microphone level

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Not to beat a dead horse, but what do most folks find to be a typical microphone level setting?

I have used two dynamic microphones ( Heil Goldline Pro and cheap headset) that worked well on my Flex 3000. I find that I need to use the 20 db setting and a level in the range of 85-90 to obtain drive when close talking.

For most of my operating I DON'T like using a desk mic or boom mounted microphone, as I like the freedom to move around the operating position and not have to stay focused on where the microphone is located.

Any recommendations on a good ON-THE-EAR dual headset? I do contests at times and find the
over the ear ones just to hot after a couple of hours.

73's
Lew

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Lewis Cheek

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Posted 4 years ago

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np2g

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First the necessity to use 20 db boost. Says the mike is not producing enough audio.
Secondly. The mic input all to the right. Also says the same thing.

If you would provide 0db out of your mike most likely. There would be no necessity for the 20 db boost or the level to be all to the right.

I see that control anywhere from 30 to 60. To achieve that 0 level indication.

I use a yahama Mike boom / headset Cm 500. on my kx3. An perfect choice for me.

Over the ear headset I really like the audio technica ath m 50. For me it's sound is accurate for my hearing
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John n0snx

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I have used the KOSS SB-45 for quite a few years now.... They works great... not too heavy, so i don't get fatigued when wearing them... Full ear coverage and very comfortable...sounds great.... Best part is $24.45 on Amazon.  all you need is a standard y adapter for mic and ptt.... for that I used one made by W2ENY... also inexpensive.

http://www.amazon.com/Koss-sb45-SB-45-Communication-Stereophones/dp/B00081A2CW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&am...

.http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze3rys4/adapter/


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Michael - N5TGL

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The right mic gain level is the one that gets you close to 0, but doesn't go over it.  Microphone outputs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and model to model.  Output also varies with the operator as some folks talk louder or softer than others.

So, if you have to use the +20db to get good output, then use it.  If you don't, then that's fine too.  Generally speaking, plugging a mic right into the radio will require the +20, using an output from a mixer or preamp won't.

I use an EV RE-320 with a preamp.  No +20 and I run mic gain at 60.  Of course I could run mic gain at 20 or 90 and be fine by adjusting the gain on the preamp.

The takeaway here is it's not the numbers that are important, it's that you get as close to 0 on voice peaks without going over.  If you go over 0, you WILL be transmitting a signal with audible clipping distortion. 
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np2g

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I do agree
My choice is not that fixed 20 db boost but a variable solution derived from a adjustable pre amp .
The solution is that perfect .768 MV. 0 db.
All good audio mikes list how much output or freq response etc. so you can figure this out even before you attach the mike to the radio.
And as stated it is the result you shoot for.

And the flex like every thing out there has that sweet spot
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Michael - N5TGL

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Honestly, if your mic has enough output, there is no harm at all in using the built in +20 boost, as you still will have the mic gain slider for variable control.  The +20 boost is there to compensate between mic level and line level:

Mic level input = needs +20
Line level input = doesn't need +20

My problem is that my mic doesn't have quite enough output even with the +20, so I have to use an external preamp.  I'd rather not, as the preamp is a source of RF ingress, even with what seems like 5 lbs of ferrite on it.  :(
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np2g

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Another comment I agree with. If your audio input system provides that magic 0Db All is good. 

For me ,there are very good mike pre amps out there.. I am  presently
using a Scarlet external Preamp that makes my   present audio  capable of that  0 db  product. (Fully adjustable  ) 

(Mike level ,Line level ,Balanced level all require the magic DB value period .)


For my system :

 No RF getting into this device (Any Audio equipment ). I also use Electronic Digital processing .  This RF issue  has been midicated by proper instillation practices .

Any adjustment is not made to the radio (Radio Set to that engineered sweet spot)   It is Measured altered,  enhansed, Subdued ,External of the radio   .

I have not adjusted the radio to acomidate the mike I have adjusted the mike to acomidate the radio .









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Michael - N5TGL

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Not exactly sure why you are so biased against adjusting the radio, but I'm happy your setup works for you!
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np2g

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Not biased. Since there is a vast quantity of possible combinations there has to be one constant in that multitude.

