Quality Microphone Audio

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  • Updated 4 months ago
I think most people are lured into a Flex based upon how great they sound on the air.  I was in that camp so when I couldn't get mine to sound good I did some digging through the Flex forums.  I learned that it's best to use as little DSP inside the radio as possible and to rather process your audio before it hits the Flex mic jack.  With that in mind I stopped by Guitar Center to pick up a tube mic pre-amp and I came home with the PreSonus TubePre V2 $129.00.  I then connected that with a "y" cable to an old RANE ME-15 10 band stereo EQ from my former DJ days.  I use one channel of the EQ for the Flex and the other channel for my VHF / UHF radio.  My goal was to share my ElectroVoice EV320 with both radios.  Everything is working great and finally my Flex sounds like a Flex.  While on the air another Flex owner I was talking to suggested to change the low cut from 0 to 100 and that took away the echoy, bassey, hollow sound to my audio.  My amp was also happier to not have to work extra hard amplifying sound we can't hear.  So my advice is to skip the internal EQ keeping it disabled and go outboard with your sound contouring because it works much better.   I know the Flex veterans know this already but the newbies like me should find this useful.

Best 73,
Ruffers K9RUF
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David Holmgren

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Posted 2 years ago

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George Brown

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Thanks Bill.  I had that feeling.  73
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Philip KA4KOE

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The '320 is a great sounding microphone. My brother KK4TVR and I both use it.
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Kevin Darrah

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I wonder what many would consider to be "quality" outboard processing.... Wonder why all these recording studios just don't go with a simple "EQ Plug In" like Flex if it's really that good. That's because there are better options if your willing to spend the money for that extra. I've compared a number of AM'rs using the internal EQ scheme of the Flex, vs. the ones with some professional broadcast industry standard gear, the difference is there, sure enough. 

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John KB4DU

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Well for one thing the professional studio has a very different target audience, and many of the people that record there are overly impressed by an assortment of impressive equipment, regardless of the product. Also, many are recording to multi-track devices, and want/need to manipulate/over-manipulate the the sound. Listening to many recent orchestral recordings tells me many don't really know what the finished sound should be.

Relying on on-the-air reports can be very misleading, due to the setup at the receiving end, conditions, and expectations of the listener.

After spending a lot of time adjusting the Flex EQ (cut before boost, etc), I ended up just adjusting the low cut freq in the transmit passband (using the stock flex mike) to roll off below 250 Hz, and above 3200 Hz.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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Hi David

Do you put your radio into FDX to see how you sound?

This is something I highly recommend all owners do.  This way you can tailor your sound to how you want it to sound.  Not to some sound someone else wants it to sound.   

This is the big advantage of the Flex radio as it is the only one that does Full Duplex.

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Properly adjusted, the internal TX EQ can make even an inexpensive microphone sound pretty good, then again, using a poor quality microphone is akin to having a large displacement car engine with a restrictive air intake system.  You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.  I use a EV RE-27 and StudioProjects VTB1 mic preamp with my 6700.  After dialing in the optimum EQ and mic gain settings I then tailor the transmit bandwidth to the type of operating I'm doing, DX'ing/Contesting or general conversational Rag Chew.  
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David Holmgren

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As the author of this post that I put up over a year ago I'm amazed how it's taken on a life of it's own with continued ongoing interest.  Simply amazing.  I think what it tells us Flexers is radio audio is really important to us vs those that are only interested in "communications grade" audio..and we know how they sound.  For years before the FLEX if you were a ESSB kind of ham you participated in radio audio voodoo looking for an old Kenwood 9xxx radio that could be modified with the help of other ESSBers instruction over the internet.  Fortunately today we have the FLEX making all of this unnecessary and a radio that provides a lot of other benefits to those willing to take off the "big three" radio blinders to see why FLEX IS better.  For me as an update I still use my EV320 but just use the internal EQ.  As Mike (super-star Flex sales guy) mentions above the FDX really works nicely to see how you sound.  This is NOT the same as the MON button on other radios since the procedure lets you hear your actual RF audio, NOT just mike audio.  

I was getting crazy with all the outboard sound enhancers and decided to simplify.  My rational was two fold, the ham desk was full and started to look like a recording studio and with the restrictionions of the RF signal bandwidth creating CD quality radio going through a straw really doesn't make much sense.  Having said that at least if you're interested in great audio don't let your mike be the weakest link and select your favorite large diameter mike.  So there you have it.  An update from the author.  Oh and BTW my call changed a while back to K9AT with my recent Extra upgrade I thought it would be nice to get on of those fancy 1 x 2 calls being a ham for 42 years.

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Joe Conover

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Your great at Patting yourself on back like most here good job-

It’s best go easy and stupid way God How has Collins 2A and Yaesu Ft-101 lasted 50 plus years with just Mic gain and good microphone lmao and they still sound best on air still today -
Glad it worked out— I worked very hard reinvesting and converting all the audio programs for Flex -

I never seem so many people trying out do each other here it’s Ego trips -