MPC X & MPC Live Forum: Support and discussion for the MPC X & MPC Live, Akai's current generation of standalone MPCs.
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By EnochLight Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:12 pm
Any MPC Live owners out there ever record standalone with an XLR mic that needs 48v phantom? I need a way to get this into my Live while I'm out in the field but the line-in RCA jacks are proving an issue. Don't want to buy anything expensive. Any recommendations?

Really trying to avoid bringing my laptop and RME Babyface Pro.
By r4nd0m Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:36 pm
EnochLight wrote:Any MPC Live owners out there ever record standalone with an XLR mic that needs 48v phantom? I need a way to get this into my Live while I'm out in the field but the line-in RCA jacks are proving an issue. Don't want to buy anything expensive. Any recommendations?

Really trying to avoid bringing my laptop and RME Babyface Pro.


some like this may work - just checked the MPC does supply USB power when in standalone mode on battery

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Neewer-1-Chann ... 76WF7DSP/r
By Guilleonline Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:15 pm
Maybe a field recorder would solve your problem?

I use a Zoom H5n on the field and while most times I use the internal (interchangable) stereo mics, it does have mic inputs with phantom power at the bottom of the unit if you want to record with an specific microphone. Then, you have two ways to input that audio to the Live: 1- thru the output 1/8" cable (with a converter on the other end to 1/4" for your MPC) in real time or 2 - after recording, simply take the SD card out of the unit and put it in your MPC. I do option 2 to avoid introducing any other distortion into the audio.

I know it's a separate device to bring but it's nothing huge and still better than bringing the laptop and the interface.

I was also going to suggest maybe using the babyface without the computer (some interfaces still operate as a mixer without a computer - you'll have to check) but you would still need a power source I guess, unless you also brought along a power pack.
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By EnochLight Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:31 pm
Thanks. Yeah, the Babyface Pro would work fine, but I just don't want to lug around my $750 USD audio interface from my studio while I'm out on the road along with my MPC Live. I'm just looking for a cheap mic pre that offers 48v phantom for under $100 USD. A field recorder is not an option - that's just too clunky IMHO, and I have zero use for a field recorder otherwise.

Totally forgot the Live has 1/4" balanced inputs as well. D'oh!

r4nd0m kind of has the idea, but I'm open to more options. Was also considering an ART Tube MP, but I only need 1 XLR input really:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... one-preamp
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By EnochLight Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:52 am
Yorgos Arabatzis wrote:You want this that draws power from Live’s USB ports..
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... eamplifier


Hmmmm... thanks for that recommendation. I can't believe it'll run off of a 9 volt battery and push 48 volt phantom power for up to 20 hours (and up to 50 hours with phantom power off). That almost seems physically impossible for a 9 volt battery!

I wonder if it's true 48 volt phantom power?

Still, that's pretty bad ass. It's about 40% more expensive than the regular ART Tube Pre, but the fact that I can run this without having to worry about lugging along yet another wall wart power supply is super tempting.

Thanks!
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By Monotremata Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:50 am
Yeah I dont think USB is really up to the task of properly doing phantom power still. At least thats been my experience in the past. I know USB 3 and 3.1 will put out more power than USB 1/2 but thats amps.. Voltage wise there's some super transformer or something going on in there that jacks that 5 volts up to 48 through USB. No way in hell USB can put that out on its own.
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By Ill-Green Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:46 pm
To get the best vocals in the Live, you would need a mic preamp like the Behringer MIC100, which is like $40 to $50. This model is a good example of what you need for outstanding vocals for cheap.

Connect the mic into the XLR input of the preamp. Then connect a 1/4" TS plug into the preamp's output and into the Live's L input (1/4" as well).

This will give you the hottest signal. Some think connecting XLR to XLR is the best result but its not and only gives you half the power.

Connect XLR to 1/4" and you get blazing power. :smoker:
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By Koldunya Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:04 pm
Monotremata wrote:Yeah I dont think USB is really up to the task of properly doing phantom power still. At least thats been my experience in the past. I know USB 3 and 3.1 will put out more power than USB 1/2 but thats amps.. Voltage wise there's some super transformer or something going on in there that jacks that 5 volts up to 48 through USB. No way in hell USB can put that out on its own.


It'd be a DC to DC converter. USB 3 is 900mA. 5V * 0.9A == 4.5W, and watts = power. I looked up the max amperage for a mic using phantom power and according to IEC standards it's 10mA. That's not quite half a watt of power at 48V. Even after conversion losses and whatnot, USB 3 should easily supply what a phantom-powered mic needs.

I have read before that some interfaces do have issues supplying enough consistent current for solid phantom power performance which could be what you experienced, I'm not trying to say you're wrong about having experienced problems. I will say my RME Babyface has performed flawlessly with two condensers numerous times, and even big AKG C414s only require 4.5mA of their phantom supply.

All that said, I think it will work. Though after having borrowed a friend's Live (I have an X), I plan to go with something like a Rode M3 which is said to run for 200+ hours of a single 9V battery so I don't have to worry about this sort of thing. Just need to find a preamp I can be happy with. For now I'm planning to just use my Zoom H2n and swap SD cards :oops:
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By Monotremata Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:59 am
Ill-Green wrote:To get the best vocals in the Live, you would need a mic preamp like the Behringer MIC100, which is like $40 to $50. This model is a good example of what you need for outstanding vocals for cheap.

Connect the mic into the XLR input of the preamp. Then connect a 1/4" TS plug into the preamp's output and into the Live's L input (1/4" as well).

This will give you the hottest signal. Some think connecting XLR to XLR is the best result but its not and only gives you half the power.

Connect XLR to 1/4" and you get blazing power. :smoker:


That sounds more like a balancing issue. There is no 'XLR to XLR is half the power of a TS plug'.

Whats happening is youre plugging the balanced +4 dBu output of the mic pre into an unbalanced -10dBu input. Of course youre getting a hotter signal, you're actually blowing it up and mismatched it. (Hint, if it uses XLR or TRS jacks its a "PRO" +4dBu signal, if it uses TS jacks or specifically says its an unbalanced XLR it will be a 'CONSUMER' -10dBu output).
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By Ill-Green Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:17 pm
Monotremata wrote:
That sounds more like a balancing issue. There is no 'XLR to XLR is half the power of a TS plug'.

Whats happening is youre plugging the balanced +4 dBu output of the mic pre into an unbalanced -10dBu input. Of course youre getting a hotter signal, you're actually blowing it up and mismatched it. (Hint, if it uses XLR or TRS jacks its a "PRO" +4dBu signal, if it uses TS jacks or specifically says its an unbalanced XLR it will be a 'CONSUMER' -10dBu output).

Its a Behringer as posted before. But you're right. However, following guidelines kinda keeps you pigeon holed. With cheap stuff I really don't mind blowing it up to get a distinct sound. Look at Jimi Hendrix, engineers were shocked and scared when he would crank the amps passed 10 and control the volume from his guitar. :smoker:
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By Monotremata Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:48 pm
Ill-Green wrote:
Monotremata wrote:
That sounds more like a balancing issue. There is no 'XLR to XLR is half the power of a TS plug'.

Whats happening is youre plugging the balanced +4 dBu output of the mic pre into an unbalanced -10dBu input. Of course youre getting a hotter signal, you're actually blowing it up and mismatched it. (Hint, if it uses XLR or TRS jacks its a "PRO" +4dBu signal, if it uses TS jacks or specifically says its an unbalanced XLR it will be a 'CONSUMER' -10dBu output).

Its a Behringer as posted before. But you're right. However, following guidelines kinda keeps you pigeon holed. With cheap stuff I really don't mind blowing it up to get a distinct sound. Look at Jimi Hendrix, engineers were shocked and scared when he would crank the amps passed 10 and control the volume from his guitar. :smoker:


Hahaha yeah I have some stuff that actually works better when I set their input level wrong in my MOTU. It lets you switch between -10 and +4 in the console software for it. I have a couple of pieces of balanced gear that actually work better at -10. At the proper +4 they are still way too low output. At -10 they're blowing it up but as long as I back down the input a little it gets a nice clean but hot signal.
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By Koldunya Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:17 am
That Behringer MIC100 has an AC power supply, so it'd need a battery pack with a mains supply, or battery and an inverter or some nonsense, if you wanted to use it "in the field." A lot of mic pres that aren't specifically designed to be powered off USB are using AC, too. The Presonus Tube Pre V2 is 12V DC and 1A, but you'd still need to lug along a battery pack that can put out 12V DC.

What mic are you using? A lot of the "portable" mixers or pres that supply phantom are pretty limited in the amps they supply for phantom. A lot are under 2V :?
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By EnochLight Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:30 am
Koldunya wrote:What mic are you using? A lot of the "portable" mixers or pres that supply phantom are pretty limited in the amps they supply for phantom. A lot are under 2V :?


For these trips I'd take an Audio Technica AT3035 and a Shure SM58. I'm sort of leaning towards that ART USB Dual Pre so I can run it off of my Live's USB port. Would save me lugging a battery or wall wart around.