I recently decided to move away from my AT2020 USB microphone and jump on the next tier up— AT875R Shotgun microphone. I like the fact it'll be more directional, won't need to be directly in the frame of my content, and, to my knowledge, will provide better overall quality. All of my content is solely through my PC and is in a live form.
I currently have the following setup:
AT875R → XLR/XLR → Phantom PSU (XLR balanced out) → XLR/3.5mm → PC (on-board sound inputs)
However, the audio levels are so drastically low that I feel I'm missing something. Based on what I can tell, I seem to be getting sound in/around the -50dB to -40dB range. All of my audio levels in Windows are correct and I've went through all possible drivers and updates to ensure it wasn't something minor like that.
From my research, it sounds like I'm supposed to use a preamp (and/or mixer?) between the microphone and my PC to ensure the audio levels are correct before they get to the PC. Since most come with phantom power, I would assume it could replace the current, very inexpensive, one I have now. I would love to take the dive and assume so, but I've searched nearly every combination of "AT875R" and (preamp, mixer, amp, low audio, quiet, pc, audio levels) and didn't find a closely matching scenario which would make me confident enough.
Would a preamp mixer such as this one satisify the issue I'm having with the audio?
Also related, are there any other pieces of hardware that should be considered for this type of PC setup (audio card)?
I purchased the preamp/mixer since it was one of a few options I had to solve the low audio issue. Ultimately this took buying a few cables to connect things up correctly, but provided below is my current, working, setup:
AT875R → XLR/XLR → Preamp/Mixer (using unbalanced Stereo Out) → 1/4"/3.5mm → PC (motherboard's mic in)