I'm experiencing an issue with my microphone and audio interface setup, where the microphone volume is too low, and I need to turn the input gain in my audio interface’s mixer software to the maximum for people to hear me properly. I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to solve this problem and also add a compressor to my signal chain.

My current setup includes a Shure SM57 dynamic microphone connected to an RME Babyface (Blue Edition) audio interface using a 10-15m XLR cable. I understand that dynamic microphones like the SM57 typically require more gain than condenser microphones. However, even with the Babyface's high-quality preamps and phantom power enabled, I still need to push the input gain to its maximum to get a decent signal.

Furthermore, I'd like to add a compressor to my signal chain, but the RME Babyface’s total mix software only offers EQ capabilities. I also need a way to monitor my microphone sound in real-time, rather than having to guess how it sounds.

I'm looking for any recommendations or advice on how to:

  1. Boost the signal from my SM57 without introducing excessive noise or compromising the sound quality.

  2. Add a compressor to my signal chain with the RME Babyface.

  3. Monitor my microphone sound effectively in real-time.

Also, is it possible that the long XLR cable I'm using could be contributing to the problem?

Thank you in advance for your help!

1 Answer 1


A 57 doesn't need phantom. It won't hurt it, it just has no use for it at all.

With no further info, testing is done by swapping out/comparing each component - mic, cable, interface - to see whether one component is under-performing.

  1. I could suggest a Cloudlifter, but really a 57 shouldn't need one.

  2. & 3 Are mutually exclusive, unless you're considering putting a hardware comp in front of the babyface. By that point, you may as well replace it with an interface that already has a comp built in.

  3. requires you to monitor direct from the interface, not via the computer, or run the buffers as low as possible.

btw, XLR mic cables are nominally capable of 60m without assistance.

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