Low Microphone Levels

Greetings All,
Using the Cortex as an audio interface, when I attach a condenser mic (AKG -C-3000B) to either input 1 or 2 and go to the I/O settings panel where the default level is set to 0.0 db and engage phantom power, I do not get any sound at all and the level meter shows -40.0 db. I have to push the level knob to 45.0 db to get an average of -10.0 db on the meter in the I/O settings and in my DAW. I do not have this issue when using an Apogee Duet interface. I have yet to test if this is adding hiss to a recording, but should this be necessary? Anyone else encountering a similar issue? Thanks in advance.

I had exactly the same issue. When I increased the level almost to the max, I got some signal but it also added lots of hiss/hum to the point it was unusable. Dynamic mics appeared to be free from this issue.

Thanks for the feedback and corroboration jakekim. I hope I have better luck with the hiss. Will do some recording and see. I can’t imagine they would have included XLR inputs with phantom power but condenser mics aren’t useable. Yikes!

I have used a NT1 and a 421 with no issues. Just FYI

Glad to hear it thanks Waterbound. Are they condenser mics? Did you have to push the level knob significantly to get a good level with no noise?

I will try it again soon but I don’t believe I had to push the levels as much as you did and yes, they are both condenser mics. I will see if I can get some time to try/document my settings again.

No they have not of course!

I compared a few different microphones including condensers requiring 48V between my RME UCX mic interface and QC mic interface, both at the same gain settings - they were all giving same result on the UCX and the QC within a dB.

If your dynamic and ribbons give enough level and the condensers not on the QC and they deliver in your other interfaces I’d suspect a faulty phantom feed and you’d better get in touch with support@neuraldsp.com.

Tried again with a Rode NT1 condenser mic and compared to my Presonus 1818XL interface etc., I didn’t need to bump the levels as you indicated and no noticeable difference between the two different interfaces.

Hey thanks for this very useful info hasse_fx and Waterbound. I will have time this weekend to take into consideration your experiences/expertise and do some experimenting.

Glad to help. Sorry I don’t have much experience with the AKG -C-3000B!