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View Full Version : Am I being really dumb? (part two) apparently not! Phantom Power!



dazza9806482
02-09-2005, 06:11 AM
Hi all

I got a really good response from lots of you regarding my mic problems.

I bought new mics (two again!) and was convinced that they would work, because I was sure my old ones where broken.

They also didnt work, at this point I was staggered that 4 mics from two shops could all be faulty!

Then i read up. And i discovered the concept of Phantom Power, which is a small current sent through the audio connection to enable a condenser mic to work! thats why i was hearing nothing and the mics didnt work on my DJ mixer. it lacked the capability to provide phantom power.

Now this is in danger of going seriously OT, but it does relate purely to my enjoyment of IL2, and this forum contains some pretty knowledgable chaps.

So is then the problem likely to be my soundcard? I have a Leadtek Nforce 2 motherboard. The sound chipset is the Nvidia Nforce 2. I can find anything about phantom power or the lack of it on my sound card. Is it common for sound cards to lack this? How does it work?
I have a lot of audio things plugged into my soundcard and frequently produce feedback loops and mix audio- could i have damaged something?

For the record i set up a direct IP with my Novice mate last night and he loved it! Mics would make it even better tho!

thanks and sorry for long post and OT.

dazza9806482
02-09-2005, 06:11 AM
Hi all

I got a really good response from lots of you regarding my mic problems.

I bought new mics (two again!) and was convinced that they would work, because I was sure my old ones where broken.

They also didnt work, at this point I was staggered that 4 mics from two shops could all be faulty!

Then i read up. And i discovered the concept of Phantom Power, which is a small current sent through the audio connection to enable a condenser mic to work! thats why i was hearing nothing and the mics didnt work on my DJ mixer. it lacked the capability to provide phantom power.

Now this is in danger of going seriously OT, but it does relate purely to my enjoyment of IL2, and this forum contains some pretty knowledgable chaps.

So is then the problem likely to be my soundcard? I have a Leadtek Nforce 2 motherboard. The sound chipset is the Nvidia Nforce 2. I can find anything about phantom power or the lack of it on my sound card. Is it common for sound cards to lack this? How does it work?
I have a lot of audio things plugged into my soundcard and frequently produce feedback loops and mix audio- could i have damaged something?

For the record i set up a direct IP with my Novice mate last night and he loved it! Mics would make it even better tho!

thanks and sorry for long post and OT.

AWL_Spinner
02-09-2005, 06:49 AM
Now you HAVE disabled comms in Pacific Fighters, right?

From within Pacific Fighters, select Hardware Setup / Sound Setup / Radio / and ensure the Voice Communication switch is pointing DOWNWARD.

Phantom Power - an album by the Tragically Hip http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

dazza9806482
02-09-2005, 06:58 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Remind me how that setting would affect the mic in windows before I go anywhere near PF?

My brain is fried.....

Thanks

VW-IceFire
02-09-2005, 07:56 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dazza9806482:
Hi all

I got a really good response from lots of you regarding my mic problems.

I bought new mics (two again!) and was convinced that they would work, because I was sure my old ones where broken.

They also didnt work, at this point I was staggered that 4 mics from two shops could all be faulty!

Then i read up. And i discovered the concept of Phantom Power, which is a small current sent through the audio connection to enable a condenser mic to work! thats why i was hearing nothing and the mics didnt work on my DJ mixer. it lacked the capability to provide phantom power.

Now this is in danger of going seriously OT, but it does relate purely to my enjoyment of IL2, and this forum contains some pretty knowledgable chaps.

So is then the problem likely to be my soundcard? I have a Leadtek Nforce 2 motherboard. The sound chipset is the Nvidia Nforce 2. I can find anything about phantom power or the lack of it on my sound card. Is it common for sound cards to lack this? How does it work?
I have a lot of audio things plugged into my soundcard and frequently produce feedback loops and mix audio- could i have damaged something?

For the record i set up a direct IP with my Novice mate last night and he loved it! Mics would make it even better tho!

thanks and sorry for long post and OT. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
If you have a condenser mic then you're going to run it through a soundboard with phantom power. If you have the cheapie mic that you bought from the usual electronics store (i.e. not $400 and more) then its going to be a standard...uhh what do you call them....uhhh dredges of memory. I forget what the cheap ones were called (not condenser....membrane?). Anyways, it doesn't really matter too much...they aren't as sensitive and you don't need to power them on slowly (which is what phantom power does - prevents damage to the mic).

Probably the issue you are having is:
1) Configuration (have you checked to see that the Mics aren't muted? Have you tested the mic in a basic sound program? Have you tested the levels?)
2) Hardware - The port is dead...but thats unlikely.

Which nForce 2 board do you have (specifically)? There's two types of soundcards that are integrated with various types. Soundstorm is the better one and there's a more basic AC'97 solution that I forget the name to which is not nearly as good but the difference may be worth noting.

Tgd_Voxman
02-09-2005, 08:14 AM
Computer soundcards do not have Phantom power. Phantom power is run on outboard "breakout" boxes made specifically for sound recording, typically using an XLR type mic input.

Standard mics are constructed as dynamic microphones. That is they act in the same manner as a headphone speaker. Two wires are attached to a speaker magnet as your voice creates sound pressure the membrane (diaphragm) moves in and out creating the sound wave that's passed on as current down the two wires..etc. Condenser mics are usually two capacitor plates that act as the membranes, that are continously charged (hence the need for Phantom power) and react quickly (thus giving you higher end response) to changing sound pressure waves.

