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Please help! New to this. Have the equipment, but a couple questions! Single-Channel Preamps
Old 26th April 2012
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Please help! New to this. Have the equipment, but a couple questions!

This is how I have things lined up:

Rode NT1-A mic ---(xlr cable)---> behringer ultragain pro ---(xlr cable)---> focusrite scarlet 2i2 audio interface ---(usb cable)---> macbook pro's garage band

So, it appears that if I tinker around enough, I can get sound to register, but I don't want to accidentally be doing anything wrong. So here are a couple questions...
  1. There is a 48v phantom power on/off switch on the audio interface as well as the behringer preamp. Should both be turned on or just one or the other?
  1. Both the audio interface and the preamp have gain controls. Should I only increase the gain on both or one? And if I do increase it on both, do they sum to make the total gain of the two? Should I try to turn the gain up on them equally? (problem is that the preamp has measures the gain quantitatively but the audio interface 2i2 just has a gain gauge with no measurements on it).

Thank you so much in advance for your help! New to this, but having a lot of fun so far!
Old 26th April 2012
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Anybody have an idea?
Old 26th April 2012
Lives for gear
celticrogues's Avatar


First of all you might not need the Behringer at all - the preamps in your Focusrite interface are probably at the same level of quality as the Behringer. So if you wanted to simplify You could just go mic --->xlr--->focusrite--->USB into computer.

But if you want to you can keep the Behringer in the chain - no reason not to if you like the sound.

1. Only the phantom switch on the preamp should be turned on - the other one will not do anything. So if you keep the Behringer there then turn that phantom power switch on only.

2. At the moment you have your signal chain wired a b it wrong - what you are doing now is running one mic preamp into another mic preamp, which is not the best way to get a good clean signal. Mic preamps like the Behringer output signals at line level, which is a lot louder than the mic level that preamps accept. Running one to another like that will usually just give you distortion. So what your setup should look like is this:

Rode NT1-A mic ---(xlr cable)---> behringer ultragain pro ---(xlr to trs adapter cable)---> focusrite scarlet 2i2 audio interface set to line input---(usb cable)---> macbook pro's garage band

There is a little switch by the input on your focusrite - if you move that over to "line" it will set it to the line input for you so you will have proper gain structure. You will want to use the gain knob on the Behringer to get the sound as loud as you need.

Good luck!

Old 26th April 2012
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Thank you so much for the information. Just one question on what you said, though. So, my focusrite 2i2 does not have a TRS input - just an XLR input (even though it does have the line/instrument switch you talked about). Am I missing something?

So, maybe I should just drop the behringer preamp... But it just looks like a good piece of equipment for the price (it has a lot more function on it than the 2i2 and had really good reviews!).

Thanks again for your help!
Old 26th April 2012
Lives for gear
celticrogues's Avatar

Yeah - if you like the Behringer then go for it - its all about the experimentation heh

The Focusrite actually has whats called a combo input - so it basically looks like an XLR jack with a hole in the middle - that hole is your TRS or TS input. It basically lets the interface accept mic signals, line signals, or instrument level signals without adding a whole bunch or other circuitry. So just plug the TRS cable into the middle of what looks like the XLR input and switch to line level and you should be good to go.

Old 26th April 2012
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Awesome. Thanks you. The Behringer has a TRS output, so I think I'm going to buy a TRS interconnect cable to run from the preamp to the audio interface (2i2). Then I will only turn the phantom power on for the Behringer. And I will leave the gain completely off on the 2i2 and just adjust gain and everything else with the behringer.

Did I get that all right?

You, Mike, ARE DA BEST! THank you!
Old 26th April 2012
Lives for gear
celticrogues's Avatar

You got it!

You can adjust gain from the Focusrite, but only if you need more gain than what the Behri will give you. The gain you are adjusting on the focusrite is line gain, not mic preamp gain, and its usually better and less noisy to get the signal hotter at the mic preamp than to adjust the line gain.

Good luck!
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