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January Clearance 2017

Overloading microphone.

“My new microphone seems to have a lot of distortion. Any ideas?”

First, it is worth trying a few things before assuming the mic is defective. Often when someone says, “The microphone is distorting,” it is the preamp input (mixer/amplifier/ recorder) that is overloading and distorting. If high-level sound is creating distortion, before assuming that something is wrong with the microphone, try inserting an attenuator between the microphone and its input. There are several attenuators that are designed for use with balanced Lo-Z microphones that offer a selector switch to drop the level 10, 20 or 30 dB; you might be surprised at how often this will help. Some mixers have a switchable “input pad” to help prevent input overload. Also, quite a few microphones have this type of attenuation built in to them.

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