my question. However, I pulled the information from many different threads, and I want to confirm my findings.

I want to audition condensor microphones with different preamps. How do I safely patch/audition condensor microphones while using phantom power? By safely patch, I mean I don't want to fry my equipment.

From the microphone, my balanced cable are hard-wired to male XLR connectors in an XLR patchbay. My preamp XLR inputs are also hard-wired to the same XLR patchbay. The only way that a microphone's output can be connected to a preamp's input is by using a short female XLR to male XLR patchcord. My preamp outputs run to a TRS patchbay where they are patched into the rest of the signal chain.

Based on my research, I think that I have to turn phantom power off of both preamps before re-patching a mic. Then, I turn the phantom power back on once the re-patching is finished. Have I got this straight?

Thanks in advance,
Old 29th August 2004
Lives for gear
lowswing's Avatar

yes ,you got it right , the saftest way is to turn the phantom off every time you patch, but i think with xlr patchbay you are safe anyway (unlike trs patchbay when you can have a shortage if pluging while the phantom is on).
anyway, in my studio, i'm giving all the phantom power from a dedicated units found on the live room.
Old 30th August 2004
Lives for gear
chadly's Avatar

I don't want to sound crazy here, but I've heard the engineers at the BBC leave the phantom power on at all times. . .

I turn it off however for switching. Just a sort of FYI thing.
Old 30th August 2004
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
TT bays are generally a drag for this sort of thing [it's why we have an XLR mic patch bay in our joint]... but they are used, and you can get away with them... this is one of those places where you can fry a ribbon mic with phantom power if you're not really careful... but that too is a very rare occurance.

It's usually not a struggle to just change the XLR connector from mic to mic to mic without shutting off phantom power... I don't know how the BBC works, but with desks like Neve 80 series desks, and Trident A-Ranges and even early SSL's you couldn't shut off the phantom power.

You will want to mute the monitors when you change mics as there will be a "pop" when you change mics with phantom power engaged... but other than that... you should be fine to just wail through it.

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