Input needs to be set to MAX


New Member
Jun 26, 2014
Gear owned
Ok, I have a US-366 and just picked up a new Heil PR-40 microphone. But the only way to get audio from the microphone is to set the input all the way to max. I've tried this on both input 1 & 2. Any advice? Thanks.
No surprise: hi-output, large diaphragm dynamic mics want a TON of preamp gain. I haven't used on of those Heils, but I'm sure it has power requirements similar to an EV RE20 or a Shure SM7, and plugged straight into the Tascam preamps on my DM3200, it takes all the preamp they've got to get a decent level going.
Gravity Jim
I'm having the same problem with my US-366 and a Rode NT2A Mic. Am I drawing the same kind of power as the Heil above?
Could I damage the 366 by using this mic?
And, is there any way to get more power to the device?
At lot of questions, especially from a rookie, but I'm trying to get up to speed quickly.
No, you won't damage anything by turing the preamp all the way... it just won't be as clean as it can be. You're not really sending power to the mic (although, being a condenser mic, it DOES want the phantom power on to, work, so I assume you've turned that on and know that you should NEVER plug in or unplug a mic with the phantom power on... it can destroy the mic if you pug it in at just the wrong millisecond). What you're doing is amplifying the signal coming FROM the mic. If you want more level and sensitivity, buy an external preamp, which is sure to provide more gain that the built ins. There are lots of good sounding pres for cheap these days.
would an external preamp work with, or replace the Tascam box?
Your right about turning it way up, but that seems to make the mic pick up everything. You can even hear the heat pump when it comes on. I'll just have to try and find a sweet spot.
btw, I am using the phantom power, and what you warned against must happen way too often, because the Tascam rep who talked me through initial setup really beat me over the head about when to plug or unplug.
Also, any thoughts on which preamp you might look at in this situation?
If you're cranking the gain and hearing a lot of room noise, a different preamp won't fix that. You'll hear that noise any time you use that mic in that space with lots of gain.

That said, an external preamp would run in-line between the mic and the input... no replacement. The hot setup would be to run the internal pre turned all the way down and let the external do the heavy lifting, and the use the internal pre as a trim control.

As for recommendations... Do you want to spend $100 or $599?

And yeah, that phantom power warning is for real. I saw a 1,000-buck Neumann blown dead because a sax player lost his balance and stomped on the cable hard enough to pull it out of the mic. Poof. Back to Neumann for an expensive repair.
My wife does voice over work and audiobook narration. I would like to keep this toward the low end of the range you mentioned, but obviously it does me no good to buy something so cheap that it hurts the end product rather than helping.
I realize that I'm not being real specific, but the truth is I'm setting up this studio in our home, and by myself, so the costs have long since left the budget for the project behind.
You seem to really know your stuff, so any names or brands that you feel comfortable with would be a big help.
btw This may be the dumbest question you've gotten in a long time, but it might at least provide a good laugh. I have an old denon AVR-5800 receiver in very good condition. Is something like this usable in a studio situation?
Both ART and Presonus make decent cheap pres. You can find the ARTube or Presonus TUBEPre used for around 60 bucks (Guitar Center has a bunch of them). I also really like the Studio Projects VTB1, because you can run it absolutely solid-state clean or introduce a tube circuit. It runs about $179 bucks new most places (you could ask my friend Barb at Full Compass if she could do better)... Might be a bit harder to find used, and it's not a sexy-looking design, but it sounds very nice for the price.

I guess you could use your Denon to amplify an unpowered monitor set, maybe a set of lo-fi speakers like Auratones you would use to check mixes. Other than that, it might not be much use.
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Thank you very much. This info should set me on the right path. It's great that there are people like you out there who are willing to share years of experience and education on these forums. Thanks again, and here we go!
Think nothing of it. And keep in mind that no two people with the same length of experience will be likely tell you the same thing. There's no Golden Road and no Emerald City... Every "wizard" does it his or her own way.

Someone asked Al Schmitt, one of the all-time great tracking and mixing engineers, how he mixed a record. He answered "I just turn the knobs until it sounds good."
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Got some solid info from Gravity Jim, and I'm hoping he might see this. I've been doing my homework on mic preamps. There are really good prices on PreSonus and several different ART tube pres. Any thoughts on a box called the ART Tube PAC mic preamp and compressor?
To Gravity Jim: I found a SP VTB-1 on eBay UK listed by an Austrian Company w/ great feedback for $100, and the unit looks pristine. Had to buy a new power supply from the Studio Projects website ($25), but I can probably sell the EU power back through eBay. There's one listed there now for 45 pounds. If all of this works out, it could be a great deal. Thanks for the recommendations. Now the easy part. Learn how to use this stuff!
You'll like that pre. Good on ya! Sorry I missed your previous message, but between the two I probably would have recommended the Studio Projects.

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