[linux-audio-user] Using a Shure sm57 mic w/ low end soundcard

Anahata anahata at treewind.co.uk
Mon Nov 3 05:15:54 EST 2003

On Sun, Nov 02, 2003 at 03:21:00PM -0900, Paul Berry wrote:
> Do I need an external preamplifier to use the sm57? If so where can I go to 
> find one or schematics to build one? 

1. Yes. The mic input on soundcards (especially consumer ones) is really
only for voice recording using an electret mic that has quite high
output. Contrary to another answer, I'd say the SM57 is low output, 
certainly compared with any condenser mic.

2a. MidiMan (M-Audio?) Audio Buddy is the entry level and gives excellent 

2b. As suggested, the mic channels of a Mackie VLZ mixer gives exceptional
bang for buck if you think you'll ever need more than 2 mic channels, or if
you'll ever want proper (48V) phantom power, or have a use for a small
workhorse mixer. The Mackies seem to have lower noise than most mixers
at the low-cost end of the market.

You should then be able to use the line input of your sound card,
connected to the preamp output. On the Mackie mixer use the channel
insert point, which is a TRS jack, tip = send. In fact a standard mono
1/4" jack will do the Right Thing as long as you don't want any mic
signal on the mix bus.

Bear in mind that your sound card line input is stereo, so you can either
connect the preamp to both L and R inputs, or just to one input and take
care to ignore the other one in case it contributes extra noise.

anahata at treewind.co.uk       Tel: 01638 720444
http://www.treewind.co.uk    Mob: 07976 263827

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