Any alteration,enhancement ,suppression, eq ,compression is provided to that radio. At that magic 0 db. Or at the radio,s engineered ,defined input.

Another reason to love electronic audio processing infinitely more compliant. Than anything internal.

This discussion has hit on a few impacted criteria. You still cannot make something not capable to deliver what you think you require happen. It must be capable to start with.
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k0eoo

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The mic settings for my PR781 are +20 ON and mic gain at around 60-65....  Don't remember what the dexpander is set at, but to set the dexpander just press MOX and watch your transmit backbround noise on the panadapter and start turning up the dexpander slider until you see a marked drop in the level (no talking)....  For my room the slider was around mid scale...  Also, if you have the TX EQ on its settings will effect the mic gain as well.

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Howard -W6HDG

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I'm very interested in this topic as I am still not happy with the transmit audio on my 6300.  Could the 6300 use different mic circuitry than the 6500/6700?  When I A/B my 6300 with my Yaesu FTdx3000, I get consistent reports that the Yaesu is far superior.  When I am trying to work a DX station with the 6300 and am about to lose my voice from calling, I switch to the Yaesu and BINGO - station usually worked.  

I'm using the same Heil Elite Pro 6 headset on both radios. Flex has +20 db on and mic level 60-70.  I'm using the MON circuit in the radio.  In order to really hear my own audio in the headphones, I have to have the headphone volume slider at 100% and the MON level at 70%.  I can then hear myself but not without a whirring noise in the background and a tiny bit of echo.  This occurs with 1 watt into a dummy load so it is not RF.  It even occurs at zero watts with no rig output!  It can be heard by a second receiver at 1 watt, so it is not artifact.  DEXpander can mute the whirring between phrases but is not a satisfactory solution.

Can others with a 6300 please try to monitor themselves into headphones and adjust headphone volume and MON level to listen to their own audio.  Is your background clean?  

Thanks.....
(Edited)
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Howard -W6HDG

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Thomas,
Thanks for confirming this issue. I hope that FLEX is listening. I'm very curious if this is Flex 6300 specific? I don't hear this from 6500/6700 owners.

Can you try this?
Raise headphone slider to max (lower slice volume if necessary to comfortable listening level)
Shut off DEXpander
Mic level at 70 (with +20db set)
Raise MON level until you hear the Heil Proset Elite 6 in your headphones during transmit.

Can you get a good monitor level without a baseline whirring sound and echo? I can't get enough MON level to even hear myself unless the headphone slider is at Max.

Very annoying and like you say, 'not very satisfying audio'. I'm not going to buy another headset mic as the Heil is excellent. I get great reports on my Yaesu. I'm not going to buy a preamp. I'd consider just shutting off MON as a 'cure' if I was getting good audio reports with the 6300. But I'm not.
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DK1EY

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Howard,

I will try this at home as soon as possible and publish the effect here.

If you have any questions, just drop me an Email.

73
Thomas
DK1EY
(Edited)
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WA8SRA

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Howard,

I have had the same experience. The background noise is definitely not clean here.  In fact, without a microphone connected to the input of the 6300, and the radio in TX mode connected to a dummy load, while monitoring in an external receiver I can hear (and see on a panadapter) a tight grouping of 5 or 6 'tones' spaced about 2 KHz apart. I suspect this correlates to your description of a 'whirring' sound. It is made many times worse by engaging the 20 dB preamp!

I was attempting to use a standard Heil HC5 element, but it required such a high 'mic' level setting in addition to the 20 dB preamp, that the result sounded very bad. So, I happened to have a Heil HM-10 microphone (with an HC5 cartridge) that I had years ago modified by building a single transistor amplifier into the microphone housing for use w/ my K2. It worked great. If I use that same microphone with the 6300, I can keep the 20 dB preamp OFF, and set the Mic level to about 35, and the results sounds excellent an the external receiver.

73, Dale
WA8SRA

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Howard -W6HDG

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Dale, Thanks very much for that info. Please pass it along to Flex as I filed a ticket on the issue. Dudley at Flex was very responsive and has passed things along to engineering. Dudley writes, "I had an engineer duplicate the mic input noise on the bench, still trying to find the source looks like it will need to be further investigated."

