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I an new to recording world. I jut want to know is does mixers support 1/4inch mics for recording. Or XLR mics with XLR to 1/4inch converter cable?

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  • It depends on the mixer! Most will have at least one of: separate 1/4" input on same channel; combined 1/4" and XLR socket; or a separate channel with 1/4" inputs.
    – jonrsharpe
    Jul 26, 2015 at 6:30

2 Answers 2

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Most professional consoles have 1/4" inputs as well as XLR inputs.

However, these are line inputs, not mic inputs. What this means: there is no dedicated preamplifier, the signal is directly fed to the EQ stage (or AD / ... whatever comes first in the given console model). And those stages expect a reasonably strong signal. If it's too weak you can still use the mixer, but the SNR will be less than satisfying.

Add to this that mics with 1/4" plug usually have horrible quality to begin with, and it's clear that you aren't going to achieve anywhere decent results this way. For loud, mid-heavy sources like brass or a guitar amp it's ok perhaps, but for anything else do get some proper condenser mics with XLR plug1 if you're serious about recording. There are really affordable, yet well-sounding models available nowadays.


1Or USB: if you only need to record one channel at a time you can skip the mixer entirely and record straight into a laptop / tablet etc..

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  • Would it also be true that phantom power needs XLR, not 1/4" jack?
    – Tim
    Jul 26, 2015 at 17:05
  • @Tim: yes, definitely. Phantom power should never be applied over 1/4", because these connectors tend to short pins to ground when connecting/disconnecting. Jul 26, 2015 at 17:55
  • Your second paragraph is not always true. There is usually still an input gain control on line-ins, and since you already have one for the mic it makes sense to use the same gain stage for the line-in too. Typically one of three things happens; the mic could get a 20-30dB fixed gain boost that is then reattenuated or further boosted by the gain knob; the line-in could be padded by the same 20-30dB amount and then reboosted by the gain stage; or the gain stage could simply have enough "usable" adjustment to level the input regardless of raw signal strength.
    – KeithS
    Aug 26, 2015 at 17:55
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Look up the specs of the mixer you are interested in. If you don't have your sight on one, look at some used ones in online music stores to figure out brands with resale value. Those should be somewhat representative.

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