LilHorse
02-09-2005, 08:57 AM
Are you just in need of a mic for comms? Cuz a condenser mic is way overkill for such an application. Your standard computer store headset and mic combo is perfectly suited for the job and a heck of a lot cheaper.

dazza9806482
02-09-2005, 09:09 AM
www.trust.com/products/product.aspx?artnr=11916&show=1 (http://www.trust.com/products/product.aspx?artnr=11916&show=1)

This is the mic I am using. It says condenser mic in the spec, maybe im barking up the wrong tree.

Yeah Icefire, I have checked and rechecked my connections, my sound levels my inputs. To no avail.

I understand that many mics operate on the same principle as a reversed speaker. Thats why i can plug my headphones into the mic socket and speak into them and get sound. I can even do this with the headset in questions headphones.

If what u guys are saying is true and the mic doesnt need power, then why would it not work by simply plugging it into the Mic phono jack input on my DJ mixer? (it doesnt, not even with a tremendous amount of gain.) does it need preamped?

Thanks http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

T_O_A_D
02-09-2005, 09:16 AM
If the sound card is in good order, and the drivers are installed correctly it should work. If it is AC97 I would turn it off if onboard and upgrade.To an Audigy or somethng. I have fought the mics before with AC97.

dazza9806482
02-09-2005, 09:21 AM
My friend has been laughing at me because I usually have no probs with technical stuff. Im just totally perplexed by a poxy 5 mic..

My soundcard is soundstorm I think.

How would drivers and such affect input? I can get a signal in audacity (freeware editing prog) from any other input i plug into the mic socket (all line level inputs) but not a squeak from 4 mics! not even a tiny un-preamped squeak.

antifreeze
02-09-2005, 11:28 AM
&gt; If what u guys are saying is true and the mic
&gt; doesnt need power...

I think it does need power. The specs say:
'Operating voltage 1.5-10 VDC, supplied by sound card'

The mic generates a mono signal, so one of the rings of the
mic's stereo jack is probably supplying the power, rather than
carrying an audio signal. Usually the core-ring carries the power
and the outer-ring carries the audio signal, which leads onto your
second problem...

&gt; Then why would it not work by simply plugging it into the Mic phono
&gt; jack input on my DJ mixer? (it doesn't, not even with a tremendous
&gt; amount of gain). Does it need pre-amped?

If you are sure that the mixer input is a mic input, then no, it shouldn't
need pre-amped or even much gain (although some inputs are line-inputs
until you turn the gain up full; then they increase sensitivity expotentially
so at full gain it 'becomes' a mic input). However, I would suggest that the
mixer mic-input has a mono socket, but your mic has a stereo jack.
I bet that the outer-ring carrying the audio signal is not touching the mono
core-ring of the mixer input. You need to obtain a stereo to mono adapter
to be sure that the audio signal is being received by the mixer.

But this is just complicating everything. Forget the dj-mixer, and forget what
you've read about condenser mics and 'phantom power'. You haven't mentioned
anything yet about routing the sound through Windows, so I think you should
start there. It might be another problem, but that's where you have to start.

Ensure all the settings in the 'control panel--&gt;sounds and multimedia--&gt;audio'
tab are correct:
-In the 'sound recording' field make sure you have your soundcard chosen.
-Click 'volume' (under the sound recording field) to make the 'recording control'
tab appear and check 'microphone' is selected in the appropriate checkbox. Ensure
the volume level of this slider is about halfway up.
-The 'advanced' tab (also under the 'sound recording' field) sometimes has
an option for increasing the sensitivity of the input. I've never needed to
use it before, but just take a quick look to see if you have that option, for
trying later.

The best way to test input is running Windows own sndrec32.exe, as it has no internal
settings; it always records the input direct from the device set in the audio tab.
Just click the its record button and speak loudly into the mic. You should see the wave
representation, and hear yourself on playback. If you can get to this stage, you're
winning. If not, then you have to consider a soundcard malfunction, soundcard driver
re-installation, turning the onboard chipset off in the BIOS (if you have an onboard
sound chip like AC-97 or SoundMax), or perhaps a mic fault. Also note that XP has
a nasty habit of turning mic inputs down (one of the later service packs fixed this
I think), so you need to check the 'audio properties' slider each time your test the
mic input.

Sturmtrooper
02-09-2005, 09:01 PM
Tragically Hip
Yeah, they rock !!!!

wayno7777
02-09-2005, 09:55 PM
Also, make sure the mic isn't muted. Should be a check box on the mixer or volume control.

Fish6891
02-09-2005, 11:40 PM
Yes. (For the second time)

dazza9806482
02-10-2005, 01:10 AM
Thanks guys, especially anti-freeze, that was the explanation i was looking for http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

i think this thread has gone far enough!

interestingly enough I was surprised to see the forum software doesnt block certain colloquialisims. (i think)

so Fish6891, u are a wank http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Fish6891
02-10-2005, 02:39 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Bussard_1
02-10-2005, 03:44 AM
dazza,
Can you source a copy of IL2 that has an operating mic and try your mic on a set up you know works,there by ruling out your{4}mics as the failure?
Man don't just love fault finding a computer clitch.
Good luck cobber!
Bussard