1-What is a "battery module"?
2-When do I need to use a
3-When would it be better to use a mic preamp?
1-What is a "battery module"?
A "battery module" (as described and sold on this website) is another
name for an in-line (in series) auxiliary power source for a microphone,
or microphone power supply. In most cases, the power for the battery
module is provided by a standard 9 volt or mini 12 volt D.C. (Direct
current) alkaline battery. The module also contains the necessary
electronic components to power an electret, or pair of electret microphones
(sometimes inaccurately called "condenser" microphones). The module
may also contain other components whose purpose is to alter the bass
response of the microphones plugged into it (a "bass roll-off" filter),
or controls that affect the output level of the module (level controls).
It is important to note that a "battery module" WILL NOT increase the
output of a microphone(s) plugged into it - this is the job of a microphone
preamplifier. The battery module's purpose is to power a microphone(s),
not amplify the microphone's signal level. Battery modules are known
as "battery boxes" by some manufacturers.
2-When do I need to use a battery module?
When you want to record very loud sounds
When you want to record very loud sounds with a microphone/recorder
combination, several things must be considered. All condenser type microphones
need a power source to operate. For the smaller condensers (more correctly
called "Electret Condensers"), this power source is generally 1.5 to
12 volts direct current (VDC). The closer you get to providing about
9vdc to the mics, the better they will be able to handle loud sounds
without producing distortion. Many of the recorders available today
provide a small power source at the mic input, often labeled "plug in
power". This power source is commonly about 3 to 4 vdc, but can be lower
in some models.
This is enough voltage to power the mics, but not enough to let them
realize their full dynamic range. Because of this under-powering at
the mic input of the recorder, a battery module can be used to replace
the "plug in power" provided by the recorder. These battery modules
provide between 9 and 12vdc, which is the optimum voltage for the microphones.
Additionally, there is an added benefit to using a battery module. When
you use a battery module, you are not dependent on the recorders "plug
in power", so in moderately loud to very loud situations,
you can use the line input of your recorder and still get acceptable
recording levels (in softer recording situations, you would still need
to use the mic input, even with the battery module).
The line input has less noise than most microphone inputs as it bypasses
the relatively noisy mic pre amplification stage. The line input is
also capable of handling a much higher signal level than the mic input,
and will not result in a phenomena commonly know as "brick walling",
which happens when the signal fed into a mic input is so high that it
distorts the mic input, regardless of the recording level setting.
When you are using microphones that require
9vdc bias power
Some microphones (our Audio Technica Premium Slimline mics, for example),
require a higher bias voltage (9vdc) for proper operation, even in
low volume situations. You would need to use a battery module with
When the sound you are recording has excessive bass
A battery module equipped with a "bass roll off" filter
(or bass reduction filter) can be used to filter, or reduce varying degrees
of bass content from the sound to be recorded. This is especially important
when recording sounds with excessively high levels of bass content. Our
battery modules with this feature allow 7 choice of bass reduction, from
no reduction at all, to a high degree of reduction.
When you want to avoid using the microphone input
of your recorder
As mentioned above, most built-in mic pre amps on the
small portable recorders are rather noisy and may add unwanted coloration
to the sound to be recorded. Using the line input will almost always result
in a less noisy, cleaner sounding recording. Using a battery module in
moderately loud to very loud situations, you can use the line input of
your recorder instead of the mic input. The line input has less noise
than most microphone inputs as it bypasses the relatively noisy mic pre
amplification stage. The line input is also capable of handling a much
higher signal level than the mic input, and will not result in a phenomena
commonly know as "brick walling", which happens when the signal fed into
a mic input is so high that it distorts the mic input, regardless of the
recording level setting.
When you want to be able to adjust the recording
level while recording on a recorder that has no recording level adjustment
A few recorders have a limitation built right into them.....they
don't allow the user to manually adjust recording levels while you are
recording. Because of this, we have an option available on some of our
battery modules. This option allows the user to adjust the output of the
battery module, effectively adjusting the recording level by changing
the level of the signal going into the recorder.
When you want to use our mics with a recorder or
other device that does not supply "plug in power"
As mentioned in #1 above, many recorders on the market
today supply "plug in power" at the mic input. However, there are some
that don't....professional recorders, very inexpensive recorders, mixers,
etc. Even mixers that have 48 volt phantom would need a battery module
(or phantom power adapter like this
to power the small electret mics as they are not designed to work with
48VDC, and would be damaged if plugged directly into 48VDC. Using a battery
module will allow you to use the mics with just about any piece of equipment
that can accept a mic or line level source.
When you want to use our mics with a Camcorder in
Most camcorders on the market today, while having "plug in power",
can't handle the high signal levels produced by microphones used in
loud situations. The signal level must be "attenuated", or lowered,
before it reaches the mic input of the recorder. Our battery modules,
when fitted with the level control option, allow the user to reduce
the output level of the mics so that a camcorders mic input can handle
the signal level without distorting or "brick walling".
3-When would it be better to use a mic preamp?
When you are using a recorder that has a noisy
mic input while recording quiet sounds
A microphone preamp is useful when you need to record quiet sounds
and the mic preamp built into your recorder is too noisy. Using a
good quality external preamp will reduce the noise and allow you to
plug into the line input of the recorder.
When you own a recorder that DOES NOT have a
microphone input (most MP3 recorders, some MD recorders, VCR's, etc)
Some recorders available on the market today are capable of making
good quality live recordings, but only with a "pre-amplified"
microphone, or preamp and microphone combination. This is because
these products do not have a built-in microphone preamp, as today's
digital recorders usually do. So, by combining a microphone with a
preamp, you will be able to feed a signal into the line input of your
recorder that is strong enough for high quality recordings.
When you want to use a microphone with a home
Most home recorders do not come with microphone inputs. Using a
preamplifier between your microphone and your home deck will allow
you to make live recordings with the home deck, plugging into the
analog line inputs.
If you have any questions regarding this topic, please contact