Microphone preamp

Microphone preamp

A microphone preamp (microphone pre-amplifier), most commonly called mic preamp, is a device used to amplify the voltage taken from a microphone to a higher, more usable level. Most microphones must be used in conjunction with a microphone preamp to function properly.

The Technical Details

The output voltage on a microphone is very low; a microphone preamp increases that level by up to 70dB to a +4dB level output which is used by other external audio effects, for audio recording, and for live sound. The circuitry inside the microphone preamp has a great effect on the sound of a microphone, from the way the microphone reacts due to impedance changes, to adding coloration from transformers or vacuum tubes (valves), op amps, transistors, and all the other circuitry used.

In Use

Most audio engineers would assert that a microphone preamp affects the sound quality of a recording just as much as the microphone itself. Different combinations of microphones and preamps can achieve a wide range of tone, character and mood. Microphone preamps come in many shapes and sizes, and vary greatly in price from a few dollars to many thousands of dollars. Many mixing boards or desks have microphone preamps built in. There are also a plethora of external preamps from which to choose, which is great for adding the exact tone and feature set one needs for setup.

Some preamps exist as one part of a channel strip, which can include other kinds of audio recording devices such as compressors, equalization (EQ), noise gates, and enhancers.

ee also

* Preamplifier


* [http://www.summitaudio.com/2ba-221-mic-line-module.htm Microphone preamp external]
* [http://www.digico.org/DiGiCo-05/d1live-40.htm Microphone preamp in mixer]
* [http://www.lautenaudio.com/ Microphone]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Microphone preamplifier — A microphone preamplifier is a sound engineering device that prepares a microphone signal to be processed by other equipment. Microphone signals are normally too weak to be transmitted to units such as mixing consoles and recording… …   Wikipedia

  • Tube preamp — A tube preamp, is used primarily in audio applications because of its reputation to provide warm and realistic sound. These applications include stereo preamps, microphone preamps, turntable/phono preamps and guitar preamps.A tube preamp is alone …   Wikipedia

  • Electret microphone — An electret microphone is a type of condenser microphone, which eliminates the need for a power supply by using a permanently charged material.An electret is a stable dielectric material with a permanently embedded static electric charge (which,… …   Wikipedia

  • Contact microphone — Metal disks with piezo material, used in buzzers or as contact microphones A contact microphone, otherwise known as a pickup or a piezo, is a form of microphone designed to sense audio vibrations through solid objects. Unlike normal air… …   Wikipedia

  • M-Audio — Type Subsidiary of Avid Technology Founded 1998 Headquarters Irwindale, CA, USA USA …   Wikipedia

  • RME — is a German company that designs and builds audio hardware, including audio interfaces, analog to digital converters, and digital to analog converters. While the majority of their audio interface solutions are PCIbased as well as PCI Express,… …   Wikipedia

  • Lipinski Sound — Infobox Company company name = Lipinski Sound company type = Private foundation = 2003 location = flagicon|USA New York, NY, United States key people = Andrew Lipinski, Founder Lukas Lipinski, President CEO industry = Consumer electronics,… …   Wikipedia

  • Insert (effects processing) — In audio processing and sound reinforcement, an insert is an access point built into the mixing console, allowing the user to add external line level devices into the signal flow between the microphone preamp and the mix bus.Common usages include …   Wikipedia

  • Outboard gear — Musical outboard equipment or gear alter how an musical instrument sounds. Outboard, (external effects units) can be used either during a live performance or in the recording studio. These are separate from the effects that may be applied by… …   Wikipedia

  • Channel strip — Mackie 1402 VLZ3 Channel Strip A channel strip is a device that allows the output of an audio device to be amplified to a line level and integrated into some other system. An audio channel strip may be a stand alone unit or one of many units… …   Wikipedia