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Mic is not recorded

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I bought a new mic (a Shure SM57) to record my amp – but I did not succeed in recording with the mic via Helix. In my opinion everything is setup right – the strange thing is, when a line level from my amp using the same cable is recorded I can hear the amp in Logic Pro X (via USB1), but when I use the SM57 nothing is recorded.

 

My first suggestion was that the SM57 is DOA. But with another audio interface it works fine.

 

So it can't bei the mic cable (because it works with line level), it can't be the SM57 (because it works on my second audio interface) and it can't be the routing in Helix (because line level via mic in is recorded).

 

Has anyone any ideas what can be wrong? Phantom power is off (like it should be) … When I increase mic level in global settings the hiss increases but there is no sound coming from the mic. Absolutely nothing …

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So you are going Helix Mic in> Helix signal path>Helix output to an interface via cable, or are you going Helix USB to your DAW?

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There have been instances of the Mic input going bad...mine did on one of my units.  Easily replaceable under warranty.  But if I'm understanding correctly you took a line level into the Mic input and it got recorded.  If that's the case then the Mic input should be good.  I don't remember right offhand if there's a global setting on the Mic input for Line or Mic, but you could check that.  Mic level is way lower than line level which could account for what you're experiencing.

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There have been instances of the Mic input going bad...mine did on one of my units.  Easily replaceable under warranty.  But if I'm understanding correctly you took a line level into the Mic input and it got recorded.  If that's the case then the Mic input should be good.  I don't remember right offhand if there's a global setting on the Mic input for Line or Mic, but you could check that.  Mic level is way lower than line level which could account for what you're experiencing.

Global Settings> Ins Outs > Mic In Gain. It is a dedicated mic input, so you can't switch it to line. You can adjust the gain globally though. 

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Well, it seems I used the wrong cable … That explains why it transported a line signal but not the microphone signal. I now ordered a microphone cable – I will report what happens when I use it.

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Well, it seems I used the wrong cable … That explains why it transported a line signal but not the microphone signal. I now ordered a microphone cable – I will report what happens when I use it.

Wrong cable? Which cable was wrong?

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The cable I used for the microphone. It was a XLR cable but one for monitors – it seems that it was the problem, but I will finally get the answer when my ordered mic cable is here. It tried another short XLR cable and the mic worked. But it is too short to record my cab.

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Ok, the new cable solved the problem. Strange, I was not aware that there are different types of XLR cables … But for a mic you have to use a special mic cable – not every XLR cable seems to work with it.

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Ok, the new cable solved the problem. Strange, I was not aware that there are different types of XLR cables … But for a mic you have to use a special mic cable – not every XLR cable seems to work with it.

I’ve never heard of this. I’ve always been able to use mic cables for powered monitors or microphones and has never been an issue.

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Well, I was also surprised. The two cables I used were:

- https://www.thomann.de/de/cordial_ctl5fm.htm (the one that did not work)

- https://www.thomann.de/de/cordial_ctm_5_fm_mikro_kabel_gruen.htm (the one that worked)

Hmmm... that makes no sense. They’re both 3 conductor cables with Canon/XLR connectors. The only thing I can think of is that the female connector of one of those cables (the one with the holes not the pins) isn’t quite making a complete connection with the Helix. Other than when used for an AES/EBU connection, all microphone cables are pretty much the same. Maybe they have other wiring standards in Europe? In the US it’s Pin1= Ground, Pin2 = Hot, Pin3 = Negative. Is it different there?

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Hmmm... that makes no sense. They’re both 3 conductor cables with Canon/XLR connectors. The only thing I can think of is that the female connector of one of those cables (the one with the holes not the pins) isn’t quite making a complete connection with the Helix. Other than when used for an AES/EBU connection, all microphone cables are pretty much the same. Maybe they have other wiring standards in Europe? In the US it’s Pin1= Ground, Pin2 = Hot, Pin3 = Negative. Is it different there?

 

All instrument cables are the same, but one of those is a speaker cable and the other is an instrument cable. The speaker cable didn't work. Speaker cable is meant to carry an amplified signal to a speaker (from power amp to speaker) where as the instrument cable is meant to carry a low level signal to a pre-amp (guitar, line, or mic). While you can sometimes use them interchangeably, it's generally a bad idea and can be fire hazard if you use an instrument cable for a speaker. 

 

See tons more details here: http://www2.fender.com/experience/tech-talk/instrument-cables-speaker-cables-arent-interchangeable/

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Well first, it has been a very long time since any company has used a 1/4†connector for microphones. The Fender cable article you posted was talking about shielded versus non-shielded instrument and speaker cables with 2 conductors. Those are not the same as microphone cables. Microphone XLR cables have 3 conductors - always and are also always shielded. The reality is, and this is coming from personal experience, that an unshielded speaker cable will “work†as an instrument cable, it’ll just be super noisy. The only speaker that would use a Microphone cable is a powered speaker. Passive speakers use unshielded 2 conductor 1/4†plug or Speakon terminated cables.

Thus, as to why that one mic cable didn’t work leads me to think that it was just a bad cable - not a speaker cable. If Thomann does sell a 2 conductor XLR connector it would be very odd and I’ve not seen a passive speaker use an XLR connector ever. At least not here in this continent. I’ve seen 4 conductor XLR connectors but not 2 conductor.

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But why did the cable that did not work with the mic, transport a line signal from my amp to Helix? I had the suggestion that the first cable was bad – but then it should not work generally. Mysterious …

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But why did the cable that did not work with the mic, transport a line signal from my amp to Helix? I had the suggestion that the first cable was bad – but then it should not work generally. Mysterious …

You mean it worked from the Helix to the amp??

Your amp has an XLR input?

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You mean it worked from the Helix to the amp??

Your amp has an XLR input?

 

My Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister 40 Deluxe has a XLR output with Cab Sim for recording (but not an input). And using it, everything worked fine with my first cable but not with a mic in front of the amp.

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