Writer microphones and recommendations for proper use

Thank you for purchasing a Sound Professionals microphone. If you are using your new mic with a writer, the writer's manual should be followed as written, however, the following information will help you to achieve the best possible results when recording audio. The recommendations below are intended as a way of fine-tuning the information already found in the manual:

In your writer manual, you may see something similar to this regarding microphone gain: “Microphone Gain—indicates the current gain setting for the microphone, 0 - 100%. If your microphone is battery powered, set the gain lower. A suggested starting point is 75 - 80%. If the microphone is not battery powered, set the gain higher. A suggested starting point is 95-100%.”

These statements assume that battery powered microphones are more sensitive than non-battery powered microphones. This is not always true. A battery powered microphone could be more sensitive, but merely being battery powered does not mean it is more sensitive (or powerful). An amplified microphone would be more sensitive, but these are extremely rare, and not recommend for devices that have microphone inputs, like your writer. In fact, using a battery to power a microphone is actually unnecessary as your writer supplies the power needed for most microphones. This power is called microphone “plug in power”.

The microphones we offer do not have batteries and are properly powered by the “plug in power' supplied by the writer's mic input jack. In fact, our microphones are more sensitive (powerful) than most battery powered microphones available today. So, they actually require a lower gain setting in the writer, not higher.

Important - With our ultra-high sensitivity microphones, we recommend a starting microphone gain setting of 30% and adjust up as needed - see below...

The manual may go on to say: “Setting this gain too high, may cause audio feedback. Press the - and + sensors as necessary to set the percent. A graphic bar indicates the selected level.”

This bar graph is usually divided into 3 colors – green, yellow and red. It is important to set the gain for the maximum recording level without overloading to get the clearest, strongest recording possible. With someone talking nearby at a normal level, adjust the microphone gain setting so that the recording level indicator illuminates the green and yellow segments. The red segments indicate overloading, so it is important that the red segments only illuminate occasionally or not at all. Adjust the microphone gain as needed to keep your levels in this range. If you hear feedback when monitoring with headphones, simply lower the headphone level until the feedback stops.

On a related note, you may see a warning about recording from a Videographer's feed: “Using a direct feed from a videographer to the microphone jack is not recommended since most of those feeds are line level (much higher) and not microphone level.”

If you need to connect a direct feed from a videographer, you can use this cable to reduce the signal down to a safe level that will not overload the mic input on your writer: