How to Plug a Condenser Mic Into an Amplifier

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When you speak or sing into a regular microphone, a magnet moves and creates a current in a coil of wire. The heavy magnets in regular microphones move slowly and can clip off some of the dynamics of the music they capture. Instead of using a slow moving magnet, condenser microphones use two plates that store or discharge electricity based on how they vibrate together or apart and are much more sensitive and responsive. For a condenser mic to work, though, it needs a separate power source, which comes from a special preamplifier.

Things You'll Need

  • Preamp with phantom power
  • Audio cable
  • Unplug your amplifier and pre-amplifier from their wall outlets.

  • Plug your condenser microphone's XLR cable into an XLR input on your preamplifier. Select an input that is designed for a condenser mic and provides a "phantom power" feed to energize its capacitor.

  • Plug an audio patch cable into your pre-amplifier's output. Typically, the output will be a one-quarter inch jack.

  • Plug the patch cable into an input on your amplifier.

  • Plug the preamplifier and amplifier into their wall outlets. The microphone is now connected.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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