I recently bought a Shure SV100 dynamic microphone that came with an XLR-1/4'' cable, which I'm plugging into a Focusrite Scarlett Solo 2nd gen. interface. This interface has two input jacks: a line/inst 1/4'' input (which I'm currently using with the mic) and an XLR mic input.

While the sound quality is pretty crisp, I'm getting very quiet recordings even when I turn the pre-amp up all the way and even if I'm standing really close to the microphone. Would using an XLR-XLR cable and plugging the mic in the XLR jack help with this or would it be the same?

1 Answer 1


To match impedances & levels properly you need an XLR>XLR.

That will fix your volume issue, & allow you to run much further than with an unbalanced cable.

<slight rant>
I've no idea why anyone would sell a mic with an unbalanced cable in the first place… yet they do, for some unknown reason. Even a semi-pro live desk will have balanced mic preamps (or anything built since around 1975)
</slight rant>

Note that it's worth spending a few bucks on a good mic cable. $£€ 20 - 30 will buy you one that will last a lifetime.
Also note, it's worth just hanging onto the unbalanced cable in the bottom of a gig bag, just in case you ever meet a rig with a "PA amp" that only has ancient unbalanced inputs. They're rare, but they do exist. I've kept one at the bottom of my mic case for 35 years & probably needed it two or three times, but if you don't have one, you could be royally scr***d ;)

  • 1
    Thanks for the quick answer! Just bought an XLR-XLR cable and indeed, the volume issue is solved. Jan 13, 2021 at 21:21

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