I don't understand much of sound material, but i searched a little, talked with a few friends and the store technician and end up buying a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen and Sontronics STC-20 condenser mic. However when i plugged it in to my mac and tried to record some vocals (reading) the sound was very very low. For a great majority of words spoken the green light on the 2i2 doesn't even appear, even having the gain set to max.

The recording (on audacity) having the display of track set to waveform db, has an average of -60db, with the biggest peaks falling between -20 and -30db.

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I don't know what i should actually expect, as i never owned equipment like this. Is the microphone working properly, is the 2i2 working? Am i doing something wrong?

Any advices?

  • Have you switched on phantom power on the Focusrite 2i2?
    – user20509
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 9:34
  • I have turned on the phantom power. When i don't, i have a flat signal on the recording. Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 14:11
  • Can you try a different mic?
    – n00dles
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 17:26
  • Going to do that now. Additionally I checked the impedance and it reads 43.3 Ooms. And the other pins are closed. Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 21:31
  • Ok, I'd say you need to contact the microphone provider, there may be an issue with it. If a different mic has the same problem, then it's the 2i2 you need to return.
    – n00dles
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


The Focusrite has a number of volume/gain controls. You tried all of them? It may also have an internal mixer and/or source routing matrix. Call


in a terminal window and see whether there are any obvious controls you should be turning up or down or switching on or off. Alsamixer might show the wrong soundcard: if that is the case, switch to the correct one using F6.

  • The problem is before the signal even gets past the preamp.
    – n00dles
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 13:59

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