I too think it is partly a mic level problem since electret mics and (pre)amplifiers seem to help according to the reports throughout this thread. So there is hope that this can be solved in software. Flex 6300 owners should not have to work this hard to get good TX audio and be able to monitor their audio comfortably. 73, Howard W6HDG
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Fred Lindsey

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On my 6300, I also use the Heil Pro Set Elite 6, and my settings are the same as yours. I have not noticed any background noise, but I am a little hard of hearing. I do get good reports.
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Lewis Cheek

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I find the "MON" function to be of VERY little if any value. I have found that monitoring on another rig is much better in setting up the audio ( I do understand not all of us have another rig).

My concern when I started this thread was attempting to see if something might be wrong with my 6300, as both of the microphones in question worked well with the Flex 3000 without (IMO) a high microphone setting.

Since I don't plan on switching microphones once I get this setup with headset I have on order I'll just "nail" is down.

Thanks for the comments, it appears I'm not alone with my settings.

73's
Lew

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Howard -W6HDG

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Lew,
The MON function may be of little value in setting ones EQ, but it should at least function well enough to hear TX audio robustly (SSB and Digital) if the operator desires. I rate the MON function a 2 out of 10 on the 6300.  I hope this is one of the software defined functions that can be re-defined..... and quickly.  The TX audio also stinks with the Heil Elite 6 Pro Headset.   Those are the two reasons I am not using or enjoying my new 6300 much and that is a shame....  Howard W6HDG
(Edited)
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np2g

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Hello
Yes there is "Better mike  setups  " Out there.

 I use the record function on my Flex 6500.

Slide  the rf power to  " 0  "press the red recorder button  . Make a transmission Nothing goes out on the air. press the red button again (That stops it)  then play it back. (Press the play green arrow)

Yep!!!!! thats what you sound like  . 

The monitor is nice but the recording function ,For me, is better //easier . 

The 6300 has the potential of sounding fantastic. As all flexes you gotta make yourself happy. 
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John n0snx

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I echo all of you comments.....
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Actually, on my 6500, recording myself through the "quick record" feature does not sample after the filtering and compression and is not an accurate picture of what I sound like.  I have confirmed this by recording it this way, and comparing it to recordings made with the I/Q recording feature on my Flex-1500, both of them running into my Bose Companion 2 speakers.  When I shift TX bandwidth from 65-3000 Hz with Compression at DX to 200-2900 Hz & Compressor on DX+ there is a BIG difference on my recorded audio on the 1500/PSDR.  But I can tell very little difference on my recording made directly on the 6500 "quick record" feature.  Nothing beats a 2nd receiver for monitoring Audio quality.
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Howard -W6HDG

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Thanks very much NP2G,
Great suggestion.  Sounds exactly the same in the recording function as in the MON "live". Whirring sound and some echo if mic gain is turned up to good level (70+ level and +20db set) with the Heil Elite Pro 6 headset.  If people are using a preamp and that solves the issue, perhaps Flex can work on the 6300 mic/MON circuits in software.  I'd hate to have to buy a $300 tube preamp as was suggested....
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I use a Behringer Xenyx 802USB  ($79 on Amazon Prime...see link below) on my 6500.  It is a bit overkill, and not tip-top quality, but the price was right and I needed something that could do double duty with my music sound system when needed.

I use a Heil PR22UT into the input and then split it three ways:  1) to the BAL/Line Level input on my FLEX-6500, 2) to the ACCY port on my FLEX-1500, 3) via USB to my computer to record and edit radio spots, as well as voice keyer stuff.  I have all the inputs flat on the Behringer and basically use it as a preamp and splitter for the other three pieces of equipment with line-level output.  All EQ is done internally with the rigs.  It is nice to share one mike with three pieces of equipment!  

If I wanted, I could hook up another mike and run comparisons between the two very easily.  So far, with 100 watts and my vertical antenna about 8 ft. outside the shack window and no station ground yet (It is coming with my tower project next month)  I have NO RF problems into the mixer and mike lines.  (The cheap audio amp and speakers is another story, so I just got a Bose Companion 2 Series III to install tonight).

It doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg to sound great.  We are only talking 3-6 KHz bandwidth at most, not 25,000 KHz top ends.  The laws of diminishing returns apply here, too.

 http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-Q802USB-8-Channel-Mixer/dp/B00CTKI61Y/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=140...

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Howard -W6HDG

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Ken,
Thanks.  That does look like overkill for me.  Any opinion of whether this might give me the gain I need? - http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-MIC800-Microphone-Modeling-Preamp/dp/B000KUENNU/ref=cm_rdp_product

I guess I'm surprised that a preamp is even necessary for the Flex 6300.  But I suppose the fact that I need to crank up the mic, headphone level and MON level to the point of whirring and echo tells me that I need a preamp for the Flex 6300 with the Heil Elite Pro 6 headset !?

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John n0snx

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Howard I looked at the link and think it will do just fine.... at a very inexpensive cost....
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np2g

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Glad  you tried it.

 Oh Well !!!

I am using for a mike  preamp a Focusrite  2I2   around   $ 140 bucks .
Also I Have a Yahama mike/headset for my KX3 plugged directly into the radio   that also works fantastic  for under $50 bucks .

If you are a SSB guy remember " You are how you sound ." 


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Barry N1EU

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Another thumbs up for Focusrite 2i2  http://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-2i2

I paid around $100 for it.  Besides outstanding audio quality in the preamp section, it will make your audio available digitally in the computer for direct digital connection.  I assume DAX supports this, like VAC works in PowerSDR.

That Behringer looks a bit gimmicky for my taste buds but maybe it sounds okay.

(Edited)
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Barry N1EU

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I just remembered that the Flex 6K does all the dsp inside the radio and not the computer like PowerSDR so on second thought you'd be paying too much for just using the preamp functionality of the Forcusrite 2i2.
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np2g

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Besides the 2i2 being a fantastic preamp it opens the door for most of the digital audio processing programs. Vst,s etc.
With this said it is having every piece of rack gear at your fingertips.
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DK1EY

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Behringer MIC200 - $49.99 

Works fine here!
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KM6CQ - Dan

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To be brief, I use a Plantronics CS361N RF headset. It is a transformed output.  I then use a Symetrix 528E. I take advantage the parametric EQ, Downward Expander and Compressor. 
The end result is my TX audio is equivalent to my RE20, so much I only use the headset these days. The Symetrix is configured to not allow the mic gain to go over 0 on the meter. The Symetrix also has Balanced I/O Thank you Flex for providing a balanced input. 
(Edited)
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np2g

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Hello

  Please read the  mike  specs.  The Heil  has  600 OHMS output impediance . This is why you need the +20 DB or more. This is why the audio is LOW . 


It is not the radio ....  It's not the program ..... 





(Edited)
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Howard -W6HDG

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It most certainly is the radio.....   If you can take a standard ham headset like the Heil Elite Pro 6 and it sounds TERRIFIC with ample gain/punch on the Yaesu's and Kenwood's of the world....and it sounds weak and cruddy on a Flex 6300, then the Flex needs work.  The average ham (who the Flex 6300 is designed for) is not going to spring for special mics and preamps.   Let's face it, the Flex 6300 is a phenomenal invention at a great price point and I'd like to recommend it to every new ham who can afford one (before they develop bad "knob habits"), but I'm not going to recommend it until the mic/MON issue is resolved.  I can be patient for everything else on the Flex timeline :)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I have added a defect to our bug tracker to investigate this reported issue.
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Howard -W6HDG

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I am spending money and still having trouble with the TX audio on the 6300. I need help.

I bought an Electret headset/ Foster plug with the 5v pin enabled (all from W2ENY). Comments as follows:

The background whirring is gone since I can reduce the mic slider to 50 and shut off +20db boost and the monitor sounds better and richer. But I still have a slight echo I can't seem to shake. Even with zero watts out - so this is not RF.

