plugging a microphone into a soundcard line input ?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio' started by motthieu, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. motthieu

    motthieu Guest


    i have an echo audiofire 8 with 6 line in and 2 XLR preamps

    i have a microphone, and i'll buy two more when i'll get the money.
    but i'll be missing one preamp.

    can i plug one of these mic directly to a line input of my soundcard ?
    i can switch from -10db to +4db, that's it, no gain knob. the mic i
    would plug on it is a ribbon mic t.bone RB500 who doesn't need phantom
    power. i'll be recording drums so i don't really need to boost the
    gain of the mic... and i happen to have to specific cable need : one
    side XLR, one side symetric jack

    i was thinking of buying a preamp with 4 inputs, but if i could wait a
    little before buying that would be cool

    what do you think ? any risk of damaging my mic ? sound would be
    usable ?

    motthieu, Jun 23, 2007
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  2. Generally no, you cannot plug *any* conventional mic
    into a *line input*. Mic level is an infinitessimal fraction
    of "line level"
    Mic level is on the order of -60dB to -40dB
    (ribbon mics are generally on the lower side of that range)
    Or a mixer. It is not uncommon to mix all the mics on a
    drum kit and record them to a stereo pair of tracks, etc.
    Multiple mics/tracks on a drum kit may be a luxury you
    can't afford if you have such limited means.
    Probably little risk of damage to the mic. But also little
    likelyhood that it will produce anything worth recording.
    Richard Crowley, Jun 23, 2007
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  3. motthieu

    motthieu Guest

    too bad ... thanks !
    motthieu, Jun 23, 2007
  4. motthieu

    Mike Rivers Guest

    Try it. Set the gain for -10 dBV and see what kind of level you get
    from it. It might work.
    Mike Rivers, Jun 23, 2007
  5. motthieu

    Eeyore Guest

    Don't even consider it.

    Eeyore, Jun 23, 2007
  6. motthieu

    motthieu Guest

    i'd love to try it but first i want to be sure my mic and my soundcard
    won't get damaged...
    who should i believe ?

    motthieu, Jun 23, 2007
  7. motthieu

    Eeyore Guest

    Who said it was going to be damaged ?

    It won't. Connecting a ribbon mic to a line in will be both very quiet and very

    Eeyore, Jun 23, 2007
  8. motthieu

    Paul Stamler Guest

    Your mic won't get damaged; there's nothing at a soundcard line input that
    would damage it.

    And your soundcard won't get damaged; there's nothing at a microphone's
    output that would damage it.

    To be cautious, plug and unplug while the computer is powered down. Then
    power up and try it. You probably will get a signal too low to be useful --
    but try it and see. Worst come to worst, you'll have wasted an hour or so.

    Paul Stamler, Jun 25, 2007
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