The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
10, 15, 0r 20db pad microphones
Old 6th September 2011
  #1
Lives for gear
 
razorboy's Avatar
 

10, 15, 0r 20db pad microphones

I see various microphones with pads of 10, 15, or 20 db. As I understand it, the pad allows the subtle sound of a cranked amp to get through, without a million db of distortion. Yes? So:

Which is preferable, and why? [I play both clean and cranked, depending...]

Does this matter come into play in recording vocals?

Thank you.
Old 6th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
lets say I have a source that is really loud and I am using a tube pre amp and to set the proper recording level I have the preamp almost off. I turn on the 20db pad and turn the preamp up so I get some saturation coloration from driving the tubes/preamp more.
Old 6th September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 
razorboy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manfrensengensen View Post
lets say I have a source that is really loud and I am using a tube pre amp and to set the proper recording level I have the preamp almost off. I turn on the 20db pad and turn the preamp up so I get some saturation coloration from driving the tubes/preamp more.
Yes, I follow that; but how/when is a 10db more useful that a 20 db, or vice versa? Thanks.
Old 6th September 2011
  #4
On a mic, its to help stop the mic electronics from crapping out with too much level..
Old 6th September 2011
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorboy View Post
Yes, I follow that; but how/when is a 10db more useful that a 20 db, or vice versa? Thanks.
So -20 db would be good on a close mic'ed snare drum, say with a an akg 414

Real close / real loud.

-10 db might be good on a kit ride bell (loud as its on a drum kit, but not quite in the 'danger zone' like a snare mic..

Often its the settings on mic pres and compressors that flag up if a mic pad is needed - if there seems WAY too much level than you normally expect you might go out and knock it back 10 db or so..

IMHO
Old 6th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
On my LA610 Solo it has a Gain knob and a level knob.
If I want a cleaner, less wooly, sound but want a little color use -10 db and turn the gain down, If more tube/color desired -20 db and turn the gain up more thus adding more of the tube color/saturation. More gain on this particular pre tends to smear the clarity and give a different sound/tone which might be desired say on a mic'd bass cab or an acoustic guitar.

I have an AKG C414 which does not need a lot of pre amp gain. its output is around -29db. So on louder sources you really don't need much pre amp gain.
But sometimes you want to drive the preamp harder if it adds some color that you like.

Also like others stated, some sources are too loud and you need pad down the mic
Old 7th September 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 
razorboy's Avatar
 

Thanks....... but some mics come with a 10db pad, and some with a 20 db pad. Which one................................??
Old 7th September 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 
rotundness's Avatar
Quote:
Thanks....... but some mics come with a 10db pad, and some with a 20 db pad. Which one................................??
Which ever works for the source. Sometimes you need a 10db pad,
sometimes you need a 18-20db pad.
Depends on how loud the source is. And how close you need to get.

Vocalists that tend to migrate closer and closer to the mic, even after repeated warnings...If it is a scream fest I go for the deepest pad I can get. In my case the -18db setting on my 414s.

Moderately loud vocalists usually are fine with a 10-12db pad. Depends on the mic and the distance from the source though. Spoken word usually -10db pad or none. Gtr cabs and drums I usually go with the deepest settings.

It is better to have it a little lower then you might need on really loud sources. Once the mic overloads it kind of ruins things. If the preamp overloads you can attenuate or enjoy the sound.

If you record loud sources often I would get the deepest pad you can find.
At least -18 or -20db. You don't have to use it but if you need it, it can save your arse.

randy
Old 7th September 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
A C414B XLSII has a -0, -6, -12, and -18 pad
Old 7th September 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 
razorboy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotundness View Post
Which ever works for the source. Sometimes you need a 10db pad,
sometimes you need a 18-20db pad.
Depends on how loud the source is. And how close you need to get.

Vocalists that tend to migrate closer and closer to the mic, even after repeated warnings...If it is a scream fest I go for the deepest pad I can get. In my case the -18db setting on my 414s.

Moderately loud vocalists usually are fine with a 10-12db pad. Depends on the mic and the distance from the source though. Spoken word usually -10db pad or none. Gtr cabs and drums I usually go with the deepest settings.

It is better to have it a little lower then you might need on really loud sources. Once the mic overloads it kind of ruins things. If the preamp overloads you can attenuate or enjoy the sound.

If you record loud sources often I would get the deepest pad you can find.
At least -18 or -20db. You don't have to use it but if you need it, it can save your arse.

randy
Very good. Thank you.
Old 7th September 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 
JonesH's Avatar
Also beware that padding will give you more noise in most situations. Might not be a problem for a loud source and is certainly preferable to distortion.
Old 7th September 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
 
razorboy's Avatar
 

Thanks for all these excellent answers. That clears it up.

But...... it raises another question: if the mic doesn't have a pad, and one is needed.... lets say you really want to hear the amp warmed up - how do you handle that situation?
==========
bzzzzz.. bzzzzz... Hang on, I may have answered my own question: "You buy one of these?" http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/MAudioMicrophonePadwithPhaseInverter.html

Last edited by razorboy; 7th September 2011 at 05:05 PM.. Reason: I may have found the answer to my question.
Old 7th September 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 
rotundness's Avatar
There are "In-Line Attenuators" that plug into the chain like an XLR adaptor.
See below for one example...
Many makes and models out there though.


CANFORD IN-LINE ATTENUATOR 20dB, 200 ohms

randy
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump