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Cheap preamp for video calls?



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 26th 21, 08:09 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Tobiah[_6_]
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Posts: 14
Default Cheap preamp for video calls?

I can't get my Presonus 18/10 to work with Linux so I've had
to boot into Windows when I need to do a Zoom call. I am using
a pair of NT1-A's which may be overkill, but they pick up nicely
from a distance.

I do have an Echo Mia MIDI card in the box that works great
on the linux side. If a had a one or two channel preamp
with phantom I could save rebooting the machine. Just need
something compact and fairly inexpensive, but modern, with
low noise/high gain.

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  #2  
Old March 26th 21, 09:31 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Dave Gourley
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Default Cheap preamp for video calls?

On 3/26/2021 4:09 PM, Tobiah wrote:
> I can't get my Presonus 18/10 to work with Linux so I've had
> to boot into Windows when I need to do a Zoom call.* I am using
> a pair of NT1-A's which may be overkill, but they pick up nicely
> from a distance.
>
> I do have an Echo Mia MIDI card in the box that works great
> on the linux side.* If a had a one or two channel preamp
> with phantom I could save rebooting the machine.* Just need
> something compact and fairly inexpensive, but modern, with
> low noise/high gain.
>


Just get a 1- or 2- channel Mackie or Behringer Xenyx mixer and
you're good to go. They're about as cheap as it gets, and they have
phantom power.

david

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  #3  
Old March 26th 21, 09:50 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Mike Rivers[_2_]
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Default Cheap preamp for video calls?

On 3/26/2021 4:09 PM, Tobiah wrote:
> If a had a one or two channel preamp
> with phantom I could save rebooting the machine.* Just need
> something compact and fairly inexpensive, but modern, with
> low noise/high gain.


I think you'll find that this is one of those products that is either
"pro" with a price to match, and maybe a few tubes, or something
inexpensive that has more functions (inputs and outputs) than just for
mics.

I'd suggest a Mackie Mix-8 with two mic/line DI inputs and phantom power
- just what you want plus 2 more stereo line inputs. You might find its
"master" section useful with a control room monitor level control and
headphone output. You might be able to eliminate something else in your
chain with it.

https://mackie.com/products/mix-series-compact-mixers

Behringer has a similar mixer, the Xenix 802, for a similar price.

https://www.behringer.com/product.html?modelCode=P0575

I have no idea which is better, the Behringer or the Mackie. People hate
both brands about equally around here. Both are just barely under $100.
"Low noise/high gain" is relative and neither are completely specified.
(at least the Behringer specifies gain range of 10 to 60 dB). Mackie
doesn't specify gain (at least I couldn't find it) and both specify
noise in different ways to make sure that you can't compare them.

Either one should do what you want, and if you're creative you might
find use for some of the other features.



I did a quick search for just plain 2-channel mic preamps and only came
up with expensive ones. About $250 for an ART 2 channel tube preamp was
as low as I could get.



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  #4  
Old March 27th 21, 12:25 AM posted to rec.audio.pro
Tobiah
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Posts: 653
Default Cheap preamp for video calls?


>
> I have no idea which is better, the Behringer or the Mackie.

I do have a Mackie VLZ Pro. I guess I will drag that out.
I was hoping for a small footprint, but my desk is almost
4x8 so I can make it work.
  #5  
Old March 27th 21, 01:01 AM posted to rec.audio.pro
Mike Rivers[_2_]
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Default Cheap preamp for video calls?

On 3/26/2021 8:25 PM, Tobiah wrote:
> I do have a Mackie VLZ Pro.* I guess I will drag that out.
> I was hoping for a small footprint, but my desk is almost
> 4x8 so I can make it work.


That will work fine. The ones I suggested have a smaller footprint. Give
your mixer a try. If it's OK workflow-wise and you need more desk space,
then buy a smaller version.


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  #6  
Old March 27th 21, 03:42 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Scott Dorsey
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Posts: 16,841
Default Cheap preamp for video calls?

Tobiah > wrote:
>
>I do have an Echo Mia MIDI card in the box that works great
>on the linux side. If a had a one or two channel preamp
>with phantom I could save rebooting the machine. Just need
>something compact and fairly inexpensive, but modern, with
>low noise/high gain.


Find a used Symetrix SX202. Clean the pots which will be noisy. You
get two channels with phantom power PLUS the ability to mix those two
channels to one.

When Covid hit, my wife's lessons with her bass teacher went online.
Stuck an SX202 on her computer, gave her a Sennheiser 441 on the desk
and an SM-57 on the bass amp into a Symetrix, and everybody is happy.
--scott
--
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  #7  
Old March 27th 21, 11:36 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
geoff
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Posts: 1,788
Default Cheap preamp for video calls?

On 28/03/2021 4:42 am, Scott Dorsey wrote:
> Tobiah > wrote:
>>
>> I do have an Echo Mia MIDI card in the box that works great
>> on the linux side. If a had a one or two channel preamp
>> with phantom I could save rebooting the machine. Just need
>> something compact and fairly inexpensive, but modern, with
>> low noise/high gain.

>
> Find a used Symetrix SX202. Clean the pots which will be noisy. You
> get two channels with phantom power PLUS the ability to mix those two
> channels to one.
>
> When Covid hit, my wife's lessons with her bass teacher went online.
> Stuck an SX202 on her computer, gave her a Sennheiser 441 on the desk
> and an SM-57 on the bass amp into a Symetrix, and everybody is happy.
> --scott
>


Why is it that 'normal' people don't need to jump through such hoops for
Zoom sessions ? Are you (Tobiah) trying to do something musical or
otherwise hi-fi-ish ? Or just want to sound as good as you can ?

geoff
  #8  
Old March 28th 21, 12:14 AM posted to rec.audio.pro
Mike Rivers[_2_]
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Posts: 2,175
Default Cheap preamp for video calls?

On 3/27/2021 7:36 PM, geoff wrote:
> Why is it that 'normal' people don't need to jump through such hoops for
> Zoom sessions ?


Because they don't know or care about good quality audio. A phone's
camera is actually pretty darn good for this purpose, and audio quality
is OK to pretty good. It's either good luck or good planning so that
when you can see yourself in the camera, the mic is in a decent place to
capture your voice.

I'm too dumb to do that. I at least plug a decent lav mic into my TASCAM
interface and clip it on. But I have a crappy camera that's not easy to
position, so people can get decent audio from me on a Zoom connection
but not such a great picture. But that's OK with me.


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For a good time, call http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com
  #9  
Old April 6th 21, 11:51 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Tobiah
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Posts: 653
Default Cheap preamp for video calls?


> Why is it that 'normal' people don't need to jump through such hoops
> for Zoom sessions ? Are you (Tobiah) trying to do something musical
> or otherwise hi-fi-ish ? Or just want to sound as good as you can ?


It's just that my NT1-A's sit at my right side when I'm at the
computer already, so that's what I use when I'm on Windows. They
are already working with the computer and already on mic stands. Also, it's important
to use the same interface for mic and speaker when Zooming so that
it can do its echo cancellation thing properly. The R0de's are
already plugged into my main output interface. So Windows is set.

So, when using Linux, (my job environment) I'd like to use the same mics, but the
interface that I have that works with Linux has no preamps.

All that said, I love to imagine that my audio quality will somehow reach the
clients that I Zoom with. A dream I suppose, given the barriers between us.
I at least want to keep the noise that *I* introduce to a minimum.


Tobiah
  #10  
Old April 7th 21, 12:13 AM posted to rec.audio.pro
geoff
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Posts: 1,788
Default Cheap preamp for video calls?

On 7/04/2021 10:51 am, Tobiah wrote:
>
>> Why is it that 'normal' people don't need to jump through such hoops
>> for Zoom sessions ?** Are you (Tobiah) trying to do something musical
>> or otherwise hi-fi-ish ? Or just want to sound as good as you can ?

>
> It's just that my NT1-A's sit at my right side when I'm at the
> computer already, so that's what I use when I'm on Windows.* They
> are already working with the computer and already on mic stands.* Also,
> it's important
> to use the same interface for mic and speaker when Zooming so that
> it can do its echo cancellation thing properly.* The R0de's are
> already plugged into my main output interface.* So Windows is set.
>
> So, when using Linux, (my job environment) I'd like to use the same
> mics, but the
> interface that I have that works with Linux has no preamps.
>
> All that said, I love to imagine that my audio quality will somehow
> reach the
> clients that I Zoom with.* A dream I suppose, given the barriers between
> us.
> I at least want to keep the noise that *I* introduce to a minimum.
>
>
> Tobiah



Curious as to what situation with NT1As by your side sitting at a
computer, apart from the Zoom calls !

geoff
 




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