I am working with a pair of condenser microphones. My mixer's gain knob should be turned on about half of single step (almost "minimum") to adjust the sensitivity each of one. Is there a trick, how I can change the gain knob level "zoom" to have a chance make wide turns for gain tuning?

3 Answers 3


If I understand correctly, you are currently using your mixer's gain knob very close to it's minimum gain position, and you'd prefer to be in a middle position.

This means that the output level of your microphones is close to the max input level of your mixer's inputs. Possible workaround (depending on your specific equipment) :

  • There might be an attenuator switch on your microphones, that would lower the output signal of your microphones.
  • There might be an attenuator switch or potentiometer on your mixer's mic input, that would also lower the signal incoming into the mic preamp.

This issue might also reveal that you are close to the max acoustic pressure that your microphones can handle without distortion.


Most Condensor Microphones have a "pad" switch (usually -15 or -20 db). That will decrease your input volume, allowing for you to turn your gain up and have greater ability to fine-tune. Also, most mixers have a "pad" switch or button as well, and this will do the same thing.

However, I have never encountered a condenser microphone producing such a strong signal that I literally have no need for a preamp... which makes we wonder if you have another gain stage somewhere in-between your mic and your mixer? because it sounds like your up at line level before you even hit your mixers preamp.


I have had this issue as well. I built my own microphones using condensor mics. The circuit was not my own and with it´s original design values I found that it was overdriving my mixer, A soundcraft Signature 16 channel.I could not go above the minimum gain setting at all. I eventually had to modify the circuit values so as to attenuate the output. End of Problem. Most Condensor mics have their own internal preamp and use Phantom power unless it has it's own battery supply. So to be honest you may have to put an attenuator inline with your mike or find a way to modify the circuit values so as to reduce the signal to your mixer. I have recently used them to record a performance of my daughters playing the piano and cello. The sound was pretty good. Only thing I found the Piano a bit sharp, but I think it is due to the piano tuning more than anything else. The original circuit could pick up whispers across a room of 8 meters, that is too sensitive for me (it may be fine for outside recording, but indoor needs less sensitivity). Also a good tip is cover the mice with a sponge. Something that is not too dense. It helps to reduce sensitivity without loosing sound quality. I am now planning on making a small one for use on my daughters viola and also improve one for the cello.

  • Is there a chance to listen to the recorded performance? Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 1:28
  • If I read your words correctly, the best way not to re-solder the mixer is to connect the mic through an in-line attenuator just like Sescom SES-MULTI-PAD 6-Position Variable Attenuator with possible values: -5dB, -10dB, -20bB, -40dB, and -50dB. The huge attenuation will increase the range of possible gain adjustments. Is it exactly what you mention in the answer? Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 1:34

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