Audio reports are still awful. I switch to my Yaesu and get great reports. With the 6300 I am still hearing 'too much bass and not clear' even after playing with EQ for hours. I tried monitoring myself on a second receiver but I am getting nearly a half second audio delay! What is up with that? Aren't I transmitting in real time with the 6300? My PC is an i7 win 7 64 bit so not a latency issue I would think.

Thanks. Howard W6HDG
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Howard -W6HDG

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Follow up on above.
The 6300 stock MONitor and mic circuits/levels all still need work in my opinion.  Especially the MON circuit.  I hope FLEX is listening - with a 6300, Heil headset and with the MON on and turned way up so you can hear yourself and the whirring, echoing crud!!  It's not my particular radio as I've worked helping to set up 3 local 6300's which we all bought at Dayton.  All suffer the same issues. The radio should have never been released like this in my opinion.  I've spoken with Bob Heil and he is investigating too.

I bought a Behringer preamp as suggested in this thread and that eliminates the whirring and echo ENTIRELY. It adds a tiny bit of background noise as you would expect but the whirring and echo are GONE. Flex needs to make changes so that one shouldn't have to buy expensive Electret mics and preamps. The radio should sound great with just a Heil dynamic 6 headset and some EQ adjustments.

Bottom line: with the Electret mic or the Heil+Behringer I have finally found EQ settings that sound OK and I'm working DX with them.  I even get some "good audio" reports. BUT, if I switch to my Yaesu with the same mics, the edge clearly goes to the Yaesu.  EVERYONE says "More Punch, sounds terrific" with the Yaesu. The Flex is "good" until I do the A/B testing. DX is important to me. I realize that I am being very critical but I'm thinking of selling the 6300 and putting the money towards my new tower. 

I'm willing to do a sched with Flex staff if you'd like to hear the on-air difference.....

Howard W6HDG 
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Howard

Suggest you wait to Release 1.3 to see if they changed the audio gain in the transmit audio chain MON

I must admit that I think that ur rather unique in wanting to Monitor ur SSB Audio Transmit chain continuously

I can see the point with CW but with SSB once u set it correctly it would seem to be redundant to continue to listen to it..

Plus most radios only give u the transmit audio chain audio and NOT the actual audio as it would be decoded from after the final amplifier, So the MON really does not tell u very much about the actual transmit audio in SSB.

As I have said, I do not have this issue with my RadioSport headset (definitely not a Heil) on my 6700.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Howard, I am one who almost always listens to my audio as I transmit in order to prevent falling into bad mike and speech habits.  I guess it is a throwback to my brief broadcasting days when in college.

But from what I remember hearing, having a tap of actual post-processed - i.e. after EQ, Filtering, and Processing, is not a great option on the 6000 series because of the "idiot box factor"  which is that the processing delay before returning the audio to the headphones would fall right into that precise delay window that scrambles the brain if you try to listen to yourself and talk at the same time. (making your sound like an idiot...) Shorter, you can handle.  Longer you can ignore.  But the right amount of delay is killer.  

I have experienced it back in the 80's when many of the repeaters had a bucket-brigade delay in order to eliminate the squelch tail noise.  Guys would walk up behind someone talking on their HT and play the repeater outback on their own HT and then we would all laugh at the incomprehensible confusion that would emit from the original speaker.
I don't think this would bode well for Flex Owners!

While we may not get "actual" post-processed audio in our monitors, I still use it all the time just to monitor my technique and find it very valuable.
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Howard -W6HDG

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Hi Howard and Ken,
I really have two issues - 1) Monitoring - I like it since it keeps me awake while operating :), but much more importantly, 2) Transmit Audio. Flex is OK but not great.  I'd be happy to A/B over the air with anyone who wants to listen to an FTdx3000 vs Flex 6300 while I still own the Flex.  I may be nitpicking but the people who buy the Flex 6300 are not choosing a Kenwood/Yaesu/Icom which can easily have outstanding audio without external devices.  
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I do not know if the 6300 transmit audio chain is different than my 6700 but I get superb audio reports from my 6700 with my $400 RadioSport Headset and even via DAX with my $25 Logitech headset. In fact, my reports were so much better on my 6700 than my Icom that I dumped the Icom.